How Home Renovations Affect Home Insurance

Summer is a great time to renovate your Georgia home, making it a more comfortable, functional abode for your family. Before tackling home improvements, however, talk to your insurance agent from The Sanford Group in Ball Ground, GA about how renovations will affect your home insurance coverage. Here are a few ways major renovations could affect your policy.   

Raise Property Value  

Major renovations such as a kitchen remodel or adding a back patio for BBQs can raise the value of your property. If the new value of your home exceeds the limits of the dwelling coverage on your current policy, you’ll need to extend these limits to protect your investment. This requires an update to your policy. Ideally, your dwelling insurance should cover the cost of rebuilding your home if it suffers a total loss in a covered peril. Anything less could result in your paying the difference out-of-pocket.

Raise Home Insurance Costs

Home renovations need to be added to your insurance policy to be protected along with the rest of your home. Some renovations can increase your home insurance costs. Renovations that add more livable space to your property, i.e. new patio, new bathroom, home office, need insurance protection against damage, theft or liability risks, increasing insurance costs. If you invest in new goods for your renovations such as new appliances, electronics, etc., these also need protection, increasing the cost of your personal property coverage.

Reduce Home Insurance Costs

On the flip side, some renovations such as upgrading your electrical, HVAC or plumbing systems, could reduce your home insurance costs as they reduce your risks of damage due to accidental fire or water leakage. Safety features such as a new security system could also reduce your home insurance rates.

To learn more about home insurance options, coverage and costs, contact The Sanford Group in Ball Ground, GA.  

5 Tips For Talking To Your Kids About Your End Of Life Plans

Conversations about estate planning can be tough- especially when you’re talking to your kids. While it may be uncomfortable, it’s important to talk to your loved ones about your will, your end of life plans, and any special wishes you have for after you pass away. At The Sanford Group serving Ball Ground, GA, we help our customers create plans that allow them to discuss these issues with certainty and confidence. Here are some tips to talk with your kids about your end of life plans. 

– Know your kids and decide whether it’s a good conversation to have as a group or one on one. If your family is particularly close, it might be a good idea to have the conversation in a group setting. 

– Expect emotion on both sides. It’s normal for this to be tough. Having a hard time discussing the end of life plans means that you value your kids and the value you. Don’t try to stifle the emotion that goes alongside a hard conversation. 

– Listen. Your kids might have some ideas that you may not have considered, and it’s a good idea to be receptive to at least hear them out. 

No matter what your end of life plans, it’s important that you have a solid life insurance plan so that your loved ones aren’t burdened with the end of life costs. At The Sanford Group, serving Ball Ground, GA, we can set you up with an affordable policy that will ease your mind about your family’s role in your end of life plans. Stop in to see us today to chat about a policy that makes sense for your needs and budget.

Commercial Insurance All Businesses Need

If you just started a business or got hired to manage one, you probably know that you must have commercial insurance. Commercial insurance is not a single insurance policy. Instead, it is a category of policies.

Depending on the type of business, there are different insurance needs for particular circumstances; however, there are certain commercial insurance policies that nearly every business needs. Work with your agent at The Sanford Group, serving Ball Ground, GA, and the surrounding area, to determine the best solutions for your business that provide adequate coverage.

Here are the basic insurance policies needed by most businesses:

Workers’ Compensation

Under Georgia state law, any business with three or more employees (even if they are part-time) must have workers’ compensation insurance. If you are self-employed, workers’ compensation insurance is not required.

Even if not required by law, it is beneficial for all businesses to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If a worker is injured or killed on the job, the liability exposure for the business is limited. The worker gets standard benefits under the state’s workers’ compensation program. Without this coverage, the business has liability exposure that is unlimited.

Commercial Liability Insurance

Every business needs some general liability protection and some need professional liability insurance, such as healthcare workers, attorneys, accountants, contractors, and other licensed professionals.

Property Insurance

This provides protection for risks to any real or personal property owned or leased by the business. It offers protection for equipment, inventory, office furniture, and other property.

Commercial Vehicle Insurance

If the business owns any vehicles or uses any (even if only occasionally) for business purposes, there is a need for commercial vehicle insurance.

Business Interruption

This provides protection if any catastrophic event occurs that causes the business to stop operating. This is critical protection to keep an owner from losing his or her business by a sudden drop in cash flow due to circumstances beyond the owner’s control.

Specialty Coverage

Nearly every business needs cybersecurity coverage now because the risk of damage from a cyber attack is so great and so costly. Additionally, a business benefits from having an umbrella insurance policy to extend the policy limits of other coverage and to offer protection for things that are not covered in other policies, which may include discrimination, defamation, or sexual harassment lawsuits.

Conclusion

Every business needs to have basic commercial insurance coverage. Contact your agent at The Sanford Group in Ball Ground, GA to discuss your needs by calling 678-454-0661.

Some common home owner endorcements you may want to add to your policy

Home insurance is not one size fits all. Every home and homeowner is different and has different needs when it comes to their coverage. If you live in the Ball Ground, GA area you can feel confident talking to the agents at The Sanford Group. They are independent agents which means they can offer you a variety of options from different companies. They can custom fit your policy to your property.

Valuables

Typically, the personal property coverage on a home insurance policy has limits not only on the total amount but also on individual categories. If the jewelry limit is $1500 and your engagement ring is valued at $3000, you would only get the listed limit. You should add a jewelry rider if this is the case or perhaps a scheduled personal property coverage which would cover additional higher value items beyond just jewelry such as art, antiques, oriental rugs and collectibles.

Electronics

With all the electronics that most people have these days, it is important to make sure that you are adequately covered. Check the amount that your policy covers and if you need more, you can add a rider. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Flood

While most homeowners who need flood insurance purchase it through National Flood Insurance Protection, a few private insurance companies do offer flood coverage as a rider. One benefit of the private coverage is that it gives you loss of use coverage so that you can afford to stay somewhere else while your home is being repaired.

Sewer back up

What could be worse than having your sewer back up into your home? Nothing. It can be a broken or blocked pipe or a failure of your septic system but no matter what the reason, you need to check your policy for this coverage and if it is missing, add an endorsement.

Getting the right coverage from your home insurance is vital. Give the office of The Sanford Group of Ball Ground, GA a call and come in to talk to one of their agents. Your peace of mind depends on it.

What to do if you witness a car accident in Ball Ground, GA

You’re driving along, and suddenly you see other vehicles get into an accident. Rather than turning a blind eye and continuing about your day, The Sanford Group has provided you with a quick guide on what you should do.

Get Yourself Safe

You don’t want to cause another accident or in any way injure yourself, so find a safe place to pull over before you do anything else. You can also set up emergency flares and put your hazard lights on to alert other drivers of the accident. 

Call 911

As soon as you are safely able to, call 911. This is helpful for you as well as the passengers in the accident, as the 911 dispatcher can help walk you through the next steps.

Check on the Passengers

Check on the passengers to see if you can be of any assistance, but be careful not to move any passengers, especially if you suspect they may have a back injury, or if they have any objects lodged into their body as a result of the accident.

Talk to the Police

Even if there is nothing you can do to help the passengers, or if there are no injuries at all, stay at the scene of the accident so you can talk to the police when they arrive. They will likely want to talk to you about what you witnessed and get your information so they can contact you in the future if needed.

After a car accident, the number one thing to remember is to keep yourself safe and to help others to the best of your ability. Whether the accident is in Ball Ground, GA or anywhere else, the same tips apply. If you have more questions about auto accidents or insurance, don’t hesitate to contact The Sanford Group.

What You Need To Know When Calculating How Much Life Insurance Is Necessary

Life insurance is a great way to offer financial security for loved ones in the event of a covered death. Anyone who is interested in purchasing life insurance coverage must first figure out how much coverage they want to secure in addition to who the beneficiary is going to be before shopping for a policy. 

Calculating Life Insurance Needs

On average, a good number to use when calculating how many years you should provide financial support for surviving loved ones should be ten years. Of course, this number may fluctuate depending on each situation, but for people who need to have a figure in mind before shopping, ten years is a good point to estimate from. Include all of the surviving loved ones living expenses, including mortgage and even college if there are children benefiting from the policy. To get a more detailed figure, working with an experienced agent to get a clearer picture of needs is an excellent idea.

Getting The Right Amount Of Life Insurance Coverage

There is no wrong amount of life insurance protection, but it is wise to choose an amount that is rounded to the next highest amount of coverage that will provide security for ten or more years for the beneficiary. People who are considering a life insurance policy and live in or around the Ball Ground, GA area should contact The Sanford Group and let their experienced agents help arrive at a figure that will secure the future for loved ones. 

Anyone who has questions about life insurance coverage and who live in the Ball Ground, GA area can call or stop by The Sanford Group and speak with an agent to get additional details. Get the coverage necessary to have peace of mind. 

 

Does Commercial Insurnace Cover Shoplifting Losses?

If you own a business, a commercial policy is going to make a huge difference in the overall success and security of your business. Owning a business is a great thing but you can come up against things like vandalism, burglary, and shoplifting. If you have a commercial business that falls prey to shoplifting, you should consider a commercial policy very helpful. If you live in the Ball Ground, GA area, the agents with the Sanford Group can help you find a commercial policy that is going to work for you.

Commercial insurance covers a wide range of occurrences, including shoplifting losses. When you take out a commercial insurance policy you are going to be required to give both a statement as to the value of your building and the property that it is on and the contents as well. This means that you are going to be able to show inventory for what you have and are going to be able to claim if a large number of items are stolen. This means that if your business has an inventory value of $5000 and $1000 worth of merchandise is shoplifted, if you have proof that it was shoplifted you may be able to place an insurance claim to help recover the cost of these items.

If you have a business that has an inventory you need to take the time to look at your policy and see what it covers. If you live in the Ball Ground, GA area, the agents with The Sanford Group can help you to find the right policy that is going to work for you and that is going to cover every aspect of your business. If you have a business that has merchandise, protecting that merchandise is a top priority.  

Home Insurance Keeps You Covered in Georgia

Your home and possessions are a major investment. Protect your property with the right home insurance coverage to meet your needs. Beyond protecting your home and family from unexpected emergencies, comprehensive homeowner’s insurance is often required by banks and mortgage lenders for at least the value on the mortgage. Beyond that, the right policy gives you something that is priceless: peace of mind.

A homeowner’s policy will help protect you and your loved ones from peril such as fire and theft. It includes your house and may include outbuildings such as garages and fences. It can also cover personal property, like clothing, furniture, and electronics, while at home and traveling. It may cover living expenses if you need temporary housing while your house is being repaired. Your policy may include physical injury and medical expenses for visitors if they are hurt while on your property. You can also get additional coverage for items such as artwork and electronics. And you may wish to explore buying supplemental insurance for extreme weather, including earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes. 

Each client will have an assessment that establishes the correct amount of homeowner’s insurance, taking into account the value of your house, possessions, and the possible risks to protect against. Many experts advise creating a policy that provides sufficient coverage to cover the cost of rebuilding in the event of catastrophic damage. The Sanford Group has highly experienced agents work to protect Ball Ground, GA homeowners by offering a personalized insurance policy based on your needs and lifestyle. We can work with you to provide with the policy that is ideal for your home, and our experienced agents are experts at helping you to receive the best available insurance rates. To find out more about The Sanford Group, serving Ball Ground, GA and the surrounding area, please call or visit us today.

 

Is My Spouse Covered Under My Auto Insurance?

It is pretty common to see a couple share their cars interchangeably. Though, one partner may claim that a specific car is “his or her car,” if the other partner needed to drive it, he or she would without a second thought. But what if something disastrous were to happen? What if there was a bad car accident? Would the person driving be covered under the auto insurance policy?

Is My Spouse Covered Under My Auto Insurance?

First thing is first, call The Sanford Group in Ball Ground, GA to see if your spouse is already listed under your insurance policy. If the answer is yes, then you have nothing to worry about. By listing your partner as a covered driver on your insurance plan, he or she is covered in the event of an accident. If your spouse is not listed, however, and gets caught behind the wheel of your car, trouble may not be far behind. For example, if a husband fails to let his insurance company know that he is married, doesn’t list his wife on the policy, and she gets into an accident, she may be denied coverage citing misrepresentation. Misrepresentation is a type of insurance fraud that says that the policyholder did not give the insurance company all of the information necessary to assess proper risk.

If a wife happened to be driving her husband’s car before he had the chance to add her to the policy and she got into an accident, there are some cases where the accident would be covered. In this scenario, you would likely need to pay for the premiums that you should have been paying as a driver listed on the policy.

Contact The Sanford Group in Ball Ground GA

For more information on adding your spouse to your auto insurance plan, please reach out to The Sanford Group in Ball Ground, GA. They will be able to help you with your request and answer any additional questions you may have.

What are the Primary Benefits of a Whole Life Policy?

Agents at the Sanford Group work to provide residents living in Ball Ground, GA the best options when it comes to different types of life insurance policies. Whole life policies can be more expensive than term life policies but the benefits they offer are more tangible and provide more substantial relief.

Substantial Payouts

Whole life policies are written to cover the entire life of the insured. Whether you live six months or 60 years after the policy is put into effect, you will receive the maximum payout. You may also be eligible for a double indemnity payment if you choose to include it and die in an untimely accident.

Supports Your Family

The payouts from a whole life policy are meant to be substantial enough to support your family without your earnings for at least two to five years. If you pass while your children are still young, you want to ensure they are able to maintain their current lifestyle for as long as possible.

Final Expenses

Another reason for any type of life insurance policy is to pay for your final expenses. Whether you have a basic, no-frills funeral or one that is completely extravagant, the benefits from your life insurance will be used to pay off your final expenses.

In Ball Ground, GA, the agents at The Sanford Group are available to answer your questions and make sure you have the information you need to make a sound choice when choosing your life insurance policy. Call to schedule your consultation today. You will meet with an agent who has the answers to all of your questions and can address your concerns.