Why Most Insurance Quotes Are Boring

Galt,_John[1]

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We talk to people all day long who are shopping for new insurance. Most of them are reluctantly doing their insurance shopping because they were forced to by bad customer service and a lack of options with their current company or agency. In a daze they spit out the same information over and over again as they go from agency to agency being asked exactly the same questions in exactly the same way.

There is no reason getting an insurance quote should be boring! You are doing something that will help to protect your family and hopefully is going to help you get a better value along the way.

Why should you go through the repetitive task of comparing exactly the same coverage over and over and hoping you come across a good deal?

There is a better way to shop for insurance. It starts with having several options and companies to chose from and ends with building a relationship with a trusted agent that can help you to make the best decision on your insurance.

Whether you prefer to call us on the phone or complete your quote online with Crosby and Crosby you are going to get several quotes with different options to compare. You can save time and compare options from great companies like Travelers, Kemper Auto and Home and Safeco Insurance.

You can call and discuss your quote with one of our agents at 661-327-5531 or if you prefer you can quote online now.

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Should I Purchase Earthquake Insurance?

Should you purchase earthquake insurance for your home? That is a question that we hear often because homeowners insurance companies in California are required to offer

USGS Earthquake Map

USGS Earthquake Map

earthquake insurance to their policy holders. You will always receive an offer when you write  a new policy and at least every other year after that.

Should you take that offer?

You should make that decision based on the following 2- questions:

Could an earthquake destroy my house?

Would a earthquake destroying my home cause me to go bankrupt or have great financial pain?

Both of those answers are clearly; YES! If you live in the Western United States we are always waiting for the “big one” that would destroy our home in seconds. The damage or destruction of your home would cause the vast majority of us to go bankrupt or have great financial pain in trying to recover.

“Isn’t Earthquake Insurance very expensive”? Earthquake insurance rates have been falling in recent years and are quite affordable. Most homes in California can be insured for earthquake coverage for a few hundred dollars per year. Insurance Companies tend to have short memories and the Northridge Earthquake in 1994 was the last major earthquake event in California. In fact the Northridge Earthquake completely reshaped the California home insurance market with as much as $25,000,000,000 in damages.

“Isn’t Earthquake Insurance very limited in what it covers”? As rates have fallen, the coverage offerings have also improved. You can now purchase a policy with a lower 10% (as opposed to 15%) deductible, increased coverage for personal property, loss of use and building code upgrades.

“How do I purchase coverage”? Most earthquake insurance is required to be written through your homeowners insurance policy. Many companies allow you to purchase earthquake insurance at any time during your policy (prior to a loss of course). Some companies only allow you to start an earthquake policy when they offer it each or every other renewal.

“If I have a big loss and my home is destroyed I am sure the state or federal government will help me to rebuild”. It is actually a very common response when talking about earthquake insurance. We help our customers protect themselves and their families and it certainly is not prudent to “hope” that the government will step in to help when you need them.

If you have questions you can talk to us by phone 661-327-5531 or by email at agent@crosbyandcrosby.com. You can also complete an instant quote here.

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The $10-Spot, Great Insurance Coverage Enhancements That Cost You Less than $10 Bucks!

$10 doesn’t quite go as far as it once did. It can go surprisingly far to make sure that you have the proper insurance coverages. We wanted to put a list together of 5-coverage

$10 still goes far in insurance

$10 still goes far in insurance

enhancements that will cost you less than $10 per month!

Personal Umbrella Policy- There is no better bang for your buck than a personal umbrella policy. Like an umbrella, an “umbrella policy” protects over your underlying coverages such as home and auto. If you had a loss that exceeded the coverage of your home or auto liability your umbrella would kick in. Umbrella coverages start at $1,000,000 and up to $10,000,000 in coverage is available. With new multi-policy discounts most customers can add an umbrella policy for much less than $10/month.

Enhanced Home Policy-  All of our companies now offer multiple levels of coverage options. Benefits include personal property coverage for breakage, increased policy limits, identity theft protection and increased valuable items coverage. The cost? Less than $10/month.

Scheduled Valuable Items Coverage- Valuable items like jewelry, firearms, and silverware have limited coverage. You can purchase coverage for $5,000 in valuable items for less than$10/month.

Identity Theft Protection Coverage-  Your insurance policy is the best way to purchase Identity Theft Protection. Travelers and Kemper have both recently increased the coverages for their Identity Theft Protection. The increased coverage better protects you if you should become a victim of Identity Theft. In addition to coverage the policies also help you to recover and repair your Identity.

Repair/Replace Coverage- Available for newly purchased vehicles “repair/replace” coverage will replace your vehicle if you are involved in a collision. If the vehicle cannot be safely repaired your vehicle will be replaced with a brand new model year. For example if you have a 2009 model year vehicle and it is “totalled” in an accident in 2011, you will get a brand new 2011 model year vehicle. Cost varies between vehicles but it is less than $10/month.

There are lots of great ways to get valuable coverage without spending a lot of money. By taking advantage of multi-policy discounts many coverages cost much less than you would think.

Want to talk to us about other ideas? 661-327-5531 in California or 208-366-8366 in Idaho. You can email us at agent@crosbyandcrosby.com.

Can I insure my home business under my homeowners policy?

Running a home based business is becoming very popular. However, without proper insurance, there may be some major gaps in your business’s coverage. Traditionally, a home based business would purchase a “commercial insurance” policy. Unfortunately, that coverage was often expensive and many insurance companies limited their writing  of home-based businesses.

The good news: it is now possible for many types of home-based businesses to purchase insurance as part of their homeowners policy. Kemper Auto and Home offers “Home Business” endorsements for several classifications of home businesses. Coverages can be provided for business liability, loss of business income, business property, extended business income and extra expense. These coverages can be applied to many types of home businesses including accounting, bookkeeping, product sales, and crafts made in the home.

The premiums are very affordable and vary based on each risk. If you would like to talk more about insuring your home based business give us a call 661-327-5531 in California, 208-366-8366 in Idaho. You can  also complete a quick online quote  or or email us.

Crosby and Crosby Insurance Services is licensed to write business in California, Idaho, and Wisconsin.

“Good Will and Confidence” – Thats What He Said

Selecting your insurance agent and company is a little different than smelling a tasty melon at the market or trying on another pair of shoes. So what ultimately do you hinge your decision on? Insurance is something you can’t smell, can’t look at in the mirror and ultimately comes in a rather large envelope with similar sounding terms and conditions.

Are all insurance companies the same? Is insurance just a commodity where the lowest price is the winner?

H.K. Dent, the founder of Safeco Insurance, said, “Insurance produces nothing, it replaces. We have nothing to sell except goodwill and confidence”.

So rather than producing a tasty melon that you can enjoy or a pair of shoes that look and fit great- we produce “goodwill and confidence”.

The good will and confidence; that assures you that you are getting the best value for your insurance, that lets you know a friend will be sitting on the other side of the desk when you need us and that our experience will help you to make the best decision, choosing your insurance.

Ultimately insurance is not equal. We have built our careers and our business on providing great insurance and a tremendous value to our customers. Our customers can feel, “the good will and confidence” we have been producing since 1963.

How do I insure my guns or firearm collection?

Your normal homeowners policy includes limited coverage for firearms. Your coverage is limited to “named perils” such as fire and theft and losses caused by theft are usually further limited to a lower dollar amount. Many policies limit coverage for theft of firearms to only $1500.

Getting more coverage…

There are 3 options on getting more coverage for your firearms:

  1. Scheduling each specific firearm: you can schedule each specific firearm for an agreed value to be paid in the case of a loss. I.E. you schedule your Browning Citori Featherlight for $2500 in value. Your Citori is now covered against “all risk” for $2500. Losses are not subject to a deductible.
  2. Blanket coverage: in our opinion the best way to cover a firearms collection is a blanket limit. If your total collection is worth $5000 you can blanket the coverage to cover each individual firearm and the entire collection up to $5000. Losses are not subject to a deductible.
  3. Write your home policy in an enhanced program. By taking an enhanced home policy you can have higher coverage limits in the policy. Kemper “Elite” covers firearms up to $5000 on an “All Risk” basis. Travelers “Platinum” covers firearms up to $3500 and Travelers “Platinum High Value” covers firearms up to $6000. Losses are subject to your homeowners deductible.

How much?

To schedule or blanket firearms the cost varies by county but prices start at $18 per $1000 in coverage. A $5000 policy would cost as low as $90.

What if I don’t want to list my firearms and serial numbers?

By using a blanket limit you can cover your whole collection without listing each firearm. You collection and each item will be covered for a single limit. It is always good to use a inventory sheet like this available at California Rifle and Pistol Association.

What about scopes, binoculars and other shooting gear?

We can blanket cover your optics and other shooting gear with both Kemper and Travelers Insurance. DO NOT be like our insured who turned a canyon corner and his Swarovski binoculars flew off the dash and out the window.

We are always able to help you answer any questions on your coverage. Remember each company is different so our blog should be considered general insurance information.

We can always be reached at agent@crosbyandcrosby.com, 661-327-5531 or an office visit at 111 “H” Street.

Should I have a personal umbrella insurance policy?

An umbrella policy or personal catastrophe policy protects you and your assets against large liability claims. It protects you if your regular (underlying) liability limits on your auto and home policy are not sufficient to cover an individual loss.

Personal Umbrella policies are written for amounts between $1 million and $10 million.

What does it cost?

Umbrella rates depend on how many vehicles, homes, recreational vehicles and other specific risks that you need to cover. A policy that covers a home and 2 vehicles will cost around $150.

New Discounts Make Umbrellas a “No-Brainer”

Both Travelers and Safeco now offer extended multi-policy discounts for writing an umbrella policy. You can save 5% with Travelers on your home and auto and Safeco now offers a 10% discount on your auto.

With the savings including an umbrella now would cost you less than $5/month in most cases and on some accounts may actually save your money!!!

What limits?

You need to consider among other things:

  • Net worth – including real estate equity- assets such as vehicles, boats and toys- savings and retirement accounts etc.
  • Future Earnings- Your future earnings need to be considered. If you were to have a judgement for liability over your policy limits your wages could be garnished.

Speaking with an insurance professional is advised. We have a 5-minute insurance review that can help you to decide the proper liability limits you should be carrying.

Underlying Limit Requirement

With an umbrella you are required to carry a minimum underlying liability limit on your home, auto, motorcycles and recreational vehicles. For the best rates you need to carry $500,000 of underlying liability.

If you would like to complete a free 5-minute insurance review give us a call 661-327-5531, email us at agent@crosbyandcrosby.com or if you are in Bakersfield stop by for an old-fashioned office visit at 111 “H” Street.

Should I Buy Gap Coverage on my New Car?

Purchasing GAP coverage from a dealer is usually much more expensive than covering it on your auto insurance policy.

If you are purchasing a new car you will likely be offered GAP coverage. GAP provides coverage for the difference between the loan amount and the actual cash value of the vehicle. For example if you purchase a new vehicle for $20,000 and 2 weeks later are involved in an accident, your insurance company will cover the “cash value” of the vehicle. Provided of course that you are carrying physical damage coverage. The “cash value” will be depreciated since the car is no longer “new” and will likely not cover the loan amount especially if you put down a small down-payment. If the cash value is $18,000 the GAP coverage will provide $2000 in coverage.

So it is worth it?  The dealer will likely offer a GAP policy for anywhere between $500 and $1000.

You are much better off to skip the dealers offer and cover it on your auto insurance.

Our 3 preferred companies- Travelers, Safeco and Kemper all offer GAP coverage. It is usually referred to as Loan/Lease Coverage.

It is available for around 5% of the comprehensive and collision premium. That usually works out to less than $25/year. In addition once your loan value drops under the “cash value” you can drop this coverage from your policy.

What about a lease?

A leased vehicle should always have GAP or Loan/Lease coverage. If your vehicle is totaled or stolen you will almost always owe more than the cash value of your vehicle in depreciation

Better than GAP or Loan/Lease…

We also offer Repair/Replace coverage for new vehicles. Repair/Replace goes beyond traditional GAP coverage in that it will provide replacement of your vehicle with “like kind and quality” if you vehicle is totaled and can not be safely repaired in a collision accident.

Bakersfield Wind Storm: Fence Damage and your Insurance

We are currently having a lot of claims for damaged fences from the high winds in Kern County. Here is a quick tutorial on the coverage your homeowners policy affords you and how we can help.

Coverage: Damage to your fence is covered under “Coverage B (Other Structures) subject to your deductible.

There are 2 types of fences and they apply differently to your insurance:

Shared Fences: Shared fences are fences that are shared with your neighbors. Your responsibility is for 50% of the cost of the damage to the fence. In the case of a shared fence your insurance company will pay 1/2 of the amount of the damage and split your deductible in 1/2. For example if there is $3000 in total damage and you have a $1000 deductible the insurance company will pay $1500 minus 1/2 of your deductible ($500) for a total of $1000.

Things to remember:

  • You are responsible for 1/2 of the damage to a shared fence
  • Your insurance company will split your deductible and you will be responsible for paying 1/2 of the deductible

Non-Shared Fences: Non-shared fences are fences that you don’t share with a neighbor such as front or side fence. You are responsible for 100% of the expense. If you have $3000 in damage the insurance company will pay $3000 minus your deductible.

Things to remember:

  • You are responsible for 100% of the damage to a non-shared fence.
  • The damage to your fence is covered under your homeowners policy minus your deductible

If you have a claim or want to discuss a possible claim give us a call 661-327-5531.  You can email us at ryanatcrosbyandcrosbydotcom (regular email format).

To turn in a claim directly to the company visit our claims page at http://www.crosbyandcrosby.com/claims/

Rest assured our emphasis is helping you handle a claim. It is never fun and can be confusing. We can help and make the process easy. We won’t say “fun” but we will handle your claim: quickly, efficiently and fairly. Aren’t you glad you chose a local agent?

Dealing with Rain, Wind and Weather Related Insurace Claims

January and February are our biggest months for weather related losses in Bakersfield. So what is the best way to handle these claims?

1. Secure your property against further loss. For a covered weather related loss- the insurance company will reimburse the out of pocket expenses to secure your property against further damage.

2.  Turn in your claim directly with the carrier.

Travelers: 1-800-252-4633 – Safeco 1-800-332-3226

Kemper Auto and Home: 1–888–252–2799

For other companies and to turn in claims online: http://www.crosbyandcrosby.com/claims/

3. A claims adjuster will contact you within 1 business day. Crosby and Crosby will be notified of your claim and we will follow-up to assist you and answer any questions that you may have. We can be reached at 661-327-5531.

4. Rest assured that with any of the companies we represent you are dealing with a great company that will quickly, effciently and fairly handle your claim. Plus Crosby and Crosby as your local agent will be there to assist you through your claim.

If you are unsure if you have a covered claim or need assistance don’t hesitate to contact us 661-327-5531 or email us at agentatcrosbyandcrosbydot com.

Weather related claims information

Rain: Covered losses include the damage caused by leaking or damaged roofs.  Secure your home against further damage and contact your company directly.

Wind: Wind related losses are the most common type of losses in Bakersfield. Damage to roofs and/or fences are the most common.

Other Weather Related Claims: Auto accidents increase during wet weather. Make sure to exchange information with the other people involved in the accident and get contact information from any witnesses.

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