Wednesday, August 16, 2017
First-time drivers are headed back to school this month, this time behind the wheel. Is your insurance coverage everything it should be?
As summer dwindles down and fall looms on the horizon, the back-to-schoolers get ready for classes with many of them driving themselves to school for the first time. Not every parent’s favorite thing to look forward to, but there it is. Rather than feed a lot of worry into the situation, why not make sure they have the auto insurance they need and the clear understanding of their obligations as a good driver.
Of course, staying on the family policy has its advantages as far as cost goes, not to mention a few other good ideas for managing cost:
- Ask about ‘good student’ discounts
- Anti-theft devices make a difference
- Ask your agent about ‘accident forgiveness’
- Defensive driving classes are good for everyone
- Talk with your insurance agent and select the options you need, not the whole shebang
- Encourage your teen to heed safe driving tips to ensure accountability.
Statistically speaking, people under the age of 25 are much more likely to have an accident than those who are older. Insurance actuary data tells us that. Basically, this age group is considered a greater risk so if a teen tries to get insurance on their own, they will pay more. Once your teen has been on the parental policy for a while and considered previously insured, they are apt to get a better rate on their own.
Making decisions about auto insurance for your first-time drivers going back to school can be a bit stressful. That’s why having a personal advocate like your independent insurance agent can be such a consolation. They will provide the advice you need about what insurance you need while you provide your teen driver with the advice they need about being a smart, safe driver. And even if it seems like they’re not listening to you, they will probably thank you later on for the good advice.
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Tying the knot means making a lot of important decisions. Insurance is one of them.
Along with the excitement of your wedding day comes the reality of making even more decisions about what to keep, what to throw away, what to buy new and agreeing that all the above will be okay with your new mate.
Let’s start with your car insurance. Is it best to combine your policies into one? Probably. By getting quotes from both your insurance agents you can decide where the best rate is. You could even get a quote from an insurer neither of you have used. Who knows, it could be the best rate.
When it comes time to cancel, be sure the new insurance is effective the same day the old insurance expires. Also check for possible discounts, such as multicar or bundling if you’re buying other kinds of insurance with the same agency.
Newlyweds often get better rates when buying insurance since they are seen as less of a risk. But even still, ask about discounts because they may have offerings you don’t know about unless you ask.
Whether you are moving into a home or an apartment after you’re married, remember to cancel the coverage you will no longer need. Consider all the coverage options, deductibles and monthly cost before making your final decision. Since you and your spouse will be combining your belongings, you might want to consider increasing your coverage limits. For items of high value such as antiques, electronics and of course your wedding rings – you might want to consider special coverage. Ask your independent agent what they recommend.
Buying your auto and homeowner’s or renter’s insurance with the same insurance agent could save you money. It’s known as bundling and it can mean saving money you could use for all those many things you’ll need after your married.
Remember the advantages of working with an independent insurance agent. They will do the shopping for you to guarantee the lowest insurance rates. That’s one less thing for you to think about and a wonderful way to start your new life together.
Thursday, August 3, 2017
You may need commercial contents insurance and not know it. Professionals working from home often think homeowner’s insurance covers everything and that’s not the case.
You do if you lease your business location or operate your business from your home. You may think that your property owner’s insurance or your homeowner’s insurance is enough to cover everything, but it may not be.
Any damage or loss to your business equipment or materials must be covered by Commercial Contents Insurance to ensure that you are adequately protected from damages due to fire, storm damage or theft. This kind of policy can also cover loss of income or increase in expenses that results from the property.
If you’re an IT professional or rely heavily on your digital equipment in your business, you definitely want to have Commercial Contents Insurance. Of course, you want to protect your computers, laptops, printers, mobile devices and such, but your technology is not the only thing at risk. Your office furniture, equipment and supplies need to all be covered.
Because many IT professionals work from home, they question the necessity of having Commercial Contents Insurance since they already have homeowner’s insurance
Consider a couple of things before relying on that idea.
· Your homeowner’s insurance policy usually does not cover property owned by your business. So, if your work laptop gets stolen from your home, homeowner’s might not cover it.
· You may be able to add to your General Liability coverage, so ask your independent insurance agent before you make a decision.
Rather than wait for a sprinkler to spring a leak or the weather to surprise you with a crippling hail storm that wreaks havoc on electronics, contact your independent insurance agent today. You can rely on an independent to find you the best possible rates for everything insurance.
And don’t assume that Commercial Contents Insurance is too expensive for your budget. Depending on your type of business and your insurance needs, your independent insurance agent can work with you for the coverage that you need to protect both your home and your business.
Thursday, July 27, 2017
Owning a classic car is lots of fun and for some a very serious investment. Make sure you have the specialty insurance you need, even when you’re not driving it.
She’s gleaming like a diamond, engine humming smoothly and oh, that interior! We understand. Your classic car is more than a car. It’s a passion. It’s like an old friend you’ve had for years. It’s a connection you can’t really explain. And now you’re ready to show her off at the big car show.
But first: is your insurance coverage everything it should be? That is to say, you are no doubt aware of the differences in insurance for the classic car and the family sedan, right? If not, listen up.
Besides being the best looking car ever made that year, your vintage or classic car has some other unique requirements when it comes to insurance coverage. Here’s a short checklist:
- Your classic car must be stored in a locked garage when you’re not using it.
- You cannot use your classic to commute to work. It is only for display or recreation.
- You must keep your classic car well maintained, restored, or if it is under restoration have a target date for completion.
- Check with your independent insurance agent to determine the actual value of your classic car.
- Find out if you need special liability coverage when you’re participating in shows or club events, as well as when you’re traveling to get there.
- Make sure you are covered for any damages incurred at car shows or events.
- Your insurance coverage should be in place during restoration.
- Ask if you’re eligible for flexible premiums based on miles driven per year.
- Are you covered for shipment to out of state shows or events?
Depending on what you conclude regarding the above checklist, you will be able to work with your independent insurance agent to find the best possible rates for your beloved classic car.
We understand how proud you are of your classic car, but don’t hit the road for the car show without the assurance that she’s fully covered for any losses. And, by the way – best of luck winning the top show prize!
Friday, July 21, 2017
Motorcycle insurance in Texas is not an option, but rather a must-have.
If you own and operate a motorcycle in Texas, you are required by law to prove your financial responsibility in case of any accident caused by your motorcycle. Simply put, that means you need to buy liability insurance. And if you already have auto and/or home insurance, you can bundle your motorcycle insurance into one policy. It’s worth a call to your independent insurance agent. It’s also important to understand the definition of motorcycle.
Texas laws are very specific about what defines a motorcycle and other vehicles:
Motorcycle – A motorized vehicle with a maximum of three wheels and a saddle for the rider. Tractors are not included. For registration, titling, and insurance requirements, motorcycles are deemed the same as passenger vehicles.
Moped – A cycle that is motorized and does not go any faster than 30 MPH; with less than
2 hp and less than 50 ccs shift
Motor-driven cycle – A motorcycle with engine movement of less than 250 cc
Most motorcycle insurance policies will cover the following:
- Damage to property and injuries to a person’s body
- Motorcyclists that are uninsured
- Payment for medical bills
- Options for Collision and comprehensive coverage
- Specialty coverage might include replacement for total loss, loss of accessories, coverage for rental vehicle or trailer, coverage for trip interruption, roadside or emergency assistance
Helmet requirements in Texas depend on the motorcycle insurance you carry.
- Either you must have a Health Insurance plan that covers medical/surgical expenses incurred from a motorcycle accident.
- You are at least 21 years old.
- Or you carry $10,000.00 medical payment insurance on your Motorcycle policy.
Most motorcycle policies also have Guest Liability BI (bodily injury) in the same amount as your Liability BI coverage is, e.g., 30,000/60,000. Most policies also have up to $3,000 in custom equipment. You can increase this mount if you choose.
Just remember, before you hit the open road, make sure your motorcycle insurance has you and your rider fully covered.
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Hail storms in Texas are among the worst and most prevalent in the U.S. Are you insured for the best hail coverage at the best possible rate?
With a total of 23 hail reports in the Midland/Odessa, Texas, area so far in 2017, it could be a record for this part of West Texas. But hail is no surprise for Texans, as the state ranked first in U.S. for the most hail damage in 2015 and 2016. Time will tell if 2017 proves to be a contender.
No doubt, the worst thing about hail storms is the disastrous damages they wage. Destruction to roofs, windows, cars, trucks, boats, buildings, property and even people can costs millions and insurance companies bear the brunt of most of it.
In the most recent hail storm that wreaked havoc in the Midland/Odessa area, many local residents were shocked by something even more than the hail’s destruction. Far too many saw their insurance rates rise, rise, rise, adding to the stress of their hail damages.
While many local residents were dealing with rising rates and roof repairs, the customers of Killebrew Insurance experienced a much different scenario. Because our family-owned insurance business understands the value of consistently affordable insurance rates, Killebrew customers picked up the phone, gave us a call, and an insurance adjuster was on the scene pronto.
When you need reliable, honest-to-goodness insurance coverage, why not work with your local independent agent. This is the team that does the heavy lifting for you when it comes to finding and keeping low rates. We pound the pavement for our customers to find the absolute lowest rates possible – even hail coverage. After all, who wants to worry about escalating insurance rates every time the sky clouds up? You have better things to do and we’re here to pick up the slack.
Expecting the best from Mother Nature is a good positive attitude to have, but it’s an even better idea to plan for the worst. After all, she can be a very fickle lady.
Contact us today and be prepared for the next hail storm.
Thursday, July 6, 2017
If you live in Texas, you could be saving money on all your insurance needs by bundling your policies into one.
You’re probably familiar with the term “less is more”, but are you familiar with the term “more is less”?
When you bundle your insurance, that’s what you get – more for less. You get more insurance coverage for less money because you’re rolling all of your policies into one and getting it all under one roof. So if you bundle your auto, RV, Jet Ski, antiques, boat, classic car, golf cart, and motorcycle insurance with your homeowners or your renters insurance you are going to save a ‘bundle’.
Convenience is another good reason people choose to bundle their insurance. It means you have only one renewal date for your insurance policy. That makes it easy to remember. You will also avoid the risk of coverage gaps. You might even save money on your deductible. Be sure to ask your independent insurance agent.
Depending on the state where you live, bundling savings can vary. The reason is because of geographic conditions, climate and such. In Texas, the savings for bundling can be as much as 18%.
Probably one of the main reasons people choose to bundle is because they have a trusted relationship with their independent insurance agent. If you know and trust your insurance agent, especially if they are an independent agent, you can be confident they will shop around to find the best possible rate for you.
You can feel good knowing that your personal assets are protected with the best possible insurance coverage. And, remember, when you bundle you’re as good as putting money in the bank.
Contact your independent insurance agent today about the benefits of bundling and start saving money.
Thursday, June 29, 2017
Whether you’re just getting started with your business and have only one delivery van or you have a fleet of vehicles, you need the right commercial auto insurance that meets your specific needs.
Whether you’re just getting started with your business and have only one delivery van or you have a fleet of vehicles, you need the right commercial auto insurance that meets your specific needs.
There are many things to consider when purchasing business auto insurance, not only the number of vehicles you use for your company, but what kinds of vehicles they are. Also include the age and condition of the vehicles, as well as how you use them when making a decision on your company’s auto insurance.
- Commercial trucks will cost more to insure than passenger vehicles, but there is a cost difference in the kind of trucks you use.
- Lighter-weight trucks like pick-ups, parcel or panel vans cost less than larger ones.
- Medium sized trucks such as box or stake bed trucks or larger refrigerated vehicles cost more.
- Heavy duty trucks that usually include grain or farm trucks and beverage trucks cost the most.
- Insuring a trailer with commercial truck insurance depends on the size and weight of the trailer.
Vehicles such as a plumber’s truck cost the least to insure, while vehicles used for dry cleaning delivery, for instance, can cost more. Business to business delivery trucks cost the most to insure.
Save money with technology
GPS tracking and onboard camera technology are now more affordable and add to the efficiency of your business vehicles. Of course vehicle alarms and warning devices or rear facing cameras add additional benefits to your fleet.
Play it safe
High grade fences and sufficient lighting and locks are ways to keep your commercial vehicles safer. Employees who take a vehicle home should be oriented on best practices for keeping the vehicle safe at all times, e.g. where to park, keeping it locked, parking in a well-lit area.
Managing your auto fleet can be easy if you work with an independent insurance agent who knows where to go for the best in class prices for commercial auto insurance. Small or large or somewhere in-between, protect your business by protecting your auto fleet with the best possible business auto insurance available.
Thursday, June 22, 2017
Wildfires cause both emotional and physical damage. Be sure your insurance company will be there to help you pick up the pieces.
Although insured losses from wildfires in the United States is less than those caused by severe thunderstorms, it may be surprising to know that Texas ranked #1 by the number of wildfires and the number of acres burned in a 2016 survey. A surprising statistic considering Texas is not among the 10 most prone states to wildfires. However, among the three states with the most properties listed as very high risk, Texas is included alongside California and Colorado.
Property loss caused by fire and smoke are usually covered under most homeowners insurance policies, as are renters and business policies. In addition water damage as a result of putting the fire out is almost always covered under these policies.
But depending upon where you live, additional insurance might be worth checking into. Damage from wildfires are usually caused by humans; as many as 90 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Interior. Campfires, cigarettes and neglected burning debris are often the cause. Arson figures into that mix as well. Only the remaining 10 percent are caused by lightning or natural causes.
In March 2017, two large wildfires in West Texas were ultimately restrained by firefighters, one of which devastated four homes and caused 1,200 others to be evacuated. The 2017 wildfire season is from January to June, and so far about 2.3 million acres have burned.
As temperatures are projected to continue to rise, the wildfire season will lengthen. Also the fact that more people are moving to heavily wooded areas, building new homes and many seeking a quitter lifestyle add to the risk of wildfires.
Preventive measures recommended for people building new homes include noncombustible siding, decking and roofing materials.
While wildfires may not seem like an immediate concern, given the fact that Texas has its fair share of wildfire damage, it might be a good idea to ask your independent insurance agent if you’re adequately covered for wildfire losses.
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Your RV insurance deserves a check-up before you hit the road for that summer trip.
One way to be sure your RV is adequately insured is to request an easy, fast online quote. RV insurance is different from other insurance, so it’s best to understand the details before you hit the road for summer trips and campouts.
For instance, do you know what a Total Loss Replacement (TLR) is?
It means that if your RV is totaled, your insurance cover replacement of a new RV or pays you the initial purchase price. That depends on how old your RV is at the time of the loss.
Do you understand what a Purchase Price Guarantee (PPG) means?
This kind of policy will reimburse you for the amount you paid for the RV toward the purchase of another RV. This policy can extend for the life of the RV or just first 10 years; then convert to an Actual Cash Value (ACV) policy in the 11th year.
What is an Actual Cash Value (ACV) policy?
An ACV policy pays the depreciated, fair-market value of your RV in case of a total loss. ACV is the most common type of policy offered to RV owners.
Do you need Vacation Liability?
If your RV is parked and someone is injured at your campsite, at the beach or wherever you’re parked, you are covered up to the stated policy limits.
What is Diminishing Deductible Coverage?
Good drivers are rewarded with this coverage as comprehensive and collision deductibles are reduced by 25% of your original deductible for every year you have no claims until your deductible reaches zero. After that, you pay no deductible.
Is it best to take out Personal Contents Coverage?
If you’re traveling very light, you may decline this coverage. However, if you’re taking everything but the kitchen sink, you probably should take out personal contents coverage. It covers housewares, tools, clothes and sporting goods. Your homeowner’s policy may provide coverage, but there are often limitations to coverage for off-premises property, items in storage or belongings damaged in a collision. RV insurance specialty policies replace stolen or damaged items at full replacement cost. Items such as awnings, antennas, external racks and signal dishes are usually covered at no additional cost. Dollies for towing and trailers are usually included, too.
Do you really need Emergency Travel Expense?
Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. If your RV breaks down because of a covered loss, most RV insurance policies cover the cost of a rental car and/or hotel room while you’re waiting for repairs. If the RV is beyond repair, the policy can cover airfare to return you and your family home.
Do you qualify for Discounts?
Membership in an RV club is on way to qualify for a discount. Also, installing supplemental braking systems can sometimes reduce your premium. Completing a safe driving course is usually a sure way to receive a discount on your RV insurance. Ask your independent insurance agent about these discounts and more.