Tag Archives: insurance agent

What Is Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Insurance?

Did you know that 1 out of 7 drivers in the United States are currently uninsured?

This leaves you, a responsible auto insurance-carrying citizen, in jeopardy. Unfortunately, if you are injured or your car is damaged in an auto accident with an uninsured motorist (a driver who does not have auto insurance), you will not be able to file a claim and will be stuck with the bills yourself. The only other option besides forking over your own money for the injuries or damages is to try to collect from the driver yourself or file a lawsuit. Both of these options are time consuming, frustrating, and do not guarantee any payment.

The best way to protect yourself against this type of situation is to carry a Uninsured and/or Underinsured Motorist Insurance policy.

What is Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Insurance?

Uninsured Motorist Insurance is coverage that protects you if you are involved in an auto accident with a driver who does not have auto insurance. Underinsured Motorist Insurance protects you when the other driver’s insurance coverage is not sufficient to cover the damages. Although it is required by law for every driver to carry auto insurance, thousands of Americans choose to drive uninsured. You never know when you might be rear ended by someone who does not have insurance.

What are the different types of UM coverage?

There are four types of uninsured motorist insurance and depending on the state they are either mandatory or optional. Sometimes these coverages will come in a bundle while other times they must be purchased separately.

• Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury Insurance (UM or UMBI) – This covers medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering if caused by an uninsured/underinsured motorist
• Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Property Damage Insurance (UMPD) – This covers the damage to vehicle but may not be available in all states. In some cases it may cover a hit-and-run.

Who Needs Uninsured Motorist Insurance?

We suggest that anyone who drives carries a UM policy on their auto insurance plan. In certain states, it is mandatory to carry this type of coverage, but in others it is option. Because nearly 15% of drivers are uninsured or underinsured, we recommend that every driver have UM coverage, whether it is required or not.

What are the limits for UMBI/UMPD?

When you decide to purchase a UMBI/UMPD policy your insurance company will ask you to choose the limits on your plan. A limit is the highest amount your insurance will pay you should you file a claim.

In most cases, UM coverage will have split limits. This means that the coverage will be different if there is one person involved or multiple people involved on the claim. For example, in a $15,000/$30,000 split limit, $15,000 would be the most your insurance would pay if you were injured or $30,000 would be the most they would pay if the other passengers were also injured.

The other option for coverage is called a Combined Single Limit and covers everyone in the car with one lump sum. For example, if you chose a combined single limit of $30,000, that would be the maximum amount your insurance pays you for all injuries sustained in the accident.

Do I need to get Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Insurance?

Given the statistics of how many uninsured and underinsured drivers there are on the road these days, we suggest you take every precaution possible to avoid being left with outrageous bills in the case of an accident. It’s not fair to be stuck paying for damages you didn’t cause just because the other driver was not responsible enough to purchase auto insurance. However, it does happen and that’s why we advise every driver carry a UMBI and UMPD policy if possible.

When to File a Homeowners Insurance Claim

Your dishwasher floods and ruins your beautiful wooden floors. A tree falls on your fence and knocks it down. A hailstorm dents your roof and smashes in your skylight.

Most of us would think to simply file a claim with our homeowners insurance and they will take care of it. Unfortunately filing a claim to your homeowners insurance is not as straightforward as expected.

An insurance company considers many things when it comes to paying a claim. Sometimes your insurance company will raise your premium or cancel your policy all together. Sometimes they reject the claim because you’re not actually covered for what you thought you were.

Damages happen to your home at any time and by various causes, but how do you know when and when not to file a claim with your homeowners insurance? Here are a few tips for when and when not to file a claim:

1. Don’t file a claim unless it’s significantly more than your deductible

Before you file a claim it’s a good idea to assess the damage and understand all the costs involved in the repairs. If the cost to repair is less than the deductible or only slight above the deductible, it’s usually better not to file a claim and fork over the money out of pocket. However, if the cost to repair is significantly more than your deductible, at least double the deductible, then it should qualify as a claim.

2. Don’t file a claim if you aren’t actually covered

Check your coverage before you file any type of claim on your homeowners insurance. Sometimes people think they are covered for certain losses that are not covered. For example, many people think they are covered for flood damage when in fact flood insurance is a completely different policy and not included in homeowners insurance.

3. Don’t file a claim if it’s not sudden, accidental, and catastrophic

Insurance companies are very picky when it comes to the type of damage they will cover for your home. If your son accidentally breaks a window while throwing baseballs in the backyard, your insurance may or may not cover the damage. While it is sudden and accidental, it’s not necessarily catastrophic. Another example type of claim that often gets rejected is if the damage is actually a home improvement project, like a rotted fence or old carpet. Read your homeowners insurance policy carefully to determine what exactly they will cover.

4. Don’t file a claim if you’ve submitted too many claims in one year

This one is tricky because there is no fine line for how many claims are too many. It’s a good idea to keep track of how many claims you file each year and check your history before filing another. A good way to do that is to look up your CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange), which is a collection of all the personal auto and property claims you’ve made over the past 7 years. Insurance companies measure your chances of receiving a settlement based on your CLUE, so it’s smart to be familiar.

5. When in doubt, ask your agent!

Considering the fact that filing a homeowners insurance claim is tricky, it’s usually best to go through an insurance agent who knows the ins and outs of the industry. They can help you determine whether a claim will increase your premiums or knock you off the policy or if you might have a chance of getting a settlement.

Don’t have an insurance agent?

If you’re looking for some guidance on filing a homeowners insurance claim, just contact us for a complimentary quote and to discuss your particular needs.

Take a Break Labor Day and Let Your Insurance do the Work

happy labor dayOur country was founded by hard working men and women who gave their blood, sweat, and tears so that we can enjoy the American Dream.

And it’s because of people like them that the American Dream lives on.

That’s why JR Carnahan’s goal is to serve everyone with excellence. Our goal is to go above and beyond to make sure your expectations are exceeded and all your insurance needs are met. Each of our clients have different needs and we work hard to make sure their insurance plans are specialized and prepared just for them!

It’s our little contribution in keeping the American Dream alive.

This Labor Day is a great time to consider the security that an insurance plan can offer you and your family. Whether it’s health, life, auto, or business insurance, give yourself a break and let JR Carnahan worry about the “what-ifs” of life. For all of your insurance needs, don’t wait to contact us at JR Carnahan Insurance!

Now it’s time to relax!

As we celebrate Labor Day, we want to thank all those who help achieve the strength, prosperity, and well-being of this country. You work hard to provide for your family, serve the work force, and give back to your community.

Wishing you and yours a safe and happy holiday!

In celebration of Labor Day, our offices will be closed on September 7th. We want to give our hard-working team a much-deserved rest! Fear not, we’ll be back to serve you bright and early on the 8th!

Do You Have the Right Business Insurance?

business insurance Group of employee people. Business team isolated on white

As a business owner, you’ve invested your all to make sure things go successfully for your employees and customers. From hiring to quality control to customer service, it’s a lot to manage!
Owning a business involves great risk. And where there is risk, it’s always best to be prepared with an insurance policy that covers your assets.
Insurance is not an easily understood topic and can be even more confusing for business owners.

Here is a simple list of the types of insurance recommended for business owners:

General Liability Insurance

This type of insurance protects against legal battles associated with accidents, injuries, and claims of negligence.

Product Liability Insurance

This type of insurance is extremely important to carry if you manufacture, distribute, or sell a product. It will protect you against financial loss as a result of a product defect that can cause an injury.

Professional Liability Insurance

If you provide a service to customers, this kind of coverage will protect you from malpractice, errors, and negligence claims.

Commercial Property Insurance

This covers everything related to the loss and damage of a company property due to a wide variety of events such as fire, smoke, severe weather, vandalism, etc. Every policy is different when it comes to what “property” is so it’s important to talk with your agent to make sure everything you want is covered.

Home-Based Business Insurance

If you run a business out of your home you might think that your home insurance will cover losses. This isn’t true. While a home owners policy might include certain property damages, you might have to purchase additional coverages, such as general and professional liability.
It’s also important to note that some states might require you to carry certain types of insurance coverage depending on what type of business you own. For example, if you have company vehicles, your state might require that you provide auto coverage for the vehicles and drivers. Make sure to check with your insurance agent to be certain that you are covered appropriately according to your state laws. 
In addition, if you have employees working for your business, you are also required by state law to carry certain types of insurance. The three key policies you might want to consider if you have employees are Workers Compensation Insurance, Unemployment Insurance Tax, and Disability Insurance. More on this to come in the next post!

Don’t wait until it’s too late to protect your business! Contact JR Carnahan today to learn more about our business insurance coverage options.

Advantages to Hiring an Insurance Broker Over Buying Direct

In the age of online shopping, people want fast, easy, and convenient, even when it comes to their insurance policies. Most people are now purchasing their insurance coverage online, directly from the insurance company, versus going through an insurance agent or broker.

But there are still advantages to hiring an individual insurance agent over buying directly from the insurance company.

Here are just a few:

insurance broker agent First of all, an insurance broker can save you money.

They are professionally trained to choose the best policy for their clients. Because they have access to hundreds of prices and coverages from different insurance companies, they are often able to snag a better deal than what you could get for yourself.

Secondly, purchasing insurance through a broker is easier than buying direct.

Not only do most agents offer and manage all types of insurance coverage, they are also easier to get in touch with. Agents are quicker to respond to emails and phone calls, and will respond personally, versus an insurance company that uses a call center and can take days to respond.

Another reason an insurance agent might prove better for the client than purchasing direct is that they can provide ease of mind.

Insurance is complicated and brokers are trained to understand the ins and outs and educate their customers. They will spend time explaining each policy so the insured can make an educated decision with peace of mind. When you buy direct the risk of making a mistake or misunderstanding a policy is larger than using an insurance broker to be your middle man.

While there is nothing wrong with purchasing insurance directly from an insurance company, there are certain services and protections you might forfeit.

Our recommendation is to trust a broker to shop and manage your insurance policies for you. There’s a good chance you’ll end up saving money and having more peace of mind!