Importance of Underlying Limits and Umbrella Policies

As an insurance client, you should always remember that most insurance agencies recognize that Umbrella policies need the maintenance of an underlying/primary schedule at mandated limits. Therefore, it is as much of an importance to you as it is to an insurance agent in Minnesota to pay attention to underlying coverages. As a matter of fact, the obligation to ensure sufficient support prevails is part of the umbrella insurance contract. At Pinnacle Insurance Agency of MN, we make sure to include this in the policy’s “Maintenance of Underlying Coverage” provision.

Included in the provision is the policy’s schedule or declarations consisting of all applicable underlying coverages. Typically, the primary coverages entail:
•    Homeowner’s insurance
•    Recreational Vehicle
•    Personal Automobile
•    Miscellaneous Personal Liability

Essentially, an umbrella policy necessitates that a specific limit of insurance be given to each underlying policy. Through the provision, each of these assigned limits must be kept intact for the entire active time of the umbrella coverage.

Although an Umbrella Insurance can come in handy for you as a resident of Minnesota, you should play your part in ensuring compliance with the provision.

You should particularly avoid the following common mistakes in your umbrella policy.
•    Making changes to your underlying carrier without informing your umbrella carrier.
•    Failing to report a claim within the required period
•    Listing an incorrect address or failing to include a new one.
•    Leaving out coverages from the umbrella policy

The consequence of failing to comply include bearing total financial loss until the loss amount reaches beyond the level of the original coverage. Therefore, if you have decided to seek additional coverage to protect yourself and your investments, be sure to comply with what is required of you. If you have any questions pertaining underlying policy limits, please contact one of our agents at Pinnacle Insurance Agency of MN. We are always glad to help you in any manner that we can.

 

 

Home Electricity/Fire Safety Tips

Every day across the United States residential fires destroy personal property and cause both injuries and death. Electrical malfunctions are responsible for approximately 10 percent of all residential fires where a fatality occurs, according to FEMA. At the very least, working smoke detectors are essential and one of the best ways to help keep home and family safe. However, it’s also¬†important to know and follow several electrical and fire safety tips.

Outlets and Plugs

Any outlet with a plug that fits loosely is at higher risk for overheating, which can lead to a fire. Never force a plug into an outlet, plugs should fit securely but without effort. Never remove the third prong or ground pin from a plug, as this can cause an electrical shock. Every year when changing your smoke detector batteries, take the time to inspect all outlets and plugs. Replace any broken or missing outlet plates. Remember that the outlet sockets should be installed so the “face” is turned upside down. If children live in or frequently visit the home, a safety cover should be placed in any outlets not in use.

Arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) can shut off the electricity when something dangerous happens. Ground-fault circuit interrupters (GCFIs) can be installed in areas like kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms or anywhere in the home where water and electricity may meet. These help prevent electrocution.

Avoid Outlet Overload

No outlet in your home should ever look like the one from the movie the “A Christmas Story” with the overload of electrical cords. Extension cords are an acceptable temporary solution when there’s an outlet shortage, but should never be a permanent electrical wiring solution. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) warns that “Extension cords account for the greatest share of home fires involving cords or plugs, with 57 percent of the fire total.”

If your home needs more receptacles for electrical plug-ins, consider having a qualified electrician install them. Overloaded circuits are one of the most common causes of home fires.

Cords

While many devices in modern homes are going wireless, there still are many electrical cords to deal with daily. From floor lamps to the television, gaming system, and countertop appliances, these items typically are used daily. All electrical cords throughout the home need to be away from high traffic areas. Never run a cord across the floor of a doorway or under carpets or furniture. Stapling or nailing cords to a wall or baseboard can damage the electrical wire and be a fire hazard. An underrated tip is that homeowners should add cable management tools and devices to the set of tools they always have on hand. This way, cables can always be organized and out of the way without risking any fire safety issues.

Regularly check all cords around the house for fraying and cracks, and replace as needed.

Lighting Safety

Always use the correct light bulb wattage for lamps and any installed light fixtures. Using the wrong wattage can be lead to electrical fires. Be sure to only purchase lighting that has the UL (Underwriter’s Laboratories) certification on it. Keep materials like bedding, flowing draperies, and upholstery away from hot bulbs.

Fact: The bedroom is leading area of origin for home fires involving lamps, light fixtures, and bulbs.  (NFPA)

Warning Signs of Potential Electrical Issues

Knowing the warning signs of a potential electrical or wiring problems may help prevent a fire. If your lights regularly dim or flicker and it’s not during a storm, consider contacting an electrician to perform an inspection. Also, continually tripping the circuit breakers or blowing fuses is a warning sign as well. Any cords, outlets, or even switch plates that appear brownish or discolored should be inspected for wiring issues.

When buying a home or remodeling your current one, always rely on a professional electrician to perform a full inspection. If issues are found, have the electrician make the necessary repairs or upgrades to help keep the home safe from potential electrical issues that lead to fires.

Simple Maintenance Tips for Your Bike

Loving your bike isn’t enough. You have to take care of it. At Pinnacle Insurance Agency of MN, we take pride in defending your vehicles against accidents and disasters. For the rest, a little simple maintenance can do wonders. For all of the bike enthusiasts in Coon Rapids, MN, here are three simple maintenance tips that will keep your bike safe and performing.

Tires

A flat on a car is dangerous. On a bike, it’s catastrophic. Check your tire pressure at least once a month. You can find the recommended pressure in your manual. You should also regularly inspect the treads and rubber. Visibly worn treads let you know the tires need to be replaced. Likewise, signs of cracking or rotting on the tire rubber are additional indicators that you need new ones. Bikes that are exposed to lots of sunlight or salted roads are especially at risk for cracks and rotting.

Fluids

Your bike uses a combustion engine, and there are a few fluids that need to maintained for the engine to run correctly. Coolant levels need to be maintained, so add this check to your monthly list. Never check the coolant of a hot engine, but when it’s cold, you can uncork the radiator cap and make sure the fluid is up to the fill line. Oil is also on the list. You should check the oil before any long ride and every other week besides. You also need to change the oil filter. The average for bikes is to replace the filter every 6,000 miles or once a year, but double check your owner’s manual to be sure.

Keep it Clean

A dirty bike is more than unseemly; it can inhibit performance. Ideally, you want to wash your bike after every ride. If it’s your main mode of transportation or you happen to ride on a daily basis, you can drop this to weekly or monthly. Regular soap and water are the basics to get it clean, but you want to always use an anti-corrosion agent as a finish. Regular washes can prevent salt and dirt from causing premature wear on the bike. This is especially important if you ride at all during the long winters in Coon Rapids, MN.

For more information on how to protect your bike, consider having a chat with a friendly face at Pinnacle Insurance Agency of MN.

 

 

Commercial Auto Insurance for Your One-Man Operation

All motor vehicles need a valid insurance policy to be legally operated in the Coon Rapids, MN area. For those in the construction trades, a commercial auto insurance policy is more than just a legal requirement. When your livelihood depends on your work truck, the right policy can be the difference between a minor inconvenience and a career-changing catastrophe.

Why You Need Commercial Auto Insurance

Your vehicle might work overtime as your personal transportation, but your personal auto insurance is not enough to cover your business interests.

  • Liability limits may not be high enough on personal policies may not be high enough cover damage caused by heavy work trucks.
  • To be eligible for certain tax credits, your vehicle will need to be owned by your corporate entity. Most insurance companies will not issue personal policies for vehicles owned by a business.
  • Personal policies generally do not cover customizations. A commercial policy ensures that the full value of your installed toolboxes, ladder racks, and hydraulic equipment can be replaced in the event of an accident.

Pinnacle Insurance Agency of MN can help you find the perfect commercial auto insurance policy to protect your equipment, materials, and investment.

Quick Facts About Commercial Auto Insurance

  • Lower your monthly premiums by loading up on safety and anti-theft features. Parking your vehicle in a garage each night can also reduce your out-of-pocket costs.
  • Don’t skimp on coverage to reduce costs. What you save today might not compare to what you’ll have to pay in case of a major loss or accident.
  • New business owners should choose lower-deductible plans. Cash is tight when you’re building your operation. A sudden, large expense when cash reserves are low can lead to bankruptcy and the loss of your business.

Do you have questions on how to protect your business and personal assets? The experts at Pinnacle Insurance Agency of MN can help you with your insurance needs in the Coon Rapids, MN area. Contact us today to start customizing a protection plan that covers all your important things.

All you need to know about Motorcycle Insurance in MN

Just like a car needs an insurance cover, so does a motorcycle. Before operating on Coon Rapids, MN or any other roads in Minnesota, you are required by law to insure your bike. That shows some financial responsibility from you as a motorcycle owner to yourself and other road users.

According to Minnesota definitions, the following are considered two-wheeled vehicles;

  • Motorcycle 
  • Motorized Foot Scooter
  • Motorized bicycle

Although there are several policies that a motorcycle owner can buy in Minnesota, Liability cover, underinsured and uninsured motorist cover are the minimum required covers by the State. Pinnacle Insurance Agency of MN offers the three stipulated covers and additional covers as described below;

Liability Insurance cover– This coverage pays for the damage caused by an accident which was determined to be your fault. Under this cover, there are three distinct categories which cover injuries to one person, injury to two or more people and the last category covers property damage. Each category has its minimum requirements.

Medical Payments and enhanced injury protection policy– this assist in clearing your medical bills that arise as a result of injuries sustained in an accident involving your motorcycle.

Underinsured motorcycle policy– This coverage takes care of medical expenses that you may incur as a resident of Coon Rapids, MN when you are in an accident with another driver who does not have enough insurance coverage. Pinnacle Insurance Agency cover all your damages as long as you have bought this policy with us and is up to date.

Uninsured motorist policy– This cover helps pay for your medical expenses where the other driver is responsible for the accident, and yet he/she has no insurance coverage. This cover ensures that you are not left stranded and injured.

For more information, feel free to visit our offices or contact us through our website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why You Should Contact Your Insurance Company First Thing After an Accident

Getting in a car accident is everyone’s nightmare. But accidents do happen, and when they do, it’s up to you to take the proper actions. Your first action should always be to contact your auto insurance company, and here’s why.

How to notify your insurance company that you’ve been in an accident

It’s fine to wait until you get home after the accident to give your insurance agency a call, but definitely make it a priority. Even if you believe the other party in the accident to be at fault, your insurance agency needs to be notified.

Often, you have benefits in your plan that you can use to your advantage after an accident. This often comes into play when the insurance agency of the other driver does not believe that you were not at fault in the accident. If they are disputing this, your insurance company may step in and help you. This depends on the details of your plan.

If the other driver in the accident did not have coverage at all, your insurance agency may be able to help you as well. In this case, you’ll need to have a policy that offers uninsured motorist coverage. All plans are different, and this is why the standard rule is to always call your insurance agent after an accident.

What if you don’t have auto insurance?

If you are currently driving in Coon Rapids, MN without insurance, you’ll need to purchase a plan right away. Pinnacle Insurance Agency of MN currently serves the residents of Coon Rapids, MN and would be glad to speak with you about getting a new plan for your vehicle so that you’re always safe on the road. Call Pinnacle Insurance Agency of MN today or stop into one of our local offices to speak with an agent about your auto insurance options.

RV Insurance For The Frequent Camper

At Pinnacle Insurance Agency of MN, we have helped hundreds of people like you get the RV insurance coverage that they need to protect their investment. If you love camping in Coon Rapids, MN or traveling to new areas regularly during the summer, it is important to understand the major benefits of great RV insurance.

RV Insurance Covers Many Things

When you purchase basic RV insurance, you are getting liability for causing crashes, injuries, property damage, and other problems caused by collisions. This is just for the most basic type of liability coverage. It is also possible to get coverage for theft, animal collisions, damage from vandals, medical payments for injuries, replacement costs, and even vacation liability.

Why Vacation Liability Is Important

Frequent campers should get the best vacation liability coverage possible. They also need roadside assistance and travel expenses coverage. These policies are necessary due to the unique nature of the RV. When you are camping, your RV temporarily turns into a place of residence. As a result, you need coverage for the kind of injuries that could occur at your home.

Full-Time Coverage May Also Be Essential

Those who plan on living in their RV as their primary residence should get full-time RV coverage. For example, people who take their RV out-of-state to spend the whole summer camping often need full-time coverage. It provides you with a high-limit personal liability like you can get for a home. It can also cover storage fees for items you need to keep in storage while you are living in your RV.

Getting The Coverage You Need

If you need high-quality RV insurance in Coon Rapids MN, please contact us at Pinnacle Insurance Agency of MN today. We can help you sort through your options and find coverage that works for you.

Thefts and Motorcycles: Understanding the Dangers

You buy a motorcycle in Coon Rapids, MN for the feel of the open road in front of you. You buy it so you can get a sense of adventure on even the dullest of days. You certainly don’t buy it to attract thieves and criminals to steal your ride. However, the less you know about your risks, the more likely you are to run up against a situation that will be hard to recover from. 

An Easier Target

It’s difficult to lift up a car and transport it to a chop shop. But motorcycles are a lot easier to maneuver, and they don’t have the same anti-theft technology that most cars do. They’re also coveted by criminals because of their sheer power. They tend to command a good price on the market, whether that’s whole or strictly for parts. Thieves can get past many of the locks with ease, and more than 45,000 motorcycles were stolen in 2013 alone. Pinnacle Insurance Agency of MN doesn’t want to see the same thing happen to you. 

Better Decisions

There are ways that you can prevent losing your motorcycle. Companies everywhere make products that make the bikes much harder to move or work through the locking mechanisms on the machines. You can also be smarter about where you park your car, as you’ll probably have better luck when you use only secure parking garages rather than leaving it out on the street. Of course, sometimes you don’t have the option of a guarded garage, and sometimes there are thieves in Coon Rapids, MN who are just more motivated than others. When you have the right insurance though, you can rest easy about your motorcycle. Call Pinnacle Insurance Agency of MN today to find out more about our policies!

Protect All Of Your Assets Under One Umbrella… Insurance.

Umbrella insurance is not a coverage plan to recover your damaged umbrella after a heavy storm, but rather a means to protect all of your assets under one insurance plan. This type of policy may be applied to both individuals and businesses. Consulting with Pinnacle Insurance Agency of MN will allow you to customize a plan that suits your coverage needs. Fewer few providers in Coon Rapids, MN provide that level of customization.

What Can Be Covered?

A wide variety of assets may be protected under umbrella insurance plans and that includes items typically not covered under traditional plans. Injuries, property damage, and lawsuits are all protected under one umbrella for both individuals and businesses. Even your home and car will be covered beyond the scope of your existing insurance policies. Third party victims like your best friend or your cousin’s daughter may be covered for claims under umbrella policies.

Expanding The Limits

Insurance policies may have maximum payouts for certain types of damages. For example, if you get into a car wreck and the insurance policy will only cover the less than half f the bodily harm claim. Umbrella plans would be available to cover the additional costs that had not been covered by the other existing plan. You will have peace of mind knowing that you will be completely covered in any instance.

Of the limited choices of umbrella insurance policies, Pinnacle Insurance of MN is a reliable source within Coon Rapids, MN. They have professionals that can craft the right umbrella policy to match your lifestyle and its needs. The company has decades of experience operating locally and nationally.

 

 

Can You Insure Children?

Life insurance is something that everyone should take the time to consider. You can insure yourself at any time and name any beneficiary you want. If you are taking out policies on other people, there are some considerations that you need to make, however. For those that live in the Coon Rapids, MN area, the agents with Pinnacle Insurance Agency of MN can help answer any questions you may have.

For those that have children, spouses, and other family members you can indeed take out a policy on them. When it comes to children, you do not need the consent of the child to take out a life insurance policy on them. Insurance policies on children are a great way to give them something to borrow against when they get older and to make sure that if something terrible does happen, you are covered.

When taking out insurance on children, you will need the same information that you would if you were taking out a policy on an adult. You need their social security number, address, and legal name. You may also want to take the time to speak with an agent about how to take out the right amount of coverage.

Though it is terrible to consider that you would ever have to cash out a life insurance policy on a child, they are not a terrible thing to have. We cannot know what might happen and having the policy to help insure against the worst is one way to protect ourselves. You can also take out policies on adult children, but in this case, you are going to need a signature to prove that they are aware the policy exists.

For those in the Coon Rapids, MN area, the agents with Pinnacle Insurance Agency of MN can help.