Good Reasons To Call Your Insurance Agent

Home and Auto Insurance Update

Let’s face it, you buy home and auto insurance to protect you when and or if an accident happens. And when you have an accident, you want your personal insurance to respond.  If it has been a while since you updated your personal insurance coverage, you may want to call us today.

When to Call Your Agent

When you buy or sell a car

If you started a home-based business

If you are thinking about putting in a pool

When you purchased any high-end jewelry, guns or other items

If your home replacement value has gone up

Did you get a company car?

If you have remolded any part of your home

When you install a security system in your home

If you get married or divorced

If your commute distance has changed

When your children go away to college

Having the right auto coverage is not as easy as it sounds, and choosing the wrong coverages and limits could lead to financial disaster.  Our team is prepared to help you find the right combination of coverage, price and service.

A New Year… Let’s Get Your Insurance Right

A New Year… Let’s Get Your Insurance Right

As we move into a new year, I hope that every insurance agent and insurance buyer thinks about how they view their relationships.  Let us get away from the clever insurance advertisement’s attempts to bring our products and services down to the lowest common denominator, price, and commodity.  Insurance products and services are used to build our local economies, we allow people to dream, and we help rebuild in the event of a disaster.

Therefore, here are my resolutions for 2020; I hope other agents and insurance buyers will embrace these as well.

Agents

  • I will always put the needs of my client above mine.
  • I will strive to educate rather than sell.
  • It will be valuable to provide my clients with options.
  • Insurance is a complex transaction, and I need to help my clients understand what they are buying.
  • Risk management should always be part of every conversation. Identify risk, assess the risk, manage the risk, and review again.

Insurance buyers

  • I will select an agent who values relationships.
  • Price is not an indicator of quality.
  • Buying local is like the “farm to table” of insurance.
  • I will seek an agent who is qualified to manage my risks.

 

How To Win The Identity Theft War

 

You’ve probably heard about identity theft on television or read about it in the newspaper, and you may already be aware of the damage these crimes can cause victims and their families. What you may not know is how to protect yourself from these attacks. Below you’ll find ten steps that can help you minimize your chances of becoming another identity theft statistic.

  1. Invest in a shredder – Never throw anything away without shredding it first. Identity thieves will dig through dumpsters and trash bags looking for credit card receipts, voided checks, paid bills, credit card offers, and other items that provide them with your personal information.
  2. Mail everything from the post office – Leaving your outgoing mail in or on your mailbox is an invitation to have it stolen by an identity thief. Not only can they get all of your personal information from the check, but they can even alter the check and cash it themselves. Instead, drop it by the post office or another mailbox.
  3. Use a post office box – Incoming mail is also a target for identity thieves. Your bills, checks, even junk mail can be used by these thieves to steal your personal information. If you have a post office box, then your mail will be delivered safely to that box.
  4. Have a non-published phone number – Some identity thieves will also use the telephone in an attempt to get your personal information. For example, one scam involved a caller telling a person he or she had won a government grant that was going to be directly deposited into their checking account.
  5. Check your accounts weekly – If you don’t already, you need to get in the habit of checking the balances of all your financial accounts on a weekly basis. Waiting for monthly statements isn’t good enough because by then, your account could have been completely drained.
  6. Check your credit report yearly – Every year, you should request free copies of your credit report and check them for any errors, such as credit cards or loans you never took out. If you find out now that someone is using your identity, you can start correcting the problem before you need to use your own credit.
  7. Memorize PIN numbers and passwords – Never write down your PIN numbers or passwords. No place is a safe place to keep these important pieces of information.
  8. Keep only basic information on checks – Your checks should only include basic information about you, such as your name and address. Your social security number should never be printed on your checks. If it is, then you’re basically handing over the keys to your identity to any thief who comes in contact with your check.
  9. Eliminate unwanted credit card offers – Those credit card offers you throw away can be used by identity thieves.
  10. Carry only necessities – Never carry anything in your purse or wallet that isn’t necessary, such as extra deposit slips, social security cards, birth certificates, etc. The more personal information your purse or wallet contains, the more valuable it will be to an identity thief if it is lost or stolen.
  11. Go electronic – Bank statements, most bills, and many other documents can all be viewed electronically, so you never have to worry about them being stolen out of your mailbox or your trash. Contact your financial institution, credit card companies, and utility providers about the availability of this option. As an extra bonus, many of these businesses offer incentives to individuals who sign up for these electronic programs.

While these steps can’t guarantee you won’t have a identity theft issue, it can help reduce the likelihood of having one.

Life Insurance

Texas Personal Insurance Update

Most of us buy insurance in this order; auto insurance, renters’ insurance, home insurance, and then life insurance.  However, many of us do not think about how the events in our lives may affect our need for different kinds of insurance.  As your life changes, the need to protect your life, investment, and family also changes.

Here are some major life events that will affect your need for personal insurance

College –– If you have a child heading off to college, you may need to update your auto and home insurance. If your child has a car, the rates may be less in the city of the college.  You will need to notify your insurer regarding the new location.  In addition, if your child is renting, you may need to provide renters’ insurance to the property owner.

Retirement – If you had commuted regularly to your job, your mileage has likely plummeted in retirement. If so, you should report it to your auto insurer to significantly lower the cost of your auto insurance premiums.  In addition, you will need to consider other insurance options.

Marriage or Divorce –– Changes in marital status, or even just moving in together, means the combining of households, cars, and other property, so you’ll want to update your insurance policies accordingly. Are you both protected? Are coverage limits adequate?

Having a baby –– When your family grows, you may want to consider life insurance to protect your loved ones. Life insurance can provide the financial security for many years, and give you peace of mind.

Moving –– Whenever you move, you will need to update your auto and home insurance. New addresses may actually lead to lower costs.

Home Renovations – If you have made major improvements to your home, such as adding a new room, enclosing a porch, or expanding a kitchen or bathroom, report those changes to your insurance company.

Georgetown Insurance Agency is a full-service independent insurance agency offering a wide range of cost effective solutions to individuals, families and businesses.

Five Keys to Improving Your Personal Insurance

 

A Personal Insurance Update

We work to ensure that your personal insurance provides the protection you deserve and need.  We understand you may need different coverage like a personal umbrella, RV insurance, valuable articles coverage, earthquake, or flood coverage.

Over the years, we have found that homeowners who adhere to the following strategies have a better chance of obtaining the best possible combination of coverage, price, and service.

Use an agent like us to represent you in the market.  We know and understand personal insurance, and we are much better equipped to help you manage your personal insurance program.  We will stand by you in every claim situation.

Only use financially strong insurers.  It is vital that your insurance is there to pay for claims.  Look for insurers with an “A” rating by AM Best.

Make sure you have high liability limits.  It is essential that every homeowner have enough liability insurance to cover the unexpected events.  This is especially true if you own an RV, ATV or boat.

Consider increasing your deductibles.  Often a slight increase in your deductibles can reduce premiums.  If you are able to manage a larger deductible, you may be better off in the end.

Allow your agent to manage your entire personal insurance needs. Having one source for all your policies will save you time.  Also having one professional handle all your needs gives them the ability to understand your entire needs.

We Know And Understand Insurance

The leading trends in insurance today

We live in a new age, and that means insurance professionals need to be prepared to meet the new demands of the insurance buyer.  Home and auto insurance buyers have changed the way they select insurance companies and their agents. One thing that has not changed is that everyone needs home and auto insurance, and business owners need commercial insurance.

We know and understand your needs

Here is what our clients are telling us they need from us in order to meet their changing needs.

We offer coverage for Uber and Lyft drivers.

Our home insurance products can be designed to include coverage if you rent your home to third parties, or if you own a vacation rental.

Our web page is constantly being updated to reflect the buying habits of all generations.

For the environmentally conscious buyers we offer insurance products that include premium discounts for homes that meet stringent efficiency and sustainability standards, discounts for using eco-friendly building materials, and even unique “pay as you go” auto policies so you only pay for the miles you drive.

Filing a claim has never been easier. Most of our insurers have online reporting, but we are always here to help manage your claim if needed.

We understand how the technology of a “connected home” works and the importance of proper homeowner’s coverage.

There is new technology that can be added to your vehicle that monitors your driving and provides discounts for safe drivers.

You want, and deserve, more choices and personalization concerning your insurance program. Our friendly team is always ready to serve you.

Insurance Policies Not To Consider In 2017

hook-881444_19202017 is going to be a year of change. We have a new President, we have a new healthcare system and we may recommend that you not buy certain kinds of insurance. We will be the first to say that certain insurance may not always be best for your needs. We believe each client is unique and therefore requires unique insurance solutions.

Here are some examples of insurance products you most likely do not need to buy.

  • Universal life – Typically term life insurance is going to be a better fit for you. Term life costs less, and you can take the premium difference and invest it yourself.
  • Extended warranty plans – These are never a good idea. The warranty premiums are mostly commissions paid to the salesperson. Some credit card companies offer this protection if you make the purchase with their cards.
  • Pet Insurance – Pet insurance usually is very limited in coverage and very costly.
  • Collision insurance on older vehicles – If your vehicle has little or no value, it is better to pocket the premium and place it into a fund for future losses.
  • Insurance on outstanding credit card balances – This type of insurance can be costly, and there are a lot of loopholes to go through before any benefit is paid.
  • Mini Storage Insurance – As long as you have homeowner’s or renters insurance you don’t need to buy special insurance. Most policies have automatic coverage for property away from your primary premises. Call us for details and limitations.
  • Mortgage life insurance – This protects the bank, not you. If you were to die, the payout goes to the bank, not your family. You are better off buying term life insurance.
  • Flight Insurance – This is completely unnecessary, as airline accidents are rare and your life insurance policy should already provide the coverage in the event of a catastrophe.

Insurance is designed for the accidents and unexpected events in life that are too costly to pay on your own. Call us for more information.

Make Halloween Safe for Everyone

pumpkin-995416_1920In the next few days, we will be watching children scramble from house to house in search of the elusive Halloween treat.  However, keeping our kids safe as they are out Halloween night is always a concern.  A little pre-planning can prevent unfortunate accidents that could turn out to be tragic.  Remember, your homeowner’s insurance will cover you in most cases should someone trip and fall on your premises.

Here are some pointers for ensuring your house is a safe place for trick-or-treaters on Oct. 31.

Provide healthier treats for trick-or-treaters such as low-calorie treats and drinks. For your guests, offer a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Be sure walking areas and stairs are well-lit and free of obstacles that could cause someone to fall.

Keep candle-lit jack o’lanterns and luminaries away from doorsteps, walkways, landings, and curtains. Place them on sturdy tables, keep them out of the reach of pets and small children, and never leave them unattended.

Remind drivers to watch out for trick-or-treaters and to drive safely.

 Safety tips for kids

Never, ever, go into a house.

Costumes should be short enough to prevent children from tripping and falling

An adult or an older responsible child should always accompany young children. Even older children should go trick-or-treating with an adult, or with friends. Never go out alone.

Only go to homes with a porch light on.

Plan costumes that are bright and reflective.

Do not eat homemade food.

Examine all candy. If it has been opened, toss it out.

Use a flashlight.

Sources: http://www.nsc.org/, https://www.aap.org, https://www.cdc.gov

Georgetown Insurance Agency knows that your home is the single largest investment you may ever make. Protect your home and cherished valuables from damage and theft with our comprehensive and affordable insurance policies. Rest easy knowing our experienced agents can create a personalized policy for even the most budget-conscious homeowner.

Don’t be fooled…Auto Insurance Myths

Sharp focus on large shiny red "FACTS" in front of a row of plain gray "MYTHS" blurring and receding into the distance. Isolated on white.
Sharp focus on large shiny red “FACTS” in front of a row of plain gray “MYTHS” blurring and receding into the distance. Isolated on white.

It seems like you can’t get through a TV show or read a magazine without seeing an auto insurance ad. Big insurance companies spend billions to get your business. But are they really giving you the best coverage designed specifically for you?

Here are a few auto insurance myths we have seen, that you need to know about:

Myth – Buying on line is better. Would you go to a web page to diagnose your illness and then select from a drop down list for your treatment? That is what on-line insurance buying is like. Call an independent agent so we can help design the right combination on coverage and price. We have access to multiple markets, not just one. Cheap insurance seems great until you have a loss.

Myth – Bright colored cars cost more to insure. Wrong. Premiums are based on the type of vehicle you have, it’s value, where you live and other factors.

Myth – One ticket or accident will cause my company to cancel my insurance.  Most insurance companies do not penalize you this way. They are more concerned with patterns of driving.

Myth – Older drivers pay more. This is not true. Many of our companies give discounts to older drivers.

Myth – The TV commercial said it was covered.  All claims are subject to your individual policy terms and conditions. That is why an independent agent is important. We can provide information about what is covered and what is not.

Myth – Mexico? No problem. If you travel to Mexico we recommend special Mexico coverage.

Myth – If I get hit by someone else, the other party will pay. That is true if they have insurance. Even though many states have mandatory auto insurance requirements, almost one fifth of all drivers don’t’ have insurance. And if you don’t have the right coverage you will not be covered.

Call us today to get more information about your auto insurance.

Why Your Insurance Agent Is Your Best Friend

bigstock-Expert-Business-Background--51876310Are you frustrated with the lack of good customer service? Are you tired of calling a company and getting someone in a foreign county? When you go to the store and ask for help, do you get a teenager who knows less than you do about your questions?

If you are looking for insurance, it can be much easier than you think. Working with an agent will save you time and money on your insurance.

Why You Should Be Your Agents Best Friend

Agents care about helping you find the best combination of price, coverage, and service.

When you call our agency you get a licensed professional who can actually answer your questions.

We take time to find the best option for you.

You will get more choices of insurance products and companies.

Our employees live and work in your community.

If you have a claim, you have an advocate to help you.

We can make insurance easier to understand.

We offer many online services you may desire, always backed up by a real person.

We know which companies have the best track record when it comes to pleasing their policy holders. We can narrow your options down and help you choose between the best insurance companies in the market. Not all insurance agents are the same! Choosing the right one can make a big difference – in price, service, and value. Our agency has a proven track record, we live here and we understand the needs of our neighbors.