Why you need an Umbrella Policy for Personal Insurance
Many people make the mistake of believing that their primary insurance policies provide all of the financial protection that they need. In fact, while your homeowners or auto insurance policy are the critical first line of defense, they are only providing basic protection. They do not provide the ultimate level of financial protection that might be necessary.
When you need the most comprehensive coverage available to protect you and your family, you would do well to consider an umbrella policy. People who invest in personal umbrella policy’s do so for these important reasons:
It is very common for accident victims to take legal action in court. If you find yourself the target of a lawsuit, you would be protected against high judgment amounts with an umbrella policy. Judgements in excess of your primary policy limits would not be covered without this essential additional layer of protection.
Without an umbrella policy, lawsuit plaintiffs awarded a judgment against you can rightfully come after your Home and other assets. Along with having your income garnished, they could also lay claim to your cars, boats, and any other valuable. An umbrella policy keeps those assets intact and protects them from being seized in a lawsuit.
Umbrella policies are available to anyone and everyone. While once a resource reserved primarily for business owners and the very wealthy, today these policies are ideal for you as well. Here are a few more reasons you may need this important protection:
- If you have a high-profile or high paying job
- if you own rental properties
- if you own watercraft, or ATVs
- if you have a pool or other recreational activities that occur on your property
- if you own a waterfront home or farm
- if you have teenage drivers in the family
All of these scenarios can cause you to be exposed to litigation in court if an accident occurs in your home, on your property, or during the use of one of your vehicles. The umbrella policy would protect your income and assets and cover the expenses that are left unpaid by your other policies.
If you have held off investing in an umbrella policy out of concern for its cost, it’s time to reconsider….these policies are now more affordable than ever. You can purchase a $1 million umbrella for as little as $200 a year. The affordability of these policies make them an option you should not put off any longer for you and your family.
Your basic insurance policies alone may not cover your financial obligations entirely. When you want to protect your family and your assets completely, consider buying a personal umbrella policy.
Boating Safety Tips
Boat Safety Tips:
Think Ahead and Be Prepared
- Make sure your gas tanks are vented and bilges are free of vapors, oil, waste and grease.
- Carry a fire extinguisher and keep it charged.
- Have your boat’s operating systems checked at least once a year by a certified marine technician.
- Get a vessel safety check from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or United States Power Squadrons.
- Follow our Boat Maintenance Tips.
Take a Safety Class
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 89 percent of reported fatalities in 2011 happened on boats where the driver had not received boating safety training. Make sure anyone who drives your boat is properly trained. You also can save up to 15 percent on your boat policy by completing a safety course with the Coast Guard Auxiliary or U.S. Power Squadrons.
Wear Life Jackets
It’s not enough to just have life jackets on board. You and your passengers must wear them. The U.S. Coast Guard reported in 2011 that drowning accounts for 70 percent of all boating fatalities; and in those cases, 84 percent of victims were not wearing a life jacket. New lighter, more comfortable and attractive life jackets are available today, making it even easier to get passengers to suit up.
Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Turn off your engine when there are people in the water, especially when they’re using the rear swimming deck of your boat. Teak surfing, or holding onto the back deck of a boat while it’s moving, can expose people in the water to dangerous and even fatal levels of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide gas is colorless and odorless. A swimmer exposed to carbon monoxide from your engine could pass out and drown before anyone notices. You can install a carbon monoxide detector on your boat for less than $100.
Why use independent agent vs. a direct writer for your Insurance?
What is the first thing you think about when you need insurance? We think one of the first considerations is deciding weather to go it alone with a “direct writer” or to have an “independent agent” on your side.
What is a direct writer? A direct writer issues policies for only one company. They work for only one company and represent only that company. With a direct writer there is no choice or means of competition, you have only one company to choose from. Having a direct writer can affect you at the time of claim. The direct writer works for the insurance company and will remain loyal to them at the time of claim. There is no insurance agent working for you, loyal to you and only you, in your relationship with a Direct Writer.
An independent agent doesn’t work for any single insurance company. He or she represents multiple companies from which he/she will shop for you. With more choices available, your insurance agent is more likely to find the perfect fit for your specific needs. If you experience problems with one company, your independent agent can easily find another one for you. Your Independent agent will go to bat for you if you need to make a claim.
Benefits of independent agents
You can develop a valuable relationship with your independent insurance agent and knowing your needs and unique circumstances is important in the insurance relationship. You are a person instead of a number. The direct writer’s first duty is to their employer. A direct writer is a captive agent because he/she can only offer you one company. The independent agent offers you multiple plans from multiple companies. Because he or she can work with different companies, your independent agent can secure multiple pricing and coverage options. With an Independent Agent if your insurance needs change there are more options to address these changes. With an independent agent, you get personalized claims service because you deal with people you already know, not strangers. He or she will work with you in the event of a claim. Because he or she works with many different companies, your agent is a one-stop shopping center!
Which one is right for your needs?
If you only need or want one insurance pricing or coverage option, a direct writer may be ok. Have your insurance needs changed much in the past years? Do you expect much change in the future? If you want to preserve the option to change plans, or companies easily, an independent insurance agent is best. Do you like a lot of options when choosing an insurance plan? An independent agent provides many options.
Choosing an insurance plan right for your needs is hard work. Make it easier by finding the right kind of agent for you. Unless you prefer limited choices and foresee little change in your needs, an independent insurance agent is your best bet.
The importance of boat or watercraft insurance in Massachusetts
When you purchased your boat, you were probably thinking of open water, vacation time, and maybe a little fishing. You probably weren’t thinking about the insurance you’d need to cover it. However, it’s something worth looking into, and here are five reasons why.
- Accidents – Anything can happen on the water. It’s the very appeal of boats – the fun, the freedom – but also the danger. What happens if you go out and hurt yourself? What happens if you collide with something in the water or even another boat? What if they don’t have insurance? The possibilities are endless, which is why it’s important to find the right coverage for every scenario.
- Weather – Weather is not always stable or predictable, and you’re responsible for your boat even when blue skies turn into storms. Don’t wait for summertime to protect your property – fires, floods and high winds can damage your boat even during the off-season.
- Injuries – Injury insurance is a must, especially if you’re operating a high-risk watercraft like a jet ski. You never know when the tide will turn and leave you swimming against a storm of medical bills. Depending on your state of residence, you might even be responsible if someone else is using your boat hurts themselves, others aboard your boat or someone else.
- Damage – Accidents, fires, and even vandalism – all of these are threats against the safety of your property. You’ll want the right kind of insurance to guard yourself against not only damage done to you, but damage you might accidentally inflict on others. It’s called liability.
- Theft – Believe it or not, the biggest danger to your boat isn’t on the water – it’s in your garage. Most people don’t guard their watercrafts as closely as they guard, say, their cars, and as a result, they leave their possessions right open for the taking. Insurance will have you covered if you ever go home and find yourself the victim of thieves.