Archive for the ‘ All Insurance ’ Category

So, what is a blog anyway?

So, what is a blog anyway?  Many of you may be asking yourself this question often, and I am here to answer it for you.  Well the object of this blog, as you may have noticed, is to get the good word of insurance out to the world.  We try to put it in Layman’s terms for even the most inexperienced person to be able to understand insurance.  That said, your blog does not have to be used for these reasons. 

A blog is anything you want it to be.  It can be a personal journal or diary. It can be a source for you to get information out to the world.  It can be a compilation of information for your own personal use.  Basically, its whatever you make of it.  Maybe you are having a baby and you want to track your progress, or maybe you have a really strong opinion on an issue and want to share it with the world

Since this is an insurance blog, I must give you some words of advice.  Be careful about what you put out on the internet.  If your words are hurtful to someone else’s reputation, the do have the right to sue you for slander or defamation.  These charges are not to be taken lightly.  IN the even that this does happen, in most cases your home insurance liability will kick in.  Be aware that you may only have $300,000-$500,000 worth of coverage on your home policy and depending on the lawsuit, this will probably not be enough.  There is however, another policy you can buy for a reasonable amount of money called an umbrella policy.  This will cover you for an additional $1mil-$5mil for liability coverage as long as the policy contains “personal injury” coverage which is the portion that covers slander etc. 

As always, I recommend calling your insurance agent to get more details on this coverage.

Good night Irene…

Irene is being retired from the list of storm names because the 2011 hurricane killed 49 people and caused more than $15 billion in damage.

A report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the name will be replaced by Irma. Irene was retired Friday from the official list of Atlantic Basin tropical storm names by the World Meteorological Organization’s hurricane committee.

The report said storm names are reused every six years unless retired for causing considerable casualties or damage. Irene is the 76th name to be retired from the Atlantic list since 1954.

Five people were killed in the Dominican Republic after Hurricane Irene stormed through the Caribbean last August. Three died in Haiti. And 41 died in the U.S. when Irene barreled up the Eastern Seaboard.

What will be the hot technology over the next few years? While no one can say for certain, it’s not difficult to make a case for smartphones and mobile devices.

Consider these numbers: In the fourth quarter of 2011 alone, according to industry observers, 157.8 million smartphones flew off store shelves worldwide, bringing the total for the year to 491.4 million units. AverageU.S.smartphone ownership is at 41.8 percent of mobile subscribers, or 98 million people.

Industry reports indicate smartphone sales are expected to hit 1.5 billion units globally in 2016. Over the next five years, sales will see a 30 percent compound annual growth rate. By 2016, these devices are reportedly set to make up about two-thirds of all mobile phone sales. If you compare this with the number of PCs sold this year, which stood at 350 million units, smartphones are clearly going to be the gadget of choice for customers accessing the Internet.

Smartphones and mobile devices have forever changed the way we communicate. We’re now permanently connected—wherever we go. Work, family, friends, schedules, and finances are all instantly available. And while there are obvious downsides, we still expect and demand immediacy in almost everything.

Unlike cell phones of the past 20 years, smartphones provide a richer user experience on many levels:

  • A sophisticated camera is always available to take, send, post, and store thousands of pictures.
  • The GPS capability always “knows” where you are and can guide you to places such as restaurants and shopping venues.
  • Apps with Internet connections provide instant connectivity to your bank, insurance company, airline, department store, social network, and most accounts with online access.
  • Your entire music collection is always with you.
  • And yes, your mobile device is even good for phone calls, texts, and email.

 Paperless Insurance 

As a macro trend, mobile technology is increasingly facilitating customer self-service. Consumers are demanding instant access to services and information, and the use of paper and traditional mail services continues to decline.

For example, pending legislation in several states would permit drivers to use their smartphone apps to show their insurance ID card virtually. These states include Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Maryland, and Mississippi as of first-quarter 2012. This trend may continue as more and more states bring similar bills to the floor of the legislature. The new era of paperless insurance documentation is already here and gaining ground as more insurers commit resources to mobile app development as a cost-saving initiative. As mobile apps provide more options for policyholders, insurers can realize savings on printing and postage.

Both mobile technology and social media have altered the way recent generations think about privacy and sharing information. Should your mobile device allow you to connect to other policyholders who live nearby when you have the same agent or insurance company? Could such a network support ride sharing or the pooling of certain services? While most people rely heavily on their cars, could the combination of rising fuel costs and the emergence of technology-based services change the way people think about transportation options? Commercial ride-sharing companies have already been launched in many urban markets.

Agent vs. buying direct…

With all the commercials and ads these days, it is sometimes hard to get to the bottom of who to buy insurance from, a lizard, or your local agent.  Many people these days don’t even fathom buying from an agent because they think it involves walking into an office and handing over all of their personal information to some stranger.  On the other hand they could just type all of their info into some possibly unsecure website right from their living room.   For most situations, I would always pick the later of the two choices I have just presented above, however, insurance may be one of the few exceptions I would make. I mean really, what gives you the same knowledge to purchase the right insurance as an educated insurance agent who had dedicated thousands of man hours just to make sure you are covered?

If you are one of these silly people who has decided to buy their own insurance without so much as a bit of advice from a licensed professional insurance agent, you could be paying big time not only when you have a claim, but right now!  Think of all the discounts you could be missing out on.  Not to mention the millions of dollars you could be liable for if you ever do have a claim and you aren’t covered properly.

In the end, to each is own and many people are lazy and will continue to buy insurance from a reptile, or a crazy red haired store clerk with a white apron.  My only advice to these people are, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.