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As this decade draws to an end and the next one begins, many people form resolutions to improve their lives. It’s a time when people consider getting around to tasks they have put off or consider important decisions to make about their futures. For current and prospective homeowners, one of the most important things to consider is the safety of their homes. While many homeowners already have home insurance, 52% of them don’t fully comprehend what their home insurance provider does or does not cover. There are several key facts to keep in mind while looking for the right insurance.

Independent Agencies Offer More Options

The variety of options when it comes to insurance can be staggering. Before even getting to the many policy types, there is a decision to be made between insurance agencies and insurance companies. To simplify the facts, independent insurance agencies offer more options. They work with a number of companies in order to provide their clients with the best deals and most reliable coverage for home insurance, auto insurance, flood insurance, healthcare insurance, life insurance, business insurance, etc. Every person’s insurance needs are different and independent agencies understand this, providing personalized customer service.

Damage From Natural Disasters Isn’t Always Covered by Home Insurance

Climate change is a rising threat to everyone, but especially dangerous to those who live near the ocean. Hurricanes are becoming more frequent and flooding is now a greater issue than it was previously. Those who live on the coast are especially susceptible to damage caused by natural disasters. Around 80% of Florida residents live along the coast, making them vulnerable to weather-related damage. What some homeowners may not realize is that home insurance and flood insurance are purchased separately. Thankfully, insurance companies in Florida often offer both forms of insurance.

Insurance Is More Accessible Than Ever

As younger generations prepare to buy homes and start families, it can be easy for them to get caught up in the misconception that insurance is confusing, or worse, expensive. However, in the digital age, it is easier than ever to locate reputable insurance providers. Comparing policies and costs is as simple as opening a few tabs on your computer. Comprehensive websites provide details about everything they offer. Information is readily available, making it simple to get a quote, check the cost of coverage, or access email addresses and phone numbers of the staff in case you have any further questions.

For further information about home insurance and more, rely on Key Agency today.

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Most drivers spend $92 per month on average for auto insurance. While many people wouldn’t have much trouble paying that, others may be curious to know if there are ways to lower your auto insurance cost.

Fortunately for them, there is. To find out how to get the most out of your insurance plan, keep reading.

Compare Insurance Rates Before Buying a Car

Insurance premiums are based on several factors, but many of them come down to the specific car you’re driving. A car that’s very likely to break down, get stolen, or get into accidents is going to cost more to insure. If you’re thinking about buying a new car, you’re in luck. You can choose a model that’s proven to be less risky for insurance companies by doing just a little bit of research.

To find out how expensive insurance might be for a given car, look up its safety rankings online. Every major model is listed on the internet with information about how likely it is to experience problems and need repairs.

Some insurance companies will offer lower premiums on vehicles that have safety systems installed to prevent theft. By addressing this and the safety rankings of the vehicles you’re considering, you can lower your insurance bill considerably.

Improve Your Credit

Having a solid credit history and a healthy credit score gives you many benefits. Banks, landlords, and even employers are more likely to work with someone with good credit. What many people don’t know is that their credit affects their ability to get cheaper insurance as well.

Research has demonstrated that people who actively manage their credit history and score make fewer claims than those who don’t. It’s also widely recognized that people with poor credit are a higher risk to not just lenders, but also service companies like insurers.

To improve your odds of getting lower-priced insurance, become familiar with your credit report. Dispute any errors you can find and take steps to raise your score. This won’t just help you get cheaper auto insurance — better credit will help you in every part of your life.

Bundle Your Insurance Plans

If you currently use one business for your home insurance, life insurance, and health insurance, you could get a lower rate on auto insurance by adding that to your plan.

Insurance companies often provide more than just one kind of insurance. When someone buys insurance from them for their home, they want them to go ahead and add car insurance as well. To incentivize this, they frequently offer lower insurance prices to their existing customers.

If you already have insurance plans with a company that offers auto insurance, consider bundling your plans together for a lower premium. Additionally, some insurers offer discounted rates to long-time customers, so staying with the same company over several years can be beneficial.

Ask About Low-Mileage and Careful Driver Discounts

Some auto insurance providers offer discounts for customers who don’t do much driving or who drive very carefully. If you only drive a few miles to work and back every day and rarely travel, your insurance company may cut you a deal since you’re less likely to make a claim.

Some companies give discounts to people who have demonstrated that they’re especially careful drivers. To demonstrate this, you may need to install a location tracker in your vehicle temporarily so they can monitor your speed and driving habits. Afterward, you could qualify for a discount on your auto insurance since you’re far less likely to get in an accident than someone who doesn’t drive as carefully.

Reduce Optional Insurance on an Older Vehicle

If your car is worth less than 10 times your insurance premium, it may not be cost-effective to have collision or comprehensive coverage for it. You should look up the value of your car to find out. If your car isn’t worth enough to make the full insurance cost worthwhile, change your insurance plan so you only have what you need to be legal.

From choosing the right car based on its safety and reliability to asking your insurance provider about discounts you may be eligible for, there are a lot of ways you can save a little money on your auto insurance plan.

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Flooding is a major concern for all Florida residents. Historically, 40% of the hurricanes that have struck the east coast have made landfall somewhere in Florida. Since 80% of Florida residents live on or near the coast, hurricanes run the risk of affecting large numbers of Floridians. Additionally, over 5 million Florida residents near lakes, rivers, and wetlands according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (or FEMA) for the National Flood Insurance Program (or NFIP). But even though the risk of flooding is present, that shouldn’t deter you from owning the home of your dreams. With the right insurance, you can rest easy. Here are five FAQs about insurance for floods:

Does homeowners insurance cover flooding?

No. Although 85% of homeowners have home insurance policies, few of these policies cover damage due to flooding. The reason is that flood policies are governed by the NFIP. The NFIP supports and standardizes flood insurance for flood-prone communities when they take steps to mitigate flood risk. As a result, flood insurance policies are almost always separate from homeowners policies.

What happens if I do not get flood insurance?

If your home is damaged by environmental flooding, regardless of the cause, flood insurance will likely be the only way to be compensated for that damage. Homeowners insurance only covers water damage from unexpected home-related causes, such as broken water pipes. Water damage caused by runoff, overflowing lakes or rivers, or hurricanes is usually only covered by insurance for floods.

Due to the risk associated with flooding, mortgage lenders will usually require you to purchase and maintain a flood insurance policy if you live in a FEMA designated floodplain. Coupled with the fact that most mortgage lenders require that you purchase and maintain homeowners insurance, you may be required by your mortgage lender to buy both types of insurance policies.

What options are available for flood insurance?

If you live in a FEMA-designated floodplain that participates in NFIP, flood insurance must meet federal standards. However, you have a choice of policies:

  • NFIP Standard flood policies: These are policies fall within the NFIP and are sold through insurance companies and insurance agents.
  • Private standard flood policies: These are private insurance policies that are written by insurance companies to fall within the scope of NFIP under an agreement with FEMA. These are also sold through insurance companies and insurance agents.
  • Customized flood policies: These are private insurance policies that are broader in scope than the NFIP. The NFIP sets the standard coverage against flooding. Private insurance companies are allowed to provide coverage that can go above the NFIP standards but they are not allowed to go below the NFIP standards.
  • Supplemental flood policies: These are private insurance policies that are written to supplement a standard flood policy. Like customized flood policies, private insurers are allowed to write supplemental policies that go above the NFIP standards.

Conversely, if you do not live in an NFIP-participating community, your options may be more limited since NFIP coverage is not available outside of these areas. However, many insurance companies offer private flood policies for homes outside of floodplains. The benefit to the homeowner is that the lower risk of flooding outside of FEMA-designated floodplains is usually associated with a preferred rate.

What does flood insurance cover?

Flood policies cover damage to a home due to:

  • Storm runoff
  • Overflowing water bodies
  • Ocean surges due to hurricanes, storms, or tsunamis
  • Mudslides caused by floods
  • Ground collapse or subsidence due to floods

Do I need to buy flood insurance from the same home insurance company?

The short answer is no, many insurance companies participate in NFIP and sell NFIP and private flood policies. An insurance agent can help you shop around to find the policy that best suits your needs. But you may want to use the same insurer for a few reasons:

  • In the event that you need to file a claim, having one insurance company can smooth the process.
  • Having a single insurer can help in making sure that any claim is fully covered under one or the other policy
  • An insurance company issuing a homeowner policy and a flood policy can identify any additional gaps in coverage. For example, some insurance companies require a separate policy or endorsement to cover wind damage due to hurricanes.

Flood insurance can protect your investment in your home and provide the comfort that natural disasters will not turn into financial disasters. When you’re ready to protect your home, rely on the experience of the Key Agency to help.

Posted by & filed under Personal Insurance.

According to a 2018 Insurance Barometer Study, approximately 60% of the US population has health insurance coverage. The same way you can invest in auto insurance for your finances, you should also do the same for your health. After all, no one chooses to get hurt or sick. At some point in your life, you might find that you need counseling, a lab test, a doctor visit, or physical therapy. Health insurance is vital in helping you cover this cost.

In fact, the average cost for a 3-day stay in a health facility is approximately $30,000. Fixing a broken leg can cost about $7,500 alone. These are simply costs that the average family cannot afford. The premium cost will also depend on the health insurance company and the medical plan you’ve chosen.

When you’re ready to invest in a health care plan that works for you, consider these money-saving tips to help you save some bucks on your health care coverage.

1. Use Pharmacies and Doctors in Your Networks

Your health insurance plan networks will significantly affect the amount you pay for medical care and prescription drugs. These networks include out-of-network, in-network, and preferred network. In-network providers are active participants in your insurer’s network, where they charge a brokered fee. On the other hand, out-of-network does not charge brokered rates. Your health insurance agents deal with national and regional health care providers like labs, pharmacies, doctors, hospitals, and specialties to determine providers that fit into your network.

When you use a pharmacy in your plan, you will get prescription drugs at a subsidized cost. However, if you get prescription drugs out of your plan network, you will end up paying more or even covering the full cost. That’s why it is wise to rely on a health insurance company with experience navigating various medical professionals.

2. Choose High-Value Care

High-value care doesn’t refer to medical care that costs more than another, but it also doesn’t mean you have to choose cheap care. It simply refers to streamlining the process of medical care to mitigate extraneous services and products that aren’t necessary. This makes your quality of care more efficient, and more often than not, more affordable.

Take an Emergency room, for example. These medical facilities are available 24/7, and they happen to be the most expensive places to go for care. If you’re not coping with a life-threatening injury, a better option would be to go to an urgent care center. By planning ahead and discussing options with your health insurance company, you can determine the best levels of care for your specific issue.

Only use Emergency rooms when:

  • You have difficulty in breathing
  • You suffer from serious injuries like broken bones, cuts that bleed excessively, or burns
  • You have signs of a heart attack. These include discomfort in arms, jaw, or back. Chest pain is also common

Urgent care centers are ideal when you have non-life-threatening injuries like:

  • Eye injuries
  • Simple burns and cuts
  • Infections and skin rashes
  • Strains, sprains, and minor broken bones

Doctor office visits are often for minor injuries and ongoing health needs. They may include;

  • Managing your medication
  • Bruises and blisters
  • Flu or cold symptoms
  • Vaccinations/ immunizations
  • Allergy symptoms

Check if your plan includes online doctor services or 24-hour access to a nurse line. If not, you can request your health insurance company to include it in the coverage.

3. Utilize Wellness Programs

A reliable health insurance company will offer programs and discounts to help you maintain your health and keep fit. These wellness programs will boost your overall well-being and save you money. Some services include nurse lines, access to an online doctor, health guides, and fitness discounts at your local gym.

4. Take Care of Yourself

A health insurance plan will protect you in the event of sickness or injury, but you shouldn’t rely on this as your only method of self-care. It’s important to realize that taking care of yourself is one of the best healthcare policies you can invest in. Eat healthily, increase your levels of physical activity, avoid alcohol and smoking, and be sure to get enough sleep. If you live a healthier life, you might find that you’re able to stay out of the hospital more often.

Healthcare Insurance Plan Will Take Care of You

Sometimes, sickness and injuries are inevitable. When such events like these happen, all you need to do is invest in a reliable health insurance company to get a comprehensive health policy. For more information, don’t hesitate to reach out to Key Agency Inc. today.

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With all of the different types of insurance on the market, it can be difficult to determine what type of insurance your family or your business needs. Continue reading for more information on three types of insurance coverage you should definitely have.

Health Insurance

Without a waiver, health insurance is a requirement in the United States. There are many types of health insurance available on the market but figuring out what you need can be a challenge. Types of insurance and coverage options include:

  • Group Coverage Plans
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Health Savings Accounts
  • Health Reimbursement Accounts

There are many other types of coverage included under the health insurance umbrella, so it may be wise to hire a professional to help you decode all of the healthcare jargon. A professional can help you get the most coverage for your dollar and they have better access to resources than if you tried to find all of these products on your own.

Flood Insurance

Because 52% of homeowners aren’t clear about their insurance coverage, talking to a professional is important. For example, flood insurance is not covered under your standard homeowner’s insurance policy. You need to get a special flood insurance policy that is offered through agencies and backed by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

The NFIP is managed by FEMA and its goal is “to provide flood insurance, to improve floodplain management and to develop maps of flood hazard zones.” A licensed insurance agent can help you determine what flood coverage your home or business needs in addition to your home insurance.

Life Insurance

Life insurance is a large umbrella, not unlike health insurance. It includes coverage for things beyond just standard life insurance. The most common forms of life insurance include term life insurance, universal life insurance, and whole life insurance. In addition to those types of insurance, life insurance includes things like:

  • Annuities
  • Long Term Care
  • Medicare Products
  • Disability
  • Individual Medical Products

With all of those offerings under one category, it can seem like a daunting task to look for life insurance and life insurance products. This is something only a licensed insurance agent can really help you with as it’s such a complex task.

Whether you’re researching life insurance products, health insurance products, or flood insurance products, contact Key Agency today to help you sort through all of the complexities in the insurance industry.