Personal Auto Insurance Now Available for Uber and LYFT Drivers in Charlotte

Written By Charlotte Insurance on December 28, 2016. It has 0 comments.

For most rideshare drivers, especially those who work with Uber and Lyft, finding affordable personal auto insurance that covers you when you’re working has been nearly impossible. Most insurance companies didn’t offer anything to fit your needs or if they did, it was too expensive.

Here at Charlotte Insurance, we’re happy to announce we can now offer personal auto insurance to cover you when you’re waiting on a fare, while you’ve got a ride, and when you’re using your vehicle for personal use.


Most personal auto insurance companies will not cover accidents or other damage that occurs while you use your vehicle for business purposes. In some cases, your claim can be denied and your coverage dropped. For several years, the best option has been a hybrid gap coverage or a separate commercial auto insurance policy.

Many drivers rely on the coverage provided by Uber and Lyft, but those policies comes with restrictions. You are only covered by their liability and physical damage coverage while you’re on your way to pick someone up or have them in your vehicle. They offer contingent liability coverage of 50/100/25 while you’re waiting for a fare. Unfortunately this coverage may not be enough if the accident involves multiple vehicles or if someone decides to sue.


The insurance offered by Uber and Lyft may help, but it’s not enough, especially if an accident results in total damage or medical expenses. Add the very real possibility of a lawsuit, and you’re looking at a bill you may not be able to afford. You’re working as a rideshare driver to earn money, not lose it all because you don’t have the right insurance.

Charlotte Insurance can provide specialized coverage at competitive rates to keep you protected no matter how you’re using your vehicle.

  • Insurance while you’re using the app with no fare
  • Insurance while you’re driving with a fare in your vehicle
  • Insurance while you’re using your vehicle for personal use

Instead of running the risk of losing your auto insurance coverage or having a claim denied after an accident, you can breathe easy knowing you’ll be fully covered. You’ll also avoid the surprise of being stuck with a bill if the damage or medical bills are higher than the basic coverage offered by Uber or Lyft. You’ll benefit from one policy that protects you personally and professionally.

When you’re ready to get the auto insurance policy built specifically for Uber and Lyft drivers, contact us at Charlotte Insurance. We’re here to help.

Annual Insurance Review

Written By Charlotte Insurance on December 27, 2016. It has 0 comments.

It’s that time of year again. Time to plan for the future, see if you accomplished your goals from last year, and set new ones for the coming year.

Most of us focus on fitness, jobs, income, relationships, and other parts of our life. One thing that is forgotten, but you should review from the past year and plan for the next one, is your insurance. An annual insurance review takes a look at the changes in your life from the previous year and will make sure you don’t have a gap in coverage –  and that you’re getting all the discounts you qualify for.

Here are some of the things to go over with your insurance agent for your annual insurance review.


Whether you’ve done things that add value to your home or improve the safety of it, you’ll want to go over your Charlotte homeowner’s insurance to make sure you have the right kind of coverage for your home and personal property.

  • Did you remodel any parts of your home that could increase the value?
  • Did you add on new rooms or sections to your home?
  • Did you acquire new valuables like jewelry, art, or collectibles that may need to be itemized for your insurance coverage?
  • Did you add a new security system, take down an old trampoline, or build a better enclosure for your pool to make your home more safe?

When you add on to your home, you increase the value and the amount of insurance you need to replace or repair anything that’s damaged or lost. At the same time, if you’ve done anything to make your home more secure, you may qualify for discounts that can lower your premiums.


We all go through different life changes throughout a year, and the last thing we might think about is updating our life insurance. Here are some things that could affect the amount of coverage you need:

  • Higher income that you’ll want to maintain in case of a loved one’s death
  • Higher expenses like cars or home that you’ll want to cover in case of your untimely death
  • New family responsibilities – a new marriage, kids, or stepchildren increasing the size of your family

This is a good time to make sure you have enough life insurance to take care of your family if the worst happens.


A lot may have happened for you this year and updating your Charlotte auto insurancecoverage slipped your mind. You may need more coverage or less, and you may qualify for discounts.

  • Did you get a new vehicle? Do you need GAP insurance until you pay down the loan?
  • Did your commute change? Longer drives need more insurance, shorter drives may lower your costs.
  • Are you using your car for business? You may need a separate policy.
  • Do you have family members or friends using your car more often? Make sure you’re covered if they cause an accident.
  • Did your finances change? You might want to raise or lower your deductible.
  • Did you get a divorce and no longer need to include your spouse on your coverage?
  • Did you get married and would it make more sense to combine your insurance into one policy?

By updating your information, you may be able to afford more insurance or qualify for more discounts than before.


When a business is new, especially if you’re working from home, insurance is the last thing on your mind. And when a business grows, you’re often too busy to re-assess your insurance needs. An annual review is a perfect time to go over your reassess your Charlotte business insurance needs.

  • Did you start a business this year? What kind? You may need liability insurance, even if you’re working at home.
  • Did your business grow? Your limits may need to be increased.
  • Did you hire any employees? You might need workers’ compensation coverage.
  • Is your business online? Cyber liability insurance could be something to consider.
  • Did your business shrink? Some coverage could be lowered or dropped.

A lot can happen in a year, professionally and personally. Most people don’t think about their insurance until they need it. Make time for an annual insurance review so you’re not caught by surprise if you have to file a claim. Make sure you, your family, and your business are all protected.

Contact us at Charlotte Insurance today and let’s schedule your annual insurance review. We’ll make sure you have the right coverage at the right price, no matter where you are in life.

Business Insurance for Freelancer

Written By Charlotte Insurance on December 20, 2016. It has 0 comments.

You got into the freelance life for a few reasons. You wanted more control over your life, control over the work you do, and freedom to come and go as you please while following your passion. Of course, you also wanted to control your income, too.

How much control do you think you’ll have if a former client who’s upset with you sues you for a bad job or lost information?

Lawsuits are any small business’s worst nightmare but even more so for a freelancer. Why? Because most freelancers have almost no business insurance which means you’ll lose time and money if you’re sued and you’ll likely have to go get a “real” job again when it’s over.

Freelancers need business insurance.


If you’re providing a service or working as a consultant, there’s an expectation from your clients that you’re a professional who knows what you’re doing. They’re relying on your expertise and abilities. When things go wrong, especially in a way that costs your client money, they might sue you. Professional liability insurance, also known as error and omissions (E&O), will protect you if an unhappy client decides to take you to court on claims of negligence or faulty work.


Many freelancers work alone in a home office or a coffee shop but that doesn’t mean you won’t meet with a client. General liability covers property damage or bodily injury you cause another person. Did you spill hot coffee over that new business client you were trying to impress? Did they trip over your laptop bag? Did you accidentally ruin their $1000 laptop and all the irreplaceable files on it? You’ll need general liability insurance.


Remember when we said freelancers work digitally? This means you’re gathering or creating digital data for a client – graphics, images, files. If you have a website, it also means you’re taking personal information from people – name, address, and even credit card information if you run an ecommerce store. What will you do if your website is hacked and the information is stolen? What about if you lose your laptop, phone, or the memory card that holds all of your data? Worse, what happens when a client or customer realizes you’ve compromised their personal information or lost irreplaceable files? Cyber liability insurance will protect you in a lawsuit, help you pay the damages or settlement, and cover the cost of notifying everyone affected by a breach.

The freelance life has a lot going for it. Doing work on the beach or working on your own schedule are just some of the perks. But one angry client or lost piece of data can ruin your career and your business. Make sure you have the insurance to protect you and your business.

Contact us at Charlotte Insurance today to discuss your freelance business and the types of insurance that will offer the best protection.

Home Insurance for Older Homes: What you need to know

Written By Charlotte Insurance on December 19, 2016. It has 0 comments.

You had your eye on a beautiful old home in the most historic part of town for years. From the outside, it clearly needs some love and attention, but you’re willing to put the time and effort in. You’ve talked to a real estate agent, drawn up plans to restore it, and know that it’s the perfect home for you.

Older homes have a certain charm from bygone eras that some people can’t resist. A lot of hard work is often involved to get these homes liveable and safe for a family. Even the historic homes that look great from the outside can be riddled with issues that require time and money to repair.

That’s why it’s important to understand what you’re getting when you buy an older home and how it will affect your insurance.


Older homes come in a variety of ages but for the most part, we’re talking about homes that are 50 to 100 years (or older) in age. These homes are often classified as historic homes and are treated different than your average single family home built in the 1970s or 80s.

In Charlotte, homeowner’s insurance for older homes can be more expensive and harder to find. Some companies won’t insure a home of a certain age. Depending on how long ago a home was built, the cost to replace or repair the home and keep the historic accuracy is much more expensive. The materials and labor required to do the work is much more specialized.

At the same time, older homes are often outdated with old roofs, plumbing, and electrical wiring. These all present very real dangers to the home and if anything goes wrong, major damage can be sustained. As a result, if insurance is available at all, the premiums will often be higher than in a typical home.


If you’re determined to own the historic home you’ve always dreamed of, there are a few things you’ll need to do and be aware of.

  • Talk to an insurance agent who can help you sort through all of your coverage options.
  • Be prepared to have to make upgrades and repairs in order to maintain coverage. A new roof, new wiring, and new plumbing are the most common but anything that presents a safety hazard could be subject to replacement or repair.
  • Add safety precautions like smoke detectors or sprinkler systems as well as a security system. It might not be historically accurate but it will keep your home safer.
  • Be prepared for the insurance company to send out their own inspector to look over the property. This is especially common if the replacement costs for your older home are high. The older the home, the higher the costs to rebuild.

Owning a historic home isn’t impossible if you understand the expenses, dangers, and issues that plague most older homes.

If you’ve got your eye on an older home, contact us at Charlotte Insurance. We’ll let you know what insurance coverage is available and what you can do to improve your chances of finding more affordable and better home insurance.

Reduce your Premiums by Increasing your Deductible

Written By Charlotte Insurance on December 14, 2016. It has 0 comments.

At some point in life, it happens to all of us. Our expenses rise but our income doesn’t keep up. The only solution is to look at your bills, wondering what you can cut out to save a few dollars.

If it’s been awhile since you had to file an auto insurance claim, it probably seems like the perfect place to cut. Instead of cutting coverage – a common but bad solution – you have other options. One of the easiest ways to reduce your Charlotte auto insurancecosts, without sacrificing your coverage, is to increase your deductible.


When you purchase auto insurance, you choose the deductible you’ll pay if you ever have to file a claim. This is the amount of money you’ll pay if you file a claim before the insurance company picks up the tab. If you have a $200 deductible and a $1000 insurance claim, you pay the $200 and the insurance company pays the rest.

You often have several choices when it comes to your deductible, most often between $100 and $1000 per claim. The lower your deductible, the higher your monthly premiums will be. If you want to save money on your auto insurance without giving up any coverage, go for a higher deductible.


Raising your deductible to $1000 per claim can immediately reduce your monthly insurance costs, but there are things to keep in mind if you choose a really high deductible:

  • You’ll have to pay up to the amount of your deductible. If the cost of the damage to your vehicle is only $700, the insurance company won’t pay anything – you have to cover the entire amount.
  • The deductible applies to each claim. This isn’t like your health insurance where you have a yearly deductible to meet. If you get into multiple accidents, you’ll pay the deductible each time.
  • When you raise your deductible, keep it to a level that you can comfortably handle. Maybe $1000 is too much. If so, raise it to $500 instead.
  • You should create an emergency savings fund. Take some of the savings from your monthly premium and set it aside in a savings account. Build up to the higher deductible so you know you’re covered if an accident happens.

If you’re looking for ways to lower your auto insurance costs, contact us at Charlotte Insurance. We’ll be happy to go over the ways you can cut costs without sacrificing coverage.

Insuring your Valuables

Written By Charlotte Insurance on December 12, 2016. It has 0 comments.

The holidays were good to you this year. You gave gifts that made your friends and family genuinely happy, and you received beautiful treasures from the ones you love.

Your spouse went above and beyond, spending a lot of money on a special item. You love it and can’t wait to show it off and use it. It’s the gift of a lifetime.

Whether it’s an antique, an expensive piece of jewelry, or the latest in surround-sound equipment for your home, you’re going to want to protect your new and very valuable gift. There’s a good chance you don’t have enough insurance to replace it if it the worst happens.


If you’re counting on your standard Charlotte homeowner’s insurance policy to cover that new ring or the gigantic TV if it’s damaged, think again. Most policies only cover your personal possessions up to a certain dollar amount, typically $1000 or $2000. If your gift is worth more, you’ll have to pay out of pocket if it’s lost or stolen.

Maybe you’ve received other valuable items in the past and have increased your insurance limits to cover them. You’re still going to need to talk to your insurance agent about this new gift you’ve received to make sure you’re adequately covered.

Here are some items you may need to have insured separately:

  • Jewelry
  • Silverware, china, or crystal
  • Antiques
  • Art
  • Cameras
  • Computers
  • TVs and sound equipment
  • Sports equipment
  • Guns
  • Furs
  • Pedigreed dogs


The best option for your valuables is to itemize them for your insurance policy with a separate amount for each one, based on their appraised value and replacement cost. You may spend extra on your premium but it will still be much less than the cost to replace the irreplaceable.

To make sure your valuables are properly covered and there’s no question of how much they’re worth, take these steps:

  • Make a copy of the purchase receipt.
  • Take a picture of the item.
  • Have it appraised and get a copy of the report provided by the appraisal.
  • Contact your insurance agent and send them copies of receipt, photo, and appraisal.
  • Keep copies of those same documents somewhere safe – a safe deposit box or in your home filing system.

If the worst happens, you’ll have proof of the value of your item to make your claim move quicker and easier.

If the holidays were good to you this year and you have a new valuable gift, contact us at Charlotte Insurance today so we can make sure it’s insured properly so you can enjoy it with less worry.

Do I need to Buy Extra Insurance when Renting a Car?

Written By Charlotte Insurance on December 8, 2016. It has 0 comments.

It happens to all of us when we rent a car. We’re signing on the dotted line and the person behind the counter offers extra insurance coverage – and then details all the ways we could be out thousands of dollars if we don’t accept it.

Some of us say no and spend the rest of the trip hoping nothing bad happens. Others take all the coverage offered, sometimes doubling the cost to rent a car. Which is the right answer?

When renting a car, should you opt for the extra coverage by the rental agency or can you rely on your personal auto coverage? The answer is that it depends, but with the right information you can make a better decision the next time you rent a car.


First of all, know that if you’re renting a car for business, your personal auto insurance may not cover you. But if your rental is for a personal trip, you need to understand what your own auto insurance covers and what it doesn’t.

  • Liability: Everyone is legally required to carry some level of this coverage. It pays for the other driver’s medical costs and property damage if you’re at fault in the accident.
  • Collision: This is the coverage that pays for damage if you collide with another vehicle or an object like a tree, light pole, or animal.
  • Comprehensive: You’re protected if your vehicle is damaged by a covered peril: theft, wind, fire, and other natural disasters.

Before you rent a car, make sure you know your own insurance coverage and what your deductibles are. You may also have a secondary insurance offer on rental vehicles through your credit card. If that’s an option for you, contact the credit card company to find out exactly what is covered. Often, it only kicks in after your primary insurance and only for costs above and beyond your insurance limits.


In order to know if you should take the rental insurance or not, you also need to know what it is they’re offering you – before you start signing on the dotted line.

  • Liability: This covers property damage for the other vehicle if you’re at fault. You likely already have this coverage.
  • Collision/Loss Waver: This isn’t insurance. It’s a waiver to cover the cost of certain types of damage. Make sure you check their exclusions. It might duplicate your collision and comprehensive insurance, but it might also cover “loss of use” on the rental while it’s being repaired – something your insurance doesn’t cover.
  • Personal Effects: Your personal property in the car will be covered if there’s loss or damage. Your homeowners or renters insurance often covers this – but check with your insurance agent before you rent.
  • Personal Accident: This coverage pays the medical costs for you and the other driver if you’re in an accident. Your liability and health insurance will do this for you without buying it from the rental agency.

So should you pay for the rental coverage? If you’re lacking any coverage, like comprehensive or collision, it may make sense to purchase some of the insurance or waivers they provide. But you can save yourself worry and money by understanding exactly what kind of insurance you already have first.

Want to check on your Charlotte auto insurance policy coverage before you rent your next vehicle? Contact us today. We’re happy to help!