Is there a difference between a fire and a wildfire?

The agents at Wine Valley Insurance Services, serving Napa, CA and the nearby areas, have plenty of experience dealing with insurance claims for wildfires in northern California. They want to caution homeowners about the differences between a regular fire and a wildfire. Most home insurance covers fires due to ordinary causes. However, there may not be coverage for wildfires. It is essential to double check home insurance policies to make sure that any damage to a home caused by wildfires is covered.

Force Majeure Considerations

“Force majeure” is a legal term used in a home insurance policy that is sometimes also referred to as an “act of God.” The use of this term in creating coverage exclusions and policy limits is something to investigate in any home insurance policies.

For example, let’s say the home insurance policy has a force majeure clause that excludes fires caused by an “act of God.” This means that if a wildfire caused by a lightning strike or due to drought is the reason why a home burns down, the insurance may not cover the damages.

Getting Home Insurance Areas with High Risk of Wildfires

California had over 9,000 wildfires during 2017 that burned up over 1.2 million acres and caused many billions of dollars in insurance claims. This was the most destructive year on record due to wildfires.

In many parts of northern California, homes that are located in areas subject to wildfires now cannot get home insurance, or if they do get home insurance, it has a specific exclusion saying that the policy does not cover wildfires.

If you are unable to get insurance coverage for a home due to the risk of wildfires, it may be available under the California FAIR plan. Contact your agent at Wine Valley Insurance Services in Napa, CA for help with home insurance coverage.

Why You Need Renters Insurance

If you rent your current home, it is of importance for you to look into renter’s insurance. This form of insurance coverage is often overlooked but it leaves you exposed to serious financial loss. For those living in and around Napa, CA, our team at Wine Valley Insurance Services is here to help you with all of your potential renter’s insurance needs. 

At Greater Risk

When you rent you are often at a greater risk for property loss. If you live in an apartment community there are more people around. More people means there is a greater chance for a fire or for theft. This also can mean you are more likely to have your apartment broken into or items are more likely to be stolen when you live in a high-risk community. 

Protect Your Valuables

You may not own your home but you probably still have valuables inside of the property. From your entertainment system to your computer, clothing or any other item of value, you need to protect your valuables. The only real way to do this is with renter’s insurance. Attempting to replace everything you own is costly. Renter’s insurance is not. 

Wildfires

Wildfires have become more and more common. Plus, earthquakes are a very real issue in California as well. Each of these can damage your belongings. You need to protect your property and your valuables in the rental. A renters insurance policy can have extended coverage to protect you from the dangers of nature. 

No matter what kind of place you live in or how long you’ve called it home, if you rent, renter’s insurance is a must when living in and around Napa, CA. So, when you’re ready to protect yourself and your belongings, you need to give our team at Wine Valley Insurance Services a call. 

Will my auto insurance cover belongings stolen out of my car?

Driving in and around Napa, CA is a pleasure with its hundreds of vineyards and beautiful hillside views. The last thing you need to worry about is people breaking into your car, but, unfortunately, that can happen in the most idyll setting. 

At Wine Valley Insurance Services, we handle claims when individuals have returned to their vehicles to find that items are missing. It is important to lock up valuables and make sure nothing important is visible to an outsider. However, even when you do everything the way you’re supposed to, misfortune can strike.

The Limits of Auto Insurance

Unfortunately, auto insurance is limited in the kinds of incidents it covers. If you are in a collision, you will be protected up to your policy limits for the kind of protection you have chosen. 

Auto insurance will also usually cover incidents like vandalism to your vehicle. However, it does not protect personal items you leave in your car.

Making Your Claim

You can claim personal items stolen from your vehicle under a different kind of policy if you have one. If you own your home, you can make a claim under your homeowner’s policy. Renters can make a claim under their renter’s insurance policy. 

Of course, once you figure out what policy you have in place that can protect you against these kinds of losses, there are other factors to consider. If the loss is small, it may not even reach the amount of your deductible. 

If you are a driver in Napa, CA, you don’t want to be surprised after a loss when you find out it isn’t covered. Call Wine Valley Insurance Services to make sure you have all the protection you need. 

4 Reasons to Consider Umbrella Insurance

Umbrella insurance is designed to take over where more standard and specific insurance policies leave off. While not everyone needs that higher level of coverage, it’s generally better to have more protection. If you’re in the Napa, CA area, Wine Valley Insurance Services can help you get the right umbrella policy for your needs. Then you can enjoy protection and peace of mind knowing you’ll be covered if something exceeds your insurance limits. Umbrella insurance comes in different options and coverage amounts, so it’s important to work with an agent to get what you need. Here are four of the biggest reasons to consider getting an umbrella insurance policy.

  1. Some problems in life can’t really be planned for, but they can be protected against.
  2. The standard coverage you have may not be enough if a major problem should arise.
  3. You may have important assets you want to protect to give yourself peace of mind.
  4. Umbrella insurance can reach over other policies to add an extra layer of protection.

By reaching out to Wine Valley Insurance Services in Napa, CA, you can be sure your home, business, and life are better protected from the dangers and accidents that can occur at any moment. The level of protection provided by an umbrella insurance policy is an important factor in feeling secure for a lot of people, and we want to help you have that feeling of security in your life. Whether you’re looking for a small amount of umbrella coverage for a little extra protection or you’d rather have a much broader policy, we can help you get what you need. By providing you with quotes from multiple companies and information from agents who are in the know, we can help you choose what works for your needs and situation.

What Will Happen if My Home Insurance Lapses?

Buying a home in California is always a big investment. When you decide to purchase a home, you will need to make sure that you have insurance in place to protect it and you. While most people will have protection in place when they buy the home, the policy could lapse if you stop paying. If your home policy does lapse, a few different things could happen to you and your insurance.

Loss of Coverage

If your home insurance policy coverage lapses, the first thing that will likely happen is that you will lose your coverage. Home insurance for people in the Napa, CA area provides a lot of very valuable coverage including property damage coverage, liability protection, and personal asset coverage. If you stop making payments on your home insurance policy or if it matures, you could be found to have no coverage when you need it the most.

Force Pay by Lender

If your home insurance policy lapses, there is a chance that your lender could force pay it for you. In most situations, your lender will require you to escrow your home insurance payments. However, if you fall behind on payments and there is no escrow, the lender will likely pay additional money out of its pocket to make sure your policy stays active as it will protect their collateral. You then will be charged a fee and your loan could be forced into default.

When you have more questions about home insurance, or would like to find a new policy, contacting the Wine Valley Insurance Services company could be beneficial. Wine Valley Insurance Services will be able to help Napa, CA area homeowners find a policy that works for them and also keeps them in full compliance with their loan. We also are happy to serve the insurance needs of those in Nevada, Oregon, Colorado, Arizona, Washington, and Idaho. Reach out to our offices for more information.

Do You Really Need Renters Insurance?

Many renters or tenants do not purchase renters insurance because they assume their property is covered under their landlord’s policy. This can be a costly assumption on the part of the renter because the landlord’s policy only covers the building, not individual renters personal property. If a natural disaster, fire, or other events such as a water leak causes damage to the building, the landlord is covered. However, without renters insurance, any belongings damaged or destroyed by the fire, water, or other disasters are not subject to be replaced.  

It is the responsibility of the renter to have their own policy covering their personal property. These types of policies offer coverage for possessions as well as liability coverage if someone is injured inside your residence. In general, renters insurance will include personal property and liability as well as loss of use. If liability is part of the policy, it will cover medical payments to the party injured at your residence. As well as damage you may cause to another person’s property.

  Every policy is different, but in general, your property is protected if lost or damaged due to:

  • Fire

  • Smoke

  • Lightning

  • Explosion

  • Water

  • Electrical Surges

Depending on the policy, there could be other types of loss or damage covered as well. Wine Valley Insurance Services in Napa, CA can also include living expenses in a policy. This would provide you the means to live somewhere else if your unit is damaged and needs repairs.  

Your policy could also protect your property if you are away from home. Portable property like a laptop could be replaced even if it was stolen from your car, not your dwelling. It is important to catalog all your high-value electronics, furniture, jewelry, and other items by photographing them. Consider a policy that will pay for replacement items instead of actual cash value.

Discuss the need for liability coverage with your Wine Valley Insurance Services agent in Napa, CA to make sure you are protected if someone is injured in your residence or your property is damaged. It is important to let your insurance agent know exactly what you expect the policy to cover so that in the event of an accident or disaster, your possessions are properly protected.

Can I Drive Without Auto Insurance?

In California, motorists are required to carry the state-mandated minimum auto liability coverage to operate their motor vehicles in public spaces. Therefore, driving without auto insurance in The Golden State isn’t allowed, it’s illegal.

What happens if you get behind the wheel without insurance and get caught?

There are many possible consequences of driving without car insurance. For starters, you could go to jail, which is rare for this offense but it’s well within the realm of possibility. Common penalties for driving without car insurance include suspension of your driver’s license, suspension of your car’s registration, being fined or getting a ticket for the insurance violation. Now, Wine Valley Insurance Services wants you to understand the real costs of driving without insurance.

The Real Cost of Driving Uninsured

The fear of getting caught shouldn’t be the only reason for avoiding driving uninsured. In fact, it’s not the worst that could happen. It’s all about being considerate for your own financial well-being and that of other users. Car insurance is supposed to pay for any damages or bodily injuries resulting from an accident. When auto coverage isn’t available, the uninsured driver will have to cover the expense out of pocket.

The situation could get much worse if in the event of an accident involving two — or more — cars you, the uninsured driver, are determined to be at fault. You will face the legal penalties, on top of which you will be required to pay for the damages as well as the medical expenses (if any) out of pocket. Penalties can be more severe if there are any fatalities or serious injuries.

To avoid these unpleasant situations, it’s best that you purchase car insurance. There are many coverage options; you can always choose one that falls within your budget. Wine Valley Insurance Services in Napa, CA can help you with that. We have a wide range of auto insurance coverage options all designed to meet the specific needs of our customers. Contact us via phone to talk to one of our agents for more information on available auto insurance coverage options or visit our offices in Napa, CA. We also write policies for Washington, Nevada, Oregon, Colorado, Arizona, and Idaho.

 

Why Would I Need to Get Umbrella Insurance?

Having adequate insurance coverage is essential for all people. While most people know that they should have a home, auto, life, and medical coverage, there are other types of coverage that are necessary as well. For some people in the Napa, CA area, having umbrella insurance coverage can be very beneficial. There are several reasons why having umbrella coverage could be useful for individuals and business owners.

Additional Insurance On Top of Existing Policies

If you have a home, auto, or commercial insurance, you will already have some type of liability insurance in place on those policies. While this type of liability coverage can provide you with a range of different types of protection, the level of the liability is often not enough to cover the expenses associated with some accidents. In these cases, having an umbrella insurance policy in place will provide you with additional liability coverage on top of your existing policies. 

Coverage for Additional Situations

While your base policies provide you with coverage, they do not provide coverage for all situations that could arise. When you have an umbrella insurance policy in place, you will receive additional liability insurance coverage for all additional types of liability that could occur, including items not contemplated by any existing policy. 

Service and Support

Finally, when you have an umbrella insurance policy in place, you will receive excellent service when you need it the most. If another party is suing you, the insurance company will be able to handle all aspects of the claim. This can include hiring legal representation and handling all settlement negotiations to minimize your time and expense. 

If you are in the Napa, CA area and are considering getting umbrella insurance, speaking with Wine Valley Insurance Services could be very helpful. Wine Valley Insurance Services can provide you with a variety of policies to help you better understand your insurance needs and to help you get a great policy. Reach out to our offices to get a quote.

Does Home Insurance Cover Flooding Caused By Sprinklers?

There are a lot of questions out there about what is and what is not covered by homeowners insurance. At Wine Valley Insurance Services, serving the greater Napa, CA area, we want to answer as many of these questions as we possibly can. Flooding is one of the most misunderstood aspects of home insurance. If your home was flooded with your sprinklers, you might wonder if this type of flooding is covered by your flood insurance or your homeowner’s insurance. Here is the answer. 

Your Home and Floods

Flooding that is caused by things such as pipes in your home and sprinklers outside of your home is typically covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy. As such, if a sprinkler head breaks and water floods into the siding of your house or your sprinklers run too long and flood your basement, homeowners insurance would cover the damage done by the sprinkler.

Flood insurance typically covers flooding that occurs as the result of a storm, such as heavy rains and hurricanes. As such, if a hurricane caused your sprinklers to become damaged, and in turn, that leads to the flooding in your home or the flooding that caused the damage to the exterior of your home, this would be covered by your supplemental flood insurance, rather than homeowners insurance. If you do not have a supplemental flood policy, you would be responsible for the damage to your home. 

When you are looking to purchase homeowners insurance in the greater Napa, CA region, let Wine Valley Insurance Services assist you. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have and work to find you the right insurance policy for your needs. Contact us today to get started.

Renters Insurance Requirements in the State of California

While renters insurance isn’t required by law in the state of California, it can give you an extra layer of protection. Renting a property can be expensive, and disaster can strike at any moment. California has many laws that can protect renters. And while landlords and building owners are required to have insurance on any property that they rent, they may require a tenant to purchase renters insurance before they issue a lease.

Why You Should Get Renters Insurance

There have been numerous reports in the news about people who have lost everything because of a fire or some other natural disaster, and they’re unable to pick up the pieces because they didn’t have renters insurance. While a landlord must have an insurance policy to cover any losses to the property itself, it won’t cover your personal belongings. Renters insurance will fill this gap, and it will include any losses that have occurred because of certain perils. It can also cover any medical payments for the treatment of injuries that have been inflicted on you or other people.

If you live in Napa, CA, Wine Valley Insurance Services has agents who can help you find a policy that can meet your needs and fits your budget. You shouldn’t take the risk of losing everything because of an unexpected event. You can prevent this by obtaining a renters insurance policy. If you want to find out how we can help you get the coverage you need, reach out to our offices.

What Can Be Covered in a California Renters Insurance Policy

California renters insurance policies can provide the following coverage:

  • Personal Property – Covers your personal belongings because of a disaster or unexpected event, and it will have a minimum amount that’s set by your insurance company.
  • Loss of Use – Pays for any additional living expenses if you’re unable to use the property because of a loss, which can include the cost of a hotel or any meals.
  • Personal Liability – Covers you for any damages for which you’re held liable, and most landlords will require you to get at least $100,000 of this type of coverage.
  • Medical Payments to Others – Covers medical payments for any injuries that have occurred on the property, and it will usually have a minimum of $1,000.

Be sure to speak to someone at Wine Valley Insurance Services to get a renters insurance policy that you can rely on. We have been serving the people of Napa, CA for a long time, and we can help you get a renters insurance policy that can cover you if you have suffered an unexpected loss. If you want to work with a reliable insurance agency that is trusted in California, Nevada, Oregon, Colorado, Arizona, Washington, and Idaho, then feel free to contact our office. We would be happy to serve you!