Sunday, October 31, 2010

Keep the "Trick" out of Halloween

Did your parents ever tell you that you could be whatever you wanted to be when you grew up? Mine did, and at Halloween it is definitely true!

But along with this ability to play dress-up comes increased risk: increased amount of traffic on your property, which increases the chance of someone becoming hurt or your home being damaged. In order to have a claim-free, “trick-less” Halloween, keep these tips in mind:

• When preparing for trick-or-treaters, make sure your yard and front door are as well lit as they can possibly be and ensure that you have a clutter free path. This will help prevent injury while children are entering and leaving your property throughout the night.


• Be very careful with candles around Halloween. A candle-filled pumpkin illuminating the porch is a common tradition, but in order to keep your home from catching on fire, be sure to extinguish these flames when you leave or go to bed and keep them out of the way so they do not get kicked over, causing injury or other damage.


• If you are having a Halloween party, try to keep the festivities as controlled as possible and keep your pets out of the way if you can. The last thing you want is your dog biting someone and having to file a homeowners insurance claim in the middle of your party!


If you are like me, you thoroughly enjoy Halloween, but it’s important to practice Halloween safety. That way you get more “treat” than “trick”! Call our agents at The Writer Agency, LLC and let us “treat” you to an insurance coverage review and take the “trick” out of your exposures: 308-436-4202. Or click: www.insurance-by-katie.com to read our latest newsletter with more insurance and Halloween safety tips.


What’s your favorite Halloween costume?

Friday, October 22, 2010

“It's my money and I want it now"!

If you are like me, you mute the TV every time that commercial for JG Wentworth comes on, but in reality it makes a good point: you pay for insurance coverage so that the insurance company will pay you in the event you have damages.


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Now that many of you are making repairs to your damaged items after the storms of this summer it is important to keep the following things in mind:



1. If you have an HO-3 Homeowners or Special Commercial policy form, without any exclusionary wording to the contrary, (which are two of the most common policy forms) the insurance company will reimburse you for the cost to repair or the value to replace your damages. The estimated reimbursement amount is generally presented to you on your claim worksheet as three columns of figures. The “Replacement Cost” column is the estimated total amount needed in order to completely repair or replace your damages. The “Actual Cash Value” column is the amount the insurance company owes you regardless of whether you make repairs or not. The “Depreciation” column is the difference between these two figures. Once the repairs are made you're able to submit your actual expenses in order to recoup the appropriate amount of funds listed in the “Replacement Cost” column. (See the next item for the determination of the “appropriate” amount).




2. The worksheets that you received from your adjuster is simply an estimate of what they felt it would cost to repair the damages. This figure is not a guaranteed number and you could be reimbursed more or less than that number depending on your actual repair expenditures. For example, if you are able to make your repairs for less than what is listed on your estimated worksheet, that is what the company will pay: you will be reimbursed for your actual out-of-pocket expenses. On the other hand, if your actual expenses exceed that figure listed on your worksheet, it is possible to obtain reimbursement in an amount higher than is listed on your worksheet. It is important to note however, that if your damages do exceed the figure listed on your worksheet you should present this difference to the insurance company for approval prior to making any repairs.



3. Make certain to retain all of your repair bills so these can be turned into your insurance company upon completion of the repairs for reimbursement.



4. The insurance contract stipulates that you be reimbursed to such extent as to put you back into the same financial position as you were prior to the loss without betterment. What this means is that the insurance company owes you to replace and repair your items with “like kind and quality”. Of course you are free to choose to upgrade and improve your home or other damaged item during this process; however the insurance company is only obligated to reimburse you for what it would have cost to replace your damaged item with an identical type of item.




5. As a general rule, most insurance companies require that your repairs are made within 180 days (6 months) of the day when the damage occurred. In Nebraska however, it is not always possible to make these repairs before winter sets in. To that end, most insurance companies are willing to grant an extension of time in which to make these repairs upon receiving a formal request to do so. If you have outstanding damage that will exceed this 180 day period, please contact me right away in order to request the extension.


6. Most insurance policies contain a “per occurrence” deductible which means that a deductible will apply to each incident; each storm; each damage event, even if repairs for the first damages have not been made at the time of the additional damages.


No one enjoys the process of making repairs after your items are damaged. Most of us would prefer if the damage had never happened, however, unfortunately damages cannot always be avoided. The claim process can be confusing and frustrating at times and this is why you have a trusted insurance agent who can help guide you through the process in order to make it a little bit easier! It IS your money, let me help you get it now.


Find more insurance tips and information at our website: http://www.insurance-by-katie.com/  or call us at  308-436-4202

Do you have a question about your insurance claim?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

When your Wheels Fall Off...and other Weirdness

Picture this: The local high school needs vehicles for auto shop class for the students to work on. Out of the goodness of your heart, you take your vehicle in to the shop to have your brakes worked on. "Children are our future" you know! A little while later, you pick up your vehicle because the repairs are complete. You drive home. By the way, your lug nuts have been over tightened and broken. You turn a corner…….your wheel falls off!

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While this anecdote sounds humorous, it is a true story. An acquaintance of mine just experienced this. Thankfully no one was injured but the vehicle sustained substantial damage and she is now without a vehicle until these new repairs can be made.


1) Who pays for the repairs?


2) Who would have been at fault and would have paid if she had injured someone during the accident?


3) Who pays for alternative transportation so she can continue to go to work?


4) Will her insurance rates go up because of this accident?


Don’t leave questions like these to chance. At The Writer Agency, LLC, you can visit with our knowledgeable agents to answer these questions and more. We can help you complete a Risk Assessment to determine what dangers you may be faced with and we can show you how to protect yourself. Get the answers before the loss!

Call or click today: 308-436-4202 www.insurance-by-katie.com


Have you experienced a “weird” claim situation? Share with us.