Month: July 2017

13 Reasons Why… Tape 3

 

You should work with an independent insurance agent

Tape 3, side A

Simple, yet complicated.  Doesn’t that accurately describe an insurance contract?  In my opinion, I have one job… make sure you fully understand your coverage.  Are all of my risks covered (or excluded)?  And obviously, make sense of the insurance math:  deductibles and limits you should carry.  After purchasing insurance, an agent’s work isn’t over – instead, we’re always on standby to help answer your questions, update your policy and make coverage recommendations.  Whether you live in Wisconsin or Wash Park, an independent agent’s mission never changes, help you understand what your insurance contract means to you.

Tape 3, side B

One-Stop Shops:  at many independent insurance agencies, you can take care of all your needs at one time, reducing the headaches involved with managing multiple business relationships.  As an example, if you own a small business, you can most likely obtain commercial insurance coverage from the same agency that insures your personal belongings.  If it’s life insurance coverage you need or a worker’s comp policy for your business, many insurance agents are willing and able to provide solutions.

13 Reasons Why… Tape 2

 

You should work with an independent insurance agent

Tape 2, side A

As an aside to assist your shopping efforts, a lot of independent insurance agents actively help your local community. Community Involvement is important to most of us!  As local business owners, many agency principals place a strong emphasis on giving back. Whether sponsoring fundraisers at the nearby church or donating to local charities, there are many ways you can feel confident that your nearby agent is making a sincere effort to help on the local front.  Personally, I’ve been the golf coach at Lutheran High School in Parker for a few years now.  Each spring and fall, I get a chance to connect with new students and families.  Sure, the golf component is fun; but it’s truly a joy watching young people become adults and learn a sport they will be able to enjoy for the rest of their lives!

Tape 2, side B

Local Knowledge – Of course It can be rewarding to witness your insurance agent supporting the community, but another benefit you may not think about is your agent’s knowledge of your neighborhood. As a resident of the Wash Park neighborhood of Denver, I see first-hand the effects of the occasional hail storms (yes, I’ve made claims too), and the numerous car wrecks on University Boulevard…Damn text-and-drivers!  I know, I’m not the underwriter, but I am witness to the many risks facing all of us in our community. Having local knowledge comes in handy, insurance companies appreciate it as well!

If you’re looking for more reasons, stay tuned of course, or call us at 303.359.1799

13 Reasons Why…

 

You should work with an independent insurance agent

Tape 1, side A

Saving Money & Time – You’ve all seen the commercials with promises to save hundreds of dollars a year.  Sometimes this is true, and sometimes it isn’t!  Insurance companies that promise to reduce your rates in minutes may seem cost-effective at the moment, but often cost you more money in the long run.  Working with an independent agent can save you money and time over the long term. Instead of providing you with an instant rate, independent agents will ask questions and take the time to familiarize themselves with your situation to ensure that the coverage recommended will adequately protect you and your assets in the event of a loss.  Let’s face it:  Your insurance premiums are going up!  Renewals happen, and insurance premiums usually don’t go down.  As an independent insurance agent, our job is to help you find the best insurance at the lowest price, without any conflicts of interest regarding insurers or commissions.  In a consultancy capacity, we understand how the “game” works.  Our mission:  save you time, effort, and—literally—thousands of premium dollars over time.

Tape 1, side B

As a segue from side A, the independent agent operates as a Personal Shopper.  My wife Barb is a real estate agent.  Whether she’s showing properties in Wash Park or anywhere else on the Front Range, I’ve noticed how she takes a sincere interest in her buyer’s lives.  She’s a great relationship builder!  Once she has an accurate understanding of who the buyer is and what they need, she’s able to find them a home that is specifically for them.  Akin to this, as an independent insurance advisor, my job is to find “your” insurance based on “your” situation.  Many believe that this comes at an additional cost, but independent agents do not add extra charges to insurance companies’ rates.  We’re here advocating for you!  Assisting with coverage needs, claims issues, billing, general Q&A, always on your behalf, at no additional cost to you.

What are MVR and CLUE reports and why do they matter?

What are MVR and CLUE reports and why do they matter?

MVR

Your motor vehicle record (MVR) is very important when it comes to car insurance rates and even as it pertains to jobs in some instances. This report says more about you than just your driving history. Many view this record as a way of telling how dependable you are.  A poor MVR doesn’t just raise a red flag to all car insurance carriers; it’ll raise your car insurance rates!

The report contains all of your non-moving and moving violations. If you drive in a professional capacity, violations are always more severe.  A friend of mine in Denver drives a truck for a living; he has told me he couldn’t afford a poor driving record, it will affect his ability to get another job if he ever desired.  Don’t even mention DUI…that would be an automatic termination.   Most insurance companies give you some leeway of two to three moving violations in the past three to five years. Anything above that, your rates are sure to rocket higher!  These violations will typically remain on an MVR for approximately five years.

How severe are your violations?  DUI’s and drug-related offenses obviously are bad news!  MVR tracks all accidents you have had, how many overall incidents you’ve had, and who was at fault. These are all factors that car insurance companies will look for on your motor vehicle record.

Many companies have reward programs in place for good drivers that have a clean MVR record.  A clean report is one of the biggest element of keeping your auto insurance rates low!

Your CLUE Insurance Report Matters

Similar to the MVR, the CLUE database is used by most insurance companies, and your claims history follows you from one insurance provider to another.  Every claim you make on your homeowner’s insurance is reported in an insurance industry database called CLUE, short for Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange.

Your CLUE insurance report keeps your homeowner’s insurance claims alive for five years—and that most likely will cost you on your insurance premiums.

Suppose a storm rolls through your area, lightning strikes, and tree falls on your roof. You file an insurance claim, collect on the claim, then fix your roof.  End of story, right? Not exactly.  As previously mentioned, CLUE reports with claims may affect your rates and don’t disappear immediately.

The CLUE report also includes claims made on your property before you even bought it. This fact matters, and is especially important for home buyers.  So if you are looking to buy a new home or sell your existing one, you should check your CLUE report – what information it contains may be surprising.  What’s inside the report can affect the insurance premiums on your new home, or even prevent you from getting coverage.

The CLUE report is divided into two parts:  1.  your record of claims (“Claims for the Subject”) and 2.  the claims on your home (“Claims History for Risk”). The number of claims in either section will affect whether you can get insurance for your home, how much coverage will be provided, and how much you will be charged for insurance premiums.

Insurance companies rely on CLUE reports because statistics show that if you’ve filed a claim in the past, you’re more likely to file one in the future.  It isn’t so much the amount of a specific claim that matters, but the frequency of claims you make in determining your premiums.

Why Is It Important to Check Your CLUE Report?

Few people are aware of the problems that CLUE reports can cause. Imagine you are about to buy a home, but you are not aware that the previous owner has filed a claim within the past few years. Not knowing about the claim history of a home can result in you not being able to buy affordable, or any protection for your prospective home.

Similarly, you may find it impossible to sell your current property if you have made even a small home insurance claim in the past few years. This information will be recorded in your CLUE report and may result in turning away prospective buyers.

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you have the right to obtain one free copy of your CLUE report every year.

If you haven’t looked into your MVR or CLUE reports to see how they affect your current insurance premiums, give Badger Insurance Advisors a call at 303-359-1799.  We’re happy to assist in any of your insurance needs.