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.
Getting the best possible rate for your life insurance policy may mean that you have to undergo a medical exam. Preparing for this exam is important. The better your overall physical health, the lower your life insurance premium will be.
With this in mind, preparing for and being at your best at the time of the medical exam could mean the difference in getting “preferred rate” or getting a “standard rate”.
Here are some things that we at Bragg Insurance Agency advise our clients to do in preparation of the life insurance exam.
- Some things that can negatively affect your medical exam and life insurance rates are your height to weight ratio (obesity), and drug and/or alcohol use. If you are slightly overweight try to lose a few pounds before the exam
- Try to abstain from using alcohol and caffeine at least 3 days prior to the exam. Also let the examiner know about any prescription drugs that may be in your system.
- Stay away from fatty foods such as shellfish and poppy seeds for at least 3 days prior to the exam. Shellfish can increase your cholesterol and poppy seeds can cause you to test positive for opium. (Insert Seinfeld Joke Here)
- If you are a smoker, the best thing that you can do for the exam and for your longevity is to stop smoking as soon as possible. Smoking and tobacco use cuts about 10 years off of your life expectancy. While you have to disclose your lifetime tobacco use, kicking the habit makes life insurance underwriting go much smoother.
- Schedule your exam for first thing in the morning and before you have breakfast. The exam will come out in your favor if you fast the day before. Scheduling the exam for early the next morning makes this a little easier.
- Get plenty of rest. Since you will be fasting anyway, go to bed early the night before the exam and try to relax.
- The exam could take as long as 30 minutes. Allow yourself some extra time and relax. Your exam results could be negatively affected if you are in a rush, inpatient, or edgy. Relaxation will help your heart rate and your blood work.
- Have your photo ID ready and expect some questions from the examiner. They are going to ask you about smoking, drinking, drug use, and any dangerous activities. These are normal questions that are asked of everyone so don’t be offended or surprise, just be ready to give accurate answers.
- During the medical exam the nurse will check your height, weight, pulse, and your blood pressure. They will also likely ask for a urine sample and draw blood. In some cases they may even administer and EKG. Again this is all normal, so try to stay relaxed.
Once your exam is completed the insurance company will start the process of determining your rating tier. Depending on the application and the results from the exam this could go quickly, or they may ask your doctor for a statement in regards to an underwriting question.
If they ask your doctor for a physician’s statement it may take some time for your doctor to respond. On average it takes about 30 to 45 days for an insurance company to obtain a physicians statement from most doctors. Your doctor may be quicker to respond or slower.
For more information on life insurance exams and life insurance in general, contact Bragg Insurance Agency at 317-758-5828, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I got good news today from my doctor, telling me that instead of the surgery I was dreading for my worn out knees, that I likely just need Physical Therapy (PT). For many reasons this is welcomed news as well as an eye opener for me.
The reason for the PT is because years ago I had my knees operated on and then I just moved on with life. I failed to do any PT after the surgery and the muscles in my legs never fully recovered. I just moved on and forgot about it.
The bad news is that my knees are now weak and in bad need of PT, the good news is that I can now do something about it. I met with a physical therapist and he has me on a plan to help me strengthen my knees that will help improve my life.
The attitude that I had about my knees reminds me of the attitudes some people have toward their insurance plan.
They meet with an insurance person once, purchase a policy and then move on with life. They “Set it and Forget it.”
Insurance is not a “Set it and Forget It”. It is important that you review your coverages with your agent at least every 12 months. Another important time to review your coverages is when you have a “Life Event”, such as a wedding, a new driver, or a new room addition to your house.
Don’t treat your insurance plan like I did my knees. Take the time to review your coverages as often as necessary with your agent. Life changes and your insurance needs will change with your life.
Posted in Car Insurance, Hamilton County Insurance, Homeowners Insurance, Life Insurance, Umbrella Insurance, Uncategorized
- Tagged Auto Insurance, Business Insurance, Hamilton County Indiana Insurance, Homeowners Insurance, Life Insurance;, Noblesville, Sheridan Indiana, Westfield Indiana Insurance
Sports and Recreation are American’s favorite pastime, but for many the pastime becomes an obsession. We put great athletes on pedestals and aspire to be like our favorite sportsman or sportswoman. This pushes us to work hard to accomplish our goals and win the prize. And sometimes we go too far.
Going to far often times leads to injury or even death. These injuries can be as simple as a twisted ankle or as a sever as a heart attack or anything in-between, and in our litigious society you better have a plan to cover your team, your league, your facilities and your own personal assets.
Bragg Insurance Agency is excited to offer Sports and Recreation Insurance. Below is a partial list of some of the sports, events, and recreational activities that we can insure. Before you hit the field…Call Bragg!
- Religious Camps
- Conference Centers
- Retreat Camps
- Fairs & Festivals
- Political Campaigns and Events
- Tourist Attractions
- Trade Shows
- Zoos & Aquariums
- Motorcycle Dealerships
- Dirt Bikes an Motocross Bikes
- Health & Fitness Facilities
- Skating Facilities
- Amateur Sports Associations
- Amateur Sports Events
- Athletic Conferences
- Coaches & Officials
- High School Athletics
- Sports Camps
- Tractor & Truck Pulls
- Climbing Walls
- Carriage Rides
- Bowling & Billiard Centers
- Movie Theaters
- Social Clubs
- Gymnastic Clubs
- Martial Arts Schools
- AND MANY MORE
Bragg Insurance Agency is excited to announce the opening of our video information Library! This new tool developed for Bragg Insurance Agency clients will help to answer many of your questions about how your insurance coverages work.
To visit the Insurance Video Library you can click on the following link. http://myinsurancevideos.com/all-videos/braggins/
We are hopeful that these 36 videos will help our community to make great decisions about their insurance coverages!
Posted in Car Insurance, Hamilton County Insurance, Homeowners Insurance, Insurance Annual Review, Replacement Value Insurance, Uncategorized
- Tagged Auto Insurance, homeowners, Homeowners Insurance, Identity Theft, Insurance, Life Insurance;, Money, Save Money
A common question that we get in the agency is, “What is the difference between liability only and full coverage?” This is a difficult question to answer because the terms, “liability only” and “full coverage” are relative terms, meaning different things to different people. At Bragg Insurance Agency our job is to open up the discussion with the client about their coverage so that we can fulfil their expectations. Communication is the key.
This video does a great job of discussing the different types of coverages that you can have in an auto insurance policy.