The Insurance Family Blog

Business Insurance - Covering Your Signs

Posted by Susie Scherff on November 3, 2011 at 8:00 AM

Restaurants, auto repair shops, real estate offices and nearly all other businesses have signs that tell their customers their name, address, hours of operation and so on. Signs may be simple or complex and many businesses typically use lighted signs. The Sign policy created by Insurance Services Office is available to insure against the loss or destruction of signs, including fluorescent, neon, automatic or mechanical sign. Coverage also extends to lamps. However, fixed, non-lighted signs (such as billboards) are not eligible under a sign policy, even if they are illuminated by separate electric lights.

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Topics: Commercial Auto Insurance, Condominium Insurance, commercial insurance for restaurants

Which Homeowners Policy is Right for Me?

Posted by Susie Scherff on October 31, 2011 at 11:05 AM

If you own a home, you’ll want to think about the best way to insure it. One goal is to match your needs to the right company. Some companies like new, high-valued homes while some companies do well with older or historic preservation homes. Others are comfortable with country homes or old farm homes. It pays to shop around, both for the best coverage and for a company that likes your type of home.

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Topics: Home Insurance, Homeowners Insurance, Personal Property Insurance, Condominium Insurance, Fire Insurance, dwelling fire policy, Personal Liability, Insurance Policy Types, Homeowners Coverages

California Earthquake Loss Assessment – Is My Condominium Covered?

Posted by Susie Scherff on September 13, 2011 at 11:42 AM

Do you know what your condominium insurance covers in case of an earthquake?  There are some vague areas of understanding, so we thought we would take a moment to explain what you need to know in case of such a scenario.

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Topics: Business Insurance, Condominium Insurance, Earthquake Insurance

Condominium Insurance - How to Insure Additions and Alterations

Posted by Susie Scherff on November 10, 2010 at 12:09 PM


You are getting ready to close escrow on your new condominium – signing last minute papers. The question comes up, how much insurance do I need for the interior of my condominium, the additions and alterations? One insurance agent says $20,000 is enough, another says $80,000. The correct answer is that you need to review your CC&Rs.

A condominium homeowner’s policy defines additions and alterations as (also referred to as the dwelling):

  1. The alterations, appliances, fixtures, and improvements that are part of the building contained within the insured unit (such as kitchen cabinets, partitions, and wallpaper)

  2. Items of real property that pertain exclusively to the insured unit (such as awnings or shutters)

  3. Property that is the unit owner’s insurance responsibility under a property owners agreement of a condominium (CC&Rs)

In order to determine how much you should insure your additions and alterations for, you must read your CC&Rs. They determine what the homeowners association is responsible for and what the unit owner is responsible for.

There are 3 levels of responsibility:

  1. "All In" - this means that the association is fully responsible for the entire building and anything within your unit that is considered to be part of the building. In this case you would only need to insure your personal property.

  2. "Original Specifications" - this means the association is responsible for the building as it was originally built. If unit owners have upgraded their unit with granite countertops, cherry cabinets, built in book shelves, hardwood floors etc., they would be responsible for these additions.

  3. "Bare Walls" - this means the association is responsible for the building up to the bare walls. In this case you would need to insure everything from the drywall inward. For example, floor coverings, wall coverings, built-in cabinets and appliances, tile, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures and partitions.

Sutherland-Scherff Insurance uses various company replacement cost estimators in determining the replacement value when “Bare Walls” coverage is needed. In the Los Angeles area we find that, depending on how custom the unit is, the replacement cost can run between $75-96/sq. ft.

Contact Sutherland-Scherff Insurance and free of charge, we will be happy to help you review your CC&Rs, work up a replacement cost estimate, and offer you a competitive condominium insurance quote with an excellent company.
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Topics: Condominium Insurance

La Canada Residents Warned – Fire Coverage an Insurance Necessity

Posted by Susie Scherff on August 10, 2010 at 4:15 PM

After the 14,000-acre Crown fire that broke out last week in Antelope Valley and the devastating Station fire that panicked Los Angeles last year, residents of Glendale and Burbank are warned of potential impending property damages that face La Canada, Flintridge, San Marino, and Los Angeles.

"All we want is to make sure the residents of Glendale and Burbank are prepared to rebuild should there be a fire," said Scott Svonkin, the commission's chairman.

Fire coverage has become an intrinsic crux of California insurance. “Homeowners shouldn’t skimp on their insurance policies,” says commission member Luther Nash. Dwelling fire insurance is often the only thing that keeps a fire from bringing financial ruin to a family.

For more on this story, visit La Canada Online, the county’s Commission on Insurance, or the county Fire Department Website.
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Topics: Home Insurance, Property Insurance, Condominium Insurance