4 Side Hustles that require Special Insurance

Written By Charlotte Insurance on January 26, 2017. It has 0 comments.

The day job is okay, but it’s not your dream. Your dream is to sit on the beach and take calls or maybe create art in your home office all day. Until then, you’ve got the side hustle. It earns extra money and gives you a goal to work for – whether it’s extra cash or a new career.

Have you also imagined the day you get into an accident with a customer in the car? Or your advice to a client is wrong and they lose serious money? It might be a side hustle to you, but the work you’re doing is still a business, and when things go wrong, you could be liable for damages, legal fees, and lawsuit settlements.

If you’ve got any of these side hustles going on, you’re going to need special insurance.


Whether you’re driving for Uber, Lyft, or some other ridesharing company, the last thing you want this side hustle to do is cost you more money than you’re making. One bad accident and you could lose everything – if you don’t have the right insurance. Make sure your personal auto insurance is the right kind for your ridesharing side hustle and covers you while you’re working and when you’re not.


Whether you’re a writer, a developer, or some other professional, working at the kitchen table at night doesn’t mean your standard insurance like home or renter’s covers you. By offering a professional service or advice to others, you need professional liability insurance, also called errors and omissions insurance, in case your work causes the client to lose money or face their own legal problems.


You’re not a freelancer in the typical sense. You don’t have regular clients but you do take a gig from time to time – making an infographic, editing video, producing music, whatever works. Don’t think you need insurance? Think again. You can get sued for your work just as quickly as a freelancer can. At the very least, get professional liability coverage.


You’re making money while you sleep thanks to the t-shirts, mugs, and or digital downloads you’re selling on your website. All you have to do is come up with an idea and put it online. You rarely interact with people, and you don’t regularly deal with clients – at least not in the traditional sense. You don’t need business insurance, right? Wrong. Because you’re taking personal information and credit card numbers, you absolutely need a cyber liability insurance policy. This will help your customers and your business if your site is hacked and information stolen, especially if an angry customer decides to sue.

Most people think of their side hustle as something to help pay the bills until it becomes the full-time gig. No matter how small it is, you’re still acting as a business, and need the right insurance to cover you in case someone decides to sue or you get into serious trouble. Don’t rely on your personal insurance to take care of everything. Most of the time, it won’t.

Got a side hustle and need special insurance? Contact us at Charlotte Insurance. We can help you decide which protection works best for your gig and help you find the best coverage at the right price.

Home Share Insurance

Written By Charlotte Insurance on January 19, 2017. It has 0 comments.

Maybe you’ve got a property you’re not living in anymore but don’t want to sell. Maybe you’ve got extra room in your own home or you travel a lot and want to earn some extra cash from your empty space. Home sharing websites like AirBnB and HomeAway have caught your attention. You know people who make good money by renting out their home or a room, and you like the sound of extra cash.

Do you need special home sharing insurance or will your standard Charlotte homeowner’s insurance policy cover you?


If you plan on renting out your home one time, for a special occasion, your homeowner’s insurance might cover you. Every insurer is a little different, and they all have their own requirements. You may need to give advanced notice to your insurer or you might have to buy additional insurance, known as an add-on or endorsement, for the time you have a renter.

Even with this one time renter, your homeowner’s policy likely won’t cover certain issues.

  • Damage done to your property by paying guests or renters
  • Theft of your property by a paying guest or renter
  • Damage to the guests’ property that occurs in your home

For multiple rentals or anything longer than a few months, even if you only have one renter, you’re going to need business insurance.


Depending on the type and length of home sharing you’re going to do, you have a few options for insurance coverage.

Endorsement or add-on: This extra coverage is added to your homeowner’s insurance policy for a one-time, single rental that occurs in your home. It will temporarily increase your liability and property damage coverage. Your deductible and premium will likely increase at the same time.

Hospitality and hotel insurance: You need this if you plan to home share multiple times throughout a given year for short durations. You’ll have property and liability protection, coverage for medical expenses for renters and legal expenses if you’re sued. Some policies also offer short term coverage for the loss of income expenses if you suffer damage that reduces your ability to rent your property.

Landlord insurance: You’ll need this if you plan to have long-term renters, typically six months or longer. It provides coverage for property damage for renters, liability coverage if there’s an accident, property damage to your home, and it may even coverage your personal property that you allowed the tenants to use.

Umbrella policy: Regardless of the type of additional coverage you need, you should also consider an umbrella policy. This insurance will protect you if claims exceed your insurance limits and, in some cases, help pay for damage or losses not covered by your insurance policy. It’s an extra layer of protection that’s needed when you allow strangers in your home.

If you’re jumping into the home sharing economy as a way to make money, good for you! Hopefully you’ll have plenty of success. Protect yourself and your home with the right insurance policy first. As any landlord can tell you, not everyone will treat your home with the same care you do.

Before you post the first ad on AirBnB, give us a call at Charlotte Insurance so we can go over all of your home share insurance options.

Common Driving Distractions and how to avoid them

Written By Charlotte Insurance on January 16, 2017. It has 0 comments.

Getting distracted while we’re driving – we’re all guilty of it at some point – but it’s more serious than you may realize.

Of the 15 to 19 year-olds involved in fatal crashes, 10 percent were distracted at the time. Twenty-three percent of drivers in fatal crashes are in their 20s, but they account for 27 percent of all distracted drivers and 38 percent of the distracted drivers using cell phones.

While cell phone use in the car is most common in younger drivers, older drivers aren’t exempt from their own distractions. How many times have we eaten lunch while speeding down the highway, looked down to change a radio station or CD, or had an animated conversation with a passenger?

Any distraction can lead to tragedy. Take your eyes of the road for just a few seconds, while you’re driving 55 miles per hour, you’ve just traveled the length of a football field without looking.

Let’s all stay a little safer out on the road by avoiding common distractions.


According to Distraction.gov, a website devoted to preventing distracted driving, there are several common distractions:

  • Texting which requires your eyes, your hands, and your mind to focus on something other than driving
  • Using your cell phone at all, which includes talking to someone else
  • Eating and drinking, a common thing in our busy go, go, go world
  • Talking to passengers
  • Grooming, which can include brushing your teeth, shaving, changing clothes, and applying make-up
  • Reading maps, as old-fashioned as that seems
  • Using your GPS
  • Watching a video
  • Adjusting the radio or your MP3 player

Some of these sound laughable, don’t they? Who shaves while driving down the road?You’d be surprised at what people do when they think they can multi-task.


The reality is that we can’t multi-task, at least not as well as we think we can. When you take your attention off the road in front of you or the traffic around you, it takes only a few seconds for an accident to happen. When was the last time you glanced at your phone, looked up, and had to slam on your brakes? Probably more recently than you want to admit. So how do we avoid the distractions and stay safe?

Put your phone away. Put it in the glove box, your purse, or somewhere else that makes it hard to reach. If you find that too difficult, find a distracted driving app that can block you from doing things while you’re driving or send out automated messages for you.

Get up a bit earlier so that you’re not getting ready for work or school in the car while you’re driving. It sounds like it’ll save time, but taking the extra minute to put on your clothes or brush your teeth at home is best. If that won’t work, get ready when you arrive at your destination or pull into a gas station or fast food place and use their bathroom. Whatever you do, don’t groom yourself in the car.

Install and use hands-free, voice-activated options in your vehicle. Newer vehicles are beginning to offer this as a standard feature more often. While talking is a distraction by itself, it’s much better than picking up your phone or looking down at the console. If you’ve got the option to go hands-free, use it.

Try not to eat while driving. It sounds great to say “never eat in the car” but we know it’s not easy. Do it less often, and you’ll reduce your chances of an accident.

Don’t read, watch videos, or text while driving. There’s no alternative to this. Just don’t do it.

The best way to avoid distracted driving is to focus on what you’re doing. You can talk, listen to the radio, and sip on your water in the car, but your main job is to operate a motor vehicle safely with your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. Remembering this will help you avoid accidents and keep everyone safer.

Do you need a Non-Standard Auto Insurance Policy?

Written By Charlotte Insurance on January 9, 2017. It has 0 comments.

Life can hit hard at a moment’s notice. A lost job, no money, and hard choices have hit us all at some time or another in our lives. The 2008 housing crash and recession are a prime example. Several years later, some people are still recovering from the financial devastation from those years.

You may have found yourself in similar circumstances, forced to make hard choices about which bills to pay. Maybe your Charlotte auto insurance policy was a casualty and you stopped paying or let it lapse. Maybe your devastation wasn’t financial but too many car accidents in a short period of time or even a DUI.

Now you’re on your feet and ready to get back to normal and you’re looking for auto insurance again. But there’s a problem. It’s either too expensive or hard to find. Driving without insurance could easily set you back to tough times. What are you going to do?

You need a non-standard auto insurance policy.


Insurance companies base their premium prices and the policies they’ll write on how much of a risk they think you are. Low risk policies are people with good driving records, excellent credit, and within a certain age rage. What makes them decide you’re risky? Poor credit, lapses in insurance, multiple accidents, DUIs, and your age (typically under 20 or over 70) are all indicators of the the risk that you’ll get into an accident or stop paying your insurance premiums.

Non-standard auto insurance is coverage designed specifically for high-risk drivers. It is often more expensive than standard insurance. Not every company offers this kind of policy, and those who do may have additional requirements for you to meet.


The vast majority of drivers who need non-standard auto insurance are recovering from financial problems that killed their credit or caused them to drop coverage for a time. Some drivers, however, are dealing with the aftermath of a DUI conviction. Even if no one was hurt, driving under the influence makes you a higher risk to insurance companies.

You’re not a bad person. You made a mistake. But the reality is that after a DUI, your premiums will likely go up – if you’re able to keep your standard policy at all. We’re here to help you find good auto insurance at the best price so you can get back on the road. We can also help you file your SR-22 form and make sure you have whatever coverage the state mandates, even if it’s more than standard auto policies require.

Life happens. Charlotte Insurance wants to help get you back on the road at the best price. If you’re finding it hard to get auto insurance coverage or you know you’re a high risk driver after a DUI or multiple accidents, contact us today.

11 Ways to Save on Heating Costs in the Winter

Written By Charlotte Insurance on January 6, 2017. It has 0 comments.

Maybe North Carolina doesn’t have to worry about blizzards like Minnesota or North Dakota does, but that doesn’t mean we don’t get cold around here. Through the winter, heaters are churning, jackets are out, and chimneys are smoking in an effort to keep everyone warm.

As a result, energy costs can go up in the winter, right when you could really use a break on your expenses. Check out these tips on how to use less energy while trying to stay warm this winter and lower your costs as a result.

  1. Turn your thermostat down to 68 degrees or as cold as you can stand it. When your home is empty and at night when you go to bed, turn it down a few more degrees.
  2. Wear warmer clothes when you’re home like sweaters and thick socks so you can keep the thermostat lower.
  3. Close off rooms you’re not using, including the vents, to heat less of your home.
  4. Keep curtains and drapes closed until the sun hits the window. Open them to let the light and heat in. Close the curtains again as the sun moves.
  5. Seal up cracks and leaks around windows and doors with caulk. For older, drafty windows, cover them in plastic to keep out the cold air.
  6. Set your water heater to 120 degrees, unless you have a dishwasher that requires a higher setting.
  7. Replace or clean your heating unit’s filters every 30 to 90 days.
  8. Turn your ceiling fans clockwise so the warm air from the heater can be circulated. You won’t have to set your heater as high as a result.
  9. If you use your fireplace, keep the damper closed between uses.
  10. Have your heating system serviced regularly. This will catch any inefficiencies or problems that can increase your energy costs or lead to big and expensive repairs.
  11. When you upgrade your HVAC, go for the most energy efficient system you can afford. The savings in your energy costs will likely be dramatic.

Drastic changes in temperatures don’t have to mean drastic changes in your heating costs. With a few changes, you can keep yourself warm and your costs low this winter.