Everyone loves vacation. But, vacationing in your own seasonal home? Even better.
However, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to protecting your investment in a vacation home, and you definitely want to protect it. We here at Sentinel Assurance Group can help by making sure you have the insurance coverage you want.
To that end, here are four things that may impact the coverage you choose and how much you’ll pay for it:
Separate Policy: Your seasonal home won’t be part of your primary property policy. It needs its own policy, and you can expect it to be similar to the one for your primary residence. However, you do need to watch out for “named perils” coverage, under which your policy explicitly lists the perils it will cover. If a peril isn’t listed, no coverage. We typically steer homeowners away from this type of coverage, in favor of broader coverage.
Location and Occupancy: The “where” of your vacation home is no doubt among the primary reasons why you bought it. But, it will also impact your insurance costs. Rural areas are hard for emergency responders to reach, and waterfront homes are prone to flooding. These added risks can mean added insurance costs, such as the need for a separate flood policy. If the home is unoccupied or rented for much of the year, there are even more insurance considerations.
Personal Property: Establishing and maintaining a separate inventory of the things you keep at your vacation home will help you select an appropriate level of personal property coverage. If it’s filled with expensive skiing and snowboarding gear, for example, you may need increased coverage or to schedule some of the more valuable items separately.
Extra Liability Protection: If you plan to regularly host guests at your summer or winter retreat, you should consider an umbrella policy, which will help to increase your liability limits in case someone is seriously injured on your property. This can go for invited and uninvited guests alike.
We know you want to relax and enjoy your chosen spot in the sun – or snow. Having the right insurance coverage helps you do just that, so give us a call and let us help.
Did you know that we are licensed in many states outside of Minnesota? We are licensed in Arizona, California, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa & Indiana! If you have a rental property in any of these states, we would love to help you find the right coverage for it!
Insurance can be complicated. How do you know you’re making the right decision when it comes to protecting the most important things in your life? Find out how an Independent Insurance Agent is a simple solution to this!
We give you more choices and options
The beauty of working with an independent insurance agent is that we represent many different insurance carriers that offer a wide variety of coverages at varying price points. We do the work of shopping your quotes around with those different companies to determine which one is the best fit for the types of coverage you need with the best rates for that coverage. We shop, you save!
We are industry experts
Insurance is complicated, let’s be real! We are licensed and trained in industry verbiage and terminology and are equipped to be able to explain to you, in simple terms, which help you to make informed decisions. Why go to google and confuser yourself on the different kinds of insurance that are available, when we are just a phone call away?
We are your advocate
Since we work for YOU and not the insurance company, we are your advocate! We will assist with claims, billing or changes your coverage directly with the insurance company.
We are your neighbor
We are a small, local business that shares your passion for our community and famillies. We are woman-owned and have a pusle on the local community and its benefits and challenges. You won’t sit on hold in a quete, but can walk right into our quaint office in Rosemount.
We are a one-stop-shop
With the ability to write with so many different insurance companies, we are able to meet all of your insurance needs. Everything from Home, Auto, Life & Business coverages, we work with tons of companies that offer a variety of coverages.
We are your personal advisor
Insurance isn’t just about finding the cheapest prices. It’s about making sure that you aren’t suprised by unexpected expenses if a loss were to happen. Through working one-on-one with you, we listen to meet your specific, unique insurance needs.
We are your lifelong advisor
We love building life long relationships with our customers and often times, they become good friends. We know that life is ever-evolving and we work with you throughout those stsages. Everything from buying a home, getting married, growing your family, teen drivers and getting ready for that retirement home.
If you own a boat (or better yet, as the joke goes, you know someone with a boat), you’ve probably thought about spending some evenings on the water — especially in the summertime.
It’s a great thought, of course. But, when you’re boating after dark, you need to think about staying safe, even as you enjoy the stillness of the water and the starry sky.
Here are seven things to keep in mind, both before you hit the water and once you’re out cruising around:
Have a plan — and tools to help if it goes wrong.
Don’t go boating at night in an unfamiliar place. You can’t see as well, obviously, so stick to where you know the ropes, so to speak. And because things look different in the dark, make sure you have the correct navigational tools in case you get lost.
Share your plan— Always give a friend or family member your “float plan.” Include where you’re going, your boat’s description and registration information, who’s with you and when you’ll be back.
Check – and dress for – the weather— On top of the other difficulties of boating at night, you don’t want to get caught in a storm if you can help it. And you want to be comfortable, so be sure to bring clothing appropriate for the forecast. A sweatshirt, blanket and extra towels may come in handy, even in the summertime.
Do a pre-trip inspection— This is good advice for daytime boating as well, but at night it’s crucial that your navigation lights work, for starters. You also need a horn, plenty of fuel, a radio, a flashlight, flares, fire extinguishers and life jackets for all passengers.
Slow down— Speed is a factor in many boating accidents, and the limited visibility at night makes the water even more dangerous. Remember, you aren’t going to be the only one on the water at night, so know the right-of-way rules.
Pay attention— Know how to monitor the navigation lights of other vessels to recognize which direction they are going. Be particularly cautious about small vessels, such as canoes and kayaks, as well as anchored or drifting boats. Their lights can be easily confused with lights onshore.
Don’t get distracted — or drunk— It’s never okay to drink and operate a boat, so be sure you have a designated driver. And, though you’re out there to have fun, make sure you can still hear the sounds from approaching vessels. Keep the stereo low and your ears open.
While these tips are important, there’s nothing like experience to help ensure a safe voyage. If you’re a new boater or just in an unfamiliar vessel, you may want to put in more hours during the day before tackling an area at night. Even then, start with short evening outings and work your way up to a moonlight ride. And don’t forget to turn on the lights at the dock before you go!
Do you have teen drivers in your home? Maybe you are doing some distracted driving yourself. An unexpected car accident can leave you feeling a bit scattered. That’s why it’s important to brush up on post-accident procedures. Here are 7 steps guide can help make the moments after an accident less stressful — and the claims process a whole lot smoother.
1.Move to a safe area if you can
If it’s safe to do so and you aren’t seriously injured, move your car out of further harm’s way, like to the shoulder of the road. If moving your car just isn’t possible, flip on your hazards to warn other drivers that your vehicle isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
2.Stop your vehicle and get out
Make sure your car is no longer moving, turn off the engine, shift into park, or set the hand brake if you drive a manual. Take a moment to catch your breath. Check to make sure it’s safe to get out of your car before opening the door.
3.Check on others involved
Check on all the other parties involved, including drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, to make sure no one is hurt. Call 911 if anyone may be injured. Even a seemingly minor symptom like dizziness should be checked out by a health care professional.
4.Call the police to the scene
Even in minor accidents, a police accident report can prove invaluable when dealing with your car insurance company and other drivers. Cooperate fully, but avoid admitting fault or blaming others while at the scene. Let the police objectively judge events and determine who, if anyone, is at fault in the crash. If the police can’t make it to the scene (which is more likely if there are no injuries), you can file an accident report through your state’s DMV.
Try to write down as much info as possible in the accident aftermath, including:
Driver and passenger names
License plate numbers
Makes and models of all vehicles involved
Contact info for any eyewitnesses
Location of the accident
The name and badge number of any responding police officers
6.Document the scene
If you have a smartphone with a camera, snap some photos of the accident scene. They’ll come in handy during the claim process.
7.File your insurance claim
After step 7, it’s our turn to help. We’ll work with you to get your car repaired as quickly as possible. Call us at 952-479-5781
We sincerely hope this post gives you some tips if you are ever in the situation above. Safe driving!
Known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, it is only natural that Minnesota is home to many boaters. If you own a vessel or are thinking of buying one, you should learn as much as possible about MN boat insurance.
With our expertise and knowledge, you are in good hands when shopping for a policy. We can help you decide which type of coverage is best, while also saving you money. This is the best of both worlds. Typically, however, a homeowner’s insurance policy will only cover damage to your boat that occurs while it is on your property. Further, the amount of coverage offered is typically less than in a boat insurance policy, which can lead to problems if the boat is damaged.
You are required by law to register your boat in the state of Minnesota. There is no way around this. If you take to the water without the proper registration the end result could be a large fine from the authorities. The type of boat, its length, and the expected use of the boat will largely dictate your boat insurance rates. Whether you have a speed boat, a small fishing boat or a yacht will make a big difference in what you pay. In general, boat insurance costs typically range from $300 to $500, on average. When you buy Minnesota boat insurance you will feel much better every time you head for your favorite lake or river. You will know that your boat is protected, meaning that you are financially protected as well.
Minnesota does not require a boating license for boaters, but requires a Watercraft Operator’s Permit for boaters between 12-17 years of age who wish to operate a personal watercraft. The boating laws of the state require that the person operating a boat should not be under the influence of intoxicants.
We hope this helps answer some questions if you are considering buying a boat this summer. If you already own a boat and want to make sure you have the best coverage for your needs, feel free to reach out at 952-479-5781 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org
I know, I know. This winter has been never ending. You are over it, we are over it. But, summer will come! And you need to be prepared for that, don’t you? Well search no further. We’ve compiled a nice little checklist to help you out and keep you on track.
Don’t forget to:
Call to turn on any services you shut off over the winter, including electricity, water and trash collection.
Check the insurance policies on your lake home and boat. Call Sentinel Assurance to tell us about the new jet ski, boat or wave runner you’d like to insure.
Check your boating registration and renew it if necessary. In Minnesota and Wisconsin, watercraft licenses must be renewed every three years.
If you plan to put in a dock, and you need help, call your crew a few weeks in advance to see if they’re available.
After a long winter away, you’ll need to be sure that your home is safe to inhabit again before you turn on your water and other systems.
Check the furnace and put in a new filter.
Check pipes for rust or damage before you turn on your plumbing and water heater. If you’re not sure how to make the call, hire a plumber to do a basic assessment.
Be on the lookout for signs of critters. Check screens and windows for holes and gaps and electrical cords for fraying or bite marks.
Inspect your deck and eaves for signs of rotting.
Test the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Test and replace the batteries in motion sensor lights on the front door, deck and on the way down to the lake.
Whether you’ll spend the whole summer or special weekends at your lake home, you’ll want to be sure it’s stocked with the basics. Run a quick inventory review before heading to the store for replenishments.
Go through your pantry and throw out any expired food, as well as anything that looks like it may have been the subject of a critter invasion.
Check that you’re stocked up on sunscreen and bug spray.
Check the stock of your bathroom toiletries. To save money and stay green buy shampoo, conditioner and body wash in bulk bottles rather than using travel samples.