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Express Financial & Insurance Services

3222 Santa Monica Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90404

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How Does Renters’ Insurance Work?

Insurance for Renters

Anytime you rent a home, it’s vital to have your belongings covered with a renters’ insurance policy. If you are moving soon and will need a new policy, or you want to boost your coverage, contact us at Express Financial & Insurance Services in Santa Monica, CA to find out more about it and to make an appointment with an agent.

Renters’ Insurance Policies

Renters’ insurance is a type that functions as a specific type of insurance that does not include the dwelling itself. This insurance covers your possessions that are inside the home, but not the home itself. That home coverage is for the property owner to provide. Renters’ insurance policies also generally carry some liability insurance for the inside of your home. These policies give you some protection against accidents that could occur inside your home and away from the community’s public spaces. 

Covering Disasters

One of the most important reasons to have renters’ insurance is that it is an inexpensive way to cover your belongings against a major calamity. If your possessions are severely damaged or destroyed, your renters’ policy can cover the value of those items. This allows you to start again and to keep up the lifestyle you had before the calamity. The liability insurance protects you from other types of calamities that can result in lawsuits that find you liable. With so many people bringing lawsuits today, having this protection in place could be one of the best things you do for your financial future. 

Getting a Renters’ Policy

If you need coverage to protect yourself and your possessions, give us a call at Express Financial & Insurance Services in Santa Monica, CA to get a policy of your own. 

Why do I need condo insurance in Santa Monica?

Santa Monica, CA continues to be a dream place for people to move to. In this area, you are going to enjoy the amazing weather, the local beaches and plenty of entertainment options that are taking place all the time. When you are moving here, you should consider purchasing a condo. With a condo, you will continue to have a stable and great place to live but will have more free time as you will not need to spend as much time on home maintenance. If you do buy a condo here, you do need to consider your insurance needs. There are several reasons why you will need to get condo insurance here.

Insurance is an Association Requirement

One of the responsibilities that you will have when it comes to living in a condo is the need to comply with your association’s insurance rules. Almost any association will want all of their owners to have insurance as it collectively provides protection to everyone else. You should review your condo association rules to make sure you choose the right policy for your situation. 

Mortgage Requirement

Another reason that you will have to get a condo insurance policy is that you will need to have it to comply with your lender. Most of the time, a mortgage lender will require that you carry insurance and escrow payments each month. This will ensure you have continued coverage at all times. 

Having condo insurance is practically always a necessity for someone in the Santa Monica, CA area. When you are going to look for a policy, you should speak with the team at Express Financial & Insurance Services. If you do speak with Express Financial & Insurance Services, you can receive the guidance you need to get into a great policy. 

How to Choose a Health Insurance Policy in California

While many California residents are able to receive health insurance through their employee or their spouse’s employer, not everyone is so lucky or wants to take advantage of that benefit. For those in that situation, the best option is to shop for health insurance through your state’s online marketplace. When shopping for insurance online, you will have four types of plans to choose from – Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. As their names imply, a Bronze plan is going to be the least expensive while Platinum will offer the most expansive coverage options but come with a heftier price tag.

Similar to a health insurance plan through an employee, you’ll pay a monthly premium to the insurance company every month – regardless of whether or not you use medical services – and you’ll have out of pocket costs including a deductible. When you are comparing plans, make sure to pay attention to items like your out of pocket costs including copays and deductibles. Additionally, depending on the type of plan you choose – PPO, HMO, POS, or EPO you may have the ability to go to virtually any doctor or office while others will limit you to only providers within their network. Plans may also differ in quality so be sure to do your research by reading reviews online, talking to friends, and healthcare providers to determine which policy is best for you.

Shopping for healthcare insurance doesn’t have to be a challenge and by utilizing the team at Express Financial & Insurance Services our friendly and professional staff will help you find the perfect policy for your needs. As the premier insurance provider in Santa Monica, CA we take the time to learn about our customers so we can offer you a policy that is customized for exactly what you want. Give us a call to schedule a no-obligation consultation. 

Does Life Insurance Ever Expire in Santa Monica?

Life insurance is a pivotal way to keep those you love protected during the most trying of circumstances. But does this policy ever run out its course? This common question for those who live in Santa Monica, CA has a bit of a complicated answer. Express Financial & Insurance Services wants you to have all the facts before you decide on the right policy for you. 

Two Kinds of Insurance 

It may seem odd to think about insurance having a set date to end, but it’s an important concept to learn. There are two separate kinds of insurance: known as term insurance and permanent insurance. With permanent insurance, the policy does not have an expiration date. It’s set to cover your loved ones regardless of when they need to use it. 

With term insurance though, the policy does have an expiration date. The most common way for a policyholder to use it is if they have dependents that they need to care for. So they might choose to have the expiration date of the policy be the day at which their youngest child turns 25. At that point, the child should be able to take care of themselves and no longer require the benefits of a life insurance policy. 

Deciding for Yourself 

If you have questions about the best policy for you in Santa Monica, CA, Express Financial & Insurance Services is here to help. Term insurance tends to be a lot more practical than permanent insurance on paper, but there are trade-offs that the policyholder should know about before moving forward with their plan. Give us a call to understand more about the benefits of different types of coverage, who they’re made for, and how you can use them to sleep a little easier at night. 

I Co-Own A Business, Who Buys The Commercial Insurance?

When buying commercial insurance with a business partner in Santa Monica, CA, there are a number of ways that the policy can be arranged, both formally and informally. You can share a joint insurance policy as equal parties, you can have one partner listed as a primary policyholder and have the other partner added to the policy, or you can have whichever partner put up the financing hold the policy as sole beneficiary.

The truth is that every business is different, so every commercial insurance policy is different. When you get in touch with Express Financial & Insurance Services, we’re going to arrange a policy specifically around your needs, so chances are, whatever structure you need for your policy, we can arrange it for you. The most important thing is to discuss the insurance policy with your partner before you make the call.

It comes down to who’s putting up the risk, and it’s not just about who bought the building or who pays for the advertising. The real risk lies in liability, so even if one partner puts less money into the business, they may still stand to lose just as much as their partner should it come to a lawsuit following an injury. This is something that you’re going to need to bear in mind as you determine how you’re going to arrange your business insurance policy.

Talk it out with your partner, then talk it out with us at Express Financial & Insurance Services. No matter the structure of your partnership, we can help you to get covered with a plan that meets your needs and protects you, your partner, and your business.

Does storage space lower recreational rates?

Your recreational vehicle (RV) in Santa Monica, CA does not leave the garage every day. In fact, you have even considered purchasing separate storage space for your motorhome because of your tendency to drive seasonally. You do not have to pay high premium rates if you do not drive your RV daily. The agents at Express Financial & Insurance Services can help you find a policy that gives you a discount for seasonal driving and storage. 

What is seasonal driving?

Seasonal driving occurs when you only take your RV on road trips once or twice per year. Some motorhome owners travel once every three months. Such a driving pattern still qualifies as seasonal so long as you do not take your RV around town every day. 

Many RV owners in Santa Monica, CA fall under the classification as seasonal drivers because they do not live in their motorhomes and often purchase storage space to serve as their RV’s home for the majority of the year. Unfortunately, many RV owners of this sort pay high premiums as if they operated their motorhomes daily because they do not take full advantage of the discounts associated with RV insurance.

Does RV insurance cost less for seasonal drivers who have storage space for their RVs?

Seasonal drivers who store their motorhomes in their garages or purchased storage space qualify for significant discounts. In many cases, these types of drivers only need to pay higher rates for the season in which they plan to drive. The other months of storage are steeply discounted. 

Do you qualify for storage and seasonal discounts?

An agent at Express Financial & Insurance Services can tell you if you qualify for discounts due to seasonal driving and storage. Call them today to get started with a quote for recreational insurance.

3 Tips for Choosing Renters Insurance

Learning about renters insurance isn’t always the first thing that renters want to do, especially if they only plan to rent for a few months or less. But whether you’re in Santa Monica, CA for a few days or a few years, a solid renters insurance policy can be the key to coming out of a catastrophe unscathed. Express Financial & Insurance Services has a few tips that can help you along. 

1. Ask About the Claims Process 

The claims process is ultimately the service that people are getting from their insurance company. When something occurs, this is how the carrier will determine how and what to reimburse. Some carriers will be proactive during the process, while others may step aside until they absolutely have to be involved. While a carrier is unlikely to admit their shortcomings to you, you can tell their values based on their answers. If they’re avoiding certain details or making vague promises, this is likely the treatment you’ll get during the process too. 

2. Make Sure You’re Covering Different Events 

You won’t be able to anticipate everything that can happen to you or your things, but you can ask about the most common occurrences. From water damage to vandalism to liability claims, make sure that you know what kind of coverage you have and which events are excluded from your policy. 

3. Choose a Company Who Wants to Help

If you’re looking for insurance in Santa Monica, CA, Express Financial & Insurance Services can help you answer your questions — whether you choose us or not. If you’re looking for a quote or you want general advice about what it means to protect your things, our staff is ready to start a conversation and put your fears to rest. 

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.