What to do if you’re the victim of a Hit and Run

What to do if you’re the victim of a Hit and Run

Getting in a car accident can be a traumatic event on its own, but to add to the chaos the other person involved in the wreck flees the scene.  This crime is commonly known as a “hit and run”, which can be characterized as either a misdemeanor or felony in the United States.

Just imagine, you’re standing next to your busted up car and there’s no one there to point the finger at, what do you do?  Luckily, in many cases whoever flees the scene is more or less automatically regarded as being at fault.

However, when it comes time to file a claim with your insurance company, you’re going to want proof.

  • Immediately following the hit and run, talk to any nearby witnesses and collect as many details as possible about the driver description, vehicle make, model, year, color, license plate and what actually happened.
  • Take plenty of photos and get copies of any surveillance footage that may have captured the accident. With help from the police, you may be able to identify the other driver.
  • Don’t forget to call your insurance company right away; typically you must report the incident to your insurance company within 24 hours of the incident.
  • If you are able to identify the other driver, your insurance company will be able to file a claim against the third party insurance company; If not you’ll have to file a claim against your own insurance plan, which can result in a denied claim or higher future premiums.

For those that live in a state with traditional liability and carry underinsured or uninsured driver insurance you should be covered for your bodily injuries up to the limit of your policy.  If you don’t have UIM coverage as part of your policy, you’re likely going to have a difficult time recovering damages for your injuries.

Also, if you have collision coverage, you will have to pay the deductible in order for your car to be repaired or replaced.  If you do not have collision coverage, your car will not be repaired or replaced.

Being the victim of a hit and run driver can be an upsetting experience, remember to keep your calm and collect as much information about the accident from passerby’s and Closed Circuit TV’s (CCTV).  The more evidence you can acquire, the easier time you’ll have later on with your insurance claim.

-AZ Insurance Team

Visit www.azinsuranceteam.com for more info and to get a free quote!

 

Explaining Insurance Deductibles

Explaining Insurance Deductibles

The deductible is the amount the insured pays out-of-pocket for towards any damages or loss before their insurance company starts to pay for the claim.  This can be either a percentage of the total amount of insurance or a specific dollar amount.

For example, if you have a $1000 deductible on your auto insurance and you get into a car accident with $3000 worth of damage to your vehicle, you will pay that $1000 and your insurance will cover the rest.  The process is the same for homeowners’ insurance claims.

With that being said, it may seem that choosing a lower deductible is the optimal decision as you will be paying less out-of-pocket if you file claim.  However, a lower deductible general means you’ll be paying more on your monthly insurance payments.  So if you’re a safe driver who almost never gets into accidents, a higher deductible could be the better option.  It’s estimated that raising your deductible from $500 to $1000 can save up to 30% on your yearly insurance expense.Of course, the most important thing to consider is that you can afford to pay the deductible you decide on.

How Much Life Insurance Is Enough?

How Much Life Insurance Is Enough?

It’s impossible to know the exact amount of life insurance you should purchase, but you can make a reasonable estimate based on several different factors regarding your financial situation and what your loved ones will need in the years following your passing.

There are many rules of thumb and life insurance calculators out there that are beneficial, but the truth is that different situations call for more detailed analysis and that “8-10 times your salary” is not sufficient for everyone.  The purpose of life insurance is to allow your loved ones to continue a certain standard of living even after your death.  This can relate to several different factors and it’s best to speak with an agent to determine how much would be best for you, but to start, some important things to consider include:

Sum of debts:  This can include your mortgage, credit card balances, student loan balances, car loans, and whatever other debts you would be leaving behind.

Education expenses:  This is related the amount that will be necessary to put your children through school at the time they will enroll.  It’s important to note that higher education becomes increasingly more expensive as time goes by.  Also, if your surviving spouse would like to complete a college education, you could also set aside some money for that purpose.

Funeral expenses:  In 2016, the average cost of a funeral and related expenses was between $7,000 and $10,000.

Income replacement:  This accounts for the loss of income related to your passing.  This is listed after the previous considerations as once the sum of debts, education expenses, and funeral expenses are covered your dependents will not necessarily need to replace 100% of your income.  Of course, it also important to consider how many years of your income you’d like to leave behind.

Again, the amount of life insurance you need is an extremely complicated subject and the considerations above are only a starting point.  The amount you need changes throughout your life as changes happen and speaking with a professional about your situation is the best way to make sure you’re fully covered at all stages of life.

Why Should You Choose An Independent Agent?

Why Should You Choose An Independent Agent?

When purchasing insurance you have the option of picking between working with an independent insurance broker and a captive insurance agent.  What’s the difference?  Captive insurance agents represent a certain company and cannot sell products outside of their respective company, while independent agents/brokers work with several companies and can offer products from any of the companies they represent.  Need more clarification?  Here’s what makes an independent agent the right option:

More choices:

As you already known, independent agents have the ability to offer you products from any of the companies they represent.   There’s no need for you to shop around and find the best rates, independent agents do that for you.  Due to their knowledge of the market, independent agents will often find better values than you might find searching on your own.  We shop, you save.

Unbiased advice:

Independent agents are very knowledgeable about a large number of insurance companies and what they offer.  What is just as important is that independent agents work with the customers of these companies.  This means that not only are independent agents knowledgeable about what the companies offer, they have also received tons of feedback from real customers that gives them a good idea about what companies have the best track record in terms of customer satisfaction.   This allows independent agents to give great advice based on both the policies a company offers as well as the experiences of other clients.

One-stop shop:

Independent agents offer a variety of different types of insurance, meaning that they are your one-stop shop for all of your insurance needs.  This makes it easier to stay organized and saves you the time and effort of working with several different people.  For example, we can quote you for both home and auto insurance to see where we can save you money.

Personal advocates:

Independent agents are your personal advocates any time you have questions or concerns related to your insurance.  We work with the insurance company on your behalf so that you don’t have to.  Independent agents are real people that you can trust have your best interests in mind.

Call us if you have any more questions!

Myths About Life Insurance

Myths About Life Insurance

 

Many of us avoid thinking or talking about life insurance as thinking about death isn’t exactly the most enjoyable way to spend our time. We will, however, do anything to protect our loved ones, and making sure those that depend on you are properly protected in the event of your death is all-important.  Life insurance can be confusing so were here to debunk five common myths related to life insurance.

1. It’s expensive.

According to a study conducted by Life Happens and LIMRA, “cost is the reason most Americans give for not owning life insurance, yet 80% of consumers misjudge the price for term life insurance, with Millennials overestimating the cost by 213%, and Gen Xers overestimating the cost by 119%. “  The truth is life insurance can cost less than one dollar a day.

2. I don’t have kids so I don’t need life insurance.

This is false as not having children doesn’t mean you don’t have anyone who is financially dependent on you.  Whether you have a spouse or aging parents that rely on your income, having life insurance will protect them in the event that you pass away.

3. The life insurance I get through my work is sufficient.

Many employers offer a life insurance plan to their employees.  Though this is still beneficial, it typically only offers you with coverage equal to 1-2 times your annual salary, while you generally need closer to 5-8 times your salary. Some experts even recommend 10-12 times your annual salary. You may also lose your life insurance coverage if you leave your job.  It’s best to speak with an agent about whether your employer’s life insurance coverage is sufficient.

4. My health will disqualify me from being able to purchase life insurance.

Being ill does not necessarily disqualify you from being able to get life insurance.  It can, however, increase the amount that you pay.  There are a lot of companies that specialize in high-risk cases as well.

5. I am too young to worry about life insurance.

The amount you pay for life insurance depends on many factors, but age and health are both very important.  The longer you wait to get life insurance the more expensive it becomes, so it’s important to start considering it early in your life.

Six Main Types Of Commercial Insurance

Six Main Types Of Commercial Insurance

The moment you start a business you are exposing yourself to several different types of risk.  Though embarking on your new business venture is an exciting time for any entrepreneur, it’s vital to realize that one lawsuit can end a small business before it even begins.  Thankfully, there is insurance coverage available for every imaginable risk your business can face.  Here’s an explanation of six of the main types of business insurance:

General Liability:

Every small business owner needs to purchase general liability insurance to protect themselves in the event of any physical injury or property damage resulting from the business’ operations.

Product Liability:

If your business manufactures a product this type of coverage is essential.  No matter how carefully businesses monitor their business processes, it’s still possible to find defective and unsafe products.  Product liability insurance will protect your business against claims of personal injury or property caused by products supplied or sold by your business.

Note: This type of coverage doesn’t cover product recalls.

Professional Liability:

Also known as errors and omissions insurance, professional liability insurance is imperative for business that provide professional services or advice to individuals or other businesses.   Professional liability insurance protects against claims related to inaccurate advice, negligence, misrepresentation, and more.   Examples of professionals that benefit from this type of insurance are:

  • Accountants
  • Lawyers
  • Business consultants
  • Real estate agents
  • Investment advisors

Workers’ Compensation:

Workers’ compensation is required in nearly every state and covers medical expenses for employees who are injured or become ill while performing the duties of the job.  It also provides compensation for the loss of income of the injured or ill employees and works to protect against lawsuits by the employees.

Commercial Property Liability:

As the name states, commercial property insurance covers damage to the land and capital equipment that is utilized by your business as a result of fire, theft, and other perils.  Different insurance companies will protect against different types of perils so it’s important to speak with your agent to find out if you need to purchase any specialized forms of insurance to be adequately covered.

Commercial Auto Insurance:

Since personal auto policies are not meant for commercial purposes, businesses that utilize vehicles must purchase commercial vehicle insurance to cover the cars, vans, and trucks used for their business.  Commercial vehicle insurance provides protection against property damage and liability claims resulting from using a vehicle for business purposes that would otherwise not be covered under a personal auto policy.

Having the right insurance in place can help ensure that your business will avoid major losses resulting from lawsuits.  Always be sure to speak with your agent about the different forms of commercial insurance so that you are adequately protected.

Call us if you have any other questions!

(480) 535-5709

AZInsuranceTeam.com

600 E Baseline Rd. Ste B-3, Tempe, AZ 85283

Four Tips For First-Time Renters

Four Tips For First-Time Renters

 

Renting your first apartment or home can be an exciting, liberating, and stressful experience all at once.  While your aspirations of independence may be finally coming true, there are several things to consider before you make the leap and “leave the nest”.  Here are four tips to get you off on the right foot.

1. Know your budget:

A typical rule of thumb is that your rent payment shouldn’t exceed more than 30% of your monthly income, and less doesn’t hurt.  The amount you will need to pay for utilities every month needs to be considered as well, whether it’s a flat-rate or usage-based.  It’s also all-important to keep in mind all the upfront expenses that come with moving into a new home or apartment, such as the security deposit, application fee, parking permit fee, deposits for utilities, furniture, and/or anything else that you may need to pay for.

2. Read and understand the lease:

Do yourself a favor and never skim the lease agreement.  Don’t ever feel rushed and be sure to read through it thoroughly, making notes of anything that concerns you so that you can ask the landlord about it.  This is a binding agreement between you and the landlord and once you sign it you will have to stick to it for the length of the agreement.  Be sure to look into things such as potential rent increases, subletting guidelines, and guidelines regarding pets.

 3. Set up utilities in advance:

Be sure to know exactly which utilities you are going to be responsible for as well as which ones your landlord is going to be responsible for, if any.  Let’s say you’re responsible for water and electricity, you should call at least a week in advance to make sure that these will be ready by your move-in date.  Otherwise, you may move into an apartment without electricity or start off on the wrong foot with your landlord as he/she will still be footing the bill.

4. Get renters’ insurance:

Many places will require you to purchase renters’ insurance before you move in.  Even if they don’t, it’s still a must.  Your landlord’s insurance will not cover any of your personal belongings, so renters’ insurance is your only option for protection in the event of fire or theft.  Fortunately, the average cost of renters’ insurance is roughly $12 a month for $30,000 of property coverage.  It’s important to keep in mind that if you have roommates you may need to get separate policies.