There is a phrase that can strike fear into the heart of any homeowner: Water and sewer backup.

Those words bring up images of nasty, germy water and a lengthy clean-up. But don’t fret! There are certain steps that a homeowner can take to reduce the risk of a water or sewer back-up crisis.

  • Check around the home, foundation, basement, etc. for cracks that water or sewer waste can enter. Repair and fill any cracks
  • Ask a plumbing professional to see if your system can accept a shut-off valve to be used in case of a back-up emergency.  Your insurance agent can refer you to licensed professional.
  • If you live on or below a floodplain take steps to ensure that furniture and valuables are stored above the flood line.
  • Do not pour grease down sinks or toilets
  • If a water or sewer back-up occurs do not attempt clean up without protection: gloves, face masks and eye protection.

Generally a water or sewer back up is caused when heavy rains or floodwaters over run the sewer system. Debris from rainstorms or natural disasters can also clog the system, potentially causing a nasty mess in your home.

While you may have a homeowners insurance policy in Arizona, water or sewer back-up can be costly and not necessarily covered. Typically, this is a separate policy endorsement.  Homes that are located on hills, mountains, or other raised plateaus may have a lower likelihood of a water or sewer back up than homes located on low or flat plains. Homes that are in particularly arid climates where heavy rainfall is unusual (don’t forget about monsoons!) may this claim may bot be as common, but certainly isn’t unheard of. Talk to your licensed insurance representative at Full Cycle insurance to learn more.

Not sure if water sewer backup coverage is for you? A quote takes only a few minutes. Call today and talk to an agent.

Spring is just around the corner and it is considered a time or renewal. So in the spirit of spring, let’s refresh our rules of the road knowledge! Remembering these simple tips may be able to keep you from getting in an accident or getting a ticket.

  • Know the speed limits; driving too fast (or slow) can earn you a ticket.  Beware of construction zones and school zones as speeding through these areas can result in heftier fines.
  • Wear your seatbelt! Even if you are making a quick trip close to home or work, for your safety and the safety of other, buckle up.
  • When exiting the freeway, the law dictates that you do not begin your deceleration until you reach the ramp.
  • When stopped at a stop sign (if you and another vehicle arrive at the same time) the person to your right has the right of way.
  • Cell phones and driving do not mix well.  Texting while driving is against the law in Phoenix and just recently Tucson.  If you are not able to use a hands-free or pull over safely to check your phone, please wait until you can.

Even when following the rules and driving cautiously sometimes accidents do happen.  These tips will be helpful when filing a claim:

  • Take photos of everything.  The position of your vehicle, the other party’s vehicle and the surrounding areas.  Photos of other party’s driver’s license and insurance card would be helpful, but you can just write that information down.  Do not forget to exchange phone numbers!
  • Contact your agent immediately to start the claims process.  Be sure to relay all necessary information.
  • Call law enforcement if necessary and file the necessary police reports.

Drive safely!

Insurance Protection for your Valuable New Jewelry

You have painstakingly perused through the mall jewelry stores and online retailers to find the perfect “I love you” gift for Valentine’s Day.  It is purchased, wrapped and you are anxiously waiting to see the look of joy on your sweetie’s face come V-Day. According to a 2013 survey by the National Retail Federation, approximately $4.4 billion will be spent on jewelry this Valentine’s Day, but only 1 in 10 will have their jewelry insured.

Homeowner’s and renter’s insurance policies can cover loss or theft of jewelry, but generally it is a very small amount, sometimes as little as $500. Even then it may not cover the loss of item if Junior flushes it down the toilet or it gets mangled in the garbage disposal.  Having a separate valuables policy can help ensure that you are reimbursed for the value of your item(s) should a claim be necessary. In the event of a claim, you can make the process easier for yourself and your agent:

  • Photograph items that are included in your valuables policy.
  • Keep receipts or appraisal records, this makes it easier to establish a price value for your items
  • Have a written record of items, update as new items are purchased
  • Update your agent as new items are purchased

Often these polices can include other valuable items likes art, fine wine, crystal, etc., and there may be little to no deductible if any items need to be replaced.  One can also apply this list to household appliances and electronics, because while the flat-screen may not be as valuable as great-grandma’s vintage Tiffany’s wedding band, it is still a good idea to photograph and keep a running list of all household items to help make the claims process easier and establish value in the event of theft or loss.

Call your agent today and ask how we can help you add a separate valuables policy to your existing homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy today!

Do I need rental car insurance in Arizona?We’d say yes, but read more to find out why…

Whenever you rent a car in replacement of your regular vehicle while traveling or while yours is in for repairs, you will be asked if you would like to purchase rental car insurance coverage.

The answer can sometimes be confusing and all situations are going to be different. Rental car contracts do vary greatly and, like with most things, change from time to time. A typical personal auto policy may not cover all of the rental car expenses in the unfortunate event of an accident while driving one of their vehicles.

Furthermore, your existing auto policy must cover comprehensive and collision damages in order for the rental vehicle to be covered for those types of accidents. If you don’t carry comprehensive or collision, you will need to purchase those from the rental car company.

There are three expenses that a rental company may try to charge you for should you be involved in an accident or other claim that puts their vehicle “out of use.”

  • Loss of Use: This means that the rental car company is losing revenue because their vehicle is unavailable to be rented while it is being repaired. The rental car company may charge you for the days it is “out of use” while being repaired (typically, the daily rate of the vehicle for as many days as is needed to repair the vehicle.) However, the rental car company needs to prove to you that they rented the other vehicles on their lot and actually lost money. It is up to you to push them for this proof.
  • Diminution in value: After a rental vehicle has passed its life as a rental vehicle, it will be sold as a consumer vehicle. The rental car company may deem it necessary to charge you a diminution of value claim. Essentially claiming that the vehicle isn’t worth what it was worth PRIOR to the accident and is now being sold with an accident on its vehicle history report.
  • Before & After: Often, when a vehicle is involved in a serious collision and has extensive damage, the vehicle may simply be sent to auction or salvage instead of being repaired (even if it is repairable). They do this because they feel it may not be safe to repair the vehicle and put back into their fleet. In this case, they may attempt to charge you, the renter, for the difference in market value on the day you rented it versus what they sold it for at auction. While this is relatively uncommon, it does happen and it is important that you be prepared for this situation.

As mentioned above, these 3 claims are NOT covered by any personal auto insurance policy and it is your decision if you would like to purchase the rental car coverage from the rental car agency when you rent their vehicles.

If you have questions, please contact your Full Cycle Insurance agent.

What’s that’s smell in the air? Ah, yes… it is the smell of fall. With fall comes some great cooler weather and some terrific opportunities to get out on your motorcycle.

Here are our top reasons to get your bike out and enjoy a fall daytrip.

  1. Fall provides amazing colors, temperatures but shorter days. Get up early to make the most of your day as fall days can be up to four hours of daylight shorter depending on where you are.
  2. Cooler temperatures means you can wear those new leathers you got yourself during summer clearance. Pull the new gear out, pack yourself a lunch and head off into the morning sun.
  3. You can take a longer ride. With cooler temperatures in the air, you can spend all day out in the sun and not worry about getting dehydrated or simply worn out by the heat.
  4. Visit national parks. The national parks are a beautiful place to take a ride in the fall. But be on the lookout as animals are more active in the fall than in the summer. Here is a link to our national parks.
  5. Let’s be honest… It’s amazing how many riders put their bikes “away” in the fall, isn’t it? That does leave the roads to us more (pun) “seasoned riders”.

So, be safe, pack a blanket, some snacks and a camera and get out there and enjoy the fall weather!