Archive

Archive for August, 2017

Weird Claims Podcast

Weird Claims Podcast

 

As promised, to end the month of August we present our “weird claims” podcast where we share some of the weirdest claims insurance companies have settled. Unfortunately we didn’t get a huge response from our listeners, but here are some claims that have been covered/paid by insurance companies over the years:

Animal Damage – An insured and his wife took a trip to Oklahoma for vacation & while there went out on a prairie dog hunting expedition. Upon returning, a group of wild horses has surrounded their truck. After the initial, “Aw, isn’t that cute?” feeling ended they realized that the horses had chewed apart EVERY piece of plastic or rubber on the outside and inside of the truck from the bumper cover to the steering wheel. The company paid the claim for the horse damage.

“Animal” Damage – An insured had accidentally kicked a full paint can down his carpeted basement stairs. Company denied the claim (“clumsiness” isn’t a covered peril), but told the insured that had his pet knocked over the paint can it would have been covered under “animal damage”.

“Adult” Things – Someone had their home broken into and ransacked. Among the items stolen were a collection of lingerie & “personal” massaging devices. Needless to say, they had to present a cataloged list of items & values. The company paid to replace everything.

Close Encounters – A recent storm had found a client’s summer cottage buried under huge trees that had blown down. The majority of the structure survived as the trees intertwined holding themselves up. The cost of the damage to the structure was $7,000, but the cost to remove the trees was $14,000. The insurance company paid the claim.

Almost Totaled – An insured’s vehicle was involved in a collision that damaged among other things the seat belt mechanism. The mechanism was not available as an after-market part, nor was it available from the car manufacturer. The insurance company was going to total the vehicle because a replacement couldn’t be found. Luckily, the collision center located a NOS part in Wisconsin for $220.

Disco’s Dead – An insured had a dishwasher hose leak into the floor and the basement below. The leak reached a storage closet filled with polyester suits from the 1970’s/early 1980’s from when the insured was an insurance agent. The company bought him a closet of brand new suits (even though I still believe they should have denied the claim based on the suits being either obsolete or stored/no longer being used).

Sit On It – A family had gathered for the holidays, granddaughter brought her viola to perform for the family. After her “concert”, she laid the viola down to get something to drink. Grandfather sits on the viola & damages it. Grandfather’s home liability coverage paid to replace the viola under “damage to property of others”.

Contact Us!

At Marsilje & Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Categories: Uncategorized

Insurable Interest

Insurable Interest

This week we look back at a previous podcast having to do with insuring cars & property. Next week we will share our much-anticipated “weird claims” podcast!

 

Contact Us!

At Marsilje & Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Categories: Uncategorized

Some Truths About Personal Property, pt 3

Some Truths About Personal Property, pt 3

This month we wanted to discuss a couple of commercials for insurance than have been airing lately. The commercials show what could be millenials either dumpster diving a chair, or hauling away an old piano, I am sure there are others out there depending on what area of the country. The voice-over goes on about how you work hard to create your space and how the insurance company understands and wants to protect that space. The images show a chair being dumpster-dived, driven to a homeowners garage, restored, & finally displayed/used in the home. Similar take on the commercial with the piano, an old & seemingly useless piano is picked up and then restored by the new owner.

This is a great way to get customers, tell them that the insurance company understands they work hard for their items so they deserve to have them covered in case of a loss. But in reality, there is a bit of a “wake-up” call for those that do these sorts of restoration/decoration projects. I half-suspect that neither the chair, nor the restored piano would be covered – at least not covered in the way you think.

In this first part, we looked at a standard homeowners policy to see what is covered and and what isn’t. In the second part, we looked what perils are covered & excluded when it comes to personal property. In this third part we will discuss how to handle covering unique items or one-of-a-kind personal property when it comes to insurance.

As we spoke about in the last 2 podcasts, we were reading from an un-endorsed homeowners insurance policy in regards to the personal property. We learned that there are items that are NOT COVERED as far as personal property, and how the insurance company settles claims on an un-endorsed policy (remember the formula: Cost New – Depreciation = Actual Cash Value). In the scenario of the chair, we found that the insurance company would pay out nothing in case of a covered loss because of it’s actual cash value (listen to last week’s podcast to find out how much it was worth!).

What can you do? Well, most insurance agents add an endorsement to the property policies they quote/insure that will help some. And that is the Replacement Cost on Personal Property endorsement. But there are limitations & exclusions to the endorsement:

Property Not Covered:

  • Antiques, fine arts, paintings and similar articles of rarity or antiquity which cannot be replaced
  • Memorabilia, souvenirs, collectors items and similar articles whose age or history contribute to their value
  • Personal property not maintained in good or workable condition
  • Personal property that is outdated or obsolete and is stored or not being used
  • Property not owned by an insured
  • Motorized land vehicles or earth moving or excavating equipment used to service the residence premises

The chair & piano could be considered “antiques” due to their age and the consensus that they cannot be “replaced” because of the work that has been done to them as far as the restoration. The client would get a new chair to replace the old one of like/kind/quality, as would the piano – they would get a similar model, but not a vintage “replacement”. So what can be done if you want to insure that one-of-a-kind chair or piano?

You could schedule these items, most insurance carriers have classes of items that can be scheduled from bicycles & fine art to cell phones & musical instruments. The chair could be considered a “fine art” due to it’s up-cycled restoration, but would require photos/receipts/appraisal verifying its value. The piano is a musical instrument, but again would require photos/receipts/appraisal verifying its value.

It’s best that you sit down with your hometown insurance agent to discuss what to do if you’ve furnished/decorated your home with unique and one-of-a-kind items that you have recycled/up-cycled/re-purposed.

 

Contact Us!

At Marsilje & Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Categories: Uncategorized

Some Truths About Personal Property, pt 2

Some Truths About Personal Property, pt 2

This month we wanted to discuss a couple of commercials for insurance than have been airing lately. The commercials show what could be millenials either dumpster diving a chair, or hauling away an old piano, I am sure there are others out there depending on what area of the country. The voice-over goes on about how you work hard to create your space and how the insurance company understands and wants to protect that space. The images show a chair being dumpster-dived, driven to a homeowners garage, restored, & finally displayed/used in the home. Similar take on the commercial with the piano, an old & seemingly useless piano is picked up and then restored by the new owner.

This is a great way to get customers, tell them that the insurance company understands they work hard for their items so they deserve to have them covered in case of a loss. But in reality, there is a bit of a “wake-up” call for those that do these sorts of restoration/decoration projects. I half-suspect that neither the chair, nor the restored piano would be covered – at least not covered in the way you think.

In this first part, we looked at a standard homeowners policy to see what is covered and for what. In this second part, we will look what is excluded when it comes to personal property coverage. Lastly, in the third part we will discuss how to handle such situations when it comes to insurance.

Again on an un-endorsed homeowners policy (similar for condo/renters/mobile home policies), we find this in regards to settlement of personal property claims:

Loss Settlement. Covered property losses are settled as follows:

Property of the following type – Personal property; awnings, carpeting, household appliances, outdoor antennas & outdoor equipment, whether or not attached to buildings; and structures that are not buildings at actual cash value at the time of loss but not more than the amount required to repair or replace.

The formula for determining the actual cash value of an item is:

Cost New – Depreciation = Actual Cash Value

So the restored chair & piano would be settled in a covered loss on an actual cash value basis. So let’s create an example (being very generous and ambiguous due to not knowing the exact factors/details):

Cost new of the chair in 1977 = $125

Depreciation Factor = 5%/yr

$125 – $250 (depreciation would be 200% at 5%/yr) = -$125 (or $0)

Again, this example is very generous/ambiguous due to not knowing any of the factors. So an un-endorsed homeowners policy would pay the person nothing for their restored chair. Same could be said of the piano, possibly with the piano the owner would get a little something for it – maybe enough to pay for a piano app on their phone.

Contact Us!

At Marsilje & Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Categories: Uncategorized

Some Truths About Personal Property, pt 1

Some Truths About Personal Property, pt 1

 

This week we wanted to discuss a couple of commercials for insurance than have been airing lately. The commercials show what could be millenials either dumpster diving a chair, or hauling away an old piano, I am sure there are others out there depending on what area of the country. The voice-over goes on about how you work hard to create your space and how the insurance company understands and wants to protect that space. The images show a chair being dumpster-dived, driven to a homeowners garage, restored, & finally displayed/used in the home. Similar take on the commercial with the piano, an old & seemingly useless piano is picked up and then restored by the new owner.

This is a great way to get customers, tell them that the insurance company understands they work hard for their items so they deserve to have them covered in case of a loss. But in reality, there is a bit of a “wake-up” call for those that do these sorts of restoration/decoration projects. I half-suspect that neither the chair, nor the restored piano would be covered – at least not covered in the way you think.

In this first part, we need to go back and look at a standard homeowners policy to see what is covered and for what. In the second part, we will look what is excluded when it comes to personal property coverage. In the third part we will discuss how to handle such situations when it comes to insurance.

On a standard, non-endorsed homeowners policy (renters/mobile home/condo policies should be the same) the personal property section states the following:

  • Your personal property is covered anywhere in the world
  • If your personal property is stored at an additional residence occupied by you other than your residence premise, you have 10% of the Personal Property Limit listed on your homeowners policy declarations page
  • There are coverage limitations regarding certain types of personal property
  • There is personal property that is not covered

 

Contact Us!

At Marsilje & Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Categories: Uncategorized