Don’t Make These Mistakes

Personal and business insurance buyers–don’t make these mistakes

Everyone who buys insurance often runs into what we call the 7 deadly sins of buying insurance. These apply to both personal insurance and business insurance. Read these to see if you can relate to any of them.

Your deductibles are too low. The lower the deductible the higher the premium. Consider increase auto physical damage deductible on older vehicles.

You have more than one agent. Having two agents it not wise. Select one agent whom you believe will be best for you. Two agents can trip over each other, and you could end up un-insured.

You don’t consider the insurance cost when buying a car. The make and model of the car you purchase will have an impact on the insurance costs.

Your replacement cost value is not correct. It is very important to keep your replacement cost up to date. Replacement cost coverage will replace or rebuild your property with like kind and quality of materials.

Failure to develop a property inventory. Having an accurate inventory of your personal property can reduce stress at the time of a loss and help insure you receive 100% of what you lost.

You have coverage you do not need. There are many different types of insurance you can buy but not all are needed. For example, travel insurance, pet insurance, extended warranties and mortgage life insurance is not always needed. We have other options and recommendations, call us today.

Cancer insurance. Marketed by specialty-insurance companies, these plans supplement health insurance for cancer-care costs. Annual premiums range between $400 to $2,000 dollars. Despite their high cost, the policies may not cover outpatient care. Chances are that your existing health insurance already covers cancer expenses.

Can Life Events Impact Your Insurance?

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.

Apple Insurance Specialists is an Austin-based independent insurance agency offering a wide range of cost effective solutions to individuals, families and businesses.

Homeowner’s Insurance 

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We always ask about smoke detectors and security systems in your home. Many insurance companies offer discounts for those homeowners who have security systems. Here are few of the different kinds of security systems that can help reduce your home insurance costs.

Outside lights- Set these up on timers so they come on even when you are gone. Also, motion detecting lights are an excellent deterrent and can be installed at a low cost.Cameras are also a good deterrent.  Place cameras around outside doors and your yard. Many home improvement stores offer cost-effective products.

Alarms are always a good idea. Alarm systems that are connected to a central station will yield the best discount.

Other Home Insurance Credits

Most insurance companies offer many types of discounts for homeowners. We are committed to keeping up on all these discounts to make sure you are getting the best coverage and price. Some of these discounts can include:

Gated communities

Community security

Updates in wiring and/or plumbing

New roof

No claims

Non smokers – The No. 1 cause of home fire fatalities in the United States is smoking.   Smoking caused 16,000 residential fires in 2012, killing over 500 people and causing $376 million in residential property loss. Source- U.S. Fire Administration

Sprinklers- Many new home building codes require sprinklers. These can be expensive but will provide home insurance discounts.

 

Home Safety for the Holiday Traveler

Home Safety Tips

Many people will be traveling this holiday–in fact about 98 million according to travel experts.  After you have packed your bags and planned your itinerary, you still need to consider how to best protect your home while on vacation. But leaving home more often demands a dutiful travel safety checklist that includes precautionary measures to help keep your home safe and secure when you head out.

Remember to get a homeowner’s insurance checkup before you go.  We can help to make sure you have the best possible combination of coverage, price, and service.

If you are planning to vacation during the holidays, here are few thoughts to consider:

Get a security system.

Trim landscaping that is too close to your house.

Don’t advertise your vacation on social media.

Cancel mail and other deliveries.

Have a neighbor check on your home.

Always lock your garden sheds and garages.

Use a variable light timer to activate lights inside your home.

Lock all doors and windows.

Have adequate exterior lighting.

Never put your home address on your luggage tags. Write your phone number instead.

Set automatic timers to turn your lights and a radio on and off.

Happy Holidays!

There Are Many Ways to Get Discounts on Your Auto Insurance

Insurance Life Reimbursement Protection Concept

There Are Many Ways to Get Discounts on Your Auto Insurance

An Auto Insurance Update

Everyone likes to get the best possible combination of price and coverage on their auto insurance.  For the most part, your auto insurance is based on your driving record and the type of vehicle insured.  There are a few things you can control when it comes to purchasing auto insurance.  Many insurers offer a variety of discounts that can affect your auto insurance premium savings.  Discounts may vary from insurer to insurer.

Good student discount. For teen drivers, this can save hundreds of dollars. Typically, if your student maintains an A or B average, the discount will apply.

Multi-policy discounts. Most insurance providers offer discounts to customers who carry more than one line of insurance with them.

Drivers education courses. Many insurers offer discount if drivers have taken driver’s education courses.

Military discount. Many insurers offer discounts for military service.

Equipment discounts. If your vehicle has special safety equipment, you may be eligible for discounts.

Call our office for more information on how these discounts may apply to your situation.

Holiday Shopping Safety

Personal Insurance and Safety Update

Halloween is over and that means we are in the middle of the holiday season.  During the next 60 days, we will all be busy shopping, eating out, and traveling.  Thieves know that the police are overloaded during the holiday season, and they take full advantage it.  Burglars know that there are many expensive items in homes and cars during the holidays.

Your home or renter’s insurance will provide coverage for theft or loss if you have the coverage. Now would be a good time to call us for a free personal insurance review. Whether you are holiday shopping at the mall, online, or a little of both, keeping yourself and your personal information safe is important.  Here are a few holiday shopping safety tips:

Holiday Shopping Safety

Always be aware of your surroundings.

Lock your shopping bags in your trunk.

Never allow children to make unaccompanied trips to the restroom.

Never leave car doors unlocked or windows open.

Always park in lighted areas. DO NOT park in remote areas.

Shop with a friend.

Teach your child to go to a store clerk and ask for help in case your child is separated from you.

Avoid wearing expensive jewelry.

Keep receipts in your wallet or purse.

Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.

As you return to your car, make sure to keep your car key in your hand.

 

Home Insurance Update

Home Insurance Update

Many homeowners have experienced premium increases. Our agency works very hard to bring our clients the best possible combination of premiums, coverage and service.

What Can We Do To Help?

We are an independent agency.  This allows us to search the market for the best possible combination of premiums, coverage and service. We compare insurance company’s rates and use the competitive market to your advantage. Here are some ways to save on your premiums:

Purchase all your insure through our agency

Ask us about additional discounts

Consider increasing your deductible

Keep your home well maintained

Replace your roof, water heater and other equipment when needed

Review your policy regularly- you may not need the same kind of coverage you did a few years ago

Remember to call our office today. We will work hard for you.

Little Known Home Hazards

A Homeowners Insurance Update

We all know how to keep our home safe from fires, burglars and other major homeowner’s risks. Your homeowner’s insurance covers many different kinds of losses. Cooking, candles, and smoking are the biggest causes of house fires in the United States. However, there are a few hazards around the home that many of us don’t think about.

9volt Batteries

9volt batteries can create fire when exposed to many kinds of metal. Keep 9volt batteries stored in a plastic container.

Smoke Alarms That Are Not Working

A large percentage of homes fires go un-noticed because of smoke alarms that don’t work. A working smoke alarm can be your best defense to notify you of a fire.

Dryers

Over 20% of home fires start as a result of poorly vented or dust filled dryer vents. Check your dryer vent every time you use your dryer.

Candles

Candles left unattended are also a major cause of home fires. If you use candles, make sure they are kept away from flammable items and blow out before you leave the room.

There Are Proven Ways To Reduce Your Auto Insurance Premiums

Auto Insurance

When it comes to purchasing auto insurance, having options can be a very important way to save money. Putting money back in your pocket is one of our primary goals.  We know and understand the auto insurance market.  This allows us to provide you with the best possible combination of pricing, coverage and service.

Auto insurance rates differ from company to company, so it really pays to have us shop your insurance. Some markets offer better rates for trucks, RV and campers, while others can offer better rates for motorcycles.

How to reduce your auto premium

There are many things you can do to keep your auto rates at the lowest level possible.

  1. Review your deductibles. According to the Insurance Information Institute, raising your deductible from $200 to $500 could reduce your Collision and Comprehensive costs by 15 to 20 percent.
  2. Encourage your student driver to get the best grades possible. Most major insurance companies offer a discount for students in good academic standing.
  3. Select a safe car. Check out which cars are popular with thieves and avoid them. Also, the more expensive the car, the higher the premiums.
  4. Be a safe driver. The more accidents and tickets you have, the higher the premiums will be.
  5. Purchase a car with an alarm or LoJack. LoJack® Stolen Vehicle Recovery System provides car owners with peace of mind knowing that if their vehicle is stolen, they have the best chance of getting it back.
  6. Be loyal. Many auto insurance companies offer loyalty discounts if you stay with them over time.
  7. Check for other auto insurance discounts. These might include taking safe driver courses, senior discounts and more.

What’s Under Your Roof?

A Home Insurance Review

Have you ever stopped to think about all the things that could cause damage to your home and personal property? Probably not, but we think about your personal insurance coverage every day. Your homeowner’s insurance is designed to protect you from claims that can come from many different events. We can design a homeowner’s insurance product that fits your individual needs. Here are a few of the kinds of events that can be covered under your roof.

Damage To Your Home Can Include

Fire and smoke damage

Lightning strikes

Falling objects

Explosion

Vandalism and malicious mischief

Theft

Windstorms and hail

The weight of ice, snow or sleet

Water damage

Damage from an aircraft, car or vehicle

What is Not Covered Under Your Roof

A standard homeowner’s insurance policy will not cover; earthquake, flood, wear and tear, damage from animals, mold, acts of war, government actions, tenant damage, defective work, plus others.

Personal Property

Your homeowner’s insurance can also cover your personal belonging. This might include; cloths, furniture, and other items.

Do You Have A Leak In Your Roof?

Do you have coverage for additional living expenses if you are required to move out of your home while it is being repaired? If you own guns, art, or other collections, you may need additional coverage. Is your expensive jewelry cover while away from your home? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, call us today.