Recreational Insurance Options for Boaters

Residents of Tuscaloosa, AL have many great places to ride boats in the area. Anyone who plans on taking their boat out for a little fun this year needs to learn more about the benefits of recreational insurance policies from us at TCU Agency.

Boat Types Protected By These Policies

Multiple types of recreational insurance coverage is available for the many types of boats available on the market. These boats include yachts, speed boats, pontoon boats, fishing boats, sportfishing vessels, liveabord boats, and personal watercraft insurance.

One interesting option is “mature” vessel coverage, which pays for boats that are over 25 years old. The benefit of this coverage is that it will repair things that occur in older boats, such as the development of leaks on the bottom of the boat.

Types of Policies Available

Recreational insurance for boaters will vary heavily based on what type of coverage an individual needs. For example, a policy can cover replacement costs for providing owners with a new boat if theirs is damaged or suffers from total failure. Typically, this coverage includes an agreed hull value that is set by the provider before the policy is purchased.

However, recreational insurance will also cover problems such as fuel spills, towing costs, uninsured boater crashes, mechanical breakdowns, coverage on crews – for commercial vessels – , the loss of fishing gear, and fire arms confiscation. Liability for injuries to the boat owner and others on the boat is also available.

Find a Policy for Your Boat

If you live in Tuscaloosa, AL and plan on riding your boat a lot this year, please contact us at TCU Agency. Our specialists will work hard to find a policy that suits your needs and will keep your financial investment safe from loss.

Can You Have More than One Life Insurance Beneficiary?

One of the most important decisions you’ll make concerning your life insurance policy is naming a beneficiary. In fact, you’re not limited to just one beneficiary – you can name several beneficiaries and divide life proceeds in a manner that helps them all. If you need help selecting a beneficiary, talk to an agent from TCU Agency in Tuscaloosa AL. We can answer any questions you may have about life insurance policies, beneficiaries, benefits and more. Here are some basic facts you should know about beneficiaries. 

Primary and Contingent Beneficiaries

Your primary beneficiaries are your first pick for receiving your life insurance benefits. You’re not limited to one primary beneficiary – you can choose variously. Contingent beneficiaries are like backups – if your primary beneficiaries should pass away before you do, your proceeds will automatically go to your contingents. Choosing both kinds of beneficiaries ensures your benefits are distributed the way you want them to be.

Revocable and Irrevocable Beneficiaries

Your beneficiaries can be classified as revocable or Irrevocable. Revocable beneficiaries can be changed if you decide you want someone else later down the line. Irrevocable beneficiaries are more or less permanent – unless they decide to forfeit their benefits on their own. Young singles should take advantage of the fact that they can choose revocable beneficiaries as it gives them a chance to change their mind if circumstances change in their lives, such as getting married and starting a family.

Division of Proceeds

Life proceeds can be divided among your primary beneficiaries as you choose. They can be split evenly between your beneficiaries or you can request that a certain percentage be given to each.

To purchase a life insurance policy as financial security for those you love, contact TCU Agency, Tuscaloosa, AL.

Does my COA insurance policy provide sufficient coverage for my condo?

Condominium owners often fall into the mistaken belief that their Condo Owners’ Association policy will provide the coverage that they need for their own unit. The team at TCU Agency can help you find the right policy for your needs as your COA policy will not protect your individual condo in the Tuscaloosa, AL area.

COA policies are geared toward the protection of the building itself and the common areas that are available to all residents. It is important to have your own condo insurance policy in order to protect yourself from:

  • Water damage
  • Theft
  • Liability if an injury occurs in your unit
  • A fire that begins in your own unit
  • Damage within your unit that is caused by your neighbor or nature

This is just the beginning of the types of situations where your home and property could sustain damage that would not be covered by the COA insurance policy. An easy rule of thumb is to consider everything within your unit as your own responsibility. For example, if there is a leak in a unit above you that causes damages to your unit, you will likely be held responsible for the repair and replacement of any damaged items.

While these may sound unfair because the damage was caused through no fault of your own, it is just the way that things work. In order to gain the peace of mind that you need to rest easy, it is advisable to obtain your own condo insurance policy at the appropriate level to protect your unit and all of your belongings.

Contact the knowledgeable team of professional agents at the TCU Agency today to schedule a consultation to review the condo insurance options in the greater Tuscaloosa, AL area!

Does Commercial Insurance Include Liability Insurance?

When Tuscaloosa, AL businesses meet with TCU Agency to find out more about what is included in their commercial insurance policy, liability insurance is one of the first areas of discussion. While a commercial insurance policy is designed to protect you against certain liabilities, it does not serve as catch-all liability insurance.

What’s The Difference?

Every business needs to ensure that they are properly covered by their commercial insurance policy. Even if they have purchased a commercial insurance policy that is specifically designed to provide liability coverage does not offer universal coverage against any liability that a business is going to face. 

Assuming that all commercial insurance policies offer the necessary coverage is never in the best interests of any business. The coverage that is obtained will depend on the needs of the business and the advice that they receive from the insurance providers that they meet with.

What Types of Claims Are Not Covered?

If an accident or incident takes place and the business is found to be at fault for the damages that have taken place due to their own negligence, these damages are not going to be covered under any commercial policy. Workers’ compensation claims are also not going to be covered by the commercial insurance policy that you select.

The same goes for any intentional acts and any accidents/incidents that take place because of faulty goods and services that the workplace provides. There are also limits to the existing commercial insurance that need to be considered and a business must make sure that they are obtaining the necessary amount of coverage during the early stages of the purchasing process. 

Those who reside in Tuscaloosa, AL and seek additional guidance when it comes to their commercial insurance policy should contact TCU Agency as soon as possible. 

What Should First Time Homebuyers Know about Home Insurance?

Buying a first home in Tuscaloosa, AL can be a tiring process, and after all the searching for the perfect home, one thing first time home buyers don’t want to sleep on is home insurance.

It’s important not to leave the home insurance to the last minute, since making the wrong decision can cost you a lot of money. Home insurance will be based on the building value, and some new homeowners may be shocked to find that the real estate value of the home is not the same as the building value. Don’t just choose insurance because it’s cheap and skip looking into what happens if you need to file a claim. Many people will move into their home and forget about their insurance until they need it. You don’t want to skimp on coverage, and you should have enough coverage to be able to rebuild in case you need to.

Don’t assume the insurance costs will be the same as the previous owner. Insurance policies will take into account personal information, which includes age, profession, credit rating, and other personal choices for coverage limits. The best way to know what your insurance will be is by getting a quote before you close the deal.

Use the home inspection process to your advantage and see if there are ways you can improve your home, in order to help get discounts on your insurance costs. Speak with an agent at TCU Agency to see if there are ways to get discounted insurance based on an inspection.

Use insurance history to your advantage as well. If you have had renters insurance in the past, it can help you with insurance on your new home. Also, see about bundling your car insurance and other insurance policies with your agency to get a discount.

Contact TCU Agency, serving Tuscaloosa, AL, to get a quote on home insurance.

 

What Does Boat Insurance Cover?

Alabama requires registration of your boat with Alabama’s Marine Patrol Division. The boats that are expected to be registered are sailboats, boats for hire and mechanically propelled vessels.  There are at least a dozen exceptions were registration is not necessary.  A boat operators license is necessary. 

In  Alabama boat insurance is not mandatory. Insurance covers pontoon boats, leisure craft, yachts and fishing boats, all boats with motors.  Homeowners insurance does not cover boats it may have limited coverage for small watercraft by adding a special endorsement or purchase separate coverage.

It is the personal watercraft such as jetskis that provide entertainment for friends and family. These fun water toys are inherently dangerous because of their speed with reckless driving, which should be insured because such activity commonly results in accidents, injury or damage to the watercraft.  Insurance encourages safety which includes the use of life vests for boating comes with risks.

There are common types of coverage which you should expect when getting a boat insurance quote:

* Property/Physical Damage Coverage –  helps pay for repairs whether the damage occurred in the water or on the land.  Marine insurance plans should cover damage to the boat’s hull,  motors, safety equipment, fuel tanks, fire extinguishers, anchors, vandalism and damages caused by fire and hazards other than collision. 

* Liability Coverage – Coverage which will protect you if you are at fault for a boat accident which caused property damage or physical injury to another person. Coverage should cover for large wakes caused by the operation of your boat.

* Uninsured Watercraft Coverage

* Additional Coverage such as personal property replacement,  towing and assistance, boat trailer damage, wreckage removal, and fuel spill coverage.

The agents of Tuscaloosa, AL, TCU Agency, will discuss your needs for boat insurance based on your lifestyle. Please call!

Tips On How To Make Sure Your Teen Is A Safe Driver

The agents at TCU Agency serve residents who live in or near the Tuscaloosa, AL area. They understand the frustration many parents feel when their teen first starts to drive. To prevent some of the anxiety they feel, they need to make sure their teen understands the basics of safe driving.

Sign Them Up For A Defensive Driving Course

Signing your teen up for a defensive driving course will not only teach them the rules of the road, it will give them real experience as well. Many defensive driving courses offer students one on one driving time which allows the instructor to offer the new driver pointers on how to remain safe in all situations.

Let Them Drive More When You Leave The House

The best way for your teen to learn how to drive safely is to let them drive more often. Allow them to drive in different types of weather and when you go on vacation. Different types of situations give them a wide variety of experience to draw from when they start to drive on their own. Encourage them to drive as often as possible so they get the practice they need while you can be with them to answer questions.

At TCU Agency, the goal is to put the minds of Tuscaloosa, AL parents at ease when it comes to their teens starting to drive. A safe driver is one who has actual time on the road in different situations and scenarios. If you have questions about defensive driving classes or tips on how to keep your teen safe behind the wheel, schedule an appointment with your agent today.

Do You Need Umbrella Insurance?

Most people shopping around for insurance are aware of the most common types. Some of these include home, auto, health, and even renters insurance. However, one type of insurance that a lot of people do not know much about is umbrella insurance. Even though a lot of people in Tuscaloosa, AL do not know much about it, umbrella insurance can be very beneficial in a lot of situations and is a type of coverage that you should consider. These are some of the ways that it can be helpful from TCU Agency.

  • If can cover your home and auto. If you have a home or a vehicle that cannot be covered completely with a standard policy, an umbrella insurance can help to cover that gap. Home and auto insurance policies can only cover so much but you do have options with an additional umbrella policy. 
  • It can provide liability insurance. If you are someone who likes to throw a lot of parties or even has a pool in your backyard, you may need more liability insurance than a standard policy can provide. With more risk comes the need of more coverage so you do not have to pay out of pocket for any lawsuits against you. 
  • If you are well known in the community, you may want to extra coverage for things like lawsuits, libel, and even slander. People that are well known are more likely to get sued and this is a perfect coverage for that.

If you are interested in learning more about umbrella insurance and seeing if it is the right choice for you, be sure to reach out to us here at TCU Agency, serving Tuscaloosa, AL. We can provide you with more information as well as find you the perfect policy that meets all of your needs while staying in budget. 

Is umbrella insurance only for businesses?

Business owners in Tuscaloosa, AL know that it’s smart to protect their investment with an umbrella policy. Businesses can face significant losses in the event of a catastrophic event or injury, and just one big lawsuit could force a company to close for good. 

Besides expanding the amount of coverage, umbrella policies may also expand the kinds of coverage available. Regular commercial policies are limited in scope, covering specific kinds of losses. An insurance agent can help to cover other important areas.

A commercial umbrella policy purchased through TCU Agency covers losses past the regular insurance limits, giving an added protection beyond traditional insurance policies. If someone is injured on business property or because of a product the business produces, the umbrella policy will kick in once your regular commercial policy limits are at their maximum. 

But umbrella policies aren’t just for businesses. Sometimes individuals in Tuscaloosa, AL have assets that need to be protected, or they are in a vulnerable position where, for whatever reason, they may be vulnerable to lawsuits. 

In those cases, they can also add an umbrella policy to existing insurance coverage. Depending on the area covered, they may add it to their home insurance to cover potential lawsuits regarding, for instance, an attractive nuisance like a lake or swimming pool on the property. The policyholder may have a special vehicle which is very valuable. 

Whatever the case, the agents at TCU Agency are happy to talk to you about your options. You don’t have to remain vulnerable because of traditional policy limits if you are able to obtain an umbrella policy. Please call today for a free consultation and quote. 

How to Determine Insurance Coverage for Your Condo

Most condos come with a Master Insurance policy that protects the exterior of the building and common areas. To protect the interior of your unit and personal effects and cover liability risks, you’ll need to buy individual condo insurance. With the help of a TCU Agency agent, you can determine what kind of condo insurance coverage you need. An individual condo insurance policy will provide you with such basic protection as:

Interior Coverage

Individual condo insurance (aka HO6 insurance) will protect your unit’s walls, ceilings, light fixtures and floors against damage from fire, inclement weather, vandalism, and smoke. You never know when a catastrophe will strike, causing major damage to the interior of your Tuscaloosa AL condo. With condo insurance, you don’t have to worry about paying for repairs on your own.

Coverage for Personal Property

Personal property/condo contents coverage protects your personal effects to include furniture, clothing, jewelry, appliances, electronics, artwork and more. By making an inventory of your belongings, you can be prepared for making a claim when the time comes.

When insuring your personal goods, consider getting replacement cost coverage as opposed to cash value. With replacement cost coverage, your insurer will pay the cost of replacing your goods if they are stolen or lost. Pricey items such as costly jewelry, antiques or artwork may need an endorsement to cover their replacement cost.

Liability Coverage

Liability insurance protects you if a visitor has an accident on your property. If a friend cuts his hand while helping you cook or slips and falls in the hall, your liability coverage will pay for his medical care. Liability coverage also pays for damages you may cause to your neighbor’s condo, whether by accident or through neglect.

To learn more about condo insurance coverage and costs, contact us at TCU Agency, Tuscaloosa, AL.