“Back To School” Insurance

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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

How Long Does An Accident Stay On Your Record?

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.

Car Insurance For Teenagers

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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.

August Home Maintenance Tasks

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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!

Insurance For Your Boat

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It won’t be long now before you’re back out on the water. Are you counting down the days?

While everyone loves to hit the lake on the boat, there are a few things you need to take care of first.

Are you properly covered?

Since boat insurance isn’t required (in most states), a lot of people skip it in order to save money. But that’s a very risky idea!

First, without coverage, you’re risking all the money you spent on your boat. Would you drive your expensive car without insurance? Probably not!

Second, boats are a liability exposure. That means that they open you up to lawsuits. If you were to have an accident and damage someone’s boat or personal property, then you could be held responsible.

With the proper insurance coverage, this wouldn’t be a problem. You’d be protected! In fact, we typically recommend that clients with a high level of assets purchase extra liability coverage if they own a boat.

All in all, purchasing boat owners insurance is a simple way to give yourself a lot of peace of mind. Who wants to worry about insurance when they’re out on the water? Call us today for a free quote on your boat or watercraft.

5 Ways To Save On Auto Insurance

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Are you tired of paying too much for auto insurance?  No one wants to pay more than they have to!  That’s why it’s important to know what savings and discounts are available.  Here are a few things to discuss with your agent at your next review.

Is Your Driving Record Accurate?

Tickets, accidents, and claims will raise your rates!  That’s why it’s important to make sure your motor vehicle report is accurate.  Ask your agent if anything showed on your record and make sure that the information is correct.

Take A Defensive Driving Class

Have you taken a defensive driving course in the past?  Let us know.  You may qualify for a discount!

Don’t forget about driver’s ed classes for your teenagers too.  Just get a copy of the completion certificate for your records.  Many of these discounts apply for several years and give substantial savings.

Increase Your Deductibles

The deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket after an accident (or for hail damage, etc.)

The higher that out-of-pocket amount, the lower your monthly premium!

So if you are currently carrying $100 or $250 deductibles, consider raising them to $500 and keeping a little extra in your savings account.  You could save a lot each month while still being protected from any major damage.  We can give you prices for a range of deductibles to help you decide.

Find The Best Payment Options

Depending on your individual policy, we may be able to offer various discounts for paying your policy premium in full or putting it on a monthly bank draft.

While $3-4 a month might not seem like much, over time it really adds up!  Ask us about payment options for your policy and see where you can save.

Keep Your Insurance In One Place

And one of the largest, and most overlooked, savings opportunities is to have multiple polices with one company!

If you carry homeowners or renters insurance with a different company, let us quote it!  Many times our clients will save several hundred dollars per year just by having their policies in one place.  It’s a no-brainer!

And remember, getting these savings isn’t difficult.  In fact, with one short phone call we can review your policy, look for discount opportunities, and discover your coverage.  Give us a call today to get started!

April Home Maintenance Tasks:

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April has arrived and brought spring with it! There is no better time than now to get focused on home maintenance and spring cleaning. Here are a few things you can do in April to protect (and organize) your home.

Check For Damage – Winter can be really hard on your home. A quick inspection around your property can reveal a lot of home improvement projects! Look for any damage to your roof or outdoor window screens and doors. Make note of chipped paint or areas that are in need of general maintenance. Decide what you can do yourself and what will require a professional.

Spring Clean – Now it’s time to tackle the inside of your home. Start working on clearing out and donating unused items (think tax deduction next year!) This could be the perfect time to take inventory of any high value items that need to be documented for your insurance, like guns, artwork, and jewelry. Take photos or make a quick video of those items and store it in a secure (and fire-proof) location.

Organize Your Tax Documents – You probably just finished your taxes in the past few weeks. Were all of your documents easy to locate? What could make the process even easier next year? Update your filing system or schedule a meeting with your accountant and get prepared now.

Car Maintenance – April is Car Care Month. If you’ve been putting off an oil change or a tune-up, get it scheduled now. Your car will run better and maintain it’s value longer!

Spruce Up Your Porch – How does your front porch look these days? Could it use a little extra care? Buy a new welcome mat, plant a pot of flowers, and make sure you can easily read your house numbers.

Get Great Homeowners Insurance – The best way to protect your home? Having the right amount of insurance! Let us give you a no-obligation review of your current policy. Call to schedule your appointment today.

Top 7 Things To Look For When Buying Insurance

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So you’re ready to shop for insurance and are hoping for a great deal. But did you know that there are a few things to look for that are much more important than the price of the policy? In fact, don’t buy your next policy until you look for these seven things.

#1 – A Top Rated Insurance Company – You want an insurance company that will be around if you have a claim. Don’t choose a company that you’ve never heard of with a price that seems too good to be true! If you aren’t familiar with the company your agent is recommending, ask for a little more information. Find out what they are rated in your state and how long they’ve been around.

#2 – Choose a LOCAL agency! While all the commercials on TV will tell you to call a 1-800 number for a quote, it’s usually not a great idea. A local agency gives the same great policies (from the same companies!) but allows you to deal with one person on a regular basis. It’s nice to have a local agent who you can go visit when needed.

#3 – Choose an agency that offers a variety of policies. Keeping your insurance with one agency makes it MUCH easier when you have a claim. Plus you can qualify for huge multiple policy discounts! Find someone who can take care of all your needs in one local location.

#4 – After-Hours Support – What if you have storm damage in the middle of the night? Do you want to wait until tomorrow to get assistance? Look for an agency that offers after-hours support! Many local agencies will provide you with 24/7 claim assistance numbers. But make sure to ask for the information and keep it in your cell phone.

#5 – Choose an agency that’s EASY to contact! You don’t want to have to chase your agent down every time you need something. Ask if the agency is available by email, text, and phone while doing your shopping.

#6 – Do they offer annual reviews? Things change, especially when it comes to insurance! You want an agency that will regularly meet with you to review your coverage and make sure you’re protected. Ask about their review procedures and how they make sure there aren’t any gaps in your protection.

#7 – Excellent Customer Service – When it comes down to it, this is the most important! Choose an agency that wants your business and wants to give you the best possible service!

We meet all of the criteria above and would love to work with your family. Give us a call today for a no-obligation quote and insurance review!

Discounts….Are You Getting Them?

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Discounts are the best way to save on your insurance premium each and every month. But a lot of people are missing out on them! With a little documentation, you could see great savings.

Security Discounts – Does your home have a security system or fire protection system? Some of these devices will help you save big on your home or renters insurance. If you have a certificate of installation (and even if you don’t), let us know and we’ll see if you qualify.

Driver Training & Defensive Driving – Did your child take Driver’s Ed? Did you take a Defensive Driving course? These classes will typically qualify for discounts! Just bring in a copy of your completion certificate and we’ll get it added to your policy.

Teenage Driver With Good Grades – Good grades will help you save! Some of our policies offer a discount for students who maintain a high GPA. Give us a call to see the requirements for your policy.

Payment Discounts – There are many different options when it comes to paying your premiums. Some policies offer discounts for paying in full or a reduced installment fee if you put the payment on auto-draft. We can advise you of all the payment options so you pay as little as possible.

Multi-Policy Discounts – When you have all of your insurance in one place, you save more! If your auto and home insurance is spread out between multiple companies or agencies, let us help you consolidate. You’ll be better protected (with less gaps in coverage) and save money!

The key? Talk to your agent! When we schedule regular annual reviews, we can review your policy discounts and make sure you are receiving the best coverage at the best price. Call today to schedule an appointment.

Life Insurance Is For Those You Love

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A lot of people put off purchasing life insurance because it seems like a hassle. You don’t want to do any sort of medical appointment. It’s an extra expense. And, for the most part, you just plain don’t want to think about death. But life insurance isn’t about you. It’s about the people you love. And what better time than February to think about love!
So let’s get real. You do a lot for your family and if you have family members who depend on your income, then you need life insurance. And the sooner, the better. For one, life insurance is cheaper when you are young and healthy! With each birthday you’ll see your quote go up unless you lock in a great rate now. And you don’t want to look for life insurance after you’ve been diagnosed with an illness. Another great thing about life insurance is that there are a lot of options. And we’re here to discuss all of them with you. You can purchase a policy for the short term or even as a long term investment. It all depends on how much you can afford to spend and what your family needs are. Whatever your situation, sitting down and discussing your needs and budget with an agent is a great first step. Call us today to set up a free, no-obligation appointment!
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