4 Common Remodeling Mistakes to Avoid

You’ve spent three months looking over paint swatches and now you’re finally ready to make a decision. But as soon as you finish the first coat of Blue Marlin, you’re wishing you had gone with Iceberg instead.

Paint is pretty easy to change. But other home updates can cost you more than just a lost weekend. Take a look at these common remodeling mistakes before you start your next project:

1. You Underestimate the Timeframe

It was supposed to take one afternoon to install the new plank-style wood flooring in your bedroom. Now you’re sleeping in the living room and your project is far from complete.

The Takeaway: Be realistic from the beginning and allow yourself plenty of time to deal with unforeseen challenges.

2. You Cut Corners on Materials

You’re heartbroken to learn that the 99-cent backsplash you found is hard to install and not very durable. It didn’t take long to crack one of the tiles.

The Takeaway: Keep quality in mind, read consumer reviews and don’t let thriftiness cloud your vision.

3. You Should Have Hired a Professional

Building a new set of front entrance stairs seems manageable according to the YouTube videos you’ve watched. But before you know it, you’re in way over your head.

The Takeaway: When a project involves heavy lifting or specific skills, it’s best to turn to a pro for help.

4. You End Up Going Way Over Budget

You just wanted to pull out some old carpet in the basement and add a simple wall. Now, you’re waterproofing and managing mold (and you surpassed your budget several days ago).

The Takeaway: A thorough inspection from a trusted contractor can reveal the true scope of the work that needs to be done.

Have questions about your homeowners coverage or how it might change if you remodel? Reach out to one of our team members today at www.vickinsurancegroup.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


Would you be covered in these 5 scenarios?

Accidents happen on the road. A deer could dart across your path, a tree branch could come crashing down or you could make a simple mistake as you hurry to get to work.

Does your policy kick in after these kinds of events?

Let’s look at five things that could easily happen to any driver and see if they’d be covered.

Your Friend Wrecks Your Car

Your friend’s car is in the shop, so you lend them yours for the day. What happens if they end up involved in a fender bender?

Your insurance typically follows your vehicle. If you have collision insurance, the damage may be covered. If your friend caused the accident, your liability insurance could help cover the losses others suffer, too.

A Tree Falls on Your Truck

A storm rages through the night and you wake up to find a big tree lying across the hood of your truck. Not to worry — comprehensive auto insurance most likely covers damage from storms.

A Pothole Takes Out Your Muffler

What looks like a shallow puddle ends up being a massive pothole, resulting in a jolt, a thud and some serious damage. Though your deductible may be too high to cover minor issues, in a situation where significant repairs are needed, you may choose to file a claim.

Your Car Is Vandalized

Someone keyed your car and damaged your paint job pretty badly. Your comprehensive insurance should cover you, so you might want to file a claim if the damage exceeds the amount of your deductible.

Oops! You Backed Into Something

In a rush to get to work, you forget to open the garage door and backed right into it. (Hey, it happens.) With collision insurance, you can file a claim for the damage.

Need to adjust your coverage? Have questions about your deductible? Reach out to someone on our team today to discuss your policy. You can also find us on our social media sites Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


5 Easy Ways to Save on Your Insurance

We all wish we had a little more money in the bank. Aside from the obvious steps — like canceling an unused gym membership or cutting back on your online shopping — are there other ways to save a few bucks each month?

Without reducing your home or auto protection, these simple tips might help you save on your insurance costs.

Take a look and see if any of these ideas might work for you:

Ask About Discounts

Bundling your home and auto coverage might be one savings option. You could also save by installing security features in your home. And discounts exist for low-mileage driving, making infrequent claims and having a teen driver who earns good grades.

Reduce Coverage When Needed

If your car is older and it’s paid off, you may be able to reduce your coverage. At least once a year, we should reassess your coverage and discuss whether you might be overpaying.

Don’t Skip Rental Insurance

If you’re currently renting a home or apartment, it’s important to invest in renter’s insurance. When you do, you’ll be able to start building a positive history that could help you earn lower home insurance rates later.

Keep Your Home and Car in Good Shape

Frequent claims will increase your costs. To help avoid this, make sure to stay on top of maintenance tasks. Have your roof and HVAC systems inspected regularly and keep up with oil changes, tire health and other routine car care.

Make Wise Buying Decisions

Before you buy an expensive vehicle, be sure to reach out to learn about the expected costs for coverage so there are no surprises later.

Ready to Save?

Reach out to our team at Vick Insurance today to discuss possible discounts, bundling and other savings options. This quick conversation could help keep money in your pocket. As always, make sure to visit our team on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.


Is it finally time to buy a new car?

Do you ever have car envy? Maybe a shiny new vehicle caught your eye the other day and now you can’t stop thinking about upgrading.

Before you head to the lot and make an impulsive decision, consider whether it’s really time for a new ride. Here’s what to keep in mind:

Think About Safety

A safe car is a valuable investment. New vehicles offer a variety of features to help reduce risks and better protect your family. If you don’t feel safe on the road with your current car, it makes sense to trade up for the benefit of having curtain air bags, backup cameras, blind spot assistance and more.

Consider the Costs

You’ll also need to ask the basic question: How much will it cost? Calculate how much you can comfortably afford to spend on a car payment and don’t forget to include any taxes and interest fees.

You also need to estimate insurance costs. Newer cars are more valuable, which means your premium will likely increase. And remember that the type of car is also a factor. You’ll probably see your rates rise quite a bit if you buy a flashy sports car, but not so much if you choose a traditional family vehicle.

On the other hand, if you’re putting a lot of money into your existing car for repairs and maintenance, it’s costing you more than it should. And are you currently getting great gas mileage, or will buying a more efficient car allow you to save some money at the pump?

The Takeaway

You’ll know it’s time to buy a new car when you’re putting too much money into your old vehicle or you no longer feel safe in it. When it’s more of a “need” than a “want,” it’s probably time to take the plunge.

Need to change your coverage? Have questions about your premium? Reach out to our team anytime, or check out our social media on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


Protect Your Home With an Umbrella Policy

Imagine you’re having a party and someone twists their ankle on your property. This kind of thing happens more than you might think, and while your basic liability insurance may help, unfortunately it may not cover all the resulting costs.

Wouldn’t you rather have peace of mind knowing your assets are protected? If you don’t know much about umbrella insurance yet, now’s the time to learn.

What is umbrella insurance?

Umbrella insurance is a form of liability insurance designed to provide an all-encompassing level of protection. This coverage picks up where other forms of liability insurance leave off.

Could you benefit from umbrella insurance?

If you have a higher-risk home, such as one with a pool, umbrella insurance adds an essential layer of protection. Parents of teenagers (who tend to be riskier drivers), dog owners and anyone with a boat or rental property are also good candidates.

How much does it cost?

Umbrella insurance is available as an add-on to most people who purchase a property insurance product, such as home insurance or business insurance. Because it’s an extension of your existing coverage, it tends to be very affordable — and it’s a small price to pay for the level of protection it can offer to you.

Why do you need it?

You can easily fall victim to a liability lawsuit in today’s world. Even if you don’t have a high-risk home, accidents do happen. If you want to protect your money and property from claims made after an accident or injury, having an affordable umbrella insurance policy makes sense.

Interested in learning more about umbrella insurance? Get in touch today with one of our agents at Vick Insurance Group. You can also reach out to us on our social media Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


Find Peace of Mind (and Lower Premiums)

You’re enjoying yourself at your kid’s soccer game when suddenly it hits you: You left the front door unlocked.

Do you run home immediately and miss the rest of the game, or do you cross your fingers and hope for the best? With new advances in home safety technology, you don’t have to make this choice.

Installing devices like smart locks and sensors can help keep your home safer — and might even reduce your insurance costs. Here’s how:

Smart Locks. No more worrying about forgetting to lock the door. With a tap of your mobile device, you can lock and unlock your home from anywhere. You can also program smart locks to automatically lock whenever you leave your home — reducing the chance of an incident.

Solar Power Integrations. Want to save energy and potentially earn tax credits? Investing in solar-powered security lights or security cameras can help you do just that.

Geofencing. This emerging security technology gives peace of mind by creating a virtual bubble around your home. When you’re out of the security bubble, you’ll default to “away” mode. If there’s movement within the bubble while you’re away, you’ll get a push notification.

Fire and Leak Sensors. Today’s advanced sensors can quickly detect danger and then take action to protect you. For example, in the case of a fire, the sensor can automatically enable a smart thermostat that shuts off air conditioning, slowing the spread of smoke.

Ready for added security in your home? Reach out to our office at Vick Insurance to learn more about your safety options and how they might impact your insurance costs.


Are your high-value items covered?

What do your grandma’s engagement ring, Mickey Mantle’s rookie baseball card and the painting your wealthy uncle bought at a Christie’s auction have in common? They’re all rare and valuable, and that means they need to be insured.

Homeowners and renters insurance cover your personal property. But even if your policy’s overall limit covers everything you own, it might have sublimits that don’t fully cover specific, high-value items.

So what should you do?

Eligible Items

First, determine if you need extra insurance. You might if you own:

  • Precious jewelry
  • Fine art
  • Musical instruments
  • Rare postage stamps and coins
  • Sports memorabilia
  • Fine china and silverware
  • High-end electronics
  • Other antiques and collectibles

Riders and Scheduled Coverage

To make sure your items are fully insured, you can buy additional insurance called a “rider” or “scheduled coverage” to supplement your homeowners or renters policy. What do you get for your extra premium dollars?

Riders for valuable items cover theft and other perils, just like your homeowners or renters policy does. These riders can also cover what’s called “mysterious disappearance,” which is a great thing to have if you’re the forgetful type.

These policies may also provide replacement cost coverage even when your regular policy only provides cash value coverage. Tip: Keep receipts and appraisals in a safe place to prove the cost of any lost, stolen or damaged valuables.

Costs and Benefits 

This additional insurance will probably have a much lower deductible than your underlying policy, but it’s up to you to decide if the extra cost is worth it.

Need some guidance? Reach out anytime to our team at Vick Insurance to make sure you’re not taking on unnecessary risk. You can also check out our social media on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


The Truth About Homeowners Insurance

Ask 10 people what standard homeowners insurance covers and you’ll probably get 10 different answers.

Some people think their policy only covers their physical dwelling, when in fact most property insurance goes further than that. Additional structures, personal belongings and even liability protection might also be included.

Then, there are the myths suggesting that homeowners insurance covers situations, it actually doesn’t.

Let’s set the record straight today:

Myth 1: Wear and Tear Is Covered

Fact: Coverage typically includes damage from fire, weather and theft. It does not cover damage due to general wear and tear or neglect. As a policyholder, it’s up to you to maintain your home. This includes making routine repairs and protecting your home from pests.

Myth 2: You’re Safe in Case of Flood Damage

Fact: Although some weather-related damage is covered, such as from hail, other natural disasters may not be:

  • Floods require specific flood insurance.
  • Earthquakes might be covered, but sometimes they require additional insurance.

Myth 3: All Personal Belongings Are Fully Covered

Fact: Homeowners insurance covers your furniture, clothing and other personal items up to your policy’s stated limits. More valuable items like jewelry and artwork typically require an add-on policy to be fully covered. Routinely inventory your belongings to determine if your limits meet your coverage needs.

Myth 4: You Have Protection Against Any Injuries That Happen at Home 

Fact: Your policy’s liability coverage protects you if a guest is hurt in your home. The same is not true for you. If you or a family member are injured at home, it would be covered by your health insurance rather than your homeowners.

Myth 5: Home Businesses Are Part of the Package

Fact: A home business requires business insurance to cover property damage and liability issues.

Need help understanding the ins and outs of your homeowners policy? Give your local agency a call today. Let’s chat.

Check out some of our other Vick Insurance Group media on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


4 Ways to Cover Your Belongings in a Move

Moving can be one of life’s most stressful events. It’s tiring and time-consuming to box up all your belongings, and that’s before you even start worrying about how to transport everything safely.

Speaking of that, do you know if your insurance covers your property while it’s in transit? And does your policy immediately kick in once you arrive in your new home?

Here’s what to know before you move:

1. Understand Your Coverage Limits

We see it all the time. Policyholders assume their current homeowners or renters insurance policy covers them during a move. In reality, these policies typically apply at a residence or storage unit but they usually aren’t designed to protect personal property while the items are being packed or physically moved.

2. Find Out About Additional Protections

Say your moving truck gets into a wreck and jostles all your delicate furniture around. If you have trip transit insurance or special perils coverage, you should be covered. These even kick in if anything gets stolen or disappears.

You can also ask your moving company about full value protection. This plan holds movers responsible for the replacement value of anything you’re shipping with them.

3. Don’t Assume Moving Everything Yourself Is Safer

If you’re driving your own vehicle, know that you assume all responsibility. To stay on the safe side, look into truck rental companies that offer additional coverage.

4. Know When to Adjust Your Policy

What’s the most important thing to do before you move? Check in to go over your coverage. We can time the transfer or cancellation of your policy to make sure there are no gaps in coverage during your relocation.

Whether you’re packing up this summer or staying put for a while, reach out anytime to make sure you have the right homeowners coverage at the right price.

Make sure to visit Vick Insurance Group on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


Sometimes Standard Coverage Isn’t Enough

Are you driving around with more risk than you realize? 

You’re probably thinking, “Well of course I have basic car insurance. Isn’t that enough?” Depending on your situation, it might not be. 

No matter what, it’s crucial to evaluate your coverage regularly to make sure you and your vehicle are adequately protected. And checking it is particularly important under these special circumstances:

Teen Drivers – These may be two of the scariest words in the English language, especially if you’re the parent of one. New drivers are more likely to make mistakes, so before you put your teenager behind the wheel, check in to make sure they’re adequately covered.

Collector Cars – They’re an adventure on wheels and important to protect, as damaged or stolen antique cars can cost a fortune to fix or replace. Whether you’re a restoration hobbyist or driving enthusiast, you’ll rest easier knowing your classic cars are protected down to the last rare part.

Sports Cars – Fun to drive, not fun to replace. The powerful engines may bring out your inner speed demon and usually require more coverage than a basic auto policy can offer.

Rental Cars – Do you really want to be on the hook for a car that isn’t yours? Even if you’re going a short distance, a little extra coverage could go a long way.

Accidents happen, but specialty coverage can provide the extra protection you need (not to mention peace of mind). 

Ready to re-evaluate your current coverage? Reach out to Vick Insurance Group today at www.vickinsurancegroup.com.