September 2016 - Susman
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Insurance Trackers

By now you have probably heard about those car insurance trackers – you know, the advertisements that talk about those little devices you somehow plug into your car so it can track how you drive and then determine how much you should par for your car insurance and what level of insurance you need…??

How do those work? Do they really serve as a way to save you money?

The device connects to the internal computer system of your vehicle and sifts through all the information and date until it finds what it needs to determine how safely you drive.  This info is then sent directly and wirelessly to the insurance company that you opted in with for this program.  Often times you have to use the tracker for at least six months. During this time period, the device tracks habits, speed, accidents, time spent driving, distances, level and rate of braking, and sometime even location.

There are pros and cons to using such a device.  Many consumers find the tracker to be a success and saved money in the process.  Others didn’t like the outcome, didn’t save ‘enough’ money, or didn’t find the process to be fair.  As of now, nobody is required to utilize a tracking device.  You best bet is to stay in contact with an insurance agent you trust and keep your car insurance updated at all times.

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New Home

In the market for a new home? How about your FIRST home? This is both exciting and stressful. However, to elevate some of the stress and confusion, there are lots of things you can do to help make the house hunt easier and the entire process less stressful.

–        Make sure you are saving/have saved for a down payment, closing costs, taxes, and insurance.

–        Constantly work on improving your credit score

–        Calculate exactly what you can afford and don’t go over budget

–        Get pre-approved to see if it matches your budget

–        Choose a realtor

–        Make at ‘wishlist’ of what you want in a home

–        Visit homes – hopefully find your dream home and make an offer

You also want to make sure you look at safe neighborhoods. While crime happens in all areas, moving to an area that is less prone and already has a low documented crime rate will give you peace of mind.

Don’t forget to add in other costs as well – utilities, landscaping, remodel/renovations. You might find an amazing deal on the house with a mortgage you can afford and then go WAY over your monthly budget, because of all the extras.

Take your time and don’t rush. Purchasing a new home – especially your first home – should be taken very seriously with a focus on every detail.

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Flood Preparation

Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States and can happen anywhere at any time.  It may happen with only a few inches of water, or it may cover a house to the rooftop. While it can happen without notice, there are some areas that are more prone to flooding.  The physical damage caused by flooding depends on the speed and level of the water, the duration, terrain, and environment.  It can cause fatalities and serious injuries, wreck transportation routes, cause power outages may be disrupted, contaminate drinking water, and collapse homes and buildings. Even a few inches can cause thousands of dollars in damage.

There are steps you can take to prepare for flooding and to minimize your losses.

 

Safeguard your possessions and start by creating a personal flood file in a waterproof deposit box or container. Be sure to include:

A copy of your insurance policies

A household inventory for insurance purposes

Copies of all important documents, including finance records or receipts of major purchases

 

Prepare your house by making sure you always have battery operated back-up to all electronic items, keep your home and gutter clear of debris, raise all electrical components, move all valuables to a safe place.

 

Most importantly, you want to develop a family emergency plan.  Always create a kit to include water, canned food, first aid, blankets, a radio, and a flashlight. Be aware of all emergency contact numbers, plan an evacuation route, and be sure to have a plan for your pets as well.

While you are at it- -update that flood insurance policy!

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Do Zombies Need Insurance?

Imagine living in a place swarming with zombies—no… a world of zombies (just go with it!). Governments have fallen, CDC is at a loss, the world’s armies have been decimated, and the human race is outnumbered. The only thing that is still operational just so happens to be portions of your city and local businesses, including your insurance agent AND your life insurance policy. Crazy, right?! This means that money still is of value, but not for long. If the news reports are anything to go off of, the horde should be descending upon your home in just a few weeks’ time. You’ve managed to keep your family safe and secluded, but the little piece of utopia you’ve managed to steal won’t last forever. Your family doesn’t know this, but you’ve been bitten. You have only a couple days until you succumb to the fever and lose yourself to the monster that is inside of you, and you have yet to say your goodbyes.

However, you have a plan. Your life insurance policy is valid and can protect and assist your family in their lives during the apocalypse after you have passed. Once you die, they will receive the payout you negotiated with the company you entrusted your legacy to, and they will be able to use that money to purchase guns and ammunition, medical supplies, non-perishable food, drinking water, and various other necessities for during the great zombie war.

You’ve done your part, but you can’t help but think about how differently things would’ve gone down had you not invested in life insurance.

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Road to Recovery

Cindy and Matt started saving for retirement around the time they first got married and when they purchased their first home. Their insurance agent assisted them with more structured financial planning, to include disability insurance as a ‘just in case.’ Once Cindy’s health changed, the insurance was sued to keep the family from entering financial ruin.

Be SMART About Setting Goals

Living a healthy lifestyle is something that I important to almost all of us.  So much that most of us insure ourselves and our loved ones to protect our health and lifestyle.  There is SO much that happens in our daily lives and we get so busy, that sometimes we forget about our own personal goals.  Setting and reaching your own goals contributes to your success, lifestyle, personal life, and health.  Setting clear goals, was well as creating a plan on how to achieve them can be difficult at times.  Here are some tips to help you with your goals on becoming a healthier and more successful YOU:

  1. Set clear goals
  2. Choose goals that have a defined purpose
  3. Set start and finish dates
  4. Schedule time to work on goals
  5. Track all of your progress
  6. Utilize S.M.A.R.T.

What is S.M.A.R.T?

SPECIFIC: specific, significant, stretching – Make your goal clear, not general

MEASURABLE: measurable, meaningful, motivational – set measurements

ACHIEVABLE: agreed upon, attainable, achievable, acceptable, action-oriented – make goals attainable

REALISTIC: realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented – Make your goal must match-up with time commitments and ability

TIMELY: time-based, time-bound, timely, tangible, trackable – Put a date on goals for accountability

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Protect Your Fur Baby

In my opinion, I currently have one of the coolest pets around!  I have always owned dogs and my last four dogs were all pugs.  I loved ALL of them, but my current pug, Roosevelt, is a mix of all those prior to him and is my favorite.  I got him when he was 12 weeks old and he immediately stole my heart.  He smiles, talks to me, knows how to react based upon how I am feeling and how he senses my emotions.  He is fun to snuggle with and just as much fun to take out in public.  Everywhere I go, people absolutely fall in love with him. His personality is unlike any other dog I have owned or like any other pug that I know.  I absolutely adore him and his is definitely part of the family.

Chances are, you have a pet (AKA fur baby) that you own and loves as well.  They steal our hearts and quickly become members of the family.  You do all that you can to support and protect your family.  Auto, Health, Life – all the different insurance policies you pat for each month in order to protect those you love.  So what about your pet?  Shouldn’t they have the same protection as well?

It might sound silly at first, but having pet insurance can save you a lot of stress and definitely a lot of money.  I have had two major medical emergencies with my dog and don’t know what I would do without pet insurance.  Perhaps now is a good time for you to get you Fur Baby insured as well.

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Regular Updates

Jeanne worked with Linda in a successful real estate business. They were hesitant and nervous about discussing insurance, but eventually purchased policies. The insurance agents helped update the policies as needed – making sure the business would be protected and the families not held responsible. The update of the policies saved the financial future of all parties involved.