Are your goals written with selfish motives? How your goals are written and attained have a significant impression on your legacy. Your goals should be something to write home about.
When putting together your new goals for the year, stop and take a minute to pray about it. Are your goals glorifying God? Prayer is a powerful tool in all things in life.
It’s important to contact us anytime you have an accident or get a ticket
We get a lot of questions from you, our customers, about what you should do if you have an accident. Sometimes it’s a minor fender-bender and you don’t have a lot of damage, so you don’t call us to file a claim. It’s totally fine that you don’t file a claim anytime you get a scratch. We don’t want to file unnecessary claims for our customers. It can result in increased rates, and sometimes a non-renewal of your policy which nobody wants.
When do you need to call us?
Any time you have an accident of any sort where the police respond or you get a ticket, please contact our agency immediately! The responding officer should have told you that the state requires a form to be completed by your agent (us) within two weeks of the incident. This shows that you had an active policy at the time of the incident, which satisfies the state law that you must carry auto insurance. Even if the police officer takes your insurance information, we still have to file this form for you. The police don’t have access to any systems that show insurance information and they cannot file the necessary BMV paperwork.
If this compliance form isn’t electronically filed with the BMV within two weeks of any ticket or accident, your license can be suspended. No one wants that to happen! Any license suspension can be especially problematic if you have a CDL.
Why does the BMV need proof if the police copied my insurance information?
This is a frequently asked question. The insurance card shows that you had coverage on the date the policy started or renewed. It doesn’t show whether the policy is still in effect. Therefore, by submitting this form, you prove to the BMV that you had insurance in place at the time of the incident.
Please call us anytime you have an accident or get a ticket. We can give you guidance about whether you should file a claim, refer you to excellent, reputable body shops, and then file the BMV form as needed.
The Indiana Department of Motor Vehicles (BMV) has an excellent page on their website that describes what you need to do in case of an accident. The state recommends to call the police if there are any injuries or if the damage to the property appears to be more than $1000.
Please don’t ever be afraid to call us to let us know that you’ve had an accident or gotten a ticket. Calling us never puts anything “on your record” unless you aren’t filing a claim. We simply need to know when we need to file your BMV compliance form to prevent suspension of your license. Let us help you keep driving happily – and legally.
Have you ever thought or dreamed if I was a NFL or NBA player or that when I am a successful business person, that you would give enough money to something you are passionate about to make a difference. You can do that, with Life insurance as well.
Even if you are Young, Healthy and Single there are many reasons for Life insurance. If you have student loans and/or a car payment and your parents co-signed for your loans? When you pass, unfortunately your debt doesn’t. That debt will be left on the co-signers shoulders to take care. This is generally a close family member such as a parent or sibling. The last thing you should want for them is to bear the burden of your outstanding debt. In some cases, such as school loan debt, this can be a substantial amount of money to pass off to the one who was trying to help you get your start in Life. With a life insurance policy, money will be paid out toward these outstanding debts. This will relieve the impact that would be left for your loved ones.
While you may not be married, does anyone depend on your income for any reason? Anyone who depends on your assets or income to live the way they do now, could be reason enough to have life insurance. This could be a child, a roommate or even a relative.
Many young singles consider life insurance to be for the older generation, as they are more likely to need it. However, most of us are much bigger risk taker while we are young. That is why you should take advantage of getting life insurance now, while you are healthy enough to qualify? At any moment a condition or illness could alter your health, leaving you ineligible for life insurance or with very high rates.
Ride sharing services such as Uber and Lyft are booming with popularity. If you are thinking about being a driver for any ride-sharing service, contacting a insurance agent should be high on your to-do list. A simple phone call to a agent, could mean the difference between being fully covered and having no coverage at all. Uber Auto Insurance has evaluated how they do and do not want to step in with coverage.
For starters, where does your personal auto policy stop and an Uber insurance policy kick in? There are coverage gaps you want to know about. Let’s start with your first trip. You are driving around waiting and searching for a customer. The app is open but have not yet been matched with a client. This is where you the driver are left without coverage. At this point you are now working as a driver for hire. This means you no longer have coverage on your personal auto insurance policy. Since you have not yet matched with a client, Uber’s auto insurance has not yet kicked in either. If you get into an accident or quite literally anything happens, you are without coverage.
There is a remedy to this problem, by simply adding an endorsement to your personal auto insurance policy that cover this time frame. While your insurance company may not offer this endorsement, here are some of the companies that have stepped into the ride-sharing world. Erie Insurance, SafeCo Insurance and Progressive Insurance. Erie Insurance has a ride-sharing endorsement that only adds $9-$15 per month on average to an auto policy. The special thing about Erie’s ride-sharing endorsement is that it covers you before, during and after the hired ride. SafeCo’s ride-sharing endorsement adds 7%-11% of the annual premium. With a clean driving record, all in all this additional cost is very affordable to make sure you are covered at all times. The companies listed above that Dean Ballenger Agency used for your Uber Auto Insurance or Lyft Auto Insurance are rated by A.M. Best and are considered excellent.
Once Uber’s coverage starts, the limits are fairly impressive. Uber’s insurance will pay up to $1 million in liability limits per loss. Comprehensive and collision deductibles, however are $1,000. The insurance company that Uber uses is called James River Insurance Company and is rated A- by A.M. Best which is considered excellent.
If you or someone you know is an Uber or Lyft driver, be smart about your insurance. For any questions you have about this or any previous posts give us a call at 317-867-5433. And for additional reading, check out Hoosier Insurance Agency’s blog.
Summertime is a season of relaxation for many of us. Warm temperatures and long daylight hours means plenty of opportunities for time spent in the great outdoors with family and friends. Walking on the Monon, grilling out with neighbors or simply catching a tan in your backyard may be activities you look forward to every summer. While the opportunity for outdoor fun increases, so does the opportunity for outdoor liability. If you own a pool, trampoline or even a playground for your kids, now is the time to be extra vigilant. The Dean Ballenger Agency has some tips to help you protect yourself from potential liability claims this summer.
Have a pool?
- Rules. Make sure that any friends or family you have over know the rules that you expect to be followed for your pool. These rules may include no running, no diving or no playing chicken. If you have children, make sure they are aware of these rules along with any friends they invite over. It may even be a good idea to make a sign and post it near the pool that lists what these rules are.
- Cover yourself! Using a cover on your pool while it is not in use can prevent visitors both wanted and unwanted from falling in. Cover yourself by using a pool cover this summer
- Fence it in. Fences can block uninvited or unwanted visitors from taking a swim without your permission. Consider having a self-locking fence to prevent catastrophes from kids wandering around for some fun during summer nights.
Have a trampoline?
- Rules. Like with the pool, setting rules for the way the trampoline is used can help diminish the possibility for accidents and injuries. Rules such as no flips, no jumping at night or limiting the number of people allowed to jump at the same time can help create a safer environment.
- Limit access. Many trampolines can be purchased with a net to help prevent accidents. A sturdy net can be the barrier between a guest and a broken bone. Additionally, a fence around the backyard will limit access to uninvited guests.
- Location, location, location. Step back and look at your trampoline. Is it on a slope? Is there any sharp or dangerous equipment near by? Is it in the line of fire of the sprinkler? If the trampoline rests on a slope, gravity may not be your best friend in terms preventing liability claims. Make sure your trampoline is on a flat surface. Also, ensure that it is not near a fence with sharp peaks or any equipment such as a grill that reaches hot temperatures. In the event of someone falling off the trampoline, these would not be optimal things to land on. And of course, jumping on a wet surface versus a dry surface is easy math. The likelihood of slipping and falling increases greatly. Make sure your sprinkler is watering the grass, not the trampoline.
Have a playground?
- Rules. Like with pools and trampolines, it can never hurt to lay down some rules for how and when the playground can be used. Make sure your children are aware of these rules along with any friends they have over.
- Limit access. Fences seem to be a trend here, don’t they?
- Be a responsible owner. Inspect the playground occasionally to make sure no parts have broken, edges have sharpened or rust has taken over. Making sure that the playground is on flat, firm ground is crucial as well.
- Empty nest means empty yard. If your kids are long gone and no grandchildren are making use of the playground, get rid of it. Getting rid of a playground set may not rank high on your to-do list. However, if no one is using it, there is truly no reason to have it. The only purpose it could serve now is opening you up to a liability claim.
From all of us at the Dean Ballenger Agency, have a fun, safe summer! If you have any questions about this blog or blogs past, feel free to call us at 317-867-5433.
With temperatures hitting the 90’s this week, summer has officially arrived! One way Hoosiers thaw out from the harsh winter includes cruising on their motorcycles in the Indiana sunshine. So whether you are in the market for a motorcycle, or are just dusting it off from last summer’s adventures, contact your insurance agent to make sure the right coverage is in place.
Motorcycle insurance is similar to car insurance in many ways. Motorcycle policies include liability limits, property damage limits and deductibles of your preference, just like auto insurance. In addition to this coverage, some companies also offer “carried contents coverage” and “accessory coverage” for motorcycle policies uniquely. “Carried contents coverage” will cover any personal property that is damaged, destroyed or stolen that is on the motorcycle at the time of a loss. “Accessory coverage” includes any specialty additions made to the motorcycle. This includes sidecars, custom paint or plating and electronic equipment such as media players.
Wondering how motorcycle premiums compare to car premiums? Mostly, it comes right back down the same factors used to generate your car insurance rates. Factors such as your age, marital status, insurance history, driving record all play a role. Also similar to car insurance, the year, make and model as well as the garaging zip code will impact the premium amounts. Be sure to inform your insurance agent how much you drive the motorcycle, as well. The miles you ride (or don’t ride) can also change the rates.
Finally, our number one concern at the Dean Ballenger Insurance Agency is your safety. On top of having the proper insurance coverage, here are some additional tips to stay safe while on your motorcycle:
- Wear bright colors – make yourself as visible as possible while on the road. While on a motorcycle, you can be significantly harder to see in comparison to cars on the road. Make sure you stand out by wearing brighter colors and reflective features at night.
- Dress for the slide, not the ride – always be sure to wear long sleeves, long pants and closed toed shoes while on your motorcycle. Yes, it can be a little toasty in the warms summer months, but in the event you crash and slide against the pavement, your skin will thank you by staying attached to your body. Get the picture?
- Wear a helmet – this should be a no brainer if you want to keep your brains! You may feel cool cruising down the highway with your hair in the wind. But the least cool feeling in the world has got to be feeling your skull hit concrete. Please wear a helmet, seriously.
Contact us today for a motorcycle quote at 317-867-5433.
What is Memorial Day?
a day on which those who died in active military service are remembered, traditionally observed on May 30 but now officially observed on the last Monday in May.
We at the Dean Ballenger Agency love how Noblesville takes on a small community feel for holidays such as Memorial Day. We would like to thank the Kiwanis Club for selling the flags that go around the court house. We loved taking pictures there today and watching people walk by and look at the names of those who fought so hard many years ago for them to now walk these streets in peace. We encourage you to visit downtown Noblesville this weekend to honor those who have served. Happy Memorial Day! #SemperFi #InsureWithDean
When couples exchange vows, combining their existing insurance policies doesn’t typically rank high on the post-wedding to do list. However, combining policies as a married couple can amount to savings that may have you calling your agent the second you say “I do.” Being listed as married versus single can decrease your rates up to 50%. Make sure your agent is on speed dial.
This drop in rates occurs for several reasons. Once you are married, insurance agencies view you as settling down and therefore a lower risk. Additionally, once two people are married, in most cases, the insurance agency will pull credit scores on both spouses and use the better of the two scores found. This could mean dramatic savings.
This may be a good time to shop your insurance, as well, since you are now both starting a new chapter of life together. If you are looking at purchasing a house together, a quality agent can coach you through the process of comparing homeowner’s insurance rates for older homes vs a newer homes. Often times, newer homes come with significantly lower premiums than older homes. This could mean budgeting more money toward a newer home versus budgeting that money toward insurance costs.
Welcome to May, Hoosiers! The first month of sunshine, warm days and of course, the Indy 500. Like many other Hoosiers, you likely have plans to attend the 100th running of the Indy 500 and ring summer in right. But no Hoosier expects to ring it in by losing just that…their ring.
Ladies, picture you and your husband at the Indy 500. You’re enjoying the race with friends and the last thing on your mind is all the reasons you could lose the diamond ring on your finger. But unfortunately, there is a lot working against you – you’re sweating from the sun, the cold beverage in your hand is dripping condensation, and the sunscreen has made your skin slick. Your favorite driver makes his final lap, winning the race. Now your hands are in the air and for the first time today you notice one thing is missing, that beautiful ring that usually lives on your left hand. Now you and your husband are left wondering what the next steps are toward getting it replaced. This is where your homeowner’s insurance could save the day.
With a scheduled personal property endorsement on your homeowner’s policy, this loss of your ring is covered. However, this is only if the endorsement has been applied. In a very different situation, if a house fire occurred and your ring was destroyed, your homeowner’s policy will cover that up to a certain dollar amount without the endorsement. However, in situations similar to that at the Indy 500, the endorsement will need to be in place to cover losing it while out and about.
So, as you prepare your race day to-do list, be sure to call your agent to get your ring, or any other valuables you may wear, scheduled as an endorsement to your homeowner’s policy. This way, the day of celebrating your favorite driver’s victory can remain a day of celebration.