Why choose an Independent Agent?

Why an Independent Agent?

Not all insurance agents are the same! Choosing the right one can make a big difference – in price, service, and value.

With other agencies, you get one company that sells one brand of insurance. With an independent insurance agency like TAG Insurance Services, you get choices.

Why? Because independent insurance agencies, like TAG Insurance Services, represent a number of different insurance companies, and can compare coverage and prices to find the best possible value for your individual circumstances. As independent agents, we are members of the your community, and we’re committed to doing business face-to-face and being your advocate in times of need.

 What we can offer you:

  • We work for you when you have a claim.
  • We are not beholden to any one company. This means you don’t have to change agencies as your insurance and service needs change.
  • We are your consultants, working with you as you determine your needs.
  • We are value-hunters who look after your pocketbook in finding the best combination of price, coverage, and service.
  • We offer one-stop shopping for a full range of products, including home, renters, auto, business, life, health, and retirement plans.
  • We can periodically review your coverage to keep up with your changing insurance needs.
  • We are committed to customer satisfaction – it’s the key to our livelihood.
  • We treat you like a person, not a number.
  • We are licensed professionals with strong customer and community ties.

There is a difference. To find out how our independent insurance agency can help you find the right insurance coverage, please contact TAG Insurance today. Find a local agent at www.TAGIns.net.

Condo Insurance

Condo or Condon’t — Condo Insurance

 

You’ve taken the plunge and opted for condo life.  Now that the papers are signed, it seems like everything is taken care of for you—building maintenance, roof repairs, landscaping, insurance, etc.  It’s time to relax because everything is covered, right?

 

Not quite.  The insurance policy provided by the condo association covers the building structure and common areas, but what about potential structural damage to your unit and covering your belongings?  Without a personal condo insurance policy, you could be left high and dry if your unit floods, is damaged in a fire, etc.

 

Most condos need two insurance policies.

 

Master Policy:  Generally provided by your condo association, this policy covers the physical structure of the building, including basement, roof, walls, elevators, lobbies, etc.  Coverage usually includes both physical damage and liability. Get a copy of the policy so you know what’s covered.

 

Personal Condo Policy:  This will cover additional structural damage to your unit, including cabinets, appliances, personal belongings, and more.  This also covers living expenses if you fall victim to a fire, theft, or other covered disaster.  Many insurance carriers, such as Safeco InsuranceTM, offer enhancements that include personal property protection in your condo insurance policy. Safeco’s Full Value Contents® protection will pay the full replacement cost of your belongings, not just what they are worth today.

 

Other coverage to consider:

 

Umbrella Policy:   If someone were to trip and fall inside or near your condo, they could sue both you and the condo association.  Umbrella provides additional layers of liability protection and can protect against lawsuits that target both your current and future earnings.

 

Flood or Earthquake:  Read the fine print on your policy.  They often won’t cover damage due to these disasters.  Additional coverage may be required if you live in a prone area.

Have questions? Find a local TAG agent at www.TAGins.net

 

 

 

 

Borrowing a car

 I’m borrowing my friend’s car … am I covered?

 

Most people have an idea of what’s covered and not covered under their various insurance policies. But at TAG Insurance, we get a lot of questions about borrowing or loaning a car.

 

Now that summer is here, and you might be looking to borrow your neighbor’s truck for a home-improvement project or a trip to the local landfill, we thought it was a great time to provide a little more information.

 

Generally, insurance coverage follows the vehicle rather than the driver. So in most instances, as long as the owner of the car has insurance, it’s covered even if someone other than the owner is driving it — as long as they have the owner’s permission.

 

The borrower’s insurance is considered secondary, meaning that in the event of an accident, it could apply if the owner’s insurance is insufficient to fully cover the damage.

 

It’s important to note that there are some exceptions to what is called “permissive use” coverage. For example, permission must be given by the owner, unless the borrower has a reasonable belief that they are allowed to use the car. However, the borrower cannot give permission to someone else. So if your teenager allows one of his or her friends to drive your car to Boulder, your coverage likely won’t apply.

 

Coverage might also be denied if the borrower operates the vehicle in a negligent or criminal manner. And if the borrower is using your car for business purposes, your personal auto policy likely won’t cover that.

 

If you have a regular long-term arrangement to either borrow or lend a car, the borrower should probably be added to the owner’s personal auto policy. Those who don’t own a car, but often borrow one, might also consider “named non-owner coverage,” an endorsement that provides bodily injury and property damage liability, uninsured motorists coverage and more.

 

Ultimately, it’s usually safe to loan your friend your car for occasional errands or projects. And the same goes for borrowing a car. Just make sure it’s for “normal” use. You’ll want to confirm that the car has coverage and that your insurance, whether you’re the owner or borrower, will apply.

 

 

 

Feel free to find one of our agents at www.tagins.net with any questions  — after all, you don’t want to wait until after an accident to get answers!

Cyber Insurance, do I need it?

Does your business need Cyber Insurance?

Consider all recent events we seen with the government data breaches. It is scary to think that if hackers can get into the governments computers, how vulnerable does that make small business owners?  Think about the following situations:

– An employee laptop containing private, customer information is lost or stolen during travel.

– A hacker gains unauthorized access to your network and steals private customer and employee information.

Then your business needs Cyber insurance!

Cyber events like these can have a significant impact on your customers, your employees and your bottom line. You need Cyber Insurance.

Here is a tidbit, 1 in 5 small businesses, with less than 250 employees were targeted with attacks in 2013.  The costs associated with these events can reach millions of dollars to cover legal defense, legal settlements, lost business, notification costs and more.

The potential for cyber event is real regardless of the size of your organization and the worst thing your organization can do is ignore the risk. Contact us at info@tagins.net  or find a local agent at www.tagins.net for more information on Cyber Insurance.

SR-22-What you need to know

SR-22 form details vary by jurisdiction. But put generally, an SR-22 is a certification  that is required by many states as a way of proving that an individual has current auto insurance coverage. These documents are often required for drivers who are considered high risk due to having had a DUI/DWI, being cited for driving without insurance, or having been involved in a traffic accident while not covered by insurance. The SR-22 allows you to provide proof of minimum Liability Coverage to law enforcement officials, if necessary.

SR-22 does not replace insurance

It’s important to understand that even though you may hear it referred to as “SR-22 insurance,” an SR-22 is not auto insurance and is not a substitute for auto insurance. Instead, it is simply certification that your auto insurer provides to your state that proves you have auto liability policy coverage that meets the state’s minimum requirements.

Who needs an SR-22?

If you need an SR-22, it will likely be because of a court order. High-risk drivers may have to obtain an SR-22 with respect to incidents including, but not limited to:

  • DUI or DWI
  • Repeated reckless driving
  • Multiple at-fault accidents or infractions
  • Driving or being involved in an accident without insurance

A court will determine if you should be allowed to have your license reinstated and under what restrictions. As a part of this, an SR-22 may be required. In certain circumstances, the SR-22 allows drivers to continue to drive legally, although they will have a restricted license.

How long to expect to have an SR-22

The duration of an SR-22 obligation varies by state and the nature of the underlying traffic offense(s).  In some states, this duration may be as short as one year or as long as five.  Generally speaking, a typical SR-22 period lasts from 2-3 years.

Information about Renters Insurance

Renters Insurance, do you need it?

You’ve finally moved in to your first apartment. You’ve properly furnished your new home with everyday essentials and are eager to begin living on your own for the very first time.

Renters insurance can help protect you from fire, smoke, vandalism, and theft-related losses. It also provides liability protection in the case that you are sued for bodily injury or property damage. There are two types of renters insurance: actual cash value and replacement cost. Although replacement cost policies are a bit more expensive than actual cash policies, they help reimburse you for the full cost of replacing your belongings — that is, the policy does not take depreciation into account.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), only 31% of renters have renters insurance. This low percentage is likely caused by the common misconception that landlord’s insurance covers damage to personal possessions. The truth is, your landlord’s policy probably covers only damage to the building.

Renters insurance is a smart idea if you’re a college student living away from home or a recent graduate, as you may not be fully covered by your parents’ homeowners policy. This not only differs by policy, but also by carrier. To be on the safe side, double-check with your agent about specific policy details.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you look into renters insurance:

  • Make sure to keep a record of items that may need to be replaced, such as a video or photo inventory. Make sure to store this in a safe place separate from your apartment.
  • If you are living with a nonrelative, your roommate may not be covered by your policy. Be sure to check with your agent.
  • Lastly, take the extra step and personalize your policy with additional coverage options that suit your lifestyle.

While this may seem obvious, renters insurance policies often differ by insurance carriers. Contact one of our agents at www.tagins.net/find-agent our qualified insurance agents will help  you find a policy that fits your needs, you’ll finally be ready to begin living in your new apartment — with a lot more peace of mind. Best of luck!

 

When Do You Need Boat Insurance?

If you’re only on the water for a few months, is year-round boat insurance necessary?

With warmer temperatures arriving earlier than usual, water season is well underway. Whether you’re out on your boat every day or just on weekends, boat insurance should be top of mind during the summer months — and even beyond.

Even after boating season is over, you may think canceling your boat insurance is a good idea to save some money. Here are a few reasons why you may want to keep your boat insurance year-round.

Boat Insurance on the Water

Naturally, you want to protect you’re boat while you’re using it. When you choose a boat insurance policy from a company that specializes in boat insurance, such as Progressive, you’ll receive protection designed specifically for your boat.

Choose from standard and specialized coverages, including:

  • Liability, which protects other people and property if you’re responsible for an accident
  • Comprehensive, for incidents such as vandalism, flooding, and fires that may happen to your boat
  • Collision, for instances in which you hit another object and damage your boat
  • Fishing Equipment, which protects your gear on board or while it’s being transported on or off your insured boat
  • Uninsured Boater, which protects you in case an uninsured boat collides with yours.

Boat Insurance off the Water

Protecting your boat while it’s on the water is an easy decision, but what about when it’s not on the water? What about when it’s sitting in a slip or even in your yard? You may think canceling your boat insurance to save a few dollars during the off season is a good idea, but a lot can happen while your boat isn’t in use.

In fact, nearly two out of every 10  boat claims in northern states are filed between Labor Day and Memorial Day — when boating isn’t at its peak. Most of these claims are filed due to vandalism, theft, fire, or flooding, which can happen at any time, not just during warmer months.

And what about injuries? You’re most likely responsible if someone gets hurt on your boat, but did you know you could be responsible for injuries around your boat, too? If you bypass boat insurance, you won’t have liability coverage to protect you in cases that involve injury, which means you may be responsible for paying someone’s medical bills whether you’re using your boat or it’s sitting unattended.

Whether you store your boat in a marina or in your yard, you may want to rethink any decisions to cancel your boat insurance while it’s not being used.

Year-Round Boat Insurance Could Save You Money

You may actually save some cash if you keep your boat policy all year. With Progressive’s disappearing deductibles, your Comprehensive and Collision deductibles are reduced by 25 percent for every claim-free policy period. If you go four policies in a row without a claim, you won’t pay a deductible if you file one after that.

Canceling your policy means you’ll most likely be paying the entire amount to repair damage to your boat since you won’t have any coverage. However, if you keep your policy, you may qualify for a $0 deductible after four claim-free years, which means you could save $500 or even $1,000 (depending on the deductibles you selected) when you do file a claim.

What to Consider before You Buy Boat Insurance

Before you make any changes, be sure to check your policy and review it with your agent to make sure you’re getting the most for your money.

Remember to look at what you have, then purchase boat insurance that covers your way of life. If you own a home, cars, a business, etc., you may want to consider a higher level of boat insurance coverage or an umbrella policy to protect your assets.

Understanding Business Owners Insurance

What is a Business Owners Policies (BOPs)

A Business Owners Policy—can protect your small business against today’s most common risks. Fire, burglary, liability and business interruption losses are all covered under a BOP.

Since a BOP is prepackaged, there is only one policy to review and it can be more cost effective than purchasing separate policies. Additional coverage can be added in the form of endorsements or riders.

Since a BOP insurance policy is specifically designed for small and medium-sized businesses, the type of business can influence eligibility. Normally, companies with 100 employees or fewer and revenues of up to about $5 million or less are candidates for a BOP. Some types of businesses, such as restaurants, may be ineligible for a BOP because of the specific risks inherent in the business and may need to consider buying the individual coverages separately.

Combining Three Insurance Policies into One Business Owners Insurance Package

In a single, convenient package, a BOP provides the core insurance that most small businesses need, including:

  • Property Insurance—Protection for your building or office space, as well as property owned by your business, such as equipment and inventory.
  • Liability Insurance—Coverage for costs that arise if someone is injured at your business or by using your products or services.
  • Business Interruption Insurance—Also known as Business Income insurance, this coverage replaces lost revenues in the event that your business has to shut down due to fire, wind damage or other covered losses.

You Can Also Tailor a BOP to Meet Your Needs

It’s important to understand that a BOP doesn’t cover all risks associated with running a small business and the coverage limits are usually lower. If you have employees, you may be required to carry workers compensation insurance, depending on your state. If you have a business-owned vehicle, you’ll need coverage beyond your personal car insurance. You might also consider insurance for relatively new risks such as computer system break-in or business identity theft.

There are unique risks associated with your small business; an insurance professional can help you find the business owners insurance policy that is right for you. Here are some other types of insurance to explore and ask about:

  • Professional Liability Insurance
  • Employee Practices Liability Insurance
  • Business Vehicle Insurance
  • Workers Compensation
  • Health and Disability
  • Flood and Sewer Back-up
  • Cybersecurity Insurance
  • Terrorism Insurance

For additional information on Business Owners Insurance, visit us at www.tagins.net for more information.

Umbrella Insurance

Umbrella Insurance

While its easy to assume that only a rich person could need that much insurance coverage, you’d be surprised at how important an umbrella insurance policy can be for an average member of the middle class. For example, if you have a car insurance policy with liability coverage, you may think you have enough protection in case of an accident. But a lawsuit could quickly exceed the $100,000 or $300,000 insurance payout.

An umbrella insurance policy provides an additional layer of insurance, typically $1 million or $2 million, above your auto insurance and your home insurance liability coverage. Consider the following scenarios where an umbrella policy would have been helpful:

  • A $1.2 million settlement in New Jersey where an underinsured driver hit a policeman who was completing paperwork at a traffic stop. The driver had to pay legal fees for his defense as well as the settlement.
  • $1.76 million was awarded to a mother and her 8-year-old child in Florida after a wave runner accident injured both of them. The mother needed corrective surgery after the initial injuries were treated.

Although 85 percent of umbrella insurance claims are related to car accidents, the policies offer protection against accidents that occur at your home, too — for example, in case someone falls down your stairs and sues you, or your balcony collapses during a party. Many people opt for an umbrella policy because they have a pool or a trampoline on their property and fear the consequences of a child getting injured.

Then there’s coverage for incidents you may not have even considered, such as accidents while you’re driving in another country, or while you’re on vacation and have rented a boat or Jet Ski.

Another important feature of these policies is protection in a lawsuit against you for slander or defamation of character, or for decisions you might have made as a volunteer member of a nonprofit board. If you regularly blog about controversial topics or rant on Facebook, an umbrella policy just might be a good idea to protect your assets from a litigious individual who believes you’ve damaged their reputation.

That may sound unlikely, but it’s not unheard of. In 2009, a high school student sued four other students and their families for $3 million because of derogatory comments the other students made about her on Facebook. While the lawsuit was eventually dismissed, reaching that verdict took two years and required considerable expenditures by the families. An umbrella policy can cover expenses related to such lawsuits.

You Have More to Protect Than You Think

You may be assuming that if you don’t have $1 million to lose, you don’t need an umbrella policy. Unfortunately, if you are sued by someone who falls down the stairs at your home or whom you injure in a car accident, you can be sued for more than just what you have in the bank.

Your retirement funds, investments, savings and even your future earnings are at risk if a judge allows someone to garnish your wages to pay off a settlement. In some states, the equity in your home can be part of the judgment and you would be forced to sell your home to pay someone who sues you.

If you own a house and have a retirement account or other investments, an umbrella policy of $1 million or more should be part of your financial plan. Most insurance companies offer these plans in increments up to $5 million, and some go up to $10 million.

Insurance companies require specific levels of liability coverage on your auto and home insurance policies before they will approve an umbrella policy, typically:

  • $300,000 per occurrence for personal liability, bodily injury, and property damage liability on your homeowners insurance policy
  • $250,000 per person for bodily injury and $500,000 per accident on your car insurance policy
  • $100,000 per accident for property damage on your car insurance policy

The average cost for a $1 million policy is $200 annually — which you might find a relatively low price for the peace of mind and security it offers

Auto Insurance Discounts

Auto Insurance Discounts

As independent insurance agents, we have access to a large number of insurance carriers.  These insurance companies offer a variety of discounts that can have a dramatic effect upon your premiums.  The following list of auto insurance discounts is not comprehensive, but it should hopefully give you an idea of the discounts that are available:

Vehicle Equipment

Air Bag

You could save up to 25% for driver-side air bags or 40% for full-front seat air bags. These discounts apply to the medical payments or personal injury portion of your car insurance premium.

Anti-Lock Brake System

Does your car have a factory installed anti-lock braking system?  You could receive a 5% discount on the collision portion of your premium.

Anti-Theft System

Cars with a built-in anti-theft system could earn you a discount of up to 25% on the comprehensive portion of your premium.

Daytime Running Lights

Vehicles equipped with Daytime Running Lights as standard equipment could earn you a 3% discount on certain car insurance coverages.

Driving History & Habits

Five-Year Accident-Free Good Driver

Got a squeaky clean driving record? It could translate into serious auto insurance discounts. If you’ve been accident-free for five years, you may be able to save up to 26% on most coverages.

Seat Belt Use

Buckle up and drive down your rate. If you and your passengers always wear seat belts, you could receive a discount of up to 15% off the medical payments or personal injury protection portion of your premium.

Driver’s Education

Defensive Driving Discounts

If you’ve completed a defensive driving course, you may be able to save even more on your premium.

Driver’s Education

If a young driver in your family has completed a driver’s education course, you may earn a discount on most coverages.

Good Student

Full time students with a good academic record could be eligible for up to a 15% discount on certain coverages. (In most states, policyholders between the ages of 16 and 25, who are full-time students with a “B” average or better, are eligible for this discount.)

Customer Loyalty

Multi-Car

Insure more than one car with the same insurance company and you could get a discount of up to 25% on most of your car insurance coverages.

Multi-Policy / Multi-Line Discount

When you insure your car through the same insurance and have a Homeowners, Renters, Condo or Mobile Home policy, you could get a discount on your car insurance.

To find out more about the insurance discounts you may qualify for, please give us a call.