Is your Virginia Beach business ready for commercial insurance?

The good news about all those expenses that come with running a business:

Most of them don’t really kick in until you can afford them. You don’t really need to spend a lot of money on marketing until you’ve tested the waters with a small-scale launch to see how people respond. You don’t really need to rent office space until you have more employees than can fit in your garage. Insurance Shopper VA can help connect you to commercial insurance, but it might not even be a necessity just yet.

If you’re not sure whether your Virginia Beach, VA business requires commercial insurance yet, here’s what you need to do:

  • Take stock. Take a look around the shop and list everything you have that you could count as a business asset.
  • Weigh that against your spendable income.

The question you need to answer:

If I lost all this stuff in a fire, would I be able to replace it out of pocket without worry? If the answer is no, then it may be time to invest in commercial insurance.

Your homeowner’s insurance or renter’s policy may actually cover the damages if you’re working from home, but if you’re renting office space or you’ve bought your own building, or if you run a business from a food truck, for instance, then it may be time to give Insurance Shopper VA a call.

Not every Virginia Beach, VA company needs a commercial insurance policy. If your business is just you and a laptop, then there’s not much to worry about. Once you’ve built your business up, once you have more than you can afford to lose, commercial insurance is your only choice. Reach out to our agents today to determine if commercial insurance is necessary for you.

Are You An Underinsured Motorist?

While most people act responsibly by purchasing auto insurance, the Commonwealth of Virginia does not require drivers to take out such safeguards. Compounding that problem, many drivers only take out the minimum to save money, and those low coverage thresholds could leave you underinsured in the event of an accident. At the Insurance Shopper VA, our professionals are here to work with the good people of Virginia Beach, VA to create policies that provide secure coverage.

Uninsured Motorists

Virginia is one of only two states that do not require auto insurance by law. Drivers can satisfy their financial ability to drive by simply paying $500 to the DMV. Unfortunately, that fee does not provide coverage. If you’re involved in an accident with one of these legally uninsured motorists, there is no insurance to pay for the damage, injuries, or medical bills. That means your best protection is to have a comprehensive policy that supports your financial security.

Minimum Coverage Can Fall Short

In Virginia, drivers can also fulfill their financial obligation to operate a motor vehicle by purchasing auto insurance. The minimum standards in Virginia are determined per person for injury, per accident, and a minimum amount set for property damage. You also must carry uninsured motorist coverage at the same minimums. When you consider these coverage limits in a real-life context, it’s clear they can fall far short.

Stop and think about what it would cost to have only a minor surgery after a car accident. The excessive cost of health care could quickly exceed $25,000. Having a major injury and being forced to stay out of work for an extended period could be financially devastating. On the property damage side, few new vehicles cost less than $20,000. In reality, minimum auto insurance coverage leaves drivers underinsured and at risk. It’s important that you avoid placing yourself in a vulnerable position.

At the Insurance Shopper VA, our professionals will explore options that provide you with adequate and secure auto insurance coverage. We are here to serve the Virginia Beach, VA community and look forward to working with you. Contact us by phone or visit our office for any of your insurance needs.

Make Your Home Safer And Your Insurance Lower With These Additions

The cost of your home insurance may vary drastically based on where you live in Virginia Beach, VA. Even if you live in the safest fenced in the community, there are ways to cut down on your insurance costs through a handful of security features. At Insurance Shopper VA, we want to make sure you not only have the best coverage for the price but are safe and sound inside your home. 

Home Security System

A home security system is the largest security investment you can make with your home, but it also can have the biggest impact on lowering insurance costs. This kind of a feature helps eliminate the chance of a break in while giving you security features to check in with family members to make sure everyone is safe. 

Smoke And Carbon Monoxide Alarms

These two detects not only can save you money on home insurance but save your life as well. Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, so you may not know if it is present. By warning you of smoke or carbon monoxide in the house, you can contact the fire department before further damage occurs. 

A Fence

A fence is an excellent investment for your property. It also can help reduce the cost of your insurance premium. As is the case with your other upgrades, make sure to notify your insurance provider after making the upgrade. 

By implementing these different security features inside of your home, you will not only improve the safety of your house but may reduce the cost of your insurance as well. At Insurance Shopper VA, we want to make sure you not only are safe in your Virginia Beach, VA home but that you have an insurance policy you’re happy with. 

Preparing your home for hurricane season

Preparedness makes the best defense against anything, even hurricanes. While you can’t control the weather, you can reduce the number of hazards around your home that could add to a hurricane’s impact. Start now and you’ll be ready to weather the storm in Virginia Beach VA when hurricane season begins in June.

House Prep

  • Conduct a home inventory. Create a list of items and their value. Take photos of major items, like home entertainment systems. 
  • Purchase a generator. You’ll still have power if the electricity goes out.
  • Learn how to turn off the water, electricity and natural gas or propane lines in your home. Practice doing this before the storm. 
  • Strap down the roof using hurricane clips or straps. This reduces roof damage by adding a second connection of the roof to your house frame.
  • Install foot and head bolts on all entry doors to bolster security from high winds.
  • Reinforce your garage door. These commonly blow in during high winds. If your  second floor or attic is located above it, it can tear upwards and damage the roof. 
  • Purchase or make storm shutters for doors and windows. If you make this a DIY project, use exterior grade or marine grade plywood at least five-eighths of an inch in thickness.
  • Caulk windows and doors to block moisture from entering your home.
  • Test your sump pump and basement and yard drains well ahead of storm season and just before the storm. Keep replacement batteries handy.

Outside Your Home

  • Keep gutters clean and in good repair. This keeps heavy rains flowing off your roof and into proper drainage channels on the ground.
  • A day or two before landfall, bring inside all outdoor furniture and decorations. This reduces projectiles that high winds can pick up. 
  • Reinforce areas of attachment between the home and porches, decks, carports, and canopies. Use roof straps and tie downs to reinforce the stability of sheds or well houses.
  • Keep shrubs and trees trimmed so they better resist the wind. Cut down any dead branches and trees well before the storm.
  • Tie down smaller shrubs and trees to prevent uprooting.
  • Replace the gravel in your driveway or yard paths with shredded bark. Windblown gravel can damage windows and structures.

Insurance Review

  • Review with your Insurance Shopper VA insurance agent what your home insurance policy covers.
  • Purchase wind insurance, if your home insurance policy doesn’t cover wind damage.
  • Home insurance policies don’t cover flood damage. For this, you need flood insurance. Your agent can help you obtain this through the National Flood Insurance Program.

Although it takes time and effort, preparing your well in advance of the storm protects you and your investment from damage. Many of these improvements also cut your energy expenses and raise the value of your home.

Making Sure Your Home Is Safe as Spring Approaches

You are probably looking forward to a refreshing change of pace and weather as spring inches closer. But before you get out and enjoy, remember to make sure your home is safe. The change of seasons is a great time to do that and to help you do that, here is a handy list of reminders, courtesy of Insurance Shopper VA serving Virginia Beach, VA.

Indoor safety

There are many tasks to do to make the indoors of your home safe before warmer weather arrives. For example, clean out your clothes dryer vents as a way to prevent fires. Change batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher on each level of your home. Remove any clutter or tripping hazards. Make sure all lights work properly, replace light bulbs as needed, and inspect electrical cords to make sure they are not damaged. Clean all appliances in your home, including refrigerator, stove, and oven. Change filters in your heating and cooling system.

Outdoor safety

Safety hazards can be common outside your home, but there are many precautions you can take to avert problems. Inspect all walkways, driveways, decks, and patios, and then perform necessary repairs. If you have a swimming pool, make sure it is fully maintained and that it has a secure fence around it.

When you complete these home safety tasks, you will have the peace of mind to know that you are doing everything you can to make your home a haven not just for the upcoming spring and summer but all year long. If you need more ideas about how to make your home safe as you prepare for warmer weather, please contact Insurance Shopper VA serving Virginia Beach, VA.

My Tree Fell on My Car: Do I File a Home Insurance Claim or An Auto Insurance Claim?

A tree falling on your car can cause a significant amount of damage. If it was a tree from your yard that fell on your car, you may find yourself wondering whether you should file a home insurance claim or an auto insurance claim. Here is some information you should know when filing a claim with your insurance company for a tree falling on your car.

What Your Home Insurance Covers

If a tree falls on your car, your home insurance will not cover the damage to your car. However, they may cover the cost to remove the tree and any property damage done by the tree. This may include damaged fencing or damage done to other landscaping. As such, you may want to consider filing a home insurance case if the damage done by the falling tree to your property, not including your car, is more than the amount of your deductible.

What Your Auto Insurance May Cover

If you have comprehensive auto insurance, also referred to as full coverage auto insurance, your car will likely be covered by a tree on your property falling on it. Unfortunately, if you only have liability insurance, your insurer will not pick up the repair costs for the damage done to your vehicle.

Having the right type of home and auto insurance can help ensure that any damage done to your home, property or car is covered. If you are not sure what type of insurance you need, visit Insurance Shopper VA, serving the greater Virginia Beach, VA area. We can help ensure you are covered in the event of an unforeseen accident, like a tree falling on your car. Call us now to get started.

How Much Homeowners Insurance Do You Need?

If you own a home in the Virginia Beach, VA area, you may not know how much homeowners insurance you need.  You want to have enough to replace your home structure, personal possessions, any liability costs, and enough to manage the cost of residing in a temporary place if necessary.  Some things may not be covered, which is why it’s important to work with an experienced agent to fine tune your policy.  Face it, without the coverage you need; it could end up costing you thousands of dollars. 

Structure

You want enough homeowners insurance to cover the cost of rebuilding your home at the time damage occurs.  One way to estimate the cost is to multiply the square feet of the home by the local building cost, which you can get from the builders association.  Many other factors go into the cost as well, such as the type of material used (lumber, brick), style, the number of bathrooms, the kind of roofing materials, and more.  It can quickly become overwhelming to figure out on your own.

Possessions and Liability

You want enough to cover your personal possessions, and there are two coverage options.  Replacement cost or the actual cash value replacement.  An experienced agent can help you decide which option is the best to cover your possessions.  The liability portion covers you if someone has an accident on your property and you are found responsible for the expenses, such as medical bills.

Insurance Shopper VA

If you own a home in the Virginia Beach, VA area, working with Insurance Shopper VA is an exceptional place for assistance in figuring out how much homeowners insurance you need.  Their professional agents will be able to help you design your homeowner’s policy to fit your needs.

Chaging Home Insurance Coverage

For many, getting a policy in place is the last thing they do when it comes to their home insurance. Plenty of policy holders don’t make time to change or alter their coverage as the years go by which means that they may not have the coverage they need or think they have. For those in the Virginia Beach, VA area, the helpful agents at Insurance Shopper VA can help you find the policy and alter your coverage to fit your needs.

Why Alter Home Insurance Coverage?

There are a few reasons that you might need to alter the home insurance coverage that you have. One major change is if you have a lot of things inside your home. Your home insurance covers the cost of replacing items within your home so if you got all new appliances, for instance, you might want more coverage to help cover the cost of replacing them with similar or like appliances.

On top of the items inside your home, you might also need to change coverage is the cost of rebuilding your home goes up. The economy fluctuates so often that it is necessary to make sure you have enough to cover rebuilding in the current economy. You may also want to change coverage if you do a remodel of your home and you need more coverage.

What Affects Coverage Needs?

There are a great deal of things that can affect the overall coverage that you need and make sure you have the right coverage can make a great deal of difference. If you live in the Virginia Beach, VA area, the agents at Insurance Shopper VA can help you determine if you have enough coverage and if you have the right type of coverage as well so that you will be taken care of in any event.  

Fall Home Insurance Needs

As winter approaches your insurance needs are likely to change across the board. Though it may seem like your home insurance needs should stay pretty consistent, winter brings new challenges to homeowner’s policies and also brings a higher likelihood that you are going to need to make a claim. For those in the Virginia Beach, VA area, Insurance Shopper VA is a wonderful agency to contact.

Fall insurance needs are not too far from the rest of the year but as winter approaches you may need to consider a few things. For starters, you may be in need of more coverage than you have the rest of the year. Falling trees, ice, and snow can do a great deal of damage to a home and your typical summer policy may not have a high enough pay out to cover the needs that winter brings.

Also, as winter approaches there is a higher risk that your home is going to be damaged by weather more often which means that you may have one claim all year long then when winter arrives have several things go wrong at once. This makes it necessary to talk with your insurance agent and see if you need more coverage or if you need to change your coverage on your current policy.

Fall is also a great time to reconsider your insurance company all together. If you have been happy with them all year then simply adjust your coverage to reflect the coming winter weather. If you are not happy with the insurance company you have used all year, consider finding a new company that better fits your needs. A great insurance agent can help you make the necessary changes and take the time to consider what policies are going to be right for you.

The helpful agents of Insurance Shoppers VA can help you if you live in the Virginia Beach, VA area, call today.  

Virginia RV Insurance

For many Americans, the idea of an RV brings to mind the open road, the togetherness of family and the freedom to travel with all the comforts of home. The small luxuries of this "home on the road" can make it easy to forget that an RV is still a vehicle, and, like any vehicle, requires appropriate insurance coverage to be driven. Whether you plan to make regular cross-country trips or simply head to the local campground, Insurance Shopper VA can help you find the right RV insurance for your needs.

In the state of Virginia, the minimum coverage required to operate a motor vehicle of any kind on public roads includes liability coverage and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. According to DMV.org, liability coverage minimum requirements include "$25,000 for injuries per person per accident," "$50,000 for total injuries per accident," and "$20,000 for property damage per accident." Minimum requirements for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage are the same for each category. If you are uncertain whether your RV carries at least this minimum state-required coverage, we encourage you to contact us to make sure that your RV is legal to drive on Virginia roadways.

In addition to required minimum coverage, Insurance Shopper VA can help you find policies that may cover things like collision damage and/or comprehensive damage (covering damage from weather, vandalism, or other non-vehicle-related accidents).

If you live in the Virginia Beach, VA area and own an RV, contact Insurance Shopper VA for assistance in finding just the right RV insurance coverage policy to keep your family safe and secure on the road. Our knowledgeable, experienced staff will work with you to determine the kind of coverage you need and the price that best fits your budget.