Before the wind blows; protect your home and auto from severe weather.

     by Brad Smith   TruePoint Insurance Group, LLC      www.insuringky.com
The first signs of spring

Spring is knocking at the door and with it the rising risk of insurance claims. The number and severity of storms in Kentucky have grown at an alarming rate. The average number of tornadoes in Kentucky over the last five years is 28.7. The annual average going back to 1950 at 14.6 tornadoes per year is roughly one half of the current experience.

Is Kentucky part of Tornado Alley?

Kentucky’s weather is so out of hand.  Some have even suggested that we are now part of the infamous Tornado Alley. A 2018 report by LEX18 News said just that.

In 2018 Kentucky was hit by 604 wind and hail storms. Of these, 41 were tornadoes. That is up 43% from the previous five years and an even more alarming 181% from the period 1950 through 2018.

US Government HARP project is commonly considered to be experimenting with weather control
US Government HARP project is commonly considered to be experimenting with weather control

While we cannot change the weather, we can reduce Kentucky home and auto owner’s exposure to it. Insurance is not a commodity. There are some that would like for you to think it is. Good insurance agents recognize the importance of providing clients with the proper protection. That includes responding to ever changing risks.

Storm Alert: Auto insurance awareness

Hail damaged car

Protecting your car from damages related to storms is simple. Make sure you have comprehensive coverage checked. It provides coverage for vehicles damaged by wind, hail or falling objects.

Every auto on the road must have liability insurance. But the wheels of many high-value and antique cars may never touch the road. Do these vehicles need liability insurance? Maybe not, and they may not need collision coverage either. Let’s stop and think about the next move. Removing comprehensive coverage may not be the smartest move. When insurance is dropped on cars that are not driven, owners are still exposed to Mother Nature. Fire, wind, hail and other risk can still damage the vehicle even when it’s garaged. These risks are compounded during the spring.

Comprehensive coverage is relatively inexpensive. Relative to the potential loss, this coverage can be very cost effective.

Storm Alert: Home insurance Awareness

Each client’s unique needs determine the coverages required. However, there are several considerations that may have severe impact on anyone.

While tornadoes take center stage, it’s the hail storms that lead the way when it comes to losses. While this statement may seem insignificant it has major ramifications on insurance. Total loss or partial loss. Tornado versus hail storm. A good insurance policy needs to work well regardless.


 What types of losses will your policy cover? This is critical. If it is available to you, a special peril or all-risk policy is what you want. As opposed to a basic form or broad form, the special option provides superior protection.

You will have the option for Replacement Cost coverage or Actual Cash Value (ACV). All other things being equal, you will receive a higher payment if your policy pays Replacement cost.

Deductibles may seem a bit dull when compared to other areas. You choose $500 or $1,000, big deal.

Not so fast!

Many insurance companies have been forced to alter risk sharing practices. Beware, as some are no longer asking for a set dollar deductible. Instead, you may find that your policy has a deductible that is 1 or 2%. At first blush, it sounds like a pretty good deal for the home team. Again, beware! This 1 or 2% of the total and it’s not the total value of the loss. Your deductible is based on the total value of your home. For example:

A homeowner has wind damaged roof

§ Estimates for the repair work come in at $1,500

§ The home is valued at $600,000

§ There is a 2% wind/hail deductible

The $1,500 loss will be shared by:

§ The homeowner paying $1,200

§ And the insurance company $300

 Spring storms bring more than just wind and hail. Heavy rains can lead to various forms of water damage. Be sure to discuss flood insurance and water backup coverage with your insurance broker. Neither of these will be covered by a standard homeowner’s policy.

Spring! It’s a wonderful season and our springs in Kentucky are certainly hard to beat. I think about how much I loved spring as a child. It was by far my favorite season.

As an adult the grandeur has diminished. How wonderful it would be to experience spring through the eyes of child again.

What is keeping me from doing it? 

Could it be as simple as the aided stresses of being an adult?

If so, then we should all take the time to review our insurance coverages before the wind starts to blow. This should go a long way in reducing stress.

Take care of the insurance and you’re half way home. Of course the other biggie is your income taxes and there you’re on your own. Have fun!

Call (502) 410-5089 or use the link below to learn more about TruePoint: TruePoint Insurance, we are insuringky.com

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3 Benefits of Term Life Insurance

At TruePoint Insurance, agents help the residents of Fisherville, KY find the right type of life insurance for their needs. Term life is an excellent choice for individuals who want to make sure that their final expenses are covered. It’s also an option if you want to have the policy mature within a specific period. A term life policy offers a variety of benefits that other types of life insurance don’t.

Specific Time Frame

Term life insurance is written for a specific number of years. Each payment is used to add equity to the policy until it matures at the end of the designated term. Term life policies can be written for 10, 20, or 30 years, depending on how big the plan is and how much you want your monthly premiums to be.

Builds Usable Equity

As you continue to make your payments, the equity in the policy continues to grow. Once the equity has reached a certain amount, you may have the option to borrow against it. This is an excellent option if you have an emergency and need access to cash. You can then pay the loan back by paying an additional payment every month, or additional payments can be added to the end of the term.

Lower Payments

One of the primary benefits of a term policy is that the monthly premiums are much smaller than a whole life policy. The longer the term, the lower the monthly payment.

If you live in the Fisherville, KY area and have questions concerning term life insurance, call the agents at TruePoint Insurance and schedule an appointment. They will go over all of your questions and make sure you have the answers you need to make an informed choice.

 

TruePoint Welcomes Tammy Rue

TruePoint Welcomes Tammy Rue

We have some great news to share.  Tammy Rue, a life long resident of Anderson County is now a part of the TruePoint team and we are excited.

Tammy has spent over 21 years helping individuals and businesses in Anderson County with their insurance needs.  Finding individuals with deep local roots that also have extensive insurance experience doesn’t happen often. So it didn’t take long for us to realize the impact that Tammy could have.  Going forward she will play a big part in our efforts in Lawrenceburg. too.

Drop by our Eagle Lake location this Friday, February 8th to help us celebrate this great addition to our team.  Download

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Do You Need Commerical Insurance For A Business Providing A Service?

If you are the owner of a business that provides services to clients or the public, you may wonder if you need insurance, especially if you operate from home. All businesses that provide a service should have some level of coverage, even if it is liability coverage. 

Businesses Providing A Service

If your company or organization provides a service to people, you need protection. You never know when you or someone you work for will be injured or suffer a loss. You can be held accountable for any incidence, and it can cause financial devastation without the right coverage for your market. Some businesses that need reliable coverage include lawn services, repair services, home health, in-home daycare, and more. Speak with an insurance expert to find out what type of coverage suits your business needs and make sure you don’t have costly gaps. 

Working With An Expert

Always choose an agency that has expert agents when it comes to commercial insurance. They will help you find security and peace of mind with high-quality insurance products that protect you from a variety of dangers an potential threats to you and your business. If you live around the Fisherville, KY area, you can trust TruePoint Insurance to guide you in the right directions and present options that you need.

Don’t take chances if you provide a public service. Something could happen at any time and can jeopardize your career and your financial situation unless you have the right insurance coverage. Call or stop by TruePoint Insurance, proudly serving the residents in and around the Lawrence and Fisherville, KY area. We will work with you to find a policy that fits your situation and answer all of your questions. 

What Kind of Boats Need Insurance?

One of the most common questions boat owners ask is whether they need insurance, and what kind of boats require such insurance. Based on state law, you are not legally obligated to invest in boat insurance. However, you leave yourself susceptible to a number of issues if you fail to invest in such protection. Whether you live in Fisherville, KY or the surrounding communities, you’ll want to protect your boat. TruePoint Insurance can help. 

Consider What You Paid for the Boat

You do not legally need to have boat insurance to own a boat or even use it. However, first consider what you paid for the boat. Now think about what would happen if your vehicle is involved in an accident while driving it to the lake. Your auto insurance coverage does not protect your boat. This means even if someone runs a red light and crashes into your boat during transport, your auto insurance coverage will not pay for it. 

All Kinds of Boats Can Receive Coverage

If you’re able to take the vessel out onto the water, then it can be protected with a form of boat insurance. Whether you have a sailboat you’re taking down to the gulf, or you have a paddle boat you like to take out on the lake, all vessels can (and should) be protected with boat insurance. 

You are never legally required to obtain boat insurance. However, an accident on your way to the lake, on the lake, or even inside of your garage, may put your purchase at financial risk, and can even put you at risk of paying out due to liability issues. To find out what kind of coverage options are available for you in the greater Fisherville, KY area, you need to give the team at TruePoint Insurance a call today. 

Who’s in the driver’s seat? (part 2 of 2)

TruePoint Insurance at Christmas

The Critic’s View

Those opposed to the autonomous car can defend their position by using safety statistics alone.   While self-driving autos may be the thing of the future, the future certainly isn’t now.

Proponents may also have a flawed economic model.  While they argue that eliminating the driver will reduce the cost so dramatically that car ownership will soon be a thing of the past.  Taxi stands will soon be on every corner.

But do we currently have enough taxis, Uber, etc. to meet he need?  How many more will be neededto meet the twice-daily rush hour demand across America? 

Absolutely no way!  In 2012 there were 234,000 taxis in America.  That may be enough to address the required cars in Louisville, Kentucky during rush hour. 

Assume we do develop taxi fleets across the US that will satisfy our needs.  128 Million people in the US  commute to work by car.  Does that means we need to add 127 Million vehicles added to our taxi services?  Sure ride sharing will cut that number significantly, but you are still looking for 60 to 80 million new cars. The vast majority of those will be used only three or four hours a day.  Unused vehicles taking up space in garages and will still be subject to numerous fixed costs.  Costs that will quickly eliminate the 70% saving, and may likely lead to a higher price than today’s model.  What the proponents are missing is that the actual driver cost isn’t 70% of the current transportation cost.  That is unless someone is paying you to set in rush hour traffic!

Besides the safety and cost issues, several more problems need to be addressed.  Of greatest concern our Issues that will significantly impact the safety of driverless vehicles as they age, a broader understanding of the risks associated with computer drivers, and who should we point the finger at when things do go wrong.  Below are just a few examples ssues that concern me:

  • •    Proponents argue that humans are more apt to err.  Lots of stuff including catching the virus of the month can lower our capacity to drive.  Oops, computers get viruses too. 
  •      o         What happens whenthe computer is operating correctly?
  •      o         Could a nation ofdriver-less vehicles be immune to a cyber-attack? 
  • •    Time in when the shop.  My current car has an alert that stays on each winter.  It is related to the car’s ability to burn fuel with a higher alcohol level.  I know that it isn’t hurting anything and when I get it fixed, it is likely to re-occur.  So I wait until spring and it always takes care of itself.  My wife’s last car had a low tire level light that went on and off regularly.  It was caused because a magnet flew off.  I could have spent $85 and crossed my fingers that it wouldn’t happen again or I could visually check my tires if need. 

Will computers use the same logic that I do?  Or will I walk out to the garage one morning to find that my driverless car drove itself to the garage?

  • •    If you don’t see this one coming, then shame on you.  My car is in line waiting for well over an hour to get it’s required quarterly safety and maintenance checkup at the DMV. You think it drove itself there? Of course, it did, but not without you there to pay for your licensing and renewal.  Yes, that will eventually become part of the computer’s program, but what happens if your car fails the inspection.  If you don’t want to pay an outrageous towing bill, then you better be there to drive the car home or to the nearest Computer Diagnostics and Reprogramming Garage.
  • •    I ’ve, and I am going to be late for the most critical meeting ever.  Will the driverless car let me speed?  Better yet, we are out in the country for a Sunday afternoon drive when my wife goes into labor.  How fast will the car go?
  • •    Car insurance.  Who will pay for auto insurance on an autonomous vehicle?  The manufacturer?  That’s what everyone around me seems to think.  But I almost certain they will be wrong.  Sure the manufacturer should be on the hook for flawed programming.  But I will be shocked if the will accept exposure for your lack of maintenance or a slew of other things that you may do or not do that results in an accident. Will there be multiple policies in place to provide auto liability protection.  That certainly doesn’t sound efficient to me.  And that leads to another issue…..
  • •    Data. Do you think the government will mandate that manufacturers provide data storage for your vehicle?  You bet they will, and I am guessing it will be extreme overkill and wind up looking something akin to an airplanes black box. 
  •      o    Data on everywhere you go and when. 
  •      o    But the real issue is whose data is it.  Is it yours’, the manufacturer’s, your car insurance company’s, the police, government, Homeland Security……….
  • •    What will happen if you’re driving done the interstate and solar flares begin to impact your computer and those driving all the other cars that are on the highway?
  • •    Cable or Dish…..dish users know that trying to watch TV during a heavy rainstorm is a waste of time.  How does the driverless car respond to weather, or construction zones, police officers waiving you around blocked roads, flash floods, and so many more obstacles and hazards that are associated with driving?  Maybe these factors have been already accounted for, but these are a few the questions that I will need to have answered before my first ride with HAL. 

When will driver-less cars be available to the masses?

I don’t know the answer to that question.  If it were up to me I would not subject citizens to any unwarranted risk.  Why should we be forced to share the road with autonomous automobiles until they are safer than the average human driver?  

People are dying every day that could be given access to drugs not yet approved by the FDA.  In many cases, these nonapproved drugs represent the only real hope some have.

Why is our government blocking access to the only hope that these desperate people might have?  I don’t know!  But I am sure of this!  If our government continues refusing dying Americans access to hope, then they damn well better be keeping experimental cars that have a record for higher fatalities, off the roads that my kids are driving.

https://www.insuringky.com/blog/whos-in-the-drivers-seat-part-1-of-2/

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Who’s in the driver’s seat? (Part 1 of 2)

TruePoint Insurance at Christmas
horse and buggy

It started out as “you’re in the saddle.”  Later, as cars replaced horses and buggies, the figure of speech would change to” you’re in the driver’s seat.”  In both cases, the terms were used to acknowledge a person’s authority, that they were in charge or that everything was under control.

There will come a day when neither of these will have meaning to the majority of people.  Whether we are ready or not, we are rapidly moving towards a day where cars will no longer be operated by humans, but instead by computers. 

December of 2018 may soon be remembered as the beginning of the transition to autonomous or driverless cars.  This is the month when Waymo, a Google spinoff, started the first self-driving taxi service.  Operating in the suburbs of Phoenix Waymo One is being met with mixed greetings.

Some envision a transition similar to when we went from the horse and buggy to the horseless carriage.      Others anticipate more sweeping changes.  Not only will we use self-driving vehicles, but the need to own autos will be eliminated.  Their model for the future of auto transportation is driven by estimates that expenses for taxi services will drop by as much as 70% when vehicles no longer require drivers.  With a new abundance of taxis, American consumers will always be within minutes of an autonomous car.  Additional taxi owners will pass on much of their saving to consumers make it impractical to own a car. 

The Proponent’s View

Imagine being able to eliminate standing in line at the DMV to license or register your vehicle.  How about never having to pump gas again, or even better you will never need car insurance again.  There will be no need for maintenance, you no longer make payments for your car loan and parking garages will be a thing of the past.   Aspreviously discussed, fares will plummet, making the option of owning a caruneconomical

This group will also argue the benefits associated when potential human err is no longer part of the equation.  They will conclude that driverless cars will be a safer way to commute.

A War is Brewing

Given the initial results in Phoenix, it’s my guess that those In favor of autonomous vehicles are in the minority.  Reports are common of drivers intentionally trying to cause malfunctions and attempting to force driverless cars off the road.  There have even been reports of guns being pulled on occupants of Waymo vans. Why are these drivers so upset? 

It’s not about protecting the status quo, it’s about protecting our families!

Why aren’t more people upset about the string of deathsrelated to autonomous vehicles.  It hasme concerned and apparently, a lot of folk in Arizona are too.   It would appear that many of us are worried that we are moving too fast.  Better said, that our government is failing to protect us. 

Those in favor of driverless cars will argue that the autonomous auto will cut motor vehicle accidents by 80%, maybe as high as 90%.  The key word being will.  The autonomous car is not ready for primetime.  Given recent results, it’s not even close to being street ready. 

Self-driving cars are over 30 times more deadly than current cars and drivers.  Where is our government that predicts us from everything else?  Obviously not in Arizona!  This is where you will find frustrated citizens that have every right to be upset.  Sure pointing a gun at someone is not a solution, it is just adding to the problem.  But allowing a computer to access the streets of Phoenix is equivalent of playing Russian roulette with two bullets.  Why is this being allowed?   Why aren’t the people being heard?

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Continue reading part 2 of 2

Tis the season for insurance claims

The holiday season has arrived

What are your least favorite things about the holidays? Don’t get me wrong, the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is a wonderful time of year. For many of us in Kentucky, the holiday period ranks right up there with Selection Sunday and the Final Four.

Despite the magic of the holiday season, there is often more Christmas Hassle than there is Cheer! My list of holiday hang-ups is pretty long:

Shopping Risk

     • Shopping
     • Too much Traffic
     • Shopping Malls
     • More Distractions
     • Parking to Shop
     • There is never enough time and       even less during the holidays
     • Shoppers that jaywalk

It’s no wonder that auto accidents increase during the holidays. The last-minute rush for gifts doesn’t mix well with the office parties serving too much holiday cheer.

     • Drive Defensively
     • Avoid extra frustration
     • Manage stress
     • Stay on top changes in the weather
     • And don’t drink and drive

The holidays are also a bad time for home insurance claims. Recent statistics from the National Fire Protection Association show that:

     • there are 800 home fires each year due to holiday decorations
     • 23 home candle fires each day
          o Over half of all home decoration fires are started by candles
          o The three worst days for candle fires:
                Christmas
                New Year’s Day
                New Year’s Eve
     • There are 471 home fires each day as a result of cooking.
          o The leading cause, almost 1/3rd of all cooking-related fires are a        result of unattended cooking
          o Electric ranges have a higher risk than gas
     • Fireworks: Ten% of all fireworks-related fires occur during the days just before and after New Years
     • Christmas trees can be blamed for 170 home fires each year.

33% of all Christmas tree fires occur in January. How many days are you people leaving your Christmas trees up? There aren’t a lot of hard and fast New Year’s Day traditions at our house. Some years we have cooked cabbage, other years we had black-eyed peas. Cornbread, greens, pork and various other foods have made their way to our New Year’s Day table, all in hopes of good luck for the coming year.

But there is one tradition that we have observed every year that we have been married. The Christmas tree and other decorations come down. No discussion. I’ve seen others that suggest that January 5th or 6th is the proper day to take your tree down as that is the 12th day or the end of the celebration of the birth of Christ.

So if trees are coming down on the 5th or 6th of January how can 33% of all Christmas tree fires occur in January. I am sure that some of you are procrastinating, but I think that the high number of January fires is due to dry trees. Below are my thoughts on how to eliminate homeowner’s insurance claims related to Christmas trees:

  1. Obviously how long you leave your tree up impacts the risk of having a fire. But studies have indicated that you can significantly extend the fresh life of your tree by watering regularly. Daily versus weekly watering may double, triple, even quadruple the moisture content of a tree cut for two months. WATER, WATER, WATER, the more you WATER he longer your tree will remain fresh and safe.
  2. The most important advice to maintain a new Christmas tree is WATER. Water your tree daily my personal opinion is to avoid additives. Just Water. Tap water is fine. And never use the spay on tree fresheners.
  3. When you get home with your tree, cut an inch of the bottom to improve the tree’s ability to take up water.
  4. WATER your tree daily. One quart of water per inch your trees stem diameter
  5. Do not place your tree near a heat source.
  6. It is IMPORTANT TO WATER YOUR TREE DAILY
  7. Do not put your tree in an area that will expose the tree to changes in temperatures. Placing your tree to close to a door that is used regularly will lead to premature dring.
  8. Daily WATERING improves the trees moisture content which will increase the time your tree will be fresh and reduce fire risk.
  9. Turn lights off when you leave the room.
  10. BUT WATER the tree before you leave the room
  11. Keep the tree away from all open flames. Candles, fireplace, kitchen and other equipment that could increase the fire hazard.
  12. I WANT YOU TO UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF WATERING YOUR TREE REGULARLY. WHEN I SAY REGULARLY, I AM STRONGLY SUGGESTING THAT YOU WATER YOUR TREE DAILY.
  13. Don’t remove the bark even to get the tree to fit in your stand. Buy a bigger stand.
  14. You don’t need a hole in the bottom of your tree to improve water absorption.
  15. Use low heat lights
  16. Don’t overload your circuits.

Great insurance is just the starting point for sound risk management. Taking the extra step to avoid risky situation further reduces your exposure to a financial loss. By reducing the number of car insurance claims and home insurance claims you should also be rewarded with more competitive insurance premiums in the future.


From all of us at TruePoint Insurance,
We wish you a safe and Merry Christmas

Volunteering and Your Car Insurance

Volunteering in your Fisherville, KY community is a good thing; people should do more of it on a regular basis. That said, being charitable doesn’t change the fact that one still needs transportation to get from point A to point B. You’re going to use your car, covered by a personal policy, and it will raise the question where does a consumer cross the line between personal use and liability protection and being part of a non-profit effort or organization? Remember, the private car insurance policy was crafted based on the assumption the driver is traveling for personal use and nothing else. Regular volunteering is definitely not in that risk assumption and could give a provider a reason to deny a claim when the insurer asks for details leading up to the accident or damage.

Occasional volunteering in Fisherville, KY is not the issue. Risk assumption is based on regular, overall usage of the vehicle. Regular, especially daily volunteer travel, however, is a risk impact and needs to be declared. The usage will be written into a policy update and the risk assumption updated accordingly. This will avoid claims being denied later on for lack of clarification or even raising questions of insurance fraud, a grave accusation of dealing with. Don’t put yourself in that position when helping out your community.

Give the experts at TruePoint Insurance a call and explain the details of what your volunteering consists of. We will examine your current policy for what can be changed or find a new policy that meets your needs better. Then, you can get back to helping others instead of putting yourself in a bad spot. Give TruePoint Insurance a call today to find out more.