Personal Insurance and Wealth Preservation Services

In addition to our insurance, we also specialize wealth preservation and wealth transfer services. Click on any link below to learn more about our personal services.

personal insurance

Wealth Transfer
Wills and Trusts
Estate Planning

Home Insurance
Condo Insurance
Renters Insurance
Flood Insurance
Automobile Insurance
Classic Car Insurance
Motorcycle Insurance
Boat Personal Watercraft Insurance
Recreational Vehicles (RV & Travel Trailers) Insurance
Personal umbrella policy or personal catastrophe policy
Health Insurance
Dental Insurance
Life Insurance
Long Term Care Insurance
Disability Insurance

Home Insurance

For most people, your most valuable asset is your home. When your home is damaged or destroyed, you expect your claim to be handled quickly and fairly…and so do we. We represent quality insurance carriers for that very reason.

Many insurance companies advertise on television making it sound to everyone like all insurance companies are created equal. That is absolutely, positively not true. Just like anything else you get what you pay for. Many people just don’t realize that there is more to the coverage than what’s stated on that one page known as the declaration page. There’s also a policy, and every single one of them is different! The best thing an individual can do is understand what they are getting and make sure they know what they aren’t.

If you have an insurance company you probably hear the term “ Guaranteed Replacement” used too loosely.

Most insurance companies don’t offer this, only a small handful.

If you don’t have it, more likely than not, you have what’s called “Extended Replacement” cost coverage.

What is the difference and how can this affect you?

Extended Replacement cost-These policies make up the majority 98%+. They include your companies like State Farm, Allstate, Nationwide, American Family, Farmers and some of our own…Allied, Safeco and some but not all products of Encompass, etc. With extended replacement you have to be very careful that you are insured correctly. And by no means are we licensed appraisers, however we are given the tools to come close. If you are underinsured, you potentially may have claims that go unpaid or you can potentially violate the co-insurance penalty clause in the insurance policy which means you may be responsible for a percentage of any building claim. The percentage gets larger as the Insurance to value (ITV) is further away from correct.

Ex: If at a time of loss it is determined you have a home that could cost $100,000 to replace and you are insured for $85,000…and insurance company will say…”ok, our policy states that we can “Extend” you an additional 20% of your current insured amount ($85,000 x 1.20) = an additional $17,000 but first you must use this $17,000 towards clean up the debris on site and site preparation prior to reconstruction. If after all that has been paid, and if there’s something left…you may use what’s left to make up the shortage you have left to rebuild. That could be a problem. You may have to change your plans.

EX: Guaranteed replacement cost policies typically will include the cost of debris removal in the policies whatever the cost may be for cleanup and/or site preperation. It will also guarantee the replacement of the home without setting a limit to what will be paid on the loss. The loss on the building will be settled in total, whatever the dollar amount. It is truly guaranteed! While oftentimes you may pay a bit higher price for this type of policy…some people are shocked at how competitive it can be. Oftentimes, these policies sell for less.

An often overlooked coverage but extremely important is Law & Ordinance. Law & Ordinance comes into play in many ways but the 2 best examples are these that follow:

  • If you own a home and you suffer a loss. The city you live in will come in and inspect the loss and tell you what is required by that city or town’s code when you rebuild. An Insurance company on the other hand, by contract is only required to pay for what you have suffered in the loss, NOT what the city requires you to rebuild to, to meet that town’s code. If the cost to meet code exceeds the costs associated with what you have lost, then those extra expenses must be paid by you…that is unless you have this important coverage, and enough of it.
  • Most cities and towns have an ordinance that states if an individual suffers a loss to their home that exceeds a certain % of the structure. (those percentages can be as little as 30% of the structure) That means the remaining structure due to being a “potential hazard” must be demolished, removed and rebuilt. Without enough Law and Ordinance coverage, you will be forced to pay for the majority of demolishing, removal and rebuilding of that part of the structure that what was previously still standing, but called a potential hazard.

Coverage’s that are important for homeowners, but optional include:

  • Earthquake
  • Mine subsidence
  • Increased Personal Liability
  • Sewer and or drain backup.
  • Higher limits of Ordinance and law coverage
  • Identity theft
  • Scheduled jewelry, fine arts, collectibles, guns, business property at home…etc.

Some companies, depending on which you may choose could include some cost saving discounts:

  • Age discounts
  • Burglar, fire, or smoke alarm
  • Claims free
  • Multi-policy discount (automobiles, boats, motorcycles, etc with same company)
  • Company benefits are: flexible payment plans, online payments, phone payments, billing to your mortgage company, 24 hours claims assistance, 365 days a year.

Condo Insurance

Condo insurance is important and sometimes misconceived by people and even by many agents. A lot of people think it’s not much more than a glorified renter’s insurance policy which mainly covers personal property owned by you. What people don’t realize is that it also covers the part of the structure which you own a.k.a. interior improvements and betterments which includes but not limited to Walls, Cabinets, flooring, fixtures, etc. Everything stationary inside the unit from the wall studs inward.

Many agents think a condo policy comes automatic with this coverage…and they’re right! It does, but never is it enough. Policies can come with a minimal amount of building coverage, but more must be added to factor in for a good sized loss.

Other important coverage’s for condo’s:

Loss assessment

Replacement cost personal property

Sewer and or drain backup coverage

Jewelry/fine arts

Personal Liability

Identity theft


Renters Insurance

Renters insurance is important, more important than most people think. Our most common response when asking if we could quote a renters policy is “No thank you. My stuff isn’t worth that much!”

What people don’t realize are two things.

  1. Property- your property will be settled on replacement cost…not what its worth but what it costs to replace it new today, no matter how old it was.
  2. Liability- liability is very important because it protects you in the event you accidentally cause damage to the building or bodily harm to those as a result of the damage you caused. To clear up a common misconception…The building owners insurance DOES NOT provide any coverage for you. The building owner’s policy will assure the building owner that his/her building will be brought back to the condition it was prior to the damage caused by you. Upon completion of that promise…his/her insurance company will seek to recover what they’ve paid on their behalf from you personally if you don’t have a renter’s policy that includes personal liability coverage.

Flood Insurance

  • A standard homeowner’s policy does not include flood Insurance.
  • You cannot depend on disaster assistance from the government. Monies available are for those that the president declares a disaster. Less than 50% are declared a disaster, therefore most people are on their own. It is much cheaper to buy a policy than it is to re-pay the government for the assistance.
  • 20-25% of claims come from the Lower risk areas- Flood Zones A or X.

What coverage’s for flood are available for basements?

A basement is defined as the floor being below ground level on all four sides .

Coverage is provided for foundation elements including posts or other support systems. Coverage is also available for utility connections, mechanical equipment necessary for the building, such as furnace, hot water heater, clothes, washer and dryer, food freezer, air conditioner, electrical junction, etc. Items such as paneling, carpeting, furniture, etc. are not covered in a basement.

The individual policy should contain a complete list of elements and equipment covered. It’s important to note that some items are included under building coverage and others are covered by content coverage. It is advisable to purchase both building and contents coverage for the broadest protection.


Automobile Insurance

“Not all are created equal” But that’s not what television advertising will have you believe.

Many of the so called large advertisers on Television will all have you believe that their coverage’s and benefits are all part of the policy…what they don’t tell you is that if you want them, they all come at a cost. Features like accident forgiveness, new car replacements, deductible rewards, dividend rewards, pet coverage, etc…

We offer a wide variety of different plans with different features and benefits from all sorts of companies. We’ll discuss them all and find out which one is right for you.

  • Factors that affect the cost of my auto insurance…some of which can be controlled…others are beyond your control.
  • deductibles you select-higher deductibles (the more up-front costs you absorb) means lower insurance rates
  • type of car you drive- annual premium factors in many circumstances, cost to repair if involved in an accident, cost to replace if totaled.

Driving habits- Are you using your car in the course of daily business, to and from work. Short distance is less exposure on the road which inturn should mean less likely to file a claim whereas the longer the distance to and from work, the more exposure you have to be in an accident. Safe driving which includes accident free or ticket free.

  • Age/status- the younger you are the more likely you are to be in an accident and statistics prove this. Adult rating most often begins when the driver is 25 yrs old. Most, if not all companies barring any other factors have a trickle down effect until you are old enough to receive the adult rating. Marital status plays a role. There is evidence to suggest that married people have less accidents than those that are single.
  • Credit- Insurance companies started rating on credit in about 1999. They feel and there are statistics to show and prove that those that have good credit are less likely to file a claim than those whose credit is maybe not so good. Insurance companies offer rate breaks for those with good credit.

Ways to save on auto:

  • Insure your auto with your home if you can. (Multi-policy)
  • Higher deductibles
  • Reduce physical damage coverage when time is right

Classic Car Insurance

When it comes to classic cars, many people appreciate them more than possibly even a loved one. We feel it equally important that if anything happen to your “baby” that you be treated fairly. The only way to assure you are treated fairly is to insure your car with “Agreed Value” coverage.

Agreed Amount or Agreed Value

This is the only policy form guaranteeing you in writing what amount you will receive if your “Collector Car” is stolen or totaled during the policy period. Note there is no “Actual Cash Value” clause in the form. The “Agreed Amount” form states the insurance company will pay you, the lesser of:

  1. The “Agreed Amount,” or
  2. The cost to repair the covered auto, not to exceed the “Agreed Amount”.

The “Agreed Amount” should be reviewed carefully with your agent before the policy is issued. Your agent and you must agree together upon the “Agreed Amount” before the policy is issued. The “Agreed Amount” should represent the true market value of the car at the time the policy is written. If the market value changes during the policy period, the “Agreed Amount” can be changed by endorsement. Before policy renewal each year the “Agreed Amount” should be changed, if necessary, to reflect current market value.

Stated Amount or Stated Value

This form of policy is frequently and easily misunderstood. It is often used on collector car policies. Most insurance agents typically represent it as being the same as “Agreed Amount.” It is not! The “Stated Amount” form states the insurance company will pay the lesser of:

  1. The Stated Amount or
  2. The cost to repair the covered auto not to exceed the “Stated Amount” or The “Actual Cash Value”

Often, I hear people tell me, “ I have stated amount coverage. This is what my car is insured for.”

The misconception is this…

The “Stated Amount” helps determine the premium cost.

It does not guarantee you a settlement amount that reflects the value of the car when a loss occurs. The “Actual Cash Value” language allows the claims adjuster to settle your loss for an amount up to or less than the “Stated Amount.” But no more! Sadly, most insurance agents are unaware of this detail. Most agents, unaware of the actual policy language, will insist if your collector car is stolen or totaled, you will receive the stated value. Wrong!

Obtaining A Collector Car Policy

 Many collector-car programs will require you to have at least one other car in your name for everyday use. Be sure the coverage limits for both liability and uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage’s provided by the auto policy covering your everyday car(s) match the same coverage limits provided by your “Collector Car” policy.

Why settle for less? If your current insurance agent cannot offer you a true collector car insurance policy with an “Agreed Value” form, find a new agent.


Motorcycle Insurance

Motorcycle Insurance is a must have, you can get injured on it (has medical coverage for you and passenger) and you can still cause injury or property damage to others (liability coverage)

The cost of the policy will always factor in the layup period. The layup period is the time that you are not driving the motorcycle. In the Midwestern region that typically is in winter, but still gives you coverage during that time while being stored in your garage for fire, theft, vandalism, etc.

Other coverage’s that are important for motorcycles and can vary by company are:

Custom parts and equipment coverage.

OEM Coverage where available

Agreed value coverage- appraisals required


Boat / Personal Watercraft Insurance

There are many types of policies available for boats. There are coverage’s available for personal effects. Personal effects are personal property that are specifically tied to the boat. Coolers, oars, life jackets/preservers, water-ski’s, ropes, inner-tubes, etc.

Coverage is also available for special electronics like fish-finders, depth finders, radios, etc.

Options also can include waterskier’s medical and uninsured boaters protection.

Credits are available if you have taken navigation courses, have a depth finder or if there is a built in fire extinguishing system.


Recreational Vehicles (RV & Travel Trailers) Insurance

The most overlooked coverage on travel trailers is one of the most important. It’s called “Vacation Liability”

Vacation Liability coverage pays up to the specified limits for bodily injury and property damage for which you are legally responsible as a result of an accident that occurs while the RV is used as a temporary vacation residence.

Personal Effects coverage is also available. Personal Effects coverage pays up to the specified Replacement cost limits for loss of, or damage to, your RV contents that are normally used in conjunction with the RV.

RV coverage otherwise is similar to auto coverage…whereas travel trailer insurance usually follows the liability on the auto and only physical damage, vacation liability, and personal effects… etc. should be added.


Personal umbrella policy or personal catastrophe policy

An “Umbrella” policy provides an extra layer of protection in layers of a million starting at $1 million typically up to $5 million. Limits up to $100,000,000 are available.

An umbrella is simply put…”Piece of mind” It gives you that extra liability protection should you be involved in a lawsuit that exceeds your limits of liability on your home or auto, boat, cycle, etc. are able to provide

Who needs a personal umbrella?

It used to be thought of as wealthy individuals with sizeable assets to protect. But with the rising costs of litigation, even people with modest incomes and assets are subject to large lawsuits.

***Please take note that certain “minimum limits” for liability need to be met on home liability (usually $300,000) and on Auto, ($250,000/$500,000with $50,000 property damage) same for boats motorcycles or anything else that has underlying liability.

A personal umbrella also pays legal defense should you have to be defended in a lawsuit against you for bodily injury or property damage to others.


Health Insurance

Health is undeniably a needed product for everyone…and one that never seems to have any slowdown in increasing cost. No one wants to get sick as no one wants to get into trouble being unable to afford expensive medical treatment when required. Health is as costly as valuable at all times, and especially nowadays. Along with proper diet, exercise, peace of mind and preventive care, health insurance is a wise and necessary investment into your health.

Health insurance is an agreement between you and your insurance company (a government agency or a private organization), according to which the insurer pays medical benefits that are referred to covered services in case you, as an insured person, become sick or accidentally injured. Your health insurance policy lists medical services that are covered as well as services that are not covered and which you will have to pay for.

It is important to choose the most suitable health insurance plan. Private Health Plans are usually offered at work by your employers. Medicaid is a health care plan funded by government for families and individuals with low income. Medicare is another government funded health insurance plan offered for people aged over 65. Health insurance coverage pays for routine visits to your doctor, lab tests and other not very expensive stuff; however the major reason why you should be covered by health insurance is to get protection against enormous expenses of potential illness or injury.



Dental Insurance

Dental insurance covers the costs of routine dental care along with accidental damage to your teeth. Dental insurance normally pays for general treatment such as dentures and crowns, root canal work, bridges, as well as emergency treatment.

Cosmetic work, implants and braces are usually excluded. Dental insurance means discounts on dentistry costs, selecting a dentist you trust, fast and easy approval process and other benefits that are so helpful and comforting when you are at the dentist’s.



Life Insurance

No matter whether you belong to an optimistic or pessimistic lot, life tends to answer both expectations. One of our biggest worries in life is the well-being of our loved ones. Life insurance is a guarantee that if the day comes when you can no longer care for the people you love, they will still be supported financially and taken care of.

Life insurance is a contract between you (the insurance policy owner) and the insurer, according to which the policy owner is paid a reimbursement in case the insured event occurs (i.e. the policy owner’s death). You, as the policy owner, agree to pay a fixed premium on a regular basis. Life insurance deals with such insured events as death and accidental death, excluding suicide, war and some other factors from the insurer’s liability.

Whether you are single, married, a single parent, retired, a business owner with self-supporting children, retired, or fall under some other category, life insurance applies to all situations and should be seriously considered to fit into your long-term plans and budget.

 


Long Term Care Insurance (LTC)

A long term care insurance policy pays some or all costs of nursing home care for qualified individuals. Premiums are based on the age of the applicant and are projected to remain stable for the life of the policy. Premium payments stop when the insured meets the qualifications for long-term care, which include medical necessity, cognitive impairment, and inability to carry out certain activities of daily living. Group LTC policies are available.


Disability Insurance

There are 2 types:

  1. Short-term disability insurance: This policy extends to not more than two years with a waiting period of zero to fourteen days.
  2. Long-term disability insurance: Based on the premium amount, this policy can extend from a few years to your entire life. However, it has a long waiting period which can last several months.

An individual disability insurance policy has two types of protection features. With a non-cancelable policy, one can renew insurance every year at the same premium and coverage benefits. The insurance company has no right to deny renewal or cancel insurance except for the nonpayment of premium. However, in a guaranteed renewable policy, the insurance company holds the right to increase your premium with increasing cost.

Making a claim for disability insurance benefits is not easy. It requires proper documentation regarding how disability occurred and how it prevents the employee from working.

Need to insure something you don’t see on our web site? Please call us to discuss your needs!