There are many aspects to successful financial plans. Most include a family budget, emergency savings, retirement savings, and…insurance!
So today, let's review the important parts of your insurance financial plan.
Protect Your Stuff - This is what we think of first when it comes to insurance. Fixing your car after an accident and replacing your belongings after a fire. When you review your financial plan, you want to make sure that all of your valuable assets are protected. Cars, homes, high priced jewelry or artwork, boats, motorcycles, ATV's, etc. Protect it all and make sure that the deductible is reasonable and that you have full replacement cost coverage. (We can explain all the details.)
Protect Your Money - Liability is a misunderstood coverage, but it's extremely important. When you are held responsible for an accident, your assets and money are at risk! What if your teenager caused an accident and your were sued? What if you caused a major accident and didn't have enough liability coverage? Good insurance can make sure this doesn't happen! We look at how much you have to protect (total assets) and create a plan to cover it all.
Protect Your Family - You can protect all of your belongings, but the ultimate way to protect your family is with good life and disability insurance. If something happens to you, you don't have to worry about your family being protected. You can plan to pay off debt, pay for college, or anything else that is important to you.
All of this might seem like a lot for think about, but it doesn't have to be. With a great insurance agent, you can meet once a year and trust that all of these things are taken care of. Why not take a few minutes to schedule an insurance financial planning review with one of our agents? Call us today!
When quoting auto insurance for clients, we frequently discuss how to choose the right deductible. I thought I’d take a few minutes to share this information here on our website too!
A deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket when you have a claim. If you have a $500 collision deductible and have an accident, then you would pay $500 towards repairing your vehicle and insurance would cover the rest.
The deductible you choose directly relates to the amount of money you spend on premiums each month. The higher the deductible ($250, $500, $1000), the lower your monthly cost.
So how do you choose? Cheaper price or lower out of pocket expense?
First, look at your emergency savings. Do you have enough cash available to cover a higher deductible if you had to pay it? If the answer is no, then you’re better off paying a little extra each month.
Compare the cost savings. When we run a quote, we can show you several different options. Ask your agent to run the premium based on several different deductibles so you can see the actual dollar cost savings.
You can always change your mind. If you’re short on cash now, but know you could afford more out of pocket next year, you’re always able to change. Keep your deductible in a comfortable range and you’ll always be well protected!
Call us for more information and a personalized quote!
Every month, we share easy tasks you can do to keep your home in tip-top shape all year long. So here are a few simple tasks you can do in September to prepare your home for cool fall weather!
Check Gutters - Take a few minutes to make sure your gutters are clear. With rain and falling leaves, gutters will be working overtime. By making sure they’re clear now, you’ll avoid water damage later on.
Clean The Dryer Vent - Lint accumulating in the dryer vent can cause a house fire. A couple of times per year, unplug the dryer and thoroughly vacuum the area around the dryer vent and hose. Remember to check the outside vent too!
Gather Firewood - Will you be burning a wood stove or fireplace this winter? Start gathering up firewood now and save yourself from the task when it’s cold outside.
Get Ready For Autumn - Now is a great time to start planting some fall flowers. Mums make a great addition to your front porch!
Save On Home Insurance - Homeowners Insurance is an important part of protecting your belongings. To make sure you have the best coverage, call us today for a free, no obligation quote.
September is Life Insurance Awareness Month. You’ll probably see TV commercials and magazine articles talking about why this coverage is so important all month long.
And you probably already know it’s important. But that doesn’t mean that you’ve got your policy set up yet!
The Life Foundation says that only 62% of people who believe they need life insurance, actually have it. And even those that have it only carry enough to replace their income
for 3.6 years. If you have young children to support, that is simply not enough time!
And if you're skipping life coverage all together, then you are putting your family at risk.
So why do people wait too long to purchase life insurance? Well, the Life Foundation
also says that 86% of Americans say they haven't purchased it because it's "too
expensive,” yet overestimate the cost by more than 2X!
Life Insurance rates are based on a number of factors, including age, health conditions,
and smoking status. By not smoking and purchasing when you're younger, you can
save substantial money. In fact, many term life policies are less than $30 per month!
Here’s what we recommend...call the office and set up an appointment
with one of our life insurance specialists. Bring information on your annual income, as
well as any debts (like your mortgage). We’ll give an accurate picture of how much
coverage you need as well as different ways to make it affordable
Don’t wait another minute! Call us today to set up an appointment.
As August ends, it's time to start thinking about going back to school! What does that have to do with insurance? Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Good Grades - Do you have a teenage driver in the house (or one on the way)? Many policies allow discounts for students with good grades. Don't forget to talk to your kids about the importance of keeping those grades up! These discounts can apply to college students too.
Driver Training - There are different discounts available for Drivers Ed classes. We
can review all the options and let you know which discounts will impact you the most.
Moving To The Dorm - Is your college student living in the dorm this semester? Your Homeowners Insurance may cover their belongings without additional coverage being needed. This is called Property Off Premises coverage.
Remember, any claims would be subject to your deductible which is usually higher on home policies! Let us review your policy to check for the specific amounts of coverage included.
Moving To An Apartment - Let's say your college student has graduated from the
dorms and moved on to an apartment. In this case, your Homeowners Insurance would not cover their belongings and they would need their own Renters Insurance policy.
Renters Insurance is very affordable and covers all of the contents of the property. It also provides liability insurance if someone were injured in the property or if the student caused a fire, etc. By making sure they are properly insured, you are also protecting yourself.
We work hard to make sure all of our clients have the right coverage at all times. The fastest and easiest way to make sure your student is receiving all the discounts they qualify for and that their belongings are covered at college is to schedule a review! Call to review your policy and situation and we'll make sure all of your questions are answered.
I hear questions like this a lot. Tickets and accidents can cause spikes in your car insurance rates and no one wants that.
The good news is that they eventually drop off and your rate goes back down. The bad news is that it typically takes 3 years for that to happen.
If you get a ticket, you may be able to avoid having a surcharge on your policy by taking a defensive driving course and getting the ticket removed. This will depend on your past record and what the court offers, but it is a good option!
If your rates do go up, make sure you are taking advantage of all other discounts to offset the increase. Bring all of your insurance to one company so you take advantage of multi-policy discounts. Raise your deductible for a while so you pay more out of pocket in an accident, but a lower monthly rate.
Have questions? We're always available to help! Just give us a call and schedule a free review to see what is available and how we can keep your rates manageable even after an accident.
Do you have a teenage driver (or one on the way)? Back to school time is a great opportunity to think about car insurance savings!
Having a teenage driver can be stressful. You worry, first and foremost, about their safety and then about the costs. And there are a lot of costs! Things like purchasing an additional vehicle, getting licensed, and paying a little more for insurance.
Fortunately, you still have options.
First you want to think about the vehicle your teen will be driving. Premiums are higher on vehicles with comprehensive and collision coverage, which pays to fix your vehicle after an accident. When you have a car that has only liability insurance (which pays only for damage your driver does to someone else’s car), you pay a lot less.
If you are purchasing a car for your teen and need to watch your budget, consider buying an older reliable model for cash that will not require comprehensive and collision coverage. We can help you weigh the cost and the risk to see if it is a good option for you.
You also want to take advantage of all available discounts. These vary by policy but typically include a discount for driver's education and one for having good grades. With school about to start, it's a great time to setup an incentive plan with your teenager to make sure they keep those grades up and your premiums low!
Still have questions? Call us to review your current policy and look for ways to help you manage the cost of having a teenage driver.
Every month, we share easy tasks you can do to keep your home in tip-top shape all year long. In August, we still have warm temperatures and a few hot summer days left to enjoy. So what can you do this month for your home?
Get Rid Of Allergens - Many people suffer from allergies due to dust mites. But there are ways to rid your home of the dust without spending all day cleaning.
Look for where dust lurks. Use a damp cloth to clean all window blinds and fan blades once a month. If you have carpet, make it a priority to vacuum on a regular basis. These things will get rid of dust and prevent allergies.
Clean The Grill - After a summer of heavy use, make sure your grill is still in good shape. Heat it up for 10-15 minutes to burn off any residue and then scrub the grill with a wire brush. Start looking for a grill cover to keep it protected through the winter.
Plan A Fun Labor Day Weekend - Okay this isn't a home maintenance item, but it's still fun! Labor Day weekend is only a few weeks away. Why not schedule a cookout or party with family and friends?
Save on Home Insurance - If we don't currently insure your home, call us for a quote today. We'll look for every possible discount without sacrificing important coverage. Great insurance coverage is the best protection you can have!
Looking for ways to keep your auto insurance premiums manageable? Here are 9 ways you can save on your insurance (without sacrificing coverage.)
1. Driving Record
Your driving record plays a big role in how much you pay for insurance. By keeping a clean record for 3-5 years, you can save hundreds of dollars! Be a cautious driver, don’t speed, and you'll lower your premiums.
2. Driving Course
Defensive driving courses are an easy way to achieve an extra discount. They can also help keep a ticket from showing up and messing up your clean driving record. Make sure to call us before taking the class if you're using it for a discount so we can verify that your policy qualifies.
3. Anti-Theft Devices
Installing an alarm or other anti-theft device can lower premiums on your vehicle. Make sure to discuss all features with us, sometimes even power locks and a remote can count!
4. Your Credit Score
While insurance uses a different formula then the credit bureaus, your credit still affects the rate you pay. Good credit can save you hundreds (even thousands) on your premiums! Make sure to review your report on a regular basis and have any mistakes corrected.
5. Where You Live
Rural areas pay less for insurance than the big cities do. It's all about risk and with a large population, there is more chance for an accident. Therefore, where you choose to live can impact your rates. Consider visiting with us before purchasing a home if you’re concerned about the costs (it is based on the zip code).
6. Your Vehicle
The vehicle you choose to purchase also makes a difference! Some vehicles cost a lot more to repair than others, which drives up their rates. Easy way to avoid buying a money-sucker? Call us first and let us quote the vehicle before you sign on the dotted line.
7. How Often You Drive
If you take public transportation and only drive on the weekend, you'll pay less than someone with a long commute. Make sure to review your annual mileage and daily commutes with us (especially if they change) so that you can receive the extra savings.
8. Raise Your Deductible
A higher deductible (your out of pocket cost in a claim) means a lower monthly rate. If you have $1000 in savings and could afford to use it if you had an accident, then you’ll save on your insurance cost by having a $1000 deductible instead of a $250. We can help you review the costs and benefits in your specific situation.
9. Your Agent
And the best way to save? Work with a local agent! You'll get the coverage you need plus you'll have an advocate working on your behalf to find the best rate, all the discounts, and an easy explanation of any gaps in your coverage. It's the #1 way to control your risk, maximize your savings, and protect your family.
We want to be your agent. Call us to discuss your policy today.
Claims can be a stressful process. I've worked with my clients after car accidents, home fires, storm damage, and even a death in the family. Insurance claims are tied to the most stressful events in our lives.
That's why it's extremely important that you work with an agent and a company that you trust.
After an insurance claim, you will be assigned an adjustor to evaluate your loss. Depending on the type of claim, they will examine the property and gather more information. The adjustor will determine the settlement amount and answer any questions you may have.
So what happens if things don't go smoothly at first? Maybe you don't agree on the amount or can't get the right documentation?
That's where I come in.
My job, as your agent, is to also be your advocate. My office goes to work to help you communicate with your adjustor if there is a problem. That means that when you need help, we're there.
Yes, sometimes you can get cheaper rates with unknown companies. And you might love being able to buy online without talking to an agent.
But when it comes down to those stressful moments, it's great to have someone you know on your side. Call my office today and let us protect your family next.