In a world where finding insurance online is becoming more and more common, what are the advantages to working with a local agent directly?
There are many! The insurance industry is constantly evolving, and so are your insurance needs. When you purchase coverage online, you usually have to rely on your own experience and research to determine which coverages to select. Working directly with our agency allows you to take advantage of our nearly 60 years of combined experience to help identify the coverages you need (as well as the ones you may not!) and create an insurance plan that meets your situation and budget. You aren't paying for Super Bowl ads or famous athlete sponsorships - just the protection your family needs! Call us today for a comprehensive review!
Why do my insurance rates change?
These days, there are hundreds if not thousands of factors that go into your insurance rates, some based on your property (cars, houses, boats etc) and some based on you (age, credit, address etc). That's why we offer annual policy reviews to keep things transparent, and to explore every option for ensuring your premiums remain manageable. Call us today to find out how much you could save, or to schedule your policy review!
What factors should I consider when purchasing homeowners insurance or buying a new home? What are some things I can do to lower the cost of my homeowners insurance?
As with car insurance, some factors will be out of your control, but here are some big ones that help keep rates low: Remaining claim free is always a big way to keep your rates as low as possible Credit Score - believe it or not, your credit plays a big factor in your insurance rates! Working on improving your credit score is a major way to save on insurance premiums. If you believe you've had a considerable credit improvement, make sure to let us know so we can help you lower your rates The newer your home, the cheaper it is to insure - this is because the likelihood of loss is far lower Roof age - roof age is a huge component to insurance rates. If you are looking to buy a new home, finding one with a roof 3-5 years old (or better yet brand new) can save you big time on home insurance. UL rated Hail Resistant Shingles also provide a nice discount! Proximity to a fire department/fire hydrant - many people are surprised by this one. It's part of a huge component to insurance rates called Protection Class. The closer you are to these services, the cheaper your rates and vice versa Replacing your furnace or A/C unit can help to lower your rates. Using a monitored fire and burglary alarm can provide a discount to your insurance premiumDeductible limits - a minor adjustment to your deductible could help you achieve lower rates. Deciding what risk you can afford and what risk you want us to take on is part of what we help clients do!
What are the policy limits (i.e., coverage limits) in a standard homeowners policy?
There are 6 common policy limits on a typical Homeowner Policy - Dwelling Coverage, Other Structures, Personal Property, Loss of Use, Personal Liability, and Medical Payments - along with many additional coverages and optional endorsements.The 2 coverages that we find most often need adjustment when meeting with new clients are Dwelling Coverage and Personal Liability limits. Dwelling Coverage: This is the amount of insurance on the structure that is your house. The amount of insurance will rarely match exactly the market value or the value on your property tax statement - in most cases, it is more expensive to build or rebuild a brand new home than to buy an existing one of similar size and quality. Many people are underinsured in this regard, so we look closely at your home's structural components to ensure your coverage is set appropriately! Personal Liability: This coverage protects you in the event you are held legally responsible for bodily injury or property damage that occurs inside or outside your home. With the cost of legal fees and medical treatments these days, many people do not carry a high enough Personal Liability limit. This is one of the cheapest improvements you can make to your homeowner's insurance to help better protect yourself financially! Some common endorsements to Homeowner policies are Water Backup of Sewers and Drains, Service Line or Home Systems coverage, Identity Fraud Protection, and Scheduled Personal Property. Each client's situation is unique, which is why we offer free policy reviews and comparisons. Call us today to make an appointment!
How can I lower my auto insurance rates?
Some factors are out of your control - for example, younger drivers usually have higher rates. However, there are a couple other factors in your control that contribute to your car insurance rate: Accident and Claim History - remaining claim free, and avoiding citations like speeding tickets, are always going to help you achieve the lowest insurance rates possible Credit Score - believe it or not, your credit plays a big factor in your insurance rates! Working on improving your credit score is a major way to save on insurance premiums. If you believe you've had a considerable credit improvement, make sure to let us know so we can help you lower your rates Annual Mileage - the more miles you drive on average, the more your insurance will cost. Managing your mileage is a good way to help control your premium Deductible limits - a minor adjustment to your deductible could help you achieve lower rates. Deciding what risk you can afford and what risk you want us to take on is part of what we help clients do! Your Address - most insurance companies set rates based on the county you live in. Higher population dense counties usually have higher rates - though accident frequency and severity are really what it comes down to. Living in a safer area can help reduce your insurance rates!If you believe you are paying too much for car insurance, call us today to review your policy. We would love to help you save some money!
What do I do after an auto accident?
Accidents happen - we're here to help. Follow the below steps to ensure as safe and swift a resolution as possible.
The most important thing to do is to remove yourself and others from further danger - if possible, move your vehicle so as not to obstruct traffic Notify the police immediately, regardless of whether you believe you are at fault or not IMPORTANT: Do not admit liability, authorize repairs or discuss your accident with anyone except our agency, your claims representative or the police. Record as much information as possible - names, addresses, phone numbers, policy numbers, license numbers/plate numbers, insurance information etc. Report the accident to us as soon as possible by calling 1-800-333-2860 We are available M-F from 9AM to 5PM if you need guidance or help with this process. If the accident occurs outside of business hours, working directly with our claims department is the best approach.
Do I need multiple estimates? Who is responsible for payment to the repair facility? Am I required to notify my insurance company before repairs begin on my vehicle?
Every insurance claim is different. Our experience helping clients to work through claims is a big component of our top notch customer service. Call us at 507-451-9343 to discuss how best to approach the handling of your claim!
Do I need life insurance? Is life insurance expensive? Does it help me save on my auto and homeowner premiums?
Each situation is unique, but there are very few people who would not benefit from owning life insurance in one form or another. We can almost always find a product to fit your budget. Term Insurance is a cheap and effective way to protect and provide for your family in the event that something ever happened to you, while Permanent Insurance can help plan for retirement income, a business succession, or for leaving a legacy like college tuition for grandkids.
Yes! Life insurance adds additional discounts to your auto and home insurance premiums! Sometimes, it can pay for itself!
How much life insurance should an individual own?
There are many different Life Insurance needs calculators out there - most use your debt and income, along with future needs like funding for college tuition and final expense planning, to help calculate what may be appropriate. Lifehappens.org has a lot of great user friendly tools!
When we review life insurance needs with our clients, we help guide you in identifying what coverage is right for your situation and evaluate that against what may be available in your budget. It may not be as expensive as you think, and there are some amazing tax benefits to certain life insurance policy structures. Whether you have a short term need (like offsetting a mortgage debt) or a long term need (business succession planning, supplemental retirement income, legacy planning), we have a policy to help achieve your goals and dreams. Call us today to schedule a Life Insurance review!