Renters Insurance Covers more than you may think

Written By Charlotte Insurance on February 27, 2017. It has 0 comments.

Plenty of landlords are making renters insurance a requirement these days. Before you think about trying to skip out on this important coverage, think again. Renters insurance covers much more than you realize.


We never want to think about someone we care about suing us, but it happens all the time. When your friend trips on a broken tile in the kitchen, slips in your bathroom, or gets a chunk bitten out of their arm by your dog, your renters insurance may cover you. It’s not just for lawsuits, either. The liability part of your renters insurance will pay your friends medical expenses and property damage, too.


It always happens the one time you forgot to lock your door or when you had to park in a different spot for the night. Your car is damaged and your laptop and other personal property is stolen. Renters insurance may cover the loss of your personal property, even though it wasn’t in your apartment.


Check your lease. Your landlord might have added a clause that says fires from short-circuit damage – like when you plugged too many things into an outlet – are their responsibility. But it might also say it’s your responsibility. Either way, your renters insurance will pay to replace your property and, if necessary, damage to your house or apartment.


Maybe you broke a window and it rained before you could it get fixed. Maybe you left the faucet running and forgot about it – until you saw water running down the hallway. Either way, you caused accidental damage to your home. It wasn’t intentional but it might be expensive. Renters insurance has you covered.


A lot of things can happen at any point. A fire could destroy your house. A big storm could take the roof off. Either way, you might not be able to live in your rental for weeks. Renters insurance can include additional living expenses – like a hotel stay – until your home is livable again. The last thing you want to think about when you’re dealing with a disaster is how you’re going to afford a hotel stay.

Make sure you have a renters insurance policy that covers you when life happens. Contact us at Charlotte Insurance. We’ll go over your policy or get you a quote for a new (and better) one.

How much Life Insurance do I need?

Written By Charlotte Insurance on February 24, 2017. It has 0 comments.

When it comes to trying to figure out how much life insurance you need, there is no one simple answer that works for everyone. Your needs will vary from one family to the next. They’ll also change as you and your family grow and change.

Here are a few things to keep in mind in order to determine how much life insurance you need.


There’s plenty to consider when choosing how much life insurance to buy.

  1. How big is your family now?
  2. Do you plan on having more children in the future?
  3. Have you already begun a college or education fund for your children?
  4. Do you have a mortgage right now?
  5. Will you buy a larger house?
  6. Do you both work or does one spouse stay-at-home?
  7. How many more years do you plan to work? What age do you want to retire?
  8. Will you pre-pay and pre-plan for funeral expenses?
  9. Is it possible family members may live with you as they age?

All of these issues impact how much income you need now or your family will need when you die. You can’t predict the future, but if you have a good idea of how many people will be in your household, and who will be dependent on your income, you have a better idea of how much life insurance to buy.


You also need to be realistic about your expenses, now and in the future. Current expenses include:

  • Credit card debt and other consumer debt
  • Medical expenses
  • Mortgage balance
  • Funeral expenses
  • Childcare and/or college expenses

Your future expenses may be harder to predict.

  • The income you’d need to replace
  • College expenses (if your children are currently young)
  • Services that would replace what a stay-at-home parent provides – childcare, housecleaning, etc.

Yes, you need life insurance for stay-at-home-parents, too. If they die before the children move off to college or become self-sufficient, much of what this parent does for your household will need to be replaced through paid services.


Now that you have some of these details in mind, it’s time to figure out a number for your life insurance. Just how much do you want your family to receive when you die, especially if you die unexpectedly?

Add these numbers together:

  • Your annual salary times the number of years you want to replace
  • Mortgage balance
  • Outstanding debts
  • Future expenses like funeral costs or college tuition
  • *For stay-at-home parent, include additional childcare or other service costs

In a separate column, add these numbers together:

  • Your current savings balance
  • The total of any existing college funds
  • The total amount of any other current life insurance plans

Subtract the two numbers. This is your rough estimate of how much life insurance to purchase. You should round this number up. Buying more life insurance is better than not having enough.

Does it sound complicated? It doesn’t have to be. Contact us at Charlotte Insurance, and we’ll be happy to do the math for you. We’ll talk about where you’re at now and what you want for your family to help

13 Overlooked Insurance Discounts

Written By Charlotte Insurance on February 20, 2017. It has 0 comments.

If you’re willing to make some changes around your home and in your life, you can easily qualify for discounts that will save you money on your Charlotte homeowner’s insurancepolicy. Take a look at these often overlooked ways to reduce your rates and qualify for discounts.


Fixing up your home and making structural improvements can have a major impact on your insurance premiums.

  • Install a high-impact roof to bring it up to current building codes.
  • Rewire your home, especially in older homes, to reduce the chance of fire.
  • Update your plumbing – new pipes usually don’t leak.
  • Upgrade your HVAC. This isn’t just good for your energy costs. You also have less chance of mold, mildew, and other damage with a well functioning system.


Making your home safe or choosing to live in a safer neighborhood will definitely lower your home insurance costs.

  • Install high tech alarm systems
  • Add carbon monoxide detectors as well as smoke alarms.
  • Install sensors that can detect gas leaks and water leaks.
  • Stop smoking. Forgotten cigarettes and burning ashes are the precursors to home fires.
  • Choose a gated community. Insurance companies love gated communities because your chances of theft and vandalism go down with this layer of security.
  • Join the homeowner’s association (HOA). Like a gate, HOAs provide a measure of security plus they often have basic upkeep and maintenance requirements.


There are a few small things that can go a long way to saving you plenty of money on your homeowners insurance.

  • Bundle your insurance together. If you purchase your home, auto, and/or life insurancefrom the same company, you’ll get a discount.
  • Enjoy getting older. Around age 55, you may qualify for a discount on your insurance for your primary home, especially if you’ve lived there for many years.
  • Only file claims if you have to. The longer you can go without filing a claim, the more of a discount you’ll receive.

If you’ve taken any of these steps recently, make sure your insurance agent knows so you can get the discounts you’re entitled to. Give us a call at Charlotte Insurance. We’ll be happy to go over your policy, find discounts you qualify for, and get you a better price for your home insurance.

6 Reasons to Love your North Carolina Independent Insurance Agent

Written By Charlotte Insurance on February 14, 2017. It has 0 comments.

You don’t have to be married to your insurance agent to love one. And we don’t need a card or a big bouquet of flowers on Valentine’s Day – or the anniversary of your current policy. But, if we do say so ourselves, there are plenty of reasons to love your North Carolina independent insurance agent, now and all year long.

  1. We make your insurance make sense. Comprehensive, collision, riders, liability…A good agent will take the time to explain it all to you so you know exactly what you’ve got, what you need, and what you’re paying for.
  2. We’ll call your insurance company if there’s a problem. Independent insurance agents are willing to advocate on your behalf when something doesn’t make sense. Why did that claim get denied? What do we need to do to speed up the process? Give us a minute, and we’ll find out for you.
  3. You get plenty of options. When you go with a single company, you only get what that one company can offer. Independent insurance agencies like ours work with multiple companies so you can pick and choose the policy that works best for your situation and your budget. There’s nothing cookie-cutter or one-size-fits-all with us.
  4. No one has time to fill out multiple forms. Sit down and talk to your insurance agent about all of your insurance needs. We’ll do the work of getting information for your homecar, and life insurance and so that we can present it to you all at once. That’s much easier than going from company to company or website to website.
  5. We care about you and your life. When we ask, “How are you doing?” we really mean it. As your life changes, we want to know about it. We’re like a personal advisor that can help you navigate things like moves, pregnancy, new cars, retirement, and more to help you pick the best coverage to keep everyone safer.
  6. You’ll probably be able to ask us about insurance at the grocery store. Independent insurance agents live and work in your community. Sure, you can email us but you’ll probably see us at the soccer game, too.

We don’t need a card this Valentine’s Day. Just call us when something changes, let us know when you have questions, and don’t ever drop coverage without getting in touch first. And if you really want to show us how much you care, refer your friends and family so we can help them, too.

Got questions about your current insurance? Need a quote for a new policy? Contact us at Charlotte Insurance today. We’re here to help.

Creating an Inventory List

Written By Charlotte Insurance on February 8, 2017. It has 0 comments.

No one wants to imagine the worst happening to their home or business. Whether a big storm, accidental fire, or major theft, anything can happen. Creating an inventory of your possessions or equipment is important for both individuals and businesses.

When you have an inventory list of exactly what’s in your home or business, you can help settle your insurance claims faster and for the correct amount. An inventory can also help you make sure you have the right amount of insurance.


Your home inventory is simply a list of all of your possessions. You’ll want to describe each item, where you bought it, and if available, the make, and model. Certain items, like clothing, can be listed by type and quantity. For example, under Clothing you may have an item labeled “Pants, 10” and “Skirts, 5.”

For your major appliances, include the serial number with the make and model. If nothing else, always have a list of big ticket items like jewelry, art work, and collectibles. Save your receipts to show proof of dollar value and make copies of the list, receipts, and any appraisals for items like jewelry or art.

In addition to the above, it’s a great idea to take photos of your items, as well.


Your business list isn’t much different than a home inventory list. The difference is that you’ll also want to list the cost to replace each item as well. This is helpful in determining if you have enough insurance coverage or if you need to purchase more.

Businesses typically have a list for multiple types of items:

  • Furniture
  • Fixtures
  • Signage
  • Security Cameras
  • Technology
  • Equipment
  • Products
  • Merchandise

On your inventory list, include item descriptions, serial numbers, purchase dates, and the estimated value for each item.


Regardless whether you’re making a home or business inventory lists, the process can be the same.

  1. Go from room to room, one at a time. Don’t start the next until you’re sure you’ve checked everything in a single room.
  2. Save your receipts whenever possible.
  3. Make copies of everything.

Your list can be made in a number of ways. Do whatever works best for you.

Once your list is made, you need to store it. Consider using multiple methods, depending on the type of list you have.

  • Safe deposit box
  • File cabinet with lock and key
  • Online cloud storage
  • Secure files on your computer

What you don’t want is only one copy that only one person has access to. In an emergency, especially with a big insurance claim, you need to know you can get your hands on your inventory list easily. Having multiple copies or storing your list in multiple ways will help with this.

If you realize you need more insurance coverage after you make your inventory list, contact us at Charlotte Insurance. We’ll make sure you have the right coverage for your home or business.