Moving to a new home? Searching for better policies on home, life, or automobile insurance? Concerned about risks facing your family, loss of property, or damage to your belongings? Or maybe you just need to find Or just want rate comparison information on your existing coverage? Whatever you need, we’re here to help.
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Top 5 things most people don’t know about Oakland, Maryland
Get to Know the Oakland Neighborhood
If you’re a new resident in Oakland, Maryland, take the time to set up your new insurance policies. Insurance laws, policy options, and minimum coverage requirements might be different in Oakland than what you’re used to, and you don’t want your coverage to lapse. Our agents are standing by to help you find the best way to keep yourself and your family protected during your transition to a new home.
Below, you’ll find a collection of important information about Oakland as well as a tips on how to make sure you get the greatest value from your new insurance policies.
For many families, life insurance is one of the most important financial considerations they will make. It provides your family with protection in case something should happen to you. Life insurance can also be used for financial goals like saving for college or purchasing a home.
First, consider what life insurance does. Life insurance pays a death benefit to your designated beneficiaries when you die. This can be used to help ease the financial burden of losing a loved one and ensure that a family’s standard of living doesn’t suffer because of it. Life insurance can also be used to pay for expenses that would result from the death of the insured person, such as funeral costs or debts left behind.
Life insurance can be taken out by an individual who wants financial protection against untimely deaths and can be useful in providing for dependents. The term “life insurance” generally describes types of coverage that pay a benefit only upon the death of the insured person, although some do offer payment on diagnosis of certain diseases.
Some people believe life insurance should be purchased at birth; others want to wait until they are out of debt; still others will not consider it until their children are grown up or about to leave home. Many people feel that if they do not have dependents, they do not need life insurance.
If current debts don’t exceed the value of your assets, your family will have enough money from your savings and investments to pay them off. But what about future needs for college tuition, weddings, a first home? Life insurance can provide protection for those expenses.
Anyone who has others depending on him or her financially or emotionally should consider buying life insurance. Many single people with no children buy life insurance because they want to make sure their parents are provided for if something were to happen to them. Other good candidates for life insurance include:
Before one decides to take out a policy it is important to know the basic differences between the different types of policies available. There are four main categories: term life insurance which is pure protection with none of the frills, whole life insurance which combines protection and savings, limited pay life which provides protection but pays benefits for a limited number of years and level premium payment options where the premiums remain level over the selected time period.
Some people will prefer term life insurance because this covers only the risk of dying during the period of protection and does not build up a cash value which can be used later. Others will opt for whole life policies because they combine protection with an investment element. Everyone should consider how much coverage is needed, when to start applying, what type of policy best suits their needs and whether it would be helpful to buy multiple policies.
Our agents can help provide you with important insights into your life insurance policy that you might otherwise miss, so contact us today for a free consultation.
If need a new homeowners insurance policy but you need to keep your insurance premiums as low as possible, you should know that our agency proudly offers the most affordable rates in Oakland and throughout the nearby zip codes of 21550, 21541, 21561, 21538, 26705, and 26764.
The short answer is yes, you do. Homeowners insurance is a package policy that protects against financial loss if your house suffers damage, whether that damage is due to natural disasters, negligence, or criminal intent. If you own a home and want to protect your investment, homeowners insurance can shield you from having to pay costs associated with damage from fires, hurricanes, automobile accidents, theft, and much more.
While a homeowners policy may be more expensive than condo or renter’s insurance coverage, homeowners insurance is an absolute must for anyone who wants to fully protect his or her home.
A traditional homeowners policy will cover you against most types of damage to your home and its contents. Generally, homeowners insurance covers the following perils:
Homeowners should be aware that a standard, out-of-the-box policy will not likely cover floods or earthquakes, but there are many different ways to attach this coverage to a new or existing policy.
Think of your homeowners insurance contract as a legal agreement with the insurer, which means both sides should fully understand what exactly is spelled out in the agreement that’s being signed. Homeowners insurance is not one-size-fits all, and policies vary widely from company to company. It’s important that you do some comparison shopping before settling on a policy and that you find an agent you trust to help you parse the details of your policy.
It’s also important to remember that you’re not limited to choosing just one insurance company when it comes time to purchase a homeowners policy. You can talk with several different companies in order to get the best rate possible for your coverage, or to compare rates and see who can give you the best deal.
But remember: Once you’ve chosen an insurer, you usually have to stick with it for the life of your policy. It’s crucial that you understand the terms of your insurance contract and ask questions if anything is unclear.
Our agents take your needs seriously, and we want to make sure you understand all the details of your homeowners insurance before you sign on the dotted line. Talk to us now to find out how to get the best rates on homeowners insurance.
For more information about Maryland insurance visit: https://insurance.maryland.gov/Pages/default.aspx.
If you own a business, there are many potential hazards that can leave your business with serious legal and financial problems. These issues most often stem from the safety of your company’s employees, its customers, property, equipment or other assets.
As a business owner, it’s important to understand the various insurances you may need and why.
Business insurance protects your employees, property and finances if something unexpected happens on or off your premises. It is usually not optional – most states require at least some types of business coverage for all businesses operating within their borders.
At minimum, you will likely be required to have workers’ compensation insurance. At a maximum, you may need multiple policies from several different carriers to adequately protect your entire enterprise and all of your assets.
While there is no single standard business package, it is possible that you’ll need some combination of the following types of coverage:
In addition to understanding the different types of coverage, it’s important for business owners to be aware that some insurers may require a waiting period before you can start a claim. This is a standard industry term that means that your policy won’t pay any claims during the first year, even if the damage was covered by your plan.
Don’t assume that one insurance will cover all of your potential losses – be sure to ask about the exclusions, conditions and limitations that apply before you buy. Some business owners are under the misconception that they can just file a claim through their home insurance if their business is unprotected, but this doesn’t work in most cases. As always, read any contracts or policy documentation carefully before you sign on the dotted line.
Establishing a comprehensive set of policies to protect your business from the unknown is a complex and sometimes frustrating task. That’s where Fargo Insurance Group comes in. Our agents excel at assisting business owners in determining the ideal amount of coverage while keeping premiums as low as possible.
To start the process of fully protecting your business, contact us today for a free consultation. You’ll be glad you did.
Renters insurance covers a tenant’s personal property in the event of damage or theft. It also provides liability coverage for injury that a tenant, a guest, or a family member might cause to another person on the premises.
Renters insurance is often referred to as an HO-4 policy because it covers “personal possessions” and “additional living expenses.” But there’s much more to it.
Renters insurance is an important part of any renter’s budget. It can be a worthwhile investment even if you don’t own a lot of valuable possessions and even if your landlord has coverage on the building.
Renters insurance consists of two parts: coverage for your personal property and liability protection.
Personal property coverage is designed to reimburse you if your personal possessions are stolen or damaged beyond repair, such as in a fire. It will also cover additional living expenses (ALE) should an insured peril make your apartment uninhabitable.
Liability coverage applies to injuries that you, a family member, or a guest might cause to someone else – for example, if a visitor slips and falls on your icy driveway. It also protects you if you unintentionally damage the property of others while you’re at home.
Your landlord’s policy will protect the building itself (and any related property, such as hallways or laundry rooms) from damage due to fire or another insured peril. Your renters insurance policy will not cover damage to the building itself or its grounds, nor will it provide any coverage for injuries that other tenants may sustain – including your own family members.
Renters insurance protects your apartment whether you live alone or with roommates. It’s also portable, which means that you can take it with you when you move to another apartment. In fact, many roommates choose joint policies together and then share the costs of the premiums, ensuring that everyone in the unit is protected.
To find out more about how renters insurance can benefit you and protect your belongings, we invite you to speak with one of our agents at no charge.
A condominium is a type of property ownership in which the unit owner holds legal title to an individual unit within a multi-unit complex, known as the “common elements.” Condo insurance provides coverage for losses to your individual unit or other units you’re responsible for.
Condominiums are often attached side by side with party walls between units but are sometimes stacked. The individual units are often referred to as “condos.”
People who own a condominium often rely on the association that oversees the common area to take care of major problems, such as roof repair. But if something goes wrong within your unit—a pipe springs a leak or thieves break in—you’ll be on the hook for repairs. Protect your investment by purchasing condo insurance, which covers damage to your unit and its contents.
Condominium owners are not automatically required to have condo insurance. However, there are benefits to consider before declining this valuable coverage:
• Your personal assets may be at risk if your unit is damaged and the condominium corporation can’t pay for it.
• The condominium corporation’s insurance doesn’t cover some big claims such as floods or earthquakes.
• The condominium corporation’s insurance may not cover water damage from burst pipes or fires from faulty electrical wiring.
• If your unit is rented, the landlord’s policy won’t protect you if a tenant gets hurt at your property. In addition to protecting you, condo insurance can also help tenants with their living expenses if they have to move out when your unit is being repaired.
• You may be held responsible if another owner or tenant in the building doesn’t pay their share of insurance costs and you have to make up the difference, even though you had no control over their actions.
A renters insurance policy won’t help you if your condominium is damaged by a major earthquake or hurricane. It also won’t protect you against financial loss if the board of directors becomes insolvent, which means the association doesn’t have enough money to pay for damages.
If your building can’t afford to fix the damage done by a major disaster, such as a fire or hurricane, you will likely have to pay out of your own pocket.
Condo insurance provides coverage for damage to your unit and its contents due to theft, fire, vandalism and other events that are typically excluded from regular homeowners insurance.
In addition, condo insurance policies often include liability coverage so you’re protected if someone is injured in your unit due to a defective product or a slip and fall incident.
To be eligible for condo insurance, an association must have enough money in the bank to pay the deductible amount for each loss that occurs within its four walls. It must also have enough money on hand to pay the full deductible amount for each loss that occurs within the common elements.
Condo insurance can be complicated, so before you make a final decision on which type of policy to get, or to forego coverage altogether, we invite you to take a few minutes and find out how condo coverage can help you by speaking with one of our experienced agents.
If you live in a flood-prone area, this question is vitally important. The U.S. government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides protection against losses from flooding. But if your home is damaged, the NFIP typically offers low replacement cost (only up to $250,000) for your structure. That typically amounts to 40% or less of what you paid for your house. The NFIP also offers separate coverage for contents, which can be very expensive, and doesn’t cover everything.
People who want additional flood protection beyond what the federal program will provide must get commercial insurance policies.
Unlike the NFIP, a commercially purchased policy covers the full replacement value of a home and its contents, as well as its foundation, electrical systems and major appliances.
A standard flood insurance policy also covers living expenses if you have to live elsewhere while your house is being repaired or rebuilt. Living expenses coverage is limited to a specific time period after the loss, usually 18 months or less, but some policies can be extended with a rider.
A good flood insurance policy may also include damage caused by sewer backup, usually considered an “optional endorsement.” Sewer backup coverage is very important because it can often be excluded under the typical homeowners policy .
Commercial flood policies typically don’t cover damage to the yard or landscaping. They also do not pay for any additional living expenses, such as hotels, that may occur after a flood.
Be aware that you may not be able to get flood insurance if your property has suffered repeated losses caused by flooding. The NFIP’s repeat loss clause is designed to discourage people from rebuilding in the same risky location over and over again.
It’s also important to review your policy every year to ensure that the coverage is adequate. You should also be aware that some areas are considered to be too high-risk for private insurers to offer flood insurance.
“There are 131 properties in Oakland that have greater than a 26% chance of being severely affected by flooding over the next 30 years. This represents 12% of all properties in the city. In addition to damage on properties, flooding can also cut off access to utilities, emergency services, transportation, and may impact the overall economic well-being of an area. Overall, Oakland has a major risk of flooding over the next 30 years, which means flooding is likely to impact day to day life within the community.” FloodFactor.com
For more information about the flooding zones in Oakland visit: https://mdfloodmaps.net/.
Acquiring a reliable flood insurance policy with adequate protection can be daunting, and seeking knowledgeable help is a good idea. Our agents are standing by to answer any questions you may have and to help you get the best rates available on your flood insurance.
There are a number of reasons why most drivers choose to have car insurance. Statistically, your most likely exposure to risk is through your vehicle, whether you’re a driver or a passenger. In the United States in 2012 alone, there were over 5 million accidents nationwide, with 2.3 deaths per every 100 accidents — and the cost of damage was estimated at over $700 billion, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Personal liability protection is a must as well. If you’re held liable for damage or injury caused by an accident and don’t have sufficient insurance coverage, you could be bankrupted by your legal expenses alone — court costs are just the beginning. With personal liability protection, your insurer will pay legal expenses on your behalf.
There are three main types of auto insurance that you can choose. The most common is liability coverage, which covers damages to other people or their property in an accident caused by you. Personal injury protection, often called “medpay” for short, also comes as part of some liability coverage packages. Personal injury covers medical expenses incurred by you or your passengers, no matter who was at fault in the accident. The third type, collision coverage, is only available on newer models and covers damage to your car caused by an accident.
No one can predict the future, and accidents do happen — even to the safest drivers. Collision coverage protects you against theft or vandalism as well as an accident. Comprehensive covers damage caused by non-collision events such as weather, fire, and theft.
Yes, all banks and lending institutions require the insured (you) to maintain full coverage on a financed car or lose their lien. This means that you can get your car repaired before paying off the loan and still be covered by the lender.
The short answer is yes. Older cars may not be as expensive, but the law requires all drivers to maintain liability coverage for any vehicle they drive with four or more wheels. The minimums are set by state law; however, most insurance companies recommend higher limits of protection (and will often offer a discount for drivers who carry them). So if you have an older car with low value, it’s a handy way to get higher limits of liability at a lower price.
Yes, all states and the District of Columbia require car insurance before you can register your vehicle. Some states have financial responsibility laws, which require drivers to prove they have the financial resources to pay for damages up to a certain amount in case of an accident.
Maryland drivers must have liability insurance that meets the minimum limits (you can purchase more coverage if you choose) required by law to drive on our state’s public roads and highways. The minimum limits of liability insurance required under Maryland law are:
If you’re stopped by the police and don’t have insurance on your vehicle, or can’t show proof that you do, don’t be surprised if you’re arrested or ticketed. If you’re caught driving without insurance after an accident, your driver’s license could be confiscated and/or you could face jail time.
Find the right auto insurance policy doesn’t have to be a hassle. Contact our team today to find out how easy and affordable it is to keep yourself protected on the road.
Boat insurance is a way to protect your investment against financial loss. While boat insurance cannot prevent damage due to theft, fire, vandalism or collisions with other vessels, it can help defray the cost of repairs and replacement up to the limits of your coverage. It also provides liability protection in case you cause injury or property damage while using your vessel.
Owners of boats with large engines (over 10 horsepower) are required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. Some states also require liability coverage that can be provided through an optional “boater’s policy.”
There are three main types of policies: comprehensive, collision and liability. A comprehensive policy covers all types of loss except those which are excluded specifically in the policy. A collision policy covers damage to your boat resulting from collision with another vessel or object. A liability policy can provide protection against personal injury and property damage claims made by others as well as the cost of legal defense if you are sued.
Like any investment, it is important to consider your needs and the financial value of the property. Your boat is a capital asset that can be an expensive pleasure or work tool, so just like your home and car, you should insure it against all potential risks.
Here are some facts to consider:
Beware of agents or companies that ignore state-mandated boater coverage requirements. Other things to watch out for include:
When you buy a boat, make sure you receive a copy of your policy and keep it onboard. To avoid having your insurance coverage canceled for non-payment, promptly pay any renewal invoices or bills you receive from your insurer.
On the whole, boat insurance is a good value compared to the costs of replacing a vessel. It can also add protection against loss of use and legal liability in case your boat causes damage to other vessels or injury to people.
Determining the proper amount of coverage and the best policy options for your particular craft can be difficult, so let us help. The Fargo Insurance Group team is here to help you get the best rates and best coverage possible. Contact us today for a free consultation and hit the water with peace of mind.
Motorcycle insurance is often required by law when purchasing, leasing or operating a motorcycle. Even if it’s not mandatory in your area, if you are financing or leasing your motorcycle, the bank or finance company will require that you purchase liability coverage.
There are three major components to most policies: bodily injury liability, property damage liability, and physical damage (comprehensive & collision). Other coverage types are available, but these three make up the lion’s share of standard policies.
Bodily Injury Liability provides protection for others involved in an accident you might cause, including medical expenses, legal expenses or court costs that may arise from injuries they sustain. You are required to have bodily injury liability coverage as part of your financial responsibility for operating a motorcycle.
Property Damage Liability provides protection for other property involved in an accident you might cause, such as damage to another vehicle or a fence, telephone pole or building. You are required to have property damage liability coverage as part of your financial responsibility for operating a motorcycle.
Physical damage coverage pays for repair or replacement of the motorcycle if it is damaged in an accident, vandalized, stolen or otherwise harmed. This can be broken down into categories of comprehensive and collision coverage. Though not required by law, physical damage insurance is highly recommended, as it protects you from paying for repairs yourself.
Comprehensive coverage covers your motorcycle against losses from causes other than collision, such as fire or theft. Collision coverage pays for damages resulting from your motorcycle colliding with an object, such as a tree, utility pole or another vehicle. This is often required by banks when you’re leasing the motorcycle.
Here are a few things you should know about your motorcycle coverage:
If you ride a motorcycle, you can find out more about safety and best practices here: https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/motorcycles.
Fargo Insurance Group proudly provides riders in Oakland with the best rates and coverage around, as well as free consultations on all your insurance needs. Contact us today to learn more.
Umbrella insurance, also known as excess liability insurance, provides extra protection over and above existing policies such as auto or homeowners in the event of a serious accident. Umbrella coverage significantly expands your financial safety net when it comes to legal defense fees and damages awarded in a lawsuit, and it’s surprisingly inexpensive.
In this way, umbrella insurance is like an extra layer of liability insurance that goes over your existing coverage, such as auto or homeowners insurance.
In other words, if you have a $500k home and a $1M umbrella policy on top of your regular coverage, that means you’re covered up to $1.5M for any liability that you might incur.
Umbrella coverage protects you from lawsuits up to the limits of your policy, including defense costs and awards for damages. All policies are different depending on the insurer, but you can generally expect at least the following types of legal protection:
You’ll receive protection for both compensatory damages (i.e., those awarded to you by a court as compensation for your loss) as well as punitive damages (payout above the amount of your actual loss meant to punish the wrongdoer). If your home or car is damaged in an accident that’s your fault, you’ll be covered up to the limits of your umbrella policy for any repairs.
Previously, umbrella policies only covered accidents that happened when you were in your car or on your property. However, they now typically offer protection when you’re anywhere in the world—at home, at work, when traveling for business , etc.—so long as the accident was caused by your negligence.
The rise of lawsuits and claims filed against the average person has made umbrella coverage a must-have for most Americans. Umbrella insurance is available in a wide variety of options and is rapidly becoming one of the most commonly purchased types of insurance in America.
If all you have is a minimal medical insurance policy, there’s a good chance that you can double or even triple your overall liability limits by implementing an umbrella policy. Umbrella policies are available for individuals as well as families of all sizes.
Before you make a final choice on your umbrella insurance, be sure to speak to one of our agents to find out how to get the lowest rates and largest amount of coverage.