Risk of buying auto insurance online. Price isn’t everything. Here’s an example.

online shoppingThinking of buying your auto insurance online? Please be careful. We recently had a prospect use one of those “name your price” type of insurance websites. She did get insurance. She did like the payments. She thought she was all set.

What she didn’t realize that she was insured for the state minimum requirements of:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury, per person.
  • $50,000 for bodily injury, if multiple people are injured in an accident

That sounds like a lot, right? But think a bit about it. If there is an accident, and either one person is pretty hurt or multiple people are hurt, what will that cost? Costs can include

  • the ambulance rides to the hospital
  • emergency room fees
  • all the x-ray and other tests
  • the cost of utilizing beds
  • the cost of the each of the physicians who review reports and meets with the patients
  • Costs of any medications
  • or any equipment supplied…

We could go on and on. One resource we found online stated the average cost of EACH injury from a car accident is over $61,000. If that’s true, the coverage of 25,000/50,000 won’t go very far. What happens if the expenses are more than the coverage you have? That could be an expense you could be responsible for out of pocket. Can you afford that?

So, what if you chose that policy because you were very concerned about price? Great question. We recommend you work with an independent agent who can look numerous carriers for you. They can find the carrier who offers the best price for your needs. They can tell you how inexpensive it may be to increase those coverages. They can make sure you are really getting every discount for which you are eligible.

What did our customer do? She switched to us. We found her discounts- including bundling her home and auto policies with one carrier. She was able to get much more substantial coverages for only a few extra dollars a month when we looked at all her insurance needs in totality.

It does pay to be a smart shopper. It can pay to work with an independent agent who can review all this for you, at no charge to you.

If you’d like someone to review your policies so you can see if you really have the right coverages at the right price? Have any additional questions? We are here for you- anytime. Don’t hesitate to reach out and we’d be happy to answer any of your insurance questions. We can be reached at www.keslarinsurance.com or 603-273-0953.  Keslar Insurance Agency is an independent insurance agency offering business, home, auto and life insurance in NH and in ME

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Are your child’s possessions insured when they go to college?

Aerial of CampusWhen your child goes to college, are their possessions covered by your homeowner’s policy? Like everything else, it depends.  We recommend you discuss this with your insurance agent to make sure that you know the best ways to keep your kid’s items protected.

On campus housing:

Most student personal possessions are covered under their parents’ homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy if the student lives in a dormitory.

  • There may be some limitations on how much it is covered for as “off premise possessions” are handled separately so always check with your agent to make sure it is enough to cover their belongings.
  • Encourage students to leave expensive jewelry and the like at home. Only bring essentials to school.

Off-Campus housing:

Students who live off-campus are most likely not covered under their parents’ homeowner’s insurance policy and need to purchase their own renter’s insurance policy. These policies are typically very inexpensive, often between $15-30/month!

  • Rental policies typically provide coverage for the personal property and liability coverage.
  • Discuss the importance of a “replacement cost policy” vs. an “actual cash value policy” with your agent.
  • Many renter’s policies will pay the extra cost to live somewhere else temporarily if the student needs to move out for a while if the apartment is damaged. This can happen in a building full of students!
  • Note: If the student lives in a rented apartment, house or condominium, the landlord’s insurance doesn’t cover your personal property in the event that it is stolen or damaged as a result of a fire, theft or other unexpected circumstance.
  • If more than one student rents an apartment, house or condo, they each should have their own renter’s policy.
  • If your student is traveling abroad, ask you insurance agent if the renter’s policy includes coverage outside the US.

Compile an inventory of student belongings

In either case, it is good practice to create a list of the items the student is taking to college. This inventory will be helpful if the student’s property is stolen or damaged.

  • It should include the brand, make and model of each item, as well as serial numbers.
  • A photographic record is also helpful, especially if the student has personalized the laptop or tablet with a custom skin.
  • Keep the inventory in a safe place, along with receipts for the most expensive items.
  • The receipts will help establish value if the parents obtain replacement cost coverage.

Have questions? We are here for you- anytime. Don’t hesitate to reach out and we’d be happy to answer any of your insurance questions. We can be reached at www.keslarinsurance.com or 603-273-0953.  Keslar Insurance Agency is an independent insurance agency offering business, home, auto and life insurance in NH and in ME.

Keslar Insurance Agency Announces new hire, Brendan Jorgensen

brendan jorgensenNewmarket, NH, June 2017. – Keslar Insurance Agency, a leading provider of insurance solutions in NH and ME, announced the appointment of Brendan Jorgensen to the position of Administrator. Mr. Jorgensen comes to Keslar Insurance Agency with over 10 years of professional business and management experience which makes him well suited to continue contribute to Keslar’s focus on customer service.  Concurrently, Mr.Jorgensen is the Senior Pastor of the Newmarket BeFree Church. His work at the church requires him to foster strong community and individual relationships. Prior to this, Mr. Jorgensen worked as a Business Development Manager for Lamprey Networks in Durham, NH, where he was responsible for forming alliances with industry partners. He actively works with numerous non-profits including Friends of Newmarket, Newmarket Education Committee and the Newmarket Business Association. Mr. Jorgensen attended University of New Hampshire, receiving his BA in Psychology.

“I am delighted to be working with Keslar Insurance Agency, a company with an outstanding reputation in the insurance industry. I am impressed with the dedication of staff at Keslar Insurance to creating long term relationships with their clients by providing exceptional service,” said Jorgensen. “This is a wonderful opportunity for me to utilize my relationship skills to help clients address many of their insurance questions and related support activities. Because I have been so fortunate to have to listen carefully to customer’s needs and help address issues in previous positions, I understand firsthand the importance of providing consistent attention to detail in all forms of engagement,” continued Jorgensen.

“Brendan Jorgensen brings to Keslar Insurance Agency relevant experience, people skills and communication capability that will allow him to make substantial contributions to our organization. His hands-on experience working in people support positions, coupled with his years of business experience- will provide our clients exceptional support and care. I am pleased that this position has been filled with such a professional,” said Lisa Keslar, Vice President of Keslar Insurance Agency.

About Keslar Insurance Agency

Keslar Insurance Agency is a full service provider of residential and commercial insurance products in New Hampshire and Maine. Keslar Insurance makes sure clients have the right insurance products to protect the most important things in life-family, possessions and business. Keslar Insurance employees focus on providing the kind of service and value we’d expect for ourselves and our families. Our products which include Homeowners insurance, Auto, Life, Umbrella, Renters, Landlord, Boat, Snowmobile, ATV, Flood, Commercial Auto, Business Owner’s Policies, General Liability, Worker’s compensation, motor home, camper and more. For more information visit: www.keslarinsurance.com.

It may be more costly to go without homeowner’s insurance- for reasons you don’t expect.

A homeowners insurance lapse occurs when you go without coverage for any period of time — even one day. There are a few common ways it can happen, for example:

  • Your insurance company canceled your policy (for reasons like physical changes to your property)
  • You failed to make payments on time (which can lead to suspension or cancellation of coverage)
  • You let your policy expire without securing a new one

What can happen if my homeowners insurance lapses?

Your rates may go up. Even if your policy lapsed 2 days ago, you may face higher rates when you give your insurer a call to get it started back up. That’s because actuaries have found that people who maintain continuous insurance over the years tend to pose less of a financial risk, so letting your coverage lapse — even for a short time — could put you into a higher-risk category when it comes time to determine your new homeowners premium.

Your lender may purchase expensive insurance for you. If you have a mortgage on your home, your lender likely requires continuous homeowners insurance as part of the conditions of your loan. If your policy lapses for any reason, your mortgage company is often notified. The mortgage company typically has the right to purchase a policy on the home and pay for it through your homeowners escrow account — which will, in turn, raise your mortgage payments. Not only is this insurance almost always much more expensive than a typical homeowners policy, but it often entails lower-quality coverage, too. Lender-placed insurance often does not cover home contents, only the building itself and attached structures. Additionally, in some cases, the mortgage company could see this as a violation of the terms of your loan and may take legal action against you to recover the full amount of the money loaned.

You might have trouble getting insured again.  If you let your coverage lapse, there’s a possibility you’ll have a harder time getting a policy for the same financial-risk reasons mentioned above. This means, the companies that may take on your risk are likely to do so for either less coverages or higher premiums- or both.

If something happens while you’re uninsured, you’re out of luck.

Say you let your policy expire and haven’t secured a new one. Just as luck would have it, lightning hits a tree in your yard, causing it to fall on your roof and cause major damage. Or maybe a thief breaks into your place while you’re on vacation and steals some family heirlooms. You are financially responsible for those situations. Even if you secure a home policy right after an incident occurs, home insurers will not cover damage that happened before the policy’s start date.

What can you do? First, call the most current insurance provider to find out whether the company will reinstate the policy. Although this isn’t always possible, it may be the easiest and least costly thing to try first.

If you cannot get the policy reinstated, work with a local independent agent who can work with their various carriers to see who may be willing to take on the risk, at what price point.  After a few months, work with your independent agent to see if it makes sense to consider other carriers if new rates are excessive.  Transitioning to a new carrier is easier when there is already insurance placed on the home. Additionally, rates may be less expensive as you build up a history of continuous coverage.

For any additional questions, reach out to you independent insurance agent. Of course, we are always happy to help too!