THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2018
While every enthusiast knows that cars are the opposite of commodities, it’s still true that the collector car market runs in cycles, just like grain and gold. A few years ago, the collector car market boomed in a way that would make Bitcoin speculators blush. Thankfully, the heat came out of that climate in 2014 before any bubble burst, but things have mostly been sleepy ever since. This "soft landing" persisted in 2017, but there are clear signs the market is starting to wake up again. The folks at Hagerty explain….
First of all, the collector car market changed less over the past year than at any point over the past decade. This stability was demonstrated in value adjustments as reported in the Hagerty Price Guide (which were minimal), activity among the broad-based Hagerty Hundred Index (which was static during 2017), and in North American auction totals (which were only a shade under the level from 2016).
While little has changed in the market at a 30,000-foot level, upon closer inspection some sectors are clearly stirring. For example, six of Hagerty’s seven indices have gained value since September—the first time in two years this has happened. Additionally, those cars that did lose value did so at lower rates than they in the first eight months of 2017, which indicates that the most volatile cars in the market have found their footing.
Another positive sign is that more expensive vehicles are also making moves. Cars in the $50,000–$100,000 range grew in value by five percent, and options in the $100,000–$500,000 range recorded average gains of nearly one percent. It was this latter slice which had retreated the most since 2014, so this is a significant reversal. Lastly, more high-end cars increased in value than decreased in value over the last four months of the year, inverting a trend that emerged at the beginning of 2017. Increased spending in the more expensive segments suggests that buyers at this level are becoming much more optimistic about the direction of the market, which typically leads the rest of the market.
Even when looking at auction totals that were two percent shy of those recorded in 2016, there are still encouraging signs. Although gross numbers fell by two percent, to $1.28 billion, fewer cars were offered and the average sale price was up by two percent, as was the overall sell-through rate (hitting a high not seen since 2011). In short, owners aren’t looking to cash in on recent big gains, and buyers are more comfortable spending money—all of which is good news.
Furthermore, cars from the 1990s have realized the biggest gains since September, with average prices increasing two percent, putting them up 10 percent for the year. British and German cars all made strong moves to close out the year, with price changes in the one- to two-percent range. Among these cars, the Triumph GT6 rose by six percent and the BMW 2002 spiked by 12 percent. High horsepower cars (up 11 percent), luxury performance cars (up 12 percent), exotics (up eight percent) and trucks (up six percent) all underscore that there is growing interest under the surface.
It’s not all roses, however. Despite moving in the right direction, four of Hagerty’s seven indices are still below where they were a year ago, even if only by a point or two. Expensive "high-volume" cars such as the Ferrari 275 GTB continue to drop, down four percent over four months and nine percent year over year, which will likely keep the best examples off the market for a little while longer. Mercedes-Benz 300SL roadsters, down six percent, are also on the same track. Despite interest generally creeping upmarket, cars in the $500,000–$1,000,000 range are still down one percent from a year ago. Cars in this segment may be moving up, but they are starting from a trough.
Some other cars that were major movers in 2016 have started to coast. The Ferrari Enzo jumped in value by 76 percent in 2016, only to increase by just nine percent in 2017. Early Volkswagen Beetles (1946–48) are up four percent over the past 12 months following a 21-percent climb in 2016. And the Ferrari F355 adjusted downward by nearly 10 percent this year after increasing by an average of 46 percent a year ago. There are dozens of other examples that show cars either losing speed or changing direction.
All of this is a great reminder of another similarity between collector cars and commodities: There are few sure things. While prospects are looking up for next year, individual results can vary greatly.
-Content used with permission, received from, and originally published by Hagerty
FRIDAY, JANUARY 5, 2018
Homeowners Should Always Increase Precautions When the Temperature Drops.
- Temporary Measures
- During extended periods of sub-freezing temperatures, increase thermostat settings to at least 60º F throughout the home to help ensure adequate temperatures are maintained in colder spots.
- Open bathroom or kitchen cabinet doors that run along outside walls so that warmer room air can circulate trough them. If you have pets or children, be mindful of chemicals stored in cabinets.
- To prevent exterior faucets from freezing, shut them off from inside the home and drain remaining water from the pipes. Exterior irrigation systems should be winterized.
- Standing water freezes faster than running water. During periods of low usage and on frigid nights, turn on a faucet at the highest point in the home. Keep water stream low, so that only a small amount can trickle through pipes running through cold spaces.
- If the water meter is operating buy your water is not running, you may have a frozen pipe. Once the pipe thaws, it could burst. If you discover a frozen pipe, close the main water shut-off valve and call al plumber immediately.
- If you're away from home for extended periods of time, turn off the water. This may not prevent frozen pipes, but it can significantly reduce the damage.
- Permanent Measures
- Install an automatic shut-off system designed to stop water flow when a leak occurs.
- Add several low temperature sensors to your central station alarm system. Place them in remote areas of your home.
- If Damage Occurs
- Locate the main water shut-off valve and close it immediately.
- Call an emergency service restoration company to facilitate repairs and start the dry-out process.
- Move undamaged items away from the affected area.
- Contact us or your insurance claims hotline to start a claim.
Content received from Specialty Brokerage and Originally published by AIG Personal Insurance
Posted 1:58 PM
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2017
Many of us enjoy traveling away from home throughout the year, whether it's for an annual vacation, an upcoming holiday, a honeymoon, or to see the family. Our trips can take us across the country or across the globe.
Your Homeowners policy covers your home and contents while you're away, but did you know the items you take with you are covered as well? They're covered anywhere in the world!
If your golf clubs are stolen, your luggage is lost, or you experience a hotel theft, your Homeowners policy may cover the loss. There is a policy deductible and limits to high value items like jewelry, cash, precious metals, and guns so be sure to reach out to our agents to find out what's covered, if you have enough coverage, and if you need to take additional action to receive coverage.
Your personal liability coverage limit also follows you around the world. Personal liability covers claims made against you for accidental bodily injury you cause to other people or property damage you cause to other property. If you unintentionally break a window or kitchen appliance in your rental home or accidentally hit someone with your golf ball while golfing, there is coverage on your Homeowners policy.
Whether you're traveling across town or across the Atlantic Ocean, your Homeowners insurance follows you there. Happy traveling!
Originally published by Goodville Mutual Casualty Company
Posted 7:50 AM
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2017
Holiday Fire Safety at Home
Four fire hazards and tips to avoid them.
Picture your perfect holiday. Perhaps you hear family members laugh while the fireplace crackles in the background. Or you enjoy your favorite holiday meal surrounded by friends and the glow of candlelight in your carefully decorated dining room. With all the holiday buildup, you might not be thinking about fire safety. But you can help preserve these peaceful memories by doing a little preparation.
Nearly 156,000 fires occur during the winter holiday season, causing 630 deaths, 2,600 injuries, and approximately $936 million in property damage, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. “These are tragic losses at this time of year,” says James King, field technical manager for Chubb Personal Insurance. Every January, he reviews several cases of fires that could have been prevented.
Here are four main fire hazards that every homeowner should know.
Always Properly Dispose of Fireplace Ashes - Ashes should be placed in a metal container, wet down and moved outside, far away from your deck, garage, woodpile or anything that could catch fire. After about a week, check again for hot spots. If none are found, dispose of ashes in your outdoor trash bin and take the trash to the curb.
Always get your chimney inspected and cleaned before the holidays.
Always regularly check your Smoke Detectors, Carbon Monoxide Detectors, and Fire Extinguishers. If they don't work, replace them immediately.
Never leave candles unattended.
Never place candles in a high-traffic area where children or pets might knock them over.
Always leave a two-foot circle of safety around candles.
Never place near anything flammable.
Extension Cords and Holiday Lights
Never overload extension cords or use indoor cords outdoors. Turn off lights when sleeping or away from home.
Always check manufacturer labels to avoid a fire hazard. Do not connect more strings of lights together than recommended by the manufacturer.
Always keep extension cords out of reach of children and pets.
Never run cords under carpets. The wire can fray or be pinched by heavy furniture and start a fire.
Never nail or staple through the cord or holiday light wiring.
Always plug outdoor lights into circuits protected by GFCIs (ground fault circuit interrupters) to prevent electric shock. Older home may not have GFCIs, but it is a fairly inexpensive fix.
Always inspect all extension cords and holiday lights for frayed wire, cracked insulation or excessive kinking before using them.
Always store cords and lights in a dry attic or closet out of season, and consider replacing inexpensive lights every few years.
Never use extension cords with space heaters. These should always be plugged directly into the wall.
Always check the circuit to make sure it can handle the added demand.
Never leave a space heater unattended, and if not in use turn them off and unplug them.
Never remove the third-prong grounding feature, and plug heaters into GFCI's for added safety.
Originally published by CHUBB Personal Insurance
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2017
Two keys to weather safety are to Prepare for the risks and to Act on those preparations when alerted by emergency officials.
Please refer to FEMA's website (ready.gov/hurricanes) for comprehensive information on hurricane preparedness at home and in your community.
Know if you live in an evacuation area. Assess your risks and know your home's vulnerability to storm surge, flooding, and wind.
Understand the difference between National Weather Service watches and warnings. Understanding the difference is critical to being prepared for any dangerous weather hazard, including hurricanes.
A watch lets you know that weather conditions are favorable for a hazard to occur. It literally means "be on guard!" During a weather watch, gather awareness of the specific threat and prepare for action. Monitor the weather to find out if severe weather conditions have deteriorated and discuss your protective action plans with your family.
A warning requires immediate action. This means a weather hazard is imminent - it is either occurring (a tornado has been spotted, for example) - or it is about to occur at any moment. During a weather warning, it is important to take action: grab the emergency kit you have prepared in advance and head to safety immediately. Both watches and warnings are important, but warnings are more urgent.
Contact Information: keep a list of contact information for reference including Emergency Management Offices; State, County & Local Law Enforcement; Hospitals; Fire & Rescue; Local TV & Radio Stations; Your Property Insurance Agent.
Plan and Take Action
Everyone needs to be prepared for the unexpected. Your friends and family may not be together when disaster strikes. How will you find each other? Will you know if your children or parents are safe? You may have to evacuate or be confined to your home. What will you do if water, gas, electricity or phone services are shut off?
Supplies Kit: Put together a basic disaster supplies kit and consider storage locations for different situations. Help community members do the same.
Emergency Plans: Develop and document plans for your specific risks.
Evacuation: Review FEMA's Evacuation Guidelines to allow enough time to pack and inform family and friends if you need to leave your home. Follow instructions issued by local officials. Leave immediately if ordered.
Information contained herein was used with permission from NOAA.