What to Know About: Insurance »
In the event of a disaster that affects your home and property, what are your options?
In the event of a disaster that affects your home and property, what are your options?
Insuring your wedding ring saves you headache and heartache in certain situations, but is it really worth it? Find out the pros an…
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Very professional. I've been with them for many years and have never had any problems. Brenda Mitchell is the person to ask for. She will make sure your every need is meet.
Pam Miller and Rusty Strawn and the entire staff at Strawn and Company do an awesome job for me and my company. Great service, very professional and the have saved us a great deal on our insurance cost!Scott ReevesGreenSouth Recycling, IncGeenSouthRecycling.com
Everyone is professional, knowledgeable and quick to respond. Especially the large degree of commercial requests and needs my company requires...It's a reassurance that they take care of everything for my personal and commercial needs. Thank you Pam and Sharon B.
I recently retired and i was looking to combine my insurance policies to save money. I researched a few agencies and I found this office to be the most helpful. I found Ms. Moscaritolo to be very knowledgeable in all areas and her staff were really sincere in comparing my policies and finding ways for me to save money. In the end, I was able to save more than $600 a year. I would recommend this agency to anyone who wants to get the most out of their insurance and save money doing so.
I have been doing business with them for several years. I have always found them to be very responsive, fair and honest.
I probably would have given this agent a one star rating, but since I never actually met the man or talked to anyone in his office for more than 45 seconds, I feel like I might be just a little too biased. That being said, after I was blindsided and my car completely totaled, I went to my insurance agent to try and get things settled. Wells Wheeler's office did not handle a single thing for me. I was continuously transferred to national lines and had to go through the whole story four or five times with different people trying to get to the right person, just to have to go through the whole process again if I needed to talk to someone on a different day. I was given a faulty fax line, twice, to send my medical expenses to, and because of it my medical bills have yet to be paid in full. It took State Farm more than two months to send a check to the bank to cover the cost of the totaled car (which was less than a year old with 5,000 miles on it.) We had third party collectors calling us threatening to take action to recover the money. And every time I called Wells Wheeler's office I was just transferred to some national line and never received any information on my claim. We've cancelled our policy with them (although they seem to think we haven't and continue to send us junk) and we will not be back.
THIS IS THE WORST PLACE TO GO FOR INSURANCE.On 8/18/15 My husband and I went in to see how much his policy would be if we added myself and my car. We were working with Susan V Johnson and she had poor customer service skills which put us off. Yet, we still wanted to see if we could stay with allstate. After the meeting we found that progressive was cheaper/better and told her we wanted to cancel the policy. She then told us we would still be charged for the month even though he was charged for his policy the day before 8/17. What usually happens if you are refund for the rest of the month when you cancel a policy. This was weird but ok fine we just wanted to cancel and get out of there.On 8/20, we emailed her to cancel the policy-- never received a response. On 8/31 we spoke with Jamillia who assured us that the policy was cancelled on 8/20 and we would be receiving a check. Today 9/8 we check his account and there is a pending charge for Allstate insurance so we call Jamillia, who now has an attitude because we found she has lied about canceling the policy. We get some story about Susan quitting and not completing our request. BUT regardless of that, we spoke with her on 8/21 to confirm and she said yes, which shows they just try to get you off the phone. So she is screaming through the phone that its taken care of and we hung up and called the 1800 number and the agent told us the insurance was still active and never cancelled.MORAL OF THE STORY STAY AWAY FROM ALLSTATE AND THEIR SHADY BUSINESS PRACTICES.
Policy name was incorrect, stated my previous married name and caused a disturbance with my current husband. I never gave them my previous name; they pulled it from an auto policy I had with them when I was 25 - I'm 40 now. Contacted the Wells Wheeler office to correct this on August 6, 2014. They corrected it on August 11, 2014 only after I filed a complaint with State Farm. But the Wells Wheeler office never called or contacted me in any way to first apologize for the mistake and second to inform me it was corrected. I had to contact them, and spoke to a young lady with this superior attitude of I know you're the customer but we control everything. I pay via auto debit of my checking account monthly. Never missed a payment. Recently lost my debit card and neglected to provide the updated information. Received a cancellation notice not even 30 days late on the payment, 2 weeks late. The notice stated to pay before August 8 to avoid cancellation. I paid on August 6, 2014 and they still cancelled my policy. I never received a notice from the Wells Wheeler agency that the policy had been cancelled; so I would have gone on believing my policy was active and they would have continued deducting the payments every month. Here it is 11 days later, my policy is still not active but another payment is scheduled to be deducted from my account tomorrow. When I asked the same rude young lady to transfer me to another office, she asked me why. I explained everything I'm telling you now plus that I got this policy in February 2014 and my rental office never received the declaration page and it is now August 2014. She stated that the cancellation was my fault because I paid too close to the cancellation date, and their office had nothing to do with it being cancelled, it was the State Farm processing center that cancelled the policy. And that the policy is being reviewed by the underwriting department. I contacted State Farm customer service through the 800 number and they stated there was nothing they could do because the Wells Wheeler agency had my policy information and they were limited in what they could see and do. But they would send an email to the agency to contact me. I finally get a voice mail and email from the rude young lady stating she never received a request to contact my rental office and that she never refused me a transfer to another office. Then she sent me and my rental office a declaration page with no policy information, which is fraudulent because the policy is not in effect. I filed a complaint with the insurance commissioner. RUN!!! Do not do business with this office or State Farm as a whole. They're a rip off and frauds!!!! They will call, email, and mail you when they're trying to get your business. But when you need the customer service, damn contacting you or trying their best to resolve an issue or problem in a timely and legitimate manner.
To mitigate the risk of loss, people purchase insurance policies from a company. When buying a policy, the person agrees to pay a premium, which is small, regular payment based on the losses that may occur. If the insurance provider determines there is a greater chance of risk as compared to the average policy, the premium is usually higher. Premiums are often paid monthly, and can add up over time up to be greater than the expense of replacing the insured item.
Many types of insurance only cover a certain amount of risk on an item. The amount the policyholder must pay before an insurance policy begins covering an expense is called the deductible. In the event of damage or loss to whatever the policy covers, the policyholder is responsible for the deductible no matter what. If the cost of damage or loss is less than the deductible amount, the insurance company does not pay anything. If the cost is greater than the deductible, the policyholder only pays the deductible, while the insurance pays the rest. Generally, the deductible amount is related to your premium, with a higher deductible usually requiring a lower premium, and vice-versa.
Selecting the right insurance involves careful research and evaluating many different options for coverage. This is why many people use an insurance agent to assist with making the right choice depending on their needs and financial situation. Agents often interview potential or current clients to get an idea of which insurance policies would benefit them the most. Based on their needs and individual risk, agents can often give potential customers a quote, which serves as a cost estimate for a specific policy. This is only a rough idea of what the policy will cost, because evaluating the risk associated with a given customer can take time. Insurance companies often compile an insurance score to quantify the risk an individual poses and calculate premiums accordingly. Credit scores play a major role in insurance scores, but past insurance-claim history is also taken into account.
While agents often specialize in a particular category of insurance, some sell several different types of insurance. Agents can work for a larger insurance company or operate independently, selling policies from several different insurers.
Almost anything of value can be insured to protect against loss due to a variety of circumstances. Insurance policies are very specific in the items they protect and in what event the policy holders will be reimbursed. Some of the most common insurance policies cover things we all use.
Millions of Americans drive a car to get from place to place each day, so it makes sense that auto insurance is one of the most commonly used types. In most states, the law requires drivers to maintain an active insurance policy on any car, up to a certain amount. Most car owners are required at minimum to purchase liability insurance, which protects against damage for which the policyholder is at fault. Liability insurance covers damage to property as well as any injuries sustained in an accident. It's important to note liability insurance only covers damage or injuries of others, not the policyholder themselves. In addition to liability insurance, car owners can also purchase coverage for their own vehicle and medical expenses in the event of an accident. For this purpose, liability, vehicle and medical coverage are often packaged together in a single policy.
Insurance can also be purchased for other vehicles, like motorcycles, ATVs, boats or RVs, and generally functions similarly to car insurance. Policies for alternative vehicles may have higher premiums if they are considered more dangerous, or might include other coverage options specific to the vehicle. Many companies that provide auto insurance will also offer coverage for motorcycles, ATVs, boats and RVs.
Your home, condo or apartment is probably the most valuable thing you own or otherwise pay for, so it makes sense to get it insured. Homeowners insurance is important not just for the security of the house itself, but for its ability to cover possessions inside the home as well. Many mortgage lenders also require an active home insurance policy.
Like auto insurance, homeowners insurance is typically bundled together with policies covering many different items or categories of items. The primary coverage type is for the dwelling, insuring the house itself and all structures attached to it. Policies may also cover property within the home, with premiums varying depending on the value of all assets. Personal liability may also be included for damage or injuries sustained on your property that you are responsible for, much like auto insurance.
Property insurance also may cover certain major events outside of your control. These are known as perils, and may include fire, flooding, natural disasters and other catastrophic events. You may want to purchase insurance against one or more of these perils if you live in a high-risk area. Flood insurance is an exception, however, and can be purchased through the government-sponsored National Flood Insurance Program. Your lender may require this if you live in a flood-prone area.
To help pay for medical expenses, many people rely on their health insurance. With the passing of the Affordable Care Act, almost every American is required to enroll in a health care plan, or they face a penalty. Health insurance works similarly to other forms of insurance, although it is probably used to cover expenses more often, since car accidents and home damage are relatively rare compared to doctor visits and the need for medicine. Health insurance also operates on a premium-deductible model, and policyholders can choose what level of coverage works best for their lifestyle. For example, if you visit doctors very infrequently, you may consider a plan with a low premium and a higher deductible. On the other hand, people who require regular medical care may wish to pay a higher premium in exchange for more coverage from their deductible. Dental and vision care are sold as separate plans and are not required by law.
When someone dies unexpectedly or is injured severely enough to be unable to work, it can be a financial disaster for their family or loved ones. Many people choose to purchase a life insurance policy to support their family in the event their regular income is suddenly lost. Life insurance comes in two basic types: term and universal. With a term life insurance plan, you pay a premium for a predetermined amount of time, usually 10 years or more. If you die at any point in that timeframe, your family receives a death benefit. If you're still around when the term is over, the coverage is canceled and you receive nothing. Universal life covers your entire life, and usually delivers a minimum benefit at death.
Travel insurance is available for individuals who want to protect against unexpected setbacks in the course of travel, whether it's losing luggage or medical treatment abroad. Travel insurance may prove particularly useful for people who travel a lot for work or often visit remote locations. Travel insurance can take the form of either specific or blanket coverage. Specific coverage is useful for covering only certain risks, like medical emergencies or unexpected trip cancelation. Blanket coverage may cover some or all of your expenses for your entire trip.
Pet insurance is a relatively new product that may help cover the costs of medical care for a dog, cat or other domestic animal. Medical care for animals can be very costly, particularly because insurance for them is rare. By paying into a premium, you can help offset the cost of unexpected emergencies as well as routine checkups and medication. While virtually unheard of a few years ago, pet insurance has become more popular as the cost of veterinarian care has continued to rise.
Umbrella insurance is extra coverage from liability for other insurance policies, usually home or auto insurance. Consumers may choose to purchase an umbrella policy if their home or car is more expensive than a typical policy would be able to cover. For example, most car insurance liability policies cover at least $25,000 per person or $50,000 per accident. But if the accident involves a very valuable car, or the victim is willing to pursue legal action, insurance may not even begin to cover the full cost. You may want to hedge your risk by purchasing umbrella insurance to add extra protection to your existing policy.
To receive a payout for an insurance policy, the policyholder must file a claim with the insurance company. The basics of the process are straightforward, but can vary depending on the type of insurance.
Claims Adjusters and Examiners
A claims adjuster or claims examiner is an employee of an insurance company, and the person responsible for evaluating claims and determining if the company will reimburse the policyholder at the amount provided. An adjuster inspects claims related to property damage, as in the case of auto or home insurance policies. Claims examiners are typically involved in health and life insurance, and review medical records to determine the proper payout for major medical procedures.
How To Make a Claim
Filing an insurance claim can be stressful and confusing, but you need to begin the process as soon as possible to make certain you can recover your losses. It's important to note that in the case of emergencies, you should always call 911 first. The safety and health of yourself and others takes precedent over insurance.
Auto Insurance Claim: If you're involved in an accident, you need to call the police right away and have them document the situation. You can file a claim upon obtaining the police report. It's also a good idea, if possible, to take your own notes at the scene. The most important things to record are what happened before the accident, the date and time, traffic signs in the area and road conditions. Also be sure to get the other driver's name, address, license plate number and insurance information. Even photos taken with a cell phone camera can help the claims process. Once you have this documentation, call your insurance company right away.
Homeowners Insurance Claim: In the case of damage, take pictures of the affected area as soon as any safety or health emergencies are resolved. Take note of what happened and all the relevant circumstances and report to your insurer as soon as possible. If any of your possessions were damaged, use an inventory of your important assets and make note of this in the claim. Once an adjuster has made their own report, review it for accuracy.
Life Insurance Claim: Send your insurer a claim form for each beneficiary in the plan, as well as a certified copy of the policyholder's death certificate. With the proper information, life insurance claims are generally straightforward. Problems may arise if the policyholder has died within two years of opening the policy. In this case, an attorney may be needed to settle the claim.
Insurance is a wise investment, but it can make a dent in your monthly budget. Thankfully, there are a variety of ways to trim the fat off your premiums and make certain you are paying only as much as you need.
Shop and Compare
Perhaps the best way to save on any insurance policy is to take the time to compare prices between as many companies and plans as possible. Even after you've chosen a plan and started paying into it, consider looking around again when it comes time to renew the policy. Consider using an independent agent when searching for a new insurance policy. While traditional agents can still find a good deal, independent agents can choose from a variety of providers and tailor your coverage to your specific needs. The Internet has also made comparison shopping easier than ever before. Potential customers can often get free quotes online very quickly.
Buy Only What You Need
Insurance agents will often try to "upsell" on various extra products that may be useful for certain people, but are generally excessive for the average consumer. Stick with basic plans that cover as much as you need without any additional costs. For example, if the annual cost of your auto insurance is 10 percent or more of the total value of your car, drop all but the most essential coverage. This is especially applicable if the car you drive is older and could be replaced with savings. Otherwise, you are paying for insurance that will never actually benefit you in the event of a serious crash. It can help to create a budget and know exactly how much income you have to work with before making a decision on a new policy.
Take Advantage of Discounts
Insurance providers offer a wide variety of discounts for all kinds of special customers or circumstances. In one of the most basic discounts, many companies will offer lower rates for customers who purchase home, auto and life insurance policies from the same provider. Car owners may get a rebate from taking a safe driving course. For those with teenagers on their plan, good grades can earn a small discount as well. Insuring multiple cars with the same provider may also lower premiums. Some providers will offer lower rates for military personnel, federal employees, teachers, first responders and their families.