Underinsured Motorist Coverage: How Much and Do You Need it?

  • Car Insurance

Most states have minimum requirements for liability coverage. Often set at $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, this type of insurance covers you when you are at-fault in an accident and cause damage to the driver and their property.

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If the other driver is at fault, their liability insurance will cover you. Tit-for-tat, all is well. But what happens if you’re hit by a driver who doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the costs of your medical expenses and property damage?

That’s where underinsured motorist coverage comes in. Often bundled with uninsured motorist coverage and required in a handful of states, this insurance provides some cover against the growing number of uninsured and underinsured drivers on US roads.

How Common are Uninsured and Underinsured Drivers?

It has been estimated that there are between 1 in 7 and 1 in 8 uninsured drivers on American roads. This is a huge number when compared to many other developed nations, and it’s even bigger in states like Florida, where an estimated 25% of drivers don’t have adequate car insurance.

If you’re involved in a car accident that is not your fault, and the other driver doesn’t have adequate cover, you could be left to foot the bill. If you have uninsured/underinsured motorist cover, however, it will step in and assume the role typically played by property damage liability and bodily injury liability insurance.

You choose the type that you buy and the extent of the limits. In that sense, it also works just like the aforementioned liability insurance.

There are two types of cover:

  • Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage: Also known as UMBI, this is provided on a per person and per accident basis, much like bodily injury liability insurance.
  • Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage: Also known as UMPD, this is offered on a per accident basis.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

You can add underinsured/uninsured driver cover to your insurance policy in most states. It’s optional, along with coverage options like collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, and medical payments.

In some states, however, it’s mandatory, and you will be considered underinsured yourself if you don’t have all the necessary cover.

  • Connecticut: $20,000 Per Person; $40,000 Per Accident. Both underinsured and uninsured.
  • D.C: $25,000 Per Person; $50,000 Per Accident. Only uninsured coverage required.
  • Illinois: $20,000 Per Person; $40,000 Per Accident. Only uninsured coverage required.
  • Kansas: $25,000 Per Person; $50,000 Per Accident. Both underinsured and uninsured.
  • Maine: $50,000 Per Person; $100,000 Per Accident. Both underinsured and uninsured.
  • Maryland: $30,000 Per Person; $60,000 Per Accident. Both underinsured and uninsured.
  • Massachusetts: $20,000 Per Person; $40,000 Per Accident. Only uninsured coverage required.
  • Minnesota: $25,000 Per Person; $50,000 Per Accident. Both underinsured and uninsured.
  • Missouri: $25,000 Per Person; $50,000 Per Accident. Only uninsured coverage required.
  • Nebraska: $25,000 Per Person; $50,000 Per Accident. Both underinsured and uninsured.
  • New Hampshire: $25,000 Per Person; $50,000 Per Accident. Both underinsured and uninsured.
  • New Jersey: $15,000 Per Person; $30,000 Per Accident. Both underinsured and uninsured.
  • New York: $25,000 Per Person; $50,000 Per Accident. Both underinsured and uninsured.
  • North Carolina: $30,000 Per Person; $60,000 Per Accident. Both underinsured and uninsured.
  • North Dakota: $25,000 Per Person; $50,000 Per Accident. Both underinsured and uninsured.
  • Oregon: $25,000 Per Person; $50,000 Per Accident. Both underinsured and uninsured.
  • South Carolina: $25,000 Per Person; $50,000 Per Accident. Only uninsured coverage required.
  • South Dakota: $25,000 Per Person; $50,000 Per Accident. Both underinsured and uninsured.
  • Vermont: $50,000 Per Person; $100,000 Per Accident. Both underinsured and uninsured.
  • Virginia: $25,000 Per Person; $50,000 Per Accident. Both underinsured and uninsured.
  • West Virginia: $20,000 Per Person; $40,000 Per Accident. Only uninsured coverage required.
  • Wisconsin: $25,000 Per Person; $50,000 Per Accident. Only uninsured coverage required.

How Much is Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Insurance?

As with all other types of coverage, the amount you pay for underinsured/uninsured motorist insurance varies by state, driver, and insurance company. Generally, it costs around half of what you pay for liability insurance, assuming you pay for the same amount of cover.

The insurance company will consider what type of driver you are, how many claims you have had, and where you live. All of these factors will impact your rates.

You can bring the total price of your auto insurance policy down by trying the following:

  • Improve your credit score.
  • Pass a defensive driving course.
  • Achieve and maintain good grades.
  • Use multi-car or multi-policy discounts where possible.
  • Join membership clubs for discounts.
  • Make sure your car has anti-theft devices and safety features.
  • Pay for your premiums upfront.
  • Sign up for paperless and Auto-pay discounts.
  • Check low-mileage programs and good driver programs.
  • Maintain a safe driving record.

Bottom Line: Do You Need Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

If your state requires it, you don’t have a choice: you need uninsured/underinsured cover on your car insurance policy. But what happens if your state doesn’t require it, at what point should you start considering these insurance products?

  • Your State Has a Lot of Uninsured Drivers: The more of these drivers there are in your area, the greater your risk is and the more important UMBI and UMPD coverage options are.
  • You Have an Expensive Car: If you drive a luxury, high-price vehicle and your state has very low liability requirements, you should consider underinsured motorist coverage. Without it, you could be seriously out of pocket if you’re involved in an accident, even if the other driver was at fault.
  • You Want Extra Protection: With underinsured/uninsured motorist insurance, you will also be covered for a hit-and-run, even if you are a pedestrian. The extra cover provided by these options will ensure you’re prepared for more eventualities and give you some much-needed peace of mind at the same time.
  • Good Price: Last but not least, if this insurance coverage can benefit you in any way and you can get it for a good price, why not add it to your policy? It will seem like a genius move in the event of an accident with an uninsured/underinsured driver, making all those extra cents worthwhile.

Source: pocketyourdollars.com

Converting Hotels to Housing

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has released new research on the conversion of hotels and motels into housing. While the study was spurred by a 37% drop in hotel occupancy rates driven by the pandemic, the findings have broader implications. Hotel conversions provide a means to simultaneously create renewed profitability and help address the national housing shortage.

Commercial members surveyed

A survey was sent to 75,000 commercial members of the NAR between February and March of 2021. 168 reported being engaged in the sale, leasing, development, property management or appraisal of converted hotels/motels between 2018 and 2020. Of the reported conversions:

  • 79% were for housing.
  • 12% were for homeless shelters, either temporary or permanent.
  • 6% were for healthcare or quarantine facilities.
  • 3% were for retail, industrial, ranch land or other development.

Success stories

The report ends with five case studies detailing acquisition, zoning, renovations and expected final property values. For those interested in engaging in hotel/motel conversions, they’ll find an excellent road map in this report.

Source: century21.com

New Technology Promises to Revolutionize the Construction

There’s no question that technology is making an impact on the construction industry – even though construction is an industry that’s been historically slow to embrace innovation. The reluctance to change and evolve is due to fragmentation in the industry. With so many small firms specializing in different aspects of the construction process, it’s a challenge to adopt seamless processes and adapt to new technologies.

But recent advances that increase the efficiency, flexibility and adaptability of many emerging construction technologies are making them more cost-effective for firms to adopt. Just a few of the new technologies in use today include modular construction (using free-standing, integrated modules that are manufactured off-site and then transported to a site for installation), geospatial technologies (used to visualize, measure and analyze Earth’s features) and wearable technologies (such as head-mounted displays).

There’s more on the horizon. Some emerging technologies in the construction industry include mass timber (an engineered wood product), construction robotics (using robots to build) and autonomous construction vehicles (equipment operated by a computer).

To read a NAIOP report about new construction technologies, click here.

Source: century21.com

How to Attract Remote Workers to Your Apartment Community

Thanks to the pandemic, the number of employees who work from home swelled over the past year. Even though offices are beginning to open, with workers returning to the workplace, surveys show that many plan to telework at least part-time in the future.

Apartment owners and managers need to take notice of this trend. After all, at a time when unemployment remains high, remote workers are employed – and capable of paying their rent. They also represent a large pool of prospective tenants, so targeting them can turn into a competitive advantage.

Here are three things you can do to attract the work-from-home cohort:

  • Provide the tools teleworkers need. High-speed internet service and reliable cell phone reception are a must. The 2020 NMHC/Kingsley Apartment Resident Preferences Report found that 92% of tenants want high-speed internet access, while 91% said the community amenity they most desire is reliable cell phone reception. Tenants are even willing to pay higher rent for high-speed internet — $35.05 per month more, the survey found.
  • Tweak your marketing plan. Help the prospect envision working in your space. Stage model units (live or virtually) to include work spaces in bedrooms, or create zoom-worthy spaces on balconies or rooftops.
  • Don’t focus only on attracting new tenants; meet the needs of existing ones. Happy tenants are more likely to renew their leases, saving you the cost of turnover. They also can be a source of referrals. Convert business centers from open spaces to individual offices, and add programming designed to meet the needs of remote workers, such as a poolside yoga class to relieve stress or an online time-management workshop. People are craving human interaction these days, and programming can enhance a sense of community.

Source: century21.com

The Economic Impact of Commercial Real Estate

New commercial real estate development, and the ongoing operations of existing CRE buildings in the United States, had a vital impact on the U.S. economy in 2020, supporting 8 million jobs and contributing $1.01 trillion to U.S. GDP, according to a study released last month by the NAIOP Research Foundation.

The study broke out several key measures by sector – and demonstrate the impact of the pandemic:

  • Office construction expenditures totaled $38.8 billion in 2020, down 28.5% from 2019.
  • Retail construction totaled $11.7 billion in 2020, down 29.5% YOY. This was the fifth straight year of decline.
  • Warehouse construction outlays decreased slightly in 2020, down just 0.3% YOY.
  • Industrial (manufacturing) construction spending was hard hit, declining 29.5%.

The top five states in 2020, by development impact, were Texas, New York, Florida, California and Illinois.

This year, job growth is expected to improve, and GDP growth will make up some of what it lost in 2020. And NAIOP remains optimistic. “Many factors point to a commercial real estate rebound in 2021,” said Thomas J. Bisacquino, president and CEO. “We believe that while the pandemic has accelerated trends already progressing in real estate, we have a bright future.”

Source: century21.com

The Outpost Economy: A New Trend

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many behavioral changes, not the least of which is the acceleration of the work-from-home trend. As the location of many workplaces remains flexible, there’s been a shift in the nature of work, its location and employment implications. Commercial real estate investment firm Graceada Partners has identified this trend and defined it, referring to it in a new report as the “outpost economy.”

The outpost economy is defined as the rise of a more dispersed economy and employment base away from major cities, to smaller cities with a high quality of life that draws workers who have become untethered from their offices in major cities. Clearly, this has implications for the real estate market – on both primary markets, as corporate headquarters become decentralized, and on secondary markets, as they evolve into “outpost economies.”

Takeaways from the Graceada report include:

  • Prior to COVID-19, many workers built their lives around the cities where they were employed. But, today, Millennials and younger workers are nesting, focusing on purchasing homes in smaller cities or suburbs and growing families there. The pandemic has enabled them to do this due to greater acceptance of remote working.
  • Still, the office is not dead. Many remote workers have already returned to the office, and offices are migration evolving as well. Employers may end up leasing smaller spaces in secondary markets to allow employees in those areas to work from those hubs.
  • Three outposts singled out in the report are Austin, Charlotte and Sacramento.
  • Despite the rise of many outposts, primary markets like New York and San Francisco have been economic hubs for major industries for many years and aren’t expected to go away overnight.

Source: century21.com

Attention to Every Detail

If you ask Relentless Agent Award Winner, Laura Ennis of CENTURY 21 AllPoints Realty in Enfield, CT, what makes her stand out from the crowd, she’ll tell you without hesitation, it’s all about the details. Known as, Laura “Overly-Involved” Ennis, Laura firmly believes in getting involved in every detail of the transaction to help transform her client’s process into an unforgettable experience.

I don’t think you’re successful by yourself. You have to have a team.

Laura Ennis

Part of what helps Laura give 121% to her clients and her community is that throughout her 25-year career, she’s managed to build key relationships. These relationships have given her the ability to become a top-tier problem solver in almost any situation, ensuring those that work with her, don’t have a thing to worry about during the home buying or selling process.

I can always fix every problem because I can call on somebody who will help me. Between my attorneys, my inspectors, contractors, plumbers, and electricians… I go the extra mile.

Laura Ennis

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There’s no doubt that Laura is passionate about serving her clients and her drive to continue elevating her service is undeniable. There is an additional key area where Laura also places her emphasis on and that’s communication. Laura believes that to be successful in this business, your communication skills must be top-notch. Making it a point to answer her phone every time a client calls, Laura also works overtime to ensure she can provide just the response her clients need to ease their minds and give them accurate information to answer their questions.

A firm believer in giving back in every way, Laura spends a great deal of her time volunteering in her community, as a member of the local Elks Club, to help raise awareness for Autism. She’s also very passionate about serving local veterans and seniors during the holiday season. Laura also helps to support Kyle’s Krusade, which is a local charity that provides support for families of those being treated at the Hartford Children’s Hospital Oncology Ward.

Laura truly leaves no stone unturned and makes each little detail her priority. In business, there can be an emphasis placed on the larger things but as we’ve seen with Laura, her quarter of a century career has been spent focusing and becoming involved in each seemingly small detail that leads up to an extraordinary home buying or selling experience.

Note: This material may contain suggestions and best practices that you may use at your discretion.  The views, information, or opinions expressed in any user-generated content are solely those of the individuals involved and do not necessarily represent those of Century 21 Real Estate LLC.

Source: century21.com

Crushing Your Sales Plateau

To be honest, like many others in this business I was never good at goal setting, but I am changing that. While I help clients and customers reach desired outcomes, I’ve experienced a plateau before and have been at the same amount of sales for many years. With encouragement from those around me, it was time to leverage goal setting and begin the process of having more conversations, selling myself to more people, with greater frequency, in order to get my sales to a higher level.

  1. Create a system to track and measure your efforts. The first thing I did was create a spreadsheet to manage and hold myself accountable for the number of conversations and touchpoints necessary to overcome the plateau. It’s keeping track of phone calls, community events, talking to people at local stores, and geotargeting a new neighborhood to become the local market expert for that area.
  2. Use your results to determine what technique works best for you. There are many sales techniques and many ways to generate business but, what I have found that works for me, is to first build a personal relationship, and then sell myself and my unique value proposition. I want clients to hire me because they want to, whether it takes one conversation, two conversations, five conversations, or meeting in person a few times. I think it makes the relationship smoother and stronger, and it makes the goal of getting them the outcomes they desire a lot more effective.
  3. Apply your technique and engage your sphere. Ultimately, it’s important for agents to find their own rhythm. Every person has something they’re good at, and they’re going to attract certain people and certain personalities. For me, most of my conversations are in real estate settings, like open houses or industry-related events. When I analyze and look at where my business is coming from, most of it is coming from the sphere that I built and manage. Not only that, I’m reaching them with weekly personalized emails, many times with video, about their local market. Obviously, we want to engage them, but the information must be relevant. Don’t bore them with the same old stuff. It’s difficult to find topics that people are or should be, interested in.
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Selling yourself as the local market expert to your sphere can be key. This can help you build the relationships your business needs to grow. In real estate, there will always be change, so staying ahead of it by knowing your market can be the value proposition you’re looking for. For me, it’s what helped me to get over my sales plateau to grow my business and take it to the next level.

Note: This material may contain suggestions and best practices that you may use at your discretion.  The views, information, or opinions expressed in any user-generated content are solely those of the individuals involved and do not necessarily represent those of Century 21 Real Estate LLC.

Source: century21.com

Confessions of a #1

Securing the #1 spot as a top performer may not be easy, but it’s possible. Success isn’t necessarily something that just happens to you. It’s actually, quite the contrary. When you get the opportunity to learn the ropes from others who have implemented key methods that have helped them become #1 in their field, you can’t help but notice a theme. #WhatIf there are methods you could execute, day to day, and mindsets you could put into practice, right now, that could elevate your game 121%? #WhatIf you had the chance to sit down with a seasoned entrepreneur who has weathered the uncertainties of life and business and has come out on top?

Here’s your chance. Recently, we had the opportunity to speak with someone who’s taken success, by the horns, and hasn’t looked back. Joe Villaescusa is not only the Owner of CENTURY 21 Allstars in Pico Rivera, California, but he’s a top performer; and not just any top performer but, a #relentless one.

Don’t believe us? Read on.

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Last year, Joe’s office closed over $18 million in sales with over 1800 closings. If that’s not enough, CENTURY 21 AllStars is on track to knock it out of the park again this year. To top that off (we know, right?) Joe has recovered from COVID19 and has worked each day to regain his momentum and build his strength. As you can see, it’s not just Joe’s tenacity but it’s the grit and grind mindset he’s taken on, day in and day out.

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So here’s what you’ve been waiting for. Here are our top three confessions from Joe that he says has helped him to become a #1:

  1. Show yourself accountable every day.- “We didn’t get into this business to be average.” Joe believes you don’t become complacent overnight. Over time, when you aren’t accountable to mentors and leaders, complacency can have a way of sneaking up on you. Allowing this to go on without the right accountability can lead to an overall lack of motivation before you realize it. Surround yourself with others who have reached milestones and goals, you’d like to achieve, to help you to push yourself and remain motivated.
  2. Remove your choices so you have to do it “this way.”- When you have too many options, it can become second nature to choose the easiest route. The housing market crash of 2006, Joe says, helped him to develop a discipline in making decisions to help with his personal development and the growth of his business. “When your options are eliminated, you are forced to make decisions with what you have,” Joe says. During the crash, the options available to expand Joe’s business was greatly diminished. This put him in a position to have to choose the more difficult routes, in making day to day decisions. He’s been able to carry this mindset with him, even after the market made a turn for the better. When making decisions, it’s not uncommon to have a mix of easier and difficult choices among your options. Try removing the easier choices that don’t carry character developing challenges.
  3. Get enough sleep.- This goes without saying. According to the CDC, one-third of adults don’t get enough sleep. Joe recommends getting a good night’s rest to get your day started bright and early. “If you can get out of the bed, you are 50% of the way there,” he says.  Being intentional about getting adequate rest can help avoid playing the “catch up game” and set your things in motion to start your days off strong.
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It’s a slow and steady pace that can lead one to a #1 spot but it’s not impossible. Be patient with your journey and surround yourself with others that are crushing goals you hope to accomplish. Being intentional about your growth and success is key and can help you #AlwaysElevate your game!

Source: century21.com

Real Estate Trends to Watch in 2021

With 2020 in the rearview mirror, what’s in store for the real estate market in 2021?

Strong demand and more homes hitting the market in 2021 will mean a healthy rate of growth for 2021. Expect seasonal trends to normalize with a strong spring/summer and slower fall/winter season. While the heated home price growth of 2020 might simmer down in 2021, home prices are still expected to rise. Mortgage rates are at historic lows, which has helped builders and developers finance their projects. As a result, experts are predicting that more new homes will be built in 2021 than in any year since 2006. And last but not least: major migrations are still on the move in 2021. Remote work, which set off a domino effect of increased homeownership in 2020, will continue to drive buyers from high-cost cities to suburban and rural areas with lower-cost housing.  

Source: century21.com