Landlord tools for tenants

There is a really cool service for landlords I learned about that is free if you insure your rental properties through Foremost Insurance call Properly Rent. This is about a $400 value that is free to you as a Foremost Insurance customer. 

Properly Rent can:

  • Create Listings
  • Accept applications
  • Screen Tenants
  • Take payments

To better understand these services, click on the link below and watch the two videos.

If you are interested in this service and would like a quote on your rental properties, please call Agent Martin Sajbel at Elkstone Insurance Group at phone 303-716-0970. Marty can run landlord property insurance quotes for you from: Foremost, Travelers, Safeco and Hartford Insurance companies. 

Healthy Smoothie ingredients

I would like to share my nutrient packed smoothie recipe with you.

I have variations of this smoothie about every other morning for breakfast and I haven’t been sick all year long. I don’t claim it will prevent you from getting sick but several of the ingredients are known to straighten the immune system.

• 1 Green ice cube (Kale, Collard Greens, Arugula) *
• 1 Red ice cube (Beet cube) *
• Frozen fruit (use different fruits, mix up colors)
• Avocado  (Store he half with the seed still attached in the refrigorator as the seed helps preserve it)
• Kefir or Yogurt – unflavored (use different types, 1/3 of liquid base)
• MCT Oil (tablespoon)
• Mineral drops (read instructions on amount, too much could be harmful)
• Chia seeds (stored in freezer)
• Hemp hearts (stored in freezer)
• Flax seed (freshly ground with hand mill, stored in refrigerator)
• Collagen (2 scoops)
• Protein Powder (1 scoop or 2 scoops if you just worked out)
• Liquid (1/3 water, 1/3 Unsweetened Almond Milk or Coconut Water, 1/3 plain unsweetened Kefir or Yogurt)

I have a Ninja bullet blender and I love it. I load up the frozen items first then the liquids and put the powders in last near the blade. This way the powders do not stick to the walls of the blender.

*In all my smoothies I always include one of my pre-made red and green ice cubes. The red cubes are steamed beets blended with the steamed water, cooled, and scooped into 4 ice cube trays. After frozen, I store the red ice cubes in Ziploc bag in the freezer ready to use. I also lightly steam collard greens, kale, arugula together and freeze them the same way and make green ice cubes. It does take a little extra time to prepare these bags of red and green ice cubes, but they last me about three months. I set the hot pan I steamed them in on ice in the sink. Then, after they cool down, I use the water that I steamed them in to blend up the contents, as the steamed water has the nutrients lost in the steaming process. By taking the time to make these cubes, you save time as over the hassle of putting fresh kale or beets in your smoothies every time you make them. I like mixing up the fruit and try to use different colors of fruit. I also mix up the vanilla and chocolate protein powder.  If you don’t like beets, kale or collard greens, it is perfect, because you are able to get all the nutrients without the flavor.

I purchased the:

  • Flax seed hand mill on Amazon
  • The flax seed “whole seeds”, Collagen, Chia seeds, Mineral drops, MCT oil at Natural Grocers
  • The protein powder and most the frozen fruit at Sam’s Club

Written by Martin A. Sajbel, Independent Insurance Agent 303-716-0970

What is an Insurance Declaration Page or Dec page?

The Declarations page(s) is part of the policy documents. To better understand what the declarations page is, it would be better to first describe what the “policy” is. The “policy” is the agreement that states the rights and duties of the insurance company and you, the insured. The “policy” of an insurance company, is the same policy document others receive who are insured with that same insurance company. Each insurance company has its own policy. There are minor differences between each insurance company’s policies. An insurance company’s policy will detail the various types of coverage, what is and isn’t covered. The policy will also include duties after a loss and general provisions and start with definitions of key insurance words in the policy.

The insurance “declaration page” is unique to each person, or family, insured with the insurance company. The declarations page is what relates you to the insurance company’s policy. The insurance declaration page simply identifies who is insured, what is insured, when the policy takes effect, where the property is located, how much coverage is provided, and which package was selected. The name “declarations page” might infer that it is just one page long, but it could be several pages long. The pages will be numbers, for example, page 1 of 3. If a bank or mortgage company wants to see proof you have insurance on your vehicle, or house, you will want to find and forward all the pages of the declarations page. Make sure the declarations page is current and the end date is in the future.

If you own property in Colorado or live in Colorado, Elkstone Insurance Group, Inc. is an independent insurance company offering auto, homeowners, renters, landlord, condo insurance from several insurance companies and can shop for the best coverage and rates. Contact us, call Insurance Agent Martin Sajbel at 303-716-0970 to receive an insurance quote.

An example of a real life large liability claim

One of my stand alone personal umbrella liability carriers has a real life case study of a large liability claim.

Here is the story:

“Zack couldn’t believe his luck: Discovering leftover Fourth of July fireworks in the garage just in time for Halloween. He couldn’t wait to tell his best friend, Fletcher.

While their parents were soundly asleep on Halloween night, the inseparable pair snuck out to give the neighborhood a midnight treat.

Suppressing giggles, Zack lit the inaugural bottle rocket —  it zoomed off-course and landed underneath their neighbor’s car.

The friends rushed over to try to kick it out, but they were too slow — the car caught on fire in moments and as they looked on in disbelief, the tree in the yard and the home followed.

By the time firefighters were at the scene, extensive damage was already done.

Because of “vicarious parental liability,” Zack’s parents were on the hook for his actions, even though they weren’t present and didn’t know what he was up to.

After their homeowners liability limit was exhausted, their standalone personal umbrella policy covered the rest of the damage.

Claim: $620,000″

What is UMBI or Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury

UMBI is the coverage on your policy that would pay toward you, family members or passengers in your vehicle if someone else was at-fault in the accident and didn’t have any, or enough BI (Bodily Injury) coverage. Typically the at fault driver should have insurance, but as you know in Denver and Lakewood Colorado, there are many drivers that operate  vehicles without insurance or have the state minimum BI limits. Colorado’s State Minimum for BI is only $25,000 per person and if there was more than one passenger, no more than $50,000 per accident. This isn’t enough coverage if you and other passengers were seriously hurt or killed by a driver with this “legal” amount of coverage.

This UMBI coverage would kick-in and pay for you and your passengers’ injuries, pain and suffering, death benefit, loss of income, disability and more if the other at-fault driver had little or no BI coverage. In Colorado you can’t have more UMBI coverage than you have BI coverage but you can have the same amount. So good insurance agents make sure people have the same amount of coverage for both BI and UMBI. Be wary of agents that don’t include this UMBI coverage on your quote or policy to try to cut the price of the total premium unless you request not to have UMBI. UMBI coverage can be easily overlooked as it a policy coverage (not assigned to any particular vehicle) and is shown as a separate line item premium on the policy. UMBI’s premium is added with the total premiums from each vehicle to make up the total auto policy premium.

The description of the UMBI coverage above is just a general description of that coverage. Refer to your insurance policy to see what your UMBI covers. Elkstone Insurance Group, Inc. offer insurance from several insurance companies in Colorado. If you would like a free review of your Colorado auto and homeowners insurance coverage, call Independent Insurance Agent Martin Sajbel of Elkstone Insurance Group, Inc. at 303-716-0970.

What is “Class 4” rated roofing shingles and why should you have them?

Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is a company that tests the impact resistance of roofing shingles to simulate how the roofing would stand up to hail. The test is called UL 2218 and is the standard test in the roofing industry. A roofing shingle tested under UL 2218 is given a rating from Class 1 to Class 4 – Class 4 representing the most impact-resistant roofing shingles.

Insurance companies are starting to realize the benefits of these Class 4 rated shingles and they are starting to give “hail resistive” discounts on policies where the home has Class 4 rated roofing. This discount could be 20% or more depending on factors. If you are replacing your roof, you should consider upgrading to Class 4 roofing shingles. The insurance savings on your homeowner’s policy will pay for the upgrade in about two years. Not all insurance companies offer this discount so check with your agent to see if your insurance company offers this discount.

Elkstone Insurance Group, Inc. is an independent insurance agency that can quote homeowner’s insurance from several insurance companies in Colorado. The hail resistive discount is available through our agency for homes with Class 4 rated roofing shingles. Call 303-716-0970 for an insurance quote.

What time of day does an auto or homeowners policy start or end?

Typically “most” insurance companies, start and stop, there polices at 12:01 AM (one minute after midnight). With that, the first day of your policy period you have coverage all that day. The last day of your policy period, you do not have coverage because it ended a minuet after that day started.

Emergency Vehicle Checklist

First Aid Kit, toilet paper stored in a zip-lock bag

Flashlight (preferable a forehead mounted flashlight) with
extra batteries

Jumper Cables, tire chains/cables, and a tarp, extra
old/cheap sunglasses

Road flares or roadside lights or reflectors

Pen, Pencil and paper, vehicle cell phone charger, and a “printed”
out list of important phone numbers.

Extra old warm coat, hats and leather work gloves (a set for
each family member)

Energy Snack Bars, Drinking Water, mints, gum, floss and
small travel tooth brush and paste

Blanket, Umbrella, Kleenex, Ice Scraper/brush

Swiss Army or Leatherman utility knife

Supply of wet baby-wipes stored in a strong freezer zip-lock

Duct tape, Rope, String, Trash bags, twisty and a few extra gallon
size freezer zip-lock bags.

Small handle shovel, zip-ties, tow rope/chain, bungees.

Mace ,Pepper Spray or some other appropriate self-defense
you feel comfortable storing/using.

Red-rag-flag needed if transporting something sticking out
back of your vehicle 4 feet or more.

A Chilton repair manual for your specific vehicle.

Purchase tools that would be commonly used to repair your
vehicle and keep them in your vehicle. Be sure to purchase the size for your
vehicle (metric tools for foreign made vehicles.)

Engine oil, brake fluid (type used for your vehicle) and windshield
wiper fluid.

Accident Check List

Get Help for the injured

Call the police. Remain at the scene of the

Warn oncoming traffic. Set hazard lights and

Try to remain calm.

Do not admit fault.

Get names, addresses and phone numbers of all
passengers and witnesses.

Exchange names, address, phone numbers, makes of
vehicles, driver’s license, vehicle license numbers and insurance
company/policy numbers information with all drivers.

Sketch the accident.

Examine and record damage to other vehicles and

If you are carrying a camera, or camera phone, take
pictures of the scene and damage. Do not discuss the accident or sign any
documents. Only answer questions asked by police and your insurance company’s
claims representative.

Call your insurance company’s claims department


How much liability coverage should I have?

Liability coverage is the coverage on your policy that would pay toward a third party, on your behalf, if you were liable for their damage, injury or death as a result of an accident. Proper liability coverage will preserve all that you have worked for and future earnings via your wages being garnished if coverage and assets aren’t enough to indemnify the third party. Because of this, I believe, your liability coverage is the most important coverage on your policy. This is especially important if you are financially successful and have lots to lose.

The good news is liability coverage is relatively inexpensive. The more the cost is for liability, chances are, the more you need it. For example, adding a youthful driver to your policy can be costly, even with the limit of liability remaining the same. This is because the likelihood of being sued as a result of your inexperienced youthful driver getting into a serious accident causing injuries and possibly death to a third party has been dramatically increased.

What you can do to protect yourself from being sued is increase your liability limit (Bodily Injury, Property Damage) on your auto, home and any other policies (Boat, ATV, landlord policy) to more than your net worth. Some say you should have more liability coverage than your asset base. This might involve purchasing a “personal umbrella liability policy”. These umbrella polices are sold in increments of a million dollars and will usually cost around $200 a year for a one million dollar policy for a typical family with one home and two vehicles.

This umbrella liability policy will provide a blanket of extra liability coverage over and above all your other polices covered under the umbrella. If you own insurance on a boat, ATV, rental properties and more, they would all be protected under this umbrella and that would add a little more cost to the umbrella’s annual premium. There are also added cost for each vehicle you own and household driver under age 25. I usually recommend you purchase an umbrella policy if your net worth is over $250,000. Your net worth is all that you and your spouse own (your asset base) minus loans outstanding. This includes your retirement savings, home, vehicle values and all your personal property including rental properties and a business you own. Just because your rental property or business you own is an LLC or corporation with insurance on it, doesn’t escape you including it in your personal net worth calculation.

If you own it, and can sell it, its value needs to be included in your personal net worth. That can be hard to grasp, but trust me, it is better to be safe than sorry.

One of the added benefits of having higher liability limits on your auto insurance is that you can also have higher limits for UMBI (uninsured/underinsured bodily injury) for a low premium. Having higher UMBI coverage helps to indemnify you and passages if someone else hits you and has little or no liability insurance to pay for your injuries, pain and suffering, loss of wages or even death of a loved one.

If you have questions or concerns about how much liability coverage you need, contact Independent Insurance Agent Martin Sajbel for a free consultation.