Residents in Opelika, AL should find out if their home is in a flood plain before deciding to turn down the option of purchasing flood insurance. At Elliott & Associates Insurance, the agents can assist home and business owners in finding out if the property they own is at risk for flooding during severe storms. Having the right type of insurance in place will protect them from potential financial loss if the unthinkable occurs.
Where Is the Nearest Water Source?
If you are worried about being in a flood plain, your first step should be to find the nearest body of water. This can include rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, and drainage ditches. Just because your home or business is on elevated land, it doesn’t mean it can’t be affected by floodwaters. If you live in a low-lying area, it may not take much water to overflow the banks of whatever body of water is nearest to your home. It’s essential that you know different ways to protect your home from minor flooding. This can be keeping your drains clear and removing lawn debris from your ditches.
Find Out if Your Home Is in a Flood Plain
To find out if your home is in a flood plain, you can call your local FEMA office or talk to your insurance agent. Most agents know how to find the information you need to determine where the closest flood plain is to your home. Having that information will allow you to make an informed choice when it comes to buying flood insurance for your home.
At Elliott & Associates Insurance, the agents have the information that Opelika, AL residents need if they have concerns about living in flood-prone areas in Alabama. Talk to an agent today!
You never know when unexpected expenses can arise, which can cause a financial burden. This is especially true for older individuals with health issues. There is, however, a common-sense method to save for the unexpected while also preparing for any hardships that may occur as the result of an untimely passing. Finding a quality whole life insurance policy is a way to protect loved ones as well as prepare for emergency expenses in the future.
Life Insurance Can Make Saving For Retirement Easier
When people are saving to retire, the find themselves in an unfortunate situation when medical expenses pop up without warning. Most are forced to spend their retirement savings to cover those expenses. There is a way to avoid having this happen though. Whole life insurance is a policy that allows the policyholder to borrow against it after it has been paid for a certain number of years. It’s like an emergency fund if necessary but also serves as a form of protection for loved ones or business partners in the event of the policyholder’s passing.
Discover Policy Options
Life insurance policies can vary greatly, so it is important to outline current and future needs to help find the right whole life policy. The best way to approach shopping for insurance is to work with a licensed life insurance agent who can work with clients closely to suggest policies that work best for them. Anyone who is currently interested in life insurance should visit Elliott & Associates Insurance, serving Opelika, AL. We are committed to helping people find quality insurance products that fit their lifestyle.
Now is the time to secure a life insurance policy to protect those who are important from hardships and even protect yourself when surprise expenses develop in the future. Call or stop by Elliott & Associates Insurance if you live near the Opelika, AL area, and find out how to get started.
If an accident or incident was to occur to your business, you might think of all the business equipment to operate your business, the office furniture, or storefront space, but you need to think of your insurance first. At Elliott & Associates Insurance of Opelika, AL, we are not just saying that because we sell insurance. It is important that you know the difference between a business owner’s policy, commercial auto, commercial liability, etc. You need to choose the right policy so your business obtains the coverage it really needs.
An abundance of commercial insurance types are available. Your business type determines what you will need. A pizza delivery restaurant needs different policies than a manufacturing plant. While they both need liability insurance, that is pretty much where the similarities end. Your potential commercial insurance policies include:
boiler and machinery policies
business owner’s policy
business interruption insurance
builder’s risk insurance
inland marine insurance
ordinance or law insurance
errors and omissions insurance
directors’ and officers’ liability insurance
Elliott & Associates Insurance of Opelika, AL can help you determine which insurance policies you need. With so many diverse choices, it makes sense that you need to choose only what your business really needs. You need insurance, but you need the right insurance. That means sitting down with an expert to determine which policies you do need. That saves you money in two ways. You do not pay premiums on something you do not need and the right policy covers your repair or replacement costs when you do need to make a claim on your insurance.
Life is precious but not guaranteed. You need a life insurance policy that works to ensure your loved ones will be financially sound in the instance of your absence. The agents at Elliott & Associates Insurance can help you find the policy that best fits your preferences. Read on to learn what life insurance can do for you in Opelika, AL and throughout Alabama!
Life insurance pays debts
This concept rings especially true for breadwinners. Imagine your family being thrust into financial turmoil after your death because of mounting bills that you once paid going without remittance of such payments. This horrible scenario can be a reality if you do not set your family up for financial stability after you are gone. Life insurance can work so that your funeral expenses are covered along with the bills. The amount of financial stability your family has after your death heavily depends on how much you are willing to invest in a good life insurance policy today.
Life insurance can be used to diversify investments
Universal life policies have the flexibility to serve as coverage for final expenses and investment tools. With universal plans, your policy is tied to a specific investment product. You earn dividends off the investment product during your lifetime, which may be used to diversify your portfolio further or to cover unexpected expenses. Your agent at Elliott & Associates Insurance can tell you more about these perks in Auburn and Opelika, AL!
Life insurance policies provide financial cushions to the living
Term life insurance is specifically for after-life expenses and, thus, do nothing to get you out of a financial bind while you are still alive. Whole life insurance, on the other hand, comes with the benefit of accrued interest. Some policyholders use the interest that accumulates with a whole life insurance policy to go on vacation. Others choose to save the money for when it is truly necessary to spend it on emergency situations. Regardless of what you may decide to do, it is a good feeling to know that you have options with your whole life insurance plan.
The agents at Elliott & Associates Insurance can explain the ins and outs of life insurance. Call us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation!
Located just on the outskirts of Auburn, Opelika, AL is home to quite a few thousand cars and plenty of traffic for those venturing to the university nearby. With lots of visitors and the area attracting a variety of folks to the area, our customers at Elliott & Associates Insurance want to offer you multiple ways to keep your car secure against theft.
Wherever you choose to park your car, make sure it is in a well-lit area. Dark spaces encourage thieves to break into vehicles because it is more accessible to work and allows limited witnesses. Most will avoid your car in a lit and secure parking lot to prevent the risk of getting caught.
Get an Immobilizer
If you do not already have one, an immobilizer is a physical device that you place on your car to prevent them from hot-wiring your car and stealing it. This device is complicated to remove without the owner, so most thieves who are looking for a quick snatch will move right past your car when they see it.
Lock your Steering Wheel
Another device that you can place in your car is the steering wheel lock that requires a key to remove. With this lock in place, the vehicle cannot be driven. For most criminals seeking out a car, they will walk right past yours because of the time and risks these locks create.
Get Premium Security
The best security for your car is auto insurance. When you add comprehensive coverage to your policy, you are covered in the event your vehicle is stolen. If you live in or around Opelika, AL, contact our agents at Elliott & Associates Insurance today for more information about our policy offerings.
Renting out your house instead of listing it on the real estate market is a common, and even profitable, way to hold on to your property when you aren’t currently living in it as a primary residence. Some homeowners choose this direction when they want to wait to sell when their second home’s value increases or the market turns in their favor. Others may want to come back to this property for retirement or are holding on to it for their family’s future use.
Whatever your reasons for deciding to rent out your property, some planning and preparation need to go into your home — not to mention your new role as a landlord — before you can start advertising it to the world. The first decision to make is determining if you want this to be a long-term rental, as in asking for year-long leases from tenants, or a short-term rental, such as listing your property on Airbnb or VRBO. This guide will walk you through:
Setting up your house as a
short-term or long-term rental
How to find out how much to rent
your house for
Knowing your legal rights and
Putting on your landlord hat
Pros and cons of short-term vs.
Setting up your house as a rental
Whether you’re setting up your home
for a long-term or a short-term rental, you’ll need to be sure that
it’s ready for your renters to move into. Either way, you want to
double-check to make sure that:
All appliances are safe and in working order.
Entry to the house, whether by key or lock pad, is secure and accessible.
The house is clean, and if furnished, the furniture is not broken or damaged and in good condition.
If you’re going to be renting your house for short periods on a site like Airbnb, you’ll want to take the right steps to set up your profile correctly. You will need to include information like:
Your home type and how many people
your space can accommodate.
If you allow children and pets,
and if there are any additional fees for them.
An overview of your home and the
area nearby, along with highlighting any amenities that guests can
expect to enjoy when they stay in your house.
How to find out how much to rent your
When renting out your house, you’ll need to understand how much rent to charge to make sure you cover all of your costs — mortgage, property taxes, insurance, utilities — and be able to set aside some funds to put toward maintenance and upkeep. You’ll also need to cover costs associated with rental applications like conducting background and credit score checks on tenants, as well as hiring cleaning services, a property manager, and contacting referrals.
However, once you determine a price that covers your needs, you’ll need to search and compare it to other rental homes of the same or similar quality in your zip code area; this applies to both short-term and long-term rental properties. Redfin offers a rental estimate that will help you in determining how much to rent your home for.
When getting your business and finances
in order to list your home as a short-term rental, you’ll want to:
Do your research on Airbnb or VRBO to see the price range that other homes in your area rent for.
Consider offering a discount for extended stays. Also consider increasing the rent on weekends, holidays and other high-travel seasons.
Factor in cleaning costs, pet deposits, and other upfront non-refundable fees.
Protect yourself and your property with insurance.
Pro tip: For new hosts, Airbnb
recommends listing your price lower than the suggested rate, so you
can get a few immediate reviews and build up your credentials.
When organizing your finances and
business to offer your home as a long-term rental, you’ll want to:
Determine the length of the lease you’ll offer.
Set a price for security, pet, and other deposits.
Consider hiring a rental manager such as a property management company to handle rent and late fee collection, take care of repairs and deal with vacancies and evictions.
Protect yourself and your property with insurance.
List your home on applicable rental sites such as Craigslist, Facebook, etc
Once you have settled and secured the business aspects, you’ll want to speak with a lawyer or real estate company to make sure you not only understand your legal responsibilities but that you have them all covered.
Know your legal rights and
The essential contract for a long-term rental is a lease agreement. As a landlord, you need to be sure all of the terms of the rental situation are outlined on paper and signed by all parties involved. You’ll want to make sure your lease outlines the following:
Length of lease
Security deposit amount
Rental due date and penalties for
late or missed payments
Responsibilities for repairs,
basic upkeep, and maintenance — be sure to be specific about lawn
care and pest control
List of names of all tenants
Policies about pets, painting,
noise levels, homeowners association dues and rules, and smoking
All related deposits
Consequences for damaging the
When thinking about the length of the lease, keep in mind that a month-to-month lease gives you the flexibility to sell when you’re ready, while an annual lease is a more stable option for those holding on to the property. Either way, have a lawyer look over the lease to make sure you’ve included all of the necessary components. You also need to research the landlord and tenant laws in your state. When it comes to disputes, some states automatically favor the tenant over the landlord, so it’s important you know the laws, rules, and regulations for your specific state.
When it comes to a short-term rental, signing a lease is usually not involved, but you still need to make sure that your renters understand and follow your policies. You want to be specific about cancellation policies, adding additional guests, steps for clean-up or check-out, and roles around any amenities like swimming pools, hot tubs or kitchens.
Put on your landlord hat
When you decide to rent out your home, you have to be sure to separate yourself emotionally from your renters. While it’s important to be flexible when you can, remember that this is a business. A good landlord is someone who is firm but kind, understanding but not easily taken advantage of. Other qualities of a good landlord include:
Good communication with quick
Reliable and responsible, and
always acts honestly and with integrity
Well-organized and thorough,
paying close attention to detail
Utilizing and developing all of these
qualities will enable you to establish a strong, cordial and candid
Pros and cons of short-term vs.
There are many reasons to rent out your property, but deciding how to rent it out can be just as challenging as deciding who to rent it to. How do you know which is the best choice for you?
Short-Term Rental Pros
More lucrative, especially if you live in a tourist destination
Adjustable in regard to time and money in order to fit the demand
Flexible with scheduling so you can use the property for vacation when you have the time
Possible qualification for tax breaks & deductions that are specific to short-term rentals, like the 14-day rule
Generally less wear and tear on your property
Necessary to furnish and clean on
a frequent, regular schedule
Some states, cities or
municipalities require short-term rental landlords to complete
complex paperwork and hike a mountain of red tape
Accounting for negative financial
gains during slower periods
More competition from surrounding
Typically more tasks and items to
Long-Term Rental Pros
More stable and reliable tenants with less rental turnover
More consistent pay & income
Fewer bills that need to be covered by the landlord
Generally does not need to be furnished
Long-Term Rental Cons
Potentially larger gaps between
Less control over the property
Finding the right tenants may take
The eviction process can be
time-consuming and costly
You won’t find a one-size-fits-all
package when it’s time to decide on a short-term or long-term
rental plan. The benefits — and shortcomings — associated with
both are clear. It’s important to always keep sight of your goal:
maximizing your property’s return on investment.
You have probably heard about depreciation with respect to things such as your car or your electronics, but not a lot of people talk about home depreciation in the surrounding area of Opelika, AL. Elliott & Associates Insurance can help you navigate through the advantages and disadvantages of a home depreciation assessment of your policy.
Your home may lose its value as things start to break, furniture becomes outdated, or possibly a neighborhood’s property value decreasing. It’s important to note that there are cases where homes may increase in value due to inflation or desirability of a location.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Home Depreciation
There are benefits and drawbacks to home depreciation. It’s important that you talk to someone at Elliott & Associates Insurance so that we can help you navigate through the benefits and drawbacks.
Many times clients decide to have their home assessed for depreciation so that their home insurance premiums are lowered. You could save money on your home in this way, but decreasing the value of your home may make it so that rebuilding and increasing the value later is harder to do.
How to Get Your Home Assessed for Depreciation
Getting an assessment for depreciation is simple. After your appraiser comes, they will determine the current value of your home and how much it would cost to rebuild it. Then a statement is issued to your insurance agent.
Recoverable Depreciation Explained
Recoverable depreciation is the cash value of your home and its replacement value’s difference. In order to limit fraud or frivolous claim payouts, the homeowner’s insurance claims are paid from the actual cash value and then recoverable depreciation. After you make the claim to your property and repair it, your insurance will pay you a check for the recoverable depreciation. You will only be able to recover depreciation if your policy has replacement cost value coverage.
If you have any more questions about home depreciation, reach out to Elliott & Associates Insurance at our office or call us at 334-745-0888 for service in the Opelika, AL area.
At Elliott & Associates Insurance, we see a lot of vintage and antique vehicles. Many people in the Opelika, AL area come to us wanting to know whether they should purchase classic car insurance or standard auto insurance. This blog explains the key differences between classic car insurance and standard auto insurance.
Classic car insurance covers classic, vintage, and antique vehicles. A classic car might only have come off the line ten years ago, but could qualify because of limited production or some other collectible nature of the vehicle. This means you might still want to drive it as an everyday car. Standard insurance lets you do that. Classic car insurance does not. You have to agree to garage your car under a classic policy.
A classic policy also limits the number of miles you can drive. Typically, you’re allowed about 1,000 miles of driving. You can putter along in parades or park it at an auto show, but commuting in your classic would be a no-no.
What makes a classic policy superior to a standard policy is the replacement value payout. You can obtain a policy that pays the actual replacement value of your vehicle, not the fair market value. That means that you could go to an auction or vintage car lot and buy a new vehicle that’s the same year, make, and model as the one you lost in an accident.
These policies also cover all of your parts and labor to repair the damage. Some agents will even help you find vintage replacement parts.
Despite the driving limits, a classic car policy lets you protect your investment better. Contact Elliott & Associates Insurance serving Opelika, AL for more information on classic car insurance.
For those renting a residence, it is always best to take the time to consider the proper insurance coverages for your particular situation. You can find the right renter policy to help you make sure your possessions are protected even if you are dealing with a catastrophe in your rental space. For those that live in the Opelika, AL area, the agents with Elliott & Associates Insurance can help you to find the right policy for your rental space.
Renter’s insurance does a few different things starting with protecting your possessions if there is a fire or other disaster in which your possessions are destroyed. Though you do not have to have any sort of insurance on the property itself, it is always beneficial to have some sort of policy in place in case your apartment or rented house catches on fire or is destroyed by some other means. It is helpful to note that a renter policy may also help cover injuries to people that you have in your residence, it may help to cover injuries to your pets, and it may also cover issues with damage that your landlord is not going to pay.
Though you are not required to have a renter policy, they are incredibly helpful in cases where something terrible happens and you are required to recover and to get back to where you were before the issue occurred. A renter policy can help you to make up for your belongings being destroyed and can certainly make it so that you do not have to start over at ground zero if something does happen to your rental property or to your items within. For those in the Opelika, AL area, the agents with Elliott & Associates Insurance can help you to find the policy that works best for you.
If you own an RV in Opelika, AL, you may like taking frequent trips with it. And riding with your RV should be a fun and joyful situation but can be an issue if you don’t have great insurance for regular traveling. So please make sure that you contact us at Elliott & Associates Insurance to find a policy that features options such as those outlined below.
People who live in their RV as a permanent residence need this coverage to protect themselves. Think of it as a type of home insurance to get an idea of what it covers.
Consider Travel Expenses Coverage
If you’re regularly on the road with your RV, you’ll want this option to help you pay for a hotel and other expenses if your RV breaks down during a trip.
Talk to your RV insurance provider about the type of liability coverage that you’ll need. Most states require a certain level, and you need to match or exceed it to protect yourself.
If – horror of horrors – your RV is stolen or totaled while on a trip, this coverage option will replace your RV at the price it was worth at the time it was lost.
When you get into an accident with somebody who has inadequate insurance or no insurance, this coverage option will help protect you from severe financial loss.
Other Coverage Options
You’ll need collision and comprehensive coverage, medical payment coverage, storage protection, and much more to ensure that your RV is protected while you’re on the road.
Talk With Us
So if you live in Opelika, AL and need high-quality RV insurance to protect yourself from serious issues, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Elliott & Associates Insurance. We will work with you to protect your RV and keep your financial investment safe.