Is Your Vacation Home Properly Protected?

Is Your Vacation Home Properly Protected?

June 23rd, 2016 — Martinson Agency LLC — Chaska, MN

Vacation homes serve as sanctuaries from the daily stresses of life. And more and more people are investing in them. In 2014, vacation home sales soared to new heights, totaling 1.1 million, according to the National Association of Realtors – nearly 60% more than the previous year.

The question is, are Americans properly protecting their fortresses of solitude? With the median vacation home costing approximately $150,000, these investments are significant.

If you own a vacation home, the following are a few things to take into consideration to properly protect it.

Property Crime

If you’re like most vacation homeowners, your home away from home is used when you’re, well, on vacation. If you don’t rent it out, that leaves lots of time where it’s unoccupied – making it susceptible to theft.

According to the most recent data available from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, property crime in 2014 – including burglary – fell from the previous year. That’s good news, but at 118 victimizations for every 1,000 households, it’s still cause for concern.

Check out Consumer Reports for reviews on home alarm and surveillance systems. Thanks to the Internet, you can see what’s happening at your retreat in real-time. Also, make sure your homeowners insurance policy is up to date by speaking with your agent. Also consider performing a home inventory so you know the proper amount of coverage to secure.

Weather Extremes

Have you ever thought about what would happen if the water pipes in your vacation home burst? You’d have one heck of a messy situation on your hands, especially if you’re nowhere near the property to fix what’s broken. Well, if your water is left on when the temperatures plummet and the pipes freeze, it can happen. That’s why it’s worth your while to do some research on caretaker services. If you visit, you’ll find further information about property caretaking providers and services all around the country. As detailed by The New York Times, property caretaking has become something of a “cottage” industry.

Condominium or Single Family?

When it comes to insurance, the type of property you own helps determine the policy that’s best suited for your needs. For instance, if you own a condominium rather than a single-family residence, your condo association may already have coverage. At the same time, the insurance that the association has may only protect the physical structure of the condo, not your belongings. Be sure to look into this before you consult with your independent agent.


Vacation homes often serve as getaways from the stresses of life. As such, it’s not uncommon for owners to have various amenities, be it a swimming pool, hot tub or trampoline, among others. Because accidents are possible with these kinds of recreational items, you may want to speak with your independent agent about the liability portion of your insurance policy and your liability limit to ensure your assets are adequately protected in the event someone is injured on your property and files a lawsuit against you.

Your vacation home’s value is an additional factor that can help you assess your insurance needs. As previously mentioned, the median price for a vacation home in 2014 was $150,000. However, homeowners insurance premiums are determined by how much it would cost to rebuild your residence from scratch should it be destroyed. Your independent agent and insurance carrier can work with you to determine the appropriate amount of coverage you might need.

For more information on this topic give the Martinson Agency in Chaska, MN a call today!

Don’t leave your insurance to luck! Call today us today!

Phone: (952) 314-4400



What To Avoid When Buying Auto Insurance

What To Avoid When Buying Auto Insurance

June 17th, 2016 — Martinson Agency LLC — Chaska, MN

Americans sure have been in a car-buying mood lately. Just last year, consumers bought a whopping 17.5 million new automobiles, according to vehicle valuation firm Kelley Blue Book. And in February, the trend has continued, with new-vehicle sales up approximately 8% versus 12 months ago.

Wherever new or used cars are bought, auto insurance invariably follows. After all, when an accident happens, where else can you go to pay for the expensive repairs that so often occur?

The problem is that because auto insurance is mandated, people will buy it merely to satisfy the requirement, not as a smart investment. As a result, hasty decisions are often made – decisions that could put them in hot water when they have to make a claim.

If an auto insurance purchase is in your future, here are three things you should be sure to avoid when shopping for a policy:

Purchasing The Cheapest Option

We all want to get the best deal possible as a consumer. But as is typically the case, you often get what you pay for. In other words, if there is an auto insurance policy that’s really cheap, there’s a good chance that the coverage it provides is really meager. All too frequently, policyholders wind up learning this the hard way after filing a claim, only to learn that their policy amount is insufficient for the damage that occurred.

Fail to Research

Reams of information are literally at our fingertips, thanks to the Internet, online search engines and quote comparison websites. But these outlets go to waste if you don’t take advantage of them. The Insurance Information Institute has several tips on what to look for both in a policy and an insurance provider.

Choosing The Wrong Policy

As previously mentioned, in an attempt to save money, consumers will often buy auto insurance that’s the least expensive or only the amount that they’re required by law to have. While this may save them in the short run, it will be a different story should they ever have to file a claim. For instance, if a policyholder’s car is stolen and only liability coverage is in place, that person will have to go about replacing the stolen automobile out of pocket.

It really does pay to be a conscientious consumer when you’re in the market to buy auto insurance. Get in touch with your local agent at the Martinson Agency, who can help you navigate the selection process to ensure you get the right type and amount of coverage for your needs.

Don’t leave your insurance to luck! Call today us today!

Phone: (952) 314-4400



In The Storm of Life, Don’t Get Caught Without an Umbrella

In The Storm of Life, Don’t Get Caught Without an Umbrella

June 6th, 2016 — Martinson Agency LLC — Chaska, MN

If you’ve ever found yourself caught out in the driving rain with nothing but the clothes on your back for protection, you know what kind of a miserable experience that can be. With all that wetness and cold, its effects can leave you longing for the comfort of the indoors.

All of that goes away, though, with an umbrella as your guide, shielding you from the storm.

This is kind of how umbrella insurance works, armed with the financial protection and rest assurance that you’re covered when the storms of life come your way.

Homeowners insurance and auto insurance are policies that provide you with the financial assistance you need when there’s an accident or storm and damage results. The proceeds of insurance pays for what repairs are needed up to the limits of the policy. Occasionally, though, the price of having something fixed may exceed what insurance provides for.

This is where umbrella insurance kicks in. It serves as an extra layer of protection during situations in which you may be liable. Think of it as an insurance policy for the coverage you already have.

In Legal Situations, Umbrella Insurance Can Be a Lifeline

Perhaps the best example of when umbrella insurance comes in handy is if you’re ever brought to court. As it is, auto insurance, for example, pays for the legal fees associated with putting on a defense if someone sues you for damages after an accident. It also provides the compensation needed for reward settlements, but it may not always be sufficient.

Being sued may not seem like something you’d ever have to deal with, but there are an almost limitless number of scenarios wherein you can be caught up in a legal spate, given the litigious nature of society.

For example, say you go out of town. Your teenager throws a party while you’re away, and drinking is involved. A guest leaves the party after having one too many and gets into a serious car accident. Their parents decide to sue to pay for the medical bills, and the settlement is more than what your homeowners insurance provides for. With an umbrella insurance policy, you won’t have to worry about paying out of pocket, because the proceeds go over and above your standard policy’s maximum.

Perhaps you have a dog that, in the course of play or after being startled, bites a neighbor or passerby while you’re out for a stroll. Dog bites account for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claims, according to the Insurance Information Institute, with the average claim costing more than $33,700.

Generally, this should be enough to pay for the medical bills associated with treating a dog bite. If you’re sued, however, the penalty could be more. Once again, umbrella insurance protects you from financial ruin.

Policies Are Eminently Affordable

Besides its financial cover, perhaps the best part of umbrella insurance is that it’s extremely affordable. Premiums can range between $150 and $300, according to estimates, providing you with $1 million worth of coverage. Should you want more than that – umbrella coverage usually comes in million-dollar increments – you’ll spend even less, typically under $100.

According to a poll of senior litigators and attorneys, more than half said that they considered today’s litigatory environment to be unfair and unreasonable, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. When asked to point to a specific reason for this, a common response was excessive damage rewards.

With umbrella insurance, you’ll worry much less about the financial ramifications of a lawsuit. For more information, speak with an agent at the Martinson Agency today.

Don’t leave your insurance to luck! Call today us today!

Phone: (952) 314-4400