Experts

Einstein Ideas

By Shimon Cohen

Every now and then, an insurance company introduces a really useful coverage or idea!

Here are a few of the more recent ones.

1) Airbnb and Short-term rentals:

Many people rent out apartments or rooms not realizing that this is not covered in their standard home policy. In other words, you have a comprehensive home policy. You imagine that the one room you are renting out is included in the general policy. Right? Wrong!

In the past, a rental unit was in fact regarded as a separate business unit and had to be insured as a business policy. This was usually expensive and sometimes made the whole venture unprofitable.

That was until January 1st 2019. Now, at least one insurance company offers the option of including Airbnb or short-term rentals in your current policy with a relatively small increase in premium.

The terms of the policy are as follows:

  • The tenants’ personal belongings will be covered for up to NIS 50,000 without any cover for valuables.
  • Third party liability cover for claims related to the tenants is 750,000nis with a deductible of 10,000nis.
  • The home cannot be rented out to persons under age 21.
  • Any safety hazards in the home must be repaired immediately.
  • The company must be notified of any disputes with neighbors regarding the short-term rental.
  • The home must be inspected once a year by an electrician and any repairs must be fixed immediately.
  • A detailed list of all the tenants and dates of rentals must be kept on file.

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2) Water damage: One of the most difficult and expensive areas of claims is water damage.

Picture the following:

You leave your beautiful home to spend Shabbat with your children. You return…the house is completely flooded! Not only is your entire bottom floor under water but you also have irate downstairs neighbors banging on the door. And all of this, due to a small pipe that burst sometime on Friday night.

Many insurance companies are now offering systems that will automatically cut off the water if any serious leak occurs. This includes leaks in the walls or under the floor.

The installation is simple and costs NIS 1,100 (this is with a substantial reduction from the insurance company). The deductible on your home policy is also substantially reduced if you install this. Call us for details.

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3) Life insurance

This last month, two of our clients (who also happened to be close friends) passed away. It is at times like this that both the deceased and his/her insurance agent are put to the test. Is there enough insurance to support the family in the years ahead? Will there be enough to help the children to pay for weddings, education, etc. As agents, we ask ourselves if we were active enough in providing information and advice and if we can look the remaining spouse in the eye when we present the check.

Something else that comes up at this difficult time is the question of a Will. If there is no Will, many of the deceased’s financial assets might be frozen until the court gives a “Tzav Yerusha” which needs the agreement of the surviving spouse and children.

In general, in the absence of a Will, the surviving spouse gets all the household furniture, car if any, and half the deceased spouse’s share in all the other assets.

Thus, for example, if an apartment jointly owned, the survivor owns half already and inherits 1/4 share in the apartment from the deceased spouse (half of the deceased’s half share). The children inherit the other 1/4 share in the apartment. So, the survivor ends up with ¾ and the children ¼.  Now this can cause other problems, so it’s still best to have a Will that gives expression to the real wishes of the parties. As an added benefit, a Will can avoid machloket, and is said to be a segula for long life!

If any of these ideas ring a bell for you, give us a ring!

Shimon Cohen is the manager of Egert & Cohen Insurance. Egert & Cohen is a family business that specializes in serving the Anglo and new olim populations. They provide a friendly and professional one-stop-shop for all your insurance needs.

Egert & Cohen can be reached at 02-622-7999 or through their website www.egertcohen.co.il


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