The HIGH Price of Low Deductibles

Did you know that your LOW deductibles on your current auto, homeowner and commercial insurance policies may be costing you MORE than you think?

 

Your “deductible” is the amount you pay when you make a claim before your insurance company pays. There are many reasons why deductibles exist.

 

Essentially, there are many expenses associated with processing an insurance claim. Through the necessity of deductibles, the expense of processing many small claims has been lowered for insurance companies.

 

Insurance companies pass the SAVINGS onto consumers that RAISE their deductible through lower premiums.

 

When you pay small losses yourself, you can also get another premium break by avoiding a possible claims surcharge.

 

Deductibles also reduce “moral hazard”. Insurance fraud is a HUGE problem in our industry which costs us all more money. If there was no cost to them, dishonest people would generate even more fraudulent claims.

 

It’s important that you review your deductibles with your agent. Increasing your deductibles can reduce your annual premium SAVING you lots of money over time.

 

To schedule an informative interview to find out exactly how much money YOU CAN SAVE, contact us TODAY!

 

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Are you Ready to Hit the Water

Summertime is the perfect season to get the boat back in the water. While owning a boat is great fun for the whole family, it can also be stressful.

 

Carrying the proper amount of boat insurance is key to happily enjoying the lake or river this summer.

 

Here is a quick rundown of boat insurance:

 

A boat owner’s policy will insure you against the majority of risks associated with owning and operating a boat. You will be covered against fire, storm, theft, collision and explosion. The property associated with your boat such as anchors, oars, life preservers, and water skis would also be covered (subject to policy limits).

 

In addition to physical damage, a boat policy protects you from liability lawsuits if you injure someone or damage their property with your boat (subject to policy limits).

 

A boat owner’s policy also offers medical payment coverage. It will cover medical expenses for you, as well as any other people on the boat who were injured in an accident. (Medical payments are subject to policy limits.)

For more information about boat insurance or to check your current coverage, give us a quick call at the office today!

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April is National Stress Month

We hear people talk about stress all the time. We say we’re “stressed-out”, but many of us may not know what stress really is. The term ‘stress’ refers to the response you have when facing circumstances that force you to act, change, or adjust in some way to maintain your footing, or to keep things balanced.

Here are 5 tips that, when observed, will help you take charge and beat the stress —

  • Focus on Your Health — You are not healthy when you’re constantly tired and run-down. Make an annual physical appointment. Staying healthy and feeling good are essential to reducing stress.
  • Learn to Relax — Take a moment to just breathe, meditate, pray, etc. Take a breath and think about something positive, peaceful and soothing. It’s a perfect way to break the cycle of task-related stresses.
  • Get Some Exercise — When you’re stressed, exercise may be the last thing you feel like doing. However, helping your body relieve stress through planned exercise will improve your stamina, help you feel good about yourself, and actually help avoid exhaustion in the long run. Walking 3-5 times a week is a great way to start an exercise regimen.
  • Talk to Your Inner Self — Keep a journal or talk to yourself while driving. It doesn’t matter if the conversation is one-sided and reflective. It just matters that you take the time to think about your experiences. You’ll be amazed at how getting things out will lighten your spirit.
  • Smile — Seriously, just smile. It will help. It’s a fact. You can’t hold a negative thought with a genuine smile on your face. Very few things can reduce stress better than a funny moment and the smile it brings.

Laughter is, after all, the best medicine!

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Get Heart Healthy!

February is American Heart month and that means it’s a good time to think about being heart healthy.

Heart Disease kills more than 600,000 Americans each year. It is the leading killer among both men and women.

There are lots of things we can do to stay heart healthy.

According to the Center for Disease Control, making these healthy lifestyle choices can help:

  • Choose lean meats and poultry without skin
  • Select fat-free, 1% fat, or low-fat dairy products.
  • Cut back on foods with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.
  • Cut back on foods high in dietary cholesterol.
  • Cut back on beverages and foods with added sugars.
  • Select and purchase foods lower in salt/sodium.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation.
  • Keep an eye on your portion sizes.

It’s also important to know the signs of an impending heart attack, because they can start slowly and symptoms may seem mild.

According to the National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute, these are the signs that may mean that a heart attack is in progress:

  • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort.

Many of us aren’t doing enough to take care of our hearts. Start getting heart healthy today with the above tips.

For more information about Heart Disease, visit the American Heart Association’s website at www.heart.org.

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Welcome to 2019! Here’s to Another Great Year!

Welcome to January! It’s a brand-new year now and that means a fresh start and new opportunities in our lives.

I want to say thank you for allowing me to continue to serve you and help with your insurance needs. I am looking forward to another great year!

Over the next few months, you may be moving into a new home, starting a new job, or preparing to make another big decision. The beginning of a new year is popular time to set goals and start accomplishing them. It is certainly like this in my agency and life.

If you set any personal resolutions for 2019, you should now be hard at work on them. I’d like to remind you to ALWAYS work toward your goals, hopes, or dreams.

Giving up is not an option! Those words should not even be in our vocabularies.

You have most likely heard of a man who’s famous for never giving up. That man was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He never gave up on his dream of equality, even when it seemed like almost everyone was against him, and now, with much thanks to his work, people everywhere are able to enjoy equality.

To live the fullest life, you can in this crazy world we’re in, you must never give up on achieving your goal, no matter how impossible it may seem. I want to encourage you to make the most out of the coming year, reach for your goals, and enjoy life along the way.

Also, remember that our agency is here to help whenever life throws you a curveball. We can’t protect you from the unpredictable, but we can help make sure you’re prepared for whatever life has in store by helping you protect all the things that matter most.

This year Martin Luther King, Jr. Day will be celebrated on Monday, January 21st.

Join me in celebrating dreams and recommitting to your goals… Let’s make 2019 the best one yet.

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Keep Your Special Gifts Safe

Homeowners and renters insurance policies include coverage for personal items, but to be fully informed about the specific coverage of your policy, contact us.

Here are some things you need to know when making a big holiday purchase, such as expensive electronics, jewelry, and more:

  • Contact us immediately – Let our office know as soon as you invest in your expensive gift. To properly insure gifts, consider purchasing additional coverage.
  • Keep a copy of the store receipt – You will need to forward a copy of the receipt to us so that we know the current retail value of the item. Keep a copy for yourself and include it in your home inventory.
  • Add the item to your home inventory – Everyone should have an up-to-date inventory of their personal possessions. Be sure you are updating your home inventory as you make big purchases so that you are fully protected. (Click Here for a Printable Home Inventory Checklist.)

Make sure that your gift is properly protected before you give… Call our office to make sure you are fully covered!

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Protect Yourself When Hosting a Party

Do you know who is liable if a holiday guest gets food poisoning, drives home drunk or gets hurt in your home? Very likely YOU.

Many of us host and attend holiday parties and most are unaware of the risks they are taking.

Party hosts need to understand their responsibilities when inviting people into their homes and serving food and drinks.

If you’re hosting a holiday party, make sure you follow these important safety tips:

  • Do your homework. When hosting a holiday party, look to the liability portion of your homeowners or renters insurance policy to protect you if you are sued and found liable for an accident.
  • Watch what you eat and feed others. Even if food was prepared outside your home by a caterer, another guest or local deli, you could be held liable if someone becomes ill from consuming it on your property. Make sure that you check food and don’t put anything out that you suspect may be under-cooked, spoiled or contaminated.
  • Know your state laws and statutes. In many states, party hosts can be held liable if a guest is involved in an alcohol-related accident. Property owners who provide alcohol to minors may be held liable for any injuries these minors cause, whether it is to themselves, or to another person.
  • Mix up the activities, not just cocktails. If the party centers on drinking, guests will likely drink more. Schedule entertainment or activities that do not involve alcohol. Provide safe, filling food for guests and alternatives to alcoholic beverages.
  • Party elsewhere. Host your party at a restaurant or bar that has a liquor license, rather than in a home or office, to decrease your liability.
  • Call a cab, get a room or have a slumber party. Arrange transportation or overnight accommodations for those who cannot or should not drive home.
  • Do not serve guests who are visibly intoxicated. Stop serving alcohol at least one hour before the party is scheduled to end. Stay alert and always remember your responsibilities as a host.
  • Consider an umbrella policy. Planning ahead and learning about what’s involved in hosting a reception is the best defense. Purchasing a personal umbrella liability policy—providing $1 million or more in additional coverage over the limit of a standard homeowners or renters policy—may be a prudent move for the frequent party host.
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Would You Like to Save?

We all know that times are tough and now more than ever we are looking to save money every place we can… where better to save than on your Auto Insurance?

Here are 3 tips that can help you save big time on your automobile insurance:

  1. Call Our Agency! You may be able to reduce your premiums by reviewing your policy and your current coverage. Remember, keeping your driving record clean can help lower your premium.
  2. Choose a Safe Car! When you buy or lease a car, choose on the basis of safety features and the car’s record of crashworthiness (if it is easily damaged and repair costs). If the safety features you want such as emergency braking is not offered, let the auto maker know. Safety sells.
  3. Drive Smart! Drive carefully and use safety belts and child restraints. Always drive defensively and stay alert. Even non-fault accidents could cause your rates to go up. Never get behind the wheel while impaired by alcohol or any other substance. This is for your benefit as well as the benefit of other drivers. Obey speed limits and other traffic laws. Not only can this lower your rates, but you’re also setting a good driving example for others.

Call our office TODAY to find out if you are missing any of the many discounts we offer!

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What Are You Thankful For?

Each November, we take a moment to step back, count our blessings, and recognize the many things we are thankful for. We move about our busy lives but rarely do we stop to practice gratitude. This is a very special time of year where we take extra time to remember what we are thankful for in our lives.

One of the things that I’m most thankful for is my family. Nothing can beat the peace of mind you find by knowing that your family is protected and cared for. What better way to do that than by making sure your family has the Life Insurance coverage they need?

Life insurance is one of the most important purchases you’ll ever make.

In the event of a tragedy, life insurance proceeds can help pay the bills, mortgage, continue a family business, finance future needs, such as your children’s education, protect your spouse’s retirement plans, and much more. Life insurance plays a key role in having a sound family financial plan.

A majority of families do not have enough life insurance, leaving them one accident or terminal illness away from a financial catastrophe for their loved ones. The number of individuals without adequate life insurance coverage is growing, while some individuals don’t have any life insurance coverage at all.

Your family’s financial future is too important to leave at risk. Make sure your family knows how much you care by giving them the coverage they need.

For more information about Life Insurance, contact our office TODAY!

From our family to yours, we hope you had a very Happy Thanksgiving!

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What’s Your Long-Term Care Plan?

You’ve spent years planning for retirement and building your savings, but have you planned for the potential impact a care need may have on your assets, your loved ones, and your overall financial security?

Here are a few estimates to keep in mind while planning:

  • 70% of people over age 65 will require long-term care at some point in their lives
  • The national average cost for one year of nursing home care is $75,000
  • The annual projected cost for nursing home care in 30 years is $250,000

A long-term care insurance policy can help:

  • Protect your retirement savings
  • Give yourself control over where you receive your care – policies cover care in all settings.
  • Give you the means to pay for higher quality care
  • Relieve your family and friends from the burden of heavy care giving responsibilities

For years our agency has been helping people safeguard their retirement funds and their lifestyles from the extraordinary costs of long term care.

Call our agency today for more details on the benefits of a Long Term Care Insurance policy or for more information about Long Term Care insurance.

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