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Why is Life Insurance So Important  

Everyone should have life insurance, no matter their age or health. It is because life insurance can provide financial support to your loved ones in the event of your death. No one knows when their time will come, so have life insurance in place in case something happens.  

 

Different Types of Life Insurance  

There are many types of life insurance policies available to meet your needs. One common type is term life insurance, which provides coverage for a specific period, such as 10 or 20 years. Another option is whole life insurance, which covers your entire life. It can be a good choice if you want the security of knowing that your family is taken care of financially after you pass. There are also Universal and Variable life policies available, which offer more flexibility than whole life insurance but can be more expensive. 

 

Have Peace of Mind  

No one likes to think about their mortality, but it’s important to consider. A life insurance policy can help provide peace of mind for you and your loved ones by ensuring that they are taken care of financially in the event of your death. While no amount of money can replace a loved one, a life insurance policy can help to ease the financial burden that is placed on your family. In addition, a life insurance policy can also be used as a source of collateral for loans or other financial obligations. As such, a life insurance policy can provide peace of mind in multiple ways. Whether you’re looking to protect your loved ones or secure financial stability in the event of your death, a life insurance policy is worth considering.  

 

Compare Available Rates  

Insurance is one of those necessary expenses that most people would rather not think about. However, when it’s time to purchase a policy, it’s important to research and compare rates from different companies. Several factors can affect the cost of insurance, including the type of coverage you need, the amount of coverage you want, and the deductible you are willing to pay. By shopping around and comparing rates, you can be sure to get the best possible deal on your insurance policy.  

 

Understand Your Policy  

When you’re shopping for insurance, it’s important to read the fine print and make sure you understand all the terms and conditions of the policy. Insurance policies can be complex, and if you don’t understand them, you could end up paying more than you need to. For example, some policies have deductibles that you will have to pay before the insurer will cover any costs. Other policies may have exclusions that mean they won’t cover certain types of damages. And some policies may have limits on how much they will pay out for certain types of claims. So, before you buy an insurance policy, make sure you take the time to read the entire policy and understand all the terms and conditions. That way, you can be sure you’re getting the coverage you need at a price you can afford.  

 

Contact An Agent  

Choosing the right life insurance policy is an important decision. There are many factors to consider, such as the needs of your beneficiaries and the type of coverage that best meets your needs. An insurance agent can help you to understand the different options and make the best choice for your situation.  

When you contact an insurance agent, be sure to have some basic information ready, such as your age, health history, and the amount of coverage you are interested in. The agent will likely ask you some questions about your lifestyle and financial situation. They will use this information to determine which policy would be the best fit for you. If you have any questions about life insurance policies, be sure to contact an insurance agent. They can help you to understand the different options and choose the best policy for your needs.  

If you have any questions about life insurance policies, contact one of our insurance agents for more information. 

How Your Financial History Affects Purchasing a Home

If you’re a potential homebuyer, you’re most likely applying for a home mortgage. A mortgage is a loan you use to purchase a property that you repay (with interest) over time. A loan provider may seize the house if you fail to pay your loan. Many things factor into whether or not you can obtain a mortgage. A loan provider could reject your application for many reasons, including: 

  

1)You Failed Their Credit Check.   

Any potential lenders will run a credit check. You will need their minimum credit score, which can change depending on how much money you plan on your down payment. The higher your credit score is, the better. Different lenders may require varying credit scores, but you may have a higher interest rate if your credit score is lower.   

Being late (more than 90 days) on a payment makes your credit score lower. Make sure you are at least making the minimum payment on your credit cards or other loans (like a personal loan or a student loan) that you may have.  

Don’t open too many accounts at once. It may seem tempting at stores that offer a line of credit for their goods! However, opening too many credit accounts can lower your credit rating. It also shows lenders that you rely too heavily on credit. Only open a new account every so often to show that you’re not an irresponsible borrower.   

  

2)There Are Black Marks in Your Credit History.  

Black marks in your credit history are an immediate red flag to lenders. It shows that you missed a payment. It may also signify other things like bankruptcy, prior foreclosure, collections, or civil judgment (ruling against you in court that requires you to pay for damages).   

As long as you make your minimum payment, you should be able to avoid black marks on your credit history. Set a reminder, so you know to make your payments on time. Consider talking with your bank about scheduling recurring payments, so you don’t have to worry about missing a deadline!   

  

3)Your Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI) Is Too High.  

Loan providers will check your debt-to-income ratio to ensure you’ll be able to pay your monthly mortgage payment. What’s a debt-to-income ratio? Divide your debt (monthly payments) by your total monthly income. There are two different types of DTI: front-end and back-end.   

Front-end factors in your total housing cost and divides it by your monthly income. The back end takes all your monthly payments and divides them by your monthly income. Many home mortgage lenders want your front-end income ratio to be less than 28% and your back-end income ratio to be less than 36%. It tells them whether or not you are smart with your money! Spending too much money is a red flag to home lenders, and lenders may think you won’t be able to make your monthly payment.   

  

If you think you may not qualify for a home loan, consider improving your credit score. Even if you qualify for one loan, it may be better to wait a year or two and raise your credit score, so you can have more options with lower interest rates. Waiting may seem like a waste of time, but it may save you a lot of money in the long run! 

 

Let’s Get Hitched! Wedding and Special Event Insurance  

Special events are exciting—and nerve-wracking—occasions to plan. There are a lot of details to go through when planning the perfect event, but make sure you don’t forget about your special event insurance! You’re going to need a special event insurance policy for the occasion, and your venue may also require you to carry it for the duration of the event.   

Examples of events that may require special event insurance include conferences, high school proms, family or school reunions, galas, and weddings. Generally, special events such as these cannot be covered under commercial general liability or homeowners’ liability (if held at the house) due to the nature of the event.   

Special event insurance provides liability coverage during the specified time frame of the event or the entire day if necessary (for set-up/take-down). Here’s more information you may need to know about special event insurance:   

  

Why Do You Need Special Event Insurance?   

Most venues will require you to have it (even if they have their insurance). There are risks involved with just about everything—and plenty could go wrong. The big two concerns are cancellations and liability. Cancellations can happen from unforeseen circumstances like bad weather, family and medical emergencies, and more.   

Liability is the number one reason to purchase special event insurance. Anything can happen, so you should be prepared for it. For example, a guest could trip over an extension cord and break something and sue; an attendee could damage something in the facility; the venue could even catch fire! There are many ways an event may go wrong.  

  

What is Covered Under Special Event Insurance?  

You likely don’t need all of these coverages depending on the event you are hosting. You can pick and choose what you need for your special event. This is why you should know all the details of your event, or at least what you’re planning on having, before purchasing a special event insurance plan.   

Bodily injury pays for an injured guest’s medical bills (if injured at the event). If the guest sues, the insurance will help cover the legal defense.   

Property damage covers the cost of repairs if the venue is damaged in any way.   

Rental coverage covers the equipment or rentals used at the event. This could include tables, chairs, lights, etc.   

Cancellation coverage protects the investments put into the event. Sometimes cancellations can occur due to natural disasters, a global pandemic, or the bride and groom splitting up before the wedding!   

Liquor liability is a must if you choose to serve alcohol at the event. If a bodily injury occurs or property damage incurs as a result of alcohol, then this will help cover the cost of repairs.   

Automobile liability is ideal if you rent, lease, or hire drivers that need protection. You may also need this coverage if you are planning on having attendees use golf carts or all-terrain vehicles.   

Worker’s compensation insurance is ideal if you hire workers like a catering company to serve food for the event.   

  

Contact an Agent  

Special event insurance can help protect your event from the unexpected. Contact an agent to learn more about how special event insurance will work for your event.   

   

 

How to Prevent Deer-Related Auto Accidents  

Fall is mating season for deer, so you may see more deer around the next few months. As they travel around more looking for food and mates, you are at a higher risk of hitting one on the road. Take precautions this fall and look for deer on the road. Following these steps may keep you safer and prepared for if you come across a deer on the road:   

  

Drive Defensively  

Deer-related accidents can be expensive. Hitting a deer can total your car or warrant extensive repairs. Not only does hitting deer damage your car, but it can also seriously injure yourself, your passengers, and others on the road.  

Deer are most active at dusk and dawn, so be careful when driving during these times. Drive slower during these peak deer hours. Driving slow gives you more time to react to your surroundings. You also have reduced visibility during these times, so slower is always better.   

You can use your high beams if you are the only car on the road. If you see an oncoming vehicle, turn off your high beams! Your high beams, also known as the “brights,” will give you about double the visibility of your normal headlights. They will help you see far enough head and give you extra time to react to deer on the road or on the side of the road. 

  

Be Aware of Deer Crossing Zones  

You’ll most likely see a sign where there are known high-traffic deer areas. These warning signs are there for a reason! If you see a yellow sign with an image of a deer, that is a deer crossing sign. These let you know that deer frequently travel across the road. The signs exist because of previous accidents, sightings, or a high deer population. When you see a deer crossing sign, slow down and keep your eyes peeled.   

Deer follow their instinct to find food and mates. Over time they may grow used to the roads and the traffic noise. Deer have often been spotted grazing in fields or on the side of roads or highways in rural areas. Have you ever heard the phrase “like a deer in the headlights?” They tend to get scared and freeze in the middle of the road.  

  

Stay In Your Lane  

Scared deer may become confused and run towards oncoming traffic rather than away from it. This is why you should look out for deer—they may jump out of nowhere. Even if you see a deer jump out of nowhere, you must stay in your lane and use your brakes.   

Most fatal car accidents don’t happen with the deer, but because the driver swerves away. There’s a possibility the driver will swerve into oncoming traffic or off the road. Swerving can confuse the deer even more, and the deer may follow the headlights and run towards the vehicle. If you see a deer on the road, stay in your lane and hit the brakes!   

  

Use Your Seatbelt  

You should always wear your seatbelt and make sure your passengers are wearing theirs, as well. Seatbelts are there for a reason—they save lives. If you don’t want you or your loved ones to fly from the vehicle after a sudden crash, then ensure everyone is secure and properly fastened. Seatbelts secure you and keep you in the vehicle. Secure heavy objects– they can also turn into a projectile in the event of a crash or sudden stop.   

  

What to Do If You Hit a Deer  

Even if you’re prepared and do everything right, there’s still a chance you may hit a deer. If you hit a deer, check that you and your passengers are safe. Get the vehicle off the road and call the police for help. Set up reflective traffic cones, flares, or flags, and turn on your hazards to alert other drivers of the accident. Don’t try to touch or move the deer—it may still be alive and attack you out of fear. Police train for these situations, so let them know if the deer is still on the road so the deer can be properly removed.  

Have your car towed to the shop to have the damage assessed. Call your insurance provider to report the damage to your vehicle.   

Make sure your auto insurance includes comprehensive coverage for these types of accidents! Talk to your local insurance agent for more information.   

Handling Bankruptcy  

Are you considering filing for bankruptcy? Bankruptcy allows many individuals and businesses to “start over” with their finances. A judge and the court will examine your assets, liabilities, and debts and determine whether or not you can pay them off.   

There are different chapters of bankruptcy, so determine what you think will be best for your business with a lawyer and try to go from there. Filing for bankruptcy is a big decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly, so make sure you are well informed and ready for the process before filing.  

 

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy   

One of the most common types of bankruptcy, this form of bankruptcy liquidates your assets to pay off the most debt. It is the most common form of bankruptcy and is the simplest and quickest—it’s usually completed in 6 months. However, not all applicants qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You’ll be required to go through a test where the court examines your financial records and determines if your disposable income is below the median income for your state.   

If you qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the court will liquidate your assets. This means selling your stuff—your house, car, business assets (if filing for business), etc. This will help rid you of most debt from credit cards, personal loans, medical bills, mortgage/car loans, and more. There are debts that bankruptcy does not get rid of including alimony, child support, debt from accidents where you were inebriated, and debts that are intentionally left out of the case.   

  

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy  

A Chapter 11 bankruptcy is typically filed by corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies (LLCs). Sometimes an individual carrying a good amount of debt can file for Chapter 11 if they don’t qualify for a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy. This type of bankruptcy allows a business to continue their business operations as they reorganize their debts and assets.   

Quite a few big-name brands have filed for Chapter 11 in recent years including JC Penny and General Motors, both of which are still in business. Many think that a business filing for bankruptcy means the end of the business, but Chapter 11 allows it to remain operational as long as they pay off its debts.   

Filing for Chapter 11 is one of the most complex bankruptcy cases, but you may find it worth it. The court helps the business restructure its debts and assets so it can stay in business while paying off what they owe to creditors. If your business doesn’t come up with its restructuring plan, your creditors may take it into their own hands with the court. Most creditors will agree with a Chapter 11 case because it means they’ll still make their money back—unlike a Chapter 7 case.   

   

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy   

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is known as the “wage earners” bankruptcy. This type of bankruptcy claim is for those who earn enough income but are underwater and struggling to pay off their credit. Chapter 13 helps reorganize debts and creates a program to help pay them off. You’ll have 3-5 years to pay off your debts with your income, but you’ll be strictly watched to ensure your disposable income is going towards paying off your debts and not towards frivolous things.   

  

Choosing the right type of bankruptcy is critical for any business. Look into all your options and make sure you choose the appropriate one.   

 

All About Advance Directives

You may have heard the term “advance directives” before, but you’re not sure what it means. Advance directives are a set of written instructions that tell doctors and caregivers how you want to be treated if you become unable to make decisions for yourself. This includes things like whether or not you want to be kept on life support, or receive dialysis. It’s important to have advance directives in place, because if something happens and you can’t make decisions for yourself, your loved ones will need to know what you would have wanted. In this blog post, we’ll discuss advance directives in more detail and help you decide how having one may benefit you.  

Types of Advance Directives 

There are two types of advance directives: living wills and durable power of attorney for health care. A living will is a document that states your wishes for medical treatment if you become terminally ill or unable to communicate your decisions. A durable power of attorney for health care appoints someone else to make decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to do so.  

Which Is Right for You?  

You don’t need to have both a living will and a durable power of attorney for health care, but it’s important to have at least one in place. If you only have a living will, that means that your wishes will be followed if you become terminally ill or unable to communicate them. However, if something happens and you’re able to communicate your decisions, your wishes may not be followed. On the other hand, if you only have a durable power of attorney for health care, that means that someone else will make decisions on your behalf, but they may not know what you would want.  

The best way to ensure that your wishes are followed is to have both a living will and a durable power of attorney for health care. That way, if something happens and you’re unable to communicate your decisions, there’s a written record of what you wanted. And if you’re able to communicate your decisions, then the person you appointed can make sure they’re carried out.  

Setting Up Your Advance Directive 

If you don’t have either a living will or a durable power of attorney for health care in place, now is a good time to create one. You can find templates online, or you can speak to an attorney about drafting one for you.  

Advance directives are an important part of estate planning, and they can give you peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be followed if something happens to you. If you have any questions about advance directives, or if you need help creating one, our team is here to help. Contact us today to learn more.  

Breaking Down Premiums, Deductibles and Liabilities

When you are looking for insurance, it can be difficult to understand all of the terminology that is used. One of the most important concepts to understand is premiums, deductibles and liabilities. In this blog post, we will break these terms down and explain what they mean for you as a consumer. As an independent insurance agency, we want to ensure that our customers have all the information they need to make informed decisions about their coverage.  

Premiums 

Insurance premiums are the amount of money that an insurance policyholder pays to an insurance company for their coverage. The premium is usually paid on a monthly basis, and the amount will depend on a variety of factors, including the type of coverage, the amount of coverage, and the insurer’s rating. In most cases, the higher the premium, the more comprehensive the coverage will be. However, it is important to remember that the premium is not always indicative of the quality of the coverage. Some insurance companies charge high premiums but provide poor-quality coverage, while others charge lower premiums but provide excellent coverage. It is important to research an insurance company before purchasing a policy to ensure that you are getting the best possible value for your money. However, the everyday person does not necessarily have hours of time to dedicate to researching insurance companies. That’s where your independent insurance agent steps in. We have the knowledge and experience to shop around for you and make the insurance process much easier on your end.  

Deductibles 

Insurance deductibles are the amount of money you have to pay out of pocket before your insurance company starts paying for a covered service. For example, if you have a $500 deductible and need to go to the hospital for an appendix operation that costs $1,500, you will pay the first $500 and your insurance company will pay the remaining $1,000. Insurance deductibles can vary greatly in amount, so it’s important to choose one that you’re comfortable with. Keep in mind that the higher your deductible is, the lower your monthly premium payments will be. And vice versa: the lower your deductible, the higher your monthly payments will be. So, when choosing an insurance plan, be sure to consider both the monthly premium and the size of the deductible. It’s also important to remember that some services (like preventive care) may be exempt from your deductible, so be sure to read your policy carefully. If you have any questions about what is and isn’t covered by your insurance plan, don’t hesitate to contact your insurance company or agent. We’ll be happy to help you navigate your policy and make sure you’re getting the coverage you need. 

Liability  

Insurance liability is a type of coverage that provides protection in the event that you are sued for damages. There are two types of liability insurance: personal and professional. Personal liability insurance covers you in the event that you are sued for damages arising from your personal activities, such as hosting a party or driving a car. Professional liability insurance covers you in the event that you are sued for damages arising from your professional activities, such as giving advice or providing services. In both cases, liability insurance can help to cover the costs of legal defense and any damages that may be awarded. Liability coverage is an important part of any insurance policy, and it is important to understand the types of coverage available and the limits of each type. By understanding your coverage, you can help to protect yourself from financial ruin in the event that you are sued for damages. 

Why It Matters  

When it comes time to renew your policy, or if you’re shopping around for a new one, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what all these terms mean. Your agent should be able to help explain things in more detail, but this is a great starting point. Have questions? Give us a call or stop by our office – we’re always happy to help! 

5 Things to Look for When Buying a House

When you are buying a house, it is important to be aware of the things that could go wrong. Unfortunately, many people don’t think about this until it’s too late. That’s why it’s important to have an insurance policy in place before you buy your house. If something does happen, you will be glad you have coverage. In this blog post, we will discuss five things to look for when buying a home. We will also talk about how home insurance can help protect you during the home buying process. 

Condition  

The first thing you should look for when buying a house is the condition of the home. If the home is in poor condition, it could be a sign that there are underlying problems. You should also ask the seller if they have any home insurance. If they do, ask to see a copy of the policy. This will give you an idea of what kind of coverage they have.  

Location  

The second thing to look for is the home’s location. If the home is located in a high-crime area, it could be difficult to get insurance. You should also check to see if the home is located in a flood zone. If it is, you will need to purchase flood insurance.  

Age  

The third thing you should consider is the age of the home. Older homes may have outdated electrical systems or plumbing. This can be expensive to repair or replace. You should also ask about the warranty on the home. If something does go wrong, you will want to know that you are covered.  

Roof  

The fourth thing you should look for is the condition of the roof. If the roof is in poor condition, it could leak and cause damage to the inside of the home. You should also ask about the warranty on the roof.  

Mold 

The fifth and final thing you should look for when buying a house is mold. Mold can cause health problems, so you will want to make sure that the home does not have any mold. You should also ask about the warranty on the home if there is mold.  

Home Insurance 

If you are looking to buy a house, be sure to keep these five things in mind. Home insurance can help protect you during the home buying process by providing coverage for damages that may occur. Contact your local independent insurance agent today to learn more about how we can help you during the home buying process. Happy house hunting! 

3 Risks to Your Business That You May Have Overlooked

Running a business is always a risk. There are so many things that can go wrong, and it’s impossible to predict the future. However, there are some risks that business owners often don’t consider. In this blog post, we will discuss three of these risks and how you can protect your business from them. We’ll also talk about the importance of having business insurance in case something does go wrong.  

Cybersecurity Threats 

The first risk is something that can happen to any business, but it’s often overlooked. We’re talking about data breaches. No matter how big or small your business is, you are at risk for a data breach. Hackers are always finding new ways to break into systems, and no business is immune. The best way to protect your business from a data breach is to have strong security measures in place, such as firewalls and encryption. You should also have a plan for what to do if a data breach does occur. This includes notifying your customers and having a PR strategy in place. 

Employee Theft 

Another risk that businesses often don’t consider is the risk of employee theft. Unfortunately, this is something that happens more often than you might think. Employees may steal money, supplies, or even trade secrets. To protect your business from employee theft, it’s important to have a good hiring process in place. This includes conducting background checks and reference checks. You should also have a policy in place for what to do if an employee is caught stealing. And don’t forget about insurance! A good business insurance policy can help cover the costs of employee theft, including replacement of stolen items and legal fees. 

Mother Nature  

We all know that Mother Nature can be unpredictable. But did you know that severe weather can actually pose a risk to your business? If you live in an area that is prone to hurricanes, tornadoes, or other severe weather events, it’s important to have a plan in place in case of an emergency. Make sure you have a backup generator and enough supplies to last for several days. You should also have a communication plan in place so you can stay in touch with your employees and customers. And of course, make sure you have adequate insurance coverage in case your business is damaged by the weather. 

Reduce Risk With Business Insurance 

No matter what type of business you run, it’s important to be aware of the risks. By taking steps to protect your business, you can reduce the chances of something going wrong. And if something does happen, having insurance can help minimize the financial impact on your business.  

Do you have questions about business insurance? We can help! Contact us today for more information. 

11 Items to Include in Your Vehicle’s Emergency Kit

When you’re on the road, anything can happen. That’s why it’s important to be prepared for emergencies by packing a well-stocked emergency kit in your vehicle. Your auto insurance policy may include roadside assistance programs that can help you if you’re stranded. However, these programs can take time to reach you. Having an emergency kit in your car means that you’ll be able to get the help you need right away. In addition, many auto insurance companies offer discounts for policyholders who have emergency kits in their vehicles. So not only is an emergency kit a good idea for your safety, but it can also save you money on your auto insurance premiums.  

In this blog post, we will discuss 11 of the items that you should include in your emergency kit. Having these items on hand could save you time and hassle in the event of an emergency. 

1) Spare Tire and Jack  

If you have a flat tire, it’s important to have a spare tire and jack on hand so that you can change the tire. This will help you get back on the road quickly and safely.  

2) Jumper Cables  

Jumper cables are another essential item for your emergency kit. If your battery dies, jumper cables will allow you to jump start your vehicle from another car with a working battery.  

3) Flashlight  

A flashlight can be a lifesaver in many different situations. If you have a flat tire at night, a flashlight will help you see what you’re doing. A flashlight can also be used to signal for help if your car breaks down in a remote area.  

4) First Aid Kit  

A first aid kit is essential for any emergency situation. It should include items like bandages, gauze, antiseptic wipes, and pain relief medication.  

5) Water and Non-Perishable snacks  

If you’re stranded on the side of the road, it’s important to have water and snacks with you to keep your energy up. Pack some non-perishable snacks like granola bars or trail mix, and make sure to pack enough water for everyone in the car.  

6) Warm Clothing  

If you’re stranded in a cold climate, it’s important to have warm clothing with you to prevent hypothermia. Pack blankets, hats, gloves, and anything else that will help keep you warm.  

7) Multi-Tool  

A multi-tool is a versatile tool that can be used for many different purposes. It typically includes a knife, pliers, and a screwdriver. A multi-tool can be used to cut seat belts if you’re trapped in your car after an accident, or it can be used to tighten a loose screw.  

8) Fire Extinguisher  

A fire extinguisher is a must-have for any emergency kit. If your car catches on fire, a fire extinguisher can help you put out the flames and prevent further damage.  

9) Road Flares  

Road flares are another important item to include in your emergency kit. If your car breaks down at night, road flares will help make your vehicle visible to other drivers and prevent accidents.  

10) Emergency Contact Information  

In the event of an emergency, it’s important to have a list of emergency contacts with you. This should include the phone numbers for roadside assistance, tow truck companies, and insurance providers.  

11) Spare Cash  

If your car breaks down and you need to call a tow truck, it’s helpful to have some cash on hand. Many tow truck companies only accept cash, so having spare cash can help you get the service you need.  

Just like you need car insurance in case of an accident or emergency, you also need a car emergency kit. Packing an emergency kit for your vehicle is a great way to be prepared for anything that might happen while you’re on the road. And if you ever have questions about your auto insurance and how it can help you in the event of the unfortunate, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!