Do you have an office?

Yes I do, one at home and one in a nice space in Wappingers Falls.  Do I need an office? That is debatable.  Do you need me to have an office? Not really.  How often have you gone to your insurance company or agent’s office?  My guess is not often since there is no need to go.

This is not me advocating for the Internet just me trying to make a point.  The Internet is a wonderful thing, meeting people in person is even more wonderful.  Does the meeting have to take place in an office?  NO!

Heck if  you go into an office and it is full of file cabinets and desktop computers I might become a bit concerned.

If the weather people are right…

You may want to read this.

So supposedly a Nor’Easter is making it’s way up the east coast bringing 3 inches of rain and maybe some snow.  So in the event it gets here and you or a friend has some problems that may mean an insurance claim here are some tips:

1. It is your job to try and limit the loss once it occurs.  Do the best you can to tarp over any damaged parts of your home.

2. The coverage you have is for your house and other buildings and structures.  If trees and branches fall in your yard you will likely not have coverage for the clean up.

3. Know a good tree person?  If the damage is sever things can get busy, better to call sooner rather than later.

4. DOCUMENT the damage before fixing it.  Emailing photos to your claims adjuster will be greatly appreciated

5. Should water get into the basement or other area of your home be sure to dry it as quickly as possible.

Just some thoughts, hopefully they do not need to be used.

Get a consistent insurance rate IGNORE advertising

Maybe it’s just me but my mailbox, inbox, tweet-stream, radio-stations and T.V. are not flooded with companies pitching a savings on my oil bill, electric bill, health insurance, lawn care and even my mortgage is not overrun with advertisements about lowering my bill.  Yet we review these annually if not sooner to make sure our rate is consistent.

Now compare that to the amount of insurance advertising you hear about “saving” money. The problem is none of it actually tells you how to consistently save.  The hope is you will call and provide your personal information and they will hope you fit into the rate structure they have available.  The odds of you getting some actually useful information about your coverage and adjustments you can make to customize your policy is pretty slim.  That’s a shame.

See your personal characteristics factor really heavily into your rate.  As important as they are you also need to adjust your attitude towards insurance.  It is a CRITICAL piece of your financial plan, give it the attention it deserves.  ONCE A YEAR, that’s it.  Maybe 30 minutes of your time.  Well worth keeping a consistent rate and protecting EVERYTHING you do the rest of the year.

Why are you asking so many

questions?  To put it simply if you want a quote you do not need that many questions.  If however you want a policy that actually does something the more questions you are asked the better.  Most people prefer a plan that is customized to their situation as opposed to buying what everyone else has.  Every company has at least a dozen separate endorsements you can add to your policy.  Each household has something that makes them unique, why shouldn’t there policies also be unique to them?

How many insurance policies do you have?

Let’ start with the typical two person household; You own vehicles so you have (1) auto insurance , whether you have a mortgage or not you are smart enough to own insurance for your residence (2)renters/home/condo/mobile home ,  you have also decided to by some extra liability insurance so you have an (3) umbrella policy.  Now you also have other interests so you have insurance plans for your (4)boat, (5) atv (6) motorcycle (7) motorhome and (8) classic car .

So physical things are covered what about you? Well of course you purchase (9)health insurance and  you each own (10), (11) life insurance as well as (12) (13) disability insurance .  You even took advantage of the AFLAC (14) accident and (15) cancer plans offered at work to supplement the (16) catastrophic illness plan you bought separately .  Don’t forget about your teeth (17) dental insurance and your eyes (18) vision.

18 yes 18 different policies.  In case you were wondering insurance plays a HUGE role in the bottom line of your household.  But wait what if….

You own an investment property (19) landlords insurance and that little vacation place at the lake (20) second home insurance, I was wondering where you kept those toys.  Well certainly we must be done.  Well what if you own a business…

So you need some basic (21) general liability coverage then depending on the business you will need (22) workers comp and (23) disability and quite possibly(24) commercial auto not to mention the (25) professional liability coverage you may have as well as the (26) directors and officers for the board you serve on. Whew, 26 potential policies for you to keep an eye on and there are even more than this this is actually pretty basic.

Insurance is a big puzzle and the scary part is there are still people out there who will “predict” you are over insured before they complete the puzzle.