Monthly Archives: January 2014

Be Sure to Take Preventive Measures When Driving This Winter

Accidents can happen at any time when you are behind the wheel of your vehicle, but they most often occur in winter.  While the hazardous road conditions can play a large role in causing accidents, not being properly prepared for winter driving is a contributing factor, as well.  Keeping your vehicle in optimal condition is vital to operating it safely when weather or road conditions turn daily commutes or shopping trips into potentially perilous outings.

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Source: Weather Channel

Having your vehicle winterized is an important step in making sure it can be safely operated when winter makes its appearance.  This would include topping off all the fluids, checking the tread on your tires or putting on snow tires, making sure your car’s heater is working properly, and possibly changing your coolant to an antifreeze that is rated well for low temperatures.  Other preventive measures you can take could include putting a snow and ice scraper in your car, checking the condition of your wiper blades and replacing them if necessary, and ensuring that your defroster is working as it should.

Your driving habits also play a role in minimizing the possibility of accidents when you are on the road.  Inclement weather requires that you make adjustments in the way you drive, like allowing more room between you and the vehicles in front of you, slowing down earlier for turns, and decreasing your traveling speed.

Make sure you are prepared for the unexpected by having your auto insurance policy evaluated.  Our agents here at Schumacher Insurance Group can go over your auto insurance policy with you to be sure it gives you the protection you require at a rate you can afford.  Contact us today to find out more about getting the right auto insurance coverage to fit your needs!

Self Employed? Use These 3 Tips for Your Own Insurance

There are several benefits to being self-employed and seemingly very few drawbacks, but people often consider one of the biggest disadvantages to be the fact that you are responsible for obtaining your own personal insurance coverage.  While being able to select your own personal insurance options means that you are in complete control of your choices, it can also mean higher premiums and more hassle if you aren’t prepared for the process.

Don’t let the potential obstacles of obtaining personal insurance stand in your way when you are self-employed.  Here are three tips to help you make the selection process easier when it’s time to pick your coverage:

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Source: Free Digital Photos

  1. Make sure you comparison shop first.  Don’t choose the first policy that crosses your desk and assume it’s the best one.
  2. Consider combining multiple insurance plans with one provider so you can obtain discounts that many agencies offer for multi-policy clients.
  3. More policy options usually mean higher rates, so evaluate your needs and get a policy that provides exactly what you need without numerous extras that often cost more without ever being used or needed.

Here at Schumacher Insurance Group, we are an independent insurance agency with access to plans and policy options from several different major carriers.  We can work closely with you to select an insurance plan that provides all the coverage you want and need at a rate that won’t break the bank.

Contact us today and speak with one of our professional agents to learn more about how we can help you find the best insurance options to meet your budget and your needs.

Make Sure the Project for Your Small Business is Safe With a Surety Bond

If your company is planning to have any construction projects completed in the coming year, make sure your project is backed by a surety bond.

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Source: Free Digital Photos

Ideal for small businesses, surety bonds provide protection for contract work and projects in the event of a contractor default.  Surety bonds are provided by surety agents or independent insurance providers, and part of the bond’s provisions is that a replacement contractor will be selected to complete your projects if your original contractor cannot do so for a variety of reasons.

One of the reasons why a surety bond is also suited to the needs of a small business is because some contracts require financial guarantees that can reach into the millions of dollars.  A surety bond gives the assurance of project completion to the company that is contracting the work to be done, enabling a small business to compete for project bids and contracts on equal footing with larger companies that have deeper pockets or less limited financial resources.

Don’t let the lack of a surety bond keep your company from securing project and contract work that you are capable of performing!  Our professional agents here at Schumacher Insurance Group can help you obtain surety bonds for different contract and project bids or assignments.  We can give you the bond backing you need to stay competitive in an already fierce market, so contact us today to find out more about obtaining a surety bond through Schumacher.

3 Benefits of Combining Auto and Home Insurance Policies

If you are like most people, you have several different insurance policies for a variety of things in your life.  These policies could include renter’s or homeowner’s insurance, health or life insurance, or even a policy to cover your car, motorcycle, boat, or recreational vehicle.

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During your acquisition of these various items and their associated insurance policies, you may not have thought about having all your policies combined and provided through one insurance agency or carrier.

When you have your home and auto insurance, or any other important policies, combined and issued through one agency, there are several benefits for you.

One Agency, One Point of Contact:  Having multiple policies through one agency gives you one point of contact for all your insurance questions and needs.  This allows you to build a solid rapport with your insurance agent and fosters a greater sense of trust and peace of mind.

Making Changes is Easier:  One agency providing all your insurance policies allows you to make changes to your various plan options with much less hassle.  Your agent may also be able to give you information relating to other discounts and combination policy benefits that you wouldn’t know of otherwise if your policies were spread out among several companies.

Save Money on Policy Premiums:  Combining your policies through one agency is a great way to save money.  Most major carriers and independent agencies offer multi-policy discounts to people who have more than one policy thorough their agency.

Schumacher Insurance Group is an independent agency with access to insurance policies through several major carriers, so we can help you get the affordable coverage you need for all the important things in your life.  Contact us today to learn more about your insurance options and how combining policies can benefit you!

Have a Young Driver? 3 Tips for Insuring Your Teenage Driver

Young drivers often have the highest insurance rates, primarily because they are considered more of a “risk” than older drivers due to more volatile habits behind the wheel.  Insuring teenage drivers can therefore be a costly undertaking unless you take steps to ensure that you are obtaining the lowest possible rates when securing an insurance policy.  Here are a few ways to make sure a teenage driver is able to get the best rates for their car insurance coverage:

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  1. Have safety features installed on your vehicle if it did not come with them.  This would include things like an active alarm system or a passive anti-theft device, which can lower the insurance premiums.
  2. Pay attention to the kind of car your teen will be driving (and will be insured for).  Certain vehicle types have higher rates because they are a specific color, get pulled over more often, are designated as a sports or high performance car, or get stolen more frequently.  If the vehicle that will be driven is considered a “high risk” vehicle, the insurance rates will naturally be higher.
  3. Be a conscientious driver and apply defensive driving strategies to reduce the number of incidents and tickets that are on your record.  The more violations that accrue on a driving record, the higher the insurance premiums.

When you are ready to start shopping for car insurance for your teenage driver, Schumacher Insurance Group can meet all your needs.  As an independent insurance agency, we have access to the policies and plans offered by many different major carriers, enabling us to provide you with the options you need at the lowest possible rates.  Contact us today to learn more!

5 Reasons to Insure Your Vehicle With a Local Agent

Getting car insurance can sometimes be a hassle, and trying to submit claims is a frustrating experience.  This is why you should obtain your car insurance coverage through a local agent, rather than a national provider with no nearby physical locations.  Here are five reasons to insure your vehicle with a local agent:

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  1. A local agent provides you with a real person you can speak to directly about your coverage options.
  2. Dealing with a local agent lets you establish a more personal relationship with your agent, which gives you a greater feeling of trust and rapport.
  3. Local agents can sometimes work more closely with you to find policy discounts and other financial benefits when choosing your insurance coverage.
  4. When you have questions, a local agent is more able to provide you with immediate and contextually relevant answers than an agent that you only have access to over the telephone.
  5. A local agent can act as a liaison between you and the main office when claims arise, by making telephone calls to obtain updates on your behalf.

Don’t deal with an automated insurance system or a long-distance agent if you don’t have to!  Let our agents here at Schumacher Insurance Group discuss your car insurance options and work with you find the plans and policies that best fit your needs.  Contact us today to learn more about obtaining insurance through a local independent insurance agency.

Prevent Winter Ice and Snow Damage to Your Home With These 3 Tips

Your home is one of your biggest investments, and winter can often deal the harshest damage to a house.  Taking care of your home is therefore essential to protecting it and making sure it weathers the winter storms with as little damage as possible.  Here are a few home insurance tips to help you get through the roughest season of the year:

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Source: Free Digital Photos

  1. Make sure you keep snow and ice build-up cleared from your roof.  A snow pack on the roof can thaw and refreeze several times as the temperature fluctuates, and the resulting ice can cause damage to your roof, and even seep into your attic and walls.
  2. If you have plumbing that runs through unheated parts of your home, such as a garage or sub-floor crawlspace, the pipes need to be well-insulated to prevent damage from freezing water.  While it can slightly increase your water bill for the month, you may want to let a slow trickle of water continuously flow through your pipes to minimize the change of freezing.
  3. If there are any trees with low-hanging branches that sit directly beside your house, you may want to consider trimming the branches back.  Heavy ice and snow build-up can break tree branches, which could fall onto your house and cause damage to the roof, siding, or windows.

Make sure your homeowner’s insurance policy is up-to-date and provides you with the protection your home needs.  Our agents at Schumacher Insurance Group can go over your policy with you and provide you with valuable home insurance tips to keep your biggest investment safe from the storm!  Contact us today to learn more!

5 Ways to Get a Lower Premium for Your Car Insurance

While car insurance can be costly for some people, it’s still a necessity for anyone who owns a vehicle.  Rather than dealing with high premiums and even higher deductibles, you can take steps to make sure your insurance rates are as low as possible.

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Source: Free Digital Photos

  1. Work with an independent agency that has access to policies and plans from several different insurance providers.
  2. Bundle your insurance plans.  If possible, have several different insurance plans with the same agency, like life, health, homeowners, and auto.  This will give you multi-policy discounts on your premiums.
  3. While some people adopt the mantra, “drive it like you stole it,” when it comes to keeping your car insurance rates low, you want to drive it like you borrowed it from your grandmother’s preacher.  A spotless driving record can help lower your rates substantially.
  4. Make sure your insurance policy is providing coverage that you need, instead of everything that’s available.  Some policies have several add-ons that really aren’t necessary, and they can “add on” to the amount you pay for your insurance.
  5. Own a vehicle that is considered less “risky.”  Some vehicles have a higher risk rating, which equals higher insurance rates, because they are a certain color, are considered a sports car, or are a vehicle type that is frequently stolen.

Don’t pay more than you have to for your car insurance premiums.  Speak with one of our professional agents at Schumacher Insurance Group today and learn how an independent insurance agency can get you the coverage you need at a rate that won’t drain your bank account.

4 Tips for Renewing Your Car Insurance Policy

When it’s time to renew your car insurance policies, are you confident that you have the options you need at the lowest possible rate?  Many people don’t think about their car insurance after they have started their policy. 

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Source: Free Digital Photos

Evaluating your existing policy is always a good thing to do at least once a year, to be sure that your rates are as low as you can make them, and your coverage offers the protection you need to have.  Here are a few tips to consider when renewing your car insurance policies:

  1. Are you bundling your insurance plans?  Many insurance carriers offer a “package” discount for people who have multiple policies such as life, health, home, or auto.
  2. Don’t pay for more coverage than you actually need.  While you may want more protection than the state minimum requirements, do you really need “full” coverage?
  3. Provide correct information to your agent about vehicles, drivers, driving habits, and any safety features on your cars, or lifestyle changes you’ve made that can possibly lower your rates.
  4. Ask your agent about discounts that you may be eligible for.  For example, drivers who have had no accidents or traffic tickets in a specific period of time may be eligible for a ‘safe driver’ discount.

The best piece of advice when obtaining car insurance is to shop around.  With Schumacher Insurance Group, you’ll have the advantage of being able to select from the policies offered by several different major insurance carriers.  As an independent agency, we have the freedom to find the coverage that best fits your needs while still fitting your budget, too!  Contact us today to find out more about how Schumacher Insurance Group can help make sure you’ve got the protection and peace of mind you deserve.

Using an Independent Insurance Agency Provides You With These 3 Great Advantages

When it comes to selecting insurance for everything from home and life to auto and health, you have an overwhelming number of options with regard to which agency you choose.

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Source: Schumacher Insurance Agency via Facebook

Picking a particular agency may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be when you choose coverage through independent insurance agencies.  Here are the three most important advantages to working with independent insurance agencies:

  1. Assistance with claims.  Most independent insurance agencies will work closely with you when you need to submit a claim, and help you ensure that your end of the process is thoroughly completed.  An independent agency does not represent one specific insurance carrier, so they are often not restricted by protocols that would prevent them from providing claim assistance.
  2. Saves you time and money.  Working with an independent agency gives you access to policy options and coverage through a large variety of major insurance carriers.  This allows you to shop for the coverage you need at the lowest possible rate, and you do so through one agency rather than obtaining quote information from each individual carrier.
  3. Advice on policy choices that is unbiased.  When you work with one particular insurance agency, they will naturally tell you that they are the best choice for your needs.  An independent agency is able to give you options from several different carriers, so their advice is specific to meeting your wants and needs from an insurance policy, rather than being specific to a particular insurance provider.

Find out more about the great advantages of working with Schumacher Insurance Group.  We are an independent agency with access to plans and policies through many major providers, and we’re here to help you get the coverage you need at a price you can afford.  Contact us today to learn more!

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