Category: Home and Auto

Helpful tips for your home and auto risks

Remote car door locks – code can be intercepted

Making the web rounds is notice that there is an intercepting device thieves are using to clone car security codes when car doors are locked using the key-chain locking device.  Thieves sit a distance away (such as in a shopping mall complex) waiting for the victim to remotely lock their car and walk away.  The interceptor can then unlock the car with the stolen code.

Advice is to use the lock button on your car upon exiting, which does not send a security code through the airwaves.

LLCs versus Personal Trusts for Seasonal Homes

We have been seeing a lot of “personal” LLCs in Maine lately for vacation homes.  Some attorneys are recommending LLCs instead of Personal Trusts to clients for their seasonal, family-owned properties.

An LLC is a “commercial” (business) entity so you cannot place personal home insurance thus the way you can on a Trust entity.  Personal Liability Umbrellas do not respond to LLCs either – you need separate, commercial umbrellas for the LLC.  By choosing to place a seasonal home in an LLC, you will waste money and lose very broad coverage that comes with “personal” insurance (liability is worldwide on a basic homeowners policy – never on commercial forms [coverage needs to be specifically extended]).

LLCs are a very bad idea for seasonal homes

Off Premises Property

Your losses may not be covered

One lesson often learned very painfully is loss of property stored somewhere other than at your office premises. Be sure to keep your insurance broker advised if you move property, or if a client has not taken title to an expensive piece of equipment. These are the types of situations which should trigger your memory to call your insurance agent:

  • Warehousing, even temporarily, of any valuable property
  • Demo equipment at a client’s site (and you still own it)
  • Equipment/property on approval for a lengthy period at a client site
  • Property storage at any employee’s home
  • Lending or rental of equipment (and you still own it)

Many insurers offer some nominal amount of “unscheduled location” coverage ($t0,000 is customary). Often we are called for large theft or water losses from a location about which we were never advised. That location of loss is then deemed “unscheduled” and only the incidental value of $10,000 can be collected.

Keep your agent in the loop.

Scheduling Specific Property

What to – what not to

While jewelry and silver are the most frequent property losses by theft, those are usually from residential homes and not businesses. Computer equipment is the most frequent commercial
property stolen, including boards, parts, and components. Value versus weight makes electronics an attractive target.

The principles of scheduling coverage are the same in your home as in your business, however. So – what should be specifically named and valued (with appraisal or receipts) and what should be designated as genera! “contents”?


Any property that moves around a lot, traveling from business site to clients or tradeshows, etc. Gemstones, high-valued products samples and like items.

What not to schedule:

Most of your business premises contents should not be: specifically scheduled. Coverage will respond for full value of lost property on site for fire, storm, smoke, theft, vandalism (terrorism maybe), and the usual perils.