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 →
Fall always seems to be a hectic time of year. Summer vacations are over, the kids are back in school, and some parents are sending their young adults off to new adventures at college. Sending your young adult off to college involves a mountain of options to consider.
The college years can be a scary time for parents, and we probably don’t know half of what our young adults face today. Several challenges and hurdles stand between you and making sure you and your college-aged children are properly protected. I hear so many claim stories about liability limits being paid from a parent’s policy because of the foolish actions of a young adult. I know, I know, it won’t happen to you, but let’s be prepared if it does.
When attorneys line up to sue, they sue everyone in the area. If your child is in wrong place at the wrong time, it could cost you your life’s savings. What happens if a fire is accidentally started in an apartment complex and someone is injured? How much insurance would it take to protect your assets? Accidents and bad decisions happen all the time. I want you to consider several factors when choosing a policy for your young adult dependents. Continue reading →
I remember around 1992 when Roane State announced the school was adopting a new technology tool to make communicating with other staff members easier and more convenient. This new tool was email. Fortunately for me, I had a terrific boss, Judy Tyl, who was far more patient with me than I deserved. Any way….I complained to her about how email would make things so much more impersonal. Growing up in a small community, (one caution light and one school with grades 1-12 on the same campus) I was a people kind of person. I wanted to be able to look people in the eye when having a discussion with them or at least hear the tone in their voice over the phone. Back then I had no idea what email would create and what a technology prisoner I would become. Continue reading →
I must say, transitioning from the education (teaching/coaching) world to the insurance world in 1997 (yes again, I am old!) was an amazing wake up call for me. I immediately experienced the distrust that came with the insurance industry. As my step-dad said directly to my face, “that’s one rung up from a used car salesman.” From September 1997 to current day, I’ve worked hard to change the negative perception of (and in some cases the reality of) bad insurance salespeople. Unfortunately, many in our industry (as in all industries) are not true professionals. These unprofessional order-takers will write any type of policy to get a payday without realizing or caring about the financial devastation to their clients from this malpractice. I see this happen frequently at call centers where customer service representatives are “bonused” if they sell any type of policy. Can you imagine someone putting a client’s lifestyle in danger because of an extra $25 a month? Continue reading →