5 Things to Consider Before Switching Insurance In The Treasure Valley

5 Things to Consider Before you Switch Your Insurance

Switching your insurance policy can save you hundreds of dollars a year. But, make sure you consider these things before you make the switch.

5 Things to Consider Before Switching Insurance In The Treasure ValleyTip #1: Compare Apples to Apples

You’ve seen the commercials – “average savings of $500 a year for those who switched…” Absolutely you can save money. However, be sure that your new quote compares your current policy to the new policy – all coverages, driving records and vehicles the same. Any one thing can make a big difference. Many companies will try to lure you with great savings, but a CLUE report (comprehensive loss underwriting exchange – also known as your claims history) is not completed until after the application is submitted. Online companies are notorious for doing this.

Tip #2: Status Changed

If you’ve recently received a ticket or an accident, moved or purchased a new vehicle, have your current policy changes made prior to shopping. It is entirely possible that your new ride may get you some savings, or result in a price increase. In addition to this, if you’ve recently had a ticket fall off of your driving record, it would be worth calling the company to see if they can remove it now and save you some money for the remainder of your policy term. Regardless, if something changes, be sure to revert to tip #1.

Tip #3: Work with an Independent Insurance Agent

Independent insurance agents are discount detectives and have access to multiple companies. Even better, they know your current situation, history and can give you recommendations across many of their companies. They can compare rates between each of their carriers and let you know the benefits of each company.

Tip #4: Multi-Policy Discounts

When you’re looking for a new policy, be sure to take all things into consideration. You may be focused on your auto insurance, but if you have a package policy (multiple policies with the same carrier) you are likely getting discounts. If you move your auto insurance policy to another carrier, your home insurance may increase as much as 20% eliminating any saving you received. Take all of your policies into consideration. One additional item to consider here is if you have an umbrella policy, this is typically required to follow your home insurance policy. Some carrier require the home and auto to write the umbrella, so talk to you agent about your specific situation.

Tip #5: Your Relationship with your Agent

Knowing your insurance agent and having a business relationship with them is important. They are the ones who will go to bat for you in the event you have a claim or accident. Often times they can help you file that claim or give you recommendation on local companies to help fix your issue. If you have your insurance directly with the company handling your loss, you don’t get this representation. Having a local independent insurance agent is the way to go.

The Insurance Group was formed to provide you with one-on-one attention for all of your insurance requests in the Treasure Valley. Visit us or call one of our convenient locations in Weiser, Fruitland, Emmett, Cascade or Ontario for auto, home, farm & ranch or business insurance. Our insurance website is open 24/7 to serve you and you can request an insurance quote right through the site. We look forward to serving you

how to deal with a fallen tree in the treasure valley

Who is responsible if your tree falls onto your neighbor’s house?

How To Deal With a Fallen Tree

how to deal with a fallen tree in the treasure valleyNeighbors are great! You can count on them to keep an eye on your place while you’re away, let out a furry friend or even borrow some last minute ingredients! Shoot, some of your neighbors are probably some of your closest friends. But having neighbors can sometimes cause some uncomfortable exchanges.

With spring on the way, often high winds occur when the cold air and warmer air mix together. This, mixed with sometimes wet soil can bring a vulnerable tree toppling down. So, what happens when YOUR tree drops down onto your neighbor’s house, car, fence or other property? Who is liable for that and which insurance company should you call?

Well, the answer is most of the time quite simple. Whoever owns the damaged property is responsible to get the damage repaired – not the owner of the tree.

Let’s look at some specific examples:

Your tree falls onto your neighbor’s house:  Neighbor responsible to mitigate damages and call their own insurance company.

Your neighbor’s tree falls on your car: You should call your insurance company.

Now, proving any sort of negligence on the part of the tree owner is exceedingly rare. Trees die but can remain strong and standing for many years. If you or your neighbor has a tree that has died and you’re worried about it, you should call out an arborist. If the tree is the neighbors, have a conversation about the risks it poses and potential harm it could cause if it fell. Perhaps this will remedy the problem.

The Insurance Group was formed to provide you with one-on-one attention for all of your insurance requests in the Treasure Valley. Visit us or call one of our convenient locations in Weiser, Fruitland, Emmett, Cascade or Ontario for auto, home, farm & ranch or business insurance. Our insurance website is open 24/7 to serve you and you can request an insurance quote right through the site. We look forward to serving you

Flood Insurance vs. Sewer Backup Coverage in The Treasure Valley

Understanding Flood Insurance and Sewer Backup Coverage

Flood Insurance and Sewer Backup Insurance – Not the same thing.

Flood Insurance vs. Sewer Backup Coverage in The Treasure Valley Floods are the most devastating natural disaster in the United States each year causing billions in losses and displacing thousands. While flooding is a common concern for those near rivers and streams, all homes in the United States can be caught off-guard by floods. When it comes to flood insurance, it is important to understand what flood insurance is and what is covered. Many people think flood insurance is anything to do with water in their home. This is far from the truth. Floods are defined as surface water that enters your home from the outside – not to be confused with a leaky roof or a broken pipe, loose toilet or other plumbing related issue. Another issue altogether is sewer backup with may or may not be covered depending on what caused it to occur.

Let’s take a closer look at these policies:

Flood Insurance: Flood insurance covers your property and contents from damages that occur when water from outside the home enters the home. Beit a heavy rainstorm, a clogged drain in the street or even a hurricane that causes a tidal surge that backs up streams and rivers.

  • Cost: According to floodsmart.gov, the average flood insurance policy costs around $700 a year. Depending on your area and whether you’re in a flood prone area, your costs can be higher or lower.
  • What’s covered: The typical flood insurance policy will cover your building and the contents. Be sure to discuss contents coverage with your agent to ensure you have enough coverage. The price of the policy will be largely determined by how valuable your items are and how much coverage you need.
  • When to buy: Flood insurance requires a 30 day waiting period. The best time to buy a flood insurance policy is as soon as you decide you want it.

Water & Sewer Backup Coverage: Sewage backup insurance is not included with a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. Sewage backup occurs for many reasons, but ultimately, what is happening is there is a blockage that causes water to reverse course and push up into your sinks, bathtubs or other outlets. This can be a smelly, filthy event and one you want to be sure to discuss with your agent. Believe it or not, this is a somewhat common occurrence.

  • Cost: Cost always varies, but typically a sewer backup endorsement will run you under $100. Be sure to ask your agent about different policy options.
  • What’s covered: You purchase specific amounts of covers, such as $10,000 or $15,000. This helps cover the cost of cleaning the damage caused from the backup as well as replacing carpets, drywall, and even cleaning or replacing ducts.
  • When to buy: Water and sewage backup occurs everywhere. There is no real good indicator or when this event will occur, so protecting early is critical.

We understand insurance is confusing, so if you still have questions, feel free to call one of our licensed agents and ask to speak about flood or sewage backup coverage.

The Insurance Group was formed to provide you with one-on-one attention for all of your insurance requests in the Treasure Valley. Visit us or call one of our convenient locations in Weiser, Fruitland, Emmett, Cascade or Ontario for auto, home, farm & ranch or business insurance. Our insurance website is open 24/7 to serve you and you can request an insurance quote right through the site. We look forward to serving you

Be Cautious Before Writing a Negative Review Online in the Treasure Valley

Exercise Diligence When Leaving an Online Review

A Negative Online Review Can Leave You Liable 

Be Cautious Before Writing a Negative Review Online in the Treasure Valley Everyone today is connected in some way to social media. It can be by Facebook, Yelp, email or other internet outlets. When you write something, you leave your fingerprint for everyone to see. If you go to a restaurant, dentist, daycare or other business and have a bad experience, you might think of writing a bad review on the company’s Facebook page or Yelp. If you decide to do this, it is important to exercise caution about how you word your experience as recent cases have shown you can be sued for libel – even if you think the review was justified. This can be a very frightening situation and how on earth can you afford to pay attorney fees? What do you do?

If you have the right coverage on your homeowners insurance, you likely have protection for these personal offenses such as libel, slander or defamation of character. If you receive a lawsuit, you need to contact your homeowners insurance claim’s department right away. The claims department will defend you and pay for damages up to certain limits on your policy. If you want to be extra cautious, you can get an umbrella insurance policy that would give you coverage above and beyond your homeowners policy for attorney fees and any damages awarded. It is important to understand your home or renters insurance.

If you have questions about one of these policies, feel free to contact one of our licensed agents at The Insurance Group. We were formed to provide you with one-on-one attention for all of your insurance requests in the Treasure Valley. Visit us or call one of our convenient locations in Weiser, Fruitland, Emmett, Cascade or Ontario for auto, home, farm & ranch or business insurance. Our insurance website is open 24/7 to serve you and you can request an insurance quote right through the site. We look forward to serving you