Annual Insurance Policy Review – Five Practical Tips for a better policy

The most common reasons that a policyholder and insurance agent talk after a policy is put in force aren’t always for the most positive reasons.  The conversation generally revolves around bills, payments, pricing or claims.  The conversation normally doesn’t revolve around information updates or coverage.


At American Advantage Insurance – we do our best to do an annual policy review with our policyholders to ensure that all critical information is updated and that coverage is still adequate and up to date.  However, we are human and some items do fall through the cracks.  Therefore, we encourage all policyholders – whether you are our client or not – to review their policy at least one time per year.  This ensures that you are covered properly and that you are also getting the best pricing available to you.  In 2013 – where the world treats insurance as a commodity – pricing is as important to consumers as coverage is to agents.  Here are five quick tips for your annual policy review:

  1. Verify that name, address and contact information is correct.  This eliminates the most common problems and verifies that we can contact you should we need to.
  2. Check to see that all vehicles and drivers are accurate.  Did your child turn 16 and you forget to tell your agent?  Did you purchase or dispose of a vehicle?  Is your date of birth correct?  Did a child move out of the household or enroll in college?  These are critical factors for attaining the best rate and coverage possible.
  3. Verify home address and browse the coverage.  You’re not expected to know all the coverage included in your homeowners insurance policy (that’s why we are here); but it doesn’t hurt to make sure the company has at least the correct address on the policy and that coverage does not seem unusually high or low.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions about coverage – that’s our job to answer them.  Did you put an addition on your home and didn’t tell us?  Was your basement finished this past year?  Did you buy jewelry that needs to be scheduled?  These are the most common items that need to be addressed.
  4. Verify that all ‘toys’ are insured.  Snowmobiles, ATV’s, motorcycles, boats, and bikes are all common in the state of Wisconsin.  Each company covers these items in different ways – both from a liability and physical damage perspective.  Be sure that these items are on your policy and that they are insured properly.
  5. Inform your agent of any updates to your home.  Did you install a new roof or new furnace?  Did you install deadbolt locks or an alarm system?  These are common items that policyholder’s fail to relay to their agents.  In failing to do so, you may be costing yourself some money.  Many companies have a discount for many home updates.

These are five quick and easy tips to ensure that your coverage and pricing is up to date.  This process should not take more than 10 minutes and is well worth your while.  Should you have any questions regarding your policy coverage or pricing, don’t hesitate to contact us – we’re happy to help.

Water and Sewer Back up Coverage 101

As fall approaches northeast Wisconsin, everyone needs to be aware of the risks and dangers that present themselves during our most colorful season.  Since September is a notoriously wet month, one of the most frequent insurance claims that we experience are the back of up sewer or drains.  These events may not happen often; however, almost every homeowner has experienced this mini disaster during their ownership experience.

Frequently, heavy rains may cause either drains to back up or cause a power outage – which may cause the sump pump to stop working.  That’s right – they stop working right when we rely on them the most!

Do you want to have coverage for this situation?! Be sure to check your homeowners insurance polciy for water and sewer back up coverage!

Did you know a standard homeowner’s policy specifically excludes coverage for this event?!  That leaves you responsible for any cleanup costs in addition to any damage caused by the water.  Damage is usually quite costly and many times, water or sewage usually destroys most things it comes in contact with. If you use your basement for storage or have a partially finished basement, it is imperative that you have this coverage.

Coverage limits can be purchased incrementally and usually starts at $2500 – which may not even be enough to cover the cost of removing the water or sewage from your home (but is better than not having any coverage!).  A separate deductible generally applies as well.  The additional cost varies depending on your risk factors; however, it is generally quite reasonable and is well worth the peace of mind!

As always, talk to your agent about your risk factors to determine the amount of coverage that is appropriate for you.  Also, feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.  Always read policy forms for exact coverage.

Personal Umbrella Policies – what you need to know!

At some point or another, almost everyone who has shopped their insurance has been asked if they would like an umbrella policy.  The large majority of customers or prospects that we talk to over the course of a day have no idea what a personal umbrella policy does or the coverage it provides.  However, as is the case with many of the prospects and clients we speak with, many insured’s are not taking proper measures to protect themselves and their assets.

First things first – what is a personal umbrella policy?  A personal umbrella policy provides an additional amount of liability – usually starting at $1 million – over and above what your current policies provide.  That’s right; these umbrella policies usually extend over the underlying liability limits of your other personal insurance policies – some which may include:  homeowners, autos, motorcycles, boats, rental dwellings, recreational vehicles, etc.

The first rejection that is common among our customer base is:  “Why would I need $1 million of liability coverage!?”  Many of us have much more liability exposure than we realize.  For a quick 15 question quiz to determine your liability exposure, visit .  In addition to paying any damages that you may be liable for (injury, damage to property, pain and suffering, lost wages, etc.), an insurance company will also pay for to defend you in a court of law!

Secondly, a true umbrella policy will also provide coverage that may not be available in the underlying coverage.  Normally, the insured must pay a type of deductible called a self-insured retention before this coverage will apply.

Personal umbrella policies can insure your assets and your dreams!

Umbrella policies are usually very affordable, especially when packaged with existing policies.  You may be eligible to apply discounts to your existing policies when an umbrella policy is written as well!  Most importantly, umbrella policies protect you, your family, assets, and future income!

As always, contact your local agent if you have any questions and read the policy form for exact coverage.  Usually, the underlying coverage must be maintained during the policy period in order for coverage under an umbrella policy will apply


Welcome to the blog of American Advantage Insurance, ADSI!  We are excited you are here!  Whether you are a valued customer, a prospective client, or anyone who wants to learn more about the insurance industry – you’ll find a collection of entries that pertain to you!

A little bit about us:  American Advantage Insurance, ADSI was founded in 1994 with a single goal in mind – to provide comprehensive, individualized risk management programs.  Luckily, as an independent agent we represent a wide array of insurance companies which allow that vision to be a reality.  Our agency represents over 20 insurance companies, which gives us the capability to write policies that protect your individual needs at the most competitive price.

We are a fully licensed insurance agency that is able to serve all your personal, commercial, life and health insurance needs.  We’re happy you found us and hope that you enjoy the material you’ll find in this blog.  Feel free to share any thoughts or comments below.