Tips for Finding the Best Insurance Possible this Spring

It’s important to keep auto insurance updated since what kind of coverage may be needed changes more often than people think. How old a vehicle is, the age of the person driving, and how much individual drives can all affect what type of insurance is needed. The following are four tips for getting the best insurance possible.

1. Understand Coverage Requirements

Every state has different coverage requirements. Some states have no-fault laws, which means an insurance company is required to pay for injuries no matter who is at fault. It’s necessary to find out what the legal minimum requirements are in the state the individual will be purchasing auto insurance. Basic types of insurance include the following:

  • Liability – This covers bodily or property damage.
  • Collision – This covers any damage to a vehicle.
  • Comprehensive – This covers damage to a vehicle that isn’t the result of an accident. This usually includes theft, vandalism, or natural disasters.

2. Evaluate Individual Insurance Needs

Age, marital status, and location are all factors that will determine what kind of insurance each individual should purchase. If a person is still making payments on a car more insurance will normally be required than if the car is already paid for. A person’s driving record may also determine would kind of insurance would be needed.

3. Consider Add-Ons

Add-on insurance is a personalized coverage that will meet the needs of each individual driver. There are several types of extra insurance a driver may want to consider.

  • Accident Forgiveness – This is for drivers that have a good record and rarely get into an accident. Some companies may provide accident forgiveness for a single incident.
  • Roadside Assistance – Everything from running out of gas on the highway to having a vehicle breakdown can be frightening. A policy can be purchased to provide towing and other types of roadside assistance.
  • Equipment Coverage – Many standard policies don’t always cover extra items or equipment. Extra insurance may be necessary to fully cover items such as certain types of chrome rims or a new stereo system.

4. Make Sure to Shop Around

The easiest way to check as many rates as possible is to do it online. To save time and find the type of insurance that fits each driver’s needs, it’s a good idea to find a site that provides information about several insurance companies. AgentInsure can help drivers find independent insurance agents that provide the type of insurance they want. Check out the online rater at AgentInsure to find an insurance quote.

Avoid Annoying Home Insurance Problems with the Right Spring Cleaning!

Is your home ready for spring and summer? Winter can be pretty tough on several different home systems. To avoid potential issues that could incur home insurance claims, you should consider expanding your spring cleaning into a few important areas that need attention as the months start to warm up. To help out, here are a few locations around the home where spring-cleaning can make a big difference – and improve safety!

Inspect Windows and Doors for Insulation

Windows and doors have weather-stripping, strips of felt that are designed to seal up windows and doors when closed and prevent drafts. This is important in winter when you are trying to keep the house warm, but it’s also very important in warmer months when you are trying to cool things down! Gaps within doors and windows also create entrances for a variety of bugs and pests, so it’s a good idea to go around and take stock of your weather-stripping to see if any needs to be replaced.

Replace the Batteries in Your Smoke Detectors

Your smoke (and carbon monoxide) detectors just got done doing valuable work all fall and winter. Your spring-cleaning phase is the perfect time to replace all their batteries so that they are prepared for another year of work…and so you don’t get annoying low battery beeps when you least expect it. Remember, there are also smart detectors you can use to replace old models for added quality of life.

Clean Out All Junk and Unnecessary Items

Put your spring-cleaning into full gear and go through your entire home – closets, garage, attic, basement, etc. – and clean out all the junk. Get rid of the cardboard boxes, the stacked newspapers, and the piles of clothes or old objects that you never use. Find new, efficient methods to store your necessary items, and take a few trips to the local landfill if necessary (or rent a dumpster).

Besides the cleanliness, there’s a very good reason to do this: All this junk is a serious fire hazard that can help fires grow and spread throughout your home. They also make excellent nesting materials for pests and can attract everything from beetles to raccoons. Get rid of it!

Perform Air Conditioner Maintenance

Your furnace and heaters worked over the winter, but before long you’ll be switching over to air conditioning…which means it’s time to make sure your AC unit is ready for the job. Replace any filters with new versions, and fully clean your unit, especially the outdoor parts. It’s a good idea to call in a professional to check the refrigerant as well.

Clean Out the Gutters

Chances are good that your gutters got filled in the fall and winter, thanks to dirt, debris, and leaves. It’s important to clean them out before spring rains cause problems! Flooded gutters will drip down into your siding and can cause widespread damage.

Have more questions about home insurance, what you need, and what to look for in a complete, affordable plan? Visit AgentInsure online today learn more!

Key Auto Maintenance As You Head Into Spring

As the winter months slowly start to depart, it’s time to think about how well your car is prepared for spring. After winter – which can be particularly rough on your car in colder areas – and before the spring rains, it’s important to complete several key maintenance steps. Let’s go over these steps, and why you should think about them now as winter starts to wind down.

Give Your Car a Deep Clean

A good cleaning is particularly important if you had a rough winter with plenty of ice and snow. Over time, that snow kicked up a lot of mud into your vehicle, and that mud may have frozen there over time. You should try to remove this build-up with a power-washer or a hose and elbow grease. Additionally, cities and towns may salt their roads to stop ice build-up. After a few winter months, your car may have a coat of salt, especially on the bottom. Salt is very corrosive and can cause damage to your paint and other materials – you need to get rid of it as soon as you can!

Replace Your Wiper Blades

Your wipers worked hard all winter. If they had to deal with snow and ice, they might have become damaged, bent, or worn down. This is a great time to replace those wipers so they are ready for spring and summer. This is especially important if you notice your wipers making strange noises or not working as well as they should.

Check Your Brakes If Necessary

Due to the snow and ice, your brakes may have gone through a lot during the harshest parts of winter. It’s a good idea to get your brakes checked ahead of spring so you know if you need to make any replacements. While brakes will make telltale noises when they start to wear down, other problems – like slow braking – may indicate additional issues that should be inspected.

Check Your Tire Alignment

Ice, dirt, and snow make for rough roads. Over time, that rattling can disrupt your tire alignment, which makes driving less accurate and can cause additional problems. Take your car into a local shop to your tires realigned ahead of springtime. If you have a good relationship with a nearby tire center or shop they will often do this for free.

Plan on Switching Out Your Tires Ahead of Time

In many areas, you are required by law to switch from your winter tires to traditional tires sometime in March or April (the exact date may vary according to that year). Note the date, and make plans early so that you aren’t stuck waiting for hours!

Have more questions about insurance, what you need, and what to look for in a complete, affordable plan? Visit AgentInsure online today learn more!

Use the New Year to Remind Yourself to Evaluate Your Home and Auto Insurance

The last thing a person wants is to be confronted with one headache and find out it is worse than originally believed.  This is what can happen if there is damage done to your house or automobile and you find out you don’t have the right coverage.  To avoid these potential problems, it is a good idea to make it a habit to reevaluate the insurance you carry on your home and autos every New Year.  Just like you change batteries in smoke detectors every daylight savings time change, evaluate insurance policies every January 1.

Things to Check

The first document to look at is the declaration pages.  These documents provide the important details of the actual insurance policies, such as your name and where you live.  The next thing to examine is the coverage limits.  Compare them to the previous year and ensure that any changes to your coverage were because you requested them or natural insurance price increases.  Your auto rates could fluctuate if you’ve been in an accident or had a ticket since the previous year, or your insurance company may have changed your rates.  You want to ensure everything is adequate and accurate.

Also keep in mind that there may be more drivers in your household, or the drivers may have moved out.  You won’t want to pay for someone who no longer is part of your household, and you don’t want to have a driver who is not covered.  You may also qualify for a good driver or a good student discount and discover you forgot to provide that information to the insurance company.

Homeowners Insurance

Again, you need to ensure that the address is correct.  When determining if you have an appropriate amount of insurance, begin with the value of the home itself, don’t include the land.  The land remains—the structure is what must be repaired or replaced.  Don’t just use the appraised value to determine coverage.  Appraised value will include the land.  Next, determine how much it will cost to cover your possessions.

Then, look in your policy for what is not covered.  Many people discover what their insurance policy doesn’t cover when they file a claim.  Homeowners may think their home would be covered if their sewer backed up, but many policies won’t cover something like this unless the homeowner requests that it is added—often for $200 a year or less.

AgentInsure

AgentInsure provides you with the convenience of an online insurance company with access to more than 100 top insurance carriers.  Our customers have access to include Progressive, Travelers, AAA and more.  Check us out and see how we can help you with your homeowners and automobile insurance.

5 Winter Home Insurance Tips Everyone Should Know

Winter is around the corner and with it, comes the challenge of protecting your home from snow-related damages. According to the Insurance Information Institute, winter-related claims accounted for 6.7% of the total number of claims in 2016.  However, most of the problems can be avoided or prevented through the following ways:

1. Check on the status of your roof
A weak or damaged roof could result in water damages within your home. Before the onset of the winter, inspect the roof for general wear and tear, missing shingles, and cracks that could cause leaks. Prevent ice dams on your roof by cleaning and repairing the gutters and downspouts. You can go a step further and install gutter guards. Having a professional inspect your roof on an annual basis is highly recommended.

2.  Protect your pipes
Frozen pipes are the biggest source of property damage. Make sure that you disconnect and drain hoses. Drain the sprinkler supply lines if you have any. Insulate the pipes that are in unheated places such as in the garage, attic, crawl spaces, and in the basement. Apply a heat tape or pre-molded foam rubber on the pipes that are most vulnerable.

3. Beware of damages from falling trees
While insurance companies will compensate you against damages caused by falling trees or branches, the coverage is against living trees. It is your responsibility to remove any dead trees near your home and low hanging tree branches. Some insurance companies will also cover the cost of repairing your landscape.

4. Test the detectors within your home
Home fires during the winter are quite common. Therefore, ensure that the smoke alarm is working. The heating appliances used to warm your home produce carbon monoxide. It is vital that you have a carbon monoxide detector to monitor the carbon monoxide levels and alert you should a certain limit be exceeded. Test the detectors and change their batteries regularly.

5. Insulate your home
Insulating your walls will help retain heat without incurring high energy bills. Insulate the sides and top of your water tank to keep it from freezing. Insulate the external faucets as some insurance policies exclude frost damage to outdoor plumbing. Ideally, the attic should be warmer than the outdoors to minimize the formation of ice dams, thus, ascertain that it is well insulated too.

While most insurance policies cover damages that could occur during winter, it would be wise to understand your type of policy.

AgentInsure gives you access to a host of independent insurance agents from whom you can get comparative rates at the comfort of your home. Log into our website and use our online rater to find a suitable insurance quote.

Prepare Your Automobile for the Fall and Winter Months

The first chills are just around the corner, and you need your car to be prepared for the winter months ahead. This will ensure that your auto insurance premiums do not go over the roof. Read on to find out how you can get the car ready for the snowy roads and chilly temperatures.

Take care of the fluids
Check the fluids levels and change the oil as part of the service. Thinner oil will serve you better as circulation around the engine won’t be impaired. For the safety of your engine, ensure that you have the right antifreeze mixture. More than 50% of water in your coolant is a recipe for disaster.  Use an antifreeze tester to ascertain the proportions of the mixture. Keep your gas tank as full as possible.

Check the battery and engine
Ascertain that your battery can properly store charge. Have your mechanic remove any corrosion that may compromise your battery’s efficiency. The brutal weather increases the likelihood of car breakdowns. It is prudent that you check the spark plugs as well as the belts to minimize the chances of your automobile’s breakdown.

Invest in wipers 
Your wipers will need to be at their best if you are to navigate through the snow and constant rain. Invest in freeze resistant wiper fluid and purchase a new set of wiper blades if possible. Do not think twice about walking around with a spare. It may come in handy on a rainy day quite literally.

Maintain the right tire pressure
The tires will pretty much be the most vulnerable part of your car. They’ll also have a more pronounced say in your general safety. Have a gauge to check the tire pressure and make the adjustments as the need arises. The cold winter air will most likely lower the pressure time and again.

Buy snow tires 
Get snow tires in good time and avoid the last minute rash. You are guaranteed to have more traction thanks to their deeper grooves. You’ll also have better control of your car regardless of the weather and will enjoy safe rides throughout the winter and fall seasons.

Have an emergency kit
Never leave your house without an emergency kit. You never know what the day holds for you. A flashlight, a warm blanket, drinking water, jumper cables, and a windshield washer fluid should all be available in the kit.

You can’t always be too prepared. An auto insurance policy will go a long way in getting your car in shape in case you get involved in an accident.  A local insurance agent will help you make this possible.

For great rates and a comprehensive cover get in touch with AgentInsure. Keep all these tips in mind and guarantee an overall safer ride all winter long.

Getting Your Home Ready For Fall

There is no doubt that your home is one of your biggest and most treasured possessions. As such, you will want to protect your property from the severe weather and threats that characterize the fall. You will also want to ensure that your home offers you the comfort you are used to during the changing season. There are a number of tasks that you will need to do in order to prepare your home for fall. While you can do some on your own, others are better left to professionals.

Clean the gutters and downspouts
Water can cause serious and extensive damage to your home. It is important to check and clean your gutters as well as downspouts in preparation for fall. By getting rid of any leaves, dirt and debris that could have clogged the drainage system, you will keep water flowing smoothly in case it rains. This will help to avoid damage to the foundation walls as well as the exterior of your home.

Inspect your roof and chimney
You should also get a professional to inspect your roof for any damages and carry out the necessary repairs. Loose or missing shingles, broken seals and damaged metal flashing around the chimney could let in water, resulting in bigger problems. Make sure that your chimney is also inspected, swept and any dangers are addressed. Such an exercise will go a long way in helping to reduce the chances of a chimney fire.

Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
As fall approached, the winter heating season will also be drawing near. Remember to have your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors checked to make sure that they are working properly. You can also change their batteries so that you receive alerts in case of a problem with your heating system or any other life-threatening emergency.

Put up storm windows 
Depending on where you live, you should consider putting up storm windows. Storm windows will not only make your home more energy efficient but also control moisture and protect your normal windows from the ravages of rain and wind. The windows will also reduce UV exposure and sound, allowing you to enjoy more comfort while in the house.

Get the right home insurance 
There is a lot more than you can do to prepare your home for fall. However, buying the right home insurance will ensure that your home and its contents are protected in the event of a disaster that causes damage to the property. If you are to get the coverage that meets your needs, you should consider working with a local independent insurance agent.

Before buying home insurance, you should compare the products offered by different insurers. AgentInsure allows you to compare insurance quotes so that you can choose the best policy. Use our online rater today to find a quote and make an informed decision.

Why Home Insurance is So Important for the Summer, Too

When people think of homeowner’s insurance, they often think about disasters and events that happen in the winter months – flooding caused by broken pipes, fires caused by improper heating, roof problems due to rain and snow, and so on.

However, summer also holds dangers for homes, and there are still plenty of events that can make homeowner’s insurance necessary. Take a look at the top reasons that home insurance is still very important in summer, and why you should continue to take precautions to protect your home.

Outside Grilling Means Outside Fires

Summer is the perfect time for grilling outdoors and enjoying late evening fires. However, these popular activities also increase the chance of accidentally starting a fire…an unfortunately common consequence during the summer months. This can quickly cause damage to the siding and roof even when the fire is noticed. One of the most common causes is grilling with an open flame too close to the house – keep the grill at around 10 to 15 feet away from the walls and roof, and keep trees and shrubs well-clipped.

Burglaries Are Much More Common

It may sound like an odd statistic, but burglaries are actually much more common in the summer than the winter. On second glance, it makes sense: Thieves can move around more easily and comfortable in summer months to look for access points into homes. This means that burglary reports and claims for stolen goods also rise in the summer. Remember to keep your house secured when away, and consider investing in smart security devices.

Summer Vacations Mean More Time Away

Summer is also the time when many people head away from home on a summer vacation. This leaves the house unattended, which raises the risk of several problems. There may be an increased risk of fires or burglary during this time. Problems with leaks will go unnoticed and may cause widespread damage before they are caught. It’s always best to have someone check up on your home if possible.

Add-ons Like Pool Insurance Become Very Important

This is also the time of year when swimming pools and other summer features are enjoyed (trampolines, etc.). There are usually add-ons to home insurance that cover these particular home elements, and for good reason: They can be dangerous, and if they break then replacements can prove costly.

Summer Weather Holds Its Own Dangers

Remember, summer weather can also cause damage! Summer thunderstorms can create plenty of problems, especially if lightning creates local fires in the dry undergrowth. Additionally, summer heat can cause damage to unprotected roofs and siding, which may need expensive replacements.

Have more questions about home insurance, what you need, and what to look for in a complete, affordable plan? Visit AgentInsure online today learn more!

Warning Signs That You Need to Change Your Car Insurance

Are you ready to change your car insurance? Most people don’t think about switching car insurance unless they think they can save money. This is one reason, but there are several warning signs that mean it’s time to look at other auto policies.

Online Resources: What online resources does your car insurance company currently provide you with? Can you look up your policy and find details? Can you explore ways to lower your insurance through tips or programs? Does your agent even have a quality website – or any website at all? If the answers tend to be no to these questions, then it’s definitely time to consider switching car insurance. These days, there is no excuse to be without a proper website that provides customers with real benefits.

You Have Recently Moved: If you have recently moved, then your auto rates may have changed based on your new location, job, etc. It can be difficult to find out just how much things have changed until you ask for a few new quotes from other car insurance options. So if you have made a significant move recently, reach out to new services to make sure you aren’t missing anything.

Poor Claim Service: Nothing can justify poor claim service. If you have had a bad experience trying to make a claim or get a claim fulfilled, then it’s time to look at new car insurance. Even if a claim is denied, it should be a polite and informative process that leaves you with your questions answered. Unfortunately, not all car insurance companies are good at this: Find a place with good customer service first.

Unexpected Rate Hikes: No one likes their rates to go up, but sometimes they do. It can happen for a variety of reasons. But if you are seeing a constant rate creep without any significant reason for it, this could be a sign that your car insurance company is not the best for you. Contact other insurance options and ask about rate guidelines and how your rate should be changing.

Family Changes: Do you have a teenager that is about to start driving for the first time? What about a grown child that is getting ready to leave for college, or a new baby on the way? An important family change is the right time to consider looking at new auto insurance: Other insurance policies may be more affordable or more practical for your new situation.

 

 

 

Do I Have Enough Auto Insurance Coverage?

Before getting behind the wheel, it is always wise to consider the enormous responsibility that driving entails. A motorized vehicle can do great damage to other people and property. Of course, someone must pay for this damage. The average driver does not have enough money on hand to cover the thousands of possible dollars needed to recompense those harmed in an accident. Therefore, people need auto insurance.

Most states require a certain minimal amount of auto insurance coverage. It is always wise for motorists to check with their state road authorities on this requirement. It is also imperative that they consider additional coverage. Just how much depends on their level of expected need. As a guideline for those contemplating among various auto insurance plans, following are types of protection available across the nation.

Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) Auto Insurance

BIL pays for the damages a driver causes to other people during an accident. These policies have maximum amounts that the policyholder knows when making the purchase. A 20/50 policy, for example, covers $20,000, for injury to a single driver and $50,000, for all passengers hurt in a car.

Property Damage Liability Auto Insurance

The other car may also be damaged during an accident. Property damage liability insurance takes care of these costs. It is common for consumers to add this type of coverage to an existent BIL plan. For example, a 20/50/20 policy would provide $20,000, for a single driver and $50,000, for all passengers in a car and $20,000 for automobile repairs or replacement.

The amount of coverage and its cost depends on where the potential customer lives. The best way to make an informed decision among policies is to check rates live online. The numbers quoted online are those available at the moment in a particular zip code.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Auto Insurance

Along with paying for damages to others and their property, drivers also want to protect themselves. Medical expenses can prove costly. PIP will make things more affordable. Some PIP policies even provide an income while the driver remains out of work rehabilitating from accident injuries, so prices vary.

It is always best to compare policy quotes before deciding. It is even possible to do so online from home.

Making an Informed Auto Insurance Choice

Drivers need to weigh many factors before choosing an auto insurance plan. Most importantly, they must know the current rates being charged in their area. Then, it is necessary to be sure to have enough coverage to handle an unfortunate auto collision.