Does it matter what insurance company you do business with?

As an independent agency, we have many options and companies to work with.  Ultimately, this provides a great benefit to our customers – one advisor/professional to work with who has dozens of companies to choose from to find the best coverage and rates for you.  First, the customer needs to decide what is most important to them when choosing an insurance company.  Some factors to consider are as follows:

  1. Claims Service – Yes, different companies have different levels of claim service.  Some companies make the process very easy and provide great support during the process; however, other companies pay claims begrudgingly and can make the process painful.  This is one of our highest priorities when choosing a market for you because a successful claim settlement equals a happy customer.

  2. Price – Price is a dominant force in our industry and is usually a consumer’s top concern.  Price does matter but it is important to verify that other factors are not being omitted to create a lower price – specifically coverage (amongst others).

  3. Coverage Options – Do you have a unique risk exposure? Does the company you have your insurance with offer all the coverage you need?  These are important questions to consider when electing to place business with a company.

  4. Deductible Options – Many companies are increasing home deductibles and limiting deductible options.  If the company you’re with doesn’t have a suitable deductible for you, it may be worthwhile to ask your insurance advisor to explore other options.

  5. Size & Financial Stability – As an independent agency, we represent small, local mutual companies to Fortune 100 companies.  Size does matter – to a point.  It’s important that the company you’re with has enough capital surplus to cover any catastrophic events that may occur.  Furthermore, it’s important that the company allocates enough resources to critical functions of the company (i.e. customer service/support, claims, underwriting, etc.).  With that said, bigger does not always mean better.  We represent some regional companies that are AM Best A+ rated (financially stable) and provide good service, claims service, and pricing (if not better).

As always, it’s important to discuss these factors and any other factors that may apply to you with your insurance advisor to provide the best fit for you.  Every individual and family is different and subsequently, has different needs.  As an independent insurance agency, we feel that our flexibility and options provides a massive competitive advantage and most importantly, the best options for you.

Insurance changes for those saying “I Do” (or will be soon)!

Before you say “Yes to the Dress” – you may want to give your insurance representative a call.  It may be the last thing on your mind while you pick out colors, dresses, and flowers – but it may be the most important call you make.  Marriage changes many things – including your insurance contract – so it’s important to figure out what you need to do.  We’ll share the six most common tips for those who are planning on getting married.

  1. Schedule your engagement ring!  – The average cost of an engagement ring (according to is $5431!  What if the ring is stolen?  What if the ring is lost while washing dishes or doing lawn work?  Standard renter’s and homeowner’s insurance policies only provide coverage up to a certain amount and only for certain causes of loss.  Protect the jewelry by ‘scheduling’ the ring on your home or renters policy to provide cost-effective comprehensive coverage.

  2. Add your spouse! – Add your spouse to your policies after you are married – you may be eligible for certain discounts.  Statistics show that married people have fewer accidents than those flying solo.  Also, if you each are insured with different companies (or different policies) – you’ll most likely save money by combining your policies.

  3. Ask about a multi-vehicle discount!  – If you each own a car, you will be eligible with most companies to receive a multi-policy discount.  In some cases, it may cost the same amount to insure two vehicles as it does one!  When are insurance companies ever logical!?

  4. Ask about a multi-policy discount! – When combining insurance policies, always first check to see if it is cheaper to put all of your insurance policies with one company.  Many insurance companies offer substantial multi-policy discounts – which may save you bundles of money.

  5. Ask about an umbrella policy!  – After marriage, life tends to start moving quite quickly.  Home purchases, baby showers,  and babies all happen before you know it!  An umbrella policy is a cost effective way (around $10/month) to protect your assets from the increasing liability exposures that usually accompany marriage.

  6. Buy life insurance! – You no longer just care for yourself – you have a spouse (and possibly children) to care for and protect.  Life insurance can provide protection for a spouse in the event the unthinkable does happen.  Life insurance proceeds can be used to pay off mortgages and debts, used as replacement income, for children’s tuition, final expenses, and a myriad of other uses.  Protect those you love by purchasing life insurance.

Insurance is the last thing anyone thinks about while planning their special day; however, it is an important topic to bring up.  It’s also a great way of saving money and offsetting some of those wedding day expenditures!

Life Insurance Part One: Myths, Misconceptions, and Fallacies

Life insurance products provide an essential role in a comprehensive risk management plan:  providing financial protection to those closest to you.  Life insurance products are offered by nearly every insurance company and are widely varied in their structure, design, and purpose.  We’ll dispel a variety of myths, misconceptions, and fallacies regarding life insurance in our first part of this installment series!

Myth 1:  “I’m too old for life insurance.”

What about final expenses?  According to, the average cost of a funeral is $10,000.  The American population’s life expectancy continues to rise – which means that their nest eggs are usually exhausted and may leave the deceased party’s family responsible for final expenses.  Companies can write a policy with a death benefit as low as $10,000 (or lower).

Myth 2:  “I’m a tobacco user; therefore, I am uninsurable”.

Insurance companies continue to offer competitive rates to tobacco users – contrary to what many of our prospects believe.  Obviously, life insurance premiums are lower for non-tobacco users (another reason to quit!); but, tobacco users are able to find coverage at a reasonable rate.

Myth 3:  “I have no need for life insurance – I have my own nest egg.”

If you are proactively saving for retirement – congratulations!  It is a great first step to financial security during your golden years.  However, many unexpected events can happen between now and your retirement years.  Wouldn’t you prefer to have the peace of mind knowing that you and your family are protected?

Myth 4:  “I have been told that I’m unable to obtain life insurance”.

Good news – many companies offer what they call a simplified issue policy!  These policies are issued without any medical exams if you can answer ‘no’ to a few simple questions.  Not everyone is insurable; however, these products fill a large need for many individuals.

Myth 5:  “I am single and have no children.”

Yes, you have no direct dependents; however, that doesn’t mean life insurance would not benefit you.  Do you have a mortgage or debt?  Does anyone rely upon your income?  How will you pay for your final expenses?  Do you plan on setting aside any money for charity?  If you can answer yes to any of these questions, life insurance is beneficial to an individual risk management program and will avoid burdening any of your family members with your financial obligations.

**Important Note:  Most proceeds from a life insurance policy are not subject to probate or taxes.**

Life insurance can be utilized to serve various purposes and it’s important to determine what product fits your individual needs by discussing them with your insurance agent.  We will post part two to this installment series shortly to dismiss other misconceptions!  As always, please read policy forms for exact coverage.