You'll find the most common FAQ questions here. If you don't find what you're looking for, send us an email and we'll get back to you with the answer!
Don’t I get a better rate by paying once a year?
Maybe. Setting the accounts on a systematic monthly billing through your bank or financial institution is a better way to track and manage your funds. The most common issue is still the lost or misplaced check. You cannot trace an envelope sent through the general mail, and it is not worth the expense to send it certified every time. The electronic age has vastly improved the tracking of funds and you see all transactions in real time. Managing your funds monthly is also a good budgeting step for most people today.
I still do not like them taking money out of my account without my knowledge!
I have heard this comment many times by people who insist that direct deposit was the greatest improvement to checking. It is safe, accurate, on time and dependable. The reverse works for payments also. Many banks now allow you to release funds electronically for payments and you have their protection of lost funds also.
What if my bill is wrong?
There are times that due to changes, your bill will fluctuate. This is all the more reason to have an experienced agent that is responsible. Many times they know who to call and when to get items resolved. We all want to handle issues as they come up, but maneuvering through phone trees or call centers can tax anyone’s patience today. The hardest is when the call center is in a foreign country and either you or their language skills do not meet. Why deal with the hassle when you can just use your agent's staff support team?
With 24 hour claim service, why do I need an Agent?
Good question, as most companies want to direct your repair and say what parts are used, OEM or aftermarket. Body shops also are in the business to repair vehicles rather than total them. An agent can be a valuable ally to have, when both the claims department and the body shop have a different approach to your loss. The agent cannot over rule companies or force shops to do other repairs, but the relationships they have can help you when the loss is on the bubble.
I hear some companies drop you after a loss?
In all the years I have been an agent, the only time I have seen them drop a customer was for outright fraud. Unfortunately today, this accounts for a larger portion of claims than ever before. It can be both claimants and insureds who perpetuate these actions, but the bottom line is that it costs us all more money in the long run. Medical claims are the area where most questionable issues are today. Be alert and help us keep the costs of claims manageable.
Do I have to turn in every loss to my Carrier?
No, not all losses should be turned in. I have seen many minor claims drive the insured’s renewal premiums up due to frequency, and had they paid the small loss themselves, they would have been ahead money-wise. You have the right to claim a minor loss but it is not always financially beneficial to do so. On the other hand, if there is a hint of potential injury to any of the parties, make the company aware of it immediately. They have up to 3 years to present a claim.
Will I get a better rate by packaging my home, boat, cars and umbrella with one company?
In almost all cases you do get a better rate. In those few cases where the driving records or claim history is poor for one segment of coverage, breaking up the plan may work to your favor.
Why do companies use different criteria for discounts? Aren’t they all similar?
Absolutely not. Some carriers have a much deeper discount for good credit, good grades for students or even alarm systems in homes. Most consumers will never know these break points as an agent will. At times, companies who have inside sales people are not as attuned to these discounts where as a field agent makes it their business to know each company's policies and benefits.
How do I know I am getting the best deal on the internet?
Welcome to the world of internet shopping. Insurance is a commodity just like many other products, but involves a lot more time to research and obtain quotes. Some consumers are willing to spend 10-15 hours researching 8-9 companies to find maybe a $100-$200 savings the first year. Having an agent do the checking saves you time, headaches and will still get you a far greater value for your money.
Can a Company remove a discount without your permission?
It happens all the time. Having a trusted agent will help in catching these actions and even notify you of new eligible discounts that come online mid-stream. They also have mechanisms that re-price the product at renewal to sweep any new items that go online. Most companies require annual validations for many discounts. Do you want to be the watchman or your agent?
Why do I need so much insurance?
You probably don’t need it for the little things, but should have it for the major ones. In all my years of practice, I am amazed by what people value most. They often panic if their snowmobile, boat or jewelry becomes uninsured but could care less about their ability to work or earn money.
Disability coverage is the least protected item in society today with one of the highest claim occurrences for working adults in their careers. Whether it is a short term illness or injury, the loss of income for a few months can set many people back years.
Workers Compensation coverage only covers job related injuries and at 2/3rds of what the wage earner makes. It does not cover regular illnesses or accidents outside of work activities. Both these events are the lion’s share of losses in America today.
Can’t I self-insure myself?
Yes, you do this already with deductibles and coverage limits. Companies bank on the fact that a consumer will choose lower deductibles and mediocre limits because the price looks good. Whereas if the consumer is sharp, they will take a higher than normal deductible but maximize the total coverage, generally resulting in a better deal. We can all recover from the $5,000 loss over time, but the $250,000 one almost always bankrupts us; the premiums though may have been the same.