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For your auto and home insurance coverage, should you go through an agent or online?

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For many people, the convenience of buying insurance online from the provider or from an 800 number is appealing; but when a CRISIS hits, it is in YOUR BEST INTEREST to have an agent who is LOCAL, whom you know personally and can serve as a liaison between yourself and the insurance carrier. It is always most beneficial to have your auto-home-life insurance, all with the same company.

At our agency, we know YOU personally, you never have to confirm your name, address, or give a policy number when you call. We take the time to meet and sit down with our clients and to do a review of all their policies. If you talk with an “800 Insurance Company” you’ll never speak to the same person twice and they have no idea who you are as a person and what coverage you need. If there is a serious claim, it’s doubtful that you could ever find the employee of the “800 Insurance Company” to ask them why they sold you the coverage that they did.

In times of trouble, our agency goes to bat for you. We help file the claim, we can speak the adjusters, and help out with any unforeseen situations related to the claim. This is especially important, especially with weather-related incidents where there can be quite a large area off affected clients. We’re here to be an advocate YOU, if something is not being addressed promptly or if there is a communication issue, we’ll help you resolve it quickly and get you back where you belong.

Another great attribute of having Farmers Insurance is that we only work with our own adjusters, meaning  the adjuster inspecting the damage is someone who is knowledgeable with Farmers Insurance policies. Many online insurers (as well as independent insurance agencies) use independent adjusters, who may not be as familiar with each insurer’s claims. This can cause larges delays as well as unfavorable outcomes when you have a claim.

For a review of your coverage, give us a call anytime 816-795-5977.

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Protect Your Family During Severe Weather

Did you know that March is Severe Weather Preparation Month?

While it may still feel like winter outside, it won’t be long until spring arrives.  And with it comes spring storms!  Is your family prepared?

First things first, make sure you have designated a safe place to go to if the weather gets bad.  It could be a basement, closet, or room with no windows or outside walls.  Make sure this space is cleared out enough that you could easily get your family inside if needed.  (You don’t want to be clearing out the closet if there is a tornado!)

Next, put together a small emergency kit.  What would you need if the power was out?  Consider putting in flashlights, extra batteries, canned food, and plenty of water.  (Don’t forget supplies for your pets too!)

Keep emergency phone numbers in your cell phone contacts, including the all our phone numbers
Office: 816-795-5977
Jon’s Cell: 816-304-1614
Claims: 800-435-7764
You could even save a note in your phone with your policy numbers too!

While we can’t prevent bad weather, it’s always great to be as prepared as possible.  Take care of your family first and know that we’ll be there to protect your belongings.

 

No matter what you think you don’t have FULL COVERAGE for your auto insurance. Your agent lied to you.

The reason your last agent focused your attention on your car by saying you have FULL COVERAGE is to distract you from the policy having low liability coverage.
 
In reality, there is no such thing as FULL COVERAGE. FULL COVERAGE is never once mentioned in your auto policy. You are only covered up to the limits you have chosen to purchase.
 
Your personal liability and uninsured motorist coverage are the MOST IMPORTANT. If you want your car fixed too, we’ll add comprehensive and collision to the policy. Then we’ll use the deductibles as tools to adjust the premium so the correct liability and uninsured motorist coverages fit within your budget.
Does this make sense?
 
The term FULL COVERAGE = FOOL’S COVERAGE.
We are making your smarter about your insurance.
 
We are Farmers bum ba dum bum bum

Keys To Great Holiday Travel

Are you planning a trip during the holiday season?  If you’ll be hitting the road over the next few weeks (or anytime really!), here are a few important things to keep in mind.

BEFORE YOU LEAVE TOWN:

  • Get your oil changed and make sure your tires are properly aired up.
  • Leave some lights on in your home so it doesn’t look empty at night.
  • Call us to get a copy of your insurance card if you don’t have a current one.
  • Ask a neighbor or friend to pick up your mail or newspaper.
  • Pack some snacks! No one wants to be driving hungry (especially if you’ve got little kids riding in the back seat!)
  • Pack a car charger for your cell phone. Your phone is is your map and your emergency contact.  Don’t let it run out of battery power on your trip!
  • If you’ll be traveling in snow or ice, make sure to pack emergency supplies in your vehicle.
  • Plan to travel on off-peak days. It will mean less traffic, less stress, and a faster route to your destination.
  • Get a good night’s sleep! Driving fatigued is a leading cause of accidents.  Stay rested.

DURING YOUR DRIVE:

  • Wear your seat belt! Always.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full. You never know how long it could be between gas stations or how bad the traffic could be.  Don’t run on empty!

 

And above all…be flexible!  Travel stress can ruin your holiday fun.  Plan to take your time and enjoy the ride!

 

Are Your Christmas Gifts Covered? 

This time of year, most of us are doing a lot of shopping!  Christmas gifts and holiday sales mean that everyone is buying a little bit more than normal.  So what does that have to do with insurance?

Let’s look at some common purchases and how you can make sure they’re protected!

Electronics – Did you purchase a new flat screen TV or Xbox on Black Friday?  Maybe a new laptop or some high dollar headphones?

All of these items are covered for theft or fire (or any other covered peril) by your Homeowners or Renters Insurance, but they are subject to your deductible.

However the BIG problem is that when someone has a major fire or burglary, they FORGET what they have!  It’s hard to remember every item in your home.

That’s why we recommend that you keep a Home Inventory of high-dollar items.  Save your receipts, take photos, or just keep a list.  Keep this info in a safe place (like a file backed up in the cloud), so that you can access it in case of a claim.  This isn’t required, but you’ll be glad you have it!

Guns, Jewelry, & Art – If you purchase high dollar, custom, one-of-a-kind, or collectors items, you need to contact us as soon as possible!  These items will be covered by your policy, but may be limited to an amount much less than what they’re worth.  If you contact us, we can review your policy and tell you exactly how much coverage is available and if you need to add these specific items to your policy.

And what about all of those gifts sitting in your car trunk?  Yes, it’s a great place to hide presents from the kids but here is the bad news – your auto insurance DOES NOT cover the contents of your vehicle.  That means that if someone breaks in and steals everything, it’s only covered by your Home or Renters policy.  And if you have a large deductible, you could be out of luck!  Get those presents into a safe location quickly and don’t keep them stored in your vehicles.

’Tis the season for lots of shopping!  Call us to make sure all of your possessions are properly protected!

FINALLY!!! Proper Insurance for UBER Drivers

UBER DRIVERS—Do you have a lack of the proper Insurance Coverage??? When the app is on and the driver is seeking riders – (Period 1) there may be only limited coverage from the Rideshare company and possibly NO COVERAGEunder the driver’s personal automobile policy.
Effective immediately (KANSAS RESIDENTS ONLY) I have one of the first major carriers to begin offering a new Rideshare Endorsement. With this endorsement, Rideshare drivers can avoid a potential gap in coverage by extending their personal auto policy coverage when they are logged in and waiting for the next ride. At this time this endorsement is for KANSAS residents only. Message me or call me at 816-795-5977 if you would like a quote.uber-logo

June Tips

When summer arrives, many people leave the day-to-day routine behind and go on vacation in June.  Hopefully you’re planning a trip sometime soon too!

But what do you need to know before you hit the road? Consider these special situations:

Rental Cars  – If you choose to rent a car, make sure you understand how your insurance works. A rental car company will want to sell you special coverage to cover the car while you are driving it. The insurance will cost you a certain amount extra each day. But did you know that your current insurance will typically also cover you at no additional cost?

However, if you have a claim filed on your current policy, your rates could go up in the future.  And rental car companies could file a claim for very minor damage.

Obviously it is a risk either way, but make sure you know your options. And please contact us BEFORE renting a car to find out what is specifically covered on your policy.

Hosting A Barbecue  – It’s always fun to throw a summer barbecue. It’s even more fun when you aren’t worried about your insurance! Your homeowners and renters insurance covers you if someone is injured on your property due to your negligence. That means that if they trip on a step, fall on the patio, or cut their hand on a glass, you don’t have to worry.

But, as always, you need to discuss this with your agent and go over exactly what coverage you have. If you have a lot of assets, then you might need additional liability coverage too.

Notice a pattern here? The general rule is that you need a personal insurance agent who is looking out for your particular needs! There is not a “one size fits all” approach when it comes to protecting your family and your belongings.  Take just 5 minutes to give us a call today to discuss your policy!

What College Graduates Need To Know About Auto Insurance

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You’ve proudly watched your child graduate from college (and celebrated the last of the tuition bills!)  Now they’re searching for their first “real” job and ready for a new phase of life.

This is what you and your new grad need to know about their insurance.

First, in most situations, they can remain on your auto insurance policy as long as they are living in your household.  If they’ve moved back home while job hunting, you can keep them on the policy.

But once they move out, it’s time to look at other options.  Some of this will depend on who is the owner of the car and if you’re living in the same state.  The best option is to talk to one of our agents to discuss your particular situation in detail.

If your graduate is moving out on their own, you’ll also want to get some information on Renters Insurance.  It will protect their belongings and protect you from any liability for damage they might cause to a residence (even if it’s just an accident, like a small kitchen fire.)  In most cases, a parent is a co-signer for a lease and needs to make sure this protection is in place.

The end of college marks some big transitions into adulthood.  Help your new graduate to make smart financial decisions and establish a great start.  We can help!  Schedule a personal review and quote today.

Don’t Leave Home For Vacation Without Doing This…

Ready to head out of town on vacation?  Temperatures are climbing, school is ending, and everyone is eager for a break.  But there are a few things to keep in mind before you leave town in order to keep your possessions protected.

Don’t Advertise That You’ll Be Out Of Town
Think about the things that happen around your home on a daily basis, so that your home doesn’t look empty when you leave.

First, contact the Post Office (and the newspaper) and put your services on hold.  A full mailbox and a driveway full of newspapers are a sign to thieves that you’re an easy target!

Can you put a few lights on a timer so that your home isn’t dark all night?  Even leaving on a few lamps will help.  Motion sensitive lights on your porch and driveway are a great idea too.

Do you have a neighbor that you trust?  Let them know of your plans, share your contact number, and consider leaving a spare key just in case.

What if a severe thunderstorm hits while you’re out of town?  It could knock out power or even cause a tree in your yard to fall.  Your neighbor can make sure that your freezer is back on when the power restores or verify that there aren’t any leaks in the roof from the storm damage!  This can help prevent some bad surprises when you get home. Here at our agency we call this YOUR Key Neighbor. Your Key Neighbor should also have our office phone number should any emergency claims arise.

When You’re On The Road
The biggest tip I share with my clients is to avoid leaving valuables in the car! 

Many people believe that their belongings are covered by car insurance, but that is not the case.  The only coverage for your luggage and computer would be on your Homeowners Insurance and it’s subject to your deductible and possibly other limits.

Also, most policies offer coverage for road side assistance and towing.  This can be invaluable when you are stranded (or accidentally lock your keys in the car in an unfamiliar town).  This coverage is inexpensive and quick to add to your policy. Just call 1-800-435-7764 or 800-FARM TOW.

Have questions about your insurance before your next trip?  Give us a call anytime to discuss your policy or to get a quote!

Insurance When You Tie The Knot

Wedding season is just around the corner! And with all of that love and wedding planning in the air, it can be hard to think about the boring parts of a marriage.

So I want to make it easy for you.  Here are a few things you need to think about in regards to your insurance policies when you tie the knot.

1.  Combine your auto insurance policies.  If you both own a vehicle, the easiest thing to do is combine your policies by adding your spouse and their vehicle to your policy.  We can take care of this in just a few minutes!

2. Make sure you and your spouse are listed on every policy.  You both need to be on the homeowners or renters insurance so you can get assistance if needed.  Do all of them at the same time and you won’t have to worry about it again.

3. Schedule an overall review.
  When you combine two households you will obviously have more belongings!  Speak with your agent and verify that you have enough content and liability insurance to cover any new assets.

4. Purchase life insurance.
  It’s your honeymoon and you don’t want to think about death, but now is the time to get this very important coverage in place.  It doesn’t cost much and will give you peace of mind that the person you love will be taken care of in the future.  It’s really the very best gift you can give to those you love.

The best part of this?  It doesn’t have to be hard!  In fact, one short appointment can take care of every item on the list.  Give us a call today to schedule a review.