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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.

Moving and Selling Your Home? What To Do When Your House Is Vacant

Selling your home can be a stressful process, especially when it doesn’t move quickly.  With a new job looming, you may have no choice but to leave the home vacant for a short time until it sells.

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So is there a problem?  Truthfully there can be.  When you have a homeowner’s policy, on of the insurance company’s requirement is that the property is “Owner Occupied.”  Since you no longer occupy the property, generally these now vacant homes fall under different insurance rules and can leave you at risk.  Homes are typically considered vacant when the utilities are shut off and/or furniture has been removed.

Insurance companies view a vacant home as a higher risk.  There are more opportunities for vandalism and no one living there to protect the home from fire or storm damage should they occur.

So what should you do when moving?

First you need to talk to your insurance agent and get the details on your policy.  Since policies vary by state and insurance company, there is no single right answer.

Explain the situation to your agent.  Ask what coverage is included and what is excluded (specifically for vandalism as well as water damage).  And find out what changes can be made to protect your home.

Selling a home doesn’t always follow a quick timeline.  If you’re facing the possibility of leaving your home vacant, contact us first  and find out how to best protect yourself and your property.

We are always here to answer your questions. Call 816-795-5977 or email anytime-jolson3@farmeragent.com

 

I Am Starting a New Business and Need Insurance, What Should I do?

Congrats on starting your own business!  It can be exciting, nervous, scary, and overwhelming all at the same time!

One of the first things that you need to do before you sign a lease, sell a product, or open your doors to the public is to get proper business insurance set up.

Most people will go straight to their auto, home, and life agent for a policy quote and then buy the policy without completely understanding the coverage and the risks of their business and this can be a HUGE mistake.

The issue at hand is having the correct coverage. Most State Farm, Allstate, Farmers, American Family agents know auto/home/life policies but don’t completely understand commercial or business policies. This equates either paying too much for the coverage or paying for a policy that WILL NEVER help you if you truly did need it. Also all of the above companies only carry general liability and NOT professional liability. Not every business needs professional liability but quite a few do and often they don’t realize it. I represent Farmers Insurance and we write quite a bit of commercial policies with Farmers but if it’s a hard to place business or something that we cannot write thru Farmers I can broker it to a carrier who will help place the risk.  If you’re are either starting a business or if you’re not comfortable that your agent sold you the correct coverage at the correct price, give us a call at 816-795-5977 or email at jolson3@farmersagent.com.

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Contractor’s Insurance? Yes we can help!

Combining insurance coverage in one policy generally leads to a better value, and we help contractors every day create an attractive insurance package for helping insure their small business.

For contractors–primarily HVAC, landscapers, painters, plumbers, electricians, carpet installers/carpet cleaners, we have a policy that is especially attractive.

A lot of insurance “brokers” offer just liability insurance for contractors, but our policies include tools and equipment and more.

For example, our policy even covers theft of a contractors’ supplies.  For example: a HVAC company buys a new furnace or AC puts it in their shop.  The shop is broken into and the unit is stolen.  If they have our policy the first $3,000 of protection comes automatically, but you can increase it up to $100,000 of coverage.

The protection doesn’t end there.

A lot of contractors work out of a den or third bedroom in their house, but a typical homeowner’s insurance policy won’t cover anything to do with a business.  If there is theft, water or fire damage, our policy covers $2,500 automatically, and it can be increased if needed”

The convenience factor is huge.

If a contractor has company vehicles, a lot of insurance carriers have separate liability for commercial vehicles, a separate policy for tools and equipment,  a separate general liability policy, and a separate worker’s compensation policy.  What we can do is package it all together; we can also provide them a contractors bond if they need that too.  We keep in all in house so they have 1 central point of contact for all their insurance coverage.

Does the best coverage for your business matter to you? Of course it does! Call 816-795-5977 or email jolson3@farmersagent.com today to see how we can help you customize the best package and lowest premium for your business.

Personal Umbrella Liability Insurance-What is it and do you need it?

If you were found liable for an accident, would your current insurance coverage be enough to pay for a judgment against you, or would your assets be at risk to help pay? “What about my homeowners and auto insurance? Don’t they cover me?” If you are sued, your standard homeowners or auto policy can provide liability coverage, paying for judgments against you along with your attorney’s fees, up to a limit set in the policy. However, if the judgment against you is for more than your insurance covers, you could be forced to pay a legal judgment from your current assets and future earnings. You might think this scenario is unlikely, but what would you do if it became reality? That’s where a personal umbrella liability policy can be beneficial to help you provide the protection you want.

With a Personal Umbrella policy, you’ll have additional liability limits over and above those provided by your underlying homeowner and auto policies. An umbrella policy can help prevent financial hardship by providing protection that you choose for both current assets and future earnings.

Umbrella Insurance Explained

So how can a personal umbrella policy provide the protection you want? This type of coverage offers additional protection above what your auto and homeowners policies will cover. For example, should you be involved in a car accident and sued, your auto policy covers you up to a predefined amount, your coverage limits. If the cost goes over that limit, your umbrella policy kicks in and covers you for an additional amount up to the limit on your umbrella policy.

You may also think that only those with a large amount of assets would benefit from an umbrella policy, but that’s not necessarily the case. Do you like to entertain? Have a pool? A large dog? You could benefit from considering an umbrella policy. Ultimately, if you or something you own accidentally causes damage to another person, you can be sued for more than just what you have in the bank. Any retirement funds, investments, savings and even future earnings can be at risk to pay for a settlement. In some states, the equity in your home can be part of the judgment and you may have to sell your home to pay for a judgment against you.

Regardless of your personal finances, if a situation arises where you may be held financially responsible for an accident, it could be beneficial to purchase an umbrella policy. A million-dollar umbrella policy is available for far less than you may think as well. Depending on your policies you can get coverage in Missouri or Kansas for as little as $120/yr.

Other Benefits

Besides providing increased liability limits, a Personal Umbrella policy can fill gaps in your coverage with added benefits, such as:

  • Coverage for claims that may not be covered by your underlying Homeowners, Auto, or Watercraft liability policies, such as libel, slander, or defamation of character.
  • Worldwide coverage.
  • Paying for defense costs and attorney fees associated with claims against you that are covered by your Personal Umbrella policy, but not by your primary policies.

Protect your future with the coverage you want

If the unexpected occurs, do you have enough coverage to protect you and your family’s assets? Talk to me about adding a Personal Umbrella policy to your insurance portfolio. The added protection you choose with an umbrella policy can outweigh the minimal cost, and can be financially advantageous should you need it.

 

Do you have questions or comments on umbrella policy coverage?  Call 816-795-5977 or email jolson3@farmersagent.com.

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

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

Sports Bar and Wine Bar Insurance Coverage

If you are the owner of a sports bar, wine bar or other brew pub establishment in the states of Missouri or Kansas finding insurance for your business can be very difficult.  Today, I am proud to announce that Farmers Insurance now has an appetite for this line of business.

Wine Bar            Sports Bar Insurance 2       wine-bar

We have been an industry leader in restaurant insurance, and we are expanding our appetite.  If you are in the market for insurance on your sports bar, wine bar or other had to place restaurant business give us a call.  We are experts in the restaurant industry and would welcome the opportunity to earn your business!

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!

The Biggest Risk To Your Home (And How To Prevent It)

Most people think the biggest risk to their home is a fire or a bad storm.  It’s why they buy insurance (and the fact it’s required by their mortgage lender). But in reality, the biggest concern is protecting your assets from a liability claim.  Consider this…

Warm weather has arrived and everyone is beginning their yard work. Mowing, planting, flowers, and digging those vegetable gardens. There is a lot of work to be done.

So let’s say that you dig a large hole in the front yard so you can plant a new tree. You walk away for a moment and while you’re gone the kid next door runs through the yard, falls in the hole, and breaks his ankle.

Unfortunately, you could be held responsible for his injury. But not to worry, your homeowner’s liability insurance is made for these kind of situations. It will pay if someone is injured on your property. It’s also the coverage that protects you if the dog bites your child’s friend (as long as it’s not a restricted breed) or if your cousin falls down your front steps.

If you have a large number of assets, then you’ll want higher liability coverage. If the injury exceeds your liability coverage amount, then you could be sued for the difference.

Work with us to determine the amount of coverage that you are comfortable carrying. No one can protect themselves by just being careful alone. There are too many possible scenarios that you could never avoid. But with the right insurance coverage, you’ll never have to worry.

Call us today for a free review and to discuss how much liability coverage you need.