TXINS September E-News: Home-Sharing for Extra Income? Having the Right Protection is Key, Ask the Agent, Agency Happenings, Texas Trivia Contest, and More!

Home-Sharing for Extra Income?
Having the Right Protection is Key

Ever thought about renting out a room in your home or even your entire home or apartment to earn extra income through a home-sharing service like Airbnb, HomeAway or FlipKey? If so, make sure you are aware of some of the unique exposures you might face that traditional homeowners insurance policies don’t cover. There can be serious gaps in coverage in your homeowners policy once you bring a boarder into your home.
While most homeowners policies allow you to rent part of your home occasionally, these policies usually don’t provide coverage for theft and only offer limited coverage for furnishings. Before you sign a rental agreement, here are important things the
National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) wants you to know.
What’s the risk?
What if your boarder vandalizes your property, the hallway of your apartment complex, or your neighbor’s swing set? What if your boarder trips and falls over your living room rug and is injured? What if he or she steals your new TV or gaming system?
Both boarders and hosts could incur costs if things go wrong. As a host, your homeowners or renter’s insurance policies are not designed to cover accidents arising from property rental and your insurance company may deny coverage for any resulting claims.
How can you protect yourself as a host?
Accidents can happen, anytime and anywhere. Even if you take preventative measures, your boarders could trip and fall or slip in the shower, causing serious injury.
Most homeowners policies provide coverage if a home visitor falls and is injured. That’s likely not the case if a paying guest falls in your home, however, because your coverage may not be intended for commercial use. Without liability insurance protection from the company facilitating the host agreement, your homeowners or renter’s insurance policy might leave you with no coverage but still liable for damages.
Homeowners policies usually exclude or provide very limited coverage for homeowners who are running a business in their home. When you begin earning income from renting out your home or a room, your carrier will probably consider you as a home-based business. If you lease out a room or your entire home for profit, your insurer could claim you’re running a hotel or B&B and deny coverage. On the other hand, if you seldom rent out your home, your insurer might provide coverage. A renter’s insurance policy is subject to the same limitations as a homeowners insurance policy.
To make sure you’re protected, speak with your agent about your participation in this activity before you sign up to be a host. If you only occasionally rent a room or your house, your current insurer might be willing to provide an endorsement to protect you. However, if you plan to rent your house for a longer time or if you plan to frequently rent out a room or the whole house then purchasing a landlord policy, also known as landlord property insurance, might be your best option. A landlord insurance policy will cover your home, structures on the property, property contents that you own (like appliances and furniture), lost rental income due to building damage, legal fees, and liability protection.
Some experts recommend only renting to boarders who have homeowners, renter’s, or personal liability insurance and are able to show proof they are insured. Then if your property is damaged, you could file a claim under the boarder’s policy.
How can you protect yourself as a guest?
Your own homeowners, renter’s, or personal liability insurance policy will generally protect you even as a guest if you happen to cause damage to a host’s property. But understand that per Airbnb’s user agreement, the company reserves the right to make a claim under your homeowners or renter’s policy for any damage or loss you cause to an accommodation. Other P2P (person to person) companies may have similar agreements so make sure to check their terms of use. It’s also a good idea to speak with your insurance agent or carrier before agreeing to rent the room—just so you understand your coverage and possible liability.
What else should you know?
Currently, Airbnb provides host protection insurance with coverage up to $1 million if a third-party claims bodily injury or property damage against you as a host. The NAIC notes this liability insurance program is automatically applied to every listing in the U.S. and the coverage is secondary. It applies only after your primary insurance policy either settles or denies a claim. Laws regarding P2P companies vary from state to state and city to city. Be sure to speak with someone who is knowledgeable about your specific location. Because home-sharing companies are still fairly new, NAIC recommends you speak with your insurance provider about your risks as a host to make sure you’re properly covered before you list your property for rent.


 We Are Here for You 

Texas Insurance & Financial Services, Inc. is your trusted advocate. As an independent insurance agency, TXINS represents a wide network of A-rated insurance companies, which allows us to find the best insurance policy to fit your needs and budget. We don’t believe in cookie cutter policies and will customize a plan specifically for you. Your overall satisfaction is our top priority. That’s a promise.

TXINS offers complimentary insurance reviews to ensure you are getting the right coverage for yourself, your family, or your business. To schedule your review, contact us today at 800-541-9849 or via email. Together, we will ensure you are protecting what matters most.

The employees of TXINS are active members in our communities. Here’s a quick list of what we’ve been up to as well as what we have planned for the month.

  • The agency will be closed on Monday, September 5 in honor of Labor Day.
  • Later this month, Kara Wood and Celeste Clark will be traveling to Orlando, FL to attend the 2016 AppliedNet Conference where they will learn new tips and tools about the agency‘s management system. 
  • TXINS will be a proud sponsor of the 3rd Annual Boys & Girls Club of El Campo’s Country Ball Dinner and Dance on Thursday, Sept. 8 at the El Campo Civic Center. If you would like to attend the Country Ball Dinner and Dance, please contact the Boys & Girls Club of El Campo at 979-543-8320 to purchase your tickets.
  • Happy September Birthday goes out to Tom Bodungen and Jeff Copeland. We wish them all the very best as the celebrate their special days!
  • Congratulations to the following TXINS staffers on their September work anniversaries: Gigi Leudecke-6 years and Janet Corson-5 years. We are proud to have you on the team!
  • Congratulations to our August Texas Trivia Contest winners Wanda Eiteman of Needville, Michael Kelling of Brenham, and Beverly Hensley of El Campo. Don’t forget to check out our new Texas Trivia contest question! Be one of the first people to email us the correct answer and win your very own Texas flag!

On August 12, the ladies of TXINS celebrated Celeste Clark on her upcoming October wedding. They enjoyed fun games, delicious food, and imparting wise marriage advice. Best wishes to Celeste and Troy Socha for a long and happy marriage!

Prevent Regret

According to FloodSmart.gov, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods at some point in the past five years. Recent heavy rains in Texas and Louisiana have caused billions of dollars in damage to homes and businesses. If you don’t have flood insurance, the results from a flood can be devastating. A typical homeowners policy does not cover flood damage. All too often homeowners don’t realize this until it’s too late.

We invite you to watch this incredibly powerful video from FloodSmart.gov. Afterwards, contact your TXINS agent to ensure if you have the proper flood insurance protection. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

 Meet the TXINS Team
Karen Strode

Karen Strode is described by her Commercial Lines team as a hard worker, determined, family–oriented, and always willing to lend a hand when needed. As someone with a warm heart and always dependable, Karen has been a welcomed addition to the Commercial Department and the agency as a whole. We are grateful for her and all the wonderful things she brings to the team.

To learn more about Karen, click here.

To save money and reduce expenses, we sold our home and purchased a manufactured home to live in while our retirement home is being built. Will a standard homeowners policy cover the manufactured home?  – Sidney T., Willis, TX

Dear Sidney:

Manufactured homes are handled a little differently than site-built homes because they are not built onto a foundation. Site-built homes generally tend to increase in value over the life of a 15- or 30-year mortgage. Manufactured homes, however, generally decline in value over time, which makes them more like vehicles in the eyes of insurance companies. This major difference in the value of the home affects the cost of manufactured home insurance.
Besides the differences in valuation over time, manufactured homes also have different levels of risk than site-built homes. For example, manufactured homes tend to have a greater risk for theft. There is also increased risk for damage due to weather. Additionally, the building materials tend to be lighter weight than site-built homes and they are statistically riskier for fire damage. Because manufactured homes are built in a factory and then transported, they can have structural integrity issues.
Like site-built homes, manufactured home insurance comes with several types of coverage, including:

  • Property damage coverage to protect your home investment in the event of a natural disaster or home fire.
  • Liability insurance to protect you financially in the event that someone is injured in your home or on your premises and files a claim or lawsuit.
  • Contents coverage to protect your investment in your personal property within your home.

The amount of coverage you need depends on several factors including the value of your home, belongings, and the personal assets you want to protect. It is a good idea to take the time to evaluate the replacement cost of your home and belongings as a starting place for how much coverage you will need.
One of the factors to consider when finding insurance for your home is to determine how you want to be compensated in the event of a loss. There are two ways:

  • Actual cash value: The value of the structure in the current market, which takes into account depreciation
  • Replacement cost value: The amount that it would cost to rebuild the structure to its original condition with similar materials

As manufactured homes generally depreciate over time, the actual cash value will typically be less than the replacement cost. Replacement cost coverage can protect you from having to pay the cost of replacing or repairing your home out of pocket in the event of a loss.
Your TXINS agent can assess the types of coverage you need, and then shop for the best quotes from several reputable companies. Your agent will be able to find discounts and can help you find ways to keep your coverage affordable.

Do you have a question for our agents? Email it to us! If we choose your question, we’ll send you a thank you gift! Be sure to include your mailing address and phone number in your email.

Learn Something New Every Day
– The average person spends six months of their life waiting for a red light to turn green.

– It would take a sloth one month to travel one mile.

– Just like fingerprints, everyone has a different tongue print.

– September 3 is National Tailgating Day. Kick off the 2016 football season with these simple and tasty tailgate-friendly recipes sure to score a touchdown with your fellow sports fans!

Safety Features Help You Save on Auto Insurance
If you’re looking to purchase a new (or new to you) car, opt for one that offers these important safety features. Not only will you be safer while on the road, you might qualify for important discounts that could help you save on auto insurance.
– Air bags
Anti-lock brakes
Automatic seat belts
Crash-resistant doors
Electronic stability control (ESC)
Daytime running lights

We LOVE Referrals!

Congrats to Mike Cruz of Moulton, TX, our August Referral Program drawing winner! Thanks for your referrals, Mike!

If you love Texas Insurance & Financial Services, Inc., tell a relative, friend, or co-worker about us. When they call to receive a quote make sure they let us know that you referred them.

As a thank you, you’ll receive a surprise gift and will be entered into our monthly $50 gift card drawing and our annual Grand Prize drawing for a $1,500 gift card!!!

(Grand Prize drawing will be held on December 1, 2016.)

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