Voice recording within WordPress

Be prepared.
Be consistent.
Consider positioning.
Focus only on the task at hand.

These are the four components that I have struggled with. I believe when you keep these four things in mind you are on your way to success. I believe that when you you do not keep these four things in mind then success could be within grasp but still out of reach.

Life without preparation, consistency,  focus and lastly and perhaps most importantly an awareness of the position you will be put in will make the road to success more difficult.

Should a Couple Combine Auto Policies

Yes, absolutely.

That is, if it makes sense financially. If your new spouse or significant other has 3 accidents and a DUI and you have a clean Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) than no, don’t combine them. But the insurance companies are pretty smart, they eventually will find out your mate resides in the same house as you and will force you to add them to your policy.

If both people have a clean record then there is a very good chance your insurance costs will be much less if you combine your policies.20130101-122626.jpg

I was just working with a man who we thought was single and living alone. It’s one of those Insured ‘s who we don’t talk to all that much, he pays his bill in full every 6-months and there is rarely an issue. I called him to see if he was interested in a renters policy. I was then informed that he is married and that his wife is insured through State Farm.

Discounts he is missing out on.

  1. Married Discount. This could be as high as 5-10%
  2. Multi-Car Discount. This is another 10-15%
  3. Multi Policy Discount. If his wife has a renters policy or if he had one than both policies would be less. (If either him or his wife owned a home than this discount would be even bigger, plus the auto policy would be less because you owned a home regardless of if you had the policies combined)
  4. Depending on his wife’s credit score, he could get a lower rate if she is in better shape financially.

I told our insured that it was in his best interest to take his information to State Farm and have them quote her policy to add him and his car. He should also provide me with her information so we can quote his carrier as well as all the other carriers we represent to see which carrier is giving the best rate.

Some people don’t want to combine polices and that is fine. But for those that are not against bringing their policies together and are interested in saving money, then a quote to combine policies could be a way to save a decent amount of money.

Are you living with someone or even married but don’t have a combined auto policy? Could you save money by combining them?

;

Keith Laskey

RBA/The Laskey Group

610-948-4830

Coverage Recommendations on a PA Auto Insurance Policy

Most of the people I speak to day in and day out do not know their coverage limits on their auto policy.  Worse yet, they don’t know the difference in price if they were to increase their limits of liability or decrease their deductibles.  This post provides a general idea as to where to start in terms of getting a quote for a new policy.

I recommend higher liability limits.  Especially if you own a home.  If you own a home I recommend the highest liability limits PLUS an umbrella policy (excess liability policy).

Below are the Coverages available and/or required for an auto policy in PA followed by the least amount of coverage that I recommend.

  1. Bodily Injury Coverage limits ($100,000/300,000)
  2. Property Damage Coverage limits ($100,000)
  3. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage ($100,000/300,000)
  4. Tort Option (some states do not require this, PA does) (Personal Decision although the majority of people have Limited Tort)
  5. Personal Injury Protection (PIP)–Medical (10K), Funeral Benefit($1,500/15,000), Death ($25,000) Loss of Wages $2,500)
  6. Physical Damage Coverage–Comp ($100), Collision ($500), Rental ($40/1200), Towing ($75)
Do you have enough coverage on your policy to cover this accident?

Do you have enough coverage on your policy to cover this accident?

Regarding Physical Damage coverage.  If you have 1 or 2 more cars than drivers than I don’t think you need Rental Coverage.  Also, if you have AAA, then you probably don’t need Towing.  There is no sense in having a higher comp deductible as the price difference doesn’t make it worth it.  Same thing with Collision Coverage.  Of course if you are a mechanic than perhaps the higher deductibles would make sense.

Your Medical coverage will pay first in the event that you are injured as a result of an auto accident.  It doesn’t matter if you are driving, a passenger…a pedestrian that is struck by a vehicle.  If you are injured due to an automobile in any way, shape or form than your Auto insurance Medical coverage will pay FIRST.

In PA, you must decide whether or not you want Limited or Full Tort.  Full Tort is about 20-25% more expensive.  It enables you to sue for everything under the sun if you are involved in a Not-At-Fault accident.  It does not mean you will be rewarded, it just allows you to sue for more than you could if you had Limited Tort.

It is best to discuss your coverage amounts with your agent to make sure you are selecting the appropriate amounts.  My thoughts are you should start with the above recommendations and go from there depending on your situation.

Have you reviewed your coverages lately?

Keith Laskey

RBA/The Laskey Group

610-948-4830

Should I increase my Homeowners Deductible

Yes, do what I did.  I went from a $250 deductible to $1000!

Increase it.  Do it today.  You’ll save about $75-100, maybe as much as $130 or $140.  It depends on so many factors so it’s impossible to say exactly what the savings will be until your agent actually quotes it for you.

If your deductible is already $1000 then see what the next lowest amount is and get a quote.

Oh wait!!!  Did I mention what happened to us a week after we increased our deductible?  We had a claim.  It was probably my fault.  I say that because I was the last one to touch the dishwasher.  I started it before bed, came down the next morning and the floor was buckled.  At first I thought my dog had gone to the bathroom but after smelling the floor I ruled that out.  Water had leaked out of the dishwasher and down in the basement.

Poor little guy gets blamed for everything!

Damage to the kitchen floor, the cabinets, the basement ceiling… What a mess.  Travelers paid for it, well all but $1000 that is.

So why would I recommend you increasing your deductible if this happened to me?

My father in law is handy.  He can do most things in regards to home repair.  He can’t remove and replace cabinets but he can certainly take care of the basement ceiling, the painting in the kitchen and some other things.  Plus we shopped around and found a few good deals and were able to upgrade to a tile floor as well as a tile back splash above our new custom built cabinets.

So if you are handy at all or if you have a good reliable person that is handy, you should definitely consider increasing your deductible.  When you have a homeowners claim, there are ways you can be creative and find that you are not out the increased amount of the deductible.

A second reason an increase makes sense is that if you have not had a claim in a while or ever, you are most likely getting a Loss Free Discount.  This discount can be very high, I’ve seen it as high as $400.  If you file a claim, you will lose this discount for at least 3 years, maybe 5.  So if your Loss Free Discount is $250 and you lose it for 5 years, that means that YOU will pay$1250 for your claim PLUS your deductible.

In order for it to make sense to file a claim, the estimate for your damages needs to be at least this amount.  Otherwise you are better off just paying out of pocket for the repairs.

I know, it’s not fair.  You have been paying for insurance for years.  Why can’t you use it when you need it?  Well, unfortunately, that is the way that it is.  Insurance is meant for sudden and accidental events in which there is significant damage.  This is the approach that we need to have going forward.

Have you asked your agent for a quote to increase your homeowners deductible?

Keith Laskey

RBA/The Laskey Group

610-948-4830 (O)

Why does my insurance agent need to inspect the exterior of my home?

Trust.

That is what I sell. Trust.

I have a license to sell insurance. But what I really want to sell is trust. I want you to trust that I have your best interest in mind, not mine. I have a wife and two kids. I have 2 jobs. I could use some extra income. But I am not going to sell you something that you don’t need or something that will cause you a massive headache down the road.

What the heck am I talking about?

Suppose you call an insurance agent for a quote. You give the agent all the details of your house. The agent gives you a quote that knocks you off your feet! You sign, pay and go on your way with your brand new policy. Life is good.

A few weeks later you get a call from the insurance company (not the agent) telling you they are going to inspect your home. It’s more common that you realize. Seven out of 10 new homeowners policies we write are inspected. The inspector comes out, measures, snaps photos and goes back to the company with a report. About a week later you get a letter indicating your coverage is going to increase and your policy will cancel if you don’t install a hand rail on those 3 steps that have been there for 30 years. Your new policy is now going to cost you $300. Welcome to the agency!!

That’s why we inspect your property. Because we know what we’re looking for. Because we know that the rate may be lower but it could cost you time, money and a lot of aggravation if you switch policies.

Anytime we write a homeowners policy we use the same process. We gather information, plug the info into a cost estimator program to determine the appropriate amount of coverage and inspect the property. The agent property inspections are important to make sure the information we have on the house is accurate as well as to make sure there are no issues if and when the company inspects the property.

So if an agent wants to inspect the exterior of your home, tell him yes please.  It’s in your best interest.  If you don’t trust that your agent has your best interest in mind than start looking for a new agent immediately.

Because more than price, you should choose your insurance agent based on trust.

Keith Laskey

Do you need Collision/Comprehenisve Coverage

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COLLISION COVERAGE

If you have a loan or a lease on your vehicle than yes, you need comp and collision coverage.

If you do not have a loan or lease on your vehicle than no, you do not need comp or collision coverage.

Simple as that.

When should you start to consider to remove collision coverage? When it is 10 years old. That is generally the time that people start to consider removing Collision. Now if your grandmom has a 2001 Camry with 50K miles on it than NO! DO NOT DELETE Collision coverage. Every situation is different.

I would recommend using the Kelly Blue Book to determine the value of your vehicle. From there, review your policy and see how much your collision coverage cost. A good rule of thumb is that the cost of collision should not be more than 10% of the value of your car.

COMPREHENSIVE Coverage (AKA Other Than Collision)

Comp is a little bit different. The 3 most common situations where a person needs comprehensive coverage….

1. You hit a deer. Fathers, especially fathers who are Insurance Agents, tell their kids to hit the deer (comp claim), not the tree (Collision Claim). A comp deductible is almost always less than the collision deductible. It will NEVER be more. So, if you are in a situation where you can either hit a deer or a tree…hit the deer. Having said that I am an animal lover and would never blame anyone for hitting the tree. Of course I’m a tree hugger too….

2. A rock hits your windshield. This WILL happen to you. Just hope when it does that it causes a crack less than the size of a quarter. Generally speaking a crack or chip that small can be repaired. And best of all there is no charge!! That’s assuming you have comp coverage of course. If it can not be repaired than a replacement will be done. Most windshield replacement companies will come to you at work, home, the pub. Wherever you are, they will go. If they don’t than find a different company.

3. Trees! That’s right, trees. If a tree falls onto your vehicle there is no coverage from your Homeowners Policy. Trees destroy homes, imagine what they can do to your car! Now imagine it is your neighbors tree. He’s not liable. It’s all on you.

You should have a comp deductible of $100 or less. It doesn’t make sense to have a higher deductible. Comprehensive coverage provides tremendous bang for your buck.

BOTTOM LINE

Keep comp and collision on as long as you can. But be smart, if the value of your car has diminished and the coverage is expensive, consider removing collision.

Any questions…call me.

Keith Laskey
RBA/The Laskey Group
610-948-4830
Krlaskey@ronblackagency.com