McCurdy Group - Insurance and Financial Consultants

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

AirBnB: Questions You Should Ask Before You Rent Out Your Home

A lot of events happen in our area: The Brimfield Antiques and Collectibles Show, the Patriots in the
play-offs, college graduations (20+ in Central MA within a 30-mile radius). All these events are tempting times to make a little extra cash by renting out your home on sites like AirBnB. But do you
know the risks and liabilities? Do you know exactly what your homeowners policy covers?

If you rent out your home for a one-time event, you may be covered, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III), but different insurers have different requirements. Some may require advance notice; others might want you to purchase an endorsement (an add-on) to your homeowners policy to provide broader coverage for the renter. (III)

Or, if you're planning to rent your home for short periods on an ongoing basis, (e.g., all three Brimfield show weeks) some insurers may consider that a "business" and require you to purchase
business insurance. (III) And, if you're planning to rent your home for a longer period of time, say six
months, you will likely need a landlord policy. (III)

Now, let's talk personal property . . . of a paying guest, that is. Is their personal property covered by
your homeowners insurance policy? Most likely not. The property of a paying guest would not be covered by a typical homeowners policy. If something, such as a fire, occurs while the paying guest is staying in your home, their own renters or homeowners policy may cover the loss of their personal property.

And what about your personal property? What if a paying guest steals your property during their stay? Sorry, but you likely won't be covered by your homeowners insurance either. There are typically exceptions on a homeowners policy for theft that takes place in the part of a residence being rented to a paying guest.

Oh boy…what if my guest injures somebody or causes damage to a neighbor's property? Does my
homeowners insurance cover that? (Cringe) Most likely not. While the liability coverage of your homeowners policy typically does protect you from financial loss if you're legally obligated to pay for another person's injuries or for damage you do to their property; it will typically not extend to a guest.

If your paying guest was responsible for another person's injury or property damage, they would
need to look to their own renters or homeowners policy for liability coverage.

Okay, but what if my guest damages my own property? Surely now I would be covered. Don't hate me, please, but your policy most likely won't cover these types of damages, either. Your homeowners insurance won't likely consider a broken television, for example, a "named peril." And to
add salt to this wound, most homeowners / renters policies exclude property damage to a rental

So what precautions should you take before renting out your home, even for one day? First and foremost, call us. We will help you to understand what your existing homeowners policy may or may not cover, what exclusions might apply, and if an endorsement is necessary.

We recommend, too, that you do your due diligence. "Do a thorough interview of anyone before giving them access to your home. Most home sharing sites offer a screening service that gives you an overview of a candidate's background, but you likely want to go further, asking for identification, doing reference checks, asking for deposits (much like you would do when taking on a rental tenant as a landlord). You might also require any paying guests to have their own homeowners or renters insurance policy; check to see what their policy covers (liability, for instance) and consider whether their insurance is extensive enough to help you avoid any undue risk." (


Monday, March 11, 2019

Top 3 Auto Perils Between March and May

What do you think are the top three hazards car owners face between March and May? If you said
hail, water, and wind you’d be correct.

The insurance industry relies heavily on historical data to predict the future. According to Farmers Seasonal Smarts Digest, while April showers may bring May flowers, many of us will also deal with another spring weather phenomenon -- hail and lots of it.

Keep your vehicle in a garage or under a carport / awning during a hailstorm. If covered parking isn't
available, you may want to consider a hail blanket or specialized car cover. Make sure all coverings
are secure, as the wind associated with hailstorms can blow loose covers away.

High winds are also perilous to cars. From falling tree limbs to tornado debris, wind damage can be
extensive. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind during high winds:
  • Never try to outrun a tornado. You would need to drive more than 70 miles per hour to outrun the fastest tornado.
  • While an overpass may seem like a great spot to wait out a hailstorm, it may put you and your car in greater danger, since hailstorms often are part of larger severe weather systems that may include tornadoes. Stopping under an overpass can result in even more damage to your car and occupants, if high winds, as well as the debris picked up by those winds, move through the underpass.
Warmer weather also brings an increased risk for damage from flash flooding brought about by spring's strong storm season, as well as windshield and body damage caused by gravel pieces from
newly-formed potholes on roads across the country. Nearly 500,000 insurance claims each year
are directly related to damage from potholes.

Keep an eye out for "covered" potholes. Potholes can fill with water following a storm or as roadside
snow melts, which makes them harder to notice and their depth difficult to judge. A good rule of thumb is to safely avoid mysterious puddles.

Know where your route will take you at all times and understand if you're driving (or even parking)
near drainage channels, underpasses or similar areas. These are areas where flash flooding can occur at any time, regardless of whether typical warning signs like rain clouds or heavy rain are

And lastly, don't panic if you're caught in a flood. If you're inside your vehicle, you should consider
staying where you are and waiting for rescue if safety permits.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Water Damage: A Renter’s Potential Nightmare

According to the Insurance Information Institute (, water damage is the second most common cause of property damage. Yet, 63% of renters do not have renters insurance. Many tenants presume their landlord's insurance policy will cover the damage to their belongings. Unfortunately, this is not the case. 

A landlord's insurance covers repairs the building itself, not the renter's personal possessions. With winter’s chill upon us, if a pipe were to freeze and break thus flooding the apartment’s interior, the landlord would be responsible for repairing the pipe and any damage to the structure. As a tenant, you would be responsible for replacing your personal property.

Or let’s flip that around. Let’s say you caused the water damage due to an overflowing tub or sink causing water damage not only to your apartment, but to other units in the building as well. A renters policy can protect property damage to others. 

Renters insurance covers your personal property in the event of a disaster. And it’s not expensive. The average policy, depending on coverage is about $15 per month for $30,000 policy (Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America). A basic renters insurance policy covers:
  • Frozen pipe breaks
  • Windstorm or hail
  • The weight of sleet, snow or ice
  • Fire sprinkler failure
  • Plumbing leaks
  • An accidental discharge from an appliance

What to do if you have a water loss
  • Call your landlord and call us, your dedicated insurance representative at 508-347-9343
  • Take photos and/or video of the damaged property. And don't throw anything away until your claims adjuster has completed an inspection. 
And if you don't have renters insurance, definitely call us now!
McCurdy Insurance, 508-347-9343, where the Best Insurance is Prevention!