Why Does Dave Ramsey Recommend an Independent Insurance Agent?

If you haven’t noticed we are big fans of Dave Ramsey. We are a Dave Ramsey “Endorsed Local Provider” and not only have we used his advice but are constantly recommending him to our clients. We truly believe that taking a conservative approach to your finances, spending less than you make, and avoiding debt are sound decisions. What about Dave’s recommendation that you use a trusted independent insurance agent? Is this a good recommendation and a critical part of making the best  financial decisions?

We certainly agree with Dave that an independent insurance agent is often the best place to not only purchase your insurance but also to make sure your coverages are meeting your needs. We believe there are 3 distinctions of an independent agent that can be of the most value to you.

- We simply do not work for the insurance company

It sounds so simple but day in and day out we see examples of how this plays out. We represent the insurance company but we are not employees of that company. Ultimately we represent the interest of you, the client. Insurance can at times be a complex matter. There is sometimes confusion and miscommunication, whether over a claim or even your billing. When these situations arise an independent agent can look at the matter from your perspective and represent your interest to the company.

No one is perfect and sometimes insurance companies are wrong. Having an independent voice to represent you versus an employee of the insurance company insures that you will be treated fairly and efficiently.

- Representing Multiple Companies Offers you the Best Deal with the Least Hassle

Let’s be honest, even with those companies offering your huge savings in 15 minutes, getting an insurance quote is not exactly pleasant. Gathering your documents, remembering the details of a small claim 3-years ago, and trying to choose the right level of coverage is just not fun. We can certainly think of funner things to do.

An independent agent can offer a multitude of companies and make the best use of your time while shopping for insurance. Our quotes compare a minimum of 4 companies with multiple coverage options.

-Building a Long-Term Relationship With an Independent Agent is Easier

As much as we wish it wasn’t so insurance companies often change their rates. What was fantastic for you this year may not be so fantastic 5 years down the road. Back to our 2nd point is it isn’t fun having to shop for insurance. Starting over every couple of years with a new agent is a headache.

By representing multiple companies we can keep our relationship intact and may be able to offer a new company at a better rate. There is no need to start from scratch.

We have had clients that have been with our agency for over 50-years. That simply is awesome! A relationship like that is invaluable for both us and the client.

Why we chose to be the Dave Ramsey Endorsed Local Provider for Bakersfield Insurance…

We believe Dave’s principles work. We enjoy working with people that have embraced his philosophy. Whether you are on baby step #1 or have already done the “we’re debt free” scream… we want to grow together with our clients. Responsible clients that are in control of their finances are fun to work with! Hard working independent insurance agents that are watching out for your interest and building the dream together are fun to work with!

We would love to talk to you about your insurance needs. Give us a call at 661-327-5531 or stop by our office at 111 “H” Street. You can complete an on-line quote comparison here.

 

Driving in Mexico? New Laws Require Liability Coverage on Mexico Highways.

Are you planning a winter getaway to Mexico? If you are driving you should be aware of the new law requiring drivers to carry liability insurance. Although many of our companies do offer coverage extensions into Mexico, the Mexican authorities will not recognize United State’s insurers.

Purchasing coverage for your vehicle while in Mexico is easy and can be purchased for only the days you will spend in Mexico.

Give us a call today, 661-327-5531 and we can make sure you have the proper coverage in place.

Its Graduation Time for Bakersfield Students! Here Are Some Teen Driving Tips to Keep Graduation Safe

High school is full of defining moments for Bakersfield teens and two of the highlights for most are prom and graduation.

However, this time of year often sees other, more tragic defining moments – serious car accidents involving teens who are distracted or even under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

At Crosby and Crosby, we want to help make this season one to celebrate for you and your teen. So, with the help of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, here are some tips that can keep your teen safe.

First, encourage your teen to follow these general safe-driving rules:

Absolutely no alcohol

Always use seat belts

No cell phone use (including texting) while driving

Special circumstances

Of course, special events such as prom and graduation often present special circumstances. There may be dinner with dates before the dance, and parties before or after either event. It’s a good idea to discuss your expectations well before each event, putting some guidelines into place before your teen heads out for the night. Here are some ideas:

Make sure you know the itinerary of the evening, as well as who else will be with your teen. You should have contact information for everyone.

Have a way to contact your teen at all times. You may want to require them to check in with you once or twice over the course of the evening.

Set a curfew, whether they are coming back to your home or staying with a friend. If they are staying elsewhere, make sure the curfew will be enforced by a responsible adult.

Discuss with your teen how to handle difficult situations, such as facing pressure to drink, or accepting a ride with someone who shouldn’t be driving. It’s a good idea to provide your child with money for a taxi just in case.

Offer a “no-questions-asked” ride home, should they need one during the evening.

If you’re worried about your teen driving, consider alternate transportation. A car service or limousine will provide a responsible, experienced adult driver. You also will be able to limit changes to the itinerary and contact the driver.

Prom and graduation in Bakersfield are special times in a teen’s life. And just a little common sense will go a long way toward making sure your young adult is around to enjoy the other milestones that are sure to come.

 Safeco Insurance Teen Safety Rewards™

Safeco Insurance  Teen Safety Rewards can provide you a collection of tools, benefits and discounts to help your teen become a safer driver — as well as manage the cost of adding them to your policy. There are several discounts available, including the Good Student Discount, Driver Training Discount and more. Call Crosby and Crosby Insurance Services, 661-327-5531 or send us an email, agent@crosbyandcrosby.com for more information!

5 Tips on Getting the Best Deal on Your Bakersfield Home and Auto Insurance

Bakersfield has changed quite a bit since Crosby and Crosby first started writing insurance in 1963. Insurance has changed just as drastically. In the old days, we used a rate wheel to manually provide an insurance premium. Today, we can instantly compare our many different companies and compare side by side coverage and deductible options. To help our clients chose the right coverage options at the absolutely best value, we recommend these 5 Tips on getting the best deal for your insurance.

 

- Combine, Combine, Combine

We have all heard that combining your home and auto can help you to save money on your insurance. The discounts don’t stop there. Have you considered combining other policies such as boat, motorcycle, umbrella and even life insurance? By combining all of your policies, you can save even more through additional multi-policy discounts.

- Compare company specific discounts

Did you know that some companies provide a discount for living in a gated community? Companies have many different discounts available. An independent agent can help you to make sure the applicable discounts are being applied.

 - Compare Deductible Options

Statistically, a homeowner will have a claim every 7 years. How would raising your deductible to $1,000 or even $2,500 impact your annual insurance premium? If you can take the extra risk, a higher deductible option can payoff. Many of our clients are deciding that raising deductibles on the auto up to $1,000 is a smart move that can help to reduce your insurance premium.

- Verify Your Annual Miles

In California, your usage is a primary rating factor on your auto insurance. Annual mileage can vary tremendously from one driver to another. Do you have a short commute? A vehicle provided by your company? Are you retired? These are all factors that impact the usage of your vehicle. Make sure you are talking with your company about how many miles your are driving annually and not overpaying for your insurance.

- Shop With an Independent Agent

An independent agency represents different insurance companies.  An “agent” vs a “broker” does not charge extra fees to write a policy. An independent agent is able to present several quote options and give you a good comparison of different options. By letting an agent compare your quote options, you can make sure you are getting the best insurance value.

Let Crosby and Crosby Compare Options and Provide you with an Insurance Quote

It is easier than ever to see rates from our great companies. You can call us, 661-327-5531, email us agent@crosbyandcrosby.com, or quote live online. We provide a great comparison quote with companies like Safeco, Metlife, Kemper Preferred and Travelers.

Insuring High Value Homes in High Fire Areas – Protection Class 9 – 10

If there are two home insurance markets that are having a hard time finding reasonable insurance policies it is: high value homes and homes located in high fire areas. We have written in-depth on previous blogs about homes that are located in high fire and brush areas. Our blog topic, “Tips on How to Insure High-Risk and Brush Area Homes”, is one of our most visited pages.

If you have a combination of a high value home and a home that is listed as a brush fire area you are dealing with 2 issues that may limit your options. First we will tackle what exactly is considered a high value home. Secondly, we will discuss what criteria is used to determine a high fire risk. Lastly we will give you the best options for securing the best insurance for your home.

What is considered a high-value home?

Most companies consider a high-value home to be a home with a replacement cost of $750,000 or more. This is generally what your coverage A or dwelling coverage would be listed as on your policy.

Because a high value home exposes an insurance company to a large amount of risk on an individual location most companies will re-insure risks over a certain coverage amount. You, the client, are insured by the primary company. The insurance company purchases “reinsurance” from a company to help reduce their total exposure.

The “reinsurance” is the particular problem that has caused many high value homes, especially those homes with replacement cost over $1,750,000, to become both expensive and difficult to insure. The cost of reinsurance has gone up as investment (bonds) returns have fallen with low interest rates. Primary insurance companies have in turn had to raise rates or limit coverages for high value homes.

How and who decides what areas are considered high brush? 

ISO Protection Class:

First off you may hear your homes protection class as a number, such as a Protection Class 5 or a Protection Class 10. With these numbers a “1″ is the least hazardous and a “10″ would be the most hazardous. These numbers are put together by the Insurance Services Office, “ISO”, and are a rating of the fire departments coverage and response time to your location. Generally a protection class 9 or 10 would be considered to have a structure fully engulfed in fire by the time the fire deparment is able to respond.

Brush Mapping Services:

Companies now use a host of brush mapping services to help them determine if a home can be insured with their program or not. Some companies would simply determine an “elgible” or “inelgible” determination. Some companies would use a tiered structure to charge higher premiums in higher risk areas. Brush mapping systems use a combination of distance to brush, fuel load and previous fire history in their determination.

The Crosby and Crosby Solution

We talk to clients each day that have spent hours on the phones with different agents trying to find home insurance. This is often a frustrating process as companies are unfamiliar with different areas or are unfamiliar with insuring high-value homes.

By specializing in helping our clients find suitable coverage for their high fire risk and high value homes we can effeciently get your a quote from one of our great companies.

We write home insurance throughout California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Wisconsin.

You can now complete an online live quote, give us a call at 661-327-5531 or send us an agent@crosbyandcrosby.com.

Home Insurance Getting Cancelled Because of Claims? 3 Tips to Get Your Insurance Back on Track

At the very core insurance is meant to protect you from the unexpected. Sometimes the unexpected events can add up and even the best insurance clients can end up with multiple claims over a short period of time. In today’s insurance market many customers are finding themselves in the position of being cancelled from their current homeowners companies for 1 or more losses in the previous 5-years. Often, these are customers that have been with the same company for a decade or more and may have gone without claims for years. If you find yourselve in this situation rest assured that you do have options to get your insurance back on track.

- Shop Around with an Independent Insurance Agent

An independent insurance agent represents several homeowners insurance companies. By offering a broad array of companies with different criteria an independent agent can match each client with the best company available. Companies all have different underwriting requirements. Some companies will not consider new policies with any prior claims and others may be willing to write new policies with multiple claims. Companies may classify losses diferently. Many companies will not count wind related claims, such as a blown down fence.

- Make your Case

If you are facing cancellation of your home insurance for previous claims, don’t give up. Making your case to your current carrier or a new provider can make the difference. What have you done to mitigate the potential for future losses? If you had a loss because of a burglary and installed a central alarm system to prevent future losses companies are interested in hearing that. Your proactive response to protect your home against future losses can make a difference. A few examples would be:

- Water Damage Caused by Ruptured Water Pipe – Updating or Replacing Plumbing

- Damage Caused By Leak in Roof – Roof Replaced

- Loss Due to Wind Damaged Wood Fence – Mitigated by replacing fence with a cement block wall

- Consider a Higher Deductible Option

A higher deductible option on your insurance can help a company consider writing your insurance with past losses. Especially if you have had losses in the smaller range. Many customers are finding that they can save a considerable amount of money and also prevent future small losses by chosing a higher deductible option such as $1500, $2,500 or even $5,000.

- Crosby and Crosby Can Help

If you are confused on which way to proceed and are facing a cancellation notice because of claims we can help. We represent 11 of the best homeowners companies and have many great options to choose from. Our consultive approach and comparative rating can compare many different companies and coverage options in one easy step. Give us a call today, 661-327-5531, send us an email at agent@crosbyandcrosby.com or complete a live comparative quote below.

Our Insurance Discounts for Bakersfield Teachers Just Got Better

Insurance companies have long recognized that certain occupations deserve lower insurance rates. Many companies including Safeco and Travelers Insurance have been offering large auto insurance discounts for teachers over the last decade.

The Bakersfield office of Crosby and Crosby Insurance helps numerous teachers, counselors and adminstrators with their home and auto insurance.

Our discounts have just got better! We can now offer an occupation discount on our homeowners insurance coverage in addition to the great discounts we have had on auto insurance.

These discounts are the best way to receive the best value for your insurance. Saving money is great and saving money while receiving the proper coverages is the way we have been selling insurance since 1963.

It is easy to get a quote. You can give us a call at 661-327-5531 or complete an instant online quote here.

 

Obamacare Update: Employer Mandate Delayed

Only 176 Days until the Affordable Care Act health insurance plans (often referred to as Obamacare) are available.  With the constant updates and changes going on we are going to try our best to keep you updated on what this all means and most importantly how it is going to affect you.  One of the most recent changes to the mandate is the extension of the employer penalty from 2014 to 2015.  This extension gives the business owners, employees, health insurance carriers, and government one more year to iron out the details of the mandates and how they will implement them.  Here is a notice from Anthem Blue Cross on this extension:

Employer mandate delayed

July 3, 2013

On July 2, 2014, the Obama administration delayed part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA or health care reform law) that affects employers. The parts of the law listed below will now go into effect in 2015 instead of 2014:

1.        Employers will not have to report certain information to the IRS. This has been referred to as “employer reporting requirements.” We are waiting for the IRS to give details on what requirements this includes.

2.        The rule that says large employers have to offer coverage to full-time workers or pay a penalty. “Large employer” in this case is a business that has 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees (that work an average of 30 hours a week).

3.        The rule that says coverage offered by large employers cannot be more than 9.5% of a worker’s pay for self-only coverage.

The delay notice changes the employer mandate part of the law only. The individual mandate and other parts of the law are unchanged. We are evaluating the impact and waiting for more information. The IRS has said it will release more details about the delay soon. We will share more information as soon as possible.

This article applies to:

  • California, Wisconsin, Virginia, Ohio, New York, Nevada, New Hampshire, Missouri, Maine, Kentucky, Indiana, Georgia, Connecticut,  and Colorado
  • Small Group, Large Group,  and ANA Consultant

We will continue to update you as we receive updates from our carriers and the administration.  If you have any questions or would like to speak to us about health insurance please call our office at 661-327-5531, email Jennifer Crosby at jenni@crosbyandcrosby.com, or stop by our office at 111 H Street.

Tips For Great Course of Construction Insurance

Is the new home of your dreams planned out, the builder is ready to start, and suddenly you are looking for the last piece of the puzzle, Construction Insurance?

homeconstructionConstruction Insurance or Course of Construction Insurance is often relegated to the back of the line behind picking out great windows, the perfect master bath or the perfect builder to complete your new home. Don’t worry, here are some tips to make sure you are selecting the right insurance.

So what is Course of Construction Insurance?

We are all pretty familiar with homeowners insurance that provides coverage for our homes. Course of Construction Insurance is similar in many ways. The coverage is going to provide protection for your home as it is in the process of being built.

Generally the first consideration is going to be coverage for the structure from the foundation and framing to  roof, electrical, plumbing and interior features of our home.  You also need consider if you will have any additional structures like detached garages, shops, mother-in-law units and fences.

What other coverage options should I consider?

- Theft of building materials is a major cause of loss on homes under construction. Make sure if someone steals your property at the job-site their is adequate coverage

- Coverage of materials in transit or off-site. If you are going to store any materials off-site in another lot or storage area make sure to have coverage for off-site materials. Also check for coverage while your materials are in transit from the manufacturer or distributor to your job-site.

- Premises Liability provides liability for the property owner at the construction site. If someone comes onto the job site and slips and falls or injures themselves you need to have adequate liability. Some homeowners companies will allow you to extend liability coverage to another location. If you have a homeowners policy for a home you are living in while the new home is being constructed you may be able to extend coverage. You may also be able to purchase course of construction insurance directly from the construction policy.

Two Options For Coverage

Homeowners Policy with a Course of Construction Endorsement

If you home would normally qualify for a regular homeowners policy, not in a brush area or previous claims, you can purchase a regular homeowners policy with an endorsement to cover course of construction. Many companies require that construction has not started and that construction will be completed within 12-months.

There are several advantages of the endorsed homeowners policy to cover course of construction. First you can combine with your auto and other property policies to maximize savings. Second generally the homeowners policy will renew after 1-year as a regular homeowners policy so you won’t have to shop around for insurance again. Third the coverage is comprehensive and we can include liability under the single policy.

1-Time Course of Construction Insurance

We can offer course of construction insurance on a policy specifically designed for homes under construction. Generally it is required to write this type of policy when the home is located in a high fire brush area, there are previous claims, construction has already began or construction will not be completed within 12-months.

Coverage on this type of policy is tailored specifically for the time period the home is under construction and will need to be rewritten into a full homeowners policy upon completion of the home.

We can help you secure the most affordable coverage that helps to best protect your new home and have a quote to you within 1 day

We write course of construction or builders risk insurance in the states of California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. We can provide a quote within the same business day. If you have any questions or would like Crosby and Crosby Insurance Services to help you with your coverage please call us at 661-327-5531 or send us an email at agent@crosbyandcrosby.com. You can get a live comparison quote here.

What about course of construction or builders risk policies in high fire areas?

We can help with your construction insurance even if you home is located in a high fire, brush area, or protection class 9 or 10. Please give us a call at 661-327-5531.

What about course of construction or major remodel on a commercial building?

We can help you with your commercial construction or major remodel projects. Our phone number is 661-327-5531.

What happens to your auto insurance when you get a California DUI?

Each year, in California, over 200,000 drivers are arrested for driving under the influence according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. The penalties and monetary fines are steep.

What about your auto insurance? What happens to your auto insurance when you are convicted for drunk driving?

The first thing you probably will think of is that you will be cast off to buying insurance from some pirate, ringing a bell each huge broker fee he charges while slashing your coverages to nothing.

The good news is that many really great companies are now looking closer at drivers with a clean driving record other than an unfortunate DUI. With the nearly zero threshold for having a drink or two and getting behind the wheel many good and safe drivers are ending up being charged with DUI.

Can I keep good coverage and keep my home and auto insurance combined with a DUI on my record?

Yes! Some of our great companies now considering drivers with a clean driving record other than a DUI conviction there is no need to split off your home and auto insurance or slash coverages.

We can offer the liability and uninsured motorist protection that you need and extend multi-policy discounts to help you get the best value even if you have a DUI.

What is a SR-22 filing?

A Sr-22 filing is a filing the insurance company is required to make with the DMV. Normally insurance is tied to a vehicle but the SR-22 ties the insurance policy to the driver for  a period of 3-years from the conviction date. To keep your license active the SR-22 filing and the insurance policy must remain in-force for that period whether or not you own a vehicle.

There should be no “brokers fee” to issue a SR-22 filing.

The insurance company may charge an extra premium to issue the SR-22 filing.

How long does a DUI stay on my record?

A DUI will charge violation points for a 3-year period after your conviction. The DUI conviction will keep you from getting a “California Good Drivers Discount” and limit your insurance options with many companies for a period of 10-years.

How can Crosby and Crosby help?

Our agency is dedicated to helping clients that value great insurance. We understand that sometimes unfortunately some careful and safe drivers can make a mistake and end up with a DUI.

 We can also offer insurance from companies that have the same great coverages and multi-policy discounts that are available to “California good drivers” in addition to helping you complete all the SR-22 requirements.

You can give us a call at 661-327-5531 in California, 208-366-8366 in Idaho, email us, or complete an online quote.

If you have questions about your insurance with a DUI or a SR-22 filing please contact us. We can help!

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