Is it Spring Yet? I’m tired of this Cold Weather, and Snowy/Slushy roads!


I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of winter.  It’s April, and it’s still been cold and crappy outside.  I’m ready for the pretty flowers and the birds chirping and animals running around.  The groundhog told us Spring was near, but I think he was wrong.

Goodbye Snowy Roads

I can’t wait to be able to drive on a clear road.  Yes, the pot holes will be out in full force, but at least you won’t have to worry about snow, slush and ice on the roads.  The snow is pretty and all, but I absolutely hate driving in it.  I should be used to it by now, living in Michigan all my life, but I’m so ready for Spring!

When there is fresh new coat of snow on the roads, by noon, it’s all a slushy watery mess!  A semi truck goes past you and splatters your window with dirty slush and dirt.  I think I’ve gone through over a gallon of windshield washer fluid this season alone.  I’m saying it.  Goodbye Snowy roads!

Spring Insurance Issues

Once all the snow melts away and we start to finally feel the warm rays of sun, new problems can arise.  Obviously you will have pot holes.  That’s probably one of the first things you notice when the roads become clear.   Once spring is officially here, the road crews will be out fixing all the pot holes and cracked and damaged roads from the snow plows.

Snow plow damage is another thing you could have.  If you have someone who plows your driveway on a regular basis, they could of tore up your yard or made dips or unwanted piles of dirt.  So once the snow clears you’ll want to check for those things as well.

Melting snow can be another issue.  With all the snow melting it’s going to produce lots of water.  So where does all the water go?  You have to be careful and look for possible flooding.  Spring is a time when you might have issues with flooding.  That’s not going to be covered on your policy either.  In order to have Flood Insurance you have to get it from the government.  Oh, and not everyone can get it, you have to be in a designated area to even qualify to purchase it.  So you can always check with your local insurance agent.  They can let you know if your in a flood zone and if they can help you to purchase flood insurance through the federal government.  Most of them have programs and things that they can refer you to.

Another thing you might experience with the warmer temps is Salt Damage or Rust on your vehicle.  If your like my husband, you were washing your car at every fill up so your fine… but, if your like  me and only let mother nature wash your car, you might have an issue.  If you do experience some rust or damage from the salt that was on the roads during the winter season, your out of luck.  Most insurance companies are going to consider this normal wear and tear of the vehicle, and it’s NOT going to be a covered loss.  If you check your policy, most likely you’ll find it under the Exclusions area.

I pulled out my policy. It’s number 13 in my exclusions.  There is NO COVERAGE for any part or equipment of a covered vehicle if that part or equipment:  a.) Fails or is Defective; b.) Is damaged as a direct result of (1) Wear and Tear; (2) Freezing or; (3) Mechanical, Electrical or Electronic breakdown or malfunction of that part or equipment.   So there ya have it.

Do you have any specific Insurance Questions?

So, here’s your chance.  What Insurance questions do you have?   If you have a topic or question that you would like answered, just let me know.  I might even choose your question to do a whole post about.  You can submit them below in the comments or you can email them to me.  I look forward to hearing from you.     Don’t forget, THINK SPRING!

To help you THINK SPRING, Check out these cool offers below!

Is my 4-Wheeler Covered on my Homeowners Insurance?

Not all Insurance companies cover your motorized vehicles (ATV, 4-Wheeler’s, Snowmobile, and even your lawn mower in some cases) under you homeowners policy.  If you read your policy most likely you will see an exclusion for this exact thing.  Here is an example from my own homeowners policy:

Property Not Covered. We do not cover:

any engine or motor propelled vehicle or machine, including the parts, designed for movement on land.  We do cover those not licensed for use on public highways which are:

(1) used solely to service the insured location; or

(2) designed for assisting the handicapped;

You can get it covered however by purchasing either a endorsement to your current homeowners policy or by purchasing a separate policy to cover it.  At the Insurance company I worked at they required you to purchase an additional policy.  If you have a ATV and it is stolen from your property and you do not have an endorsement or separate policy you will get a big fat $0 from your insurance company.  I dealt with several upset customers in my 3 years of working in the insurance industry when they discovered that their stolen 4-wheeler would not be replaced.

Most insurance companies offer annual “reviews” or “Check-ups”.   It is a good idea to participate in those such reviews.  If you recently purchased an ATV and you do not inform your Insurance company or read the booklet 20 years ago when you originally insured your home with them, your probably not going to know you have a coverage issue.  It’s a good thing to participate in an annual review.  Yes, they are probably going to try and sell you another form of insurance but it might just be one that you really need!!

So lets go through the exclusion.  Any engine or motor propelled vehicle or machine, ( this means if it has it’s own engine/motor and can move around by itself.  This is where your Golf Carts, ATV’s like 4-wheelers, Mule’s, Ranger’s, your snow mobiles and even lawn mowers fit in)  including the parts, (this means even the parts of such things as listed above), designed for movement on land, (this means if it moves around on land).  Now the second part they are actually giving you some coverage back.

We do cover those not licensed for use on public highways which are:

(1) used solely to service the insured location; or (this means you only use it on your own property where your home is.  If you have a 4-wheeler that your kid uses just on your land, that’s different.  The Keywords here are Solely to service.  This means you use it for upkeep of your property.  This is where most lawn mowers would fit in and be covered.  However if you take that lawn mower down the street to mow your mom’s house because she is too old to do it, it’s no longer covered.  You took it off the Insured Location, and they do not have to cover the item.)

(2) designed for assisting the handicapped. (this one is kinda self explanatory.  If you have a motorized scooter etc, that you use to get around and your legally handicapped and it happened to be stolen, they would typically cover the item.)

I hope this helps.. If you have any other questions regarding this issue please leave a comment and i’ll do my best to answer it for you.

Insurance and Taxes? Can I claim it?

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It’s that time of year again,  Tax Season!  Everyone is getting all their stuff around, waiting on W2’s and 1099’s.  What about Insurance?  Can you claim your Insurance on your taxes?

Can I Claim My Insurance?

If you have a personal business, then yes you may be able to claim some of your car insurance on your taxes.  If the company owns the car and you use actual expenses, then yes.   Of course you’ll want to consult with your tax provider to be sure that your business would qualify.  There is a lot of red tape when it comes to that stuff.  Also if you have a home office you can take a prorated portion of your home insurance as a business expense.

So if you fall into either of those categories, you will want to ask your accountant if you can claim either your car or home insurance on your taxes this year.

What about your Vehicle Registration?

If you itemize your taxes then yes, you can claim your vehicle registration on your taxes.  I know I usually submit mine every year, but typically I don’t qualify to itemize my taxes.

To figure out if you should itemize or not,  first you need to see if the allowable expense that you paid during the year exceeds the standard deduction.  Allowable expenses are things like home mortgage interest, state income or sales taxes, medical expenses, property taxes, charitable donations, etc.

Here are the most common numbers that you need to be higher than for your 2014 tax returns:

Standard deduction for single taxpayers – $6,300

Standard deduction for married taxpayers filing a joint return – $12,600
Standard deduction for head of household taxpayers – $9,250

If your someone who does qualify, don’t forget to include your Vehicle Registration.  I’m not by any means a tax professional, I have someone else handle all that for me.    So don’t forget to ask your tax professional about it!

Who Can I contact to get help with filing my taxes?

There are several places out there.  You can go to your local Accountant, or you can turn to the internet.  A lot of people turn to the internet and file their taxes online, just because it’s convenient and easy.

I have included a few links below for you to check out!

File your 2014 Taxes Online - Free Federal Efile!