I must admit, when I bought my first home in 1985, I was so naïve. Growing up on a small farm with livestock, we were fairly self-sufficient. My dad made sure we knew how to handle many things around the farm, but there was still plenty I did not know. I remember when I got my first car, (a 1967 Toyota Corolla given to me by an aunt and uncle) my dad made me change all four tires, so I would know how to change a tire and not need to depend on anyone else. Roadside assistance – no way! And God knows we couldn’t afford it even if it had been available. I wish everyone ascribed to my dad’s idea of preparedness when it comes to owning a home. I’ve created a list of things YOU need to know about your home.
A client called me around 10:00 pm one night in October of 2018 exclaiming, “My toilet is overflowing.” When I asked if she had turned the water off, her answer was, “I don’t know where the cut-off valve is. My neighbor is trying to find it!” What a horrible time to try to locate the water control—it’s dark and gallons of water are flooding your home. Continue reading →
I’ve been very fortunate in my 50+ years to travel a LOT! Lucky me, a small-town (population 500 with one caution light, but that’s another story!) Georgia girl has seen most of the US and much of Europe. Being out of town this week at two different conference made me think about traveling tips, travel safety, and travel insurance.
Do you overpack or are you more organized than me? I’m getting better with practice, but sometimes it’s still a struggle. I’m sharing some tips to help with packing that I find very helpful. Continue reading →
I can’t tell you the number of times I see clients make bad decisions about coverage options, but I have to respect that it is their decision. All I can do as your insurance agent is educate and give my professional opinion. Don’t I wish I could make decisions for our clients to properly protect them. If you don’t choose the coverage we suggest, we require you to sign a declination of coverage, and then we pray you don’t have a claim. I could tell hundreds of stories from my 20+ years in the business, but I’ll limit it to five stories to show you what I mean. Continue reading →
For the majority of people, purchasing a home is the biggest single investment of their lives. To protect their home and its valuable contents, they purchase a homeowners insurance policy. When buying a homeowners policy, most people think “everything” in their home is covered by their policy, and when I say everything, I mean everything. I know I did before I became a licensed insurance professional. Many times I have talked with clients who got several quotes for homeowners insurance coverage, but when I ask them what type of coverage they were quoted, they have no idea. The agents who quoted them did not even explain the coverage to them. It is difficult to believe someone would choose an insurance agent who only gives price as a solution.
After a homeowner chooses their homeowners insurance policy, they sign what is commonly called an insurance application. These applications are actually legal contracts and will determine coverage should a coverage question ever arise. Once these insurance contracts are signed, the homeowner receives a multi-page bound policy document filled with language enumerating the conditions of the insurance agreement. The first few pages of this new insurance policy includes a “Declaration of Coverage.”
I must admit, I was completely ignorant about insurance before I entered the insurance profession. Even though I had a Master’s degree and felt like I was pretty savvy, I was driving around with state minimum limits. I simply did not know any better, and unfortunately for me, I had not found an insurance agent who cared enough to explain coverages to me. Now that I am in the profession, I find the myths that I hear daily quite humorous. As an educator, I find it troubling to see such an uninformed population when it comes to insurance. There are plenty of opinions out there, but the trick is deciphering the myths and getting to the truth. When buying an auto policy, you need to know what specific coverages mean and how they affect you. Let us help you separate myths from facts about auto insurance. Here are seven myths I frequently hear that are false. I’m hoping, “If you know better, you will do better.” Continue reading →
Americans have been in love with their cars for years. The number of vehicles on the road is very high and many auto accidents occur in the U.S. Data from the National Safety Council estimates that about 10 million car accidents occur every year in the U.S. These auto accidents range from parking lot incidences to multi-car pileups. With the holidays approaching and gas prices low, more vehicles will be on the road and more accidents will occur.
Motor vehicles accidents aren’t cheap for the U.S. population. It is estimated that more than 4.5 million people are injured in auto accidents per year with approximately 2 million drivers in car accidents experiencing permanent injuries. These permanent injuries mean life-changing accidents occurred. Continue reading →
I love Thanksgiving! It’s probably my favorite Holiday because it is so much about family without all the pressure of Christmas gift selections. I remember getting up early and helping prepare Thanksgiving dinner for the family while watching the Macy’s parade. Thanksgiving is a time for visiting family, sharing meals, and enjoying loved ones, but it’s also a prime time for cooking fires, traffic accidents, and other safety problems. With Turkey Day mere days away, let’s talk about things to consider for cooking, traveling, and taking care of the fur babies. Continue reading →
If I asked the average person on the street what liability limit they carry on their homeowners policy, I would bet 95% could not tell me. Liability is such important coverage, but the non-insurance person generally doesn’t see the significance of this coverage. Unfortunately, many individuals do not see the importance until something bad happens. And once something bad happens, it is too late. Liability means you are responsible for damage that has been done or damage that you have been accused of doing to another person. You don’t have to be guilty of this negligence to be sued by a person. If you are accused, who is going to defend you? Continue reading →
I probably should have written this in May when it could have been helpful for your summer vacation, but better late than never. Traveling is a lot of fun. You don’t want a claim to ruin your vacation, so you need to make good decisions when you travel. One major concern when you fly to your destination is you don’t have your personal vehicle with you, so you need a rental car. A rental car of course, means rental car insurance. Do you have it already or should you purchase it? Well, it depends…
If you are renting a car, be prepared. Don’t wait until you are at the rental desk to ask questions. No one definitive answer about rental car insurance is right for everyone. It all depends on the type of personal auto insurance you have, possible credit card coverage (be careful) and the laws of the state in which you are renting the vehicle. Can you begin to see the many variables and possible problems impacting rental car coverage? Continue reading →
What’s the #1 natural disaster in the US? Any guesses? I bet if I polled ten people, eight out of ten would answer incorrectly. This disaster isn’t usually on the radar of the average insurance client. I see coverage for it purchased only if a mortgage company requires it. I and my agents at Beacon Insurance Advisers always ask about this insurance coverage. We provide information about this natural disaster in every new business appointment, but very few clients choose to purchase this insurance unless required by the mortgage company. Have you guessed it yet? FLOOD! Floods are the most common and devastating natural disaster in the US; yet, too many clients ignore this biggest disaster. Flood damage occurs when a big quantity of water flows over land, seeping into your home through doors and windows. Continue reading →