McCurdy Group - Insurance and Financial Consultants

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.


       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. 


       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, 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! 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

What Is Insurance Really For?

Thanksgiving has almost arrived. This is the time of year when we sit back and reflect on all the things that we are thankful for. What immediately comes to mind?

For most of us it’s things like our family, our home, and our good health. And guess what they have in common? All of these things are what insurance protects!

That’s why it is so important to me that my clients have excellent insurance coverage. It’s not just about having getting your proof of insurance for your car before you go to get it registered or fulfilling your mortgage company’s minimum loan requirements.

Insurance is there to make sure that if the worst happens, you can recover from it. It might not be easy, but we’re here to ease the financial burden after your house burns down or a loved one passes away.

All of those TV commercials that just tell you to find the cheapest rate are completely wrong! Of course no one wants to pay more then they have to, but it’s not the most important part of the equation.

Rather than looking for a cheap bare bones policy, take the time to interview and meet with local agents. See who is looking for the best coverage and truly meeting your needs while keeping the rate affordable. Ask about how they handle claims and if they do annual policy reviews.

This Thanksgiving, our agency is extremely thankful for all of our wonderful clients. If you need a local agent to look out for your most prized possessions, give us a call at 508-347-9343 today for a free no-obligation quote.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Top 10 Reasons To Be Thankful For Insurance

Since Thanksgiving is almost here, what better time to think about what we’re grateful for?  And while we love insurance all year long, we’re especially thankful for all the things it does for our clients.  Here’s our top 10 list!

10.  You don’t have to panic when a hail storm comes along (and you don’t have a garage).

9.  You can rent the apartment and know that your possessions are still protected, even if you don’t own your own home yet.

8.  You don’t have to empty your savings account when an uninsured driver hits your car.

7.  You don’t have to worry about losing your home to a lawsuit from an honest mistake.

6.  You can invest in nice things without worry that they’ll be stolen.

5.  You know that if a big storm comes, you can evacuate to safety without worrying about your home.

4.  You know that if you were to lose your spouse, you would be able to survive financially.

3.  You know that your assets are protected, even if you can’t predict the future.

2.  You know that even if there is a disaster, as long as your family is safe, everything will be okay. 

1.  You don’t have to worry.  We’ve got you covered.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Why You Should Buy Life Insurance During The Holidays

Have you ever considered Life Insurance to be a gift?

No it doesn’t come wrapped in a box with a big bow.  And it’s not all that exciting.  But, in my opinion, it really is the gift that keeps on giving.

Life Insurance has gifted families in so many ways.  After the loss of a breadwinner, children have been able to go to college without debt.  Parents have been able to stay at home with their children without needing to go back to work.  Homes have been paid off and long-term dreams have been realized.

All because a family member made the decision to purchase life insurance.

No one wants to think about this coverage, but if there is someone out there counting on your income and support right now…then you need it. 

And we can help you make it extremely easy and affordable.  In fact, studies have shown that most people overestimate how much life insurance by as much as 10x it’s actual cost!  There are options for everyone.

So why think about it now? 

If you currently don’t have any life insurance or you only have it through you work, then it’s time to come in and talk with us.  We can look at all of the options and find the best solution for your family. 

And if you’re struggling with what gifts to buy at Christmas….then look no further!  Your family members don’t need another sweater they’ll never wear or a new set of pots and pans.  They need long-term peace of mind and protection.

Let us help you gift that today.  Give us a call at 508-347-9343 to set up an appointment.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

November Home Maintenance Tasks

Every month, we share easy tasks you can do to keep you home in tip-top shape all year long.  So here are a few tasks you can take on in November!

Maintain Large Appliances - Appliances are a big long-term investment!  That’s why it’s important to take good care of them all year long.  Your refrigerator is a great place to start.  Accumulating dust can make your fridge cooling system less efficient. 

To prevent trouble, regularly pull the fridge away from the wall and clean the condenser coils with a vacuum cleaner.  It’s also a good idea to dust and clean the front lower grille.  This five minute task can add years of service to your refrigerator!

Clean The Oven & Stove Drip Pans - Next move on to your stove.  It’s another appliance that needs a good regular cleaning to keep it working well.  Many ovens have a self cleaning feature that will do the hard work for you. 

The only problem?  It can take a while to run the cleaning feature and it usually smells pretty bad while it’s running.  Save this task for a nice day and open up the windows to keep it well ventilated.  Check your stove's manual for instructions  and take a few minutes to clean the burners too. 

Have Problem Trees Trimmed - Cold weather has arrived.  Have you noticed any large branches hanging over onto your roof?  Get them trimmed as soon as possible.  A good ice storm can cause branches to break onto your roof leading to more damage and insurance claims. 

Save on Home Insurance - Homeowners Insurance is an important part of protecting your home and belongings.  To make sure you have the best coverage, call The McCurdy Group today at 508-347-9343 for a free, no obligation quote.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Preparing Your Home For Winter Freezes

With winter arriving soon, now is a great time to prepare your home for freezing temperatures.  Use the checklist below to give you ideas for keeping warm, preventing fires, and saving money.

  • Have your furnace inspected and serviced by a professional at least once a year.
  • Have chimneys and vents cleaned and inspected.  (Built up creosote is the leading cause of chimney fires!) 
  • Stock up on dry, seasoned wood for the fireplace or wood stove.
  • Check the condition of your fireplace screen.  Is it in good condition and secure?
  • Get a covered metal container ready to dispose of cooled ashes.  (And keep it at least 10 feet from your home.
  • Review fireplace safety with your kids!
  • Make sure all portable space heaters have an automatic shut-off and are kept at least 3 feet away from anything that can burn (like bedding). 
  • Test all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms! 

Follow these tips and your home will be ready for winter and safe from fire hazards.  If youre concerned about protecting your belongings, give us a call to review your home insurance policy today! 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Halloween Insurance Tips

It's October and that means that Halloween is on it’s way!  We love any excuse to celebrate around the office. However, I wouldn't be a good insurance agent if I didn't give a few good liability insurance tips too.

You've heard most Halloween advice over and over.

Pack a flashlight for when it gets dark.
Put reflective tape on children's costumes.
Check the kid's candy before letting them eat any.

But what about the risks at your home?

Your Homeowners Insurance covers you if someone is injured on your property. But there are a few things you can do to prevent accidents before they happen!

1. Change your lightbulbs. Is your porch light burned out? What about lights along sidewalks? Good lightning will help prevent children (and adults) from tripping.

2. Clear hazards. Tree limbs in your yard? A hole you've been meaning to fill? These are all potential hazards that could cause an injury and subject you to a liability claim. Clean them up before you have people trick-or-treating at your home!

3. No open flames. While candle filled pumpkins are fun to make, they can be dangerous too. If you use any open flame candles, make sure they are up high and away from any loose costume pieces.

And the easiest way to protect yourself? Make sure you have plenty of liability insurance! Call us today to schedule a free review and detailed explanation of how we can keep your home and family protected.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

October Is Fire Prevention Month

October is officially Fire Prevention Month. As your insurance agency, this is an issue that is very important to us! Unfortunately, we've seen clients suffer from home fires,  and we want to share some things you can do to prevent a disaster.

Beyond basic fire prevention, like checking electrical cords and not leaving a pot unattended on the stove, there are several important things to do with your children or grandchildren to make sure they're safe.

First, create a PLAN. When children know what to expect, they can remain calm, even during an emergency. Help your child know exactly what to do if a fire occurs.

Stress the importance of getting out of the house and to your family meeting spot.  Choose an area a safe distance from the house where children should go if making a fire escape. It could be a street light, mailbox, or neighbor's tree.

If you have pets, tell your kids that your pets will find their own way out safely and that they should never go back to rescue the pet on their own.

As a family, go through each room of the house and discuss TWO different ways to get out if a fire occurs. Let children practice opening a latch and unlocking doors too.

Now host a fire drill! Make the practice drills fun and informative. Create sample scenarios and build up your kid's confidence. They'll be better prepared for a fire and you will too!

When it comes to any sort of emergency situation, people are what matter most. Take precautions to protect your loved ones and let your professional insurance agents take care of protecting your home and belongings! Call us for a free quote on your Homeowner's Insurance today!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

October Home Maintenance Tasks

Every month, we share easy tasks you can do to keep your home in tip-top shape all year long. So here are a few simple tasks you can take on in October!

Pack Away The Air Conditioner - If you use a seasonal air conditioning unit, then now is the time to pack it up for winter! Make sure to spend a few extra minutes cleaning all the filters and coils well. It will keep the unit in great shape and it will last much longer.

Winterize External Plumbing Systems - It's much better to prepare for freezing temperatures before it's freezing! Winterize all exposed outdoor pipes and you'll avoid the trouble when there is snow or ice on the ground.

Check Your Carbon Monoxide Detector - This is an important one! October is a great time to check your carbon monoxide detector to make sure it is performing well. Change the batteries, test it, and replace older units.

Clean Up For Halloween - Trick-or-treating can be a liability hazard! Clean up any loose tree limbs, fill holes in the yard, and remove any fire hazard Halloween decorations before kids are running to your door.

Save on Home Insurance - Homeowners Insurance is an important part of protecting your belongings. To make sure you have the best coverage, call us today for a free, no obligation quote.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Your Insurance Financial Plan

There are many aspects to successful financial plans.  Most include a family budget, emergency savings, retirement savings, andinsurance!

So today, let's review the important parts of your insurance financial plan.

Protect Your Stuff - 

This is what we think of first when it comes to insurance.  Fixing your car after an accident and replacing your belongings after a fire.  When you review your financial plan, you want to make sure that all of your valuable assets are protected.  Cars, homes, high priced jewelry or artwork, boats, motorcycles, ATV's, etc.  Protect it all and make sure that the deductible is reasonable and that you have full replacement cost coverage.  (We can explain all the details.)  

Protect Your Money - 

Liability is a misunderstood coverage, but it's extremely important.  When you are held responsible for an accident, your assets and money are at risk!  What if your teenager caused an accident and your were sued?  What if you caused a major accident and didn't have enough liability coverage?  Good insurance can make sure this doesn't happen!  We look at how much you have to protect (total assets) and create a plan to cover it all.

Protect Your Family - 

You can protect all of your belongings, but the ultimate way to protect your family is with good life and disability insurance.  If something happens to you, you don't have to worry about your family being protected.  You can plan to pay off debt, pay for college, or anything else that is important to you.  

All of this might seem like a lot for think about, but it doesn't have to be.  With a great insurance agent, you can meet once a year and trust that all of these things are taken care of.  Why not take a few minutes to schedule an insurance financial planning review with one of our agents?  Call us today at 508-347-9343!  

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

How To Choose An Auto Insurance Deductible

When quoting auto insurance for clients, we frequently discuss how to choose the right deductible.  I thought Id take a few minutes to share this information here on our website too!

A deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket when you have a claim.  If you have a $500 collision deductible and have an accident, then you would pay $500 towards repairing your vehicle and insurance would cover the rest. 

The deductible you choose directly relates to the amount of money you spend on premiums each month.  The higher the deductible ($250, $500, $1000), the lower your monthly cost. 

So how do you choose?  Cheaper price or lower out of pocket expense?

First, look at your emergency savings.  Do you have enough cash available to cover a higher deductible if you had to pay it?  If the answer is no, then youre better off paying a little extra each month.

Compare the cost savings.  When we run a quote, we can show you several different options.  Ask your agent to run the premium based on several different deductibles so you can see the actual dollar cost savings.

You can always change your mind.  If youre short on cash now, but know you could afford more out of pocket next year, youre always able to change.  Keep your deductible in a comfortable range and youll always be well protected! 

Call us for more information and a personalized quote! 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Life Insurance Is Affordable

September is Life Insurance Awareness Month. Youll probably see TV commercials and magazine articles talking about why this coverage is so important all month long. And you probably already know its important. But that doesnt mean that youve got your policy set up yet!

The Life Foundation says that only 62% of people who believe they need life insurance, actually have it. And even those that have it only carry enough to replace their income for 3.6 years. If you have young children to support, that is simply not enough time! And if you're skipping life coverage all together, then you are putting your family at risk.

So why do people wait too long to purchase life insurance? Well, the Life Foundation also says that 86% of Americans say they haven't purchased it because it's "too expensive,” yet overestimate the cost by more than 2X!

Life Insurance rates are based on a number of factors, including age, health conditions, and smoking status. By not smoking and purchasing when you're younger, you can save substantial money. In fact, many term life policies are less than $30 per month!

Heres what we the office and set up an appointment with Dennis McCurdy, our life insurance specialist. Bring information on your annual income, as well as any debts (like your mortgage). Well give an accurate picture of how much coverage you need as well as different ways to make it affordable. Dont wait another minute! Call us today to set up an appointment.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

"Back To School" Insurance

August is over, and the kids are going back to school! What does that have to do with insurance? Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Good Grades - Do you have a teenage driver in the house (or one on the way)? Many policies allow discounts for students with good grades. Don't forget to talk to your kids about the importance of keeping those grades up! These discounts can apply to college students too.

Driver Training - There are different discounts available for Drivers Ed classes. We
can review all the options and let you know which discounts will impact you the most.

Moving To The Dorm - Is your college student living in the dorm this semester? Your Homeowners Insurance may cover their belongings without additional coverage being needed. This is called Property Off Premises coverage.

Remember, any claims would be subject to your deductible which is usually higher on home policies! Let us review your policy to check for the specific amounts of coverage included.

Moving To An Apartment - Let's say your college student has graduated from the
dorms and moved on to an apartment. If your child is financially independent, your Homeowners Insurance would not cover their belongings and they would need their own Renters Insurance policy.

Renters Insurance is very affordable and covers all of the contents of the property. It also provides liability insurance if someone were injured in the property or if the student caused a fire, etc. By making sure they are properly insured, you are also protecting yourself.

We work hard to make sure all of our clients have the right coverage at all times. The fastest and easiest way to make sure your student is receiving all the discounts they qualify for and that their belongings are covered at college is to schedule a review! Call to review your policy and situation and we'll make sure all of your questions are answered.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

How Long Does An Accident Stay On Your Record?

I hear questions like this a lot.  Tickets and accidents can cause spikes in your car insurance rates and no one wants that.  

The good news is that they eventually drop off and your rate goes back down.  The bad news is that it typically takes 3 years for that to happen.

If you get a ticket, you may be able to avoid having a surcharge on your policy by taking a defensive driving course and getting the ticket removed.  This will depend on your past record and what the court offers, but it is a good option!

If your rates do go up, make sure you are taking advantage of all other discounts to offset the increase.  Bring all of your insurance to one company so you take advantage of multi-policy discounts.  Raise your deductible for a while so you pay more out of pocket in an accident, but a lower monthly rate.  

Have questions?  We're always available to help!  Just give us a call and schedule a free review to see what is available and how we can keep your rates manageable even after an accident.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Car Insurance For Teenagers

Do you have a teenage driver (or one on the way)?  Back to school time is a great opportunity to think about car insurance savings!  

Having a teenage driver can be stressful.  You worry, first and foremost, about their safety and then about the costs.  And there are a lot of costs!  Things like purchasing an additional vehicle, getting licensed, and paying a little more for insurance. 

Fortunately, you still have options.

First you want to think about the vehicle your teen will be driving.  Premiums are higher on vehicles with comprehensive and collision coverage, which pays to fix your vehicle after an accident.  When you have a car that has only liability insurance (which pays only for damage your driver does to someone elses car), you pay a lot less.

If you are purchasing a car for your teen and need to watch your budget, consider buying an older reliable model for cash that will not require comprehensive and collision coverage.  We can help you weigh the cost and the risk to see if it is a good option for you.  

You also want to take advantage of all available discounts.  These vary by policy but typically include a discount for driver's education and one for having good grades.  With school about to start, it's a great time to setup an incentive plan with your teenager to make sure they keep those grades up and your premiums low!  

Still have questions?  Call us to review your current policy and look for ways to help you manage the cost of having a teenage driver.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

August Home Maintenance Tasks

Every month, we share easy tasks you can do to keep your home in tip-top shape all year long.  In August, we still have warm temperatures and a few hot summer days left to enjoy.  So what can you do this month for your home?

Get Rid Of Allergens

Many people suffer from allergies due to dust mites.  But there are ways to rid your home of the dust without spending all day cleaning.  

Look for where dust lurks.  Use a damp cloth to clean all window blinds and fan blades once a month. If you have carpet, make it a priority to vacuum on a regular basis.  These things will get rid of dust and prevent allergies.

Clean The Grill

After a summer of heavy use, make sure your grill is still in good shape.  Heat it up for 10-15 minutes to burn off any residue and then scrub the grill with a wire brush.  Start looking for a grill cover to keep it protected through the winter.

Plan A Fun Labor Day Weekend

Okay this isn't a home maintenance item, but it's still fun!  Labor Day weekend is only a few weeks away.  Why not schedule a cookout or party with family and friends?  

Save on Home Insurance -  

If we don't currently insure your home, call us for a quote today. We'll look for every possible discount without sacrificing important coverage. Great insurance coverage is the best protection you can have!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Life Insurance Is For Those You Love

A lot of people put off purchasing life insurance because it seems like a hassle.  You don’t want to do any sort of medical appointment.  It’s an extra expense.  And, for the most part, you just plain don’t want to think about death.

But life insurance isn’t about you.  It’s about the people you love.  And what better time than now to think about the people you love! 

So let’s get real.  You do a lot for your family and if you have family members who depend on your income, then you need life insurance.  And the sooner, the better.

For one, life insurance is cheaper when you are young and healthy!  With each birthday you’ll see your quote go up unless you lock in a great rate now.  And you don’t want to look for life insurance after you’ve been diagnosed with an illness.   

Another great thing about life insurance is that there are a lot of options.  And we’re here to discuss all of them with you.  You can purchase a policy for the short term or even as a long term investment.  It all depends on how much you can afford to spend and what your family needs are. 

Whatever your situation, sitting down and discussing your needs and budget with an agent is a great first step.  Call us today at 508-347-9343 to set up a free, no-obligation appointment!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

8 Ways To Save on Auto Insurance

Looking for ways to keep your auto insurance premiums manageable?  Here are 9 ways you can save on your insurance (without sacrificing coverage.)

1. Driving Record

Your driving record plays a big role in how much you pay for insurance. By keeping a clean record for 3-5 years, you can save hundreds of dollars! Be a cautious driver, dont speed, and you'll lower your premiums.  

2. Driving Course

Defensive driving courses are an easy way to achieve an extra discount. They can also help keep a ticket from showing up and messing up your clean driving record. Make sure to call us before taking the class if you're using it for a discount so we can verify that your policy qualifies.

3. Anti-Theft Devices

Installing an alarm or other anti-theft device can lower premiums on your vehicle. Make sure to discuss all features with us, sometimes even power locks and a remote can count!

4. Your Credit Score

While insurance uses a different formula then the credit bureaus, your credit still affects the rate you pay. Good credit can save you hundreds (even thousands) on your premiums! Make sure to review your report on a regular basis and have any mistakes corrected.

5. Where You Live

Rural areas pay less for insurance than the big cities do. It's all about risk and with a large population, there is more chance for an accident. Therefore, where you choose to live can impact your rates. Consider visiting with us before purchasing a home if youre concerned about the costs (it is based on the zip code).

6. How Often You Drive

If you take public transportation and only drive on the weekend, you'll pay less than someone with a long commute. Make sure to review your annual mileage and daily commutes with us (especially if they change) so that you can receive the extra savings.

7. Raise Your Deductible

A higher deductible (your out of pocket cost in a claim) means a lower monthly rate. If you have $1000 in savings and could afford to use it if you had an accident, then youll save on your insurance cost by having a $1000 deductible instead of a $250. We can help you review the costs and benefits in your specific situation.

8. Your Agent

And the best way to save? Work with a local agent! You'll get the coverage you need plus you'll have an advocate working on your behalf to find the best rate, all the discounts, and an easy explanation of any gaps in your coverage. It's the #1 way to control your risk, maximize your savings, and protect your family.

We want to be your agent. Call us to discuss your policy today.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

July Home Maintenance Tasks

Regular home maintenance is important and frequently overlooked.  We tend to forget about our HVAC system until it quits working on a hot day!  That's why, we're providing a few simple tasks and reminders you can do each month to keep your home in tip top shape all year long.

Here's where you can get started in July:

Do an energy audit.  Hot weather is a great time to find all the spots in your home where air may be sneaking in.  Plugging those leaks can save as much as 20% on your heating and cooling bills!  

Look at every door and window area for places where you can see daylight through a crack or feel a draft.  Don't forget the mail slot and fireplace too!  If you'd rather use a professional, contact your utility company for a recommendation on a home energy auditor.

Protect your patio furniture.  You probably have all of your nice outdoor furniture in use right now.  Make sure to take a few minutes to clean it each week (and protect it during storms) and it will last for many years.  

Check the tags on pillows and cushions for specific cleaning instructions and regularly hose down the furniture itself. Remember, patio cushions are a favorite place for busy squirrels so try to keep them protected!  

Save on Home Insurance.  If we don't currently insure your home, call us for a quote today.  We'll look for every possible discount and insure that you have all the coverage you need.  Great insurance coverage is the best protection you can have!