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Express Financial & Insurance Services

3222 Santa Monica Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90404

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Top Myths about Condo Insurance

If you live in the Santa Monica, CA area and own a condo, there is a good chance that you have been fooled by many of the condo insurance myths. The agents at Express Financial & Insurance Services would be happy to help you debunk the myths and make sure you are fully protected with a comprehensive condo insurance policy. 

My home business is covered 

Many condo owners make the mistake of assuming their home-based business is covered under their condo homeowners’ policy. Most condo insurance policies specifically exclude coverage for businesses. If you run a business out of your home, you will need to purchase a separate business policy to cover liability and property damage claims related to your business. 

Jewelry and artwork are covered 

It is a common misconception that jewelry and artwork are covered under a condo policy because the policy covers personal belongings. While it is true that coverage for jewelry and artwork is provided under a condo policy, it is imperative to understand there is typically a small limit. If the value of your jewelry and artwork is above the policy limit, it is critical for you to purchase additional limits to add to your policy through an endorsement. 

My condo has insurance, so I do not need a personal policy

The myth that the master policy of the condo will provide coverage to you can end up being a costly mistake. The condo master policy is meant to cover the buildings’ common areas such as the lobby or the rooftop. It is critical that you have a personal policy to be covered for your belongings in the condo. 

My tenants are covered by my condo insurance

If you rent out your condo, it is critical that you require your tenants to carry renters insurance. While your policy will still cover you, during the lease, it will not cover your tenants’ belongings. 

If you are interested in learning more about condo insurance, please reach out to an agent at  Express Financial & Insurance today. We proudly serve the Santa Monica, CA area. 

How Does Health Insurance Work?

There are many people in Santa Monica, CA who know they need insurance and even some that have insurance that really do not understand how it works. We here at Express Financial & Insurance Services hope this simple guide can help clear up some of the confusion, starting with common insurance terms. 

Insurance Terms to Know

Premium

The premium is basically your monthly bill to keep your insurance. 

Deductible

This is the amount you must pay each year before your insurance actually begins to cover you. The premium and the deductible tend to go hand-in-hand. Often, the higher the deductible, the lower the premium.

Copay

Most insurance plans require that you pay a flat fee for covered things, such as $20 for a doctor’s visit or $10 for a prescription. 

Covered Costs

These are quite simply the items and services that your insurance will pay for, such as certain medical tests or specific operations.

Network

These are the doctors and pharmacies you can go to in order for your insurance to cover you.

Formulary

This is a specific list of prescription drugs that your insurance covers.

How It Works

Health insurance is very similar to auto insurance in many ways. Every month, you pay your premium. For most people, insurance is not needed every month, but it is there when you do need it. You might not have an auto accident for a decade, but if you do, your auto insurance is there to help you get back on the road. If we had to pay for the damage out of pocket, most of us would be stuck without a vehicle.

The same is true with health insurance. You might not break a bone every day, but if it suddenly happens, that health insurance is there to help you carry the burden. 

If you are in the Santa Monica, CA area and have any further questions, stop by or give Express Financial & Insurance Services a call today!

3 Tips for Buying Recreational Insurance in Santa Monica, CA

Do you enjoy spending your time on your ATV, boat, or jet ski? If so, you should also put some time and effort into protecting these “toys” you have purchased. The best way to do this is by purchasing a quality recreational insurance policy from the Santa Monica, CA based insurance company, Express Financial & Insurance Services. 

Some tips that will help ensure you get the policy and coverage you need can be found here. 

Work with a Reputable Agent 

One of the first things you should do when you are ready to purchase any insurance is to find and work with a reputable agent. One of the best ways for you to do this is by asking family members, friends, or other individuals who own these items about the insurance company they use. Once you have several recommendations for service providers, you can begin conducting your own research to ensure you choose the best of the best in the companies that were recommended. 

Bundle Your Policies 

If you have an insurance company that you are working with already, or if you find a new one, you should consider bundling all your policies together, under the same insurer. Most insurance companies provide a significant discount if you have more than one policy with them. Consider doing this to see if you can save some money. 

Compare Quotes 

Before settling on one insurance company, get at least three quotes for the coverage you need. By doing this, you can feel confident you are choosing the policy that provides you with the most value. 

When it comes to your insurance needs and protecting your recreational items, you can’t go wrong by choosing Express Financial & Insurance Services serving Santa Monica, CA for help and superior protection. 

What Santa Monica, CA Renters Need To Know About Renters Insurance

Why Don’t More Renters Secure Insurance?

Renters often put off getting renters insurance for a number of reasons. These include: 

  1. I don’t own much stuff, or it was all secondhand anyway.
  2. My landlord has insurance for that.
  3.  Insurance is expensive.
  4. That takes too long, and I don’t want to talk to high-pressure salespeople.

The Advantages Of Renters Insurance

Renters insurance is easy to get and extremely cost-effective. It gives you peace of mind. The renter who has insurance has these advantages that come with their policy coverage:

  • Possessions are covered by personal property coverage.
  • Their housing can be covered by a loss-of-use policy.
  • They and their families can have peace of mind with liability protection.

If something were to happen to your possessions, it wouldn’t matter how inexpensive they had been to get. What would matter is that you now have none of those items- dishes, furniture, clothing, and movie collection? If the building experienced an incident and you could not stay there, where would your family sleep that night? Having a visitor come to your apartment won’t leave you open to personal liability. Our agents at Express Financial & Insurance Services are ready to show you what a renters insurance policy can do for you in Santa Monica, CA. 

We Have Solutions

Visit us today at Express Financial & Insurance Services to learn more about the many insurance options that are waiting for you. It won’t take much time, and we’ll explain the terms of each policy. We also understand if you need some time to think about it. Your Santa Monica, CA landlord is under no obligation to cover the property of renters, so it’s up to you. It’s easier than you think, so call us today.

Why do I need condo insurance in Santa Monica CA

Owning a condo in Santa Monica, CA is a dream come true but it comes with a lot of worries. Like any homeowner, you need to think about what will happen if you have something bad occur to your home. With a condo, the association has a master policy that covers the exterior area of your home and the common areas. Their policy covers both perils and liability in case someone is hurt on the property.  How much their policy covers is something that you need to find out so that you can determine what is your responsibility. With Express Financial & Insurance Services you have someone to turn to when you need your questions answered. 

Personal property

Your personal property is not covered in the master policy of the condo association. If your condo is damaged or destroyed and you lose all of your personal items in your home, replacing them will be your responsibility. If that would be a financial hardship then having condo insurance is a necessity for you. Your personal property will also be covered against theft. If you have condo insurance and your personal property is stolen while you are away from home traveling, it will be replaced after your deductible is met. 

Liability coverage

This coverage protects you and your family members, even your furry friends from the results of an injury that hurts someone else. It covers medical as well as legal expenses. 

Loss of use

If your condo is damaged by a covered peril and is uninhabitable, this coverage will help pay for a place for you to stay until you can come back home. 

If you have questions about condo insurance in Santa Monica, CA, Express Financial & Insurance Services is there to answer them for you. Stop by their office or give them a call for a no-obligation quote. 

 

 

Tips for choosing the right health insurance

Choosing health insurance can be intimidating. Finding a policy that is affordable and provides the coverage that you need is not for the faint of heart. It helps to do some research before you begin so that you can understand the terminology.  If you live in or near Santa Monica, CA Express Financial & Insurance Services can come to the rescue with some friendly health insurance advice.

In the meantime, these tips will get you started as you navigate the complicated world of health insurance.

Provider network

If you want to keep your current doctor or doctors be sure to check the provider network of any plan or plans that look interesting to you.  If you are in doubt, talk to your doctor’s office, they will know exactly which insurance plans they accept. You should also check which local hospitals are included if you have a preference.

Deductibles

Before your insurance starts to cover you, you have to pay a certain amount of money out of pocket, this is a deductible. High deductible plans are more affordable but can result in you paying not only your premiums but all your medical expenses since you have not met the deductible.

Co-pays

For covered expenses, the insurance may cover a percentage for example 80% and then you pay 20% or there may be a set amount that you pay for that service, such as an office visit.

These are just a few of the terms that you need to understand before you can make an informed decision about what health insurance is right for you. In addition to all these terms, the premiums must be affordable. If you live in or near Santa Monica, CA, Express Financial & Insurance Services will be happy to talk to you about the right health insurance for you and your family.

Can I Borrow Against A Whole Life Insurance Policy?

The agents of Express Financial & Insurance Services are able to explain all of the benefits of a whole life policy to their customers living in the Santa Monica, CA area. Your whole life insurance policy has many benefits that you may not be aware of. Talking to your agent will help you learn what your policy can do and how you can benefit from having it long before your family actually uses it.

The Benefits of Whole Life

A whole life insurance policy is meant to provide for your family if the unthinkable happens. The monthly premiums are higher because there is no termination date. Since you don’t know when you will need to use it, the money is put into an account, first to make sure the cash value of the policy is reached and second, to establish a cash value. At the time of your death, the cash value of the policy is paid out to your family to ensure they are taken care of.

Protecting Your Family

Once your policy begins to establish cash value or equity, you may be able to borrow against it if an emergency occurs. The money you borrow is treated in the same way as a loan using the policy as collateral. Just like a loan, the money must be paid back in a timely manner. 

Santa Monica, CA residents can visit the agents of Express Financial & Insurance Services if they are interested in learning more about the benefits of having a whole life policy. Schedule a meeting at your earliest convenience to see if you can benefit from purchasing a whole life policy.

Is Workers’ Compensation Part of Commercial Insurance?

If you have employees, you’re typically required to have workers’ compensation insurance to cover them in case they’re harmed on the job. You will typically be held liable if they sustained any type of injury while furthering the interests of the company. This principle applies to all industries, even ones that wouldn’t necessarily be considered dangerous for its workers. If you’re in Santa Monica, CA, Express Financial & Insurance Services wants you to have as much information as possible. 

Buying Workers’ Compensation Insurance 

Your commercial insurance may or may not cover workers’ compensation, though many policies will bundle these costs together. Each state has its own rules and requirements when it comes to workers’ compensation insurance, and California tends to err on the side of caution. In other states, you may not need insurance for companies with under a certain amount of employees. However, in California, you’ll need protection if you have even one employee. In addition to state rules, your industry may have specific rules about workers’ compensation. Jobs with more risks may require business owners to purchase additional coverage. 

Understanding Your Options 

Express Financial & Insurance Services works with business owners from a variety of industries in Santa Monica, CA. We help get them the coverage they need to keep their business alive. Just one lawsuit or compliance violation can threaten the future of a business, and leave it open to failure.

If you want to learn more about your options, give us a call today to learn more about how the right policy for you. You may also want to consider increasing the coverage of your current policy as well. Injuries in the workplace can be common, regardless of whether your employees work in an office building, from their home, or at an outside location. 

Recreational Vehicles: Insurance and Liability

Even if you were able to buy your RV for a nice low price, picking up an old fixer-upper and getting it up to your likings, an RV is going to be a little pricier to insure than a smaller vehicle based on the size alone. It comes down to liability. Essentially, a large vehicle can do more damage in a collision than a small vehicle, so liability coverage is priced accordingly.

Liability is the main reason why car insurance is a legal requirement in the first place. This is the policy that’s going to pay for medical expenses and damages caused in an accident. If you’re held responsible for the collision, then your liability policy is going to be what keeps you from paying out of pocket for damages for which you’ve been found at fault.

Liability is required if you drive your RV. This means that if you’re simply parking it on your Santa Monica, CA property to use as a sort of guest house, for example, or if you only take it out once every couple years, you don’t need to keep it insured. Just make sure that you’re covered if you are going to get behind the wheel.

It is worth noting that travel trailers do not generally require liability insurance. Any coverage you buy for a trailer is going to be to cover your own losses in the event of an accident. You’ll need to cover whatever vehicle you’re pulling your trailer with, of course. But the trailer itself does not require liability coverage in most scenarios.

If you’re looking to get covered or improve your insurance plan, give Express Financial & Insurance Services a call and see what they have for you.

Replacing Your Stuff is Expensive, Renters Insurance is No

Research shows that more people are renting at any point in the last 50 years.  However, of those renting only 41 percent carry renter’s insurance. Which translates to an alarming amount of people are putting their hard earned belongings at risk.  The experts Express Financial & Insurance Services know how expensive it can be to replace everything at once. That’s why the urge Santa Monica, CA residents to protect themselves with a renters policy.

Breaking Down Renters Insurance

Let’s think about it for a second; if you had to pay for all of your furniture, clothes, dishes, computers, etc. How long would it take? How much time did you spend at your job to make money to purchase all these things? Okay, now you have a visual in your mind of all the work you put in, think about having to do it all over again. While your landlord has coverage for the building you live in, your belongings are not protected under their policy. Imagine your apartment floods because the neighbor above you left the water running in his tub, or the house you are renting is damaged from a tornado ruining your furniture. Your stuff is your responsibility and rebuilding your life can be expensive. Renters insurance, however, is relatively cheap, and it can protect you from things like fire or theft.  Renters insurance also has personal liability, which can provide coverage for you if you accidentally cause damage to your rental.

Plus, as an added bonus, some insurance carriers will let you bundle it with an auto policy for additional savings.

Final Thoughts

If you are ready to start a conversation about protecting all your favorite things, give the insurance professionals at Express Financial & Insurance Services a call today. They are happy to help Santa Monica, CA residents find the coverage they need.