earlier this year in March. So what does this mean for YOU, the average consumer?? Now that Farmers has acquired MetLife's property and casualty (Auto, Home, and Umbrella) business, that means we have even more options available to ensure you get the right insurance for your family at the best price!
In addition to having even more options now, we are also able to offer an annual auto policy rather than the standard 6 month policy that many other companies have. That means you get a locked in rate for an entire year and don't have to worry about your rates jumping every 6 months!
This is all part of our desire to be able to help as many Georgians as possible and get you with a full service agency who truly puts you first, not a policy. We take a little extra time on the front end getting everything tailored to your specific needs so that when something happens, you don't have to worry about fighting with your insurance company and can get taken care of in a quick and hassle free manner.
So even if you have gotten a quote from Farmers in the past, now is the time to make sure you still have the best protection at the best rate. We have had some rate changes and now have all new products to be able to show you as well! And although we just launched this week, we have already helped over a dozen families save money on their insurance and we can help you too. So don't wait, because you have nothing to lose by getting an updated quote and some extra money in your pocket every month to gain!
Give us a call at 678-719-0678 today or click/scan the QR code above and we will be able to get to work for you. Have a great weekend and stay safe out there!
We have been talking about this all year, but it is an important change that you as a homeowner need to know. Due to the increased costs for nearly everything in our country right now, we are seeing changes to insurance policies as well as our other essentials in our lives.
One of the main factors on your homeowners insurance policy is the Dwelling Coverage (Coverage A). Also known as the Reconstruction Cost, it is what the insurance company will pay out in the event of a total loss of your home to get it completely rebuilt. It also covers if the home is damaged to get everything fixed, but the main consideration is when a total loss occurs.
Due to increased material and labor rates, I have personally seen the Dwelling coverage increase by nearly $100,000 on a policy for a higher value home which caused a 30% increase on the policy at renewal.
While the Dwelling coverage is not the only factor in increasing rates, it is the largest. Insurance companies across the board have had a high number of claims over the last year with more bad weather causing more damage. So insurance companies also take their losses into consideration when determining their rates.
There are a huge number of factors that go into getting insurance rates that include: Your personal insurance score, claims history, credit score, to the statewide losses, specific zip code data, probability of loss by area and individual information, etc.
Insurance is based on risk pools. And those pools are split into different segments (Auto and Home, Specialty Policies, Commercial, etc.) to try and keep rates as stable as possible while also looking at historical data to make the best prediction on losses and potential claims payouts.
This seems like nothing but doom and gloom and I promise you it is not. But it is important to understand HOW insurance companies get their rating scores so you as the consumer know what to look for and to ask your agent for your policies.
,I found a great article by Farmers Insurance to help go into a little more detail on the increasing homeowners insurance rates that I wanted to share with you. I did not write this article and take no credit for anything within it. But it does have some great details that I thought would be beneficial and my job as a Licensed Insurance Agent and Advisor is to try and spread as much information as I can so you are able to make the best decision for your family's protection.
As a homeowner, you have options. From doing a policy review with your current agent and making sure the specifications of your home are listed correctly to maximizing all the discounts offered can add up to hundreds of dollars or more in savings each year.
And if you would like a free, no obligation review of your current policy feel free to visit app.usecanopy.com/c/stephenturner, stop by in person, or give us a call at 678-719-0678 and we will gladly assist.
Lastly, if you or someone you know is purchasing or re-financing a home then it is the perfect time to see what your options are and ensure that your most valuable asset has the right protection and the right agent for your specific needs!
But these changes have impacted more than just the way we live. It has changed HOW businesses operate. From changing hours to safety regulations that we have never seen before. But these impacts have also changed the way the insurance industry is operating, and it is critical that you know about this so you can understand how to properly protect your family.
Many people have either heard a rumor or wondered how the COVID vaccine might impact your ability to get life insurance. At the present moment, there is nothing in any policy that I have seen that states there are any changes to a life policy whether the person had the vaccine or not. If someone were to unfortunately pass away, their life policy (If they had one) would still pay out. And there are no changes to underwriting when getting a new policy.
Why is this important?
Because whether you have gotten the COVID vaccine or not, you still NEED to have life insurance! And know that you now it doesn't have any impact on your eligibility or payout restrictions, you can get options to fit your unique situation.
This is a very emotional topic for me, and if you will allow me a quick moment I would like to share a personal story of mine:
When I was 16 years old, my aunt was killed in a car accident. She was carpooling with a friend to work just like any other day for her. She was only 2 years away from retiring and her and my uncle had already made plans to travel the country in a camper. But because of the selfishness of someone completely out of their control, that plan was gone in an instant. The driver of the other vehicle in the accident had decided to go fishing after his shift instead of going straight home. He fell asleep at the wheel after fishing and crossed over 2 lanes of traffic hitting my aunt and her co-worker head on at over 50mph. My cousin, who is four years older than me, was in the Army and stationed in Germany at the time. So I was the one who stayed by my uncle's side helping as much as possible with arrangements and everything else.
I was with him the day the life insurance check came in for my aunt, and although he was already retired and had stable income, that check allowed him to focus on what was important, not financial stress with the funeral. He was able to grieve and be with family and remember the great times. I saw this first-hand and will remember that day the rest of my life.
You can see above the AVERAGE cost of a funeral in 2021. But take notice, that does NOT include the Cemetery and Memorial costs. This also does not include any debts that may still be in place such as a mortgage, auto loan, credit cards, personal loan, etc.
The last thing anyone in your family needs is to have the added stress of financial hardship on top of the loss of a loved one.
And life insurance can also be a great investment vehicle to help build value to pay for things like college tuition or retirement. There are a wide variety of products that can all be tailored to fit your specific situation.
But YOU have to take the first step to ensuring your families financial future!
There are many factors that go into the price of a life insurance policy. The main one's are: Age, Amount of Coverage, Length of Coverage, and Medical Conditions.
Fortunately, we have plenty of options for all of these factors. So no matter what your current situation is, we can find something for you. To date, I have never been denied a life policy. We may have had to go to a different carrier, but I have not come across a situation yet that I have not been able to help with.
As a licensed agent and insurance advisor, my only goal is to make sure your family has the financial security they need so they can focus on family after the loss of a loved one. I will find out a little about you and what it would look like to have that financial security so I can go to work for you and look at all the options available.
Depending on your goals and your budget, we will tailor everything until we find the right fit for you. Because life insurance is so specific, you cannot afford to get a 'one-size-fits-all' policy, and that's what I am here for!
So please feel free to call or text me at 678-719-0678, or shoot me an email to email@example.com so we can set up a time to find out your options. And please check out the short video below on life insurance posted by the Insurance Information Institute. It provides some great insight into life insurance and the benefits of having a policy.
The Stephen Turner Agency does not own and did not create this video. All credit is given to the Insurance Information Institute. Video source: https://www.iii.org/video/the-is-on-insurance-life-insurance
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Once those filings have been reviewed and signed off, you will start seeing higher auto and home rates at your next renewal. When any insurance company starts paying out more in claims there typical response is to increase rates for new and existing customers. Typically the existing customer will see a smaller increase than a new customer switching over to that carrier, but there is still going to be a state-wide level increase regardless.
What can you do about these increases?
The best thing to do is start shopping your rates around to make sure you are still getting the best possible price AND coverage for your specific situation.
**A warning I will give you, as I have seen it hundreds of times over the last 18 months, is to not get fooled into slashing your coverage's when switching carriers.**
When you get a quote, the safest thing you can do is to have your current declaration pages available to compare with. Since the onset of COVID, so many people have dropped from 100/300 in liability coverage ($100,000 per person/$300,000 per occurrence) to the state minimum of 25/50 in Georgia. Whether the agent who wrote that policy explained that to you or not is a big deal for two reasons.
We take protecting families seriously. And our role is to be an advisor, not a salesperson. We find out what your specific needs are and make sure to give you options based on that, not a 'one-size-fits-all' policy that could leave you vulnerable. Additionally, if we are not the best fit right now, we will be the first ones to say so. No slimy sales tactics or high pressure junk. Because in the insurance world we know that just because it may not be the best right now, doesn't mean it never will. As your life and situation changes so do your insurance needs, and we are here to serve you and show you the level of service you should have been receiving all along from your agent.
Being a veteran, my first concern is treating people right and at the very least explaining how your policies work so you walk away with a better understanding. If we are able to help you and are entrusted with protecting your family, you become part of our family. And there is nothing on this earth that will stop me from making sure you get treated the way you should and are taken care of when you need us the most. So please feel free to reach out anytime and we will gladly answer any questions you may have and even give you a free policy review so you know what your current policies cover (and more importantly, what they DON'T).
Want to make sure you have the right protection for you family? Call us today at 678-719-0678 or click or scan the QR code below to get a free quote. We make sure everything is set up correctly up front so you never have to worry when something happens!
You have nothing to lose. So get your quote today and see the level of service you should be receiving from your insurance agent!
Making sure that people have the RIGHT protection for their families is the most important thing we do. Whether we are your current agent or not, we will provide a FREE, unbiased review of your current policies to let you know where you stand.
We will break down the areas that are good and point out any potential gaps in your coverage that could lead to a lot of money out of pocket if you have to file a claim. Not all agents or policies are created equal, and your unique situation needs to be addresses so you make sure you don't have a 'one-size-fits-all' policy.
Serving Georgians and treating people the way we would treat our own family is how we operate. But with all the accidents that happen each day, our biggest fear is that so many people don't know what coverages they have and could end up in a financial hardship over one bad day. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose by having a better understanding of your insurance. So get your free policy review today and know your family is properly protected!
Nobody wants to pay more for insurance than they have to. So today we are going to take a look at auto insurance discounts to make sure you are maximizing your savings without compromising your protection!
There are various types of discounts you can add on to your auto policy. Some apply for the entire policy, and some apply to specific coverages (Such as liability, collision, etc.). Depending on your specific situation, you need to talk with your agent about the discounts that they offer. Below is a short list (Not complete since some carriers offer unique discounts that others may not have) of auto discounts and a brief description so you can see the requirements for each.
Paid In Full Discount: You get this discount when you pay your auto policy premium for the full 6 months (or 12 months if applicable).
EFT Discount: This discount applies when you set up your policy for automatic payments with a Bank Account and Routing Number. (This shows the insurance company that your payments will not be a problem and that they will automatically draft vs a monthly non-eft plan where you are required to make a manual payment or call your agent each month to make the payment. The chances of missing a payment with auto draft is far less likely, so you get a discount for that!)
Bundle Discounts: This are typically the largest discount available on an auto policy, and when you bundle your home insurance with your auto it can give you upwards of a 20% discount on both policies! But the bundle discount also applies to other types of policies, such as Renters Insurance, Life, Boats, Motorcycles, Travel Trailer/RV, Rental Home, Umbrella, Business, and more. The discount varies by policy type for the bundle, but in almost all cases you save overall when you bundle your policies together.
Early Shopper Discount: Not all insurance companies will offer this discount. But for those who do, you typically get a discount when you get a quote and it is not set to go into effect for 7 days or more in the future. (Insurance companies like people who plan ahead. It shows that you are responsible and are less likely to 'jump ship' at a moments notice. While every agent would love to retain your business forever, we understand that is not the case. But by taking the time to look at your options and ensuring you are getting the right coverages, it shows that you understand the value of your policies and you will most likely stay longer as long as your agent is doing their part and providing you with the value you deserve. **You still get the Early Shopper Discount even if you purchase the policy the same day, but the effective date needs to be for 7 days out, which gives you time to cancel your policies with your current carrier and give you a smooth transition to your new agency.)
Homeowner Discount: Many carriers offer a discount just for owning a home, even if you don't bundle the home policy with your auto. Make sure to let your agent know if you own a home. (Some carriers may require proof of ownership such as mortgage statement, county tax assessor verification, etc.)
Paperless Policy Discount: This will apply when you elect to receive policy documents and notifications via email, saving the insurance company on postage and saving you on premium. But this discount is typically one of the most difficult ones to keep on a policy in my experience. That is because it requires the client (You) to go online and create an account on your carriers website to acknowledge the terms and conditions. It is not a difficult process, but many agents don't have a great onboarding process for new clients and it gets forgotten until it falls off and then you call in upset that your rates went up. So make sure to ask your agent what you need to do to keep the Paperless Policy Discount on your policy, because it will vary by company.
Safe Driver/Good Driver Discount: This typically applies when you do not have any accidents or tickets within the last 3 years. It shows insurance companies that you are a lower risk and the chances of having to pay out on a claim is less than someone who has had one of those more recently.
Defensive Driver Discount: This is the longest running discount for any auto policy, but the requirements vary by carrier. Some may require an in-person course, and some will allow certain online courses. The Defensive Driver Discount gives you a percentage off the Bodily Injury, Property Damage, Uninsured/Underinsured, and Collision coverage's. But the best part is that this discount stays on your policy for 3 years, so I recommend everyone getting that added!
Good Student Discount: This discount helps those still in high school or college who carry a 3.0 GPA or better. You will be required to submit a proof of grades to verify the GPA.
Telematics Discounts: I saved this one for last because there are soooo many different telematics programs in insurance these days. Phone apps, devices you plug into your car, and others make this a hard topic to discuss but are still a viable option to maximize your discounts. Some offer higher discounts for youthful (16-24 years old) drivers, some may impact your rate negatively for bad driving behavior, some don't have negative impacts, and some are just too difficult to use. It is worth having a conversation with your agent to find out details about the telematics program your company offers and see if it is a good fit for you!
Like I said, this would be a short list of the most common auto policy discounts. Every insurance company has their own quirks and requirements, but you should always make sure that you are getting the best deal on your insurance and that you have an agent who truly puts you first. We would love the opportunity to earn your business, and by clicking the button below we can put together a quote and at least present some options for you! Either it is a great fit and we can help (Yay), or it's not a good fit right now and you are already getting the best deal (Win-Win for you).
You have nothing to loose. So get your quote today and see the level of service you should be receiving from your insurance agent!
Most people understand the concept of renters insurance. It covers your Personal Property (Clothes, Furniture, Electronics, etc.) at the residence you are renting. Whether you are renting an apartment or a home, there are a few key details you need to understand so you know you are properly protected.
First, in almost all cases a landlord is going to require that you have renters insurance in your lease. And once you sign this lease it becomes a legally binding agreement. This means, however unlikely, that you could potentially be evicted if you do not have a renters policy in place because you are not sticking to the agreement you signed. But why is this? Because when a landlord gets an insurance policy for the rental home/apartment, one of the application questions that determines their rates is if they require all of their tenants to have a renters policy. Depending on the carrier, they may be required to show proof of this to get a better rate for their policy. So if you do not carry renters insurance, they cannot give proof and then their rates increase also. But the landlords policy, whether you live in an apartment or a home, does NOT cover your personal belongings. The landlords insurance policy covers the structure itself and a small amount for THEIR personal property (Appliances, etc.). So if something happens the home/apartment would be rebuilt, but if you did not have a renters policy you would be out thousands of dollars to replace all your items inside the home.
Second, renters insurance policies have other coverages besides personal property built in. One of those is the Liability protection. This amount is typically set at $100,000 or $300,000 and provides coverage to you in the event of a lawsuit or wrongdoing on your part. The most common thing we see is a fire or water damage at an apartment complex due to negligence that results in multiple units being damaged. When this happens, the Liability coverage of your policy would kick in to not only replace your belongings, but also those of the other units that were affected in addition to paying out if they had to rent somewhere else why their apartment was being repaired and for the damages to the building itself. If you don't have a renters policy in place with Liability protection, you could be taken to court with multiple lawsuits and have a judgement placed against you for not being able to pay the reparation's to everyone injured.
*I also need to note that if you have $100,000 in Liability protection, that runs out quickly. Think about the amount of property you have inside your home. On average, it's typically between $15,000 - $30,000 per apartment worth of belongings. So if you are at fault and cause damage to 2 or 3 other units, that is already $45,000 - $90,000 in just personal property liability before the cost of the damages that need to be repaired and the amount that the other 2 or 3 families will have to spend renting somewhere else until the can get back into their apartment. So do not take the Liability portion of any insurance policy lightly, because one bad day can lead to financial devastation very quickly!
Lastly, renters insurance also provides Loss of Use coverage. This provides monetary compensation to you, the insured, whenever you need to rent somewhere else due to your residence not being livable. In the example above about liability, if the other party is at fault you can file it against their insurance. But with a large claim such as this it may take time for them to investigate and get all the details to begin paying out from their policy, if they even have one. So you may be forced to either pay out of pocket to be able to have a roof over your head immediately or file a claim on your policy and let your carrier subrogate (Go after the other insurance company once the claim is settled). Worst case scenario, the person who caused the damages does not have any insurance. What then? You will need to file a claim to get your property replaced and a place to live until your home is livable again. And in that case you have legal options as well, which I will not get into because I am not a lawyer and would never want to give false or misleading info.
As a parting note, it is also important to note that in many instances the cost of the renters insurance is completely covered by getting a bundle discount with your auto policy. For example, just having your auto policy might be $130/month. With a renters insurance bundle your auto policy decreases to $115-$120/month with the discount added. And if your renters policy is between $10-$20/month, then you are either saving a few dollars a month AND getting your Personal Property and Liability protected, or you may only be paying an additional $3-$5/month to have all that additional coverage which is a no brainer. At the very least, you need to get all your options and see how having a renters policy will affect your auto insurance. You have to have both anyways in 90% of the cases we deal with!
While this is only a brief snapshot of a renters policy, I hope it opens your eyes to the importance of having a policy of your own. Typically a renters insurance policy runs between $12-$20 per month. Less than a dollar a day, or about 3 less coffee's a month ensures your belongings are covered, you are protected if someone files a lawsuit against you, and you can still have a roof over your head in the event something happens to the place you are renting. Every carrier will have their own nuances in the policy wording, so if you don't have a current policy give us a call to get a free quote today. And if you do already have a policy, ask your agent for the policy jacket or full policy terms and definitions so you can ensure you have the right coverage in place for your specific needs!
Now that you know some of the reasons why you should have renters insurance, call us today at 678-719-0678 or click below to get a free quote. It only takes a few quick minutes to get the protection and peace of mind you deserve!
CNBC published a great article about the rising construction cost prices, namely lumber, that is impacting homeowners insurance prices. When this story was published in February of this year, lumber had already gone up 112% in price since February of 2020. Due to these issues, reconstruction costs of homes are increasing and leaving insurance carriers to have to step up the Coverage A (Dwelling Coverage) limits on home policies. The Dwelling Coverage is the limit used when your home either needs to be repaired or re-built, and if this limit is not sufficient to cover a full re-build from the ground up, that leaves the policyholder (YOU) with a gap that would have to be paid out of pocket!
Check out the article and see how lumber prices are affecting multiple aspects of the real estate industry as well as your insurance.
After you have finished reading this article, find out how the Stephen Turner Agency can help you and get an agent who truly cares about you!
Came across a very interesting article by the Insurance Information Institute (iii) about life insurance and some pretty surprising facts associated with it. Here is a small excerpt: "Half the population estimate the cost of life insurance at more than three-times the actual cost." Find out some more wrong assumptions and important aspects about life insurance by reading the article (Link below). But please don't let your family remain in harm's way because you THINK the cost is too high to provide the financial security that is so critical after the loss of a loved one!
After you have finished reading this article, find out how the Stephen Turner Agency can help you and get an agent who truly cares about you!
Over the last 15 or so months COVID-19 has had a substantial impact on our lives. In addition to the concerns for our family's safety there are also many other things changing that people may be unaware of. Insurance is one of the industries that has been changing to combat the effects of COVID. Some for the better, and some that could leave you open to lawsuits or serious out of pocket costs! That's why we wanted to take a few minutes and go over some highlights of what may be happening to you so you stay up to date and don't find out about these changes when you have to file a claim (The worst possible time). This is not to bash any company or agent out there, but merely some information for you to ensure that your family stays protected. We do not believe in bad-mouthing others, so this is all general industry changes, and if you are concerned with any of the points below we suggest you contact your current agent and have a discussion about your specific policy with them!
While there are many other changes that have occurred, I wanted to at least give you the highlights so you could try to take some time to review your current policies. No matter who you are with it is more important that you and your family are PROPERLY protected. That's all I care about. Being a licensed agent is something I take a lot of pride in, and my goal is to try and give a level of service that one would expect from a licensed professional. Not a meaningless, price based transaction. Your agent should WANT to know about you and your family so they can offer the guidance that is expected of them. Insurance is an intricate field that most people don't understand (Hence why you have an agent). And many people with transactional agents don't realize that they aren't properly protected until it's too late.
Just like in every industry, there are good and bad people. Don't think that every insurance agent is the same and wants the best for you. Some are just trying to meet quotas and some are never at the office to assist you when you need it. But there are plenty of great agents out there who take pride in what they do and genuinely want to help. It may take a little time to do your research and find a good agent, but the amount of time and stress that will be saved when you have to file a claim with a correctly written policy and an agent who cares will more than make up for that!
Agency Owner - Farmers Insurance
If you would like to see if we can help you or just want some additional options when searching for insurance, we would love to give you a quote. Your families protection is what matters, and that is our highest priority!
This blog will have articles written by members of the Stephen Turner Agency as well as other relevant articles we find. We want to ensure you have the most up to date info on the insurance industry so you can make the best choices for your family!