Are you or some loved one serving in our military? See how well you do in this quiz designed for insurance subjects that affect the ones who protect us.
BEYOND THUNDER DUMB: WHEN LIGHTNING STRIKES...
More than 80% of lightning fatalities are men who did not seek shelter from an approaching storm, but instead kept on fishing, boating, golfing, biking, or working outdoors. Be prepared by recognizing danger and knowing what to do and what not to do. If you can hear thunder, even a distant rumble, lightning is close enough to strike you. Immediately seek shelter in a substantial building or a metal-topped vehicle.
Our agency is a great place to seek shelter during a thunderstorm. We will be glad to review your insurance needs as the storm passes.
When you get into an accident that seems relatively minor, you may end up surprised when your insurance company declares your vehicle totaled. Also known as declaring a total loss, this decision relies on different information than you might expect. Understanding the total loss formula will give you some insight into what might happen the next time an accident damages your vehicle.
The Total Loss Formula
As Hurricane Sally bears down on the Southeast and much of our state faces inclement weather, it is a good time to ensure you and your family are informed and prepared in the event of a storm. September and October are the busiest times for hurricanes each year.
Please take a moment and review the Storm Checklist below for important tips.
Preparing for a Storm:
Our state is susceptible to thunderstorms as well as tornadoes and hurricanes. And, every thunderstorm contains lightning, which kills more people each year than other storms. Lightning is the third largest cause of storm deaths in America. Thunderstorms can also cause high winds and heavy rains. The following tips will assist you and your family in staying safe during a thunderstorm:
Tornadoes are one of the deadliest natural disasters that occur in our state. Their winds alone can destroy homes, uproot trees, and down powerlines. It’s important to understand the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning. Consider the following tips to stay safe during a tornado:
In the past 30 years what determines your insurance premium has undergone huge, complex changes. At one time car insurance premiums were based simply on your age, vehicle and driving record, but those days are over. Credit history and stability are becoming huge factors in your premiums in addition to claims history, home ownership, and prior insurance coverage.
Baby boomers are feeling the pressure of empty-nest reversal from boomerangs – adult children returning home to live and live-in elders – seniors trading their current home for a loved one’s spare bedroom. According to Pew Research Center, nearly half of adults in their 40s and 50s have a parent age 65 or older and are either raising a young child or financially supporting an adult child. About one in seven of these middle-aged adults are providing financial support to both an aging parent and a child.
Having an aging parent or other family member move in can be stressful for both parties. Before you unpack that first box, take the time to have “the talk” about finances, including insurance.
Don’t shy away from tough questions such as “are you current on health, auto, home and life insurance premiums,” “are you covered by Medicare,” “is long-term care insurance something we should look into,” and “what are your end-of-life wishes?” This level of detail will help you decide what changes, if any, need to be made to existing coverage.
To minimize stress, seek to make your loved one feel cared about, not cared for.
Welcoming an adult child home can be just as daunting as a live-in senior. Plus, it’s expensive. In fact, experts estimate hosting an adult child in your home costs between $8,000 and $18,000 per year. To minimize the burden and avoid surprises, set clear expectations.
To avoid misunderstandings, the NAIC developed a Welcome Home Contract for host parents of adult children. In addition to outlining basic rules of co-habitation, the contract places under signature key insurance-related agreements.
Let our agency know any time someone moves into or out of your home. Those small changes can have a very big impact on your premiums and coverages in the event of a claim.
Fortunate are those who are blessed with opportunities to work and to be successful. On the occasion of Labor Day, our agency extends warm greetings to you for living up to the challenges, for striving daily and for never giving up to circumstances. Wishing you a very Happy Labor Day.
Properly insuring a rental car can be confusing, frustrating and downright daunting. Unfortunately, many consumers do not even think about car rental insurance until they get to the counter, which can result in costly mistakes—either wasting money by purchasing unnecessary coverage or having dangerous gaps in coverage.
Before renting a car, we suggest that you make two phone calls—one to our insurance agency and another to the credit card company you will be using to pay for the rental car.
Our agency staff will be glad to check out your coverage for you. Just give us a call before you start out on your Labor Day Adventure.
The purpose of life insurance is to provide a source of income, in case of death, for your children, dependents, or other beneficiaries. Life insurance can also serve certain estate planning purposes, which we won't go into here.
Buying life insurance is contingent upon whether anyone is depending on your income after your death. If you have a spouse, child, parent, or some other individual who depends on your income, then you probably need life insurance.
Because life insurance protects your family in the event of a death, it is important to determine the correct amount. Most people do not have the right amount of insurance.
There are two basic types of life insurance: term and permanent. Term insurance is insurance that covers a specified period. If you die within this time frame, your beneficiary receives the insurance benefit. Term policy premiums usually increase with age.
Permanent insurance such as universal life, variable life, and whole life, contains a cash value account or an investment element to the insurance.
Rules of Thumb:
The younger your children, the more insurance you need. If both spouses earn income, then both spouses should be insured, with insurance amounts proportionate to salary amounts.
Tip: If the family cannot afford to insure both wage earners, the primary wage earner should be insured first, and the secondary wage earner should be insured later on. A less expensive term policy might be used to fill an insurance gap.
If one spouse does not work outside the home, insurance should be purchased to cover the absence of the services being provided by that spouse (child care, housekeeping, bookkeeping, etc.). However, if funds are limited, insurance on the non-wage earner should be secondary to insurance for the wage earner.
If there are no dependents and your spouse could live comfortably without your income, then you will still need life insurance, but you will need less than someone who has dependents.
Tip: At a minimum, you will want to provide for burial expenses and paying off your debts.
If your spouse would undergo financial hardship without your income, or if you do not have adequate savings, you may need to purchase more insurance. The amount of insurance you need depends on your salary level and that of your spouse, the amount of savings you have, and the amount of debt you both have.
If you need help figuring out the correct amount of life insurance you need, then give us a call. We're happy to help.
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