Why Flood Insurance Is A Must Even If You Don’t Live In A Flood Zone

With flood zones constantly changing due to evolving weather patterns and other factors, it is possible not to live in a flood-prone area one day and be in one the next. While it may be tempting to believe that your homeowner’s insurance will cover flood-related damage, it is often one commonly excluded peril. Consequently, you can be on the hook for thousands of dollars in repair costs – for even minimal damage – if you do not have flood insurance. If you live in a Special Flood Hazard Area, as defined by FEMA, you’ll likely be required to purchase flood insurance if you have a federally backed mortgage. FEMA defines flood zones as places with a significantly higher statistical probability of a flood occurring. 

Flood insurance will cover the replacement cost of your home or the actual cash value of damages to your policy maximum, making it important to choose coverage amounts that accurately reflect the value of your home and personal belongings. Flood insurance can be purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program if you are in a high-risk zone or through private insurers like the Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia. With most policies taking 30 days from the point of purchase to be effective, you’ll want to purchase flood insurance now to avoid costly repair bills in the future.

For further information on flood insurance, give our Kingwood, WV office a call to schedule a complimentary consultation with a knowledgeable insurance professional that can answer your questions and help with selecting the best policy for your needs.

Commercial Insurance Options for Online-based Businesses

The rise of the internet has made operations of online businesses easier than ever. You just set up a website and start selling. In theory, this sounds so easy compared to setting up a physical business that involves payment of rent and other amenities that come with office ownership.

Commercial insurance options for online businesses

While you don’t need a physical location to set up an online business, it doesn’t mean that these businesses are free of risks. Like any other business, online businesses are faced with risks and need commercial insurance. If you don’t know the insurance options for your e-business, Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia has taken time to guide you on the insurance coverages required.

  • General liability: This coverage covers you when accused of property damage, advertising, and bodily injury by third parties. For instance, if you get complaints about the product you sell online, this coverage protects you even when sued.
  • Professional liability: Do you offer professional advice online? Things can turn ugly quickly when accused of negligence that results in losses for another business. For instance, assume that you are a website designer. You are to design a website for a customer whose product will be launched in six months. For whatever reason, the website may delay, and the customer can sue you for lost sales due to the missed deadline.
  • Property insurance: Yes, you may not have a physical office, but you may have IT infrastructure, inventory, storage facilities, and other assets that support your online business. Commercial property compensates you for damages and losses for your business assets.
  • Cyber insurance: This coverage covers you against malicious online activities, including hacking.
  • Worker’s comp insurance: If you have employees, you must invest in this insurance to protect your workers against injuries and illnesses.

Need commercial insurance in Kingwood, WV? Look no further than Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia. We design customized commercial insurance coverages for small businesses to ensure you don’t pay for anything you don’t need.

3 Common Reasons Auto Collisions Occur

Were you aware that the bulk majority of human error-caused auto accidents can be completely avoided? While it is true that all accidents don’t occur as a result of human error, there are numerous precautions that can be taken to reduce your risk of being involved in an accident in Kingwood, WV. Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia shares a few of the most common reasons car accidents occur.

Speeding

Speeding can result in a very dangerous auto collision that causes damage to vehicles and injuries to drivers and passengers. Speeding is the cause for more than one-quarter of traffic fatalities.

While you may think it is cool or fun to drive above the speed limit, those speed limits are posted to keep you and everyone else on the road safe.

Texting

Each year, there are over one million auto accidents that involve a driver texting, talking, or otherwise using their cell phone. It only takes three seconds to become fully distracted by a text or phone call. When you take your eyes off the road for only a moment, anything can happen, such as the driver in front of you slamming on their breaks. It is best to put your phone to the side while driving and check it when you stop. One text or call isn’t worth your life or someone else’s.

Weather

Weather-related factors play a role in many car collisions each year. Slippery road surfaces due to rain, ice, and snow can reduce your visibility and increase your stopping distance.

The best thing you can do to protect yourself while on the road is to invest in proper auto insurance. Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia can help Kingwood, WV drivers ensure they have the proper coverage.

West Virginia Home Insurance – What You Need To Know About Home Insurance

When you think of your home, you think of your family and your place to call your own.  You also think of the time and investment that you’ve made in purchasing your home.  A home purchase is the biggest investment that you typically make in your life, so why would you leave your home unprotected against liability or damages?  Home Insurance is a requirement when you have a mortgage on the property, but once the mortgage is paid off, insuring your home merely becomes an option.  It is a wise option to exercise, and we’ll outline the reasons why below.  Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia in Kingwood, WV offers home insurance and other services to better serve your insurance needs.

Property Damage

Home Insurance protects the home during catastrophic events such as fires, floods, and storm damage.  Flood Insurance may not be included within your home insurance policy and may be offered as an add-on or rider policy, you should consult with your insurance agent to see which of these apply to you.

Theft

Suppose you take the family on a vacation for a couple of weeks and when you come back, you find that your home has been burglarized.  Your home insurance policy will cover everything in the home and either replace the items or pay you for the amount of the item to replace it.  This is good peace of mind to have while you’re out of town with your family.

Personal Liability

Suppose someone slips and falls on your property or gets injured while on your property?  It could be a friend or a neighbor, but personal liability is a serious concern.  Your home insurance policy’s personal liability coverage will protect you in these situations.

To Learn More

These are just a few reasons (of many) that home insurance is a good idea to have for your home.  To learn more about home insurance, please contact Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia in Kingwood, WV today!

Protect your belongings and your peace of mind with renter’s insurance!

Are you a renter in the greater Kingwood, WV area? The team here at Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia is ready to help you with all of your insurance needs. Did you know that a comprehensive renter’s insurance policy can protect your belongings and offer peace of mind? Our team is here to review the options that are available to renters in our community and we would welcome the opportunity to work with you too.

Let’s talk about renter’s insurance

There are few things more important than our homes and our personal possessions. Whether your rental abode is an apartment, condo, or house, it’s important to carry an appropriate insurance policy. A comprehensive insurance policy can help you overcome many catastrophes with a lot less stress and a light financial impact.

Our team can help you review the available policies and help you determine the right type of policy and coverage level for your individual needs. Don’t delay when it comes to renter’s insurance! Your peace of mind is just the start of the many benefits that you will realize from your renter’s insurance policy. 

Like many other types of insurance, renter’s policies are something that we don’t really think about until we need it. Be ready for the different situations that life can throw at you by having the right policy in place before you need it. 

Ready to find out which policy is right for your needs?

Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia is here to help Kingwood, WV residents find the right insurance policies for their needs. Renter’s policies aren’t "one size fits all" and our experienced agents are here to help. Call or stop by today to find out more!

What Is Umbrella Insurance And What Does It Cover?

If you have already auto insurance, home insurance, and life insurance, you may find it hard to believe that there could be yet another type of insurance that you need. 

What Is Umbrella Insurance?

Umbrella insurance is an extra type of insurance that provides coverage beyond the limits of other existing policies. Umbrella insurance can provide coverage for property damage, injuries, personal liability situations, and lawsuits. 

What Does Umbrella Insurance Cover?

When there is an incident on your property or a serious car accident with high medical bills, you may be responsible for damages exceeding the limits of your auto or home insurance policies. That is when umbrella insurance kicks in by providing extra coverage that goes beyond the limits of your existing standard policies. 

Here is what umbrella insurance usually covers:

  • Liability in excess of car and home insurance policies
  • Libel and slander
  • Mental anguish and psychological harm
  • Legal defense costs for covered losses
  • Liabilities when you travel overseas
  • Malicious prosecution
  • Other things that are not covered by auto or home insurance policies
  • False arrest

The main advantage of umbrella insurance is that it applies to more situations than standard home and auto insurance policies. It becomes especially useful when you are facing a serious financial loss because of the claim. 

Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia in Kingwood WV – We Help Make Your Bad Days Less Stressful

If you live in Kingwood, WV or any other nearby town in West Virginia and you consider getting umbrella insurance, Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia will be glad to help you find a policy you need. We specialize in all types of insurance, including umbrella insurance. 

How will flood insurance protect me?

Anyone that is in the Kingwood, WV area will want to make sure that they are properly protecting their homes with insurance. A form of insurance protection that can offer helpful coverage is flood insurance. For those that are located within a designated flood zone, having this coverage could be a requirement set by your mortgage lender. This form of coverage can protect a property owner in several ways. 

Protect Your Dwelling

The most significant asset that most people are ever going to own will be their home. If you are a property owner, ensuring that your home is properly protected should be a top priority. Unfortunately, the risk of a home being damaged by a flood can lead to significant losses. When you get a proper flood insurance plan, you will have the insurance needed to receive proper protection if your home is damaged by a flood. 

Protect Your Contents

While you will always want to know that your dwelling is protected, you also need to ensure that the contents within your home are properly supported as well. If your home is damaged during any type of flood, it could damage your personal belongings including furniture, electronics, clothes, and other personal items. With a proper flood insurance plan, you can obtain the protection that you need to ensure your personal items can be replaced if damaged during a flood.

Those that are in the Kingwood, WV area will always want to ensure that they have the right insurance in place. Those who are looking for this coverage should call the Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia. As you are assessing your insurance needs, the Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia can provide any support that you need to build a proper insurance plan. This can help ensure you properly mitigate your flood risks. 

How commercial insurance can save your small business

Small businesses comprise more than 99.9 of all businesses in the United States according to the Small Business Administration. Owning a small business is part of the American dream and commercial insurance can help keep that dream from becoming a nightmare. Small businesses are much more vulnerable to risks than larger businesses and the rate of business failure is high. At Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia in Kingwood, WV, we are a locally owned independent agency that places the needs of our clients first. 

Commercial property insurance

Commercial property insurance protects your business location. But it is about more than the building, it is also useful for those that rent their business location or work out of their home. It protects your office equipment, your inventory, your raw materials, and your machinery or tools. It can be a lifesaver if your business is stricken with a covered hazard. 

Commercial auto insurance

If your business owns even one vehicle, you need to have commercial auto insurance. Keeping your personal and business accounts separate is important and most personal auto insurance won’t cover your vehicle if you are using it for business. 

Commercial liability insurance

Small businesses are vulnerable to legal suits. Legal action against your business by a client, a vendor, or a former employee can drive you out of business if you don’t have enough commercial liability insurance. This may be the most important coverage of all given the number of suits filed every year and the expense of defending your business. 

Business interruption insurance

When a covered hazard closes your business, this insurance will help you to meet your regular expenses while you have no income. It can make the difference between closing your doors and surviving. 

Contact Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia in Kingwood, WV with your small business commercial insurance needs. 

Conduct an Annual Review of Your Auto Insurance Policy

Once an insurance policy is purchased, some continue making premium payments and never look back at their policy. However, things change in life, and it is essential to conduct an annual review of any auto insurance policy in Kingwood, WV. Those with questions or need to update their auto insurance policy should reach out to Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia for assistance. 

The annual review of an insurance policy is something every car owner should put on their calendar. The review should include updates to any life changes which may affect your auto insurance coverage and rate. 

Children

Having new teen drivers in the home makes a huge difference in the bottom line of an insurance policy. During the review, speak with the insurance agency to add new drivers to the policy and ensure proper coverage. Other items to discuss are your teen driver leaving for college in another state or purchasing their vehicle. 

Work

A change in jobs often means a change in income and commute times, affecting how much your insurance premiums cost. Let your insurance agent know about your new job and anything else, such as a shorter commute and where you are parking your vehicle. If you have recently retired, let your agent know because this can also affect how much you drive. 

Residence

Your insurance policy must be updated when you move to a new location. Where you live affects your policy because where you park your car at night affects premium rates. Additionally, where you moved could impact your commute time, which also affects premium rates. 

Every year take a moment to review your auto insurance policy and speak with your insurance agent about any changes. Those in Kingwood, WV may experience premium increases or decreases based on the changes. Speak with an agent at Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia to conduct an annual review of your auto insurance policy. 

What Other Structures Are Covered Under My Homeowners Insurance Policy?

Being a homeowner in Kingwood, WV means you take all measures necessary to protect your home, family, and belongings. However, always be prepared for a disaster to occur. Incidents such as a fire, theft, or storm can cause significant damage to your home. When insuring your home, it is essential to understand what is covered and what is not. If you have questions about if other structures on your property are covered, call the experts at Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia for assistance. 

Dwelling Coverage

Dwelling insurance offers protection should your home and the structures directly attached to it become damaged. Your policy will cover loss associated with damage caused to these structures and if there is a burglary. Typically, a standard home insurance policy will cover a portion of unattached structures, but additional coverage may be needed to be fully covered. 

Other Structure Coverage

Check your policy to ensure that other structures on your property, such as a fence, unattached garage, or shed, are covered. It may be necessary for you to add additional coverage for these other structures to ensure they are covered. This additional coverage protects you by covering the costs to rebuild or repair those other structures on your property which may have become damaged due to wind, fire, or other included events. 

Personal Possessions

Your insurance policy will have a section where personal possessions are covered. If you have additional structures on your property, verify your possessions in these structures are also covered. 

Understanding if additional structures on a property are covered by insurance in Kingwood, WV is vital to ensure you are fully protected. For assistance covering your home and any other structures, call us at Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia today.