How to Find The Right Insurance Agency

Whatever life may throw at us, you have to be prepared, fires, car accidents, natural disasters or even death. In order to cover and protect you and your family financially from these adverse life events, you will have to purchase insurance from the right agency. However, the journey may be a daunting one, especially to those who are not experienced with the process. To make sure that you make the best-informed decision when you are choosing your insurance agency, here are a few tips to help you get started.

  1. Coverage

First and foremost, the most important feature that the right insurance agency must have is to deliver the best coverage for your needs. It is the goal of an insurance agency to serve you to the best of their ability and to do this, they must provide the insurance that will address your concerns. Therefore, before becoming a customer of an insurance agency make sure that they provide a wide range of services that will meet all of your needs.

  1. Price

Even though it is great to have a set budget, make sure that you are not too focused on saving money on your insurance. Many insurance agencies that offer low fees are usually less experienced or don’t provide adequate insurance coverage so you lose more money when a loss occurs. Therefore, what you should opt for is a sit-down conversation with the agent and make sure that you are gaining the right services for your money.

  1. The insurance agency’s reputation

A lot can be said by the reputation of a company, and it is important that their values align with yours. To find out more about the company you want to purchase insurance from, a quick internet search is all that is required. Their websites are a great place to start since it will tell you their mission and values, history, company leadership, types of products available, the number of cities they cover, financial strength and so much more. If what you find is not to your liking, then you can easily research their competition to see if they are a better alternative.

  1. Convenience

Since we live in a fast-paced world and are all busy people, we like to receive our services quickly and efficiently. The internet is a great place to do this and many insurance agencies take advantage of this so that they are able to expand their reach and better serve their customers. Some of these amenities are 24/7 customer service, online billing and reporting and social media reach.

  1. Discounts

Many insurance agencies offer discounts to their customers that cover many insurance types. It is now your job to take advantage of these discounts so that you can save some extra bucks. However, please remember that these discounts offered should not cloud your judgement and should be a bonus when the other attributes listed above are present.

Insurance agencies play a vital role in providing protection against any accidents, trauma or death that you may face. There is a myriad of insurance agencies to choose from, and it is now your responsibility to choose the best reputable option that will suit your needs at the optimal price. If you take this approach, you will be able to make the process of choosing the best insurance agency for you, a much smoother one.

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Choosing the Right Insurance Agency for the New Year

A new year’s rolling around, folks. New hopes, new opportunities, and new challenges. You deserve a smooth transition into the new year, free of needless stresses and anxieties.

And we’re betting that, no matter who you might happen to be, one of your major stress sources is relate to insurance.

It’s always there, hovering somewhere in the recesses of your mind. Sure, you’ve got an insurance plan in place; but is it enough? Does it really cover all the potential risks? Are you really investing enough in it? What if, God forbid, you find yourself in the position of having to file a claim; is it really going to be enough to salvage your finances?

Well, new year’s resolutions are supposed to be the means by which we turn our lives around for the new year. So why not ring in 2019 with a resolution to change your insurance agency to one that’ll alleviate those anxieties?\

And just to help you put your best foot forward in doing so, here’s a few basic pointers for picking a new insurance agency.

Reputation

This probably applies to any scenario involving picking a new company to do business with; but it’s especially relevant when we’re talking about one that’s handling your finances in a time of crisis.

Thankfully, there’s tons of ways to verify an agency’s reputation in the age of the internet. Find a review site and read feedback from other, ordinary clients like yourself. For expert opinions, check out their rating among the likes of Moody’s, AM Best, and the like.

And don’t be afraid to do your own research, too. Investigate the company – how long it’s been in business, their stated missions and visions, the types of products they sell, and the like. Used properly, the internet can put together a comprehensive picture of whether an agency is worth your time and money.

Coverage 

And speaking of research, you’ll want to make sure that you look into this one thoroughly.

One of the major sources of stress when it comes to insurance is not having sufficient coverage. If that turns out to be the case, it’ll hardly help that you’re a client of one of the best names in the business. For instance, fail to do proper coverage research, and you could find yourself seeking coverage for your entire family in an agency that specialises in coverage for singles. Being covered by a high-rated agency won’t do you much good if those glowing reviews turn out to have come from clients with drastically different needs to yours.

Basically, before you even consider becoming a client of an insurance agent, you’ll really want to take the time to consider your coverage needs, and then ensure that the agency has the sort of policies that’ll cover it sufficiently.

Locality

This might sound like a minor one; but it can be a major factor in alleviating those familiar stressors.

First, obviously, you’ll need to be sure that the agency offers its services within your state, county, or the like. And if they do, it might fare you well to make sure they’ve got an office somewhere within reasonable distance. Really, think about it – when you’re in the stressful situation of having to make a claim or inquiry with your insurance, do you really want the added stress of having to drive for an hour just to sort it all out?

Why Your Cannabis Dispensary Needs Insurance

Like any other business, your dispensary needs insurance. The marijuana business actually has a lot of unique risks that owners and operators should be aware of to help avoid any financial loss.

Here is a list of insurance considerations and why you should have them.

General Liability Insurance.

This is a must have insurance for all businesses. It’s often required if leasing business space for your new dispensary. The specific policy provisions vary but generally it provides protection up to 5 million dollars. Some of the protection it offers is:

Occupiers’ Liability. This protects your dispensary if or when an accident happens. For example, this coverage will cover medical bills if a customer gets hurt on your property during a fall or other incident.

Completed operations. This protects you in the event that a customer sues you for damages or harm that they say was the result of services you’ve provided. Completed operations insurance will often pay for litigation expenses such as damages, settlements or other claim related rewards.

Product Liability Insurance is another important coverage you need for your dispensary. This coverage is important because products that your dispensary sells can be dangerous to the people who use them. Here are some examples to consider when you’re thinking about getting this insurance.

Product Malfunctions.

Vaping pens and other smoking devices have been known to malfunction. Often due to defects, that have been put under pressure, under certain circumstances. One defect could lead to major injuries and if they bought the device from you, they may hold you responsible.

Over Consuming.

Edibles and concentrates are incredibly easy to inadvertently overconsume which can lead to a claim. Consumable marijuana is the main concern of most dispensaries. It is a newer product that can be easily misused or even abused. If a customer is harmed by one of these products (ie, having anxiety attacks or experiencing physical pain) they may decide to sue your business.

Product Poisoning.

No matter how many precautions you take, marijuana can still be dangerous. Refined and raw flower products all bring the risk of poisoning from pesticides or heavy metals. If one of your customers is harmed by your products then your liability insurance will cover legal and medical costs that are associated with the claim.  While this is sometimes included under the umbrella of general insurance, it can also be bought as a stand alone insurance.

Property Insurance.

This is one of the most common forms of coverage for any business. This insurance can protect items related to your operation such as computers, dispensary equipment, office furniture, damage to your building and theft.

The perils this insurance covers can vary, generally, it includes things like fire, explosions, acts of nature, riots and vandalism. For a dispensary, the most important coverage is for theft. The reason for that is that traditionally the dispensary business tends to rely more heavily on cash sales and that makes it more susceptible to theft.

Property coverage is an important insurance for all parts of the marijuana industry including, cultivators, wholesalers, retailers, harvesters, manufacturers and distributors. This coverage can be targeted to protect everything from plants and seeds to the finished stock that is ready for sales.

These were just a few of the very important types of insurance you should get for your dispensary. Of course, it’s important to shop around too and make sure you’re getting the very best coverage for your hard earned dollars.  

All the things Homeowner’s Insurance Doesn’t Cover

You might be under the misconception that the insurance policy you took for your home will cover every single accident or mishap that comes your way. Keep on dreaming! The unfortunate truth is that no single homeowner insurance policy covers all of the mishaps and accidents that might occur at your home. Reading through the fine print for your insurance policy will confirm this. Remember, like snowflakes, no two insurance policies are exactly the same. There are subtle differences between insurance policies that will make a whole world of difference to what’s covered and what’s not.

So if you are looking to know whether your insurance will cover the damage caused by your cat when it had an emotional meltdown last week, read on. The worst thing that can happen to you is to get caught off guard when an uncovered home emergency takes place, and you don’t have the cash to get it fixed.

  1. Home renovation

Listen. If you are doing a major renovation to your house, most policies will require that you take out a separate, specific policy to cover the renovation, even though your builder might have an active risk policy.

This doesn’t apply if you are merely doing a few cosmetic upgrades to your house. But if you are looking to structurally alter portions of your home, a standard homeowner’s insurance policy will not cover the renovations. Getting a separate renovation policy for your home renovation project will also cover your liability in case people wander onto your property and get hurt.

  1. Prolonged and slow leaks

Insurance companies can deny you insurance coverage if they can prove that water damage occurred to your home because of a “slow and prolonged leakage”. Standard Homeowner insurance policies only cover water damage that occurs due to a “fast and sudden flow”.

To understand this better, an example might help. A contractor, while building a house managed to damage a pipe, that was running to a rarely used guest bathroom in the house. No one noticed the leak for a few years, and when it came time to let the house out to a tenant, the water damage had become significant and had spoilt the floorboards in the bedroom. The damage caused was in the thousands of dollars, but the claim was refused by the insurance companies. So, beware. Read the fine print!

  1. Earthquakes

Contrary to popular assumptions, damage caused to homes because of earthquakes are not covered under a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. If you reside near a known fault line that is extremely earthquake prone, then it would be wise for you to get a separate earthquake damage coverage policy that will cover any damage caused to your house and the things inside your house, in the event of an earthquake.

If you don’t have this policy and an earthquake strikes your town, destroying your house, you’ll have to pay for all of the repairs from your own pocket, which is not a great thing to have to deal with, especially in such a tragic event.

Comprehensive Coverage v Collision Coverage

When you are choosing auto insurance, it is important for you to learn about the different insurance options that you have available to you. One of the most confusing things about these options are deciding between comprehensive coverage and collision coverage. This will take a closer look at these two auto insurance options so that you can determine which one is the best fit for you.

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive insurance covers your car when it doesn’t collide with an object or another vehicle. What this means is that comprehensive coverage protects you if your car was damaged due to natural disaster, vandalism, theft, or a fire. These are just a few of the cases where comprehensive coverage protects you.

Collision Coverage

Collision insurance covers drivers if they hit another car, object, or if you drive over an obstacle like a pothole and damage your car. It is important to know that this doesn’t cover the damage to the other person’s car, just yours. Liability insurance will cover those costs.

Similarities

There are a few similarities between both of these types of insurance. Both types will cover damage that occurs to your own vehicle, with the coverage limit being the cash value of your car. When you do file a claim, there is a deductible that you need to pay. You can choose a higher or lower deductible, which will impact your monthly costs but you should be aware that the lower the monthly payment the more you are likely to pay out if you need to file a claim. Sometimes these can both be packaged together in an insurance plan, but you could also buy them separately.

Differences

The biggest difference between these two types of insurance is the type of damage that they cover. Collision coverage only applies if you collide with an object or another car. Comprehensive insurance coverage anything that can be deemed outside of the control of the driver. Collision insurance is also often more expensive than comprehensive.

How to Decide

State laws may not say that you must have either of these types of insurance, but if you finance your car you will likely be required to have either or both types of insurance. Which one do you choose? Or should you have both? There are some things to consider that will help answer this. If your car is new or higher in value, it can be an excellent idea to have both. This may be expensive, but you will ultimately save money in the long run if something happens and you need to repair or replace your car. Think about where you live. Is there a high chance of threats like theft or weather disasters destroying your car? If so, comprehensive coverage is a must. How much do you drive your car? Do you frequently commute long distances? These are all questions that will help you answer which type of insurance is the best choice for you.

The safest thing that you can do is to choose both types of coverage for your car, however this may not always be the affordable option for drivers. Consider these differences to decide which option is the best for you.

Top Questions to Ask About Boat Insurance

Consumers buy insurance so that many would-be out of pocket expenses are covered when the worst events happen to their material possessions or loved ones. Boats are a costly investment that should be insured as much as your homes or automobiles. Whenever you buy any kind of insurance, it is wise to have a list of questions for the insurance company so that you can better understand the benefits and limits of your policy. These are the most important questions to keep in mind when you are looking to insure your aquatic vessel.

Do I Need Boat Insurance?

Unlike car insurance where every state requires at least some amount of liability insurance, few states require boat insurance of any kind. If insurance is going to be required, it is going to be other entities such as a bank if you are using their assistance for financing or marinas if you plan on using a moore or slip.

While few states require boat insurance, it is still always a good idea to purchase a policy that works for your lifestyle and finances. Similar to auto and home insurance policies, you purchase a boat insurance policy for the unfortunate, unplanned incidents that come with life. With the amount of money that boats often sell at, having a policy to protect that investment and other expenses that come along with any incident that could cause damage such as medical or liability fees make boat insurance a viable and almost necessary option.

Agreed Value or Cash Value?

This is the most important financial question to bring up with your insurance provider. The answer to this question will dictate how much money you will receive when you file a claim for the total loss of your boat. Under agreed value, the insurer will pay out the value that you and the insurer have previously agreed upon. Cash value, meanwhile, involves the insurance company calculating how much the boat is worth after depreciation and wear and tear overtime. Understanding the differences and which your policy uses is crucial.

What other kinds of coverage does my policy cover?

Liability, property, medical, and uninsured/underinsured coverages are important options to consider when choosing a policy. These coverages can help cover other costs not in your base policy. Figuring out which types of coverage are most compatible with your lifestyle will help you come out ahead financially.

Is Emergency Assistance Included?

Most boat insurance policies do not include emergency assistance, but it can be extremely helpful in a pinch. Emergency assistance for your boat can help you when you are stuck out on the water, and some policies extend to off the water assistance. Understanding if this is included can save you the headache when these types of situations arise.

What is my Coastline Average?

Many policies don’t include open-ocean coverage, so knowing how far off the coast your policy covers is an important fact to know. If your policy only covers 100 miles outside the American coast, staying within that boundary will ensure your policy applies and keep your finances stable.

Discounts?

In order to save money, this is always a good question to ask that you can only benefit from. Most insurance companies will offer a discount if you hold another type of policy with them, but these may not be the only discounts you are eligible for. Sometimes taking extra steps such as taking boat safety courses can have the insurance companies offer a lower rate.

Conclusion

Insurance is bought for when the worst happens. Boats are a costly investment, so it is always better to be prepared with an insurance policy tailored to your lifestyle. By asking these questions, you become a more informed consumer that is better able to make intelligent decisions attached to your policy.

10 Things to do Immediately Following an Accident

10 Things to do Immediately Following an Accident

There are millions of car accidents every year and while only 20% of car accidents lead to fatal injuries, there is still physical and financial risk involved if certain actions aren’t taken immediately following the car accident.

The following is a list of immediate actions to be taken should you find yourself in an accident:

 

  • Stop and Park your Vehicle if Possible.

 

You can be held legally and financially responsible should you flee the scene of an accident. So the very first action that you should take is to stop and park your vehicle.

 

  • Signal to Other Drivers that there’s been an Accident

 

If you keep flares handy, now is the time to use them. Setting up flares is the ideal way to signal to other drivers that there’s been an accident if it’s dark. If you don’t keep flares handy, you can signal to other drivers that you’ve been in an accident by turning on your hazards or, worst case scenario, by setting up a flashlight or two.

 

  • Call the Police

 

Regardless of whether or not there’s been any physical harm involved in the accident, it’s important to call the police. Most insurance companies will require a police report in order to allow you to file a damage claim.

 

  • Be Sure to Give an Accurate Report to the Police Officer

 

It’s imperative that you give the police accurate information in your report. It’s okay to say that you’re not sure if you can’t recall a specific piece of information. If you aren’t sure if you’ve been injured in an accident, then make sure to express that rather than saying no. You’ll also want to make sure that the other party involved in the accident is giving accurate information to police officers.

 

  • Take Photos

 

You want to document, for yourself, the scene of the accident. You’ll want to take pictures of damage to vehicles following the accident and you’ll also want to take pictures of any injuries that were sustained following the accident.

 

  • Exchange Pertinent Information

 

It’s important to obtain the information of all of the people involved in the accident including drivers as well as passengers. The information that you should look to obtain includes names, phone numbers and insurance information.

 

  • Notify your Insurance Company

 

Most insurance companies require you to report accidents immediately in order to submit a damage claim. If you were injured in the accident and you have medpay, you’ll need to send your medical bills to the insurance company.

 

  • Seek Medical Attention

 

Even if you don’t feel like you’ve been injured in an accident, it’s still important to see a doctor. Sometimes physical damages caused by an accident are not immediately apparent. These injuries could include head trauma that, if left untreated, can cause serious complications later on.

 

  • Organize all of your Records

 

You want to make sure that you keep all of the information and evidence that you’ve gathered organized in a specific file. You may need those documents for an insurance claim or for a legal dispute down the line.

 

  • Contact your Attorney

 

It’s important to notify your attorney that you’ve been in an accident so that your attorney can make you aware of your rights and help protect valuable evidence from being destroyed. Your attorney can also offer legal advice to protect you legally following an accident.

Should you find yourself in an accident you need to make sure that you follow each of these steps that I’ve outlined. Regardless of whether or not there were any injuries involved in the accident or whether or not there appears to be any physical damage to either vehicle, following these steps will protect you immediately and into the future.