Vic briefly explains the 3 primary coverage protections of personal auto insurance and the differences between those coverage.
By Lorie Ham
We all purchase insurance hoping that we will never have to use it, but what is it really like when you do? Mennonite Insurance agent Yolanda Hernandez recently found out when she had to file a water claim for her kitchen over the holidays.
“The housing part (below sink) of the kitchen sink came loose and water was leaking I think for at least a full day or two before I realized it,” shares Yolanda. “I realized something was wrong when I was washing dishes and heard a gushing sound. I opened the cabinets and water was over flowing everywhere. The bottom portion of the cabinet was totally wet and so was the cabinet next to it. My mom always kept a large bowl or container under the sink in case of a leaky faucet. So I have always done this too, but the container was completely full and over flowing. It was overwhelming to see so much water everywhere.”
As a diligent homeowner, Yolanda acted quickly and cleaned the water up right away, preventing more damage. She also called out a cleaning and restoration company to help dry everything up. “The insurance adjuster stated that if I would have waited until the next day to call ServiceMaster, the cabinets most likely would have been a total loss.”
Next, it was time to file a claim. These were the steps Yolanda followed to open a claim:
- Call your insurance company
- Let them know date and time of the event
- A brief description of what happened
- If you have photos, those are always helpful
- If you have done anything to prevent further damage it is always good to let the insurance carrier know
After you file a claim, an insurance adjuster goes out to assess the damage and reports the information, along with photos, back to the insurance company. They also include an estimate of what the damages would be minus the deductible.
“As a homeowner you have the option of getting multiple estimates and going with a repair company of your choice,” continues Yolanda. “It is always recommended that you use a licensed contractor to guarantee the work. If your repairs will be more than the deductible, then you would receive a check for the remainder.”
Yolanda has Homeowners (Hazard) Insurance with a $1000 deductible. If you don’t know what kind of insurance you have, talk to your agent so you can be informed and prepared just as she was. “As a homeowner, we should always try to be vigilant and aware of our property condition. Checking sink areas for leaking pipes or broken parts every once in a while is a good way to avoid this type of loss.”
By Lorie Ham
School is back in session! Depending on where your kids go to school, they may have been back for a couple of weeks, or maybe they are just starting up. All throughout the school year it is important to put safety first when dropping off the kids or driving near schools. And it is important for students to put safety first as well.
Sergeant Todd Lowery, who is in charge of the Reedley PD Traffic Unit, offers some safety tips for parents, children, and those driving past a school.
All Drivers: Be sure to obey the speed limit of 25 miles per hour when you are passing a school.
Parents: Be careful where you drop off your children. Many schools have a drive through drop off area that is actually away from the street and on the campus, which is the safest option.
1. Always be aware of your surroundings when crossing streets instead of looking down at your phone. Don’t text and walk.
2. Use crosswalks where available and make sure vehicle drivers see you before crossing any street.
The Reedley PD also recently offered some tips on their Facebook page for students and drivers:
1. Take off headphones. Headphones or ear buds can prevent you from hearing oncoming hazards.
2. Never assume a driver is going to yield the right of way to a pedestrian. Stop at the curb or crosswalk, make eye contact, and ensure traffic is stopped before crossing the roadway.
3. Remember that RED MEANS STOP. Drivers are required to stop in both directions when a school bus has its red lights flashing or stop sign extended. This indicates students are getting on or off a bus.
For some back to school bike safety, check out this article by Sunnyside Bicycles in Kings River Life.
Sgt. Lowery says, “Teaching your kids safety starts with the parents and continues with educators, Law Enforcement, and others.”
By Lorie Ham
It’s time to take that last family vacation before the kids have to go back to school. You are considering renting a car because you need something bigger to fit the whole family. You’ve looked at the choices available, picked a car, decided to pay for the rental with your credit card, but you can’t decide whether to purchase the Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) offered by the rental company.
Here is a look at coverage you may already have without the LDW:
- Your own personal auto policy, however it has limits and deductibles (be sure to check your policy for its limits and deductibles, and if you have any questions be sure to call your agent).
- The credit card company that was used to rent the car may cover loss to the rental vehicle up to ACV (Actual Cash Value-see our past article to learn more about ACV and RCV) and include loss of use of the vehicle. Or, it may not.
Considering all of that, if you do have an accident on your vacation, do you want to take the chance of having to cover the things that aren’t covered out of your own pocket? Or, is it wiser to play it safe and purchase the LDW?
The LDW allows you to not worry about the rental car damage. You can just “walk away” as the folks at the rental desk say, and then you don’t have to let an accident completely ruin your vacation!
So be sure you make an informed decision. The best way to make sure you have all the info you need is to ask questions-so be sure to pick up the phone and give your agent a call. They are always happy to answer any questions you have.
By Lorie Ham
Jim Brandt has been the Chairman of the Board for the Mennonite Aid Plan since 2012, and a board member since 2004. He considers MAP to be more than just an insurance company. “Our mission is to provide support for people in need when catastrophic things happen to them. We can do that because we are a religious organization that uses our finances to care for the needs of our people.”
He and his wife are very involved in their local church, and they enjoy traveling, and spending time with their grandkids. As he enjoys his retirement, Jim also has more time for hobbies. About a year ago, he began restoring a classic car—a 1957 Pontiac Super Chief two-door hardtop. Since hobbies aren’t high on his priority list, he is taking his time with this one and is still in the process of taking the car apart. “Everything has to be documented so I can remember how to put it back together again. Each part needs to be cleaned and restored to like new condition.”
Jim chose this particular type of car because it is the same type that he drove when he was young. “There are a lot of memories with that first car, so I guess it’s somewhat of a nostalgic trip for me to restore the one that I have now.”
One of the things he enjoys about this project is that he is using his hands to make something better. The experience takes him back to a more carefree time in his life and he sometimes listens to ‘50s music while working on the car. One of the more challenging aspects has been finding the proper parts, which being a member of a nationwide Pontiac Club has helped with.
Jim doesn’t have a time frame for getting the car completed, but he hopes it will be done in time that he and his wife can take it on some short trips and to car shows. “My intention is not that it be a showpiece, but something that we can just enjoy. I suggested to my wife that we may need to find some ‘50s vintage clothing to wear while we are driving it…I suppose the ultimate dream would be to drive it down Route 66 and take in all the nostalgia from those times back then.”
If you too have a classic car that you are working on and wonder what would be involved in getting it insured when you are ready to hit the road, contact Mennonite Insurance and we will be happy to help!
Riding a dirt bike is a great way to spend an afternoon when the weather’s nice and the trails are clear. It can also put you at a financial risk if you crash and the vehicle isn’t properly insured.
“A lot of people don’t think their dirt bikes need special coverage, but they do,” said Yolanda Hernandez, an insurance agent with Mennonite Insurance Services.
Hernandez warns that homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover dirt bikes because they’re considered to be vehicles like the family car or truck. Your auto policy won’t cover dirt bikes either. The bikes are not listed as covered vehicles on the auto policy.
Not only is damage to the bike itself not covered, but damage to others caused by the bike is also not covered. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize this until their claim is denied and they’re left paying out of pocket for any damage caused by a wreck.
Several insurance companies offer policies that cover dirt bikes and other off-road vehicles like an ATV or a quad. Hernandez recommends buying one of these policies for your vehicles as well as any powerboats or jet skis you own so you aren’t left footing the bill in case something goes wrong.
Call Mennonite Insurance today at 559-638-2327 or e-mail if you need help finding the right insurance policy for your ATV, dirt bike, jet ski, motorboat or quad.