Insurance Blog

Staying safe on the road during a hailstorm

It sounds surprising, but there are approximately 3,000 hailstorms in the United States each year. The size of hail can widely vary – from golf-ball size to softball size. And when it starts building up size, hail can cause not just severe property and vehicle damage, but also bodily harm and even death. On average, hailstorms annually cause over $1 billion in damage to property, approximately 1,500 injuries and 80 deaths annually.

Hail Damage

One of the most frightening places to be during a hailstorm is on the road in your car. Obviously your vehicle is at great risk of damage, but even more importantly, you are in danger in the event you can’t see well enough to drive or your windows are broken in by the power of the storm.

 

 

 

 

 

At Insurance Specialists Team, we want to ensure you, your loved ones, and your vehicle stay safe this hail season. Here are some pointers for navigating a hailstorm while on the roads in Minnesota.

 

  • It’s not a bad idea to have a blanket in your car at all times. It can help protect you from glass injuries in the event the hail breaks your windows  or windshield.
  • Turn on your low-beam headlights, and slow down.
  • Make sure you have more distance than usual in front of you so you have ample space to brake if necessary.
  • Turn on the local weather radio station to stay apprised of the status of storms.
  • If there is enough space on the shoulder of the road, pull over.
  • Turn on your hazard lights, regardless of whether you are pulled over or moving slowly; this will help other vehicles to see you and avoid accidents.
  • If there is a covered shelter to pull underneath, do so; this will reduce the damage sustained by your vehicle.

At Minneapolis Insurance Specialists Team, we hope you stay hailstorm-free this season!

Does Having A Home Security System Lower Homeowner’s Insurance?

 

Homeowners Insurance 612.460.7796

These tips are brought to you by The Minneapolis Insurance Specialists Team…333 Washington Ave. N Ste. 300

Yes, it generally will get you a discount.  Many of the home security systems available have come down in price and makes sense to have in your home.

In the process of delivering the best quote for home insurance, home insurance specialists ask about smoke detectors and security systems in your home. Most insurance companies offer some sort of discount for those homeowners who have security systems. Here are few of the different kinds of security systems that can help reduce your home insurance costs.

1.    Outside lights- Set these up on timers so they come on even when you are gone. Also, motion detecting lights are an excellent deterrent and can be     installed at a low cost.
2.    Cameras are also a good deterrent.  Place cameras around outside doors and your yard. Many home improvement stores offer cost-effective products.
3.    Alarms are always a good idea. Alarm systems that are connected to a central station will yield the best discount.

4.    Controlled access to building.

 

Other Home Insurance Credits

Most insurance companies offer many types of discounts for homeowners. We are committed to keeping up on all these discounts to make sure you are getting the best coverage and price. Some of these discounts can include:

1.    Secured entry and over 55 communities
2.    Community security
3.    Updates in wiring and/or plumbing
4.    New roof
5.    No claims
6.    Non smokers – The No. 1 cause of home fire fatalities in the United States is smoking.   Smoking caused 16,000 residential fires in 2012, killing               over 500 people and causing $376 million in residential property loss. Source- U.S. Fire Administration
7.    Senior citizen discounts- If you are over 55 and retired you may have discounts waiting for you.
8.    Sprinklers- Many new home building codes require sprinklers. These can be expensive but will provide home insurance discounts.

9. Credit and insurance score has a large impact on rates.

10. Longevity credits

We have connections to the best security system suppliers. Credit repair people, the best mortgage professionals and contractors we insure and trust. Check our trusted resource page for recommendations and possible discounts for our customers.

The Minneapolis Insurance Specialists Team, Minneapolis, MN will work hard to find you the best possible combination of coverage, price and service. Please call us today at 612.460.7796 or fill out the easy online form or chat for a free quote!

Shopping for the Safest Vehicle

If you’re like most folks shopping for a new vehicle, safety ranks high among things you’re looking for – especially with all the texting and other distractions on the road. Every new car must meet certain federal safety standards, but that doesn’t mean that all cars are equally safe. There are still important safety differences, and some vehicles are safer than others. Many automakers offer safety features beyond the required federal minimums. Find out more about what safety features should be considered when purchasing a car.

Safety Features

When you think about buying a new vehicle, chances are you spend a good deal of time thinking about what kind of vehicle you’d like to buy, what color and the “must-have” features. But don’t forget to consider a vehicle’s safety features, too!


1. Crashworthiness: These features reduce the risk of death or serious injury when a crash occurs. You can get a rating of crashworthiness from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Web site at http://www.iihs.org.


2. Vehicle structural design: A good structural design has a strong occupant compartment, known as the safety cage, as well as front and rear ends designed to buckle and bend in a crash to absorb the force of the crash.

3. Vehicle size and weight: The laws of physics dictate that larger and heavier cars are safer than lighter and smaller ones. Small cars have twice as many occupant deaths each year as large cars


4. Anti-lock brakes: When you brake hard with conventional brakes, the wheels may lock and cause skidding and a lack of control. Anti-lock brakes pump brakes automatically many times a second to prevent lockup and allow you to keep control of the car. Anti-lock brakes may help you keep steering control, but they won’t necessarily help you stop more quickly.


5. Daytime running lights: Daytime running lights are activated by the ignition switch. They are typically high-beam headlights at reduced intensity or low beam lights at full or reduced power. By increasing the contrast between a vehicle and its backgrounds and making the vehicles more visible to oncoming drivers, these lights can prevent daytime accidents.


6. On-the-road experience: Other design characteristics can influence injury risk on the road. Some small utility vehicles and pickups are prone to rolling over. “High performance” cars typically have higher-than-average death rates because drivers are tempted to use excessive speed. Combining a young driver and a high-performance car can be particularly dangerous.

Whether new or used, buying a car is an investment. Make sure your vehicle is properly protected by calling our office in Dubai today to learn more about all of our insurance solutions for your auto, home and life.

Safety

Belts, airbags and head restraints all work together with a vehicle’s structure to protect people in serious crashes. Lap/shoulder belts hold you in place, reducing the chance you’ll slam into something hard or get ejected from the crashing vehicle. If you aren’t belted, you’ll continue moving forward until something suddenly stops you – often a hard interior surface that will cause injuries. Consider the vehicle’s safety belt, airbag and head restraint features when shopping with safety in mind.

 

 

Minneapolis Car Insurance

Life Insurance Protection and Peace of Mind

Your Life Insurance

If others depend on you for financial support, part of your financial plan should include how you will provide for them in the event of your death. Don’t put it off. The longer you wait will cost you more, much more if you have a health issue between now and then. Even worse – you never get around to it and everyone says what a shame at the funeral. Purchasing a life insurance policy is a safety net that ensures your loved one’s future financial obligations are met, covering items such as funeral costs, outstanding debt, estate taxes and everyday living expenses.

If you are married, it’s important for both spouses to have a life insurance policy. If both people bring in an income, a death can be a difficult financial loss. Also, if a stay-at-home parent should pass away, expenses such as childcare and other domestic items can create financial hardship, too.

There are two basic types of life insurance: term life insurance and permanent life insurance. The type of life insurance policy that best suits you will depend on your unique needs. To help you decide, we’ve covered the basics.

Option #1: Term Life Insurance

Just as its name implies, term life insurance covers you for a specific period of time, or term, that you choose. Since it offers a death benefit but no cash value, term life insurance is an inexpensive way to protect your beneficiaries for a specified period of time.
It is ideal for those who have a temporary need for life insurance protection, for those who need a large amount of insurance protection but have limited cash or for those with specific business needs, such as additional coverage for a key employee.
Renewal term life insurance can be renewed at the end of the term, at the option of the policyholder and without evidence of insurability, for a limited number of successive terms. It can also be converted, or exchanged for a permanent insurance policy, without evidence of insurability down the road.
With term life insurance, once the term expires, your coverage ceases and the policy has no further value. It’s important to note that rates generally increase along with the insured’s age.

Option #2: Whole Life Insurance

Permanent life insurance is any form of life insurance other than term. Examples are whole life, universal life and variable life. These policies combine term life insurance with a long-term, tax-sheltered savings plan.
Whole life is the most basic type of permanent life insurance. It provides coverage that lasts a lifetime and also builds up a cash value that you can borrow against, withdraw or use to pay future premiums.
A life insurance policy with a cash value is ideal for those who have a lifetime need for insurance protection, prefer stable premiums over the life of the policy, want a policy that allows them to build tax-deferred values, and value the high degree of coverage the policy affords. While rates for a whole life insurance policy remain stable over the life of the policy, premiums are initially more costly than for term insurance.
Regardless of whether you choose a term or permanent life insurance policy, both can afford protection and peace of mind knowing you have the coverage when you need it most. Call us today at 612.460.7796 to learn more.

 

 How much Life Insurance do I Need?
Good question! To find the right amount of coverage, it’s important to weigh your dependents’ current lifestyle and spending needs against their future sources of income and assets. Based on some basic financial information, such as your current annual gross salary, the number of years until retirement, and your short-term and long-term expenses, we can help you figure out how much your family will need to replace this lost income over this length of time should something happen to you.

Even if you already have life insurance through your employer, you may be underinsured. If you’d like the security of knowing that you have enough life insurance coverage in place, we can work with you to ensure that there aren’t any gaps in your current coverage. Don’t Wait! 612.460.7796

Auto Insurance Comparison through an Independent Agent: Getting the Best Value

The standard way of shopping for anything is deciding what you want and then comparing the prices offered by different stores, companies or providers before making a purchase. And in the auto insurance industry too, a meticulously research, shopping around and rate comparison can help you to save loads of money. In fact, to get the best deal car insurance, the rule is to determine the coverage amount you need, get coverage recommendations and quotes from as many providers as possible, and conducting scrupulous like-for-like policy comparisons, before making your choice. Making a thorough auto insurance comparison will allow you to identify and choose a policy that will give you the biggest savings.

Auto Insurance Compare: Steps of Making Your Cost Comparisons

The auto insurance market has become increasingly competitive, compelling providers to offer amazing deals to their clients. Therefore, if you shop around smartly for your car insurance policy, you are likely to make huge savings. The first auto insurance compare step is asking for quotes from as many reputable providers as possible. As a rule, you should never compare quotes from less than three car insurance companies. And once you receive the quotes, assess them line by line in order to be sure that you are comparing apples with apples. The second auto insurance compare step is comparing the limits of liability coverage provided by every policy. The best policy should have the lowest cost but the highest liability coverage in order to meet the costs of accident-related damages. Higher limits will increase your insurance score too. The third step in the comparison is to check for the size of the deductible, your eligibility for discounts and how you will be covered if you involve in an accident with an uninsured driver. While this process is good it can be time consuming and there could be some traps like giving your info to who knows who and having it sold?

Getting the Best Auto Insurance: Why You Should Use an Independent Insurance Agent?

An easier way and safer way…Apart from saving money on the cost of insurance through policy comparisons, you can benefit greatly from the help and advice of a local independent auto insurance agent. Independent insurance agents represent several car insurance firms and can quote a broad range of insurance products. The agents are professionals in the field and usually have the opportunity to study different insurance carriers in order to match the needs of their clients with the most relevant coverage. In fact, if a policy is only competitive and attractive in the first year and is costly in subsequent years, an independent agent will notice the anomaly and advice you accordingly, helping you to get the most comprehensive coverage at the best possible price.

Independent agents are licensed professionals with strong community and customer ties. They represent multiple companies – not just one.  Because they compare quotes everyday they’ll know which companies have the best prices and services in your area – therefore help their clients to determine insurance needs, access broader policy options, get low-cost coverage, make claims, and make periodic coverage reviews according to changing insurance needs. Besides, independent car insurance agents are value hunters who not only care about their clients’ pocketbooks and always look for the best combination of coverage, price and service for their clients. They also make certain there are no coverage gaps or surprises at claim time wiping out any savings and adding headaches. The agents understand the market; know who to call, how and when to make claims, and where to get solutions for the specific needs of their clients. Furthermore, their services are affordable and they help eliminate the risks of sharing personal information online when looking for the best auto insurance deals. Are you looking for the best deal car insurance coverage? You can achieve your desire by comparing policy prices and quality through an independent agent. It’s the easiest, fastest and safest way to shop. Take the real short cut. Call 612.460.7796 or click to start comparing.  Get Quotes

Should You Purchase GAP Insurance Coverage?

GAP InsuranceChance are good that are when you purchased your new vehicle, the dealership offered you, along with extended warranties, sealants and other extras, gap insurance or “guaranteed asset protection” to protect you from your cars value depreciating lower than your vehicle’s loan balance. GAP insurance may be good idea to purchase it if you don’t make a big down payment and the thought of making payments on a vehicle that was totaled would make you cringe.

It is not uncommon for a vehicle to depreciate by 40% the first two years of ownership and most of that is in the first months of ownership. If your vehicle cost you $50,000 and a few months later you have an accident and it is totaled. For ease of illustration – let’s say your vehicle fair market value is now 40,000 and you owe $48,000. You will be on the hook for $8,000. The loan company will want their money. It’s the old paying for a dead horse scenario.

If you leased a vehicle it was most likely required or factored into the lease. It was added in to protect their asset.

Here are the big tips: If you don’t put down a large down payment and/or you don’t want to take the risk of losing the difference between loan value and market value – you should purchase it.

If you decide GAP insurance is a good idea – get it from your current auto insurance agent. It will most likely be significantly less.  Do it right away as it may not be possible to do it later.  Some companies only allow it at the time of purchase or for a limited time after.

The dealership’s finance person will most likely put the hard sell on you and tell you want it you must purchase right then and there or not at all. They don’t want you contacting your agent, getting advice, and comparing.

If you are a sharp shopper you should tell the finance person thanks, but no thanks. Your insurance agent can add it to your policy – probably for less than half – and if you want to drop it after two or three years you can take it off your policy. It’ll be easier It would be best to call your agent before hand just to make sure your company offers it. There are, although not many, a few companies that do not offer it.

Many people have been purchasing GAP insurance from the dealer at the time of purchase. It can be an emotional and exciting time. Hey – you’re getting a new vehicle and it’s a happy fun time. However, it is easy to get caught into buying the insurance and paying double to protect your new asset. People will buy more when they are excited and in the buying mode. Call your agent and see what it would cost. Use the money saved for extra payments or some new accessories.

This article was written to inform and save you some money. Stay aware.  Take a few minutes and do the math. You will be quite surprised how much you will save. It will probably be around two vehicle payments.

Link to this page:

Should you buy GAP insurance?

Condo Insurance and FAQ 612.460.7796

CondoInsuranceMPLSCondos are popping up all over Minneapolis, all of them are different. The associations and condo insurance policies can be vastly different too.

Minneapolis was the fastest growing city in Minnesota in 2014 this was the first time in around 100 years and 2015 looks to repeat.  Minneapolis is the largest city in Minnesota and growing again.

Much of the growth has been downtown and condos. There are over 35,000 residents living just downtown. If you are thinking about moving into a condo or have recently moved into a condo, you probably have a lot of questions about the complex that you have gotten into and about things such as affordable and the right condo insurance coverage. Though not all of these questions can be answered because each condo will vary, the basics of learning some of the rules of your condo complex is actually not that difficult to do.

 

You’ll want to look at or better yet – have your insurance agent look over the condo associations master policy.  Are just the contents and liability covered?  These policies vary and you’ll need to know things like what is covered and what the associations deductibles are and how much loss assessment coverage you’ll need on you HO6 policy “condo and town home policy”

You’ll also want to read the bylaws they are all different too. If you want to determine the answers to questions like whether or not pets are allowed?  Are rentals allowed? Are there are designated parking spaces in your condo complex?

Learn the Rules Before You Buy

Condos are like snowflakes, all of them are different. Of course, this is not to the same degree, but it can be said about the rules that are found in each individual condo complex and they can impact your condo living experience.  Condo insurance policies vary too and even though they are generally less expensive than home insurance policies they are often the most improperly insured.  Don’t just assume the associations bylaws and insurance policies are the same.

Consider all Your Insurance Options

You can receive a discount on your premiums if you package your car and condo policies together same insurer.  You will likely be offered condominium insurance coverage through the company that insures the whole building. While this may be useful to make sure all gaps are covered as they know the policies – you’ll still want to make sure your contents and liability limits are adequate.

The buildings insurer may be more expensive and their autos may be more expensive.  So, it’s best to have a local independent agent look over the hazzard insurance policies and run some quotes.  Most condos and town home master policies are written by captive agents who represent only one company.

There are ways to get your insurance lower by paying a higher deductible will lower premiums, as will allowing your provider to deduct your payments from your checking account. New safety and security devices in your unit can make you safer in your home while lowering your rates.

For more info on the available and various condos in Minneapolis

For a condo insurance quote or questions call 61.460.7796 and speak with a downtown condo insurance specialists.

 Insurance Quotes MPLS Condos

Life Insurance Costs for Smokers

Everyone knows – especially smokers – that cigarettes are expensive.  Below is an info graphic showing the cost of life insurance for smokers vs. non smokers.  Smokers die 10 years earlier and may really have a need life insurance.

Life Insurance QuotesAre you considered a smoker?

 

In the life insurance world, you’re considered a smoker if you answer “yes” to the smoking question on your insurance application. If you’re asked if you’ve used tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco, within a specified time frame – and you have – your answer should be yes. If you enjoy a good cigar from time to time or smoke just two cigarettes per year, you are considered a smoker. Occasional cigarette smokers and just a cigar once in a while are still considered smokers.

Are E cigarettes or” vaping” considered smoking?

National (life) underwriters , say as long as there is nicotine delivery, they’re going to keep the same stance, There is only one major life carrier that doesn’t – Prudential will allow nonsmoker rates for e-cigarette use.

There is still a lot of discussion and research going on in regards to E cigarettes and impact on health isn’t totally clear. However, it’s still an addiction and a cost. For that reason alone it doesn’t make much sense. Regardless of what E cig manufacturers and outlets biased and counter arguments are – there doesn’t seem to many positive benefits.

If you’re in excellent health and haven’t smoked in five years because that reduces your chances of dying sooner. Being just “normally healthy” requires that you haven’t used nicotine in the past three years and still gets you lower premiums. A standard rate requires that you have not used nicotine within the past year.

If you’d like to get a life insurance quote – click the button below and quickly fill out the form below to view policies & rates from the nations top Life Insurance providers or call 612.460.7796 and speak with a life insurance specialist.

Life Insurance Quotes

Cars that get over 200,000 miles

Car in MPLS Purchasing a car should never be considered an investment, mainly because it loses value the moment you drive it off the lot.  You have taxes and higher insurance costs to consider then the more miles you put on it will drop its value.  It’s not the greatest investment.

However, with regular maintenance, a good auto mechanic and body shop you can keep your car running well for years and get the most mileage for your money.  The money you save can on payments, insurance, tabs, etc. can help pay for or put a large down payment on your next new vehicle.

A study iSeeCars.com found the top vehicles most likely to reach 200,000 miles, based on data it had of vehicles for sale with that many miles or more on the odometer. Pickup trucks were found to be driven longer, at 90,000 miles on average per listing, compared to 75,000 average miles for a car. Pickup trucks – if well kept seem to look timeless.

Here are the top vehicles reaching 200,000 miles or more are:

  1. Ford F-250 Super Duty
  2. Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
  3. Chevrolet Suburban
  4. Toyota 4Runner
  5. Ford Expedition
  6. GMC Sierra 2500HD
  7. Chevrolet Tahoe
  8. GMC Yukon XL
  9. Toyota Sequoia
  10. GMC Sierra
  11. GMC Yukon
  12. Honda Accord

Want to try and get to 200,000?

Getting to 200,000 miles in today’s vehicles is like to getting 100,000 miles was in the past, mainly because cars are built so much better today.

Preventative maintenance with regular oil changes and keeping your car washed and free of dents and scratches is the best way to increase mileage and longevity. This includes replacing belts, timing belts and transmission clutches at recommended mileage levels, and checking fluid.

In places like Minneapolis the body is likely to go before the mechanical fails – so, it’s important to keep’em clean and the salt off.

 

How many miles does your vehicle have?  Comment below and send a picture if you can.