Choose Your Insurance Carrier Carefully

When consumers purchase goods and services, they want quality. This is why advertisers place commercials and ads highlighting these traits such as – “FORD TOUGH”, CHEVY TRUCK STRONG”, “AJAX STRONGER THAN DIRT”, heck even toilet paper like CHARMIN touts STRONGER BETTER. When people buy they want it to work and last.

Except when they buy insurance. They think all insurance companies and policies are the same. So they get lured into the “cheap.” Just what you want to buy, insurance from a company who may not be able to pay your claim.

I recently ran into a client who said he saved a ton of money on his auto coverage. A big strong contractor, who had big strong trucks, and he bought insurance from a company A.M. Best (the rating company) gave a C rating which is “weak”. With a rating that low, they are lucky to last a month, and who knows if they are still around when you have a claim. There are even some insurance companies that have less revenues than independent insurance agencies, how secure does that make you feel?

Insurance is there to protect you in your times of need. It is best to pick a company who is going to fulfill that prophecy. We at Beacon Insurance Group, your local independent insurance agency and broker, can give you the analysis to help you make the right choice.

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Insurance and Advertising – What are they really trying to say?

There are a number of insurance carriers who advertise on TV, but what exactly is there real message? After all, these ads cost millions, so they are all looking for a return on investment.

Call me a skeptic but here is the formula as I see it, premiums – claims – operating costs = profit.

So, I promise cheaper premiums, my operating costs include millions in advertising and my shareholders want a profit. The only cost variable remaining is claims. I wonder after 15 minutes of saving 15 percent while being by their side if I really am in good hands?

Direct writers of insurance are the top spenders of advertising dollars on TV and other media. They will sell you what you ask for, but maybe not what you need. Can you imagine that philosophy if children were raised that way?

Independent insurance agents take the time to address you total risk and financial exposure. More options, more ideas, for their clients.

 

What to Do If You Have A Property Claim

How to maximize your recovery and ensure a smooth claim process:

  1. Take photos of the damage
  2. Protect your property from further damage – this may entail some temporary repairs
  3. Do not allow the disposal of any damaged property until the claim is settled
  4. You, the insured, control who can do temp repairs or mitigate cleaning. You have the right to approve anyone who works on your property
  5. Can you still occupy the premises? If not make arrangements for temporary accommodations
  6. List and inventory the damaged items – remember it is your responsibility to prove your claim
  7. Identify items damaged by Make or Model # if available – if possible use an Excel spreadsheet
  8. Pricing of the items can be found on the internet – remember we want the current replacement cost value of the item
  9. Remember you are paid on the replacement cost value only if you replace the item, otherwise you only receive the depreciated actual cash value
  10. Document every phone call, email or contact with the insurance company and adjuster
  11. Do not sign any documents that state it is final payment of the claim
  12. Consider hiring a public adjuster if the claim is too large or complicated. The public adjuster represents your interests
  13. You have the right to request a new adjuster or any expert the insurance carrier sends out if you are not comfortable with the level of expertise
  14. Always be in attendance when the adjuster visits
  15. Always get permissions granted by the insurance adjuster in writing
  16. Request a copy of the adjuster’s report to the insurance company
  17. Always insist on the level of quality and tradesmen who built the house or certain parts of it. You are not required to accept lesser quality.
  18. If you feel you are getting the runaround, seek out the department of insurance and or local attorney who specializes in property insurance claims

 

Is Your Car a Target for a Thief?

Based on recent news, luxury autos are still a hot target for car theives. With all the technology made available to everyone and their brother, smart thieves have found ways to outsmart even the best anti-theft technology for even the most luxurious models. Why are theives still targeting the higher value vehicles? Well, because they think the nicer ones are worth the effort.
In 1991, a peak year for vehicle thefts, the National Insurance Crime bureau noted that there were 1.66 million thefts. Since that year, vehicle thefts have dropped to nearly half of what it was in that year.

How are they getting past even the best technology out there? Essentially, the thieves are hacking the cars computers, stealing codes and tricking the device into opening the doors and even starting the engine.

How can you make sure you aren’t the next victim?

  • As always, be aware of your surroundings. Always lock your car the second you get out.
  • It is best to park your vehicle yourself rather than giving your keys to a valet or parking lot attendant
  • Keep your keys in a semi-secure spot in your house, not right by the door where they could be easily taken
  • Keep your car parked in your garage as a line of defense
  • Don’t leave your car running and unattended, even just for a couple seconds. Being in a small town, we sometimes forget that there is crime around us.

Following these tips to ensure that you won’t have to put in a claim in on your South Carolina Auto Insurance!

Insurance Mobile Apps

We live in a world where technology is advancing at a rapid pace, so why not take advantage of it and make life a little easier? Many people are constantly on the go and away from home. Below are a list of carriers who offer apps for your Android and iPhone that are great resources to help you file a claim, receive tips on what to do in the event of a disaster, get roadside assistant information and more. For questions and servicing your insurance needs, these mobile Apps are great ways to help you.

Car Insurance Carriers and Mobile Apps

Travelers Insurance

With the Travelers App, you can download it to both your iPhone & Android. This App’s purpose is to guide you through the necessary steps needed to be taken in the event of an accident. It helps you document what is needed, and remind you how to stay calm. The App detects the date and time accident took place, allows you to photograph the damage as well as record a description. Traveler’s mobile tool also helps collect information from other drivers, witnesses, passengers and police. You may then send all the information you recorded to your email address and begin your claim immediately. Any questions regarding a claim you may have can also be answered. Click HERE to read more about the app and download to your phone!

The Hartford

If you are insured with The Hartford, this App is also available to download on both your iPhone and Android. With this tool, you are able to view the auto accident checklist Hartford provides, collect information about the accident, locate an auto repair facility, save and view accident history, and find a replacement vehicle at a great price. For situations not so major, Hartford provides help on getting a cracked windshield fixed fast and convenient. They also provide the number for roadside assistance if you happen to get stranded. To learn more about the app and download to your phone, please visit HERE.

Progressive Insurance

Progressive has various apps available to download. The general Progressive app allows you to get insurance quotes, bill pay, and provides tips and how-to’s. Other apps progressive provides includes Insure My Truck for iPhone, Progressive Art App for iPhone, Rocket Cat Adventures, Route-rageious for IPhone, Flo-isms and Superstore Shuffle. To learn more about the tools Progressive has, check them out HERE.

Auto, Home, Natural Disaster Carriers and Mobile Apps

Safeco

Safeco’s mobile tools assists you with home, auto as well as natural disaster claims and how to go about filing for one. Their app also gives information and number if you are in need of roadside assistance. You may also report a stolen car, get glass and windshield repair information and find a local Safeco agent near you to receive a quote. For more information about Safeco’s mobile tools, please click HERE.

USLI

The United States Liability Insurance App allows you to gain access to an unpaid bill, make payments, and manage your existing policy. You will be able to view your online profile and view contact information for USLI. The help section also contains a FAQ page that answers questions you may have.

To download the iPhone app, click here.

To download the Android app, click here!

Simplify your life and have one of these apps on hand! Incase any of the events above occur, having the guidance from these apps will help tremendously!