Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Travel Insurance


You have planned that vacation for months. The Plane, Hotel, Car rental are all booked and paid for. But what happens when your vacation is side swiped? Most arrangements are "Nonrefundable" these days. How do you get your money back for a vacation you paid for, but never got to take?
   Travel Insurance may be that answer! You generally buy travel insurance on a per trip basis. You can buy an annual policy if you travel a great deal, but it will not include trip cancellation coverage (which can come in very handy!). You may be able to purchase travel insurance through the organization who is booking the vacation. But if you are not using a booking/travel agent, there are also online options like travelinsurance.com and squaremouth which may be easier and more affordable. You want to familiarize yourself with several types of coverage you may want, depending on your needs. 

Trip cancellation and interruption insurance 

This can be used in case of weather, natural disaster, strike, illness, traffic accident, and job reasons. It doesn't cover you if you just change your mind. But if you cannot go on the trip for some reason, this is your coverage!

Medical and Evacuation Insurance

This can be used for accident, sickness, evacuation, and pre-existing medical conditions, with hospital admission assistance. Anything can happen and it is hard when you are away from home. This will cover you if something happens while you are on vacation!

Baggage Delay, Theft and Loss Insurance

This can used for baggage delay, loss and theft, with assistance for ID protection, cash advance, and prescription replacement. Just because you can go on the vacation, doesn't mean everything will go according to plan! 

Don't let a glitch in your vacation plans cost you more than it has to!

There are three ways to request a quote for your insurance needs: 

* Visit our website
* Call Brockman Premier Insurance at 877-987-8683  

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Distracted Driving

Eyes on the Road Folks!

My high school basketball coach was my driver's ed instructor and the main thing I remember was him constantly telling us 

"Pay attention, eyes on the road!" 

Teachers don't teach driver's ed any more. We paid $400 for my oldest son to go to a Drivers ed school and $150 for my daughter to do the "Parent taught" drivers ed. (Truth be told, that one is more self taught)  Both kids drove with me in the car for hours and hours before I would turn them loose on their own. They both heard those same words many times. "Pay attention, eyes on the road!" 

What is Distracted Driving?

According to the CDC, 9 people are killed each day and 1,000 more are injured in Distracted Driving accidents. 

There are 3 types of distracted driving:

  • Visual: taking your eyes off the road;
  • Manual: taking your hands off the wheel; 
  • Cognitive: taking your mind off of driving

There are many distracted driving activities like eating, talking to passengers, changing radio stations, using your gps. The list is long. At the top of that list is Texting because it incorporates all three types; you take your eyes off the road, your hand off of the wheel and your mind off of driving. It has become an all too common issue. And did you know the 3rd highest cause of accidents due to distracted driving is watching Netflix? Seriously.

Low gas prices have encouraged more people to drive more often and longer distances.  Growing cities (and their populations which means more traffic) have added to stop and start traffic accidents. Cell phone usage (while driving) has added exponentially to distracted driving. In recent years, distracted driving has caused almost 400,000 people to be injured in car accidents annually, with over 3,000 resulting in death. 

Aside from the human life/pain factor, there are the financial factors. Both the people involved in the accidents and the carriers are affected financially by claims. So carriers penalize bad driving history since they will be the ones paying out the claims, which generally pay you much more than you have paid in insurance premium. 

I know Three great reasons to pay attention and keep your eyes on the road!
You could die.
You could kill someone else.
It is expensive.

So let's all do each other a favor and

Pay Attention and Keep Your Eyes On the Road!

There are three ways to request a quote for your insurance needs: 
* Visit our website
* Call Brockman Premier Insurance at 877-987-8683  

Monday, March 12, 2018

Vacation Home insurance

Do I Need Vacation Home Coverage?

If you are anything like me, when you go somewhere incredible on vacation , you daydream of a time when you might be able to buy a vacation home there. (I dream of a beach house AND a mountain cabin.) You won’t be there all of the time and you won’t have too much stuff there, so what kind of coverage do you really need?

 The fact that you won’t live there full time is one of the main reasons you need insurance coverage. Think about it. If no one is there, who will notice when there is a leak? Or catch a fire before it blazes out of control? What if you get burglarized? Chances are no one will be there to prevent or at least handle these situations on a timely basis. This means the damage could be much worse than it would have been if someone lived there full time and would be able to intervene on a timely basis. These are high risks you don't want to pay for on your own. 

 Many vacation homes are in rural or beach areas. Let's say you are there when one of those situations occurs, but the fire /police departments are miles away and they take 30 minutes to get there. A fire can destroy an entire home in that amount of time. A leak can destroy your entire flooring. A burglar can empty your home. These are a high risks you don't want to pay for on your own. 

   What if you rent it out or let friends/family stay there when you are not there?  Someone trips over a rug and breaks their leg. Or someone starts a fire in the kitchen and it gets out of control. You can be liable for injuries and/or damages, even if you are not there. These are high risks you don't want to pay for on your own.

   You have worked hard to buy that secondary home for your family to enjoy. If something happens you want to make sure you have adequate coverage for that vacation home, just like you do for your primary home. 

Just like your primary home insurance, there are many coverage options and many carriers to choose from. Talk to your agent and work through what you want and need in coverage. Most primary home policies will not extend much coverage to a secondary property. So you will need a separate policy for your vacation home.

There are few additional options you should consider.
Personal Umbrella Policy (PUP): This is an extra Liability policy that will pick up where your home/auto policies stop. So if you have a liability claim of $500,000 and you only have $300,000 in Liability coverage on your secondary home policy, your PUP will kick in and cover the rest. The more properties, cars and toys (boats, motorcycles...) you have, the higher the premium will be for the PUP. But the added coverage can be a financial life saver.

Fair Rental Income: If you are renting out your secondary home, I highly recommend this coverage. If the home becomes uninhabitable (therefore un-rentable) due to a covered loss, you can be paid the rents you would lose during the time it takes to repair the damage. 

Dwelling Coverge Amount: Dwelling coverage isn’t optional, but there is a little bit of wiggle room in the amount. But as I explained up above, you are more likely to have more extensive damage from a fire, leak or burglary because you are not there full time. Make sure you have enough dwelling coverage to cover a total loss. Don't go cheap because you don't use the home as often. You need complete coverage because of the lack of time you spend there. 

Also consider the fact that you may not be as familiar with the coverage needs of a different part of the country. Make sure you talk to an agent (or have your agent talk to someone) who is familiar with the possible hazards of an area that gets several inches of snow or is on/near a body of water. Especially us city folk- we need to make sure we talk to someone who is an expert on these areas. Every carrier has different options for what they will/will not cover and what type of policies they will/will not write. So I wouldn't get your heart set on "bundling" by trying to make sure your secondary home policy is with the same carrier as your primary home policy. This is not always an option. Your primary home carrier may not even write secondary homes and sometimes they won't have great rates. So be open to the quotes your agent offers you. Of course, if you are with a captive carrier, you won't have many options. (I urge you to find an independent agent and see what they have to offer!) 

There are three ways to request a quote for your insurance needs: 
* Visit our website
* Call Brockman Premier Insurance at 877-987-8683  

Monday, March 5, 2018

Spring Maintenance

Sticky Spring Maintenance  

It looks like the cold may be moving on. And Spring is moving in. What is that old saying? "April showers bring May flowers." Those showers can also cause doors and windows to stick. The cold winter has most likely caused damage to the wood. Spring rains come along and the wood swells, causing doors and windows to stick because they are no longer the right size. While this is of course irritating, the bigger issue is it can cause further damage. One of the ways you can keep your insurance rates lower is to take good care of your home. A home is disrepair is more hazardous to insure, so it will be more expensive to insure. 

What can you do for a sticky door or window?

Often this is an easy fix. Start by marking where the door or window is sticking. Start with some sand paper and sand down the area a little bit at a time until it no longer sticks. Now, don't go crazy with the sander. It is much harder to add to the dimensions of the door/window, so go slow. Often, this is all you will need to do.  But if this doesn't help, you will need to take the door or window off. Now here is where you decide if you are a Do It Yourself kind of person. If not, call an expert! If you decide to take the project on, you will start by propping the door securely on a flat surface. Use a hand plane (which can be bought at any hardware store) and remove any excess material. Start small- remember you don't want to remove too much. The door will shrink during the summer dry times and then the gap will be too wide. That won't help you much- and it will be much harder to fix! Some of you DIY lifers may want to go for that Power Plane- I would rethink that option. Usually a hand plane will be all the power you will need. (So stow your pride on this one!)
* You can often avoid the sticking in the first place by making sure you doors and windows are sealed with a good coat of paint- don't forget the top and the bottom. Just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it doesn't need protection!
   Keeping your home in good condition is a great way to keep your insurance costs down. Damage can lead to claims, which can lead to higher premiums, both with your current carrier and with other carriers when you decide to shop and possibly switch carriers. It makes no sense to pay higher premiums if you can avoid it!

There are three ways to request a quote for your insurance needs: 

* Visit our website
* Call Brockman Premier Insurance at 877-987-8683