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Protecting your Furry Friends!

Protecting your Furry Friends!

Rolling into springtime and the month of March is always an exciting calendar change!  Not only do we get to “Spring Forward” with the clocks and enjoy more sunlight, but we also have warmer weather and time outdoors to enjoy with our pets.  The month of March happens to also hold these lesser-known “holidays:”

March is “Pet Poison Prevention Month”

March 3rd – 9th is “Professional Pet Sitter’s Week”

March 23rd is National Puppy Day

March 28th is Respect Your Cat Day

With so much emphasis given in March to our animals, we thought it was only right to highlight the Pet Insurance opportunity with Gateway Insurance Group.

We know how NextHomies love Luke!

We like to think Luke would be proud that Gateway Insurance Group has pet insurance policies available so Luke, and his NextHomies, don’t have to worry about the unexpected expenses that arise from veterinary bills.

Whether you’re looking for coverage on pet illness, cancer, emergency veterinary care, accidents or genetic conditions, pet insurance may have the coverage you need.

Gateway Insurance Group has partnered with “Healthy Paws” coverage. Highlights of their plans include:

  • No cap on maximum limit payouts
  • No costly “add ons”
  • Use at any licensed Vet
  • Easy to file claims right from your mobile device!

Protecting your Furry Friends has never been easier or more affordable.

To get a quote, visit our link at: https://www.healthypawspetinsurance.com/?affid=GIGI

You don’t have to be a millionaire to be sued for a million dollars

You don’t have to be a millionaire to be sued for a million dollars

Business owners and individuals alike can be held “liable” for a variety of perils. General Liability Insurance is often wrapped into other insurance coverage that you’ve already purchased. For example: your auto insurance includes liability for bodily injury or property damage, your homeowner’s insurance includes liability for injury or personal loss on the premises of your home, business insurance can include damage to a rented space, etc.

The trouble is the included limits of liability may not be high enough to cover the true costs of these perils. To ensure you’re adequately covered, you can look into an additional Liability Policy in the form of a General Liability Insurance Policy, Personal Liability Umbrella policy or Commercial Liability Umbrella Policy. Traditionally, these policies start at a minimum coverage of 1 million dollars and increase from there.

These policies cover claims alleging from:

  • Bodily Injury, Medical Costs, Property Damage or Damages to Rented Property
  • Libel, Slander, or Reputational Harm

This added buffer of protection keeps your personal assets and paycheck protected.

The most costly claims events for small business owners include1:

  • Reputational Harm (estimated $50,000 average claim)
  • Vehicle Accident (estimated $45,000 average claim)
  • Fire Damage (estimated $35,000 average claim)
  • Product Liability (estimated $35,000 average claim)
  • Customer Injury or Damage (estimated $30,000 average claim)

Gateway Insurance Group, Inc. provides free consultations for individuals and business owners.  We’re happy to review your existing insurance coverage and explain your current policy and uncover any potential exposures.

Give us a call at 858-428-3929 or visit us at www.gatewayig.com/nexthome

Securities offered through Registered Representatives of Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Gateway Financial Advisors, Inc., and Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. are not affiliated.
References:
The Heartford, General Liability Insurance, https://www.thehartford.com/general-liability-insurance?Tcode=TH040060
Inventorying Your Possessions

Inventorying Your Possessions

It’s great to have insurance against damage and loss, but if you can’t show proof of your possessions, it may result in a protracted settlement process with your insurance company.1

Four Tips for Creating an Inventory. Creating an inventory may take a bit of upfront work, but it can pay future benefits in smoothing the claims settlement process with your insurer as well as increase the potential of receiving the maximum payment possible.

Tip #1 – Make a Video of Your Possessions. A visual record of your possessions is the best proof of ownership. When videoing your home contents, make sure you are methodical and thorough in going through all your rooms and storage spaces. Speak while you are taping to describe each item; include any relevant information (e.g., “this is a signed first edition of “Moby Dick.”).

Tip #2 – Document Value of Your Items. Scan or video receipts of the items in your home. Indicate the make and model where appropriate. If you have artwork or antiques, consider creating a record of any appraisal you may have received on your collectibles.

Tip #3 – Secure Your Inventory. An inventory doesn’t help much if you keep it in the house and your home burns to the ground. If your video is digital (highly recommended), consider storing the file in a “cloud” account rather than on your computer, or alternately, on a USB stick stored in a safety deposit box.

Tip #4 – Keep Your Inventory Updated. Failure to regularly update your inventory may mean unintentionally leaving off expensive new purchases.

Get started by asking your insurance agent if they have an inventory checklist, which may help you remember to include items that you might otherwise overlook.

Aprilyn Chavez-Geissler can be reached at aprilyng@gatewayig.com or 858-428-3929. Visit our website at www.gatewayig.com/nexthome and submit a quote request so we can be your trusted insurance professionals!

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.
Citations.
1 – thebalance.com/making-a-home-inventory-list-for-insurance-4166000 [3/3/19]
Creating a Retirement Strategy

Creating a Retirement Strategy

Across the country, people are saving for that “someday” called retirement. Someday, their careers will end. Someday, they may live off their savings or investments, plus Social Security.  They know this, but many of them do not know when, or how, it will happen. What is missing is a strategy – and a good strategy might make a great difference.

A retirement strategy directly addresses the “when, why, and how” of retiring. It can even address the “where.” It breaks the whole process of getting ready for retirement into actionable steps.

This is so important. Too many people retire with doubts, unsure if they have enough retirement money and uncertain of what their tomorrows will look like. Year after year, many workers also retire earlier than they had planned, and according to a 2019 study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, about 43% do. In contrast, you can save, invest, and act on your vision of retirement now to chart a path toward your goals and the future you want to create for yourself.1

Some people dismiss having a long-range retirement strategy, since no one can predict the future. Indeed, there are things about the future you cannot control: how the stock market will perform, how the economy might do. That said, you have partial or full control over other things: the way you save and invest, your spending and your borrowing, the length and arc of your career, and your health. You also have the chance to be proactive and to prepare for the future.

A good retirement strategy has many elements. It sets financial objectives. It addresses your retirement income: how much you may need, the sequence of account withdrawals, and the age at which you claim Social Security. It establishes (or refines) an investment approach. It examines tax implications and potential tax advantages. It takes possible health care costs into consideration and even the transfer of assets to heirs.

A prudent retirement strategy also entertains different consequences. Financial advisors often use multiple-probability simulations to try and assess the degree of financial risk to a retirement strategy, in case of an unexpected outcome. These simulations can help to inform the advisor and the retiree or pre-retiree about the “what ifs” that may affect a strategy. They also consider the sequence of returns risk, which refers to the uncertainty of the order of returns an investor may receive over an extended period of time.2

Let a retirement strategy guide you. Ask a financial professional to collaborate with you to create one, personalized for your goals and dreams. When you have such a strategy, you know what steps to take in pursuit of the future you want.

 

Shane Westhoelter may be reached at 858-428-3929 or shane@gfainvestments.com or www.gatewayig.com/nexthome

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.
Securities offered through Registered Representatives of Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a brokerdealer, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Adviser. Gateway Financial Advisors, Inc., and Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. are not affiliated.
Citations.
1 – ebri.org/docs/default-source/rcs/2019-rcs/rcs_19-fs-2_expect.pdf?sfvrsn=2a553f2f_4 [2019]
2 – investopedia.com/terms/m/montecarlosimulation.asp [6/10/19]
Trends in Charitable Giving

Trends in Charitable Giving

As we approach the holidays, we often see people coming together to benefit others and a renewed focus on giving back.  Some people choose to donate their time, others donate supplies or money.  As a business owner, you should be aware of the personal and financial byproducts of charitable giving.

According to Giving USA 2018, Americans gave an estimated $410.02 billion to charity in 2017. That’s the first time that the amount has totaled more than $400 billion in the history of the report.1

Americans give to charity for two main reasons: to support a cause or organization they care about or to leave a legacy through their support.

When giving to charitable organizations, some people elect to support through cash donations. Others, however, understand that supporting an organization may generate tax benefits. They may opt to follow techniques that can maximize both the gift and the potential tax benefit. Here’s a quick review of a few charitable choices:

Remember, the information in this article is not a replacement for real-life advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Make sure to consult your tax, legal, or accounting professional before modifying your charitable giving strategy. 

Direct gifts are just that: contributions made directly to charitable organizations. Direct gifts may be deductible from income taxes depending on your individual situation.

Charitable gift annuities are not related to annuities offered by insurance companies. Under this arrangement, the donor gives money, securities, or real estate, and in return, the charitable organization agrees to pay the donor a fixed income. Upon the death of the donor, the assets pass to the charitable organization. Charitable gift annuities enable donors to receive consistent income and potentially manage taxes.

Pooled-income funds pool contributions from various donors into a fund, which is invested by the charitable organization. Income from the fund is distributed to the donors according to their share of the fund. Pooled-income funds enable donors to receive income, potentially manage taxes, and make a future gift to charity.

Gifts in trust enable donors to contribute to a charity and leave assets to beneficiaries. Generally, these irrevocable trusts take one of two forms. With a charitable remainder trust, the donor can receive lifetime income from the assets in the trust, which then pass to the charity when the donor dies; in the case of a charitable lead trust, the charity receives the income from the assets in the trust, which then pass to the donor’s beneficiaries when the donor dies.

Using a trust involves a complex set of tax rules and regulations. Before moving forward with a trust, consider working with a professional who is familiar with the rules and regulations.

Donor-advised funds are funds administered by a charity to which a donor can make irrevocable contributions. This gift may have tax considerations, which is another benefit. The donor also can recommend that the fund make distributions to qualified charitable organizations.

Some people are comfortable with their current gifting strategies. Others, however, may want a more advanced strategy that can maximize their gift and generate potential tax benefits. A financial professional can help you assess which approach may work best for you.

For more financial advice from our partners at Gateway Financial, visit their website for more information.

Shane Westhoelter may be reached at 858-428-3929 or shane@gfainvestments.com

www.gfainvestments.com

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.
Securities offered through Registered Representatives of Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a brokerdealer, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Adviser. Gateway Financial Advisors, Inc., and Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. are not affiliated.
The information in this email is confidential and is intended solely for the addressee. If you are not the intended addressee and have received this email in error, please reply to the sender to inform them of this fact.
We cannot accept trade orders through email. Important letters, email, or fax messages should be confirmed by calling 1-858-GATEWAY  . This email service may not be monitored every day, or after normal business hours.
Citations.
1 – givingusa.org/giving-usa-2018-americans-gave-410-02-billion-to-charity-in-2017-crossing-the-400-billion-mark-for-the-first-time/ [6/13/18]
Using Client Events to Boost your Business

Using Client Events to Boost your Business

Whether you’re looking for new referrals or a way to thank customers for doing business with you, client events are a tried and true approach to boost business.

How to position your client event for success:

  • Determine your guest list 8 weeks in advance
  • Send first invitations 6 weeks in advance
  • Make the event intriguing and something unique so people are compelled to attend – if you have connections with local or national celebrities, invite them to attend and advertise their presence
  • Send a second invitation 2 weeks before the event
  • Make phone calls and send emails confirming attendees the day before the event

At the event:

  • Avoid a verbal “sales pitch”
  • Showcase the listings you have on a poster board somewhere people can view as they pass by
  • Bring plenty of business cards to share
  • Allow guests to bring friends and family
  • Have a sign-in sheet with their name, phone, email and address to capture attendee contact info
  • Include a drawing for a small prize to capture attendee information
  • Invite your centers of influence or referral sources to be present and advocating for you

After the event:

  • Send a handwritten thank you to all attendees
  • Post pictures of the event to your social media to showcase your value
  • Try to do at least 2 client events each year

Event Ideas:

  • Invite an interior designer to share the latest trends in design, tips & tricks for maximizing space, and other insights. Combine this with a ladies’ luncheon or tea
  • Hire an appraiser of antiques, jewelry, or art and invite guests to bring a piece they’d like to have appraised. Like an “antique roadshow,” guests love sharing unique pieces and learning about the value of their items. Offer childcare while guests enjoy an adult night out
  • Host your event at an art gallery where clients may find unique pieces to decorate their homes. Negotiate with the gallery owner to offer a discount since you may be helping sell items in mass during the event. Serve wine and hors-d’oeuvres while you mingle with guests
  • Partner with Law Enforcement and a Security company to present on “home security” to give guests tips on keeping their home safe and secure – or hire a tech guru to present on “Smart Home” capabilities and features. Include an insurance partner to discuss proper coverage and how to avoid insurance pitfalls.

As you can see – the possibilities are limitless, and face-to-face networking and interaction are invaluable to boosting your business and adding value to your existing relationships.

Like you, Gateway Insurance Group is always looking to add value to our existing relationships.  We’re ready to partner with you to ensure your clients have the best insurance experience possible.

Contact Gateway Insurance Group at 858-428-3929 or www.gatewayig.com/nexthome

www.facebook.com/GatewayInsuranceGroup

https://www.instagram.com/gatewayinsgroup/

 https://www.linkedin.com/company/gateway-insurance-group-inc./about/

Securities offered through Registered Representatives of Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a brokerdealer, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Adviser. Gateway Financial Advisors, Inc., and Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. are not affiliated. The information in this email is confidential and is intended solely for the addressee. If you are not the intended addressee and have received this email in error, please reply to the sender to inform them of this fact. We cannot accept trade orders through email. Important letters, email, or fax messages should be confirmed by calling 1-858-GATEWAY  . This email service may not be monitored every day, or after normal business hours.

 

Business Owner Insurance Solutions

Business Owner Insurance Solutions

As a business owner, you essentially have TWO families to take care of: 1) your family at home (spouse, children, relatives, partner, etc.) and 2) your work family (employees, business partners, etc.)  These people rely on you to be present, engaged, and earning income.  With September being Life Insurance Awareness Month, it is a great time to review your business insurance strategy and see if you can implement any of the ideas below:

  • Individual Life Insurance
    1. A policy that covers one person and pays out a claim upon death
      1. Affordable coverage available in a variety of policy types
      2. Ideal for entrepreneur with no staff, but is a contributing income at home
  • Disability Insurance
    1. A policy that covers one person and pays out a claim upon a qualifying disability that removes a person from their normal working capacity
      1. Affordable coverage available in a variety of policy types
      2. Ideal for protecting an income stream for business owners or employees
  • Buy-Sell Agreements
    1. A legal contract among owners to buy out the portion of the deceased’s business share.
      1. Life insurance can be used to “fund” these types of contracts!
      2. Secure a life insurance policy naming the business partner as beneficiary for built in purchasing power to retain the business
  • Key Person Insurance
    1. Life or disability insurance purchased by a business on an employee that is payable to the business.
      1. This ensures business revenues continue even if a pivotal team member is no longer able to function in their usual capacity due to death or disability
      2. Revenues keep business operational even in time of crisis

Your livelihood depends on income and sustained business.  You’d be surprised at the creative solutions our team can develop for business owners like YOU!  We’re ready to help you implement smart insurance strategies.

Contact Gateway Insurance Group at: 858-428-3929 or www.gatewayig.com/nexthome

To learn more, read the brochure, “Taking care of Business” by the nonprofit agency, Life Happens:

https://lifehappens.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Brochure_TakingCareofBusiness_2014_Consumer.pdf

Securities offered through Registered Representatives of Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a brokerdealer, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Adviser. Gateway Financial Advisors, Inc., and Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. are not affiliated. The information in this email is confidential and is intended solely for the addressee. If you are not the intended addressee and have received this email in error, please reply to the sender to inform them of this fact. We cannot accept trade orders through email. Important letters, email, or fax messages should be confirmed by calling 1-858-GATEWAY  . This email service may not be monitored every day, or after normal business hours.

Explaining the Basis of Inherited Real Estate

Explaining the Basis of Inherited Real Estate

At some point in our lives, we may inherit a home or another form of real property. In such instances, we need to understand some of the jargon involving inherited real estate. What does “cost basis” mean? What is a “step-up?” What is the home sale tax exclusion, and what kind of tax break does it offer?

Very few parents discuss these matters with their children before they pass away. Some prior knowledge of these terms may make things less confusing at a highly stressful time.

Cost basis is fairly easy to explain. It is the original purchase price of real estate plus certain expenses and fees incurred by the buyer, many of them detailed at closing. The purchase price is always the starting point for determining the cost basis; that is true whether the purchase is financed or all-cash. Title insurance costs, settlement fees, and property taxes owed by the seller that the buyer ends up paying can all become part of the cost basis.1

At the buyer’s death, the cost basis of the property is “stepped up” to its current fair market value. This step-up can cut into the profits of inheritors should they elect to sell. On the other hand, it can also reduce any income tax liability stemming from the transaction.2

Here is an illustration of a stepped-up basis. Twenty years ago, Jane Smyth bought a home for $255,000. At purchase, the cost basis of the property was $260,000. Jane dies and her daughter Blair inherits the home. Its present fair market value is $459,000. That is Blair’s stepped-up basis. So if Blair sells the home and gets $470,000 for it, her complete taxable profit on the sale will be $11,000, not $210,000. If she sells the home for less than $459,000, she will take a loss; the loss will not be tax-deductible, as you cannot deduct a loss resulting from the sale of a personal residence.1

The step-up can reflect more than just simple property appreciation through the years. In fact, many factors can adjust it over time, including negative ones. Basis can be adjusted upward by the costs of home improvements and home additions (and even related tax credits received by the homeowner), rebuilding costs following a disaster, legal fees linked to property ownership, and expenses of linking utility lines to a home. Basis can be adjusted downward by property and casualty insurance payouts, allowable depreciation that comes from renting out part of a home or using part of a residence as a place of business, and any other developments that amount to a return of cost for the property owner.1

The Internal Revenue Code states that a step-up applies for real property “acquired by bequest, devise, or inheritance, or by the decedent’s estate from the decedent.” In plain English, that means the new owner of the property is eligible for the step-up whether the deceased property owner had a will or not.2

In a community property state, receipt of the step-up becomes a bit more complicated. If a married couple buys real estate in Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, Washington, or Wisconsin, each spouse is automatically considered to have a 50% ownership interest in said real property. (Alaska offers spouses the option of a community property agreement.) If a child or other party inherits that 50% ownership interest, that inheritor is usually entitled to a step-up. If at least half of the real estate in question is included in the decedent’s gross estate, the surviving spouse is also eligible for a step-up on his or her 50% ownership interest. Alternately, the person inheriting the ownership interest may choose to value the property six months after the date of the previous owner’s death (or the date of disposition of the property, if disposition occurred first).2,3

In recent years, there has been talk in Washington of curtailing the step-up. So far, such notions have not advanced toward legislation.4

What if a parent gifts real property to a child? The parent’s tax basis becomes the child’s tax basis. If the parent has owned that property for decades and the child cannot take advantage of the federal home sale tax exclusion, the capital gains tax could be enormous if the child sells the property.2

Who qualifies for the home sale tax exclusion? If individuals or married couples want to sell an inherited home, they can qualify for this big federal tax break once they have used that home as their primary residence for two years out of the five years preceding the sale. Upon qualifying, a single taxpayer may exclude as much as $250,000 of gain from the sale, with $500,000 being the limit for married homeowners filing jointly. If the home’s cost basis receives a step-up, the gain from the sale may be small, but this is still a nice tax perk to have.5

Shane Westhoelter may be reached at 858-428-3929 or shane@gfainvestments.com

Gateway Insurance Group, Inc.
6000 Uptown Blvd NE Ste 100
Albuquerque, NM 87110

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

Securities offered through Registered Representatives of Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a brokerdealer, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Adviser. Gateway Financial Advisors, Inc., and Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. are not affiliated.
Citations.
1 – nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/determining-your-homes-tax-basis.html [3/30/16]
2 – realtytimes.com/consumeradvice/sellersadvice1/item/34913-20150513-inherited-property-understanding-the-stepped-up-basis [5/13/15]
3 – irs.gov/irm/part25/irm_25-018-001.html
4 – blogs.wsj.com/totalreturn/2015/01/20/the-value-of-the-step-up-on-inherited-assets/ [1/20/15]
5 – nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/if-you-inherit-home-do-you-qualify-the-home-sale-tax-exclusion.html [3/31/16]
Living in the Future: Smart Home Technology

Living in the Future: Smart Home Technology

Remember the beloved cartoon, “The Jetsons?” Robot maids, jet packs, moving sidewalks, and flying cars? In the 1960s, when the cartoon was first released, there seemed to be only frivolous imaginary creations. Fast-forward to 2019 and many of the technology predictions from, “The Jetsons” have actually come true! Talking alarm clocks, flat screen TVs, smartwatches and video chats to name a few!

These tech gadgets don’t stop there, they’ve recently made their way into real estate via “Smart Home Technology.”

What is Smart Home Technology?

  • Technology with sensors or devices that can be remotely monitored, controlled and accessed via smartphones, tablets, or apps

What are the most popular applications of Smart Home Technology?

  • Wireless Speakers
  • Thermostats
  • Home Security Systems
  • Cleaning Devices (robot vacuums)
  • Smoke Detectors
  • Lighting
  • Door Locks
  • Refrigerators
  • Water Monitors
  • Laundry Machines

What limitations exist?

  • Adaptation can be costly and time-consuming. Buying the adaptors, setting up the networks, learning the controls and having the proper maintenance/updates can be troublesome and expensive.
  • The networks these gadgets rely upon can be prone to security breaches! Be wary of your personal data and monitor your credit and personal information regularly. (Gateway has a very inexpensive Identity Protection product for just $10/month!)

What consumers want and use:

A 2012 consumer report that pulled data from the National Association of Home Builders looked for what Smart home devices homeowners wanted most and found that top five were wireless security systems (50%), programmable thermostats (47%), security cameras (40%), lighting control systems and wireless home audio systems (39%), and home theater and multi-zone HVAC systems (37%).1

A 2015 study from “The Harris Poll” shows:

While the information provided in the studies published above from 2012 and 2015, the desires of Home Owners have not seemed to vary since then. A few of Amazon’s most purchased products include their “Amazon Echo Dot” a smart home speaker/wireless voice control, “Amazon Fire Stick” smart home streaming device, “Amazon Fire Tablet” that can control the smart home apps/functions, the “iRobot” vacuum, “WeMo mini smart plugs” that turn regular outlets into Smart Home hubs, “YI Dome Camera” for security footage, and more!3

What do you use in your house? We’d love to hear from you!

To learn more about our partners at Gateway Insurance Group, Inc. visit their website.

References:

1- “What Homeowners Want”. Home Tech Integration. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
Chart- McCarthy, Niall. “How Prevalent Is Smart Technology In U.S. Homes?”. Forbes. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
3- https://www.bestproducts.com/lifestyle/g3486/best-selling-products-on-amazon/?slide=1
Securities offered through Registered Representatives of Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a brokerdealer, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Adviser. Gateway Financial Advisors, Inc., and Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. are not affiliated.
Understanding Homeowners Insurance: What all new and prospective homeowners need to know

Understanding Homeowners Insurance: What all new and prospective homeowners need to know

If you arrange a mortgage, your lender will want you to have homeowners insurance. This coverage is critical for protecting your home and personal property against various potential liabilities.

A homeowners insurance policy is actually a package of coverages. These policies commonly offer the following forms of protection:

*Dwelling coverage insures your house and any attached structures, including fixtures such as plumbing and electrical and HVAC systems, against damages.1

*Other Structures coverage is included to compensate you for damage to structures unattached to the main dwelling on your property, such as a detached garage, tool shed, or fence.1

*Personal Property coverage addresses damage to your personal possessions, such as your appliances, furniture, electronics, and clothes.1

*Loss of Use coverage reimburses you for additional living expenses if you are unable to live in your home due to damages suffered.1

*Personal Liability coverage is designed to pay out claims if you are found liable for injuries or damages to another party. As an example, say someone attends a barbeque held in your backyard, then stumbles over a tree root and breaks a wrist or an ankle.1

*Medical Payments coverage pays the medical bills incurred by people who are hurt on your property, or hurt by your pets. This is no-fault coverage. If someone is hurt at your house, any resulting medical bills may be sent by that person to your insurer.1

These coverages pertain only to losses caused by a peril covered by your policy. For instance, if your policy doesn’t cover earthquake damage, then losses will not be reimbursed.1

The types of covered perils will depend on the type of policy you buy. Special Form policies are the most popular, since they insure against all perils, except those specifically named in the policy. Common exclusions include earthquakes and floods. Typically, flood insurance is obtained through the National Flood Insurance Program, while earthquake coverage may be obtained through an endorsement or a separate policy. Some homeowners are reluctant to buy flood or earthquake coverage; they think it is too expensive and may never be needed. The thing is, the future cannot always be guessed by looking at the past.2

Your policy will of course limit the amount of covered losses. If you have a valuable art collection or jewelry, you may want to secure additional insurance on those items.

When you scrutinize a policy, see if it insures your residence for replacement cost or actual cash value. Actual cash value is less preferable: it may not cover all your losses, as the value of your personal property can be affected by wear and tear, and your home’s value can be affected by housing market fluctuations. If your home is insured for replacement cost, then the insurance carrier will pay the expenses of using materials of similar kind and quality to rebuild or repair your home.3

As a last note, you may also want Umbrella Liability coverage. Do you consider yourself wealthy? You may find the liability limits on your current homeowners policy inadequate. For a greater degree of coverage, you might elect to complement it with an umbrella policy.4

Shane Westhoelter may be reached at 858-428-3929 or shane@gfainvestments.com
www.gatewayig.com/nexthome

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

Securities offered through Registered Representatives of Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a brokerdealer, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Adviser. Gateway Financial Advisors, Inc., and Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. are not affiliated.

Citations.
1 – https://www.iii.org/article/what-covered-standard-homeowners-policy [12/3/18]
2 – https://www.valuepenguin.com/types-homeowners-insurance [9/25/18]
3 – https://www.thebalance.com/replacement-cost-insurance-vs-actual-cash-value-4154015 [11/18/18]
4 – https://www.kiplinger.com/article/insurance/T028-C000-S002-why-you-need-an-umbrella-insurance-policy.html [9/25/18]