Why do landlords require renters insurance?

If you are in the Cypress, TX area and are looking for a new place to live, renting a home can be a good option. While there are benefits that come with owning a property, those that rent typically will have fewer maintenance needs and have more flexibility. If you are going to rent a property here, you do need to also consider your insurance needs. Most of the time, your landlord will require that you have renters insurance. There are several reasons that they require this. 

Renters Insurance Ensures You Can Pay for Damages

If you ever make a mistake that results in property damage or an injury to another party, you will be responsible for the damages. In some cases, the cost to pay for repairs or medical bills can be significant. Due to this, your landlord will want to ensure you have the financial capacity to cover the costs. By ensuring that you carry renters insurance at all times, your landlord will know you have the financial resources needed to pay for damages. 

Renters Insurance Covers Your Assets

If there is ever a fire or bad storm that causes a lot of damage, it is possible that your personal items could be lost. When you have renters insurance, you will have coverage to repair or replace your items. Landlords will want you to have it as it will ensure you have support to replace your items and will not try to make a claim on their property insurance.

Anyone moving into a new home in the Cypress, TX area should consider their insurance needs. If you are going to get renters insurance, you should call InsureUS. The insurance team at InsureUS can help you better evaluate your renter’s insurance needs and pick a quality policy. 

Can I sell my products and services on Facebook Marketplace?

Four years after its quiet beginnings, Facebook Marketplace has become a major player for people buying and selling products. But is it a viable place to earn a serious income, and what about offering services?
Like Craigslist, it’s free to sell on Marketplace–a draw for anyone accustomed to paying fees to sites like eBay and Amazon. However, those two platforms have far larger audiences and are typically the go-to sites for sellers looking to do higher volume. In addition to the difference in audience reach, you can’t list more than 150 items per day on Facebook Marketplace.
Etsy, Mercari, Rakuten, Shopify and Bonanza are also popular platforms with established audiences. And while Marketplace trends toward local sales, users can offer shipping options. Sellers can use Facebook ads to boost their listings.
Marketplace listings are not just about garage sale used products. People sell pre-made outdoor sheds, for example.
What about using Marketplace to offer your services? For now, it’s a no-go.
Facebook’s Commerce Policies says services may not be listed, and its list of 14 examples includes things like photography, electrical, plumbing, cleaning, financial services and lawn care services, among others.
However, you can still create a Facebook page for your business and list your services there, as well as direct potential customers and clients to your website. With a Facebook page, you can communicate with customers right on the page or via Messenger.
A Facebook page adds a credibility factor for services such as light construction or home repair and remodeling. Businesses can also display photos of their work.

How bad has 2020 been for insurance? Look at the numbers

If you live in Oregon, Washington or California, you may no longer be able to get insurance to cover damage from wildfires. Insurance losses from recent wildfires are adding up to be some of the largest on record.
Insurers are moving to raise rates and refuse policy renewals in regions with high fire risk, according to Moody’s Investor Service.
As of late July, losses from wildfires in the western U.S. were estimated to be $8 billion, the third highest on record. However, no one knows how high the total will go, according to Moody’s.
That number is just more pain piled on insurance losses as flash floods, tornados and hail caused another $20 billion in insured losses from natural disasters in 2020.
But that isn’t the full total for storm-related costs. The $20 billion number was calculated before hurricanes.
Analysts project that Hurricane Laura caused $9 billion in insured losses; Isaias caused about $4 billion in insured damage and Hanna caused about $250 million.

Small business: Check the demolition limits for riots on your insurance policies

Small business owners are finding their insurance policies have limits on the payouts for demolition of buildings torched in riots.
A report by the Minneapolis Star Tribune showed that most insurance payouts for demolition cover about $25,000 to $50,000 in costs. Meanwhile, contractors in the area have submitted bids ranging from $200,000 to $300,000 for the work.
Small business owners should check their policies for limits on demolition. Depending on the policy, insurance could pay from $25,000 up to $250,000.
Total damages for riots could exceed $2 billion, according to a Bloomberg News insurance analyst. In Minnesota alone, insurers expect gross losses of $254.6 million. In Minnesota, 1,612 claims have been received, but insurers expect that number to rise to at least 1,714.
According to the Star Tribune, it often costs more to demolish buildings than the property is actually worth.
After Minnesota’s riots, cities have hired demolition crews to take down structures that were dangerous, presenting the property owners with bills totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars to haul away debris.
With most major insurers suffering losses in the millions now and with more riots expected, commercial property insurance premiums are rising, sometimes doubling. In other areas, carriers won’t write policies at all.

Long-term care insurance deductible limits raised

Long-term care insurance is one way to protect your assets in retirement. The plans often pay for half of the cost of care in a nursing home, for example.
For the 2020 tax year, the deduction limits have increased, according to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.
Age 2020 $ 2019 $
40 or less 430 420
40-49 810 790
50-59 1,630 1,580
60-69 4,350 4,220
70+ 5,430 5,270

These deductions are available under the medical care expenses that are not reimbursed during the tax year and exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income. Your adjusted gross income (AGI) is your taxable income minus adjustments such as contributions to a traditional IRA, according to TurboTax. That means most people won’t be able to claim medical expenses as a tax deduction at all, until they retire.
Unreimbursed medical expenses can include preventative care, surgeries, dental and vision care, psychological care, prescription medications and medical devices such as glasses, contacts, false teeth and hearing aids.
Here is an example of a medical deduction from efile.com:
AGI is $40,000 and your medical expenses are $5,000. In 2019 and 2020, you can deduct 7.5 percent of unreimbursed medical expenses. So, multiply $40,000 by 7.5 percent. The result is $3,000. That is how much you can deduct. So, $2,000 of your $5,000 medical expenses are not deductible.
Keep in mind these deductions are not applicable to linked benefit policies, such as life insurance and annuity policies.

Different Types of Motorcycle Insurance

When it comes to motorcycles, you must have liability insurance as you would with other moving vehicles. However, liability insurance for your motorcycle only helps you legally, and more coverage may be required to protect your passenger, your motorcycle, and you. Having said this, there are other kinds of motorcycle insurance out there. The following includes those other types of coverage: 

1. Medical Payments

This coverage is for medical expenses for you and your passengers due to injuries from a motorcycle accident. 

2. Collision Coverage

This coverage is for motorcycle damage that came from a collision with a stationary object, another vehicle, or another.

3. Personal Injury Protection 

This is reimbursement of your medical expenses, childcare, lost income, and other out-of-pocket costs occurring from a collision.  

4. Comprehensive Coverage

  This is coverage for damages to your motorcycle resulting from vandalism, flooding, tree damage, theft, a crash with another vehicle, etc. 

5. Towing and Labor

This includes the reimbursement of towing and relatable labor costs if your motorcycle breaks down. 

6. And More

Other types of motorcycle insurance include rental reimbursement, lease loan gap coverage, added or optional equipment, and underinsured and uninsured coverage. 

Conclusion

For more information concerning various types of motorcycle insurance and which one may be the best for you, contact InsureUS today.  Located in Cypress, TX, InsureUS has licensed, local agents who have been serving Cypress, TX and surrounding areas for several years. They work with multiple carriers, so they can find the right policy just for you. 

So, don’t get caught without motorcycle insurance. They are more than happy to assist you. They are locally owned and operated, and you can contact them via phone, email, or at their office. 

Take advantage of the holiday mood in November real estate

At this time of year, everyone else is going over the river and through the woods to grandma’s house, but a brave few are headed into the real estate market. Is that a smart move?
Depends on how you look at it. There is no doubt that the real estate market slows down at the end of October. According to the National Association of Realtors, sales of existing homes drop about 30 percent between December and January. Home sales traditionally do not pick up until the end of January.
For sellers, the holidays still can be profitable. Holiday home buyers are usually serious about buying quickly. The buyers are hitting open houses while the browsers are off at the mall. Plus, for sellers, there is no better time to show a house than the holidays, when a tasteful Christmas tree, wreath and sparkling lights can make a house feel like your future home.
For buyers, it’s a great time too, because with less competition from others, buyers have a good negotiating position with sellers who want to move quickly. If a buyer finds a house during the holidays, it is possible that he or she will be able to come to an agreement with the seller to accommodate holiday plans.
If you are selling your home during the holidays, take this advice from home staging experts:

  • Stick with simplicity. Take down your personal pictures and collections. Put up simple Christmas decorations, including a tree, wreath and a few strands of lights outside. Put a few nicely wrapped presents under your tree.
  • Build a fire in the fireplace. Play holiday music softly. Put potted evergreens in place of potted flowers.

New Loan Estimates and Closing Disclosures

If it has been years since you took out a mortgage, you may notice that instead of a Good Faith Estimate, you are getting a Loan Estimate. You may wonder if these are the same things?
In 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a government agency that regulates consumer financial instruments such as mortgages, retired the Good Faith Estimate form (in part) and created the Loan Estimate form.
The Good Faith Estimate form was designed to reveal the terms and fees of a mortgage. However, since the lenders used their own language to describe the loans, multiple estimates could seem very different. Consumers were confused by that document.
The new Loan Estimate consolidates four forms into two: The Loan Estimate and the Closing Disclosure.
The new Loan Estimate is a three-page form that you receive within three business days after you apply. It is not a loan approval or rejection. It simply gives you loan terms, projected payments and closing costs for review.
Since the Loan Estimate standardizes the wording that lenders can use, you’ll see which costs are fixed and which are not, allowing you to shop lenders.
It also prevents surprise fees by establishing tolerance levels. If you do take the loan and the fee amount estimated is more than the amount paid, the lender makes up the difference.
You’ll notice that costs are also broken down into these categories: Loan Costs (origination charges, services you can’t shop for and services you can shop for) and Other Costs (taxes, government recording fees, pre-paid fees and initial escrow payments, for example).
The Closing Disclosure is a five-page form that buyers receive before closing. It has the final terms and costs associated with the mortgage and specifies the amount of money you need on-hand at closing. Buyers can easily compare the Loan Estimate to the Closing Disclosure. Buyers have three days to review and ask questions.

Fantastic seller’s market offers best prices in years

The millennial generation has grown up and they want to buy homes.
Every year for the next 10 years, millions of millennials will hit home buying age. The average age of a millennial is 32. The average age for home buying is 31, according to ETF Trends.
No wonder there is a record boom in buyers and potential buyers.

Available housing down
While there are lots of buyers, there are fewer homes for sale. That adds up to a supply and demand formula that puts sellers comfortably seated in the parlor, taking offers.
Half of the buyers who purchased a home in the last three months were forced into a bidding war, according to internet real estate company Redfin, as the average home sale price spiked 6 percent. That equals 100 straight months of price gains, according to the National Association of Realtors.
It isn’t just millennials who are buying these days, either. A new wave of city dwellers from cities like New York are looking to the suburbs to escape violence and lockdowns. In July, there was a 44 percent increase in suburban home sales and in some cases, homes sold for prices that were as much as 21 percent over list, according to The New York Times.

Homebuilders busy
With this reality in mind, homebuilders are busy. New home starts jumped to their highest level since 2006. Housing starts increased 17 percent in June. Nearly six in 10 homebuilders have raised their prices, according to CNBC.

More houses built
Privately-owned housing starts in July zoomed up 22.6 percent above estimates and 9.4 percent above July 2019, according to the Census Bureau.
The number of completed homes was up 3.6 percent above estimates in July. That was 1.7 percent higher than the June 2019 rate.
COVID-19 lockdowns impacted housing starts in March, which were at their highest level since 2006. But starts have rebounded.
For home investors, the robust nature of the housing market should offer some safety for the next few years, according to Stephen McBride of ETF Trends.

Young retail investors win big with small stock buys

Many billionaire hedge fund managers did not see it coming.
When the stock market tanked in early 2020 as COVID-19 hit the U.S., hedge fund managers weren’t looking to buy. They thought stocks would go much lower.
Young retail investors were more optimistic. In March, stock in big companies was trading low and young people were buying.
Using retail stock apps like Robinhood, young investors saw bargains and invested stimulus money, savings or just their extra change into stocks.
But who would buy into Las Vegas casino and hotels when there was a global quarantine? Young people would. In March, if you had an extra $40, you could have bought one share of Wynn Resorts and more than doubled your money by now. You could have done even better on pharmaceutical stocks, especially the ones making vaccines. Those stock prices have tripled. One stock, Genius Brands, was selling at 33 cents in the first quarter. The stock reached over $10 per share recently.
According to Robinhood, three million new clients plunged their money into the market in 2020 during one of the worst first quarters on record. It created a ‘generational buying moment.’
Buying zero-commission stock by the share, or even a fraction of a share, is relatively new and millennials understood it immediately. The stock market has been democratized and everyone has access now.