Don’t want your car insurance rates to go up? Put the phone down while you drive.

Yeah, I know. We have all heard it a million times before. “Don’t text and drive,” “Don’t talk on the phone and drive,” “Don’t play with your phone and drive,” and yet so many people believe that this rule doesn’t apply to them.
Maybe you are an excellent driver, so that means you should be able to handle a small distraction for a few seconds and still be better than most drivers, right? Wrong. It doesn’t matter how good a driver you are. You cease to be one when you are distracted while driving.
The “everybody else does it” excuse won’t save you if you get caught texting or talking on the phone while driving. Many states and countries have cracked down and are heavily enforcing their “No Texting While Driving” policies. The consequences may be much more severe than you might think.
If you get caught driving while distracted by your phone, you can be pulled over by a cop. It doesn’t matter if you were driving the speed limit and in the lines while you were distracted. You can be ticketed and fined for doing so, in some states up to $300 per incident. Once you have a distracted driving charge on your driving record, your insurance company can access this information, and you better believe they take it seriously. It can add up to 5 points to your insurance, which means you can count on your insurance rate going up due to this infraction.
With multiple infractions for distracted driving you can eventually have your license taken away. That may seem a little bit harsh to you, but this is because there are many documented cases of vehicular manslaughter due to distracted driving. This is ultimately the best reason not to play with your phone while driving. Nobody wants a needless tragedy on their hands because of a stupid distraction.
The bottom line is this, save yourself a lot of money and potentially a lot of heartache. Put the phone down while you drive. Nothing that phone can offer you is more important than you and the other drivers around you reaching your destinations safely. Be part of the solution, not the problem.

Do you need extra insurance to own a trampoline?

Trampolines are all sorts of fun for kids and adults alike in the summer time, but are they covered by your home owners insurance? The best way to know for sure is to talk to your insurance agent. Different insurance companies react to trampolines with very different policies, and there are different rules for insuring one in depending on the state you live in.
There is a slim possibility that you have an insurance that covers a trampoline with your home owner’s policy. This means that you are free to own one without extra coverage. This scenario is fairly rare. As fun as trampolines are, they are also dangerous and can often cause injury. Insurance companies know this, and take that into account when it comes to owning one.
Many insurance companies will let you own a trampoline, but they will ask you to add safety features to it to make sure it is less likely to cause a problem or injury. Your insurance company may ask you to have a fence with a working latch to ensure that strangers cannot enter your yard and injure themselves on your trampoline. Padding can and should be added to cover the springs to further avoid injury. Many trampolines come with nets to help confine the users so they do not fall from the trampoline. It is also important that trampolines be placed on flat and solid ground, and away from buildings or objects that kids might consider jumping from onto the trampoline as this is very dangerous. One final option is to dig your trampoline into the ground. This means that there is less height to the object for kids to fall from and injure themselves. Even with all of these safety precautions taken, your insurance company may ask for you to get additional coverage to cover the trampoline.
Of course, with trampolines you can never avoid injury completely. Because of that many insurance companies will not cover homes with trampolines at all. Owning one can mean not having your policy renewed by your agency. Because of this it is always important to talk to your insurance agent before buying an expensive trampoline. They can help walk you through the process and let you know exactly what you need to do in order to add one to your home.
The bottom line is, make sure your insurance policy covers your trampoline before installing one, and if you do install one make it as safe as possible. A safe trampoline is a much more fun trampoline.

Summer time means time to open up the backyard pool, but is your pool covered by your Home Owners Insurance?

Most people look forward to opening up the backyard pool when the weather gets warm enough, but before you do, do you know what your home owners insurance covers with your pool?
The truth is, there are many factors that go into insuring a pool, and your coverage may not cover as much as you think. It is important to check with your insurance agent to know kind of coverage you have, and if you need more.
First we have to look at the safety of your pool. Most insurance companies won’t cover a pool unless it is surrounded by a self-latching fence. This is to keep neighborhood children and animals safe. Just because your children know not to go near the pool without supervision doesn’t mean the neighbor’s kids have been taught the same lesson. To ensure the safety of your pool, and to get coverage from your agent, make sure you have a fence surrounding the perimeter. Ask your agent about the specifics if you do not have one already.
Another safety hazard some older pools can have is whether or not they have slides or diving boards. Many insurance companies will refuse to insure you if your pool has one of these options, so it might benefit you to have them removed. If you insist on having one, you may have to sign a clause on your insurance policy that states that the insurance company is not responsible for any injuries that may occur on the slide or diving board. You own them at your own risk.
If your pool is safely guarded and doesn’t have a diving board or slide, your home owners will probably cover your pool. Always check with your agent if you are not sure. Though your pool may be covered for injuries involved with the pool, it may not cover damage to the pool. This is less of an issue for in ground pools as rain, hail, wind, and sleet pose little threat to them, but they can crack if the earth around them shifts. Above ground pools are susceptible to all of the damages listed above. Check with your agent to see if damage is covered on your pool. If not, see if additional coverage is available.
Have a safe and happy summer knowing your swimming pool has the coverage you want and the safety you need. Call your agent to find out where you stand today!

Cold Feet, Bad Weather, Illness. Don’t Worry, There’s Insurance for That!

Getting Married? Good for you. We wish you all the best. However, if the best isn’t what turns out before your nuptials there is actually insurance for that. And why not, with the price of weddings in the United States going well over $20,000 may insurance companies are willing to sell a just in case type of policy that will cover illness, extreme weather, and even a change of mind.

Policies can be as affordable as $500 from Travelers to insure wedding that cost as much as $50,000. The insurance is offered by some, not all, US based companies. While the data is readily available we believe the number of people planning a wedding are including this on their to-do list is growing. Most of the claims come from issues with the vendors couples hire to produce things like their wedding video and photos. While wedding insurance isn’t something that will make or creak a company’s bottom line it is a great intro to companies who  are going to buy a home, buy cars, and start a family together. That is where the money will be generated.

For parents looking out for their son or daughter’s best interest there is change of heart insurance available. However, because of fraud in the early days of the program, this type of coverage is only available if the bride or groom calls off the wedding more than 9 months prior to the wedding date. Once you hit the alter, it is too late.

Even though groups like the Bridal Association of America recommends wedding Insurance, it is only taken out by less than 1% of the more of the 2 millions weddings annually in the United States. To read more about Wedding Insurance in the Mercury News click here.

 

 

Life Insurance & The Bad Rap It Has

Do you know people desperate to sell you life insurance? The average American will change job over 10 times and one of those jobs is very likely to be in sales. For many people, that sales job will be in financial sales. Most likely they don’t have a large Rolodex so they go after their friends.

Most of us are just fine with term life a low cost safety net to protect our loved ones should something happen to us. How much you need simply depends on what you need to cover. Just like the name says this type of insurance is with you for life. but what if your kids are grown and out of the house and the mortgage is paid or very close to be so. Use this simple life insurance calculator to figure out what you need.

The main reason is whole life is pushed on much more so than term life is because whole life comes with the bigger commission checks for the agents. Term life can also benefit Americans as much as whole life and you can contact ABCO Insurance Agency to find out if your situation in life requires life insurance. Learn how to tell an friend “thanks, but no thanks” and more life insurances bad rap by reading Hank Coleman’s article on Daily Finance.

Top Ten Facts Every Consumer Needs To Know About The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

  1. Everyone Lives in a flood zone. You do not need to live near water to be in a flood zone because floods can be caused by storms, melting snow, hurricanes, as well as faulty plumbing.
  2. Flood damage is NOT covered by homeowners insurance policies. You can protect your home, business, and belongings with flood insurance from the NFIP.
  3. You can buy flood insurance no matter your risk level according to the government. It does not matter if your risk is high or low.You can buy both building and contents protection no matter your risk level.
  4. The low-cost Preferred Risk Policy is ideal for homes and businesses in low to moderate risk zones. You can get flood insurance that will insure the building and contents for as little as $119.00 a year.
  5. Flood insurance is affordable. There are around 90 companies around the nation that offer affordable flood insurance backed by the federal government.
  6. Flood insurance is easy to get. You can buy flood insurance from several independent private insurance agencies. Call ABCO to see how easy it is!
  7. Insuring your contents is separate from insuring your building so renter’s can also purchase Flood Insurance.
  8. Business owners can purchase up to $1 Million in flood insurance to cover non-residential commercial buildings and their contents.
  9. There is usually a 30 day waiting period before the coverage goes into effect so don’t delay!
  10. Do not rely on Federal Disaster Assistance. You will only get aid if the President declares the area a disaster.

If you have questions about Flood Insurance from ABCO Insurance Agency just call us today!

Homeowners Insurance – Why You Need It

Your home is one of the most important investments you will make and it’s important to keep it safe. By having homeowners insurance you will cover any costs from damage for the structure of your home, personal possessions (within limits), replacement costs and more. The last thing most homeowners want to do after buying a home and paying for all types of inspections is purchase homeowners insurance, but it is worth every penny.

As stated before, homeowners insurance covers quite a few things. If there is a fire, or other natural disasters, then your homeowners insurance will cover the damage to your home. The types of damages might vary depending on where you live. You will also be protected for liability in the event that someone is hurt on your property.

When it comes to payments it is usually done annually and can change every year depending on where you live and your home’s value. If you are curious as to what your payment would be, then it is wise to get in touch with an insurance agent. Most insurance companies let you decide the amount that you’re personally comfortable with. If your home sustains damage then you should contact your insurance company right away to file a claim so that the company can send out an adjuster to assess the damage. Once this is done, the insurance company will offer your a sum of money for the damage. Keep in mind that filing a claim is for major home damage only.

No two homes are identical so therefore, no two homes will have the same homeowners insurance. Read this informative article online and get in touch with an insurance company today to keep your home safe.

 

 

Umbrella Insurance Allows Extra Protection

An umbrella policy provides additional insurance for liability coverage usually ranging from one or two million that is most likely related through automobile accidents, however, can be for accidents that occur at your home as well. Some examples where having umbrella insurance is beneficial is when someone falls down your stairs and sues you or someones child is jumping on your trampoline, breaks an arm and then the parent wants to sue you. In times like these you will have enough coverage so that you don’t end up loosing your assets.

Many people don’t have an umbrella policy because they assume that if they don’t have $1 million in the bank then there’s no need for it. However, most people have more to loose then just money. Your retirement funds, college savings for your kids, investments, future earnings and more are all at risk if you find yourself being sued. If you have any of these types of investments, then an umbrella policy of at least $1 million should be part of your financial plan.

It’s important to keep in mind that auto and home insurance policies need to have a specific level of liability coverage in order for you to have an umbrella policy. Read more about what these requirements are here. You can also set up your payment schedule for your policy. “The average cost for a $1 million policy is $200 annually– which you might find a relatively low price for the peace of mind and security it offers” -Michelle Lerner. Umbrella insurance protects you during those times when your regular policies are exhausted and you are faced with a lawsuit. If you are thinking about getting umbrella insurance or want more information about it, contact an agency today to learn more.

 

Legal Fines

Driving without car insurance is illegal. If a driver is in an accident or pulled over by the police, one of the consequences of not having insurance includes receiving a fine. While the specific dollar amount of the fine varies from state to state, all states require that drivers carry valid car insurance. You might also have to deal with substantial court costs and other requirements imposed on you by the state.