Benefits of working with a Kentucky Insurance Specialist

Do you have options when you buy insurance?  Does your insurance company have local agents to help?  If you don't have access to someone that understands and you can't buy from the insurance company that has the best prices for what you need, I don't you think your dealing with the best insurance agent.

What color is your umbrella? In today’s world, when it comes time to buy insurance, you will find that you have a range of options.  The challenge is learning to optimize them to meet your own unique constraints and objectives.   Individuals and businesses seeking Kentucky Insurance need to develop a thorough understanding of their insurance options.

Kentucky Insurance Markets: 

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For decades insurance markets were divided into two categories; Independent and Captive Insurance companies.  The independent marketing channel is made up of agents (more accurately, Brokers) that represent multiple insurance companies.  Captive carriers utilize agents or employees to distribute their products.  This group tends to use more print, television, radio, newspaper and other to generate sales. 

In recent years a third market has entered the mix; Direct Carriers.  This group has many similarities to the Captive Carriers.  The two groups have market plans that look very similar.  The Direct Channel takes a much more aggressive approach regards utilizing online resources.  The Direct sector of the market not only uses extensive online marketing, but many in this sector also have willingly foregone brick and mortar in favor of online facilities.  In many instances, they have shifted the role of the agent to the customer’s computer keyboard.

When it comes to Property and Casualty insurance for individuals, US Captive Carriers remain the largest player.  The market share for Independent Insurance companies has held fairly steady in recent years, during a time where the Direct writers are rapidly gaining market share mostly at the expense of the Captive market.

2017 Personal Lines US Market Share (Auto Insurance, Home Insurance, and other)

Captive                                                                                                 46.6%

Independent                                                                                     35.1%

Direct                                                                                                    18.3%

For businesses, the landscape is totally different.  Independent Carriers have and continue to dominate this market.   It doesn’t seem to difficult, with an 84% market share for US commercial insurance, it seems only logical that all business owners should consider quoting with at least one broker. But why?

Independent agents have access to more markets. More markets should mean better prices and in this case, it certainly does. Business owners are often willing to spend a little more time and put in a little more effort. The point is simple. If their competitor is able to secure insurance at a better value, they will be more competitive. Certainly a position no business owners wants to find himself in!

2017 Commercial Lines US Market Share (Business Insurance)

Captive                                                                                                 16%

Independent                                                                                     84%

Direct                                                                                                    < 1%

Overall the Independent Insurance leads the way, writing nearly 82% more US Property and Casualty insurance than the number two insurance company category, the Captive Carriers.

2017 Combined US Market Share (All Property and Casualty Insurance)

Captive                                                                                                 31.9%

Independent                                                                                     58.1%

Direct                                                                                                      9.9%

What type of insurance carrier is right for me?

There is no right answer for everyone.  But if you are embarking on a search for cheap insurance in Kentucky, you might consider reviewing the questions below:

  • Will you be looking Kentucky business insurance quotes?         
    • As we noted earlier, Independent Insurance Agents write far more insurance than the other two types of insurance companies combined.  There is a reason this is happening, if you’re looking for the cheapest insurance chances are you will find it here.
    • Don’t just get a commercial insurance quote, while you’re working with your Kentucky Independent Insurance Agent, have them quote your home and auto insurance.  Doing so my end with a lower premium on both your commercial insurance and your home and car insurance.  TAKE ADVANATAGE OF DISCOUNTS EVERY CHANCE YOU GET.

Business owners, that don’t get a commercial insurance quote from an Independent Insurance Agent, are a favorite to pay a higher insurance premium than your competition.  

  • Do you think the cheapest insurance is the best insurance? 
    • Price is important!  It’s very important, but it should never be your only consideration when buying insurance.  It doesn’t matter whether you are searching for household insurance, or for your business.  There are several issues you will want to explore:
      • Deductibles-Be Extremely cautious if it is percentage (i.e. 1-2%) instead of a dollar amount (i.e. $1,000)
      • Causes of Loss
      • Replacement cost or Actual Cash Value
      • Standard/Excluded Coverages – Your homeowner’s insurance policy will exclude many items that you should be given the opportunity to consider:  Earthquake insurance, sinkhole insurance and many others
      • Do you understand your business insurance policy?  There are many moving parts, any of which could spell the end of your business if not properly addressed.       

None of three insurance marketing venues has a hold on Cheap Insurance.  Your personal financial situation, loss history, age, location along with many other factors will all come into play in determining your insurance premium. 

We advise our clients to think in terms of the best relative value.  Most of us have a job and commute to and from work four or five times a week.  Would you consider buying a bicycle to provide you transportation to and from your work? 

For those that live a very short distance from work, this might be a viable option.  For several years I worked within 2 miles of my home.  During this period, a bicycle would appear to have been a cheap option.  I could have saved $10,000, $20,000, even more had I taken the bicycle route.

That would certainly be a great relative value if I lived in Gainesville Florida.  But what if I live in Fairbanks, Alaska, where the average high temperature from November 1st through March 31st is 10 degrees Fahrenheit?  The bike would not be a wise choose. 

When I ask clients to focus on the best relative value, I am asking them to spend a little more time to review policies.  Sometimes the best insurance policy actual is offered at the lower price or at a premium that is so competitive that the only logical choice is to pay a little more for the insurance policy that best fits the client’s needs.  Most of us would gladly spend an extra $20,000 to avoid commuting by bike in Fairbanks, Alaska

Insights

The Commercial Insurance market is extremely dependent on the Independent Insurance Agency Network.  This group has access to more markets, better options, and overall better pricing.  We highly advise all Kentucky Business Owners to seek the assistance of an Independent Insurance Agent.

Where can I get lowest cost insurance?  Best Relative Value?

No one has a hold on Cheap Insurance.  Independent and Captive markets provide consumer’s access to Knowledgeable Agents and more specifically, knowledge of Kentucky Insurance.

At the end of the day, we believe that it’s that independent insurance broker. There we believe you will more often find the end of your rainbow.

Yard Sales

Review your insurance policy before having a yard sale or garage sale at your home.  It is possible that you may not have liability insurance coverage.

Few things are more common than the sight of handmade signs sticking on telephone poles, street signs or mounted on spring and summer lawns that announce nearby yard and garage sales. Succumbing to curiosity or taking a chance on scoring a great buy leads to another familiar scene: a home, with a variety of cars haphazardly parked around it and persons strolling to and from as well as other browsing among the sales items. Generally the merchandise consists of clothes, baby articles and toys. Often larger items are for sale such as exercise equipment, furniture, bedding and appliances. When the event is an occasional one, there are few issues to worry about. But frequency creates important concerns that affect insurance.

Consider someone breaking into your home and making off with hundreds or thousands of dollars’ worth of property. Or how about a fire or storm destroying a home and most of its contents? Usually there’s no problem since a homeowners policy will handle such losses. However, if a significant amount of the property was stored for sale, that property may either only qualify for limited coverage or may even be ineligible for protection. Property offered at your yard for sale which belongs to others (sold on consignment) is another class of property that may have only limited protection available or, depending on circumstances, might be considered business property and be disqualified from coverage. Example: Joan’s house is broken into the night before her big yard sale. Among the items stolen was a large, expensive set of drums worth nearly $1,000. It belonged to a friend who asked her to put it on display during her sale. Joan’s insurance company denies protection, claiming it was goods for sale and not personal property.

Liability insurance protects you in the event another person is injured or has property damage that is directly related to your actions.  Accidents arising from yards sales will be protected by the liability coverage included with your homeowner's insurance.

Similar considerations exist concerning legal liability. For instance, a visitor comes onto your premises and then fractures a leg and hip when tripping on an exposed tree root. Because she was old and frail, the injuries require surgery and a long rehab. The visitor sues you for hospital, surgery and other expenses. Normally one’s insurance policy would defend you against the lawsuit and, if necessary, pay any awarded damages. But what if, instead of a friendly visitor, she had come onto the property to look at items on sale? That could cause a serious coverage issue.

Determining factors for either property or liability coverage are how often sales occur and what income has been made over a period of time (usually the 12 months before the date of a loss). Depending on those details, the activity involved in the loss could be considered a business. In such instances, coverage may not exist under a basic homeowners policy.

Yard sales may appear to be a safe activity, but there are genuine risks to the seller (property owner) and to the customers who are invited onto the property. It makes sense, regardless of your insurance situation, to take steps to minimize the chances of problems occurring.

Safety – property owners bear responsibility for the safety of their guests. A yard or garage sale represents an invitation for others to come onto your premises for a financial benefit. This means that a higher level of watchfulness is due to these legal invitees. It is important that all reasonable precautions be taken to ensure their safe use of your premises before, during and after a sale.

  • Take care in how merchandise is set up and displayed, especially any items that have the potential for causing injury, such as breakables, tools, motorized items.
  • Clean up any spills immediately, especially any involving broken glass.
  • Make sure your premises is free of any obvious dangers to customers/shoppers, especially trip hazards.
  • If you have pets, make sure they are kept away from customers to eliminate any chance for attacks.
  • Secure access to a covered or shaded area, particularly as a checkout area. On hot days, this can provide a cool down area for sellers and shoppers.
  • Have access to a fully charged phone to call for assistance in case of emergencies or to arrange for help for food or bathroom breaks.
  • Limit access to the shopping area by children, both those who are part of the seller’s household and those belonging to shoppers. Sales areas can be hazardous, particularly parts of the yard used for parking cars.
  • Keep drinking water and spray bottles available to prevent and/or to treat dehydration.

Security – you want to minimize any chances that you are victimized by using practices that keep persons and property safe.

  • Make sure that all doors to your home are locked. If you need easier access to your home during the sale, yourself or another trusted person should be stationed near the door.
  • Prior to a sale, keep garage doors locked when sales items are stored there.
  • Set up guards or barriers to discourage any access to your property before or after the sale.
  • Do not allow shoppers or customers entry to your home, be aware of nearby public places where they can get safe access to restrooms (gas stations, restaurants, etc.).
  • Take great care in how cash is handled, particularly if you decide to use a cash box. If the latter method is used, be certain that a person is dedicated solely to the checkout area.

For both safety and security reasons, do not run a yard sale alone. A friend or relative as an assistant is a must to making sure that customers aren’t endangered and to reduce chances of theft. Also, never leave the sales area unattended.

If you have yard sales, you should check to see if their frequency and their sales volume create a need for additional protection, such as a form that covers home businesses. An insurance professional is in an ideal position to help you!



COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2015

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

What type of valuation is best for your home

When you buy a home whether it is your first home or forever home, it is a major investment. For most families, it is the largest investment they will ever make. It needs to be protected so that you will always have a roof over your head, a place to call home. If your house is destroyed in a fire or other disaster, you want to be sure that you will be able to rebuild, to replace what you had before it was destroyed. 

Before closing on your new home, it is wise to spend time reviewing the home insurance options available to you.  TruePoint Insurance in Fisherville, KY can help you understand the different ways that your home can be evaluated.

Market Value

The market value is what your home would have sold for before it was destroyed or damaged. While it sounds like it is a good deal it is a more expensive option because this valuation includes the price of the land that your house is sitting on.

Replacement Cost

Replacement cost is exactly what it sounds like, your policy would replace the house at the current cost to rebuild including labor. The drawback of this type of valuation is that they have a ceiling which is an amount that the value cannot go above. Some policies have what is called an extended replacement cost that can add an additional percentage to what can be collected.

Actual Cash Value

With actual cash value, if your home is destroyed, the age of the damaged items is taken into consideration. If your windows are warranted for 20 years and you have had them for 15 years, you will not get the cost you paid or even what they would cost to replace today, you have used 75 percent of their value so you would receive 25 percent.

If you live in Fisherville, KY you have the experiences agents at TruePoint Insurance to guide you through the type of home insurance policy that is best for you. Stop by their office or give them a call before you make that all important decision.

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A Safer Prom

Prom season is just around the corner and TruePoint Insurance with inforamtion that we hope will make your prom a little safer.

High school proms are early chances to participate in a formal event. It is also considered a chance to act as a full-fledged adult. The event involves arranging a complete evening of dining, dancing and socialization. However, just as much time should be devoted to making the event as safe as possible.

It is almost inevitable that a prom will involve serious exposure to alcohol or other intoxicants. The evening also involves many young, inexperienced drivers who are excited about making their way to pre and post prom activities. Sadly, these factors have combined to make prom season dangerous. Serious traffic accidents often become the main feature of what should be a night of joy.

Prom-goers and their parents need to create a strategy for making prom night both memorable and safe. Here are some tips:

  • Parents should get all activity details, including dinner and pre and post prom events
  • Confirm the night’s events with school officials and other parents
  • Consider arranging a safe, group post-prom activity where participants can be supervised
  • Clearly lay out your expectations to your son or daughter about acceptable behavior regarding their evening
  • Discuss all details about transportation, whether they are drivers or passengers
  • Be sure that communications are set up. If the child does not have a cell phone available, find out the numbers where he or she can be reached during different phases of the evening
  • If practical, consider arranging for a third party to handle transportation (limo or taxi service)
  • Consider an amnesty arrangement. In other words, let your child know that they can contact a parent for emergency transportation should something go wrong and, for that evening, they’ll be no lectures or punishments

Help your son or daughter make prom night a bright memory rather than a tragedy. Plan on making safety and fun everyone’s priority.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2017
All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

Earthquake Coverage

Areas in America that should consider earthquake insurance

Most homeowners likely know that, regardless where they live, they may be exposed to a catastrophic loss such as flooding. It is definitely not restricted to coastal location. However, the same cannot be said concerning earthquakes. It is much more likely that only persons living in well-known earthquake areas (such as California and Alaska) have a high awareness of its danger.

However, the danger of earthquake exists in several large areas of the United States, including a significant part of the Midwest. The New Madrid fault line crosses much of the Midwest, making states such as Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky Tennessee and Missouri vulnerable to earthquake catastrophe (particularly the latter two states). In the last decade, regular activity has been measured in this Seismic Zone.

New Madrid earthquake insurance

A recent development is affecting this source of loss. Though some questions remain, it appears that the widespread practice of obtaining natural gas via the process of hydraulic fracking may be triggering earthquakes in areas that had previously seen little to no quake activity.

While many persons may be exposed to the danger of earthquake, only a fraction of such property owners carry the proper level of insurance. Basic homeowner coverage does NOT include protection against earthquakes. Without purchasing specific earthquake insurance, the only protection available for a policyholder is against limited, consequential damage.

Example: The Johnsons love their home on the outskirts of Juneau. While they’ve experienced a number of minor earthquakes, in the few years they’ve owned the home: they did not buy earthquake coverage. One day a quake occurs and severely damages their home. The quake breaks a gas pipe and a fire erupts. The fire damage is covered (though the quake damage is not).

Should I have earthquake insurance if I live in Kentucky

Earthquake coverage is typically quite affordable. It is generally available for a couple hundred dollars per year to provide protection for a modest-sized home. While, even in areas that are in earthquake prone, such losses are low probability; the potential loss severity is so high that purchasing separate protection makes sense. So shake up your insurance protection and avoid being totally shaken down by a disastrous quake!