Category Archives: FAQ

Millennials Focus on College not Insurance

By | Educate, FAQ, Millennials, Uncategorized | No Comments

Millennials

As the largest and most educated generation, you would expect that millennials would take insurance coverage seriously. Sadly, studies reveal that one in four adults between 18 years to 29 years do not have health insurance. Furthermore, millennials are less likely to take up other forms of insurance like auto, life, home, and renters. As the most educated generation, millennials need to learn the importance of having insurance.

According to research and interviews surveyed among millennials, it was found that millennials view insurance as an unnecessary expense. To them, they don’t need it and won’t need it any time soon. To the older generation, they appear as a generation that is subservient of the punches and curve balls that life throws at people each day.

While insurance does not inspire excitement, its impact on one’s life is virtually unrivaled. At some point in life, an individual will experience misfortunes such as theft, flooded home, fire, car accident, or others. Misfortunes are not planned and since they occur without any prior confirmation, it is wise to protect yourself.

Insurance provides peace of mind especially when faced with difficult situations. It can help you to settle financial problems brought about by misfortunes. Furthermore, getting insurance does not mean that you are paranoid, it means you are smart.

Here is an insurance checklist all millennials graduating college should keep in mind.

1. Research different types of insurance products

As a millennial, the first thing you need to do is learn about the different types of insurance products available in the market. There are those insurance products that have been around for a long time for example car, home, renters, life, and health insurance.

Today, rider share services like Uber and Lyft have offered millennials job opportunities but what many don’t know is that your personal car insurance does not cover commercial use and there is an insurance gap. It is important to learn more about comprehensive car insurance, smartphone protection plan, travel insurance and others. What are their pros and cons? What do they cover? Should millennials buy life insurance? This will help you to stay informed.

While researching, it is important to learn the terms and conditions, the premium rates charged for different levels of insurance products, and the best insurance companies.

2. Itemize your expenses

It is wise to take time and learn what you want and what you need. Today, millennials are faced with tough decisions when it comes to spending. Many will opt to order in rather than shop at a grocery store and prepare meals at home. Others will opt to own a car yet they cannot afford to maintain it properly. In order to plan your life, you need to itemize your expenses.

You can divide your expenses in three categories: ongoing, immediate and future. Examples of immediate expenses include mortgage, uncovered medical expenses, funeral costs, car loans, credit card debt, taxes and estate settlement costs.

Examples of ongoing expenses include food, rent, utilities, transportation, health care and clothing. Future expenses include retirement and insurance. If your ongoing and immediate expenses are more than your income, then it’s time to spend wisely. Take a bus or subway as the travel insurance costs are less, cook more instead of eating out and pay off your credit card debt to improve your credit score.

3. Talk with an experienced insurance professional

While your parents and older siblings have interacted with insurance brokers and have covered themselves with 2 or more insurance products, they don’t count. Millennials need to learn how to identify a good insurance company within your area. Walk in and make an appointment to speak with an experienced professional.

It is important to have a list of questions prepared early to allow for a constructive interview. Furthermore, it allows you to learn more about the products they have to offer. Experienced insurance agents will always provide you with tons of useful information even helping you create a customized insurance plan which covers important aspects of your life. This will not only help to ensure you are protected but it will save you money.

4. Find where to buy insurance

Today, there are several options of buying insurance not only health insurance but car, travel, smartphone protection plan, renters, home, and life insurance among others. If you are looking for health insurance providers, you can always start with the government health exchange or state exchange.

Millennials can also consult private companies. Doing so helps you to sample the different plans on offer and select one that fits your lifestyle. What you need to know is that when it comes to insurance, finding the best deals on premium should not be your goal but the best plan that fits you. Look at the options and support on offer too.

5. Read and re-read the fine print

Now that you have learned all about the different types of insurance products, their options and the market places where you can purchase them, it’s time to pick a plan. Once you have selected a plan that fits your lifestyle, you will be given forms to fill.

While millennials are said to be the largest educated generation, when it comes to contracts, many do not take time to read the fine print carefully. Scanning the documents quickly will result in you missing a key detail(s). This one detail can result in you not being compensated or result in you not being covered for something.

So, to avoid such mishaps, millennials should take their time to read and re-read the fine print. If you don’t understand what some phrases mean, consult an expert within or outside the insurance company. Having a better understanding of what you are getting into will save you a lot of money now and in the future.

Congratulations!

You have gone through the insurance checklist every millennial graduating college needs to know finally picking up a plan that fits their lifestyle. At this point, you need to know that you have added a new expense in your life – insurance premium. You need to keep up with the payments just like you do with your college loan, credit card payments, rent and other utilities. Not making the payments early will result in you not being covered and you may end up being penalized too.

Just a recap of the insurance checklist for millennials – start by learning more about different insurance products, itemize your expenses, consult an experienced insurance professional, learn where to buy insurance, select the right plan that fits your lifestyle and re-read the fine print before signing on the dotted line. It’s time to let go off the bullet proof attitude because misfortunes can occur at any time. Smart thinking will protect you.

Life Insurance and its Purpose for Millennials

By | Educate, FAQ, Life Insurance, Millennials | No Comments

Life Insurance for Millennials- Brooks and Stafford

(5 minute read)

Millennials often ask the question, “What is life insurance and do I need it?”

As a millennial myself, I can confidently say that life insurance can be beneficial for young adults.

Firstly, it is important to understand what life insurance is and how it can benefit you.

What is life insurance?

Life insurance is a contract with an insurer (insurance company) that pays out a lump sum of money (death benefit) to beneficiaries after the person insured passes away.

For example, a man has a wife and two kids. His wife is a stay at home mom that depends on her husband financially. The kids are still too young to work and depend on him financially as well. The husband passes away (with life insurance).

Not only have they lost a loved one, but they also have to pay the costs associated with the funeral and find a way to make an income to make up for his loss.

Since there was a life insurance policy in place, the funeral expenses are covered and the family continues to receive the same income as they would as if the father/husband were still alive.

This example proves that:

  1. Life insurance is a safety net.
  2. A person can still provide for their loved ones after he or she passes away if they prepare properly.

In the example above, the dependents are the kids and wife. The money they receive after the man’s death is the death benefit.

What are the different types of life insurance?

There are two types of life insurance policies: a term life insurance policy and a permanent life insurance policy.

A term policy is purchased for a period of time.

This type of policy would only be lump sum of money (death benefit) paid out to your dependents if you were to pass away during the term of the policy.

Term policies are usually sold for 5,10, 15,…30 years.

These are called level terms and are one of the most common types of term insurance. However, there are more types of term life insurance.

Term insurance can be inexpensive, but once the policy ends so does your coverage.

Permanent life insurance lasts your whole life and has a saving component as well (the “Cash Value Component” section in this article describes this nicely.)

Due to both of those reasons, expect to pay higher premiums  for a longer period of time.

To learn more about which option is best for you by consulting with experienced professionals at this Cleveland Insurance Agency.

Why would someone consider life insurance at a young age?

1. Dependents will be covered financially if you were to die. (Yes, it is possible to have dependents at a young age)

Consider a spouse, girlfriend/boyfriend, children, parents, grandparents, or anyone else that depends on you financially.

If anyone depends on you, you should be considering life insurance.

Also, it is very common for a millennial to graduate college with a significant amount of student loans.

You might be responsible for these loans or you might have a c0-signer (like a parent or guardian) helping you out.

God forbid, if anything were to happen to you, your co-signer would be responsible for any unpaid student loans. A life insurance policy would help pay off this financial burden.

2. Life insurance is less expensive at a young age (when your healthy).

Many young people consider themselves invincible until something bad happens to their health.

If you wait to buy life insurance when you are unhealthy, expect to pay higher premiums.

Avoid this problem, by purchasing life insurance at a time when you are healthy and expect to pay relatively low premiums.

3. You can tell your friends you are saving for the future.

The Cash Value component of permanent life insurance forces you to save for your future.

This helps people at a young age to generate positive money habits. Check out how much money you can save through this life insurance calculator.

Many millennials are known to spend their money on short-term products that do not serve a long term purpose.

Be an outlier and make saving for your future a priority. Permanent life insurance will help hold you accountable.

4. Be financially independent by being responsible for all your expenses (including your funeral expenses).

It says a lot about your character if you make the decision to cover your funeral expenses as well.

5. Be covered all the time.

Some jobs offer life insurance benefits during the on boarding process of a new employee.

However, in most cases you will not have this coverage follow you if you were to switch jobs (which is starting become the new norm).

Having your own life insurance will follow you anywhere and allow you to be covered all the time.

Millennials and Life Insurance

In conclusion, millennials are perfect candidates for life insurance if you have dependents and want to improve your saving habits.

If you are a single person with no one depending on you financially and have awesome saving habits, you may not actually need life insurance unlike auto insurance (find out 5 easy ways to save money on auto insurance).

However, a term policy could be a great low commitment and inexpensive option for the time being.

Regardless of what option you are considering, always make sure to get a quote from multiple companies.

Life insurance is simply a safety net, to ensure that funds will be in place when you are no longer here.

If you are still unsure about what policy is right for you or want clarification on terminology, contact a trusted Cleveland Insurance Agency that has been around since 1849.

How to Tell a Good Insurance Company from a Bad One

By | Educate, Emerging Trends, FAQ | 4 Comments

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Photo Credit: Village9991

It’s simple. A good insurance company educates, advocates, and provides value. A good insurance company invests in you. They do this by making sure they have a team filled with great agents who are available and knowledgeable. Good insurance companies figure out who their target audience is, determine where that audience will be, and create content that is valuable. Taking the extra time and effort to provide content that educates you is not done by every insurance company.

Great Team = Good Insurance Company

This starts with having a great team. A good insurance company that has a group of reliable and knowledgeable agents is the beginning. Is your agent available more times than none? When you had a claim, did your agent make your problem their problem by making it a priority? These are all questions you need to be asking yourself when it comes around to renew your policy. Find out what everyone should do before renewing their insurance policy. A good insurance company will be available when you need them. Everyone wants to speak to a human being versus an automated voice message that puts you on hold indefinitely. They will have people readily accessible when you call, file a claim, or have a question.

Availability + Knowledge = Awesome Insurance Agent

A great complement to an agent’s availability is their knowledge. A knowledgeable agent finds you a policy that protects you when you file a claim. This is done by truly understanding the client’s needs and then determining which policy limits are necessary. A great insurance agent walks you through your policy so there are no surprises when you file a claim. Click here to learn how to find the best insurance agent.

The internet has changed the game of how people view insurance. People can go online and find the cheapest policy. This can be very dangerous as these cheap policies are more likely not to cover you when you need them the most. This can all be done online with out interaction with an agent. See why you should always go through an insurance agent when buying a policy.

An online quoting system does not offer suggestions like an insurance agent would. Understanding specific exclusions and terminology paired with the knowledge of all policy types exemplifies a higher level of thinking and dedication of a great insurance agent. For example, a great insurance agent would strongly recommend an inland marine policy for a distribution company that ships a multitude of product to different locations around the world. This can be easily overlooked when an insurance policy is bought online with no interaction with an agent. A knowledgeable agent is aware of all potential risk and makes sure you and your company are covered.

What about your current insurance company’s online presence?

A good insurance company invests in a great team of agents and online marketing. Statisitcs show the more that insurance companies invest in marketing the more they will get in return and ultimately become more successful. Type in your current insurance company. Are they easy to find? Do they have a presence on social media platforms? Are they constantly publishing valuable content? The answers to all these questions come back to the concept of how much does your insurance company invest in marketing and the ability to keep up with technology.

An easy way to see if your insurance company invests in online marketing is done by looking at their website, social media accounts, and content. Is there website mobile friendly? Are they active on social media? Does the website and social media accounts stay updated with relevant content? If the answer is yes to all of these, then they are staying up to date. Use this Google Mobile Friendly Test to see if your insurance company is mobile friendly.

Do you follow your insurance company on Facebook or Twitter? Is it worth it? A great social media account makes it worth your time by bringing you value. Check out our Facebook Business Page to see if we provide value in our posts.  An insurance company investing in consistent, original content across all social media platforms is one way to go above and beyond for current clients. This is another great way to tell a good insurance company from a bad one.

Good insurance companies invest in great original content. They have great blogs and videos that depict what insurance services they are capable of providing. Check out our company video that sums up why we are a Cleveland Insurance Agency that has been in business since 1849.

Earlier Establishment the Better

Finally, how long has your current insurance company been established? If a company has longevity, they are able to pay claims. The ability to pay claims while continuing to grow proves an insurance company is effectively covering its clients. That is why The Brooks & Stafford Company is considered an elite Cleveland Insurance Agency as they have been around since 1849.

Find a Good Insurance Company and Share the Love

Do not find yourself with an agent or company that provides you with a policy that does not protect the things you love. Find an agent that is available when you need them. Find a good insurance company that provides you with updates on  trends within the industry, tips to saving money on auto insurance and home insurance, or how to navigate through your insurance policy.

If you are fortunate to find one of these, spread the word. Refer your friends and family. Write a review. Rate their Facebook page. Go to sleep with a peace of mind because you and your loved ones are protected.

 

Feedback Wanted

If you believe The Brooks & Stafford Company is a good insurance company, please share it, write a comment below, rate our Facebook page, or get a quote.  Thank you.

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7 Tips to Save Money on Homeowner’s Insurance

By | Educate, FAQ, Personal Insurance | 10 Comments

homeowner's insurance[Photo Credit: mschellhase]

Are you a homeowner? Do you think you pay way too much money for homeowner’s insurance? You are not alone as many Americans do not understand the full value of homeowner’s insurance until a tragic event occurs. However, after purchasing a home, homeowner’s insurance is essential. Here are a few concepts that you should know that will save you money on homeowner’s insurance.

Homeowner’s insurance can be an unpleasant process when you are paying way too much for a policy that does not provide sufficient coverage. When you know these 7 Tips to Save Money on Homeowner’s Insurance the process of finding the right homeowner’s insurance policy with the best company becomes simple. Knowing 5 Ways to Save Money on Auto Insurance helps too. By knowing these tips, not only will some insurance companies reward you with a discount, but you will also be creating a safer environment for you and your loved ones.

 1. Multi-policy discount

A homeowner’s policy paired along with an auto insurance policy is one of the most cost effective and convenient ways to save money. Most insurance companies will reward you for packaging your home and auto policy together. Traveler’s Insurance is one of these companies that offer a multi policy discount.

In addition, some auto policies differ in length and renewal dates compared to homeowner’s insurance policies. Paying multiple bills can start to get confusing when different renewal periods come around. Instead of keeping up with renewal dates and separate checks, buying two policies through the same company will be able to provide convenience as well.

 2. Preventive Device Discount

For the most part, this discount is almost a given if you live in a house that was not built before the 1950s. The preventive device discount is offered by a majority of companies that reward people for implementing devices that will prevent or limit the damage to your home.

For example, if you have working smoke alarms placed strategically throughout your house then you have most likely earned yourself a discount. Smoke alarms are great for insurance companies because they lower the overall risk of a fire. The National Fire Protection Association demonstrates how to install a smoke detector on your own. Having smoke alarms will help prevent a fire from happening and it will also prevent you from filing a claim that would increase your monthly premium. Now that you know the benefits and how to install a smoke alarm, there is no excuse to miss out on this opportunity to save.

The same goes for burglar alarms. These devices notify the owners of the house that someone has broken in or is trying to break in. Not only will burglar alarms prevent thieves from creating one costly claim, but it will be rewarded by some insurance companies.

Fire and theft are two big concerns for homeowners which make burglar alarms and/or smoke alarms great ways to minimize the risk for filing a claim. That is why these devices are rewarded by some insurance companies. Call your insurance agent today to see if you received a discount.

3. Claim Free Period

Insurance is all about controlling risk. A large group of people pay small amount of money (respectively) to cover the expense of a handful of tragic events. However, everyone must be insured as a tragic event could happen to any one of us as we all having some degree of risk associated with our property.   A riskier option you are or may become makes you less appealing to an insurance company. The amount of risk explains why the same amount of coverage for one individual might be higher than the other.

You may be wondering how insurance companies will determine risk for a homeowner’s policy. There is a strenuous process of assessing risk upon each individual homeowner’s policy situation as this is known as the underwriting process. During this process, underwriters look at a multitude of factors including: age and condition of electrical – plumbing – HVAC & roof systems, credit score, year the house was built, upkeep and amount of claims on the property. As a big factor on influencing premium prices, the frequency and severity of claims made on the property can drastically change how much you pay.

On average, one claim will increase your monthly premium by 9%. That might not seem like a lot but it will definitely add up once those bills consistently come in at a higher rate. With that being said, 9% is the overall average and each state varies. Click here to see how your state compares.

As you can see, one claim will affect your rate. This is because one claim most likely leads to another. In addition, property that includes a track record with past claims does not look good. Property with zero claims compared to property with more than one obviously looks more of a risk adverse option for insurance companies. This is why some insurance companies offer discounts to customers that have a clean record with no claims during a period of time.

It is not easy to avoid claims and you will get rewarded by doing so by a handful of companies. Minimize risk and avoid filing small claims to minimize that monthly premium.

4. Newly renovated or recently purchased

Think about it from the perspective of an underwriter for an insurance company, which houses would be great candidates for homeowner’s insurance policies? Newly renovated or recently purchased homes. Here’s why.

Roofs are one of the first things that underwriters are curious about when they are in the process of evaluating risk for a homeowner’s insurance policy. A roof that is poorly installed or very old can cause many problems. These problems can come in the form of leaks, collapses, and severe damage to the inside of a beautiful home.However, newly renovations and new home buyers should always look at the condition of the roof when considering buying or making renovations, because it is one of the most important aspects of the house.

Also, knob and tube wiring versus circuit breakers are a topic of interest for insurance companies when writing a policy for homeowner’s insurance. Knob and tube wiring are definitely a reason for concern as this was the method used for houses in the 1930’s and beyond. This method is not only outdated by current technology, but it is dangerous. Knob and tube wiring exposes the wiring and increases the risk of accidents. See a picture of this method to see if your home has it.

Avoid this knob and tube wiring and have a certified electrician examine your home. They will implement a more modern system such as circuit breakers which will ground the wiring and provide a safer alternative. As a result, a handful of insurance companies will reward you with a discount.   These are only two of many aspects of your house that need to be updated and renovated that will end up saving you money in the long run. Call a home inspector today to see if you need any updates!

5. Loyalty discount

Loyalty is something that gives more meaning and attachment between two things. Varying degrees of loyalty are present in our relationships with loved ones or coworkers, the attachment we have with our current jobs, and our dedication to certain brands. Either way, we are faced with struggles of staying loyal and it is becoming harder during this day and age as options continue to grow.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics came out with a study in 2015 that said that the average person before the age of 40 will have on average, 10 jobs. It is very rare that a person has the opportunity to stay loyal to one job for their lifetime. Check out this link to see how many jobs on average are predicted for millennials.

This statistic along with many provides evidence that loyalty is hard to come by. As a result, loyalty will be rewarded by some insurance companies when it comes to buying homeowner’s insurance. Loyalty may be judged different depending on the company. Call your insurance agent today and see if you qualify for a loyalty discount (if applicable).

6. Early bird discount

Insurance companies want clients that are going to be low risk so they can make money. They want to insure people that are dependable. That is why an early bird discount is in place.

Some insurance companies offer a discount to individuals that shop for their homeowner’s insurance policy far in advance of their renewal date. A person that allows insurance companies enough time to write the right policy for them by having enough time to do so deserve a discount. The people that wait last second until their renewal date will simply not receive the discount. This is easy money saved people!

P.S. Do not get too excited as not all insurance companies offer this discount when issuing homeowner’s policies.

7. Elderly discount

Being considered elderly is not that bad, as it has its perks. Studies have shown that people above the age of 65 are actually one of the happiest groups of people. Think about it. At this time, you are most likely retired, have the opportunity spend more time with family, have grandkids and receive many discounts at restaurants. However, the best reason for getting old is that you receive a discount on your homeowner’s insurance premium for the most part (just kidding, there are better things).

Strive to live long healthy lives so you are able to receive this magnificent perk of becoming old along with many others.

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That’s How you Save on Homeowner’s Insurance

This wraps up 7 Tips to Save Money on Homeowner’s insurance. A homeowner’s insurance policy can become expensive. Insurance companies offer different ways to save you money. All you need to do is find out what they are and start implementing these money saving strategies today.

Keep in mind that all insurance companies offer different discounts for homeowner’s insurance. These are only seven of many ways to save money on homeowner’s insurance and many are not on this list such as varying your deductibles. Not all of these tips listed above will guarantee a discount for your homeowner’s insurance policy so it is your job to become more educated on your policy. This way you can save hundreds of dollars each year by simply implementing strategies that will create a safer environment for you and your loved ones.

Insurance Agent? Yes, Better than Online (for once).

By | Emerging Trends, FAQ | 16 Comments

Insurance Agent

[Photo credit: Got Credit]

I get it. Buying things online are great. With the invention of smart devices it has changed the game for consumers. Any owner of a smart device now has purchasing power via the internet at the palm of their hand whether it comes to buying Insomnia Cookies at 2:30 am, ordering an Uber driver to pick up your drunken self, or purchasing Cleveland Cavalier playoff tickets the time they go on sale. You name it and most likely you can buy it.

It is convenient, saves time, and user friendly. With companies like Uber saving your credit card information it makes purchasing quick and easy. The internet is great and has changed the way consumers shop. However, there are certain things that should not be purchased online; and insurance is one of them.

 1. An Insurance Agent protects the most important things in your life

Insurance is an essential component of living in society. Insurance transfers the risk of unfortunate events into the hands of insurance companies financially. Not only does it transfer financial risk, but it makes sure that the most important things in your life are protected such as your house, family, car and valuables. The right insurance agent will help you do that.

As a result, buying the right insurance policy is a big decision. Finding quality insurance coverage is an important purchase because each individual demands a different policy to protect their needs. This is why consulting with a quality insurance agent will benefit you significantly as they try to understand your wants and needs to create a personalized policy for you. Find out 12 Things that Your Insurance Agent Knows that You Don’t.

 2. Insurance is way too important to be bought online

Think of it this way, when you make the decision to purchase a vehicle there a multiple aspects that go into consideration: gas mileage, durability, safety, size, accessories, style, and so on. Not only are there a lot of aspects that need to be considered, but it is going to cost a significant amount of money. Would you make this purchase online? I sure hope not! A car needs to be bought in person.

Insurance is the same way. You need to contact a insurance agent to assess your situation. Choosing the right insurance policy takes time and should not be bought out of convenience. You will be paying a good chunk of change for your insurance policy over the year. The more time and money you invest into a good policy will save you money in the long run. Learn 5 Easy Ways to Save on Money on Car Insurance. You pay for what you get.

 3. Insurance should be tailored to your needs

Many online companies offer a general policy for a wide variety of consumers. Buying a policy through the internet standardizes the consumer under a general category. In addition, an online form can not get to know you personally like an insurance agency by figuring out specific needs like a good insurance agent would do.

An agent can get to know you personally. They will try to understand what matters the most to you. Based off what they find, they will figure out the most sufficient coverage for the most reasonable price. Find out what’s important to a quality insurance agent. An online form will not do that. A good insurance policy is customized to your personal needs and this needs to be done by a professional who is aware of all available coverage options.


Conclusion

These are a few reasons why buying insurance through an agent is highly recommended. Insurance is way too important in life and it takes time and research to make an educated decision. Filling out a form and making a purchase for a product that covers a 6 month period or longer should not be rushed. Take your time and make the best decision. Consult with friends, family, and a professional. Figure out if you would prefer an agent from a independent insurance agency or a captive one. Buy a policy that will provide protection when you need it.

Independent Insurance Agency or Captive?

By | Business Insurance, FAQ | 5 Comments

Independent Insurance Agency

Independent insurance agency or captive agency? Find out which route would provide you and your loved ones the best possible insurance policy.

The modern day customer looking for insurance has many options when shopping for insurance. An individual can choose to go with a well known captive agency, an independent insurance agency, or much more. There are unending options for you as the customer and it is very easy to fall in love with a brand and the lowest price versus the actual service or product. Check out America’s Most Loved Brands in 2015. That is why it is important to understand the difference between captive and independent agencies so you can make the best possible decision when it comes to insuring the people and property that you love the most.

CAPTIVE AGENCY

The captive agencies are usually the well known insurance companies you see advertising on television.  They are considered captive, because their agents can only offer products of their company for which they work for. These include State Farm, Allstate, Nationwide, and etc.

INDEPENDENT INSURANCE AGENCY

On the other hand, an independent insurance agency is able to provide insurance products from a wide array of insurance companies. The Brooks and Stafford Company is an independent insurance agency which has the opportunity to shop from several companies to find the best price and coverage that fits the clients’ needs.  Brooks & Stafford runs a quote through all these companies compared to a “State Farm” that is only allowed to sell insurance products that they have to offer. It is a numbers game. A company that sells products from several companies is more likely to find a better deal for the customer. Ultimately, independent agencies raise the probability of the customer finding the best deal with the best coverage suitable for them.

THE APPROACH

The Brooks and Stafford Company form relationships with their clients by getting to know them on a personal level beyond insurance. We are a Cleveland Insurance Agency that takes pride in having a live person answer every call, because we know how annoying it can be to call somewhere and hear an automated voice message system. Customer service and properly paying claims are why Brooks & Stafford has been around since 1849 (check out what was going on that year).

Brooks & Stafford has employees that work hard every day to service their clients and help them understand coverage. This is done when we educate and teach clients about the services and products we provide which is one way we try to differentiate ourself as an independent insurance agency. In other words, Brooks & Stafford have agents that serve as advocates of helping people find the best possible insurance plan for them to insure the things that mean the most. We focus on educating our clients to make the best possible decision in terms of buying insurance. That is why people choose Brooks & Stafford to insure all their needs.

Brooks & Stafford makes it possible to form relationships with all of their clients. This separates us apart from captive agencies that are nationwide. Either way, Brooks & Stafford has become a popular Cleveland Independent Insurance Agency because our clients enjoy when they have agents that are willing to understand their situation and find the best policy for them.

SUMMARY

An independent insurance agency can offer a multitude of coverages along with a wide range of prices based on the amount of companies they are affiliated with. A captive agency has limited amount of options for the client since the company can only offer that company’s product.

Finally, even though captive agencies have more capital to spend on advertisement does not mean that they offer a better or more trustworthy product than Brooks & Stafford or any other independent insurance agency.

If you like our article and want to learn more visit our website, Facebook, or Twitter for more original content. Also, check out our Google+ and write a review as we love to see feedback from our readers.

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Learn how to Navigate your Insurance Policy

By | FAQ | No Comments

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Whether you have a 6 month policy or a full year auto policy, you are receiving paperwork discussing the details of your policy. The Declarations page, “dec pages”, goes into detail about what your policy entails. This includes: name insured, covered auto(s), policy limits, deductibles (if applicable), premium, and policy period.

Name Insured

The name insured encompasses all individuals covered on this specific auto policy. Name insured is the individual the policy is filed under. Any family member related to the name insured is usually covered depending on the policy whether it’s through blood, marriage, or adoption. Call your agent today to see if this rule applies to your policy. In addition, the policy “dec pages” defines name insured and there are some policies that cover all these drivers no matter what car they drive.

Covered Autos

The covered autos in a policy are the specific year, make, and models listed on the policy. The cars must be listed on your auto insurance policy.  Cars can be added and removed by simply calling your insurance agent. Any vehicle that is used for business purposes such as livery (taxi) services would not be covered unless there is a specific endorsement added onto the policy. Please contact your insurance agent to assess your situation.

Policy Limits

It is very common for any vehicle being driven by a named insured in any U.S. territory, Puerto Rico, and Canada will be covered. However, this is not always the case so double check with you agent when you drive a vehicle outside your home state or country.

The state law of Ohio requires every driver to have liability coverage on their vehicle. This will cover any bodily injury or property damage a name insured causes. Optional coverages include medical payments coverage which covers the “insured” and any other passengers in their car. Uninsured motorists’ coverage is also optional in Ohio as this coverage comes into effect when a driver causes bodily injury or property damage in an uninsured vehicle. Finally, comprehensive (comp) and collision are optional coverages that contribute to having “full coverage”. Collision insurance is self-explanatory as insures the drives for anything that the vehicle comes into contact with. Comprehensive is anything other Collison such as fire, theft, hail, etc. “Comp” and collision are made to cover your property damage.

Lets look at an example,

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The policy will define property damage and bodily injured as the definition may vary.

Deductibles

Deductibles are located on the “dec pages” to notify the named insured how much he or she must pay out-of-pocket when a claim is filed. A policy with a high deductible will result in a lower premium. The premium is a directly affected by the deductible and fluctuates based off of the name insured’s claim history. An individual that files several claims a year and have the insurance company pay out cash to cover the damages then the insurance company will charge more money during the periodic payments.

Policy Period

The Declaration Pages will include the policy period which is the span of time of when the insurance policy is in effect. The expiration date is also important to keep in mind when it comes to financial budgeting.

The terms used throughout this blog are common insurance lingo that professionals use daily as these are relevant terms in the “dec pages” of a typical auto policy. Instead of throwing out your “dec pages” because you do not completely understand all the terms, confidently contact your insurance agent with probing questions that analyzes them.

Cleveland Insurance Agency

Brooks & Stafford is a Cleveland Insurance Agency that takes pride in providing advice for people regarding insurance. If any of this information has helped you out and has been relevant. Feel free to reach out 216-696-3000.

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