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Holiday Hazard Prevention

As the Holidays are vastly approaching, the wintry weather also likes to make an appearance. With this weather can come many hazards. One of the biggest insurance claims during the winter has to do with bursting pipes. So this holiday season, we have decided to give you some tips on how to prevent frozen or bursting pipes.

- Look for and seal air leaks around pipes.

- Keep garage door closed if your water supply lines are in the garage.

- Open cabinets to help warmer air circulate around pipes.

- When weather outside is close to freezing temperatures, let cold water drip from your faucets. Running this water helps prevent them from freezing

-Try to keep thermostat temperature consistent both day and night

-If you leave your home for an extended period of time, set the temperature on your thermostat to go no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit.  

Follow these steps to keep your holidays bright. From all of us at Rob Rueseler & Associates, “Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New year”

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It’s that time of the year again, and I don’t mean Thanksgiving. I’m talking about Medicare Enrollment Part D. What is this and why is it important you may ask? Medicare Enrollment Part D is also referred to as the Medicare prescription drug benefit. This is the time of the year where you can change your Medicare prescription plans. This can allow you to save money, explore and choose different plans, and compare medications. You can obtain a quote and make changes by going to www.medicare.gov/part-d.  If you are currently under Medicare coverage, make sure to take advantage of this opportunity as open enrollment ends December 7th, 2017.

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Whenever you are filling out forms, reading every little aspect can become quite tedious at times. By the time, you get to page two, you might be ready scan for signature blocks and get the papers away from you as fast as possible. On most instances, you rely on the staff or agent to point you to corrections or places you may have skimmed over too fast. This works for most instances, but when it comes to life insurance, it can end up costing you way more time to correct on the back end. I am talking specifically about contingent ownership. By putting someone as a contingent owner, you allow them to access and change the policy if you were to pass away before it takes effect. To explain through scenario: Your spouse has ownership on your policy and you left the contingent ownership space blank. Unforeseen tragedy strikes and your spouse passes away before you do. Now, you are unable to make any changes to the policy, even though it was on yourself.

The only way to make this change is to go to probate court and present your case. This process can easily take up to 6 months or longer and there is a chance you could lose. All of this could have been avoided, if you were named as the contingent owner of the policy. So, is it too late to make this change to your current policy? It is not. Call your agent today and see if you have this portion filled out. If you do not, you can request an ownership change form and make this easy update. Please feel free to reach out to our life insurance department and we would be happy to fill you in on even more ways to make your life easier and more enjoyable for those around you.

 

Information & Insight provided by Tammy Bigham 

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I had just touched down from a long flight to Los Angeles and the last thing I wanted to do was stay in an airport trying to decide what car rental plan I should go with. Unfortunately, I had no choice and this was the first time I was in this situation. Thanks to the world-wide web, I had already pre-selected and paid for my rental car (or so I thought). When I finally get to the rental counter, I tell the lady at the counter my information, expecting to get the keys quickly and be on my way. What happened next threw me into the fluster that had me questioning my very own reasoning of deciding to rent a car in the first place. I verbally confirm the price with the service desk employee and she replies with, “it all depends on which insurance package you choose”.

Insurance package? I quickly reply with “I thought everything was all included in the first overpriced plan I purchased before I got off the plane”.  She replies, “Sir, it is illegal in the state of California to drive without the proper insurance”. This really frustrated me and I had no clue of what to do next. I had full coverage on my personal car, but no clue what I needed for a rental. After several minutes of frustration, I decided to buy the highest priced plan of rental insurance. This ended up costing over half the price of the rental plan itself.

I finally receive my rental and I leave feeling like I was just punched in the money tummy. Later I meet up with my friends and tell them about the car rental fiasco, to only hear them reply with laughter. I ask them “why is my misfortune so amusing to you”? The next thing my buddy said left me speechless. He waits for my angry facial expression to subside and then proceeds to tell me I didn’t have to buy an insurance plan for my rental at all. I reply with the pale white face of disgust with “what are you talking about”? After a long discussion, I find out that most full coverage insurance plans will cover the rental car as well. I called the next day to cancel the remainder of my double insured rental and actually received some of my money back. If only I would have known this from the beginning, I would have been able to save even more. Let my story be a lesson to check with your insurance provider before you get punched in the money tummy with non-required fees.

 

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When you're starting out, there's a lot to keep track of. Where will you live; what will you do; how will you make ends meet? In these overwhelming moments, it can be easy to let the right coverage slip through the cracks. But it's important to plan for the unexpected--and to make those plans early.

 

The primary types of insurance you should carry from the second you leave the nest are these:

 

Health Insurance

You may have health insurance offered through your business or employer; but if you don't, you need to explore individual policies with an agent. Health insurance will protect you from unexpected procedures--like an appendectomy--that would otherwise take a huge chunk out of everything you've saved up so far.

 

Car Insurance

Not only is it illegal to drive without auto insurance in the United States, it's also foolish. The biggest threat on the road is also the thing you have the least control over: other drivers. Even if you consider yourself a professional-level driver, you don't want to be caught paying out of pocket when you have an unexpected run-in with someone who isn't.

 

Homeowner's Insurance

It's likely that if you're a homeowner, you've put more than your fair share of life's work into your house. In addition to protecting the walls that surround your family, protect the people inside them and the hard work that was poured into them. Our agents will work with you to find an affordable policy that will also offer you the right amount of coverage for your needs.

 

Remember, while insurance may seem like a big chunk of change to write off right when you're getting your feet wet in the world of "adulting," it's nothing compared to how much you'll be saving in the midst of potential chaos later.

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What's the big deal about renters insurance?

Even though the residence itself may be temporary, there's nothing temporary about protecting what's yours inside. Here are the top 5 reasons that you need renters insurance, whether you're planning to stay for 6 months or 15 years.

Renters insurance covers many common perils.
Whether your rental home or apartment catches fire, is damaged by an unexpected natural disaster, or is burglarized, a renters insurance policy will help to replace everything lost in the catastrophe--an expense that could be financially devastating if taken on alone. According to esurance.com, the average renter owns about $20,000 in personal property, though many tenants tend to underestimate the total value of their possessions and opt to forego a policy. Even if you assume that the value of your stuff doesn’t warrant a policy, try tallying up the values of your most prized possessions and see if the numbers don’t surprise you!

Your landlord’s policy doesn’t cover your personal property.
Many times tenants incorrectly assume they are covered under their landlord’s policy, only to find out later, after disaster has struck, that this is not the case. While your landlord is responsible for any damage to the structure of the building itself, all of your personal items -- clothes, computers, furniture, etc. -- are your responsibility. Because the average American owns tens of thousands of dollars in personal property, it falls to the tenant (not the landlord) to insure their property against damage and theft.

Your landlord may require it.
For some tenants, foregoing coverage may not be an option, as more and more property owners are choosing to make renters insurance mandatory, even up to a certain coverage limit. Check your lease or ask the property manager about renters insurance prior to signing. Even if renters insurance is not a requirement, it remains a wise investment.

You need liability protection.
Let’s state the obvious: accidents happen. One critical benefit of renters insurance is protection against damages caused by you or members of your family (even a dog, for example). Renters insurance can protect against a wide range of potentially costly accidents, like an electrical fire, an overflowing bathtub, or ruined carpet. In addition, liability protection extends to your guests. If your guest slips and falls in your apartment, they may seek injury compensation from you. Likewise, if your dog decides that the mailman is actually a burglar, you may be facing a substantial lawsuit. Renters insurance can protect against all of these.

It’s incredibly affordable.
On average, renters only pay a few hundred dollars a year for coverage. Because policies are dependent upon a variety of factors, you might be surprised just how affordable your coverage could be. Depending on the total value of one’s property, which can often exceed many thousands of dollars, this minor cash outlay could prove to be a godsend in times of trouble. For potentially less than a dollar per day, renters insurance is able to not only save untold amounts of time, effort, and money in the event that it’s needed, but can provide an inestimable peace of mind to the policyholder throughout their tenancy.

Sold on the importance of renters insurance? See how we can help you get started here.

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