Monthly Archives: May 2015

5 States That Have the Lowest Homeowners Insurance Rates

Homeowner’s insurance gives you peace of mind and helps protect your home and you know that you need to have it. Still, nobody loves making the payments, even if they aren’t particularly large. While you may not be willing to move just to save some money on your homeowner’s insurance bill, knowing the states that have the lowest homeowners insurance rates can help when you’re relocating or comparing prices.

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Lowest Rates in the US

Homeowner’s insurance prices vary, and each state has a different average. The top five in the country are considerably lower than the top five though, all of which are Gulf states like Mississippi and Florida. While these are high, the rates of the bottom five might really surprise you. All rates are median averages for the latest available information, recorded in 2012.

  1. Idaho. $538 average per household.
  2. Oregon. $567 average per household.
  3. Utah. $580 average per household.
  4. Wisconsin. $631 average per household.
  5. Washington. $648 average per household.

Why Do Homeowner’s Insurance Rates Vary?

The reason insurance rates vary so dramatically is that some states are just more prone to natural disasters. Gulf states, for example, tend to suffer the most damage because of storms and hurricanes that can wipe out whole neighborhoods in just a few hours.

That doesn’t mean states like Idaho and Oregon don’t have any natural disasters, but when you think about it, when is the last time you heard about a devastating storm in Idaho? It gets cold, it snows and rains heavily, but natural disasters are pretty few and far between.

For that reason, residents tend to pay less each year in homeowner’s insurance because they make fewer claims each year.

Contact Schumacher Insurance Agency to learn more about the states that have the lowest homeowners insurance rates.

Do You Need Umbrella Insurance Coverage?

Umbrella insurance is a kind of personal liability insurance, meaning that it covers you when you are being held responsible for something that will need to be satisfied using your assets. Like its name suggests, umbrella insurance coverage can come in use under a wide range of circumstances, making it an excellent choice if you want comprehensive protection.

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First, umbrella insurance will step up when the coverage provided by other insurance proves to be insufficient. For example, if your homeowners insurance has a limit of $200,000 but you have been ordered to pay $350,000 because someone slipped and fell on your premises, umbrella insurance can provide the remaining $150,000 so long as its limit is high enough.

Second, umbrella insurance will step up to provide coverage when other insurance will not. For example, if your homeowners insurance refused to cover you because the previous situation failed to meet its conditions, your umbrella insurance will still provide coverage up to its limit. This is true even for situations wholly unrelated to the coverage provided by the rest of your insurance.

That said, just because umbrella insurance coverage can be useful under the right circumstances, it doesn’t mean that it should be considered essential. With umbrella insurance as with other things, you should only buy it if you believe that you will need its coverage at some point in your life.

However, since the coverage provided by umbrella insurance is so wide-ranging, you should make your decision based on how risky you live your life in general rather than how risky you live your life under a particular situation. The riskier you are, the greater your incentives for buying umbrella insurance.

If you are interested in learning more about umbrella insurance before making a final decision, please contact us for more information.

5 Facts About Distracted Driving to Keep in Mind

If you’re like most people you use your car every single day. You drive to work and to run errands. If you have kids, you likely drive them around in the car pretty much every day as well.

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While you might be familiar with your car because you spend so much time in it, that doesn’t mean that you should start to feel so comfortable that you do other things. Distracted driving is one of the biggest dangers that face the average motorist, and you shouldn’t let yourself fall into that trap.

Learn these five facts about distracted driving to keep yourself and your family safe when you’re behind the wheel.

  1. 415 individuals died in 2015 because they were believed to be using their cell phone while operating a motor vehicle. You don’t want to be part of those statistics.
  2. Distracted drivers make up about 7% of individuals in car crashes. That number is far too high, and you don’t want a seven-percent chance of injuring yourself just to answer that phone call.
  3. Individuals between the age of 16 and 24 are most likely to use their cell phone while driving. If you have kids, make sure they understand the dangers of driving while using their cell phone. Even a quick text could be fatal.
  4. More than 3,000 people died in 2012 because of driving while distracted. It’s just not worth risking your life being distracted behind the wheel.
  5. Whatever you’re trying to do while you are driving can wait. There’s nothing as important as getting to your destination safely. Your friends, family and loved ones will thank you for arriving safely – even if they don’t say it.

Contact Schumacher Insurance Agency to learn more about distracted driving and how you can avoid it.

5 Things You Need to Know About Insuring Your Motorcycle

You should plan on spending almost as much time choosing the insurance for your motorcycle as you did picking the actual motorcycle. In most cases, you will find that the minimum liability insurance you’re required to have doesn’t provide you with an adequate amount of protection if you get into an accident and you will want to add additional coverage.

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Liability Motorcycle Insurance

When you only have liability insurance on your motorcycle, you and your bike aren’t actually protected. What the liability insurance actually does is cover the damages of everyone else who was involved in an accident you caused. You will have to dip into your own pocket in order to get your bike repaired or replaced.

Collision Motorcycle Insurance

When you are in an accident, whether you are at fault or not, and have collision insurance you can rest assured that any damage sustained by your bike will be paid for by the insurance company. The only financial output you will have to worry about is your deductible.

Comprehensive Motorcycle Insurance

If you are worried about your bike getting damaged by an act that isn’t an actual accident, such as an act of vandalism, getting caught in a hail storm, or burned in a garage fire, you will want to have comprehensive insurance. You will still be responsible for paying your deductible, but it will be far less than what you would have spent if you needed to cover the cost of replacing or repairing your motorcycle without the help of insurance.

You are required by law to have insurance on your ride before you take it out on a public road. Contact us for information about how we can handle all of your motorcycle insurance needs.

How to Keep Your Small Business’ Insurance Costs Manageable

For many small business owners, the cost of doing business can become overwhelming when you view the big picture.  Not only do you have costs for materials and supplies, labor and employment taxes, and overhead for maintaining an office space or warehouse, but you also have a variety of small business insurance costs that must be maintained in order to remain operational.

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You can take steps to keep your small business insurance costs manageable with a few helpful tips:

  1. Obtain all your coverage through one carrier or agency.  When you have several different policies through several different agencies, you are not getting the best rates possible for your business.  Not only does bundling your coverage with one agency give you better rates, but you can also get discounts for bundled policies if they are offered by the agency or carrier.
  2. Reconsider your deductibles and raise them to lower your rates.  Lower deductibles mean less money out of your pocket when claims arise, but it also means higher rates on a monthly or annual basis.
  3. Sit down with your insurance agent on a periodic basis, at least once a year, to review your coverage and evaluate whether particular policies or options are still needed for your business.  Business owners often pay more because they are still paying for coverage they no longer need.
  4. Work with an independent agency to have a variety of major insurance carriers and their policies being offered through one point of contact.

Our expert agents here at Schumacher Insurance Group can work with you to get the best coverage for your small business, at the best possible rates.  Contact us today to find out more about how we can work with you to help with your small business insurance needs.

Make Auto Insurance Shopping Easier With These 3 Shopping Strategies

You know you need auto insurance, but you’re putting it off because you may not feel like dealing with the potential hassle, right?  Auto insurance shopping might seem like a challenging task, but it doesn’t have to be when you plan ahead and prepare for it with a few helpful tips and strategies.

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Do some research before you start auto insurance shopping.  Find out the minimum policy requirements in your state and decide what type of coverage you’ll need.  Once you have an idea of what coverage will work best for you, you are better equipped to discuss options with an insurance agent.

Don’t settle for the first quote you receive.  You may be able to get discounts on your auto insurance by having safety features on your vehicle, attending driving school, having a clean driving record, or adding additional vehicles to your policy.  Other insurance carriers may also be able to provide you with lower rates, so shop around first before picking the best policy and rate for you.

Work with an independent insurance agency like ours.  At Schumacher Insurance Group, we work with several different insurance carriers, which allows us to obtain several different quotes and coverage options.  This gives you all the information you need to make a decision, without doing a lot of legwork to get it.

If you are ready to start shopping for your auto insurance coverage, our professional agents are ready to help!  Contact us today to find out more about auto insurance and many other types of coverage, and let us work with you to get the coverage you need at the best possible rates for your budget.

How to Spring Clean Your Family Insurance Policies

Spring is in the air, and that means it is time for a deep clean of your home – and your insurance. Spending some time reading your family insurance policies can help you determine if you have the right policies for your situation and have purchased enough coverage. This spring, ask yourself the following questions:

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  1. Do I have enough insurance for my valuables?: If you have purchased anything expensive, such as artwork, jewelry, or silverware, since you purchased your insurance, you may need to update your policy. Standard family insurance policies may have monetary limits, meaning that you will only be reimbursed up to a certain amount regardless of the value of the items in questions.
  2. Do I still need optional coverage on my vehicle?: If your vehicle is worth less than 10 times your insurance premium, then you may be able to save money on your premium by foregoing either comprehensive or collision insurance.
  3. Do I have sufficient liability insurance to protect my assets completely?: While standard homeowners and auto policies provide liability coverage, they do so up to a limit. In the event of a lawsuit, you may want additional coverage, known as umbrella insurance. It takes effect after you have reached the threshold on your standard policy.
  4. Where will I be going on vacation?: If you are thinking of an exotic vacation or active adventure, purchasing travel insurance can protect the financial investment you made in case of an unforeseen situation.

It’s always a good time to review your family insurance policies. If you have questions about the type or amount of insurance to get, talk with the insurance professionals at Schumacher Insurance. They can help you get the right coverage at the right price.

5 Things You Need Have Covered By Your Renter’s Insurance Policy

When it comes to protecting yourself and your possessions, you can never be too careful. Renters insurance is an excellent way to protect yourself financially when you are a tenant. There are a few basic things that you need to have covered by renters insurance policies.

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Personal Possessions

In the event of fire or other destructive circumstances, a landlord’s insurance will only cover the structural damage done to the building itself. Renter’s insurance should provide coverage for personal possessions. In order to know how much you should insure, take a personal inventory of your home and estimate what it would cost to replace what you own.

Liability Protection

This is another important aspect of renters insurance polices. Liability protection covers you in the event that damage is done to the property by you, your family and, in some cases, your pets. Your insurance will cover costs if you need to go to court. Most standard renters insurance policies will cover up to $100,000 for liability protection.

Other Living Expenses

If something were to happen to your home and destroy it, or make it unlivable, renters insurance will cover your additional living costs. This can include hotel accommodations, meals and other expenses incurred while you are waiting for your home to be rebuilt.

Additional Coverage

If you travel a lot, many renters insurance policies will cover a certain amount of your belongings you take with you. This means that if something is stolen from your car while you are away from home, it will still be covered.

Discounts

You may be eligible for discounts on your renters insurance if you have good credit, home security and more.

If you would like to learn more about the proper way to insure yourself and your belongings, please contact us at Schumacher Insurance Group.

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