Adding a New Driver Can Be Expensive; Not Adding Them May Cost More

Inexperienced drivers have accidents.  Of course they do; anyone learning a new set of skills is bound to make a mistake.  In fact, new drivers between the ages of 16 and 22 are 96% more likely to have some type of auto accident.  It may just be a fender bender or something much more serious.  They’re going to have an accident; the severity is the question.

The risk of new drivers coupled with inflation, and supply chain issues are starting to cost the insurance companies a bundle (and I’m not talking about Flo’s bundled insurance package).  Parts and labor are in short supply driving prices even higher.  These factors make a fender bender that would have cost $1,500 to repair 3 years ago now cost about $3200.

The increased cost of repairs has been eating into the insurance company’s bottom lines, and we all know what happens next.  The insurance companies raise their rates.  That’s been happening across the board, but it’s been especially brutal for people with young drivers in their household.

Parents of young drivers are now facing some serious choices.  They are seeing increased spending at the grocery store (teenagers eat a lot); increased costs at the pump; and increased cost for auto insurance.  Something has to give.

One risk that parents are contemplating is to NOT add their young driver to their policy.  Here’s why that’s probably not a good idea. 

  • Some insurance companies are denying claims caused by members of the household that were never listed on the policy.  Remember the young driver’s have a 96% likelihood of an accident.
  • If the insurance company does cover an accident of an unlisted driver of the household, they will then add that driver to the policy and backdate it to the day they received their driver’s license, creating a potentially huge amount of money that is owed up front.  They would then likely cancel your policy leaving you with the task of finding another insurance company with a new accident and a young driver on your record.  That’s when the cost really increases.

Some Practical Advice 

  • Getting a driver’s license is not a right that teenagers have when they turn 16.  The financial condition of the family is more important than any one member of the family.  If the family cannot afford the increased cost of the teenager getting his driver’s license, then they should not get their driver’s license until they are able to pay for that themselves. 
  • Getting a driver’s license is a huge responsibility.  Part of that is a financial responsibility.  There is nothing at all wrong with making your teenager pay for their own car, gas, and/or insurance.  In fact, I think an argument can be made that it would be wrong to just give your child these things without any contribution from them.

I hope this is helpful to someone.  That’s my two cents.

The Right Time to Buy Life Insurance?

Unfortunately none of us are going to get out of here alive, and some of us will even die prematurely. That’s why it is so important to have the proper life insurance in place at the proper time in your life.

Life has many transitional stages, and these transitions should prompt us to step back for a moment and reflect on how your untimely death would affect those around you.

Some of these transitions in life include: graduating from high school, or college; marriage; buying a home; the arrival of children; a career change; Retirement Planning, and Final Expense Planning.

Graduating college students may need a $50,000 10 year term life policy to help cover the student loans. Especially if mom and dad cosigned the loans.

Newlywed couples buying their first home may need a $250,000 30 year term policy to cover the mortgage in case anything happens to the primary bread winner.

The birth of your first child may be the perfect time to review life insurance options. Maybe for the first time you are now responsible for the care and protection of a dependent. A life insurance policy can give you that peace of mind of knowing that if you can’ t be there the child’s needs will still be provided for.

Life insurance shouldn’t be viewed as a product that you purchase once and then forget it. Different stages of your life require different types of life insurance. If you haven’t done so, call your agent here at Bragg Insurance Agency today and schedule a time to review your life insurance needs. You will be glad that you did.

Show Your Valentines Your Love

Valentine’s day is in February and not-so-coincidentally it is also Insure Your Love Month. There’s no better way to Show Them Your Love than with a life insurance policy that keeps on providing even after you are already gone.

Life Insurance is a simple act of love that can take care of those things that your absence may leave behind. House payments, car payments, school payments, groceries, and every day purchases are just some of the things that your income provides.

Your greatest asset is your ability to provide for your family. It’s not your home, your 401K, or anything else. Protect your family’s income with a simple act of love.

For a free evaluation please contact Brian at Bragg Insurance agency. 317-758-5828 or by email at

5 Things to Know about Flood Insurance

  1. Flooding is excluded from most homeowner’s insurance policies.  If your home is damaged in an event defined as a flood your regular homeowner’s insurance policy is likely to deny your claim.  Here’s the official definition used by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).   A flood is “A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or of two or more properties (at least one of which is your property)”
  2. Flood Insurance Premiums are on the decrease.  With inflation on the rise it may surprise you to find out that the cost of flood insurance is decreasing.  The NFIP has been opening up the doors to private insurance companies which is driving the cost of flood insurance down.
  3. There’s a 30 Day Waiting Period to purchase Flood Insurance.   Unless you are engaging in a financial transaction that requires you to have new flood insurance you will have a 30 day waiting period before the policy goes into effect.   So don’t wait until the storm in on the radar to purchase flood protection. 
  4. You don’t have to live in a flood zone to purchase Flood Insurance.  People that have a mortgage and who live in a designated flood are normally required to have flood insurance but anyone can purchase a flood insurance policy to protect their property.  They myth that you cannot purchase flood insurance because you don’t live in a flood zone is untrue.
  5. Damages cause by floods can be extensive.    Large debris and floodwaters can cause structural damage to homes, barns and your other structures.   If flood waters enter your home they can destroy everything in its path including your personal property.

How Pet Insurance Works

Pet health insurance coverage is actually really simple.   After your purchase a Pet Health Insurance Policy from Bragg Insurance Agency you can take your pet for a covered treatment, pay the vet bill, then submit a claim for reimbursement.

When you purchase your pet insurance policy you will be able to:

Photo by Christian Domingues on
  • Select an annual coverage limit of $2,500, $5,000, $10,000 or unlimited.
  • Select a deductible of $100, $250 or $500.
  • Select a reimbursement percentage of 70%, 80% or 90%.

Policies have a 12-month term deductible, so once the deductible is met you won’t have to satisfy it again until the policy renews.  After the annual deductible is met, the reimbursement amount will be 70%, 80% or 90% of the covered invoice, based on the reimbursement percentage selected when the policy was purchased.

A package covering preventive care (with no deductible) is also available

Coverage can be purchased for multiple pets; each will have their own separate policy and premium, and each additional pet policy qualifies for a 10% discount.

Reimbursements can be deposited directly into your bank account or sent via check.

This insurance is applicable for treatments at any licensed veterinary clinic in the U.S. or Canada, including treatment from licensed specialists and emergency facilities.

Why I Purchased Pet Health Insurance

Wrigley, May 2021

Meet Wrigley.  She’s a very energetic Golden Retriever puppy.  When we purchased Wrigley the breeder described her as a “fireball”.  He was right.  She’s all energy and all pup. 

We picked Wrigley up in May of 2021; in July of 2021 she had an awkward fall and broke her back leg at the knee on the growth plate.  A better description would be that she snapped her leg.  It was a mangled mess. 

Of course this happened on a Saturday evening and our regular vet was out until Monday.  The break was so bad that there was no way we could wait until Monday.  So we loaded Wrigley up in the trusty family van and headed to the Purdue Animal Hospital. 

The awesome people at Purdue brought out a stretcher and wheeled her straight back for an exam.  After a few hours we learned that the leg could be save but it would be at least one surgery and a major financial commitment from us.  We agreed, but I was wishing that I had purchased a Pet Insurance policy!

Wrigley remained in the hospital for the weekend and Purdue performed surgery the following Monday.  A day or two later she was home.  Now, while I was told ahead of time about the financial commitment, I wasn’t prepared for the time commitment that was also involved.

For 8 weeks she was not allowed to put any weight on that leg.  She had two pins and until the break was healed it could have easily re-broken.

So for 8 week my family and I wandered around our yard with Wrigley; the leash in one hand and a sling in the other.   This was probably good entertainment for our neighbors and those driving by.

At the end of the 8 weeks we then had a couple of weeks of home physical therapy and then Wrigley was off and running again.  I can’t say enough about how good the people at Purdue were, but because they are so good, they deserve to be paid well.  And they are.

Now Wrigley is happy and healthy and runs on that once broken leg like the accident never happened. Because of our experience with Wrigley’s broken leg, the Purdue Animal Hospital and the expenses that were incurred, we are happy to now offer Pet Insurance!

Just for the record, we do indeed now have Pet Insurance for Wrigley. In fact, Wrigley now works for Bragg Insurance Agency as a spokesperson (or would that be spokesdog?)

For more information on how you can protect your bank account from unexpected expenses related to your Pet(s), contact Bragg Insurance for a free Pet Insurance Quote.

Say NO to the State’s Minimum Coverage!

Presently the minimum legal insurance coverage that you must have to drive a vehicle in Indiana is $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 for bodily injury per accident and $25,000 for property damage.    

Scenario:  You are involved in an auto accident and the other driver is injured and taken away in an ambulance.  It is determined that you were the at fault driver. You only have the state’s minimum coverage.

Q:   What if that person’s medical bills are $75,000?

A:  The injured person would hire a lawyer and sue you for the remaining $50,000 in medical expenses.

Did you know? 

Your auto insurance bodily injury liability coverage can protect you when you are in an at-fault accident where the other driver is injured.  These expenses often include:

  • Ambulance Rides
  • EMT Expenses
  • Emergency Room Charges
  • Doctors Bills
  • Hospital Stays
  • Surgeries
  • Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy
  • Lost Wages
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Lawyer Expenses
  • Any other expense that can be associated with the accident

Q:  I don’t own anything and I don’t have any money, so what do I have to lose by choosing the state’s minimum coverage?

A:   A law suit that results in a judgement against you can lead to garnished wages; liens placed on real estate and fixed assets that you own now and into the future.

RESOLUTION: Don’t settle for low liability limits on your auto insurance.  The difference in premium between the state’s minimum coverage and an acceptable coverage amount is often very small.  The insurance companies love to sell the state’s minimum coverage because they know they will never have any large pay outs and they still get your money each month. 

For an auto insurance quote that will actually protect you call Bragg Insurance at 317-758-5828 or visit our website at

How Long Does a Traffic Ticket Affect My Auto Insurance?

A traffic ticket can stay on your record for up to 10 years but will typically only affect your auto insurance rates for 3 to 5 years, depending on the insurance company. 

When evaluating your risk factors one of the areas that an insurance company looks at is moving violations.  Most insurance companies include a surcharge for moving violations such as speeding, disregarding a stop signal and tailgating to name a few.  This surcharge will continue for 3 years with most companies, while other companies continue a surcharge for up to 5 years. 

The amount of the surcharge varies depending on the number of tickets, the severity of the ticket, how recent the ticket was and if there are other negative risk factors on the policy.  The surcharge normally decreases over time as the ticket date gets older and older.

Traffic ticket divergent programs do not normally affect how an insurance company surcharges for tickets.  If the ticket shows up on the Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) the insurance company still sees this as a risk factor and will apply the same surcharge. 

Seat belt violations and parking tickets are not considered to be moving violations and normally do not affect your risk factors thus they do not normally affect your insurance rates.

If you’ve had a ticket in the last 5 years but have remained with the same insurance company, you may be paying too much for your auto insurance.  For an auto insurance rate contact Bragg Insurance Agency at 317-758-5828 or visit our website at

The 10 Year Milestone

Dear Friends,

Tomorrow, January 1st, 2021 is the 10 year anniversary for Bragg Insurance Agency. 

When I started this journey 10 years ago I had no idea how much a local insurance agent touches so many lives.  Through selling and servicing insurance policies I have developed new friendships and got to know some old friends again.

Through our great insurance carriers we have impacted our community with over $5,000,000 in paid claims and contributions. This is a significant number but even more significant is the impact you have had on my life.

There are many people to thank for the past 10 years and I’m sure I will miss some people but I do want to mention some people that have had real impact.

  1. My wife Kelly Bragg – I’ve had some pretty crazy ideas over the years and without fail you have always supported me.  Thank you!
  2. Dick and Marie Mosbaugh – I will never forget Dick walking into my office in 2011 asking to switch his and Marie’s insurance over to Bragg.  It was the first confirmation that I may be able to survive in this business.  Thank you Dick and Marie, you made a difference in my life.
  3. The community of Sheridan Indiana – This little town of Sheridan Indiana means the world to me and your kindness and acceptance of me and my family means more than I can express.  It is your open armed acceptance of Bragg Insurance agency that has made the difference.  Thank You!
  4. Jenna Romens – Jenna was my first district sales manager and mentor from Erie Insurance.  She took the time to educate me on both the insurance business and on the ins and outs of Erie.  Thank you Jenna!  I haven’t forgotten your investment in me. 
  5. Tony DaBreo – Tony took a chance on me 10 years ago by granting me an Erie Insurance contract.  Thank you Tony, you changed my life.
  6. I also want to thank my children, Garen, Kelsey, Catey and Courtney.   We had some lien years there at first but I never heard a single complaint.  Thank you kids!
  7. Thank you to my parents Dennis and Carolyn and other family members that have supported Bragg Insurance Agency for these past 10 years.

But Most of all, I want to thank God for continuing to use my life.  He walks beside me each day and holds me up when I’m ready to fall. 

Now the questions is what’s next….I’m happy to report that we are currently planning to add more insurance related products sometime next year.  We are also doing some long term planning for 10 and even 20 years into the future. 

Thank you for your loyalty and friendship! Bragg Insurance Agency, your friends in the insurance business. 

Your Neighbor’s Dead Tree

Dustin from Tipton recently asked me a great question. He asks,

“If my neighbor has a tree that is dead and could possibly hit my house if it falls. How do I go about making sure that if their stuff falls on my house that I don’t have to pay for it?”

Yes, it’s true. If your neighbor’s tree falls on your property and causes damages, you are responsible for the damages to your own property. Meaning if there is enough damage for an insurance claim, it would hit your policy. storm-843732_1920

However there could be an exception to that rule if you have noticed the dead tree and asked your neighbor to cut down the tree or remove the hazard. The key is to give your neighbor proper notice of your concern, establish a paper trail, and ask him to remove the hazard.

Here are some suggested steps that you can take

  1. Verbally tell your neighbor of your concern and ask if he will remove the hazard. Most of the time this is the only step you will need to take as most people want to be good neighbors. It could even be a project you and your neighbor could work on together.
  2. If your neighbor will not comply, the next step would be to send him something in writing. An email or certified letter would be ideal. At this point you are looking to establish a paper trail of notices and requests. I would try this step several times before moving on to step 3.
  3. If significant time has passed and your neighbor is either ignoring your requests or does not indicate he will comply with your request you may want to get a third party involved. You could ask your homeowners association, local town board, or an attorney to send a letter to the neighbor on your behalf.

Remember, this is still America and your neighbor has rights, and in most instances, there is actually nothing you can do to make him remove the hazard. You are simply establishing a paper trail that you may need at some point in the future. You want to be able to show an insurance adjuster that you gave your neighbor plenty of warnings and requests of your concern.

If there is ever an event that involves that hazard, your insurance adjuster may be able to take the paper trail that you provide him and hold your neighbor accountable for your financial loss.  In most cases the insurance company would first take care of your damages, and then pursue other actions to get the money back from the neighbor.