Avoiding Frozen Pipes

How to lower your risk for an insurance claim in the winter in IndianapolisWhen the temperatures drop in the winter, there is a possibility that your water pipes could freeze. Since water expands when it freezes, there is a chance that a pipe could burst, which could cause major damage to your home. To avoid this from happening, install frost-proof hose bibs, find and wrap exposed water pipes and keep garage doors closed.

Driving in the snow and ice

Auto accidents during the winter are often related to slick roads and driving in poor weather conditions. Whether you live in a climate that gets yearly snow and icy roads or you are traveling to a climate that does, every driver should have the knowledge for driving in these conditions.

A few things to consider:

  • If your vehicle starts to slide on the road, take your foot off the gas until you regain traction. While it can be natural to want to slam on your brakes, try not to do this.
  • Make sure your vehicle has plenty of windshield washer fluid. The last thing you want to do is run out of fluid on muddy, frozen roads and have it impact your visibility.
  • Always check weather conditions. If conditions are bad and you still have to make your trip, allow yourself extra time to get to your destination. This allows you to drive slower as well as give yourself more distance between other cards on the road.

Liability concerns regarding ice or tripping hazards in your driveway

With more people doing home delivery for groceries, gifts and other necessities during the pandemic it is important to keep your delivery area clear of hazards. Avoid being held liable for a slip and fall injury claim by keeping your driveway and stairs clear of hazards for your delivery drivers. Keep extension cords tucked safely away, make sure steps and driveways are free of ice and slippery surfaces are scrubbed clean. A huge thank you to delivery drivers everywhere.

Review your policy

Life changes, so should your insurance policy. If you need an agent to review your current insurance policy, reach out to us! There are many scenarios where an update to your insurance policy may be necessary. Items such as a kitchen remodels, a big-ticket purchase like jewelry, art, collectibles or antiques or if you are driving less to name a few. If you are shopping prices or want to change your coverage, reach out to us. We can shop all our insurance carriers and help you find a policy that suits your budget and coverage requirements. We will always explain your coverage options too.

Watching for rodents

Rodent damage isn’t always covered by your home insurance policy. Rodents are always looking for a warm place during the winter months and likely would prefer to enter your home if given the opportunity.

Here are a few tips:

  • Cover all holes and gaps in your crawlspace by checking your screens and access panels.
  • Never store food in your garage or crawlspace. Also leave your pet food in a safe place. It can be stored high on racks or in an airtight container.

If you suspect a rodent may be in your crawlspace, consider calling a professional to come out and look.

Insurance Advertising TrendsWhen did commercials become interesting and funny? Watching TV has become more about how entertaining the commercials are versus the sports we happen to be watching, like a big football game.

Advertising is big business and insurance advertising represents one of the biggest spenders. In fact, the three largest insurance companies spent a combined 1.62 billion dollars on advertising in 2019, according to statista.com.

Today, we will look at some of the trends that insurance companies have had over the past decade or so.

Market Position

One of the most common trends with insurance advertising has been insurance companies touting their size as if that is an indication of their good products. The advertisements often say they are the biggest insurer of certain products like commercial truck, motorcycle, auto or home insurance to name a few. While size is important for investors, there are many regional companies who offer great insurance products and have financial stability. As an independent insurance agent, we offer many great regional choices as well as large industry leaders so you can choose the right company for you.

Humor

There are some hilarious insurance commercials. However, it seems like the funniest ones have absolutely nothing to do with insurance! The truth of the matter is insurance is serious business, but when it comes to attracting new customers, the best commercials are the ones lacking seriousness.

Fear

Slow motion car accidents, houses burning, burglary, teen drivers killed in accidents… Insurance is meant to protect you from accidents and devastating property damage or injury. It is no wonder that some insurance commercials aim to incite fear to get consumers to act claiming they can protect you from these things. While in fact no insurance company can protect you from the dangers of driving or a devastating flood from occurring, they can however protect you from the financial losses that are incurred because of these life-altering events.

Claims Scenarios

When it comes down to it, when you purchase an insurance policy, you are paying for financial protection and claims assistance. Many insurance companies today advertise purely on the fact that they covered certain scenarios or claims that occurred. Some of these are scenarios are humorous and others are quite serious.

When it comes to your insurance, most companies you can choose will provide you with exactly what they say – insurance coverage for catastrophic events in your life. While most of us will have to endure an insurance claim at some point in our lifetimes, the best we can do for you is fit you with an insurance company that truly meets your needs the best and offers you and your family the auto, home or business insurance you require.

Chances are we offer more than one of the insurance companies you have seen on TV and we can provide you with a quote on them as well as many other great insurance companies. Contact us and we will provide several quotes for vehicle insurance, property insurance and more!

When to Update Your Home Insurance Policy in Indianapolis, INOwning a home is a great way to build wealth and give your family a place to build memories. Insuring your home correctly is important to protect your investment and your family’s well-being. Today we will go over three things to discuss with your insurance agent regarding your home insurance policy.

  1. You remodeled.

A new bathroom, a custom kitchen, hardwood floors or a new outdoor living space all add value to your home. Not only are they improving the function and livability of your space, but you have increased the replacement cost of your home. By discussing these changes with your insurance agent, they can run a replacement cost estimator and ensure that the changes you have made still fit your current policy. They can easily adjust your existing policy to ensure your new features are covered in the event of a catastrophic loss to your home.

  1. You changed mortgage companies

Do you ever wonder why you never see an actual bill for your home insurance? It is likely because your mortgagee is paying it. Homes that are financed are required to carry insurance, which is why your mortgage company pays the bill, then includes it in your monthly mortgage payment (typically listed as “escrow” on your bill). If you change mortgage companies, be sure to contact your insurance agent and let them know who the new company is. This way, your home insurance company will not have a skipped payment. Insuring your largest investment is serious business and a lapse in coverage can be catastrophic. If you refinance or receive a notice that the lender is changing, send a quick email to your agent informing them of the change.

  1. Your home insurance premium seems out of line

If it has been a while since you shopped your home insurance, you may be wondering if your current home insurance company is the most cost-effective solution and that the coverages you originally had are still the best for you. Because we are an independent insurance agency, we represent many of the top-rated insurance companies. We can compare coverages, pricing, and deductibles side-by-side so you can review what you have now and what other companies offer. This way, you know your asset is properly insured with the right coverage for you. Nothing you do not need and certainly everything you do need!

A home insurance review can take just a few minutes of your time but save you a huge headache down the road. If you would like to review your coverage with one of our agents, simply call and schedule a time. We might even have a new company who offers specialized coverages that would suite your needs better at this time.

Tips for Truckers to Stay Healthy on The RoadMaintaining a healthy lifestyle, especially during these challenging times with the COVID-19 pandemic, is very important for every truck driver in America. Here are four ways to stay healthy on the road.

  • Choose More Nutrient Dense Meals

There are a few ways to do this.

First, start packing your own meals.

Packing your own meals will not only save you time and money, but it can also help save you calories. Instead of focusing on what not to eat, focus on what you should eat more of. Food choices such as vegetables, fruit and other higher fiber snacks and meals is a great start. Want to pack your own meals? Consider buying a cooler that acts as a refrigerator for your truck. All you have to do is simply plug it into the accessory plug.

If you are dining out, consider choosing meals that are vegetable dense. Skip the fried food if you can or look up the calories on a restaurant’s website. All these things can help.

Again, instead of focusing on what not to eat, focus on eating what you should be eating more of. So, if you have the mindset of eating as many vegetables, fruit and other higher fiber meals, you are off to a great start.

  • Move Your Body

Driving = sitting for hours and hours on end. Many truck drivers may experience easy weight gain from lack of movement as well as high calorie food choices. So, find a way to move your body as much as you can. Ideas: dedicate 30 minutes of walking, make a habit of doing body weight strength exercises such as pushups or squats outside of your truck, or even find time to hit the gym. Any effort in moving your body is positive.

  • Follow Good Hand Hygiene

We all know the importance of good hand hygiene with the COVID-19 pandemic. Wash your hands often, but also wash your hands well. Experts say washing your hands for 20+ seconds and thoroughly washing between your fingers, on top of your hands or scrubbing the tips of your fingers is all beneficially.

  • Get Quality Sleep

There are many ways to get quality sleep, but the first step is making sleep a priority. Shoot for 7 hours a night. How can you get good, restful sleep? Create a dark environment, consider a white noise machine or wear ear plugs to block out noise, limit caffeine intake 5 hours before bedtime, limit or avoid nicotine and other stimulants and lastly, make sure you have a good pillow!

While we can’t keep you healthy or make your lunch, we can find you a great rate on truck insurance. Contact our agency for a quote with our top carriers to help you find the best rate. Contact us by calling us, emailing us or filling out a quote form through our website. We look forward to earning your business!

How to lower your risk for a deer collisionDid you know that there is an increased chance of hitting a deer from October to December? Yes, this is considered deer season so it’s important to keep an extra eye out for deer this time of year.

Being informed is key to staying safe on the road. We’ll go over a few things to help lower your chances of hitting wildlife while driving this time of year.

When Should You Be Most Alert?

While wildlife can show up any time, you should be extra cautious around dawn and dusk when animals are most active. If you are driving on the highway or even in rural areas, keep a close eye on each side of the road since that is where many animals will be. If you are driving with someone in the car, ask your passenger to help you watch out for wildlife.

If an Animal Jumps Out in Front of You, Should You Swerve or Brake?

Always hit the brakes. While it is natural to want to swerve to avoid hitting the animal, you will want to hit the brakes, hold onto the wheel and stay in your lane as best as you can. Swerving while driving fast can increase your risk for an injury or car accident.

If I do hit an animal, am I covered?

First, you will need to know a few details of your current auto insurance coverage. Comprehensive and collision insurance can provide you with insurance coverage. Comprehensive insurance covers your vehicle when you make contact with an animal while driving. It is important to keep in mind, however, that if you decided to swerve, missed the deer or animal and strike a tree then you could be covered by collision insurance on your auto policy. Because every insurance carrier is different, their claims department will handle it with the coverage they feel is most fitting to the situation.

Interesting fact

What states have shown the most auto insurance claims for deer or wildlife collisions? West Virginia, Iowa and Pennsylvania had the highest November claim frequency according to Highway Loss Data Institute.

If you have questions about your current auto or vehicle insurance coverage, reach out to our agency. We can go over your current coverage, re-quote you for a better rate, or simply answer any questions you have about auto insurance.

Why You Should Maintain Your Insurance Year Round For Your Boat, RV or Motorcycle in Indianapolis, Indiana It is a sad time of year when we have to say goodbye to long warm summer nights and hello to more moderate weather and shorter days. But, the good news is pumpkin lattes are out again.

With fewer boat, motorcycle or road trips in the RV happening in the fall and winter months, many wonder if they need to maintain insurance on these vehicles when they aren’t being driven. There are many different scenarios that warrant keeping these vehicles insured year-round so let’s take a closer look at these.

Weather Related Damages: Weather is especially nasty in the winter months so keeping your boat protected from covered weather-related damages is important. Even when stored, lightning, wind and hail can occur.

Physical Damages: It seems strange that you may be subjected to a property claim when your vehicle is not being used. However, take this simple example: You have a house party and someone wants to sit on your bike. During which, they accidentally knock it over denting your custom painted tank and scratching the paint. Your home insurance will not cover this.

Theft & Vandalism: If someone decides to steal your boat, motorcycle or RV in the winter months, you need coverage to cover the loss. Thefts occur everywhere, so even if in a secured area, vandalism can occur. Unfortunately, thieves don’t mind bad weather.

Fire: If your boat, motorcycle or RV is stored in your home or garage and there is a fire, your home insurance will not pay for damages to your vehicle. Instead, you will need a comprehensive insurance policy to cover these damages.

Financing: If you finance your boat, motorcycle or RV, your lienholder will require you to maintain insurance to protect the investment.

Multi-policy discounts: If you insure your boat, motorcycle or RV with your home or auto insurance company, you may be eligible for multi-policy discounts. By removing your insurance on your vehicle, you will raise the cost of your other policies.

Owning a boat, motorcycle or RV is a great experience for most. Don’t turn the joy of boat, motorcycle or RV ownership into a nightmare by trying to cut your insurance costs in the off-season. Protect your vehicle year-round and enjoy greater discounts on your other insurance products by bundling them together. For a quote on your insurance, give us a call. We represent the best insurance companies and can quote you different coverages, rates and apply for special discounts.

Best Place to Find an Insurance Policy in Indianapolis, IndianaIt isn’t uncommon for people to type into a Google search bar, “best place to find car insurance” or “best insurance rate.” There are many ways to purchase an insurance policy but there are countless benefits of buying from an independent agent.

As an independent insurance agency, we want to explain why buying your insurance policy through a company like ours is always the best option.

First and foremost: Choice. 

We represent multiple, top-rated insurance companies. Some great local ones as well as some nationally recognized names. This means you get the best coverage and pricing from many of the best companies in your state. Our licensed agents will search our network of great companies to find you the best rate and coverage on your car, home, business, or life insurance policy! One call to us can save you hours of time.

Secondly: Options.

We can discuss what coverage options we feel would be best for your specific needs. We can explain what happens when you have specific coverage options vs. not having the coverage options. We can shop your deductible and let you choose a lower or higher and show you the differences in your premium all with the click of a mouse. With this information you can make the choice on what works best for you. We always want to make sure you fully understand your options so you can make an informed choice on your insurance policy.

Thirdly: More discounts.

Being an independent insurance agent, we also will search for available discounts. Whether it is bundling multiple policies together or finding other ways to save you money, we understand saving money is important to all of our customers. We take pride in finding you discounts! If you are unhappy with your insurance price at renewal time, let us requote you with one of our other carriers.

Lastly, we’re local!

We work and live in your community. We are always a quick phone call or email away. If you need to add a vehicle, remove a vehicle, get a quick quote on a motorcycle or boat you’re interested in buying, or want to add umbrella insurance, we can help. You can get this information over the phone or we can email you options for you to review at your convenience.

Insurance can be confusing which is why the best place to find an insurance policy is through an independent insurance agent. We will answer your questions, provide you with many coverage choices and will find ways to make your insurance coverage affordable. Contact us by calling our office, requesting a quote through our website or simply emailing us.

Commercial Auto Insurance Agent Indianapolis, INWhen many people think of a commercial auto insurance policy, they may think of big vehicles such as semi-trucks, box trucks, garbage trucks, etc. However, there are many variations of vehicles that would qualify for a commercial auto insurance policy.

How to Determine If You Need a Commercial Auto Insurance Policy

If you are using your vehicle or your employer’s vehicle for business purposes, you need a commercial auto insurance policy or endorsement. For instance, many people are working in the gig economy in jobs such as delivering food with your own vehicle or doing rideshare. It is important you have the right insurance coverage. If you do get into an accident where you are making a food delivery and damage your vehicle or someone else’s property, your standard personal car insurance policy will likely not cover you. Contact our agents with any questions you may have.

Here is a quick reference to help you determine if you need a commercial auto insurance policy:

  1. Using your vehicle to carry business equipment
  2. Freight transportation
  3. Towing vehicles
  4. Delivering food or goods (Amazon drivers, food delivery drivers, newspaper delivery)
  5. Using your vehicle to chauffeur people (Uber or Lyft Drivers, taxi service)
  6. Transporting material

How Is A Commercial Auto Insurance Policy Different Than My Personal Auto Insurance?

Since your vehicle is being used for business purposes, there are different risks that need to be insured. Additionally, the rating system used by companies is entirely different than a personal auto policy.  Each commercial policy needs vary, so have a discussion with your agent to discuss your specific policy limits. For business owners with many vehicles to insure, business auto fleet policies are available. Additionally, consider adding a commercial umbrella policy above and beyond your standard commercial auto policy to protect your business from a catastrophic vehicle accident claim.

How Much Does Commercial Auto Insurance Cost?

Just like your personal auto insurance policy, a commercial auto insurance policy is rated on many factors. Here are a few common examples of what could determine your insurance rate.

  • Driving records
  • Driver age
  • Credit history
  • The size & type of your vehicle
  • The number of vehicles you are insuring
  • What you plan to transport

Not Sure What Kind of Coverage You Need for Your Business?

That is where we can help.  Our agents can help determine what type of coverage will be the best fit for your specific needs. If you plan to use your vehicle for business and personal purposes, we can help you determine an appropriate type of policy. If you are only looking to cover your vehicle for business use, we can help find you the best rate. We will explain all of your options so you understand your policy. Get a free commercial auto insurance quote by calling or emailing us.

Home Insurance Agent Indianapolis, INMany people have used the COVID-19 pandemic to assess their current living situation. Whether it is finally getting to those home improvement projects, getting out in your yard or garden. Others felt inspired to make some major renovations to their homes. If you fall into this category, clearly you are not the only one making changes as you stood in line outside The Home Depot, Lowes or your local home & garden department store.

If you have made some significant updates to your home this year, it’s important to relay this information to your insurance agent.

Review the scenarios below and reach out to us if you have made any of the following changes:

  • Updated your kitchen or bathroom
  • Added square footage to your home
  • Built a detached structure such as a shop, garage or office
  • Made energy efficient improvements such as solar panels on your roof

Why Do I Need to Share This Information With My Agent?

Any major update you make to your home can impact the current value of your home. If you ever have to experience a home insurance claim, your insurance carrier has an idea how much it will cost to replace what has been damaged. As your agent, we want to make sure your home has an accurate value for your home insurance policy so you can be reimbursed at the appropriate value.

Has COVID-19 caused long term changes to your lifestyle?

With some major companies extending a work from home approach into the fall season or even the remainder of the year, some people may consider finding a way to work from home permanently. If this applies to you, you may want to create a designated home office to work from. Learn how to work from home effectively here.

If you are a small business owner who now is looking to work permanently from home, be sure to let your agent know. Some changes to your home insurance policy may be necessary.

If You Plan To Drive Less, Reach Out To Your Agent

Some people who mainly used their car to commute to and from work, may be finding they are barely using their vehicle. Reach out to your insurance agent to see if can qualify for any auto insurance discounts. Some insurance carriers can provide a discount to individuals who drive less than 10,000 miles a year.

Classic Car Insurance Indianapolis, INIf you are the lucky owner of a classic car, you can appreciate the uniqueness of the vehicle as well as cherish the nostalgia of owning it.

Classic car owners invest in classics for countless reasons. Some, purely because they like older cars versus new ones, others because they want it as an investment.  Regardless of why you choose to have a classic or antique vehicle, we’ll take you through what you need to know and understand about your insurance.

Classic Car Insurance – The basics.

Classic Car Insurance is different from a typical auto insurance policy because its premium is derived from being driven primarily on occasion, not as a daily driver. Some insurance companies specialize in insuring just classic cars and will ask you how often you drive the vehicle and how many miles per year you plan to put on it.

If you plan to use your vehicle for daily driving, you’re probably better off getting a normal auto insurance policy. In fact, many carriers will require that this be a secondary or occasional use vehicle in order to get a policy.

Classic Car Insurance – The Coverage

The biggest difference between a classic car policy and a standard car insurance policy is Agreed Value. Many carriers offer Agreed Value meaning you both “agree” on a value for the vehicle. For instance, if you have a 1965 Mustang, you can choose to insure it for $25,000. The insurance company then produces a price based off of your value. This Agreed Value is typically based off of the cars condition, improvements and other modifications or restorations. Not all 1965 Mustangs are worth $25,000 so your values can vary.

What Cars Qualify as “Classics?”

The definition of a Classic is constantly changing. In fact, some more modern vehicles may be considered classics because they’re “Day One Editions” or other limited production runs. The typical “20 years” doesn’t really apply anymore because not many model year 2000 vehicles are really classics. Your agent can help assist you in finding a policy that’s the right fit.

How Much Is Classic Car Insurance?

Classic Car Insurance is typically less expensive than the standard auto insurance policy. Because the vehicle isn’t driven every day and often time requires that the vehicle be stored inside of a garage – protected.

To find out what coverage might be right for your vehicle or to see if you qualify for a Classic Car Insurance Policy, contact our insurance agency. Our agents can help you identify savings as well as ensure you get the right coverage for your classic auto.