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Homeowners Insurance Guide

June 26, 2020

Finding the right Home Insurance can be difficult.

We can help.


Homeowners insurance is financial protection that covers more than just your house. It also covers other structures on your property (barn, shed, fence), your belongings (furniture, clothes, electronics), lawsuits, and also temporary living expenses during home repairs.


We have many types of Homeowners insurance policies that will cover what's important to you, satisfies your mortgage company, and is at the price that you want. You choose what you need.


Home Insurance Discounts That Can Save You Money:


⌂ multi-policy

⌂ military

⌂ marriage

⌂ fire alarm

⌂ burglar alarm system

⌂ new home construction

⌂ sprinkler system

⌂ deadbolt locks

⌂ roof upgrade

⌂ smoke detectors

⌂ fire extinguisher

⌂ mature homeowners

⌂ paying in full + more


Definition of peril: exposure to the risk of being injured, destroyed, or lost.


What Is an HO-3 Insurance Policy?


The HO-3 policy is the most commonly purchased policy because it satisfies your mortgage company, encompasses all the coverage that most homeowners need, and is affordable. It provides great coverage for your house, as well as your personal property. An HO-3 typically insures your attached structures (like a garage or deck) and personal liability coverage, if you accidentally injure someone or damage their property. It doesn't limit coverage only to named perils, so it is better than an HO-2, and can provide more financial protection.


What Is an HO-2 Insurance Policy?


HO-2 is a named peril policy and is more common than the HO-1 because it covers 4 more perils. The HO-2 insurance policy has 16 named perils, including:


☞ Fire or Lightning

☞ Hail or Windstorms

☞ Explosions

☞ Riots or Civil Commotion

☞ Smoke

☞ Malicious mischief or Vandalism

☞ Theft

☞ Falling objects

☞ Weight of ice, snow, or sleet

☞ Accidental discharge of water or steam

☞ Freezing of systems

☞ Damage from Aircrafts

☞ Damage from Vehicles

☞ Volcanic eruptions

☞ Sudden and accidental damage from artificially generated electrical current

☞ Sudden and accidental tearing apart, cracking, burning, or bulging of certain household systems


What Is an HO-1 Insurance Policy?


HO-1 is the most basic Homeowners Insurance and would be purchased if you are insuring for catastrophic losses only. Mortgage companies usually don't consider this policy sufficient coverage for a home. HO-1 will usually cover 10 named perils. Floods and earthquakes are not typically covered, and neither is personal liability.


What Is a DP-3 Insurance Policy?


DP-3 is a Dwelling Fire policy. It is insurance for if you own a home, but do not live in it. This might apply if you own a home and rent out the rooms or the whole property. DP-3 covers the structure, loss of use or rental coverage, and usually personal liability.


What Is an HO-5 Insurance Policy?


HO-5 is a robust Homeowners policy that will have the most coverage options available. It is the best one you can get, therefore costs more than the other Homeowners policies listed below. The HO-5 will cover more perils than the HO-3 (and other policies) because it is written as an open peril policy, for both your home and your personal property. It will cover you for any peril, as long as it's not listed as being "excluded" from your policy. HO-5 includes personal liability and medical payments coverage.


Some Optional Homeowners Coverages:


+ Water Backup

+ Personal Injury

+ Valuable Articles (Jewelry, Collectibles, Antiques, etc.)

+ Comprehensive Property Coverage

+ Replacement Cost

+ Extended Replacement Cost

+ Actual Cash Value

+ Additional Living Expenses

+ Scheduled Personal Property

Our Doors Are Open!

May 29, 2020

We at Guidance Insurance Agency, Inc. are grateful for each and every one of our clients, and thank you for sticking by us during these challenging times we have all been facing together.


You are our #1 priority and we want you to know that we have been taking extra measures and made some changes to ensure the health and safety of our staff, our clients, and our community.


ESSENTIAL BUSINESS

This week many businesses have re-opened. At Guidance, we have remained an essential business, and have decided to open our doors back up to all in-person visits, walk-ins or appointments.


CLEANING PROCEDURES & SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

Your safety is important to us and we wanted to let you know that we have implemented the following cleaning procedures and safety precautions in our insurance office:


+ desks are spaced out 6+ feet apart

+ wearing face masks and gloves

+ plexiglass sneeze guards on each desk (between our customers and employees)

+ sanitizing the desks & waiting area

+ disinfectant wiping spaces

+ sanitizing the air

+ antibacterial hand soap

+ hand sanitizers

+ air purifier cleaning the office environment with PlasmaWave technology

In addition to this, we still have our office commercially cleaned once a week.


DOORS RE-OPENED

As of June 1st, our doors are back open for walk-in customers, however we can still assist you with ALL of your insurance needs by phone at 951-245-2240.


* For your protection we are asking everyone to wear masks or face coverings before they enter the office.


* If you have a cough, fever, or any symptoms of COVID-19, or have been in contact with anyone who has been sick or tested positive for the virus, please stay home and do not come into the office. Just give us a call and we are happy to help you by phone.


* Please make sure you practice social distancing by providing a 6ft. distance between yourself and others.

Memorial Day, Testing Sites, & Re-open Answers

May 19, 2020

Memorial Day

Monday, May 25

We are closed in observance of this federal holiday, as we honor and mourn the military personnel who lost their lives while serving in the United States Armed Forces.


A Plan To Re-Open

The Governor of CA recently announced the State's plan for some small businesses to move into Stage 2 of the statewide order to start re-opening the economy. Beginning May 8, certain stores and small business retailers are now able to provide services, but are limited to curb-side delivery and pickup only. This includes bookstores, jewelry stores, clothing stores, shoe stores, home and furnishing stores, sporting goods stores, antique stores, music stores, etc.


Riverside County has followed the direction of the State's re-opening plan, which is good news for many businesses eager to get back to work, while doing so safely. For a full list of all types of businesses available for curb-side delivery and pick-up, please visit https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap/.


An Essential Business

Guidance Insurance Agency has remained OPEN since Day 1. In doing our part to help keep our community and employees safe and slow the spread of COVID-19, we temporarily limited contact with our customers to phone and email only, and are not currently doing walk-ins or appointments.


Please know that we are still able to:

✔ issue new policies ✔ give free quotes ✔ take payments ✔ service your existing policies ✔ make changes to your policy (such as adding a car or driver) ✔ update your Autopay info


We are expecting to open our doors back up to walk-in customers in the very near future and will keep you posted on updates!


Curious How To Get Tested For COVID?

Riverside County currently operates four drive-up testing sites: Indio, Perris, Riverside, and Lake Elsinore. Those who want to be screened do not have to have symptoms, although they do need an appointment. Parent permission is required for the testing of minors. For an appointment, call 800-945-6171.


Appointments are also required at the eight state operated walk-up testing sites, spread throughout the county. To make an appointment at the state sites click HERE, or for those without internet access call 888-634-1123.


“Testing is for everyone, regardless of immigration status or insurance, and it is free," said Riverside County Board Chair and Fourth District Supervisor, V. Manuel Perez. "Testing has been expanded to be available for those with and without symptoms, and we encourage our young people to get themselves tested at one of our many testing sites.”


There is no cost to the person being tested at either the county or state operated facilities.

Commercial General Liability: Contractors, Mercantile, Building Owners & more

May 8, 2020

When you own a business, most likely your company needs General Liability Insurance. This crucial insurance will protect you against lawsuits, medical expenses, legal fees, and damages that you are legally responsible for, as the owner. It is the leading defense system that protects your company if someone sues you.


Commercial General Liability Insurance includes:


Bodily Injury & Property Damage Liability Coverage

This coverage protects your business from a variety of claims including Bodily Injury and Property Damage, and generally applies to accidents that happen on your business’s property, because of your operations, or caused by your finished products.


Advertising & Personal Injury Coverage

Protects your business from the costs of libel and slander charges.


Legal Fee Coverage

A single accident could result in a lawsuit that you may not be able to handle. Making sure you have liability coverage that matches your level of exposure is great protection against this. CGL policies will often pay for the legal cost of defending your company.


Medical Fees Coverage

This coverage pays for medical fees associated with injury and replacement costs for damaged goods.


Some business examples include:


✔ GENERAL CONTRACTORS & HANDYMAN SERVICES

✔ BUSINESS OWNERS

✔ GARDENERS, LANDSCAPERS, LAWN CARE, & EXCAVATION WORK

✔ PAINTERS, DRYWALL, & CARPENTRY CONTRACTORS

✔ ARTISANS

✔ CLEANING SERVICES, CARPET CLEANING, & JANITORIAL SERVICES

✔ TRUCKERS

✔ ELECTRICAL, POOL, & PLUMBING CONTRACTORS

✔ MERCANTILE

✔ APPLIANCE REPAIR & CABLE INSTALLATION

✔ BUILDING OWNERS, BUILDING & DEVELOPING

✔ GLASS INSTALLATION

✔ INTERIOR DECORATING

✔ LOCKSMITHS

✔ MASONRY & TILE CONTRACTORS

✔ PEST CONTROL

✔ FLORISTS & ART GALLERIES

✔ ANTIQUE STORES & GIFT SHOPS


We have affordable coverage that protects your business AND your assets, while giving you peace of mind. Ask us if we can protect and cover your business today!

Guidance: Why Maintaining Your Car Insurance Is Critical, Resources, and New Hours

April 8, 2020

NEW BUSINESS HOURS

effective 4/09/20

Mon - Fri: 9:00am - 6:00pm

Sat: 9:00am - 4:00pm

Sun: Closed


With more people staying safer at home right now during the COVID-19 pandemic, questions may have arisen on what you should and should not be doing. We would like to set the record straight on any confusion about whether or not you need to keep your car insurance active.


Things Can Happen To Your Car While It's Sitting In Your Driveway

The truth is, there are problems that could unfortunately happen to your car whether you are driving it or not. Even if you are not driving, unforeseen things could happen to your vehicle while it is parked at home, in your garage or driveway, or on the street. For example, this could be car theft, vandalism, falling objects (like a tree), damage from fire, windstorm, hail, or floods. 


Car Insurance Is An Essential Bill

While you may be driving less right now, no longer commuting, or your car is parked at home, maintaining your insurance coverage is still critical.


We are advising all of our customers to maintain their car insurance policies, as it is considered an essential bill that is required by the State of California. You must have liability coverage in order to register your car and keep your car registered.


If you have a car loan or lease, your lender or leasing company will likely require you to carry Comprehensive and Collision insurance (Full Coverage) anyway. 


California Law

You must show financial responsibility for any vehicle that you own, in case of injury to other people or damage to their property. Most people show financial responsibility by buying auto liability insurance.


California law states, "All drivers and all owners of a motor vehicle shall at all times be able to establish financial responsibility pursuant to Section 16021, and shall at all times carry in the vehicle evidence of the form of financial responsibility in effect for the vehicle."


If you do not have liability insurance on your car, by law you can be fined, your license may be suspended, and your vehicle could be impounded.


Do I Need To Change My Coverage If I Picked Up a Side-Job Doing Deliveries?

You may have started to use your personal car to do deliveries for some extra cash, like take-out food, groceries, or other deliveries. If so, it's likely you need a Commercial Auto Policy, as food delivery is considered "business use" of a vehicle. 


If you don't have the right coverage in place and get into a car accident, your claim could be denied and leave you responsible for any car repairs and medical bills. Before you start making deliveries, make sure you give us a call to ensure you have the right coverage in place. We just want to make sure you're protected.


Financial Hardships Due To COVID-19? 

Government Assistance May Be Available!

The Government has implemented several programs to help individuals, families, and small businesses during these hard times. Make sure you know what is available for you and how to apply for help.


Unemployment eligibility.

❖ One-time stimulus checks for individuals & families who qualify.

❖ Special enrollment for health insurance through Covered CA for those who are uninsured or lost coverage through their employer.

IRS extension for filing and paying 2019 taxes.

SBA Loans for small businesses to keep their employees and maintain paying expenses. 

Important Info For You During These Times

April 3, 2020

These are a few of the factors that impact rates determined by insurance carriers. This applies to auto, motorcycle, commercial, recreational vehicle, and Mexico traveler's policies.


Location

Your garaging ZIP code is one of the most important factors in how insurance carriers determine how likely you are to have an accident. This is because if you live in a highly populated area, you're seen at a higher risk for theft, collisions, and harm to your car.


Age

On average, insurance rates decrease as you get older, until you reach about 75. Although, it's not always your actual age, but the number of years you have been driving that is the bigger factor.


Teenage Drivers

Teenage drivers have higher rates than experienced drivers because according to statistics, teens are more likely to be involved in a crash.


At-fault Accidents

Most at-fault accidents will raise your rate, but don't worry, the rate increase won't be permanent. At-fault accidents fall off your driving record after 3-5 years from the occurrence date.


Speeding/Traffic Tickets

The good news is that just like at-fault accidents, the rate increase from a speeding or traffic ticket also won't be permanent, they usually fall off your driving record 3 years from the conviction date.


Engine Size

The size of your vehicle's engine also plays a factor. For instance, a large V-8 engine or greater, technically makes it easier to speed or engage in reckless driving.These are a few of the factors that impact rates determined by insurance carriers. This applies to auto, motorcycle, commercial, recreational vehicle, and Mexico traveler's policies.


Getting Tested For COVID-19 & Local Links

We all know the #1 most important thing to everyone right now is staying healthy! Many people are worried about them or their loved ones getting sick and not being sure of what to do. Most insurance companies are offering "virtual" or Teledoc appointments for those who are worried about having symptoms and unsure whether they should go see a doctor or not. Additionally, most insurers are waiving co-pays and deductibles for COVID-19 visits.


Riverside County has also opened up a 3rd COVID-19 testing site, with the Diamond Stadium in Lake Elsinore being one of the sites. If you have symptoms and are looking for options on how to get tested, click here. You can even make an appointment online.


For more information and to stay informed with what’s happening locally, you can visit the Riverside County Public Health’s website.


Stay up-to-date with CA’s dedicated COVID-19 website for the latest health information, as well as links to resources on how to get help.


Affected By Unemployment?

Due to the temporary shutdown of many businesses, a record number of people have lost their jobs or experienced a reduction in their hours and pay, making it hard to keep up with their payments. You may be eligible to file a claim for unemployment benefits. The fastest way to check your eligibility and file your claim is online directly through the EDD's website.


Onward CA is a new website launched in CA as a one-stop resource for people who have lost their job to get matched up with employers who are searching for people to hire. New employers looking to hire are being added every day.


Financial Help For Small Business Owners

Small businesses are the backbone of America. Are you a small business owner looking for ways to get help get through this tough period and maintain your ability to pay your expenses and employees? The Government’s new Coronavirus Stimulus Package includes a number of programs offered to small business owners to get help. Visit their website to learn more and see if you qualify.


As a small business in the Lake Elsinore community for 20 years, we want to continue to be here for our customers through tough times. If you have any questions about your policy, would like to make any changes or add a new policy, please give us a call anytime and one of our dedicated staff is here to help.


We are all in this together.

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Serving California since 1999