Insurance Bundling vs. Umbrella Insurance

Insurance is a great way to have peace of mind that when something goes wrong, you have some sort of monetary coverage. There are so many kinds of insurance policies available. Car, motorcycle, home, jewelry – the list goes on. But not every policy offers total coverage and depending on your needs, you may need several. That’s where insurance bundling comes in. But if you bundle, do you still need a personal umbrella policy to make up the difference? Let’s take a closer look.

 

What is bundling?

Insurance bundling is when you purchase multiple types of insurance policies from the same provider. This way, all your insurance policies are in one place, making it more convenient and less complicated. For example, if you have home, car, and motorcycle insurance from the same provider, you only have one number to call to deal with any questions or claims. This also helps save you money since most insurance providers will offer a discount for bundling. You can expect significant discounts the more policies you bundle.

What is Umbrella Insurance?

An umbrella policy is a bit different than the other policies you probably hold. When you purchase umbrella insurance, it covers the amount above the limit set in your individual policies such as home, auto, boat etc. Umbrella insurance is extra insurance that provides protection beyond existing limits and coverages of other policies. It doesn’t just cover you, but also the other members of your household. It’s relatively inexpensive compared to other policies.

Do you still need an Umbrella policy if you bundle your insurance?

Even with insurance bundling, an umbrella policy will protect your assets in the event of a liability claim when your primary policy limits are exhausted. Insurance bundling saves you money and makes handling your policies convenient, but it doesn’t provide you with extra coverage.

 

Have questions about insurance bundling or interested in purchasing an umbrella policy? We can answer all your insurance-related questions. Give us a call and we’ll get you the right coverage today!

The Benefits of Bundling Your Insurance

Between your car, your home, your boat, or anything else valuable you may own, there’s a lot of insurance policies to keep track of. Insurance bundling offers a way to purchase several policies from the same provider. This has multiple benefits that we’ll explore in this blog. Read on to learn more.

 

Saving Money

The number one reason many customers decide to bundle their insurance policies is the discounts. Many insurance providers offer significant discounts – sometimes up to 25% off! – for bundling certain policies. This can save you a large amount of money over time. The more policies you’ll need, the more money you could save! We also have the ability to bundle with multiple insurance companies which gives you additional flexibility with your coverage options.

Convenience

It’s hard to keep track of normal day-to-day life, let alone all the different insurance companies you’d have to keep track of if all your policies were separate. It’s nice to know if you have a question or need to file a claim for anything, you know what company to call. This can make things a whole lot easier, especially if you need to file a claim with more than one policy. It also means your insurance agency is more aware of your insurance needs and can make helpful suggestions along the way if you ever need a change to a policy.

Stability

If you have to file multiple claims, say in the event of a fire or some sort of accident, you could be at risk of being dropped by your insurance company. However, if you bundle your insurance through that company and have several policies, they are less likely to drop you as a customer due to a single claim event. In a sense, bundling your insurance makes you a VIP customer.

 

Are you interested in bundling your insurance? We offer several different ways to do so and have been bundling insurance for 31 years. Give Leigh Agency a call today and we’ll be sure to get you all the policies you need at the best price.

What to do Before a Tropical Storm or Hurricane

Getting a tropical storm or hurricane warning can be terrifying, and it may be overwhelming to know how to prepare. The main thing is to keep yourself and your family safe. Here are some things to consider when preparing for a tropical storm or hurricane.

 

Keep Covid Restrictions in Mind

The pandemic has changed the way we do everything, even preparing for a storm. Since certain items may be in short supply or not available, plan when stocking supplies. The best way to build up an adequate supply of water, food, and essentials to use in case of a storm is to do so gradually throughout the year. Buy things when they’re on sale and save them, or just get one or two extra things during your weekly grocery shopping trip. You should also keep track of Covid related restrictions at local shelters and safe centers. They may need to limit capacity or enforce certain rules.

Have an Evacuation Kit Prepared

If a tropical storm or hurricane comes your way, you may need to evacuate your home. Assume you will be evacuated and prepare accordingly. This includes important documents and phone numbers. Also, home and auto insurance policies and contact information. In addition, be sure to pack essentials like a change of clothes, medicines, soap, and hygiene products.

Develop an Evacuation Plan

Waiting until the last minute to plan how you are going to evacuate your home is never a good idea. Develop an evacuation plan. What are you going to do with your pets? Where will you go? How will you get there? What route will you take? Do you have an alternative route if roads are closed? These are all questions to consider while formulating your evacuation plan. Make sure everyone in your household knows the plan and has their own evacuation kit and supplies packed.

 

As we come into our 31st season of helping people find the best coverage, be sure to check in with Leigh Agency for all your storm-related insurance needs!

Why You Need Jewelry Coverage

You have an insurance policy for almost everything of value in your home, right? How about your jewelry? Most people assume that if your jewelry is damaged or stolen it would be covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy. But unfortunately, this is not always the case. In cases where there is no separate jewelry coverage, a jewelry loss would be paid under your home contents limit and subject to the deductible you have on your homeowner’s policy, which may be higher than the value of the jewelry. Jewelry coverage gives you the peace of mind that your valuable or sentimental pieces will be monetarily covered in the event of a disaster or theft. Read on to learn more.

 

How do you know if you need jewelry coverage?

If you’re unsure if you need to purchase jewelry insurance for your valuables, consider these questions:

  • Would you be devastated by the sentimental loss if your jewelry was lost?
  • Would you be able to afford to replace the items if they were stolen?
  • Would you be at risk of having your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance rates go up if you made jewelry claims under your main policy?

The answers to these questions should help further explain when specialty jewelry insurance may be something to consider.

Will your jewelry be covered if you lose it?

Yes. If one of your insured pieces is lost, it is covered up to the limit assigned on your policy. Even if you lose your wedding ring at the beach and you know it’s in the sand or water somewhere, it’s still covered.

Is damage included in jewelry coverage?

Yes. For example, if during a typical day of wear you hit your diamond ring on the side of the counter by accident and lose a stone or damage a prong, those are covered. Accidents happen, and it’s nice to have peace of mind knowing you’ll be able to fix or replace your valuable piece of jewelry.

 

Interested in purchasing a specialty jewelry policy or just want to know more? Give us a call. We can help you get the coverage you need.

Moving Tips

Moving from one home to another is quite an exhausting process. But with a little planning and organizing, it doesn’t have to be as strenuous as you think. Here are some moving tips to make it all a bit easier.

 

Start Decluttering Months in Advance

Sometimes plans to move happen quickly and suddenly. But most of the time, moving is a long process that is months and months in the making. As soon as you know you’ll be moving, or planning to move, you should start decluttering. Spend a couple hours every week going through closets and cabinets and tossing all the things you no longer need. Donate, sell, give away, whatever makes sense. But just be sure to get rid of things that you will not need to take with you. That way, when it’s time to pack, you’ll only be spending time on the things you need.

Create a Moving Checklist

Besides the actual physical act of moving your stuff from one place to another, there’s a lot of other things involved in the moving process. You’ll need to rent a truck, or hire movers, change addresses on your bills, get new keys made, buy new appliances, set delivery dates, etc. All these things can be overwhelming to keep track of. That’s why it’s crucial to start making a checklist as soon as you have a date for your move.

Get Your Boxes Way Ahead of Time

There’s nothing more frustrating than being ready to move but not having any boxes available to pack. Start putting the word out that you’ll need boxes and make sure you have the amount you’ll need. Reusing old boxes is economical but be sure they are still sturdy enough to use.

Start Packing

Never leave packing till the last minute. Set a timer and start packing for an hour a day as soon as you have boxes available. Start with the heavier objects like home decor and books, then make your way to the easier things.

 

Hopefully these tips will make the moving process a bit easier. Happy moving!

How to Avoid Distracted Driving

Driving while distracted is a major contributor to automobile accidents in the United States. There are simple ways to cut down on distractions while driving. Safety for yourself, your passengers, and other drivers on the road should be your number one priority. Here are some tips to avoid distractions while on the road.

 

Keep Your Phone Away from Sight

Cellphones are a major factor in losing concentration while driving. It is why many states have banned cell phone use while driving. In New Jersey, it is against the law to use your phone while driving, and hands-free devices are required. While driving, you should always put safety first, so consider keeping your phone out of reach and out of sight. Placing your phone in a purse or the glove box can take away all temptation to check. Most smartphones have driving modes or settings that will turn off all notifications and disable texting so you can focus on the road.

Avoid Complicated Radio Functions

Trying to program channels or adjust audio settings can be completely disorienting while driving. Make it a habit to set up your music or listening material as soon as you get in your car. Keying up a playlist or a podcast, so it is all ready to go before you even leave your driveway, is a smart way to stay safe while being able to enjoy your music or news.

Teach Your Kids Passenger Safety

Be sure to educate your kids and young passengers on the importance of safety while driving. Explaining that loud noises, throwing toys, yelling, or fighting in the car can be very distracting and dangerous to the driver. Kids will be kids, but if they understand beforehand, you may be able to cut down on at least a little bit of mayhem.

 

Avoiding distracted driving is an important part of staying safe while on the road. Happy driving!

Spring Home Maintenance Suggestions

Spring cleaning time is here! The warm weather and fresh flowers bring an urge to refresh everything in your home. So now is the perfect time to get ahead on those home maintenance projects that couldn’t get done in the winter. Here are some spring home maintenance suggestions to get you through the next couple of months.

 

Clean Your Gutters

Winter storms bring a lot of gunk and debris that end up in your gutters. Any leaves leftover from the fall that are still caught in your gutters could clog in your entire system. Clogged gutters cause damage to any wood trim and can create rot or weak areas of your home where critters could get in.

Test Your Sprinkler System

If you have sprinklers or an irrigation system, Spring is the perfect time to test it. Make sure your sprinklers haven’t sustained any damage over the cold months. Check to see if your sprinklers are pointing in the right direction and heads are working properly.

Check for Cracks on Your Driveway

Cold temps, snow, and ice can all cause cracks and other damage to your driveway, walkways, and sidewalks. Driveway repair companies almost always offer specials in the Spring, so consider hiring a professional.

Check Window and Door Seals

The winter can wreak havoc on the seals around your windows and doors. The lack of a proper seal can result in much higher energy bills by your AC working extra hard. Water could also leak through and cause damage to your windows, doors, and walls.

 

Spring is the perfect time to check off those home maintenance projects, so your house is ready for spring and summer. While you are at it, give us a call to make sure your homeowner’s insurance policy is up to date.

Things You Should Know About Flood Insurance

You may think you only need flood insurance if you live in an area by the water. You don’t have to live on or by the shore to be in a flood zone. In fact, flood zones are everywhere, including landlocked subdivisions. An estimated 41 million Americans live in flood zones all across the country. Therefore, it is essential to be prepared before a flood with the proper amount of insurance. Here are the things you should know about flood insurance before talking to your agent.

 

Binding Suspension

Purchasing flood insurance usually comes with strict rules. This is so there isn’t a rush of policy purchases in the middle of the storm. When shopping for flood insurance, you’ll be told of your agency’s “binding suspension rule”. A binding suspension rule exists for most flood insurance policies. They are usually worded something like this:

No application for new coverage or endorsement for increased coverage may be bound, written or issued, or monies received, regardless of effective date, when a tropical depression, tropical storm, hurricane watch, or hurricane warning has been issued by the National Weather Service.”

All this fancy wording means is that you can’t increase your coverage when a tropical storm or hurricane is known to be on its way. For this reason, it’s critical to get adequate coverage before unexpected weather hits.

Waiting Periods

When you purchase flood insurance there is a 30-day waiting period before any damage is covered. Once this waiting period is complete your policy “starts”.

 

Whether you live in a flood zone or near one, it’s time to purchase flood insurance. And it is best to do it now instead of waiting for the next storm. If you’re unsure what you need, our experienced agents can help you out and walk you through the process. Give us a call today to get your policy in place.

Your Homeowners Insurance

The year 2020 has caused many of us to transform our homes into offices, schools and more.   Since you and your family are spending more time online, you should consider carrying cyber liability coverage to protect your personal or business information.

Many of us took advantage of being home to improve or modify our homes to accommodate our new circumstances.  Do you need to update your homeowners coverages?  Did you turn a garage or basement into an office or schoolroom?  Did you put an addition on your home?  Did you remodel a kitchen or bathroom?  Did you add a pool?  Did the value of your home increase because of these or because home values in your area increased?

With all the home remodeling going on and the national catastrophes, the cost of labor and materials has increased.  That means that in case of a loss it will cost more to repair the damage so make sure your policy has replacement cost coverage.

If you serve on any boards as a volunteer or paid member, make sure that organization carries a Directors & Officers insurance policy.

These are some of the things you should discuss with your insurance agent to make sure you have the right coverages for your protection.  Call the Leigh Agency today and let us help you have peace of mind.

Insuring Jewelry and Other Valuables

Whether you have an impressive jewelry collection or just have one or two valuable pieces you want to make sure they are protected in case of the unexpected. Some jewelry might be covered under your homeowners’ policy. But if you own a particularly valuable piece of jewelry, or one that carries very sentimental value, your coverage may be lacking. Here is a little information on insuring your jewelry and other valuables.

 

Inventory

You or your insurance company will have no idea what the value of all your jewelry is until you do a thorough inventory and appraisal check. This takes a little homework on your part. You will need to make a list of all the items you are insuring and their current market value. You would need this information anyway while making a claim or filling out a police report in the event of theft. An easy and efficient way to do this is to create a list with each piece of jewelry listed and its corresponding monetary value. You should include photos of the items as well.  Physical photographs should be kept separately, along with receipts and any certificates of stone quality. It is also recommended that you should store a paper copy of your list or spreadsheet with these records.

Appraisal

What if you do not know the value of your jewelry? That is where a professional appraisal would come in. Some jewelry stores provide free appraisals for current or past customers, so be sure to keep that in mind. Keep all records of your professional appraisals with your existing records.

Check Your Policies

Contact the Leigh Agency and ask about your existing homeowners or renters insurance policy. You may have existing blanket coverage for your jewelry or specific coverage on certain pieces. Ask us about additional riders to cover specific high-cost items.

 

At Leigh Agency, we can help you find the perfect coverage for your jewelry or valuables. We also work with an insurance company who specializes only in jewelry coverage. Give us a call with any questions today!