Signs it may be time for new tires

Is it Time for New Tires?

Signs it may be time for new tires When it comes to vehicle safety, few things are as important as your tires and you should regularly inspect them to ensure they’re in good shape before taking your car out on the road. Tire safety is much more than just tire pressure. Familiarize yourself with these 5 signs that your tires may need to be replaced.

  1. They’re Bald – This is the most obvious, but often time the most overlooked safety hazard. Bald tires can cause hydroplaning, decreased stopping ability and are much more susceptible to flats from road hazards. Any tire shop will happily measure your tread depth. Additionally, your tires are equipped with a Tread Wear indicator that you can easily see yourself. This is a piece of tire that runs perpendicular to your tire tread. If you’ve reached this depth, you’re tires are not safe to drive on.
  2. Cracks – Aged tires, or tires that sit for long periods of times like on travel trailers or utility trailers can develop cracks in the tread. Look carefully in between your tire tread to see if your tires have cracks. If they do, they’re more susceptible to a blow out and should be replaced.
  3. Gouge in Sidewall – We’ve all hit a curb or a big pothole. If you’re inspecting your tires and find a gouge in your sidewall, the tire should be replaced. Sidewalls are thinner than the tread area of your tire and cannot be repaired.
  4. Uneven wear – A vehicle this isn’t properly aligned can cause the tires to wear unevenly which can cause your vehicle to pull in one direction or another. When inspecting your tires, be sure that they are wearing evenly. Additionally, you should align your vehicle every 30,000 miles or so.
  5. You’re driving on a spare – Never drive on a spare tire longer than it takes to get to a safe location. Spare tires are meant to be used for short periods of time and are not intended to be used for regular driving. If you’re driving on a spare tire, get to a tire shop to get a real replacement tire.

Driving can be dangerous, but even more so if you’re driving on tires that are not fit for the road. By inspecting your vehicles tires regularly, you can avoid an accident, hydroplane or another potentially dangerous situation.

Your safety is our top priority and getting you the right insurance is part of that. If you have questions about your auto or other vehicle insurance, contact our agency. We can review your current policy or provide an insurance quote.

Five steps to take before hiring a contractor in Salt Lake City

Five Things You Should Do Before Hiring a Contractor

Five steps to take before hiring a contractor in Salt Lake CityIf you’re an experienced home remodeler, you’ve probably come across contractors who are willing to offer better pricing for cash deals or who are reluctant to provide you with a service contract. Did you know that you can be held liable for hiring a contractor who does not carry the right insurance and causes damages or injuries to another person or even one of their own workers? Saving a few dollars on your remodel can end up costing you thousands so follow these tips to avoid an insurance disaster.

  1. Look for obvious red flags: Getting multiple quotes for the job is a great idea, but did you find a contractor who will do the work for ½ as much as the next guy? How is this possible? When you’re inviting a contractor to your home, be sure to ask them for credentials before they come over to give you a bid. Following these steps can save you from theft, liability and even money.
  2. Ask for references: If you found a great contractor and you like him/her, ask them if they have a website or if there is someone who has had work done by them recently that you can talk to. If a contractor is proud of the work they do, they should have several references for you to call. It is okay to ask for reference and most people expect it. Most small businesses survive off of word-of-mouth advertising, so don’t be shy.
  3. Utilize the internet to look up their license: Contractors are required to have a license to perform work. You can utilize your states resources to find these contractors. An internet search will provide you with some quick references. You can even make your job quicker by asking them to provide you with a copy of their license or number.
  4. Active License, Insurance & Bond: Ask the contractor for a copy of their license as well as documentation of their insurance and bond. Note: Check the dates on the license as well as the insurance to ensure they’re currently in force or active.
  5. Get specific: Not only is it important to protect your insurance from a scam, but ensure your pocketbook doesn’t get taken for a ride too. Ask questions like, “Is this an estimate or a final bid?” “Does this estimate include parts and labor?” “Can I see where you’re buying the products beforehand?” The more questions you ask, the better you will feel and the more the contractor will understand that you’re educated on this process.

Let’s take a closer look at what some of these products do:

  1. License: A license to do business means that contractor has met local guidelines and qualification standards to work in their field. Hiring an unlicensed contractor can result in shoddy work or dangerous results such as with an electrician.
  2. Insurance: Contractors need two types of insurance really.
    1. General Liability Insurance: This will protect you from damages that the contractor causes such as a ladder falling through a window, causing a fire or overspray onto a neighboring house during some painting.
    2. Workers Compensation Insurance: This insurance will protect the contractor if one of his employees is injured on the job while on your property. If the contractor does not carry workers compensation insurance, your homeowners insurance policy might be asked to pay that workers claim.
  3. Bonds: A bond acts as a guarantee that the contractor will perform the work they’ve been asked to do. For instance, say your pay a contractor to do a job and he never gets the permits or doesn’t pay a subcontractor – collecting from his bond can help cover these costs.

Hiring a contractor this way can be a great option to bringing some new changes to your home. It is possible to really save money on these services, but just using some simple, quick research and asking the right questions can save you a bundle as well as a headache.

How to lower your risk for a dog bite insurance claim in Salt Lake City

Dog Bite Insurance Claims & How to Prevent Them

How to lower your risk for a dog bite insurance claim in Salt Lake CityAccording to the Insurance Information Institute, homeowner insures paid over $796.8 million as a result of 17,802 dog bite claims in 2019. We would like to briefly go over what happens if your dog were to bite someone and of course, how to prevent a dog bite claim.

What Would Happen If My Dog Bit Someone?

Homeowners’ or renter’s insurance policy includes liability coverage which will likely cover you for the damages. Keep in mind, some insurance carriers do not offer liability coverage for specific dog breeds. They also may offer some, but limit the amount of coverage available. Talk to your agent about what breeds may not be covered. If you are not covered, you would have to pay out of pocket for the damages caused by your dog. If your insurance provides coverage it is likely your insurance premium will increase at renewal or you could even be dropped from your insurance carrier.

How to Lower Your Risk for a Dog Bite Claim

Don’t ever assume your dog won’t bite someone.

You can have the sweetest dog on the planet, but you still can’t make the assumption that your dog won’t bite. Watching your dog’s behavior around strangers or even family and friends is crucial. Never leave your dog alone with children who might cause the dog to nip if harassed or injured.

If you adopt a pet, do your research

What should you know about your breed’s common behavior? Ask several questions with the adoption agency. Have they noticed specific behaviors you should be aware of? Understanding what triggers your dog’s aggression or what makes them uncomfortable can save you from a dog bite claim down the road.

Know The Signs Your Dog May Be Uncomfortable, Anxious or Aggressive

Dog bites are common in these scenarios. Dogs may react to such things as taking away their food or a toy or even touching them while eating.

  1. Aggressive
  • Stiff tail, intense stare, growling, hair up on back.
  1. Uncomfortable/anxious
  • Pulled back ears, tucked tail, no eye contact, lowered head or body

Get some training

Whether you are a dog owner or someone who doesn’t own a dog, being around a dog with good behavior is ideal. Obedience training can benefit any dog.

Socialize Your Dog

When your dog is around other dogs and people, it can help them work through any anxieties they may feel.

Be Extra Aware Around Children

This goes back to our number one answer, don’t assume your dog will never bite. If your dog is around children they aren’t familiar with, watch for signs of your dog being uncomfortable.

Get Your Pet Spayed or Neutered

This can help with a dog’s aggression.

Being a dog owner can bring so much happiness into your life. Use these tips to worry less about your dog biting a loved one or a stranger. For questions about your home or renters insurance policy and what coverages are available for dogs, contact us! We can go over your current policy or even find you a different insurance carrier who may be a more ideal fit for pet ownership.

Insurance for investment properties in Salt Lake City

Proper Insurance for Investment Properties

Insurance for investment properties in Salt Lake CityThe process of going from being a homeowner to a real estate investment/landlord is an exciting time. Not only are you working towards creating an extra revenue stream for your income, but you’re investing in what has historically been one of the best places – real estate!

When it comes to investing in real estate and being a landlord there is a lot to know and a lot to consider for liability purposes. In this article, we’ll discuss the ways to close the gaps with your insurance on your investment property.

Get a landlord insurance policy

Landlord insurance will insure your Dwelling/rental property as well as offer additional coverage for items stored at the property such as:

  • Additional buildings on premise such as sheds or garages
  • Equipment like tools, washing machines or other appliances used by tenant

In addition to property damage, landlords or rental property owners may also face legal ramifications for events that take place on the property they own. Having additional coverage for Legal Defense may help pay for legal fees from lawsuits like:

  • Libel or slander
  • Accidental Damage
  • Wrongful eviction

Get an umbrella policy, or consider increasing your liability limit on your umbrella policy

Being a landlord comes with an increased liability exposure. You can protect yourself with above and beyond insurance coverage in the form of an umbrella insurance policy to increase your liability limits that you purchase.

Think your liability limits are enough? Take this recent claim settlement:

A renter had notified the landlord that the boiler (water heater) in the rental property was acting up and the landlord didn’t act quickly enough. Shortly after that call, a toddler severely scalded themselves and required months of painful skin grafts and therapy. The attorney settled with the landlord for the policy limits of $3 million.

Eliminate dangers around the property to limit your exposure

When you’d looking to eliminate liability exposures around a property, check some of these items:

  • Stair railings – check for loose or rotten railings inside and outside of the home
  • Trip hazards – walk the property and eliminate any large edges where someone could fall or trip
  • Swimming pools – if your property has a swimming pool, these pose major dangers to children. Be sure there is a fence with a self-closing gate that locks behind the person entering to stop curious neighborhood children or unattended children from entering the pool.

Owning investment property can be very rewarding, but do be aware of the additional risks there are. Fully eliminating your liability exposures is not ever a possibility, but mitigating your risk is. This is where we can help you come up with a comprehensive insurance package that protects you and your rental property. We would recommend scheduling a time to speak with one of our licensed agents to find you the right coverage and company for your rental property.

Flood Insurance Policy Salt Lake City

Everything You Need to Know About Flood Insurance

The Myth: Homeowners Insurance Covers My Home From All Damage

Flood Insurance Policy Salt Lake CityFlood insurance is one of the more commonly misunderstood insurance coverages. Many homeowners assume that if they have a homeowner’s insurance policy, then they’re covered from all water damage that could occur to their home. This is not true. Flood insurance is not typically included in standard home insurance policies – it requires a separate policy altogether.

Where Can Flood Insurance Be Purchased From?

Most places you purchase home insurance from will also offer you an option for flood insurance. Flood insurance can be purchased easily from your local independent insurance agent – including us!

Is Flood Insurance Expensive?

Flood insurance prices will vary depending on many factors. Those factors can include:

  • Value of your home
  • Location of your home (is it likely to flood – near rivers, streams, swamps etc.)
  • Primary or secondary residences
  • Basements
  • & more.

If you want to get a general idea, we can quickly provide you with a quote or you can go to FEMAs website and look up your home address and assess your risk. The quickest way to understand your risk and get a quote would be to contact our agency.

Doesn’t FEMA Cover My Flood Loss?

In order for FEMA to step in and help, the President of the United States must declare a FEMA emergency. This is done in roughly 50 percent of major floods (according to FEMA.GOV). Even then, the assistance provided is a low interest loan that needs to be repaid. This is not free money given out.

A Pipe Broke In My House, Do I need Flood Insurance?

No. A broken pipe in your home is not what flood insurance is for. This would be covered by your standard home insurance policy.

My Sewer Backed Up Into My Home, Is This Flood Insurance?

No, unless the sewer backed up clearly because of a flood and rising flood waters. There is a coverage available called Water & Sewer Backup coverage. You may ask your agent about this and what it covers.

How Fire & Water Can Create Floods

Do you live in or have property located in an area that recently had wildfires? Trees suck up so much water when they are alive. If these trees die off, this creates excess runoff in areas not typically prone to flooding. This can increase your chances of being involved in a flood.

Only you can decide whether having flood insurance is right for you. While it is mostly optional (unless you live in a high flood prone area and your mortgage carrier requires it), it may help save you thousands of dollars in expenses.

Call us today to run a no obligation quote for you. We can quickly produce numbers for you so you can decide whether or not flood insurance is the right choice for you.

Home Insurance Agent Salt Lake City

Buying Your First Home? We Explain Home Insurance Coverage

Home Insurance Agent Salt Lake CityOwning your first home is one of the most exciting and biggest accomplishments in life. It is a memorable time and something to be proud of. With this excitement comes the responsibilities of maintaining and insuring the home. While we can’t help with the maintenance, we can help you understand and properly insure your new home.

What Does Home Insurance Cover: Homeowners insurance is a broad policy that covers the structure of your home against losses like fire, theft, vandalism and other weather related losses. You also have coverage for liability for injuries to others while visiting your property such as slip and fall claims or even dog bites. It is important to understand that losses from floods and earthquakes are typically excluded from the standard homeowner’s insurance policy. You can get a separate policy for these types of losses.

What Does Home Insurance Cost: The cost of a homeowner’s insurance policy varies on several factors including your credit history, your previous loss history (dog bites or liability, or property loss claims), the value of your home and any scheduled property like jewelry and art. Our agency can give you exact numbers and because we’re an independent insurance agency, we can compare several home insurance companies at once for you to find the right coverage at the right price.

Does Home Insurance Cover Detached Structures? If your home has a detached garage or other detached structure like a home office or art studio, your policy can include things like “Other Structures Coverage.” Talk to an agent to learn more about insuring your detached structures.

Are My Personal Items Covered?  Homeowners policies come with personal property coverage. This amount varies by company and can be increased with most companies. Be sure that the amount of coverage you select for personal property is sufficient for the items you own.

Are Dogs okay? Most dog breeds are okay to be covered under the liability portion of your home insurance policy. Some dog breeds such as Pit Bulls, Akitas and other dogs are classified as dangerous and may be excluded from coverage. Check with your insurance carrier for a list of breeds they will not insure.

Many options and additional coverages are available for home insurance that are not included in a standard home insurance policy. Check with a licensed agent in our office for additional coverages you may want to include with your new home. Again, congratulations on your new home purchase and if we can help you in anyway, please let us know. We appreciate the opportunity to be your homeowners insurance agent.

Rideshare Insurance Agent Salt Lake City

Proper Auto Insurance Coverage if You Want to Drive for Uber or Lyft

Rideshare Insurance Agent Salt Lake CityWhether you are thinking of starting a new career or simply want to make some extra income during your down time, working for companies like Uber or Lyft can be a good move. However, you will need specific insurance to be fully covered as your personal auto insurance policy and the insurance provided by Rideshare companies provides gaps in coverage or potential excess liability.

Ridesharing is defined as: individuals who use their own vehicle to transport people from point A to point B in exchange for money.

If you are considering working for other companies such as DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates, Uber Eats, Instacart or other delivery type companies, you would want a rideshare insurance policy as well.

A rideshare insurance policy provides coverage during:

  • Waiting for a ride request.
  • When you accept a ride request and are on the way to pick up the rider.
  • When you pick up the rider & drive to the destination.

In what situations does my personal auto insurance cover me?

  • When you are offline or not using the Uber/Lyft app.
  • The period after you’ve dropped off a passenger but are still logged in and are waiting to match with another passenger (for instance, you roll forward and hit another vehicle with no rider in your car).

Does Uber or Lyft or any other rideshare company provide insurance for you?

Uber maintains insurance on your behalf such as third party liability, uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury and contingent comprehensive and collision coverage.

However, your current auto insurance policy may offer a rideshare endorsement that can be added to your policy. You may receive additional coverage too that goes above and beyond the limits provided by the Rideshare company. Talk to one of our agents first. We’ll explain the difference in coverage options.

What if I don’t have rideshare insurance & I’m involved in an accident?

The consequences of not having a rideshare insurance endorsement could result in a denial of coverage by your main auto insurance company. Whether you fail to tell them you are using your car for rideshare services or simply didn’t know you needed the insurance endorsement on your main auto policy, could leave you liable for the entire loss. This leaves you with paying for injuries, medical bills, car repairs, property damage etc. if you get into an accident.

If you are considering a career or part time job for any rideshare company, reach out to our agency! Rules and regulations change regularly, so be sure to research yourself what changes may have occurred since this article was written. We can go over many coverage options with you to ensure you have the right insurance protection. Getting the right policy is easy, we just need to know that you’re driving for a Rideshare company and we can get you the right policy.

Home Insurance Agent Salt Lake City, UT

Have You Made Upgrades to Your Home This Year?

Home Insurance Agent Salt Lake City, UTMany people have used the COVID-19 pandemic to assess their current living situation. Whether it is finally getting to those home improvement projects, getting out in your yard or garden. Others felt inspired to make some major renovations to their homes. If you fall into this category, clearly you are not the only one making changes as you stood in line outside The Home Depot, Lowes or your local home & garden department store.

If you have made some significant updates to your home this year, it’s important to relay this information to your insurance agent.

Review the scenarios below and reach out to us if you have made any of the following changes:

  • Updated your kitchen or bathroom
  • Added square footage to your home
  • Built a detached structure such as a shop, garage or office
  • Made energy efficient improvements such as solar panels on your roof

Why Do I Need to Share This Information With My Agent?

Any major update you make to your home can impact the current value of your home. If you ever have to experience a home insurance claim, your insurance carrier has an idea how much it will cost to replace what has been damaged. As your agent, we want to make sure your home has an accurate value for your home insurance policy so you can be reimbursed at the appropriate value.

Has COVID-19 caused long term changes to your lifestyle?

With some major companies extending a work from home approach into the fall season or even the remainder of the year, some people may consider finding a way to work from home permanently. If this applies to you, you may want to create a designated home office to work from.

If you are a small business owner who now is looking to work permanently from home, be sure to let your agent know. Some changes to your home insurance policy may be necessary.

If You Plan To Drive Less, Reach Out To Your Agent

Some people who mainly used their car to commute to and from work, may be finding they are barely using their vehicle. Reach out to your insurance agent to see if can qualify for any auto insurance discounts. Some insurance carriers can provide a discount to individuals who drive less than 10,000 miles a year.

Flood Insurance Policy Salt Lake City

September Represents National Preparedness Month

Flood Insurance Policy Salt Lake CityAre you prepared for a disaster? Recent articles online, in the newspaper and commercials on televisions remind us that disasters are just a moment away. It is easy to think that’s a good reminder, yet fail to act on our preparedness. The fact is: disasters happen. It’s best to learn the skills & be prepared.

Ready.gov does a great job at summarizing how to prepare for disasters and teaches simple skills you should have that could help you or your loved ones if a disaster strikes.

What’s Your Plan?

Discuss the following questions with your friends, family or household to determine your emergency plan.

  1. How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
  2. What is my shelter plan?
  3. What is my evacuation route?
  4. What is my family/household communication plan?

After determining your plan, practice it!

What Life Saving Skills Do You Have?

There are a wide variety of skills you should have that can save a life. Here are a few to target.

  • Learn first aid & CPR.
  • Own a fire extinguisher, know where it’s located & most importantly, understand how to use it.
  • Know how to shut off your water, electricity & natural gas.

Do You Understand Your Insurance Coverage?

Yes, having insurance is your first step to protection, but do you know exactly what you are covered for? Did you know flood damage to a home is the most common disaster a household can face? If your home floods, are you covered? If you do not understand the details of your insurance coverage, call our office!

Are You Saving For an Emergency?

We all know the concept of saving for a rainy day, but the question is, are you doing it?

  • Have a savings account and contribute to it monthly if possible.
  • Consider owning a safe in your home & keeping cash in it. During a disaster, ATM’s or credit cards may not work.
  • Store all important personal, household & medical information in your safe (or a place you’ll remember).

Examples:

  • passport or photo ID
  • birth certificate
  • social security cards,
  • marriage or divorce license
  • military ID & military discharge record
  • pet ID tags
  • pet microchip info & proof of pet ownership
  • insurance policies
  • lease or rental agreement
  • mortgage or real estate deeds of trust
  • immunization records
  • medication list or other medical information a physician may need

If you want a detailed document of everything you would need to prepare for a disaster or emergency, print this form out & follow the checklist.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Learn the skills & know what to do before a disaster strikes.

If you have questions about your insurance coverage or want a quote for flood insurance, contact Leslie Kay’s Insurance. Our agents will shop to find the best insurance for your specific needs.

Insurance Agency Salt Lake City, UT

When Life Changes, So Should Your Insurance Policy

Insurance Agency Salt Lake City, UTImagine if we could buy just one insurance policy and be set for life. That’s a nice thought, isn’t it? Like the good things that happen in life, your insurance policy should change and adapt to your situations. The beauty of having a local, independent insurance agent is that they represent multiple insurance companies. One that surely will fit your current and future needs. Some things to consider when reviewing your current insurance:

Did you get married?

Marriage discounts, multi-car discounts, combined insurance policies, jewelry endorsements, life insurance, a new home? A lot happens when you get married – be sure your new life together is properly insured.

Did I complete a major remodel?

A new kitchen can add tremendous value to your home. Simple changes like bay windows, granite counter tops and hardwood floors dramatically improve and increase the value of your home, not to mention if you blow out a wall and add some additional square footage. Be sure your current insurance policy has enough coverage for all your changes. Review these changes with your agent.

Did I or do I want to get a new car?

If you’re considering a new car, your independent agent can tell you what the new premiums will be on that fancy new ride before you buy it. Be sure to consider the increased premium in the sticker tag of the vehicle.

Do we have a teen who will soon be driving?

Teen drivers can be quite the sticker shock. If you have a teen driver in the house, it is important to let your agent know. Most insurance companies require your teen driver be listed on the policy. Not adding the driver to the policy could cause major problems and even a claim denial if they’re not added timely. Be sure to ask your agent about teen drivers.

Did you purchase a new exterior building for your home?

Many insurance policies automatically include exterior buildings coverages for 10% of the value of your home. While not all do this automatically, if you install or build a detached garage or other structure, be sure you have enough coverage in the event it is damaged or a total loss.

Did you protect your home with a new burglar alarm?

Reviewing what discounts you currently have and looking for new ones is always a good thing to do. Burglar alarms, driving less, multi-policy discounts and more are great ways to reduce your premiums. Your agent can look for these automatically. They’re discount detectives. Next time you talk with yours, be sure to have them go over what discounts are available so you can take advantage of them.

Understanding insurance is difficult. Fortunately, when you’re insured with an independent insurance agent they can review your policy with you anytime and shop from multiple companies to determine the best company for your needs.