FREE Roadside Assistance From Infinity Insurance Company!

Monday, January 28th, 2013 | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Join Infinity DriverClub® and get access to 24/7 Nationwide Roadside Assistance. Click Here to Get Started!

Drive knowing that you have 24 hours roadside assistance at the tip of your fingers. You only pay for services when you use them. No contracts required and no money upfront. The membership is completely FREE!

  • TIRE CHANGES
  • LOCKOUTS
  • REFUELING
  • JUMP-STARTS
  • TOWING

The DriverClub® program covers you in ANY car, ANY time, day or night, and you don’t even have to be the driver. We will change your flat tire, deliver emergency gas, open your locked car, jump-start your dead battery and more.

You have enough to worry about… Sign up for Infinity DriverClub®, step on the gas and drive knowing you are protected on and off the road.

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California Vacancy rates and insurance

Monday, January 14th, 2013 | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

When vacancy rates in California increase, landlords find themselves in a tough predicament. Whether the property is commercial or residential, without someone occupying it, there are no monthly rental payments. This means that every single day, the owner is losing money. However, aside from the loss of cash, there are insurance issues often created by properties that are not being used. Without someone coming to the property day in and day out, the space tends to be more of a risk. All sorts of problems stem from vacancy.

Causes of Vacancy

California, much like other states, has seen a real downturn in the real estate market due to the decline in the economy. When people are not making money, they can`t make their house payments and foreclosures inevitably increase. When business owners don`t have the capital they need to expand or keep themselves in an office building, as people begin to vacate both the residential and commercial properties, landlords begin to feel the effects of the struggling California economy. Once these things begin to happen, it is tough to get things back on the right track and get the economy, as well as people`s financial situations, thriving again.

Problems Caused By Vacancy

Money is the largest problem that vacancy causes. Aside from any mortgage or loans due on the property, landlords are paying all of the maintenance on the space and may be working hard to keep the building in good working order. It is possible to see a lot of money flowing out of the checkbook with little to none coming in. Most landlords and businesses cannot keep up with that money loss pace for very long.

In addition to upkeep and payments, landlords in California are paying property insurance. They want to make sure that should anything happen to the space, they are insured and covered. With no rental payment coming in, it can be tough to keep up with the premiums due. Yet another financial hardship arises.

Lack of Insurance Coverage

If the premiums on property insurance are not met, the coverage disappears and a landlord is on their own. If something were to happen, the cost for repairs or replacement is often high. Once again, this is an expense that many landlords cannot afford to handle. If the building is not fixed, no one will want to rent the space. With no one there to rent the space, there is no money for repairs.

At some point, an insurance company may withdraw or severely reduce coverage if they learn that a building is vacant. Certain issues are no longer covered. For example, vandalism on an unoccupied building or space is usually not covered. California landowners are responsible for taking care of this on their own. If the building is broken into, the cost to make repairs is not covered.

As soon as a landlord notices that a property will be vacant, even for a temporary amount of time, it may be in their best interest to talk to the insurance company and learn more about how coverage will change if there is no one in the building. It is important to plan accordingly and do everything possible to try to prevent some of the damage that tends to occur.

If you are a California landlord and you have questions about vacancy and insurance rates, before buying from us you can search for advice at Simply Finance and other reputable sources. You can get more information about your options and have an opportunity to look into ways to pay for damage that has already occurred.

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Safeco Makes Being A Landlord A Little Bit Easier.

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 | Insurance, Landlord Insurance, Real Estate | No Comments

Safeco’s new Renters Notification Form makes it easy

Safeco wants to partner with agents to not only make it easy for you to work with us, but also so you can make it easy for your tenants to work with you. On Sept. 8, 2012, Safeco will launch a new Renters Notification Form that makes it easy for you to get automated evidence of renters insurance when policyholders are required to provide it as a condition of their lease.

Larger Apartment owners, landlords, and property managers are increasingly requiring tenants to carry and provide proof of renters insurance. With this new automated process, you can have peace of mind knowing that Safeco is completing the notification process on their behalf.

Thanks to this enhanced functionality, Safeco will send notification to the insured’s apartment owner, landlord or property owner when notification is requested (new business or by endorsement), upon reinstatement, at renewal or when the policy is canceled.

It’s that easy for us to provide great service to our customers.

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Earthquake Insurance

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012 | Uncategorized | 9 Comments

In the U.S., 39 states have experienced earthquake activity since 1900 and approximately 90% of our population lives in areas with at least some seismic activity. Yet only about 12% of homeowners in the most high-risk areas have earthquake insurance policies.

Earthquake insurance is a type of property insurance that covers your possessions if an earthquake causes damage. Most homeowner`s insurance policies will not cover earthquake damage, so you must purchase an endorsement to your home insurance policy or buy a separate earthquake policy.

What Does Earthquake Insurance Cover?

Earthquake policy coverage varies widely. You can purchase a policy that covers just your dwelling, or choose one that covers your house along with “accessory structures” such as storage buildings or garages. You can opt to cover all of the buildings` contents as well. Some earthquake insurance policies cover the cost of updating your home to meet the current building codes in your area. Others pay for stabilizing the land beneath your home.

If you live in a quake-prone area, it`s a good idea to add the “additional living expenses,” or ALE option, to any earthquake policy you purchase. This option pays for you and your family to stay in an apartment or hotel if your house is temporarily unlivable. ALE coverage might also include the cost of storage, furniture rental, restaurant meals and laundry expenses.

What Isn`t Covered?

Earthquake insurance exclusions vary according to company and policy. Most policies won`t cover anything that your home insurance policy already covers including any fires or external water damage caused by seismic activity. These policies don`t cover vehicle damage, so make sure your car insurance policy includes earthquake coverage if you live in a high-risk area.

Earthquake insurance usually doesn`t cover any damage done to your land even if an earthquake causes large cracks to appear in your yard or a sinkhole to open up on your land. Pre-existing damage is also excluded.

Do You Need Earthquake Insurance?

Whether or not you need an earthquake policy depends on a few different factors. Do you live in an earthquake-prone area? Californians might experience the most earthquakes, but the state of Alaska has had some of the largest seismic events. Although earthquakes most commonly hit states along the Pacific coast, some of the most violent earthquakes have occurred in the American Midwest. Even the Eastern Seaboard and Central Texas have experienced mild to moderate tremors in recent years.

What is the probability that your house could be damaged in an earthquake? Multi-story houses, brick homes and houses with crawl spaces are the most likely to suffer from earthquake damage.

Cost of Coverage

Earthquake insurance premiums depend on your location, the amount of coverage you choose, the coverage type and your deductible. Due to the high levels of risk assumed by the insurance companies, earthquake policy deductibles are typically quite high. You can find policies with deductibles ranging from 2% to 20% of the policy amount, but most policies come with a 10% to a 15% deductible.

Don`t wait until after an earthquake to buy earthquake insurance. Insurers won`t sell earthquake coverage for 30 to 60 days after an earthquake occurs. When they do start selling it again, your premiums will probably be sky high.

If you have decided to protect your property with earthquake insurance, take the time to shop around before purchasing. Use the online comparison tools available at simplyfinance.co.uk to find an insurance policy that works for your personal budget and circumstances.

Why should you buy insurance from an agency that represents MANY reputable companies?

Monday, June 18th, 2012 | Blogger, California, Detroit, Flint, Georgia, Illinios, Indiana, Insurance, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio | No Comments

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Builders Risk Insurance

Saturday, December 17th, 2011 | Builders Risk, California, Detroit, Flint, Georgia, Illinios, Indiana, Insurance, Landlord Insurance, Manufactured Home, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Real Estate, Vacant Home Insurance | No Comments

Example of a Builders Risk policy offered by our agency.

Product Builders Risk
FEATURES
  • Comprehensive Coverage AAIS Form
  • Flexible Policy Period-From 3-36 months
  • All Risk-subject to Policy Exclusions
  • CAT Capacity Available for Wind & Quake
  • Renovation Projects
  • Multiple State Locations
  • Installation Floaters
COVERAGES
  • Debris Removal
  • Fire Department Services Charge
  • Trees, Shrubs & Plants
  • Pollution Cleanup
  • Transit Coverage
  • Temporary Storage Coverage
DEDUCTIBLES Standard Residential-  $500             Standard Commercial- $1000             Higher Options available
AVAILABLE BY ENDORSEMENT Contractors Equipment             Equipment Breakdown             Environmental             Umbrella             Workers’ Compensation
Wind Buy Back We now offer Wind Deductible Buy Back coverage on both commercial property and property in the Course of Construction.
Premium Financing 10% Down, 10 Payments

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Commercial Real Estate Investing- Overview

Friday, August 12th, 2011 | Real Estate | 2 Comments

When we hear the phrase “commercial real estate,” we envision properties like the empire state building, a local regional mall or a large hospital. However, the commercial real estate is much more extensive and includes proerties like a small strip mall, where you get your espresso, hair cut, or pay for insurance. Commercial real estate is found on numerous streets in almost every city.

What are the Property Types?

The core property types in commercial real estate consist of office buildings, retail centers, industrial buildings and multifamily units (more than 4 families per building). All these share the common thread that they are occupied by tenants who pay to lease space to do business with the general public. However, different types of tenants fall into different categories. For example, while the stores at your mall may change frequently, your doctor may have been in the same place for the last ten to twenty years. Retail occupants are relatively cheaper to replace than office tenants, but need replacement more often, whereas office tenants are hard to replace but tend not to move around.

What is Net Operating Income

The essential determining factor of a commercial investment property is its net operating income (NOI). NOI is calculated by summing up a property’s annual rent and reimbursements and subtracting any expenses which are neither capital nor tied to leasing new space. Commercial properties are valued by comparing their NOI by the sale price or value, which is called a capitalization, or “cap,” rate. No matter, what the cap rate is, the higher a property’s income, the higher its value will be.

Financial Factors

You must take into account capital expenditures and leasing costs while calculating property’s NOI, because they impact your total return. If you require help to understand what your true returns, you can seek guidance of a local expert in the field.

Financing

The financing for commercial property is mainly based on the income that it generates. Lenders carefully deem the “debt coverage ratio,” which is determined by dividing the cost of a year’s NOI by a year’s mortgage payments. If the NOI is found to be far less than the mortgage payments, the bank may not write the loan. It is similiar to residential real estate, where the loan is made based on the borrower’s ability to repay it.

Final thought

Just like any other investment, commercial real estate requires careful attention in order to be succesful. Remember, your job is not only to invest money in maintaining the building, but also to invest in occupancy or rents, in order to increase the NOI.


Unconventional Ways to Find Real Estate in Flint, Michigan

Friday, December 10th, 2010 | Flint, Insurance, Michigan, Mortgage, Real Estate | 1 Comment

If you’re a real estate agent in Michigan, you might think that times are tough. Slower markets than a few years ago and less clients can put any good landlord or agent in a difficult financial position. There are, however, some creative and unconventional ways to find real estate, which will see you weather the recessional storm with ease. Flint MI is the seventh largest city in Michigan – which means that if you’re new to real estate, it is small enough for you to find your footing, but large enough for you to have a wide and varied market.

Firstly you need an excellent marketing strategy. If you’re a good real estate agent, you will already have realised the potential of a diverse client base and target audience. A great way to get new clients is to run a seminar or talk of some kind in your local area. First time buyers often have lots of questions to ask, so they’ll be grateful of your advice and may even be potential new clients!

Keep business cards on you at all times – wherever you are, there could be a prospective client who will need your services. A magnetic car sign is also a great idea for those wishing to advertise their real estate website all over town. Once you’ve purchased the sign, you won’t need to spend any more on this marketing idea, so even if it only draws in a couple of clients, you won’t have lost out. It’s good to experiment with different strategies – as one approach won’t draw in 100% of your clients.

The population of Flint, Michigan is approaching 112,000, and average age of people living in Flint is just over 30 years of age. Your target market is out there. First-time buyers are itching to find a reliable, friendly real estate agent – all you have to do is market your services successfully and the clients will come to you. Why not check out some statistics for the Flint MI area online or in the local papers? It’s only through dedicated research of your target market, that you can begin to advertise your business accordingly. Whether you’re a landlord or an agent looking to sell a vacant home, apartment or condo, your marketing strategy will, more often than not, determine how successful your Michigan investment property or business can be.

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Reap the Rewards of Being a Good Landlord

Friday, December 10th, 2010 | Detroit, Landlord Insurance, Michigan, Real Estate | 1 Comment

Michigan is a great place to be a landlord, particularly when considering that for the third consecutive month this year, houses sold topped 10,000, with the average house price rising by 8.5% from last winter. If prices keep increasing in this way, your investment property will be worth even more as time goes by. For example, Hillsdale County has seen a 34.09% increase in the average house sale price, and Battle Creek and the Traverse area both saw over a 20% rise from time last year. It’s important to look at these statistics when deciding to buy and sell, but it’s also vital to look at your current situation. Many landlords buy and sell, filling their houses with tenants, half-heartedly – paying no attention to whether those tenants are happy or not.

Why is it important to keep your tenants happy? If you’re letting out an apartment in Michigan – whether it’s in Traverse City, Detroit or Lansing – your tenants are your cash flow. The main reason people let out property is to make money and invest in their financial future – but many people make the crucial mistake of finding tenants and then thinking they can sit back and let the money roll in. If you’ve ever had to unexpectedly replace tenants, you’ll know that it takes up both time and money. Your tenant is your customer, and although they will be living in your house or apartment, you need to keep them happy to reap the rewards.

Being a good landlord means maintaining your property. If anything needs to be fixed in the house, fix it right away. Trust your tenant with your property. If you’ve vetted them to begin with, they won’t want you strolling past their house every ten minutes to check what they’re up to.  If you refuse requests to upgrade, repaint or re-carpet a property (within reason) you are doing yourself no favours, seeing as you will have to do it to find new tenants anyway. If you’re getting confident and think that increasing the rent on your property in necessary, make sure that it is justified. If the tenant doesn’t want to pay the new amount, you will end up losing money looking for a new tenant anyway.

Although keeping your tenants happy is very important – you should never accept the first tenant that comes along. It would seem that filling a vacant property as soon as possible, regardless of the quality of your tenant(s) makes financial sense. On the other hand, you could lose out in the long run if you have to keep replacing lousy tenants.

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Make Money – Investment Property in Detroit

Friday, December 10th, 2010 | Detroit, Insurance, Landlord Insurance, Michigan, Mortgage, Real Estate | 10 Comments

Are you looking to make money, invest in your financial future and have fun with real estate in Michigan? Most people want to know all the tips and tricks of the trade, but don’t want to put in the hard work and research.

Detroit is a great place to be a landlord – with the average price of houses per square foot up by 6% in comparison to this time last year. Statistically, when looking at the median sales price for homes in Detroit, Michigan this has increased by 20.2% on last year’s figures – which means that if you want to buy a house to rent or sell, now is the time to do it. If house and apartment prices keep rising with this trend you could make thousands of dollars – either by being a landlord, or simply by buying and selling property at the right time. Up and coming areas in Detroit MI currently are Indian Village and North Rosedale Park, where average listing prices are $263,523 and $73,656 respectively. If you’re looking for somewhere other than Detroit, Michigan, why not look into properties in Battle Creek, Flint or Kalamazoo – all of which are great potential areas for investment property.

If you want to make money from real estate in Detroit, but you don’t want the hassle of being a landlord, there are a few different ways.  You can either choose to be a real estate retailer, or a real estate dealer.

Whereas retailers buy and sell investment property for a quick profit (for larger probable rewards), dealers buy and sell contracts. Real estate retailers obviously need more money to start out with in order to buy the property – they will need a large down payment (deposit) as well as a good credit rating.

However, if you choose to be a real estate dealer, you can find cheap properties and sign purchase contracts with the sellers. This assignment of contract means that you can sell the contracts on for a profit. The only cash normally required for such a transaction is the small amount of money for the deal – and you never actually own the deed. This is a creative and less risky investment for those who want to get a foot on the real estate ladder, but don’t have a good credit rating or enough spare cash to buy and sell properties.

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