TUESDAY, MAY 3, 2022
In the last few years, there has been a surge in specialty vehicle sales—from recreational vehicles in the spring to boats in the summer. As the seasons change, it's time to shift focus to the specialty vehicles consumers will be using for the next few months.
We are heading into a prime off-roading season for all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), dirt bikes, and side-by-sides Most consumers aren't well-educated about the nuances of auto or home insurance policies, let alone properly insuring off-road vehicles.
Here are four common insurance mistakes that befall many off-roaders:
1) Not insuring an off-road vehicle. Everyone knows you need auto insurance to legally drive, but the requirements for off-road vehicles are ambiguous at best. Unless you're in one of the handful of states that requires insurance, consumers are probably lukewarm on insuring them.
Why? They think it's covered by their homeowners policy and don't think the vehicles are valuable enough to insure separately. They haven't contemplated the real reasons you insure an off-road vehicle: Liability protection and uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage.
Much like auto accidents, fender-benders happen on the trails with great frequency. That's why you install brush guards, after all. But what happens when there's a serious accident? What if the accident is the other driver's fault and they're uninsured?
Ambulances aren't off-road vehicles, so getting medical assistance could involve a helicopter. Compound this with potential delays in getting to medical treatment. All this means that it's critical to have great liability and UM/UIM protection.
2) Believing off-road vehicle insurance is expensive. The other reason people don't insure their off-road vehicle is because they think it's expensive. In reality, they'll likely spend more on gas. A liability-only policy could be as little as $100 a year while the average premium is more like $350 per year. For the ultimate protection, consider high limits plus an umbrella policy.
3) Thinking customizations will be covered. A lot of off-roaders invest in customizations. From brush-guards to hand-warmers, heavy-duty tires and rims, and everything in-between. For purposes of insurance, customizations are anything that isn't original manufacturer equipment (OEM), including equipment added by the dealership or a previous owner.
This can be a real gotcha for insureds who think that customizations are covered because they're part of the vehicle. Some companies include a nominal amount in the base policy for just this reason. If the client has invested in extensive customizations, they can purchase high limits for an additional premium. And they may receive coverage for their safety gear such as helmets, boots or riding jackets.
4) Assuming roadside assistance will provide coverage. Some people never leave their property, but many ride or trailer their vehicles to the tens of thousands of miles of designated ATV trails across the U.S.
However, many Americans believe having auto roadside assistance coverage means they can get a tow whenever and wherever they need it. What they don't realize is that towing coverage is generally for declared vehicles or specific vehicle types such as cars, motorcycles, and RVs, which could leave ATVs and side-by-sides out in the cold.
The good news is that if you insure these vehicles on a motorcycle or off-road-vehicle insurance policy and add roadside assistance, they'll be able to get fuel delivery, flat tire assistance or a tow. There's just one caveat: They must be close to a public road. Tow trucks are not off-road vehicles, after all.
Powersports sales are surging. By addressing these common insurance pitfalls, you increase your chances of ensuring you are protected.
MONDAY, MAY 13, 2019
Peace of mind for your special day
Why do you need Wedding Insurance? Or any Event Insurance? Consider what could go wrong.
Becky and Aaron spent months planning their destination wedding to the Bahamas. But on their wedding day, a category four hurricane made their reception site inaccessible. If the couple had the right wedding insurance policy, they could have been reimbursed for lost deposits.
| Cindy had just purchased her dream wedding dress. But when she went to pick up her dress a week before the big day, she saw an out of business sign in the window of the dress shop. With the right wedding insurance policy, Cindy could have been reimbursed for the money she lost.
Kelly and Roberto enjoyed their beautiful wedding up until their photographer called to say their wedding photos were ruined during the development process. Having the right wedding insurance policy could have helped to cover the cost to retake the couple's wedding photos.
Wedding insurance helps make things right when something goes wrong.
You’ve always dreamed of planning the perfect wedding, but no matter how carefully you plan it, there are many things that can go wrong – things that are beyond your control.
What if your reception venue goes out of business a month before the wedding, and you lose your deposit and have to find another location? Or a hurricane causes your wedding to be postponed? What if your bridal shop closes, leaving you without a gown?
A wedding is an investment, and as the average cost of weddings rises, now up to $30,000, wedding insurance is needed more than ever. After all, you wouldn’t buy a new car that costs that much without insuring it against damage.
For as little as $160, your wedding insurance policy can cover a variety of situations, such as:
No dress. You can get repair or replacement cost if the bride’s wedding gown or groom’s tuxedo is lost or damaged.
Lost deposits. Your deposit can be reimbursed if a vendor goes out of business, declares bankruptcy before your wedding or simply fails to show up
Lost rings. You can receive repair or replacement cost if the bride or groom’s wedding bands are lost or damaged.
Severe weather. If severe weather (such as a hurricane) forces you to postpone your wedding, we can provide reimbursement for certain non-recoverable expenses
Reimbursement is available if a necessary and unavoidable cancellation or postponement of the event occurs. Reimbursement is available for transportation, food, catering services, property and equipment rentals, hall and location rentals, and more
Ruined photos. If your photographer’s film is defective, or negatives are lost or damaged, wedding insurance can help cover the cost to retake new photos
Call to duty. If the bride or groom is unexpectedly called up to active duty, or has her or his military service leave revoked, forcing you to postpone the event, reimbursement can be provided for non-recoverable expenses
Damaged gifts. You can get repair or replacement cost if your wedding gifts are damaged
Sudden illness. If the wedding needs to be postponed because sudden illness prevents the bride, groom or their parents from attending, you can receive reimbursement for certain non-recoverable expenses
Venue requires insurance. As an additional option to your policy, you can add liability coverage to protect yourself incase a guest is injured or causes damage to property
Liquor liability. As an individual liability option to your policy, you can add this coverage to protect yourself against liability arising from alcohol-related occurrences(subject to policy conditions and exclusions)
Additional expense. If a vendor suddenly becomes unavailable for your event but you can find a last-minute replacement, wedding insurance can reimburse you for the difference in cost, up to 25 percent of the original contract price
There’s a lot to know when it comes to buying insurance – the types of options available, how much protection you need and what represents a fair price. That’s why it’s important to have an independent agent such as Trident Insurance Agency looking out for you and your family. Speak to your agent today! *information provided by Travelers Insurance Company
Call Trident Insurance Agency for insurance on any invents you have coming up. Its important to protect your investment and begin the protection as soon as possible!
HOME AUTO BUSINESS LIFE
MONDAY, MAY 13, 2019
Yay! It’s one of our favorite times of the year! National Insurance Awareness Day, the day set aside on your calendar to check out your insurance policies and make sure you have the right coverage in place.
On what day is National Insurance Awareness Day celebrated? June 28
What is National Insurance Awareness Day? This day serves as a reminder to check your insurance and make sure everything is up-to-date. Insurance gives us a way to care for and protect our families in the event an injury, accident or unplanned event happens. Additionally, there are different forms of insurance available. Here are the most common:
- Life Insurance
- Car Insurance
- Home/Renters Insurance
- Flood Insurance
- Business Owners
However, there are also some unique insurance options on today’s market, including:
- Lottery Insurance: This is for companies in the case a group of their employees start a lottery ticket pool, win and then retire. The insurance policy would allow the company to hire temps and not lose key productivity while they searched for replacements.
- Insurance Against Death by Laughter: This funny insurance secures stand-up comedians if one of their audience members has a fatal laugh attack.
- Wedding Insurance: For couples who have a change of heart about their relationship during wedding planning and want their deposit money back, wedding insurance is available.
- Body Part Insurance: This is specifically for athletes, musicians and entertainers alike who wish to insure specific body parts necessary for their career.
Who founded this day? The creator of this day is unknown. I wish it was me.
What is the hashtag? Use #NationalInsuranceAwarenessDay when posting to social media.
How to celebrate: Here are a few ideas on how to take advantage of this day:
- Review all of your existing insurance policies and make sure they are up-to-date.
- If there is a type of insurance you need or can benefit from, research different benefit companies and see when they’re open for enrollment.
When you're reviewing insurance for a business, ask yourself:
- Has your business grown? It might be time to up the limit on some of your policies to cover additional property and employees.
- What’s excluded? Something you need coverage for could easily be excluded under your policy. For example, there are uncovered natural disasters in most Commercial Property policies. Make sure the weather your area is most prone to is covered. If not, you may need an additional policy to cover your needs.
- What’s changed? As your business has become more established, it is likely things have changed. For example, if you have begun taking credit card purchases online it might be time to get Cyber Insurance.
Talk to your independent insurance agent or call Trident Insurance Agency for a free review of your coverages . 1-800-333-3690.
Besides that? Treat yourself to a little cake while you’re going through your policies and have a happy National Insurance Awareness Day! *natioaldayarchives
HOME AUTO BUSINESS LIFE
TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2019
As you plan your next home renovation project, choosing the right contractor for the job is a critical first step in your planning process. You want to make sure you vet the quality of their work in advance, spell out in writing what work you want performed and agree upon the scope of the project, and inquire whether the contractor is properly licensed and insured in case something goes wrong.
This checklist compiles the top 10 tips to consider when selecting a contractor:
1. Get Multiple Estimates
Talk to several contractors and get written estimates from at least three. Make sure you’re comparing apples to apples when you get multiple estimates. Look at building materials, work methods, timelines and other factors that may vary by contractor. Be cautious of estimates that are too high or too low.
2. Hire Local, Licensed Contractors Whenever Possible
Local contractors are easier to contact if problems develop with the work in the future, and they are more likely to be familiar with building codes in your area. Ask the contractor for their local, physical address. Be suspicious of anyone who goes door-to-door or refuses to leave a contract overnight.
3. Check Their Past Work
How has their worked turned out in the past? Do they specialize in the kind of work you want done? Check references about the quality of their products, their workmanship and their customer service. Inquire about their professional reputation and years in business with the Better Business Bureau. A contractor with more than five years of experience is preferable.
4. Take Your Time Making a Sound Decision
Get multiple bids before making a decision. Don’t be pressured into making an immediate decision, particularly with regard to signing a contract. Be cautious when asked to pay a large deposit up front. Make sure to read the fine print on all estimates and contracts. If you’re having emergency repairs done and don’t have time to thoroughly research a contractor, ask neighbors, family or friends to see if they have had a good experience with an emergency services contractor.
5. Check Their Insurance and Bonding
Make sure the contractor is properly insured and bonded. Ask the contractor for a certificate of insurance (COI), which should provide the name of the insurance company, policy number and policy limits the contractor carries. You can contact the insurance company directly to verify the coverage and make sure the policy is still in effect. Do not do business with a contractor who does not carry the appropriate insurance coverage. If the contractor is not insured, you may be liable for accidents that occur on your property.
6. Get Everything in Writing
Secure a comprehensive contract before work begins. Get everything in writing, and make sure the contract is clear and well written. Consider having a lawyer review the proposed contract for your protection before you sign it if the project involves substantial costs. The contract should include:
- A detailed description of the work to be completed and the price of each item.
- A payment schedule – for example: one-half down and one-third when work is partially completed, and the balance due upon completion of repairs.
- The estimated start date and completion date on larger projects.
- Any applicable guarantees, which should be written into the contract and clearly state what is guaranteed, who is responsible for the guarantee, and how long the guarantee is valid.
- Signatures from both parties. You should never sign a contract containing blank sections.
Changes to the contract should be acknowledged by all parties in writing. Ask the contractor for confirmation that he or she has obtained all applicable building permits. If you decide to cancel a signed contract, you should follow the contract’s cancellation clause. Written notification of the cancellation should be sent by registered mail to ensure you have proof of the cancellation.
7. Understand Your Right to Cancel
Federal law may require a “cooling off” period, in which you can cancel the contract without penalty. Check with the Federal Trade Commission and the laws of your state to understand your rights. Be sure to follow applicable rules during the cooling off period. If you do cancel, consider sending the notice of cancellation by registered mail to ensure you have proof of the cancellation.
8. Don’t Pay Up-Front
Don’t pay for the entire project before it is completed. Make sure you make checks payable to a company, not an individual, and do not pay in cash. For larger projects, it is standard practice to pay one-third of the estimated costs as an initial payment. That way, you can retain your cashed check as a receipt.
9. Anticipate Delays
Delays happen, and may not be the fault of your contractor. In spite of the timeline outlined in your contract, circumstances such as weather may prevent the work from remaining on schedule. Be realistic and prepare to adjust your plans accordingly.
10. Keep a Job File
Keep your contract and all the supporting documents in one folder. Your file should also contain any change orders, plans and specifications, bills and invoices, canceled checks, and certificates of insurance and any letters, notes, or correspondence with the contractor.
*Thank you to Travelers Insurance Company for the above information.
THURSDAY, MARCH 14, 2019
Three independent conversations today began with perspective clients informing me that the primary reason they had not considered purchasing life insurance previously was because they believe it to be too expensive. Today was not an uncommon day, and these were not atypical comments relative to those I hear on a regular basis. I find this is the single largest myth surrounding life insurance.
One of the individuals this morning was a dear friend of mine who had a genuine need to secure coverage sooner than later as his wife was pregnant with their second child. When I asked my friend how much he thought $500,000 of 20-year level term insurance would cost each year, he quickly replied $1,500. Instead of $1,500 annually, this healthy 32-year-old gentleman was able to secure $500,000 of life insurance along with his family’s future financial obligations for under $450 each year. There is not an investment in the world that can compete with the efficiency and effectiveness of life insurance.
The real number to focus on here is 86%. According to a study conducted by LIMRA (Life Insurance and Market Research Association), 86% of respondents say they haven’t bought life insurance because it’s too expensive, yet overestimate its cost by up to 3X. Life insurance will never be as inexpensive as it is today when you are younger and healthier than you will be tomorrow.
Don’t wait until it is too late.