How often should you shop for home and auto insurance? Maybe more or less than you think.

questionWe hear this all the time: “I’ve been with my current insurance company for years. I’m just too busy to shop it. But all insurance is the same.”  This makes me cringe. There are four very good reasons to review your insurance options at least every 3-5 years if not more frequently.

  1. Your life changes. As time passes, many things change- you get older, your home gets older, you may do updates to your home, your family gets older so you may now have new teen drivers, or drivers who have left the household. You may have claims during this time that impact your rates. You may purchase different cars, obtain toys like boats, motorcycles, snowmobiles, ATV’s and more. All of these things can impact your needs and your rates.  That said, it may impact them more with one insurance company than another.
  2. Insurance rates change. Every couple of years insurance companies submit new rates to the states for approval. When they do this, they have considered certain factors about the types of clients that they have an appetite for. This can change over time. This means, you may be getting offered the best rates by some companies at one time and not the best rates from the same company at another time. This isn’t a reflection on you, just a reflection on what the company wants to focus their growth on. Same happens in reverse, they may decide that they’d like more customers just like you- so they will offer better rates the next go around to you and those who are like you.
  3. Insurance products change. Insurance companies are always looking for ways to be more competitive and grow their business. This means they are always adding new features and products to attract customers. Many of these can be pretty interesting and may be perfect for your needs. This means what were options for minimizing risks a few years ago may not have been as robust as they are now!
  4. Not all insurance companies are the same. Home and auto insurance from different companies can be very different. Yes, in general they cover many of the same things- your property, your liability etc. But that’s where the similarities can stop. Some will offer broader coverages- like replacement cost, others may not, some may include towing or more, others may not. It is a tough thing to navigate unless you have a lot of hours- or an agent who can help you. But I promise, they aren’t all exactly the same. Some may be a better fit for you than others.

Benefits to you to review your coverages regularly:

  1. Saving Money on premium. Recently, we’ve been able to save three families between $1,500-2000/year on their home and auto insurance premiums. This doesn’t always happen, but it can!
  2. Making sure your coverages match what you really need. You want to make sure you are only paying for things you are likely to use and are covered for things that are likely risks.
  3. You can take advantage of new features or insurance products. Related to #2, the new features for some products can be very appealing and appropriate for your unique needs.

But don’t shop too much. Some carriers do reward for loyalty. If you prove that you do stay with a company for a few years, new carriers may be more likely to offer you better rates as they know you will come and stay with them for some period of time too. The reverse can be true too, if you jump companies every single year, they may not offer you the best rates, as they know you aren’t likely to stay with them for long. So, you may want to think twice for before jumping company to company to company every single year for a few dollars savings. It is likely to catch up with you.

How do you know what to do? Consider working with an independent agent. Independent agents typically offer many products from leading carriers giving you “one stop shopping”. These agents are licensed, experienced and educated in the products from a number of companies. They can review your coverage needs for any changes or new products that are now available. They can share with you several different options with carriers, they can work with you to see which carriers can save you money or they can recommend that you stay where you are for another year and review again next year. They typically do all this for you, at no additional charge. Good agents will review this with you yearly so you’ll know you are in the best place for you for the next year. They can also help you with the entire transition over process if you do change insurance carriers, again making your life easier.

We are happy to answer any questions that you may have on reviewing your insurance. We are an independent agency covering NH and ME with a wide range of products from leading National and Regional carriers. We can be reached at http://www.keslarinsurance.com or 603-273-0953.

 

 

 

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Car Insurance Tips for your New College Student

auto insurance college driving.jpgIs your child off in college? In the chaos of it all did you consider telling your auto insurance agent to see if any changes need to be made? Once your child leaves home, their car insurance may need to change.

Child that is not bringing their car to college:

If your child is going away to college and they are not bringing their car with them, make sure they are still listed on your policy as long as they are household members, especially as they are likely to drive the vehicles when they are home from school. Additionally, removing your child from your policy can have negative effects on your child’s policy of their own later in life.

Tip: Some carriers offer reduced premiums if the child is going away to school over 100 miles away and leave their car at home.

Child is bringing their car:

If your child is bringing their car to school with them, make sure to check to see if the school allows cars on campus. Some schools only allow certain grades to have their cars due to limited parking availability. For insurance purposes, it could make a difference if your child is living on campus or way from campus. Also, it may make a difference if they are there during the school year only or year around. Note too, if you child goes to a school out of state, they may not need a separate policy in that state. Ask you agent for details on your particular situation.

Tip: Rural areas tend to have lower rates than cities; if their school is in a rural area you could potentially have a reduced premium.

Child is commuting:

If your child is commuting each day, alert your insurance carrier about the amount of driving they will be doing. It is important to check your policy and make sure that you have adequate liability coverage for your child. Additionally, many carriers offer a “Good Student Discount,” offered to students that maintain a “B” average or better during their time in school.

Tip: Make sure to review details of your policy with your child and encourage them to drive safe and understand the potential risks involved.

Always review your insurance policies with your insurance agent whenever there is a life change including new drivers, new vehicles, updates to your home, marriage and more.

Do you need Comp and Collision insurance coverage on your car?

untitled-designThere is so much to know about auto insurance it can be overwhelming to know what you need a when you need it. Often you only worry about your coverage when it is too late, and something has happened.

Let’s first review the terminology. Collision coverage will help pay for repairs to your car (as well as replacement costs, in the event your car is totaled) after:

  • Crashing into another car.
  • Crashing into an object.
  • Rolling over.

Comprehensive coverage will help pay for repairs to your car or replacement of your car after it’s been damaged by events that aren’t accident-related.Typically, with comprehensive coverage you’ll be covered for damage from the following:

  • Fire.
  • Theft.
  • Vandalism.
  • Falling (missile) objects.
  • Hitting or being hit by an animal including deer, cows, bears, moose and birds.
  • Natural disasters.

Note that not all policies are the same. Before purchasing comprehensive coverage, make sure you know what your comprehensive policy will cover.

You may find these coverages packaged together as “physical damage coverage.

When you’re shopping for car insurance remember it typically consists of two components:

  • Physical damage coverage (comp and collision) refers to coverage that pays your own costs.
  • Liability coverage refers to coverage that pays others’ costs.
  • Determining Necessity

    Because comprehensive and collision are optional types of car insurance coverage, you should consider some factors before determining whether or not you need to purchase these coverages.

    Your Car’s Value

    The value of your car is an important consideration when determining whether you need collision and comprehensive coverage. If you car is:

    • Older and/or low-value, it may not be worth purchasing these coverages, since they will only pay up to the estimated fair market value of your car. We will often ask our clients- if your car were to be totaled, could you afford to replace the car outright? If not, you may want to consider keeping some comp and/or collision on the vehicle.
    • Newer and/or high-value, having these coverages can save you from paying out significant costs to repair or replace your car (if totaled)*.

    * IMPORTANT: If your car is totaled, your collision and comprehensive insurance will only pay you the estimated fair market value of the vehicle. THE INSURANCE COMPANY DETERMINES THIS AMOUNT. If you have a loan or lease, consider gap coverage, which will pay the difference between your how much you owe and the car’s cash value.

  • Your Driving Habits. You should also consider what you put your car through on a daily basis. For example, if you drive a lot of miles, or if you park your car in a location that is especially susceptible to theft or vandalism, you might want to have comprehensive coverage.
  • NOTE: While these coverages are not mandatory in any state, they are generally required as part of a car loan or lease agreement.

Still uncertain what the right coverages are for you? Talk to a licensed insurance agent. They can discuss options with you so you can end up with the right coverages for your situation. We’d be happy to review your options for your given situation. We can be reached at 603-273-0953 or www.keslarinsurance.com. We are an independent insurance agency providing home, auto, business and life insurance in NH and Maine.

We thank you for referrals: Pick your favorite

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We consider a referral to be the ultimate compliment. That means you trust us to take care of your friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, anyone close to you- and always provide them the right insurance coverages and exceptional customer service.

For every home or auto quote we do because of you, we’d like to send you a personalized thank you.

Pick your own “thank you” from the options below:-)

Gotta love my coffee:

  • Dunkin Donuts Gift Card
  • Aroma Joe’s Gift card

Keep me going:

  • Irving Gas card

I’m a shopper:

  • I’d like a little “treat” from Amazon.com

Pay it forward. Give me the gift of Good Karma. Make a donation to the following local charity, part of the Keslar Cares initiative to help others:

Referral values are $5 for each home quote and $5 for each auto quote ($10 combined!).  To take advantage of this program, you can simply fill out the form below. Or you may call us, email us or have the person you referred call us or email us and let us know that you have done the referring and we will take care of the rest! We can be reached at 603-273-0953 or info@keslarinsurance.com.

Thank you again for taking the time to think of us. It is sincerely appreciated!  We promise to take great care of anyone that you send our way!

When does your new teen driver need to be added to your auto insurance?

teen-driving.jpgExciting times. You have a teenager learning to drive. When do you need to notify your auto insurance company you have a new driver in your household?

In New Hampshire, teens  who are at least 15 1/2 are allowed to begin driving with a licensed adult 25 years or older in the front passenger seat. The teen must carry identification that shows proof of age. (For Maine rules see here: http://www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/licenses/teen.html)

You do not need to notify your insurance provider until your teen receives a valid NH driver’s license. At that time, you should contact your agent who can easily add the new licensed driver to the household.

Not all insurance companies are the same when it comes to teen drivers.

Some companies do have better rates for young drivers than others. In our experience, the cost difference can be surprisingly substantial. Therefore, we recommend that you shop around for the right carrier that can offer you the right coverages at the best value. An independent agent maybe a good choice as they can review your information with multiple insurance carriers on your behalf- saving you time, and in the long run money!

Need more information or assistance?

If you have any additional questions or would like assistance reviewing options, feel free to reach out to us at www.keslarinsurance.com or 603-273-0953.

Providence Mutual now available at Keslar Insurance Agency

Providence Mutual Logo.jpg

We are pleased to announce that we now offer personal and business insurance solutions from Providence Mutual!

Founded in 1800,  Providence Mutual provides personal and commercial insurance protection to more than 70,000 policyholders in New England, New York and New Jersey. As a mutual insurance company, Providence Mutual is accountable to policyholders, and manages its operations with their best interests in mind.  The corporate structure allows the organization to take a longer-term approach to market considerations and pricing concerns. This results in a more stable and secure market for policyholders.

Business: As a small business owner in NH or ME, we know how hard you’ve worked to build and grow your business.  In times of need, you need to trust that your insurance company will be there. Well, you can count on Providence Mutual. Because that’s what they’ve been doing for our commercial customers for over two centuries.

Personal: Why buy your home, condo and auto insurance from Providence Mutual?  The answer is simple.  You get the coverage you need with the claims and customer service you deserve at a competitive price. We provide robust options in both NH and ME

When you combine the longevity and value of the Providence Mutual products with the service and expertise from Keslar Insurance, you can rest assured that you and your property are secure and well cared for.  If you’d like to learn more about Providence Mutual’s products or discuss any other insurance needs, please reach out to us. http://www.keslarinsurance.com or 603-273-0953.

Welcome Main Street America Group to the Keslar Family

MSA logo Main Street America.JPGHere we grow again! We are pleased to announced we have added the products of The Main Street America Group to our portfolio of insurance solutions. We now offer a full range of products for personal and business needs from the company. The Main Street America Group was established in 1923, and through growth and a few corporate structure and name changes, they now offer property and casualty insurance products in 36 states, surety bonds in 45 states and the District of Columbia and annually writes more than $1 billion in premium.

Personal Insurance
Main Street America offers homeowners, condo and renters insurance, personal umbrella and additional coverages that meet your specific needs. We also provide competitively priced personal auto insurance, as well as several discount programs, which can substantially lower your insurance premium.

Business Insurance
We provide all the coverages a small business needs: our business owners policy product with property and liability insurance, commercial auto, workers’ compensation and commercial umbrella.

If you would like to learn more about the products from The Main Street America Group or would like to talk about your insurance needs please contact us at www.keslarinsurance.com or 603-273-0953.