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Quick Quiz: Do You Know What States Are Associated With These Slogans?

Quick Quiz: Do You Know What States Are Associated With These Slogans?

Some state nicknames and slogans are obvious. Most would recognize the Sunshine State as Florida for example or the Empire State as New York. Others, however, are a bit more challenging, especially if you’ve never been to certain parts of the country. Here’s a fun quickie quiz on state nicknames and slogans. Let’s see how you can do.

  1. The Natural State
  2. The Constitution State
  3. The Garden State
  4. The Magnolia State
  5. The First State
  6. The Treasure State
  7. The Silver State
  8. The Beehive State
  9. The Ocean State
  10. The Pine Tree State
  11. The Gem State
  12. The Sunflower State

Given some thought, the names and nicknames and slogans make sense, although, at first glance, some of these can be challenging. Once you are ready, you can check your answers below.

Not only do states have their own slogans, but every state also has differing pricing when it comes to auto insurance. While the average cost for auto insurance in the U.S. is $1,365 annually, the highest rates can be found in The Great Lakes State ($2,389 annually) and the lowest in the Green Mountain State ($932 annually). The difference between the average lowest cost for auto insurance and the highest is nearly $1,500 annually. But even in individual states, rates can vary widely between insurance companies. That is why it is so important to compare.

If you are looking to save on auto insurance, contact our independent agents who will do the shopping for you! We don’t work for an insurance company, we work for you! They will not only seek out terrific coverage at an affordable rate but will make sure you get the additional discounts you deserve. Contact us today to get started.

The answers: 1.) Arkansas – 2.) Connecticut – 3.) New Jersey – 4.) Mississippi – 5.) Delaware – 6.) Montana – 7.) Nevada – 8.) Utah – 9.) Rhode Island – 10.) Maine – 11.) Maine – 12,) Kansas.  By the way, the state with the highest average auto insurance premiums is Michigan (Great Lakes State) and the lowest is the Green Mountain State of Vermont.

Should Your Online Business Have Insurance?

Should Your Online Business Have Insurance?

There are many appealing aspects of operating an online business. In many cases, you may not require a bricks and mortar structure and may even be able to conduct your business from the comfort of your own home. You may not have to deal with customers “face-to-face” and can operate more on a schedule that is compatible for you. Operating an online business can mean a significant reduction in operating expenses, including everything from carrying inventory to utilities. If you think, however, that your online business doesn’t need business insurance, you may want to rethink the issue.

You can still have liability issues when conducting an online business. A General Liability policy or a Commercial General Liability Insurance policy may be the answer. This type of policy is designed to protect you from personal and advertising claims that may cause injury. Even using a platform like Shopify to run a business can have dangers of creating issues in your personal life without Commercial Liability Insurance. As the old saying goes, it is better to be safe than sorry.

If your online business maintains a product inventory, there can be even more risks. There can be vandalism, theft or losses resulting from a fire. Even an online business is likely to have to property, such as computers, printers, office furniture and more. A Business Insurance policy can offer protection in case of a covered loss.

If you have an online business that is already thriving, business income interruption insurance can help protect cash flow should there be some covered interruption of your business. You can also be liable for the personal data of your customers should you be the victim of a digital attack. These are all issues that can be addressed with a conversation with one of our independent insurance agents.

Online businesses, like other businesses, are all unique. An online business may operate from a small home office with virtually no inventory or employees. It could also operate from a large warehouse with lots of valuable assets to protect. Explaining your business to one of our independent agents and allowing them to go to work for you can result in the protection you need.

They can search various companies, seeking the coverage best for your situation at a price that fits your budget. Don’t make the mistake of believing that because yours is an online business it is not without risks. Contact our team of professionals and learn more.

“Waiver of Premium” and Other Benefits Your Life Insurance Policy May Include

“Waiver of Premium” and Other Benefits Your Life Insurance Policy May Include

Although you probably purchased a life insurance policy for the protection it provides in the event of a death, a policy may contain some other surprising benefits.

It May Build Cash Value

Many whole life or permanent insurance policies will build in cash value over time. This cash value can be tapped into at some future time through a low-cost policy loan. It also may be “cashed in” to redeem it for its accumulated cash value. Ask your agent for a policy status report on your life insurance to determine its present cash value, if any.

It May Provide for Additional Accidental Death Benefits

Frequently, life insurance policies will include accidental death benefits that multiply the coverage amount. For example, if your policy has a $10,000 face value, the policy could potential pay $20,000 or more should the death occur by a covered accident. Our independent insurance agents can quickly determine if your policy has such a benefit.

It May Include Loss of Limb or Eyesight Protection

Life insurance policies have also been known to include “Loss of Limb” coverage which also may provide a cash payment in the event of loss of eyesight. This benefit is usually a set percentage of the face value. For example, a 25% payment on a $10,000 policy for a loss of limb would pay the policyholder $2,500 should they lose an arm or leg.

It May Contain a “Waiver of Premium” Benefit

A “Waiver of Premium” benefit pays the costs of the policy while the policyholder recovers from a debilitating accident, injury or illness. It could pay premiums for a few months or in the case of a permanent disability, cover the premiums for the life of the insured. Again, our independent agents can help quickly identify if a policy has such coverage.

In the case of life insurance, you may actually get more than what you think you are paying for. For a life insurance review or to get a quote on a new life insurance policy, contact us. Let us help set you up with the protection you need along with the added benefits you deserve.

Best Selling Vehicles in the U.S.

Best Selling Vehicles in the U.S.

There are a variety of factors that determine your automobile insurance rates. Your age, driving record, credit score and where you park your car will all play a role. Another factor that will determine your automobile insurance rates is the type and year of the vehicle you drive.

If you have noticed more SUVs, trucks, and crossovers on the road, you are not imaging things. Traditional sedans have become a shrinking portion of new car sales, and many automakers are reducing the production of coupes and sedans, in favor of these larger vehicles. You should be aware, however, that since these trucks and SUV’s tend to be more expensive than sedans, they are often also more expensive to insure.

Here is a list of the 7 most popular vehicles being sold in the United States in 2018.

1.) The Ford F-Series Trucks – Should be no surprise here as these trucks have led vehicle sales in America for 35 straight years. Over 450,00 of these trucks were sold in 2018 a 5% jump from the previous year.

2.) Chevrolet Silverado – A distant 2nd, the Silverado sold 291,000 units in 2018. To its credit, however, it jumped in sales over 10% from 2017.

3.) The Ram Pickup – It held onto its third-place position in vehicle sales in 2018 in spite of dropping in sales almost 7% over the year before. It still sold an impressive 233 units.

4.) The Nissan Rogue – The best-selling Nissan continued to grow in popularity, increasing in sales by 10%. In 2018 the Rogue sales reached 215,000.

5.) Toyota RAV4 – Sales of Toyota’s most popular SUV continued to rise, growing in sales by over 7% to over 198,000 vehicles in 2018.

6.) Honda CR-V – Honda’s first appearance on the best-selling vehicles in the U.S. is not one of their legendary sedans or coupes but from the CR-V. Although sales of the CR-V dropped about 4% from the previous year, they still sold almost 180,000 units.

7.) Toyota Camry – The first sedan to make the list of best-selling vehicles for 2018 is the Toyota Camry. It sold about 179,000 cars, just ahead of the Honda Civic, in 8th place, at about 176,000.

New vehicle sales have dramatically changed over the past decade or two and bigger vehicles are the boss of the roadways. If you are in search of the best automobile rates for these bigger vehicles, or any vehicle for that matter, contact us. Our independent agents will go to work for you. Contact us today.

Why a Home Inspection is So Critical When Buying a Home

Why a Home Inspection is So Critical When Buying a Home

Most states have some form of disclosure laws when purchasing a home. These disclosure laws are designed to protect buyers by making sure they are made aware of certain factors concerning the history of the home. It documents that a seller was up font about certain factors regarding the property. It can provide at least some assurance about the history and condition of the house. It is not designed, however, to be in-depth, complete or even necessarily thorough. This is why buyers are encouraged to contract with a home inspection prior to closing on a home.

A home inspection should provide you with a much better picture as to the condition of the home. A good home inspection will include a roof inspection, electrical and plumbing inspection, and include moisture tests. It should detect if mold may be a problem, foundation issues and if there is any rotting wood. A thorough home inspection will allow the purchaser, if they desire, to attempt to correct these issues before closing on a home.

It is also important because if a home is shown to have a pre-existing condition, pre-existing damages may not be covered under any homeowners’ insurance policy.

There are a few things to keep in mind about a home inspection. First, it can easily pay for itself if an unexpected problem is discovered. Buyers should be aware, however, that not all home inspections are the same. They can range from a visual inspection to a complete mechanical and structural inspection. Prices will also vary as well.

While many states require home inspectors to be certified, this does not mean every inspector is committed to providing a quality inspection. For this, you should read online reviews, seek referrals and ask how the inspection will be conducted. Ask ahead of time what sort of written reports you should expect and try to be present when the inspection is conducted.

A home inspection can provide peace of mind and help ensure your homeowners’ insurance policy will cover everything you intend it to. It is a worthwhile investment.

Getting quality, sufficient homeowners’ insurance at the best possible price is also critical when purchasing a home. Our independent agents can help you do just that. We’ll review your property and your needs and work at finding you the coverage you deserve. If you already have a home and insurance, we would appreciate the opportunity to provide a complete insurance review. Contact us to learn more.

Detroit is North of Canada and other US Geographic Trivia

Detroit is North of Canada and other US Geographic Trivia

Do you think you have a pretty good handle on how the United States is laid out geographically? There’s Canada to the North and Mexico to the South. The Atlantic Ocean borders the East Coast while the Pacific serves as the Western boundary. In between, however, there are some interesting geographic anomalies and facts.

Detroit is North of Canada

Drive directly South from Detroit, Michigan and you will actually end up in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. It is the only major U.S. city that lies north of Canada.

The Florida Mainland is as Wide as it Is Tall

Most recognize that Florida is a long peninsular state. In fact, driving from Jacksonville to Miami will take about five hours and fifteen minutes, covering about 345 miles. Driving West to East across the top of the state however, from Pensacola to Jacksonville will take a similar amount of time, about five hours covering 358 miles. Of course, this doesn’t include the Florida Keys.

West Virginia and Virginia Were Once a Single State

Prior to 1861 and the Civil War, West Virginia and Virginia were part of the same massive state, covering as much area as Pennsylvania. West Virginia is the only state to be formed by seceding from another.

The Most Common Place Name in the U.S. is Washington

There are 88 places in the United States named Washington. As far as community names are concerned, Springfield is the most common name with 41 cities bearing the moniker. Springfield is followed by Franklin (35) and Greenville (31) as having the most popular community names.

The Geographic Center of the United States

The geographic center of the 48 contiguous United States is 2.6 miles northwest of the center of Lebanon, Kansas. As of the 2010 US Census, the population of Lebanon was 218.

South America is South and East of Miami

It may seem contrary to our vision of the globe, but almost the entire landmass of South America is actually south and east of Miami.

Sometimes, things are not always as they seem to be. That can be the case with geography and when it comes to getting the best rate for your auto, health, or life insurance. An independent insurance agent, however, can help assure you are getting better coverage at a price you can afford. Our independent agents work for you, not an insurance company. Contact us and let’s get started on saving on your loss prevention products.

Can You Insure Income for Your Business?

Can You Insure Income for Your Business?

Business owners face a myriad of challenges on a daily basis. There are technological changes, new competitors, disruptions and other threats. Even if a business owner doesn’t own the property they conduct business from, there are still threats to losses from theft, fire and a host of other calamities. Not only can inventory, information, and equipment be at risk, the business may have to be shut down while restocking or rebuilding. Is there insurance that will cover this loss of business? Can you insure income for your business?

The good news is yes. Business income insurance can help. When income to a business is interrupted because they can’t open their doors after a calamity, income interruption insurance can use past performance as a way to replace that interrupted income. Anticipated income can be projected and covered by the policy. There are other benefits as well. Business income insurance can help pay taxes due through the period, utility bills, rent or mortgage payments and even payroll. This can all be critical in making sure you can re-open your doors.

Protecting your company’s assets from losses and protecting yourself against liability claims is critical for any business plan. But businesses should also inquire about business income and business interruption insurance. This can safeguard a company’s future by making sure it can survive while needed repairs are made, even if it means relocation.

We encourage you to contact us and see why business income insurance should be a part of your company’s loss prevention plan. As independent agents, we’ll explore your options from a variety of insurance carriers to find the plan that is appropriate and affordable. It is just one reason having your business insured through an independent insurance agency offers such value.

Could your business survive without income for a month or two? Could it survive the costs of relocation? Could you keep qualified employees on the payroll? If not, the time to secure coverage is now. Let our independent agents go to work for you.

Baby Shoes or Life Insurance? What’s a Better Baby Gift?

Baby Shoes or Life Insurance? What’s a Better Baby Gift?

There’s a cute insurance commercial on television you may have seen. In it, a country singer and retired football quarterback come across a baby shower where ”mom” is opening a gift box. The quarterback says “I hope it’s a life insurance policy.” and the singer responds “What???” The quarterback goes on to explain that a life insurance policy is a practical gift. Turns out the gift is baby shoes, causing the quarterback/spokesman to exclaim “Doesn’t make sense. Babies can’t even walk.”

It may bring a chuckle, but there’s a lot of truth to that clever ad.

Whether it is baby shoes, boxes of diapers or hundreds of toys, we tend to gift babies and small children with items of temporary value. Some items may never be used, played with or worn. Yet, many children grow up without the benefit of a life insurance policy.

What “benefits” you may ask? Well, a life insurance policy not only insures the life of a child but ensures the child will have access to life insurance no matter what health issues may lie ahead in the lives. The appropriate whole life insurance policy can build value through the years. This can be a financial resource the child can borrow against to buy a car or help pay for college someday. It may even be “cashed in” at some future point, like taking money out of a savings account. The best part is that when life insurance is purchased on a young person, it is very affordable. If the child should decide to continue maintaining the policy as an adult, it could become a significant part of their retirement plan.

Whether you are a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, if there is a baby or small child in the family, consider gifting a life insurance policy. Maintaining those modest premiums annually can be a lasting gift that will always be remembered. It may also be a lot more practical than another toy or outfit they will outgrow in a few months.

Our independent agents know companies who offer terrific value when it comes to life insurance for children. Contact us for a quote today. It may be a gift that is a little “out of the box” but it is a lasting one with real value.

No-Fault Insurance Basics

No-Fault Insurance Basics

There is no question insurance can be a confusing topic. It is made even more so by the fact that differing states frequently have different rules and regulations regarding insurance, in particular, auto insurance. While all states virtually make having auto liability insurance mandatory, even these “financial responsibility laws” can vary state to state.

Adding to the seemingly chaotic system is the fact that some states are considered “no-fault” states when it comes to vehicle insurance. Others have “choice” laws and still, others have a financial threshold where no-fault regulations take effect.

Florida is one of 12 states regarded as a “no-fault” insurance state, but what does that mean?

According to the non-profit Insurance Industry Institute, the term no-fault “applies only to state laws that both provide for the payment of no-fault first-party benefits and restrict the right to sue, the so-called “limited tort” option.”

Just in case that didn’t make things crystal clear, in a no-fault state, drivers should file a claim with their own insurance company first, no matter who is at fault. That is why in no-fault states, drivers are required to purchase personal injury protection or PIP, as part of their automobile insurance policy. No-fault laws also provide that lawsuits may only be filed against another driver for severe pain and injuries if certain thresholds have been reached.

Yes, automobile insurance can be confusing. It is why some people only purchase the minimum legally required amount, even when it is not in their best interest. We think there’s a better way.

When you contact our independent agents for an automobile insurance quote, they will explain the options available to you and why they can be of benefit to you. Based on your needs and desires, they will seek out quotes from multiple companies to find a policy that delivers the protection you desire, at the best possible price. It is just part of why working with an independent agency is so valuable.

If you have questions about automobile insurance, would like a complimentary review or even just a quote, contact us. Let us put our experience and access to multiple companies to work for you!

Is Increasing Deductibles a Good Way to Save on Insurance?

Is Increasing Deductibles a Good Way to Save on Insurance?

People are always looking for ways to save on their monthly expenses. This, of course, includes what they pay for insurance. In some cases, we may be required to carry insurance, like when operating a car or when financing a home or other real estate. In most cases, however, we carry it to protect us financially for negative events that could have a significant impact. That’s an important aspect to keep in mind when considering how best to save on your insurance.

It leads to the question “Is increasing deductibles a good way to save on my insurance?” Perhaps we should first ask does increasing deductibles work in saving on your insurance? That answer is a resounding yes. Increasing your deductible, the amount of any claim that comes out of your pocket will definitely reduce your insurance premium. If you are on a tight budget, that can be tempting. In reality, it may be those on a tight budget who can least afford a high deductible. Sound confusing?

Let’s say you have few financial resources and currently have a $250 deductible on your car insurance. If you have an accident causing $2,500 worth of damage, your only cost would be the $250 deductible. You likely can rebound from that expense. If however, you have a $1,000 deductible, your premiums may be lower but now you are faced with $1,000 out-of-pocket expenses to fix your vehicle. That can be a problem, and perhaps force you to delay fixing your car or even place you in a position to purchase another. A person with a large bank account probably wouldn’t have much problem with that $1,000. It may seem ironic, but the less likely you can absorb a financial loss, the less prudent it may be to raise your deductible.

There may, however, be other ways you can save. Comparing companies for example. You can seek out discounts for safe driving, discounts on bundling policies or saving on premiums by paying them automatically through a debit or credit card. Our independent agents can do the work for you. They have access to multiple insurance companies and can search for the best coverage at budget-friendly prices. They can assist you in acquiring the discounts you deserve, without risking coverage. Contact us and put our team of agents to work for you.

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