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.

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.

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!

I am renovating some parts of my home and the contractor was injured during the work, am I liable?

If you are a homeowner, you are undoubtedly concerned about potential liability when you hire a contractor. Since every homeowners policy is different, it is always best to ask your independent agency precisely what type of liability coverage that you have.

If a contractor was injured while working on a renovation on your property and he is injured during the work, you may be liable. Your homeowners policy will typically include liability insurance, which is the type of coverage needed for these situations.

However, just because a contractor sustained an injury while on your property does not mean you are automatically required to pay for the treatment of this injury or for any pain and suffering associated with said injury.

A licensed contractor will typically maintain his own insurance that would cover injury on the job. However, the specific details of the injury – the way in which it took place – can have a significant impact on who will end up paying damages related to that accident.

If there is a contractor injury on your property, it is important that you report it to your insurance agent right away. Your agent can help determine precisely what liability, if any, that you have as a homeowner in this situation. Should it be determined that you are liable or partially liable, your homeowners insurance will cover the damages claimed by the contractor.

When you shop around for your homeowners policy, it is very important that you compare policies to make sure you are getting the coverage you really need. Good liability coverage is essential for any homeowner, and by doing some comparison quotes you can make sure you have this, and all the other essential homeowner coverage.

Don’t take a chance on being caught without the full homeowners insurance coverage needed. You can do a quick quote comparison online through Agent Insure, allowing you to look at all your options and keep your home and family protected at all times.

Why should I report home renovations to my independent insurance agent?

It is essential that homeowners contact their insurance agent when there are plans to start a home renovation project. Whether the project is complex and involves adding extra square footage to a home or it is a simple room makeover, the insurance company needs to be informed.

The insurance company that is the provider of an individual’s homeowners insurance policy must be informed in order to adjust the policy. Adjustments need to be made when square footage is added, appliance/fixture upgrades occur, or a room undergoes considerable changes. Reporting these adjustments or changes to an insurance company may increase a current insurance premium, but the alternative is much worse – not having proper coverage.

After a home renovation project, if the homeowner has not made the proper adjustments to an existing homeowners insurance policy, the new upgrades and/or changes to the home or a specific room might not be covered. This means homeowners may not receive financial compensation or coverage if property in that area is damaged or requires a repair.

In some cases, if adjustments have not been made to the homeowners insurance policy, the room/space may still be covered. Unfortunately, the coverage that is provided will be based on what the insurance company has on file and may not adequately cover the cost of repairs.

Another reason homeowners should contact their insurance agent regarding home renovations is to make sure they are properly protected against any accidents or injuries that may happen during a project. Most contractors have general liability insurance policies, but those do not always provide the protection a homeowner wants/needs. Purchasing an additional general liability insurance policy can provide homeowners with protection against lawsuits that may arise if a contractor is injured while working on a project.

Don’t find yourself in a situation where you do not have adequate insurance coverage during and after a home renovation project. Work with an independent agency to find and compare insurance quotes online. It will help ensure that your home has the proper coverage for both during and after any home renovation project.

I bought some items shopping online, and my credit card information was stolen. Am I covered for this under my homeowners policy?

When it comes to e-commerce, it can be difficult to determine if a home insurance policy is appropriate for the situation. Although shopping online may be covered by some insurers, your homeowners policy may limit the amount that is available or may not provide coverage for certain situations.

Coverage for a Home

In general, homeowners insurance is designed to address the concerns associated with your house and the personal belongings that you keep in your house. When you compare quotes online, you may discover that certain items are covered by your policy while other items are not.

Depending on your insurer, you may or may not be covered for identity theft. The circumstances surrounding when you are covered may also vary. For example, you might be covered if your credit card is stolen from your house after a break-in, but your insurer may not cover you against identity theft if it relates to an online purchase.

Solutions After Identity Theft

If your insurer does offer coverage against theft from your credit cards, then you may make a claim on your policy. Read the plan carefully to determine if the situation is covered and that you do not have any clauses that may prevent your claim from being processed.

Since identity theft is a concern, you may discover that your credit card company has solutions available to reduce your financial liability. Inform your credit card company immediately if you notice strange activity or charges that you did not approve. The credit card company can freeze your account and then take steps to eliminate those charges. In many cases, you are not liable for any charged to your account from an unauthorized source.

It is bothersome when shopping online results in the loss of personal data, but that does not mean you have no options available. Even though your homeowners plan may not cover the situation, your credit card company may have options available to limit your financial risk. An independent agency can help you compare quotes and find solutions that are available. Contact us to talk to an agent for more information.

I am just starting out as an entrepreneur and am not sure if my new business qualifies for commercial insurance. What are my options?

A start-up company can qualify for a commercial insurance policy, but the details of any plan may vary based on the nature of the business. Depending on the type of products or services that you provide, the insurance policy that is most appropriate for your needs can vary. That is why it is important to work with an independent agency to find the best policy for your situation.

General Liability Plans

Depending on your company, the amount of liability protection that you need may vary. Regardless of your business and the fact that you are running a start-up company, it is usually best to obtain liability protection based on your risk and the possible injuries that may occur.

Liability protection will ensure that if your products have a defect or if your customers or visitors to your company happen to be injured for any reason, you will have the coverage available to pay for those injuries and medical bills.

Property Protection

If your business owns any property, then insurance is important. A commercial auto policy or a property plan is appropriate based on the type of property that you own.

Ideally, you want enough protection to cover the loss of property after any normal disasters. For example, a fire or a break-in may be covered under a basic policy. In some cases, it may be appropriate to look for additional protection if you are worried about specific problems, such as flooding.

Other Insurance

Any other form of insurance that is appropriate for your business may vary. An entrepreneur is responsible for coverage based on the potential risks, which may vary. For example, you may need workers compensation or other coverage for your employees, but that might not apply if you have not hired any employees.

Owning a company does not mean that you have no options available for commercial insurance. In many cases, coverage is necessary shortly after you set up the company. Contact us to talk an agent for more information.