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.

What are the Advantages of Term Life Insurance?

Having a quality life insurance policy is very important for people that are in the Tuscaloosa, AL area. When you were looking at all of your different life insurance options, choosing a term life insurance policy could be very beneficial. There are several advantages of term life insurance policies that you should keep in mind when you are looking for your next life insurance policy.

More Affordable
One of the main advantages of term life insurance is that it is a far more affordable option than whole life insurance. When you get a term life policy, you will not accrue any cash value, but your monthly premiums for the amount of coverage that you receive will be significantly lower. This can result in a great level of coverage for a fraction of the price that you would pay if you had a whole life policy.

Flexible Terms
Another advantage of getting a term life insurance policy is that it will have very flexible term lengths. The term for a term life insurance policy typically will vary anywhere from 5 to 30 years in length. Generally speaking, the longer the term you choose, the more expensive the monthly premiums will be. This will allow you to build your own flexible and personalized policy based on your coverage period needs and will also allow you to save money by not trying to insure a period of your life that you do not need coverage for.

If you are in the Tuscaloosa, AL area and are in need of term life insurance, you should reach out to the TCU Agency.  When you meet with the TCU Agency, the company will be able to better explain your life insurance needs and help you choose a policy an option that is ideal for your situation.

Why Comprehensive Home Insurance is so Important in Tuscaloosa, AL

Home ownership remains one of the easiest ways to acquire and retain wealth. If you have your own home, then you should be congratulated. But do not rest on your proverbial laurels. Instead, begin to work now to ensure that you will not lose what you have worked hard to attain. For example, in Tuscaloosa, AL it is imperative that you consider getting comprehensive home insurance.

Do not make the mistake of some who think that just because the area has less than 100,000, residents it is a small town. In reality, the population doubles on University of Alabama football weekends and sees significant visitors during university commencements and other important events.

The Problem

Because Tuscaloosa receives so many visitors at one time, accidents and thefts can occur out of proportion to the actual resident population. You can expect vandalism, theft and physical injuries.

You never know when some inebriated party person or overzealous football fan will wander onto your property and get hurt. They might then allow some personal injury lawyer to talk them into filling a lawsuit against you. Fighting back will take significant financial resources. You will then wish you had extended home insurance coverage.  

Likewise, with theft. Standard insurance policies often cover only limited items within the home. Talk with a TCU Agency representative today to find out about getting further coverage to protect valuables. Ask about home insurance policies that cover specific items of value because you never know when a thief will be operating in Tuscaloosa. They often take advantage of the large crowds here during events, knowing the police will be busy elsewhere.

Get More Information

Do not wait. Contact a knowledgeable professional at TCU Agency today to find the best policy for your situation. You want to be ready for the next big event in Tuscaloosa, AL that brings in throngs of visitors who might somehow wind up on your property.

 

What Types of Businesses Need Commercial Auto Insurance in Tuscaloosa, AL?

If you own a business that employs drivers, you should consider commercial auto insurance. This includes delivery services, transportation services and any business that requires a lot of driving. Your TCU Agency agent can help you determine if your Tuscaloosa, AL Company would benefit from commercial auto coverage. In the meantime, here is some additional information to get you started.

Who Needs Commercial Auto Insurance?

If you’re a commercial driver or own a business that employs CDL drivers, it’s important to be aware of federal and state laws. For example, food delivery and child care pickups require commercial auto insurance, so personal coverage isn’t enough. At a minimum, your coverage must include bodily injury liability and property damage liability, but there are many other options available.

Additional Coverage Options

Besides the basics, ask your TCU Agency agent if the following policies would help you protect your Tuscaloosa AL business in the event of an accident and resulting law suit.

  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance pays for damages to your vehicle in an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
  • PIP with medical coverages. Personal injury protection (PIP) with medical payments pays the expenses if your passengers are injured in an accident.
  • Emergency roadside insurance. This can be critical if you or your drivers travel cross-country and are at risk for an expensive breakdown in a remote area.
  • Personal effects insurance. This takes care of personal belongings in the event of theft.

Contact Us

Contact TCU Agency today to set up an appointment to get a quote for commercial auto insurance and any other coverage required by your Tuscaloosa, AL business.

 

 

 

What Types of Boats can be Insured with Boat Insurance?

There are many types of boats. From bass boats to yachts, you need to make sure you have yourself properly covered with the right type of insurance for these assets. And even if your boat isn’t worth a lot of money, having minimal coverage on it may be required by law. For now, let’s take a look at the different types of boats that you should consider having insurance on. 

Small Jon Boat

A small Jon boat can often be purchased for only a few hundred dollars. And while you may not want to spend a lot of money each month on insurance for this type of boat, you need to consider the cost of not doing so. Take for example that your boat sinks in the lake and you have to pay to have it removed; this can cost thousands of dollars. With the right insurance coverage, though, you don’t have to worry about digging in your own pocket to pay for boat removal. 

Bass Boat

Bass boats are often fairly expensive. You are going to want to keep yours protected with insurance. If you are keeping your boat at a marina, there is a good chance that the marina owner will mandate that you keep insurance on your boat in case something were to happen to it while it is at the dock, such as another boat hits it that doesn’t have insurance coverage. Marina owners also want you to have coverage in case you run into the dock and mess up either the dock or your boat. 

To learn more about the different types of boats that need insurance coverage, please contact the TCU Agency serving the Tuscaloosa, AL area.