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.
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.
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:
Emergency Room Charges
Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy
Pain and Suffering
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 http://www.bragginsurance.com
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 www.bragginsurance.com
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.
My wife Kelly Bragg – I’ve had some pretty crazy ideas over the years and without fail you have always supported me. Thank you!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
If you live in a designated flood area, and have a mortgage, you are required by FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to have flood insurance. Until recently that coverage had to be purchased through NFIP. However recent changes have opened up the door for private insurance companies to start competing with NFIP. While these changes are still developing some mortgage companies are now accepting private flood insurance plans as well as the NFIP.
With competition come better pricing and better coverage options. If you are now required to have flood insurance, contact your lender to find out if they will accept flood insurance from a private insurance carrier.
Bragg Insurance Agency (BIA) will be rewarding our clients and members of our community for referring their friends and family to our agency. Each qualified referral will earn the referring partner a $10 gift card (no purchase necessary). The referring partner’s name will then be entered into a drawing at the end of that month for an additional $50 gift card. In addition the referring partner’s name will be entered into another drawing to take place twice per year for a $100 gift card.
There is no limit to the number of gift cards that can be earned Purchase is not necessary to enter and win! A referring partner could potentially earn up to $160 for a single referral!
A qualified referral is a person or business that has a verifiable need for an insurance product that BIA offers; is not a current customer of BIA; has not been a customer of BIA within the past 90 days; and hasn’t applied for insurance with BIA within the past 90 days.
Call Brian Bragg at 317-758-5828 for all of the details and to learn how you can become a BIA referring partner!
If you own a John Deere Gator, Polaris 4-Wheeler, Golf Cart or any other type of all-terrain-vehicle (ATV) that can be driven on or off your property there are some things you should know about how your homeowner’s insurance policy may or may not cover your liability and your property.
Don’t assume that your homeowner’s insurance has you covered.
Depending upon your insurance company and type of homeowner’s policy that you have, your homeowner’s policy may have you covered while the ATV is on your premises. Don’t assume that you are covered; make a quick phone call to your local insurance agent and check your coverage. ATV’s are expensive and your liability is unlimited so a quick check in with your agent is well worth it.
In all likelihood you will be driving the ATV off premises, at least occasionally. This is where things could get ugly. Homeowner’s insurance companies rate you policy with the risk factors at your home in mind. When you drive your ATV off or your property there are many other risk factors that come into play. Because of this, most homeowner’s insurance policies exclude liability and property coverage to ATV’s driven off premises.
The good news is the endorsement is inexpensive.
To cover your ATV and your liability when you drive it off of your property is normally a pretty easy and inexpensive fix. Depending upon your insurance company, you may be able to add an endorsement to your policy that covers both your ATV and your liability. I recently did this type of endorsement and it cost the homeowners $22 for the year. But, if this policy went unendorsed there would be no coverage if an accident occurred.
If your homeowner’s policy does not offer such an endorsement there are also inexpensive policies that you can purchase. Depending upon the circumstances these policies can range in price from $30 to $225 per year. This is a whole lot less expensive than the cost of replacing your ATV or covering the medical costs of someone who may be injured as a result of an accident caused by the ATV.
The Key is Communication
The relationship that you have with your insurance agent should be a good one. Their contact information should be easy for you to locate and you should feel comfortable calling or emailing them to find out how your coverage works. Your insurance agent should also be relatively quick with their response (within 24 hours). Regardless of who your insurance agent is, you must communicate these types of changes. It’s always a mistake to assume that you are covered. Simply make the phone call or email to assure yourself that you have the coverage that you think you have.
Once again, it’s a new year. January is a great time of year to reflect back on the previous year while we make plans and preparing for upcoming year.
I like to look back into my checkbook register from the previous year to see where I spent my money. This is a good indication of what I did and where my heart was. I’m always surprised by some meaningful things that I did during the course of the year that I forgot about. I’m also surprised by how much everything cost these days.
Because It’s easy to forget about some decisions that we’ve made and today’s cost of living I highly recommend that you review your insurance coverages with your agent at least once per year. It’s an exercise that can take as little as 15 minutes but may end up saving you thousands of dollars.
Top 10 things to review with your Insurance Agent
Life Insurance Face Amount – You are your family’s most important asset, if you are gone your incomes goes with you. Make sure that you understand the type of life insurance that you have, the face amount and any expiration dates that they policy may have.
Discounts – When reviewing your coverages with your agent be sure to ask if you have received every available discount .
Best Company for you? – If you are working with an independent insurance agency (I highly recommend) be sure to ask if the company you are with is the best company for you. I think it’s a good idea to shop your insurance every couple of year to make sure you are getting the best coverages at the best possible price.
Auto Insurance Bodily Injury Liability Coverage – Probably the biggest risk you take is when you drive. If you injure or kill someone while driving the medical expenses can be devastating. Be sure you understand how much coverage you have and purchase as much as you can afford.
Personal Liability Coverage – As a part of your homeowners insurance policy, personal liability coverage is very inexpensive. Normally the minimum coverage amount is $100,000 but increasing this coverage to $500,000 may cost as little as $20 per year. If you have a large liability loss, a good attorney may cost $100,000 so increasing this amount may be important.
Homeowners Dwelling Coverage – Be sure that your homeowner dwelling coverage is for Replacement Cost and Comprehensive Perils. Also, be sure that your dwelling amount is enough to completely rebuild your home. If you are unsure about the amount, ask your agent for a copy of the Evaluation Tool (MSB) used to arrive at your dwelling amount.
Personal Property Coverage – It is difficult to arrive at a replacement value for all of your personal property. Review that number with your agent and purchase the most coverage that you can afford. Be sure that your personal property coverage includes Replacement Cost and Comprehensive Perils.
Jewelry, Guns & Collectible – While your personal property coverage amount may be enough coverage for your jewelry, guns and collectibles, most homeowners insurance companies limit the amount that you can collect for these items. Be sure to discuss these items with your agent and make sure that you have enough coverage.
Deductibles – Make sure you know and understand how your deductibles work. Your homeowner’s insurance policy may have separate deductibles for separate events. Your auto insurance policies may also have different deductible amount for comprehensive and collision claims.
Other Structure Coverage Amount – If you have a barn, a large building, or any other structure that is not attached to your home, make sure those outbuildings have enough coverage incase of a tornado, fire or unexpected event.
Of course if you ever need help understanding your coverages we at Bragg Insurance Agency are always happy to help. Bragg Insurance, your friends in the insurance business.