Carrie is the President and Co-Owner of Desert Insurance Solutions. Have a question about insurance? Call Carrie anytime at 760.564.6800.

Collector Cars Are Fun

Think about your car for a moment…what words come to mind? Hopefully words like safe and comfortable, and maybe luxurious, practical or fast depending on your preferences. This newsletter is about collector cars and for most collectors their first word is fun.

Let’s first organize vehicles into a few buckets:

Standard
Cars with original MSRP below $100k that are used for daily driving and expected to depreciate.

High Value
Cars with original MSRP above $100k that are used for daily driving and expected to depreciate.

Collector
Cars that aren’t used for daily driving and not expected to depreciate. Includes certain “exotic” cars (high-powered later model high-value cars with an unusual look like Lamborghini, Ferrari, McClaren) and certain “classic” cars (30+ years old, restored, part of a collection, limited production).

Recreational
ATVs, UTVs, sand rails, golf carts, motorhomes, motorcycles.

Insuring Collector Cars

Let’s look closer at protecting collector cars…insuring them with a standard auto policy is a mistake. Collector cars aren’t expected to depreciate but standard auto policies depreciate value every year. Collector cars aren’t driven much but standard auto policies price for more frequent driving. Standard auto policies have features like rental reimbursement that you don’t need on your collector car. Standard auto policies on collector cars provide too little coverage at too high a cost. You need your collector car to be properly identified and insured.

Collector Car Policies

Collector cars can be insured with specialty stand-alone policies (e.g. Hagerty) or as part of your existing policy (e.g. Pure, Chubb). Hagerty can be engaged directly but we prefer clients work through Desert Insurance Solutions so we can integrate your coverage and limits (no additional cost to you). In general, collector car policies provide:

  • Agreed value (amount of property coverage is in your contract, not dependent on depreciating “Blue Book”)
  • Lower premiums to account for low miles driven
  • Original equipment manufacturer parts, and special fabrication if parts aren’t available
  • Enhanced service to help with difficult repair issues

On Track With Collector Cars

Years ago insurance policies prohibited racing. Policyholders got around this by putting their cars on tracks and denying they were racing. So policies, including collector car policies, now deny coverage for any on track activity.

But we have a Desert Insurance Solution! We now can provide a special policy that protects your car for those days you are on the track with your collector car. You still can’t race…but you would be covered if testing or at driving schools for example. Call me if you’re taking your car to the track, or use the following link to easily set up your coverage:

(OpenTrack)

Protecting Collector Cars

Here are some basic protection steps…don’t underestimate rodents…I’ve had several claims due to those nasty critters:

  • Clean and safe storage
  • Keep all documentation
  • Research and document history
  • Take photos
  • Employ qualified maintenance
  • Drive occasionally to lube and check
  • Drain and rodent protection for extended storage
  • Properly insure

Fun Factoids About Cars

  • The first Chevy Camaro off production was black, and Chevy considered naming the car the Panther
  • Only seven Plymouth Hemi Barracudas were ever made
  • All Corvettes are made in Bowling Green, KY
  • There is no 1983 Corvette
  • 65% of all Rolls Royce autos ever made are still on the road
  • The original Dukes of Hazzard show featured 309 different 1969 Dodge Chargers
  • Lamborghini was created after Enzo Ferrari insulted Ferruccio Lamborghini
  • Don’t try to outrun the police in Dubai. The Dubai Police Department has a green and white Bugatti Veyron that tops out at 253 mph!

Collector cars are both valuable and fun. And collector car owners usually have an emotional connection with their cars. So let’s protect them the right way…call me if you get one, or if you have any questions about protecting yours.

Desert Insurance Solutions Celebrates Grand Opening of Scottsdale Offices

What do Palm Springs, California and Scottsdale, Arizona have in common?

They’re both quality desert resort communities with fantastic three season weather, excellent restaurants and services, tons of outdoor activities like golf and hiking, and beautiful natural settings.

They both have a wide variety of upscale housing options ranging from single family homes in interesting architectural styles to country club living to sleek lock and leave condos.

They both are populated by many people not originally from there who are optimistic about life and looking to meet new friends.

And now they both officially have offices of Desert Insurance Solutions!

Earlier this month we had a grand opening party on the roof of our new Scottsdale office…that was fun:

Why expand Desert Insurance Solutions to include Scottsdale?

On the personal insurance side, both areas have many multiple homeowners which fits our business model. Our competition requires clients have multiple agents each licensed in one state and all offering one product. That doesn’t really make sense. With Desert Insurance Solutions you get a single experienced point of contact licensed in all states offering a range of carriers and products.

On the commercial insurance side, Scottsdale is growing rapidly whereas Palm Springs is a bit more established.

To that end, we recently hired Lowell Williams in our Scottsdale office as a Commercial Sales Executive. Lowell has extensive experience with business insurance and specializes in commercial real estate.

Perhaps the most important reason we have offices in both Palm Springs and Scottsdale is that I have friends and clients in both. Since I go back and forth now I can visit with all of them in person in places I love.

Make it a great day!

The Great Migration

Hi Everybody!

Covid has changed the way many of us live and work. Some believe Covid simply accelerated long-term trends, and others believe things will soon get back to “normal.”  Either way, from my insurance perch I’m seeing the most real estate activity I’ve seen in a decade. What’s going on?

  • People are moving from higher tax states (CA, NY, IL, NJ) to lower tax states (FL, TX, NV, AZ).
  • Within states, some people are moving from big high cost urban areas (like NYC/SF/LA) to lower cost mid-sized towns.
  • Within metros people are moving from cities to suburbs.
  • More recently, others are looking for value in cities as rents move down.
  • Companies are looking for lower cost venues for operations.
  • Work from home is allowing for more location flexibility.
  • Second homes are being viewed as safety getaways, not just recreation.
  • Baby boomer retirement wave is peaking.
  • Low mortgage rates and high home prices are motivating action.
  • Home design features of 10-30 years ago are looking tired next to today’s trends.

Bottom line, people are on the move! If you’re thinking about moving, buying real estate or renovating, read on to learn about insurance implications.

Buying Property

Insurance is regulated by the state and most agents can operate in only one state.  Desert Insurance Solutions is licensed in all states so you can have a single point of contact for all your insurance wherever you are. And we represent multiple carriers so can offer options.

Even with those options, we can run into issues. Wildfire risk is a big deal. If the CA, AZ or CO property you are considering is in or near a wooded area, especially if there was ever wildfire in that area, we can do a location check to see if it can be insured. In CA there is a “FAIR Plan” that provides basic fire insurance to homes otherwise uninsurable (up to $3mm limit on the sum of all coverages). There is no FAIR Plan in AZ, CO and most other states. We have clients with properties no insurer will take, and others who are paying over $100k per year for homeowner’s insurance.

Moving and Interim Renting

Remember that your personal liability coverage is attached to your homeowner’s policy.  So if you move you don’t want to cancel your policy before establishing a new one. If you haven’t found a new home, we can arrange a renter’s policy which includes personal liability. And you need contents coverage when you move. If your moving van flips over and destroys your possessions, the movers pay by the pound…pennies on the dollar of actual value!

Renovations

Standard homeowner’s policies are priced to cover furnished homes where no construction is taking place. If you’re changing out a sink or carpet, your policy coverage is unaffected. But if you are doing renovations, you need a special course of construction policy. Further, if your property is vacant (no furniture) for over 60 days it becomes what the industry considers an “attractive nuisance” for thieves, vandals and squatters, so you would need a special policy for that. Ignoring these occupancy classifications will leave you at risk of a claims denial.

Insurance Pricing

The price you pay for homeowner’s insurance is affected by many factors. Here are my general observations about the various states:

  • Premiums/$000 value are highest in tornado prone states (OK, KS, AK, SD).
  • Rates are also high in hurricane prone states (FL, LA, MS, TX).
  • Florida allows insurance benefits to be assigned to contractors which increases fraud and drives rates even higher.
  • California rates would likely be highest if you included earthquake, but earthquake is not covered by base homeowner’s policies.
  • Homes no insurer will cover are most likely to be in high fire risk regions of Western states outside CA like AZ and CO.

Now if you live in CA you might think premiums are pretty high even without earthquake and you would be right. The state tries to keep rates down though their approval process. But if the state “admitted” carriers can’t make a profit, they’ll find reasons not to sell or pull out altogether. That leaves what is known as the “E&S Market” which are carriers like Lloyd’s of London outside state oversight. They can charge higher rates but aren’t part of the state guaranty fund that protects policyholders in the event of a carrier bankruptcy.

Conclusion

There many reason people are on the move, and my job is to arrange your protection regardless of the reason. If you’re one of those people, don’t wait until the last minute and risk an insurance surprise. Let me know what you’re up to a little ahead of time and we’ll work out a desert insurance solution for you!

Make it a great day!

Tips to Help Your Home Renovation Project Go Smoother

The pandemic is causing people to rethink where they work, live and play. That’s leading to more relocations and home renovations. Today’s newsletter provides some tips to help your home renovation project go smoother. Note that I used the word smoother rather than smoothly because few renovation projects go smoothly.
Continue reading “Tips to Help Your Home Renovation Project Go Smoother”