McCurdy Group - Insurance and Financial Consultants

Thursday, December 31, 2015

5 Biggest Mistakes When Buying Insurance




Insurance can be a tricky purchase.  Auto lienholder happy?  Check.  Mortgage lender happy?  Check.

But this simply isn't enough!  Some things on your insurance policy deserve a little more attention.  As an insurance agent, here are some of the BIGGEST coverage mistakes I’ve seen.

Mistake #1:  Buying Only The Required State Minimum Liability Insurance

Every state has a minimum amount of liability insurance that is required in order to drive a car.  But it’s typically nowhere near enough coverage!  Choosing only the minimum liability insurance could leave you open to a lawsuit, garnished wages, or potentially losing an asset, like your home. 

Discuss different liability amounts with your agent to see what is necessary based on your income, net worth, and liabilities.  (Another bonus?  It won’t cost nearly as much as you might think!) 

Mistake #2: Not Insuring Your Home For Replacement Cost

Many people think they only need enough coverage to insure their home for the amount they paid for it.  Not true!  You need to be insured for the amount of money it would cost to REPLACE your home.

If a fire or tornado destroyed the house, you would need insurance to replace it.  The total cost could be tens of thousands more than the house would have sold for on the market.  If you’re currently only insured for the cash value of your home, you could be at risk! 

Mistake #3: Buying Life Insurance Through Work

Most people tell me that they have life insurance through work and aren’t interested in purchasing their own coverage.  This is also a mistake.

The problem?  The majority of us don’t stay at jobs for 30 years anymore.  And if you develop health issues and leave your current employer….you might not be able to get coverage again!

When you purchase your own life insurance (which is extremely affordable), you are covered no matter where you work or what health problems you might develop in the future.  It’s the smarter choice!

Mistake #4: Buying The Cheapest Policy

It’s tempting to shop for insurance and just pick whatever is the cheapest, but it’s usually not the best idea. 

First you want to make sure that you’re buying from a reputable company.  You want a solid insurance carrier that you can trust to pay your claims. 

And you want to make sure you’re comparing apples to apples.  Does the cheaper policy only insure your home for cash value instead of replacement cost (like mistake #2)? Does one company exclude water leaks but another cover them?  Big details can be hidden in the small print!

Mistake #5: Not Using An Agent

Best way to avoid ALL of these mistakes?  Work with an insurance agent! 

We know all about insurance and can find the right coverage for your specific situation.  We’ll make sure your liability limits are high enough, that your home will be replaced after a loss, that you won’t lose your life insurance when you change jobs, and that you aren’t buying an inadequate policy that doesn’t protect you.

Call us today for a quote!
508-347-9343 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Protect Your Home This December (With These Tips)




Winter (and Christmas) are just around the corner!  Here are a few important things to keep in mind to keep your home, vehicle, and family protected this month.

Have you decorated your home for the holidays?  While Christmas lights are pretty safe, it’s overloaded extension cords and outlets that pose a fire threat.  Be smart when plugging in your lights.

Space heaters are another fire danger.  Only choose heaters that have an automatic off switch if they tip over and keep them far away from flammable materials or fabrics. 

If you choose a real Christmas tree, make sure to keep it watered and turn off the lights when you’re not home. 

Before Santa arrives (or you light those fireplaces), make sure your chimney is clean! 

If the temperatures dip too low, remember to let your faucet drip slowly.  This will relieve pressure in the pipes and prevent them from freezing and bursting. 

Make sure your tires are well aired and in great shape, especially if you will be driving on icy roads.

Say a “Thank you!” to all of the First Responders in our community who work long hours during the holidays to keep us safe! 

We wish you and your family a happy holiday season!  We’d love to keep you protected all year long.  Give us a call today at 205-347-9343 for a free quote and consultation.

We will be closing at 1 PM on Christmas Eve (24th) and will be closed Christmas Day (25th) through Sunday the 27th. And will be opening at 9 AM on Monday the 28th. A very merry Christmas and a Happy Holidays from all of us! 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Keys To Great Holiday Travel




Are you planning a trip during the holiday season?  If you’ll be hitting the road over the next few weeks (or anytime really!), here are a few important things to keep in mind.

BEFORE YOU LEAVE TOWN:

       Get your oil changed and make sure your tires are properly aired up.
       Leave some lights on in your home so it doesn’t look empty at night.
       Ask a neighbor or friend to pick up your mail or newspaper. 
       Pack some snacks!  No one wants to be driving hungry (especially if you’ve got little kids riding in the back seat!) 
       Pack a car charger for your cell phone.  Your phone is is your map and your emergency contact.  Don’t let it run out of battery power on your trip!
       If you’ll be traveling in snow or ice, make sure to pack emergency supplies in your vehicle.
       Plan to travel on off-peak days.  It will mean less traffic, less stress, and a faster route to your destination.
       Get a good night’s sleep!  Driving fatigued is a leading cause of accidents.  Stay rested. 


DURING YOUR DRIVE:

       Wear your seat belt!  Always.
       Keep your gas tank at least half full.  You never know how long it could be between gas stations or how bad the traffic could be.  Don’t run on empty! 


And above all…be flexible!  Travel stress can ruin your holiday fun.  Plan to take your time and enjoy the ride!  

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Tips for Insuring Your High Value Jewelry




Christmas is a popular time for new jewelry purchases.  Between engagements, holidays, and all of those jewelry sales, it seems like everyone has a few new trinkets by the time January rolls around. 

If you’re investing in a new ring or receiving any special jewelry, then there are a few things you need to know about jewelry insurance!  Let me help….

Jewelry is part of the Contents coverage on your Home or Renters policy.  It is covered on a basic level, but it’s usually not enough coverage if you have several nice pieces.  (This varies by policy so call us to find out exactly how much coverage you have.) 

But there is a special coverage you can ADD to your policy to insure each piece of jewelry!  It’s called “scheduled personal property”. 

You simply send us a copy of the appraisal (sometime’s a receipt will work too) and we can tell you exactly how much it will cost to insure it.  Many times it’s less than $20-30 per year!  (It really depends the value.) 

We can also discuss how this coverage protects you if you lose the jewelry and if you’ll still owe a deductible. 

Even if you don’t want to insure each piece of jewelry you own, you can still increase your overall jewelry coverage to make sure that there is enough to protect your collection.  You will still want to add photos, descriptions, and appraisals or receipts to your Home Inventory! 


The holiday season is a magical time!  Make sure that your beautiful gifts are protected.  Call us today to get started!  

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Are Your Christmas Gifts Covered?



This time of year, most of us are doing a lot of shopping!  Christmas gifts and holiday sales mean that everyone is buying a little bit more than normal.  So what does that have to do with insurance?
 
Let’s look at some common purchases and how you can make sure they’re protected!
 
Electronics - Did you purchase a new flat screen TV or Xbox on Black Friday?  Maybe a new laptop or some high dollar headphones? 
 
All of these items are covered for theft or fire (or any other covered peril) by your Homeowners or Renters Insurance, but they are subject to your deductible. 
 
However the BIG problem is that when someone has a major fire or burglary, they FORGET what they have!  It’s hard to remember every item in your home. 
 
That’s why we recommend that you keep a Home Inventory of high-dollar items.  Save your receipts, take photos, or just keep a list.  Keep this info in a safe place (like a file backed up in the cloud), so that you can access it in case of a claim.  Our agency recommends knowyourstuff.org, a great free Home Inventory site provided by the Insurance Information Institute. This isn’t required, but you’ll be glad you have it! 
 
Guns, Jewelry, & Art - If you purchase high dollar, custom, one-of-a-kind, or collectors items, you need to contact us as soon as possible!  These items will be covered by your policy, but may be limited to an amount much less than what they’re worth.  If you contact us, we can review your policy and tell you exactly how much coverage is available and if you need to add these specific items to your policy.
 
And what about all of those gifts sitting in your car trunk?  Yes, it’s a great place to hide presents from the kids but here is the bad news - your auto insurance DOES NOT cover the contents of your vehicle.  That means that if someone breaks in and steals everything, it’s only covered by your Home or Renters policy.  And if you have a large deductible, you could be out of luck!  Get those presents into a safe location quickly and don’t keep them stored in your vehicles. 
 
’Tis the season for lots of shopping!  Call us to make sure all of your possessions are properly protected!