Do I need condo Insurance in Tuscaloosa, AL

When you purchase a condo, whether it is your first home or forever home, it is a major investment. The laws of the state of Alabama do not require that you have condo insurance but if you have a mortgage your lender most likely will. In addition to the insurance that you carry on your unit, the condominium association where you live is required to carry insurance. If you are not sure what you need or want to have for condo insurance in Tuscaloosa, AL, TCU Agency has staff who are trained to answer your questions. 

Master Policy

The master policy is held by your condo association. It covers the exterior of the building and common walls between units. It also has liability coverage for the common areas such as sidewalks, parking lot and pool area. You should ask for and read a copy of the coverage since this is protecting your investment as well as everyone else’s. 

Unit Policy

The unit policy is your personal coverage, It covers the interior walls, your personal property including furniture, appliances, and electronics. Some of the hazards it covers are fire, theft, and vandalism. Additionally, it will provide you with the money to find another place to stay if your condo is damaged and is uninhabitable. Liability is an important part of your coverage. If someone is injured while visiting your condo or if your pet or yourself injures someone away from home you are protected. 

Generally speaking, condo insurance is similar to a basic home insurance policy. How much coverage you need depends on the value of your condo and your personal property. Our helpful staff at TCU Agency in Tuscaloosa, AL are there to answer any questions you may have. Give us a call or stop by our office, you will be glad you did. 

 

Who Must Have Umbrella Insurance?

An independent insurance agent can help you get what you’re looking for when you’re searching for umbrella insurance coverage. In Tuscaloosa, AL, the agents at TCU Agency will give you a chance to look over several insurance rates so you can make an informed decision as to which policy would be best for you.

Umbrella insurance is coverage for things that your average policy does not cover or is limited to cover. It is more like a liability safety net for those who are at risk of being sued.

If you own your own home or you have a substantial amount of assets then you should consider acquiring an umbrella policy. Other people who may need to have an umbrella policy are:

  • People who own things that could increase your liability risk. If you own a pool and someone you invite to a pool party is injured, you may be sued. An umbrella policy may cover you beyond your homeowner’s coverage limits.

  • If you are in a position where you are more likely to be sued, you’ll need umbrella insurance. For example, if you are a landlord, you may be sued for back rent or if your tenant claims their apartment was unlivable during their stay.

  • A product reviewer may need to have umbrella insurance if they regularly post reviews that could place the product in a negative light. The owner or seller of the product could sue you for libel or slander if you’re not careful.

You’ll need to contact the independent insurance agents in Tuscaloosa, AL at TCU Agency to start your umbrella policy, so you’ll be covered before there’s an accident or lawsuit. While you’re there you can also see about auto insurance coverage as well as home and life insurance.

 

3 Reasons You Need Renter’s Insurance

If you’re renting a home, condo or apartment and are bringing in your own décor, you need renters insurance to protect your furniture and personal goods. Your landlord may have property insurance coverage to protect his investment, but that won’t cover your belongings or protect you against liability claims. By talking to an agent from TCU Agency in Tuscaloosa, AL, you can get a better idea of the renters’ insurance coverage you need.

Here are three good reasons to get renters insurance:

Protection of Personal Goods

Renters’ property insurance will protect your belongings against theft or damage from disasters like electrical fires, vandalism, water damage caused by leaky plumbing or other covered perils. A renters’ insurance policy will cover your clothes, shoes, furniture, jewelry, digital devices, electronics and more. Even if you don’t own posh goods, it can all add up if you had to replace everything due to a total loss.

Bodily Injury Liability Coverage

With renters insurance, you can get liability coverage to protect you against lawsuits in the event someone gets hurt on your property. If you like to entertain, liability coverage is a must. You never know when a guest will have a slip and fall after one too many drinks at one of your parties. Renters’ liability coverage will pay for your guest’s medical bills so you don’t have to pay out-of-pocket.

Damage Liability Coverage

Renters insurance also comes with damage liability coverage. If you, one of your children or even your pet cause damage to your neighbor’s property, this coverage will pay for repair or replacement costs. From broken flower pots to broken mailboxes to broken windows, you’re protected through your damage liability coverage.

To learn more about renters’ insurance coverage and costs, contact an agent from TCU Agency in Tuscaloosa, AL today.

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.