Bad Driving Practices That Will Give Your Insurance Agent A Heart Attack


Bad Driving Practices That Will Give Your Insurance Agent A Heart Attack

I love my career. As an insurance agent in California, I get to work with many different people. Some people prefer to work in person and are very diligent at bringing the necessary paperwork. We develop close relationships and I enjoy getting to know them and their families. I also have clients who want to keep up with all the latest technologies and are full of joy to learn our office provides paperless documents. Here are stories about two of my favorite clients, Sheryl and Mike.

The Best Coffee in Los Angeles

While driving down the interstate to discuss reevaluating her family’s finances and insurance policies with me, my client Sheryl gives me a call. She was already in route and wanted to verify I was in the office. Now Sheryl is a very prompt individual. She is highly organized. Sheryl is one of my most valued clients because she believes in following everything to the letter. She has never been involved in an accident, has an excellent college and retirement plan, and takes ample insurance coverage. All of her insurance paperwork and pictures are filed electronically and updated whenever she makes new purchases. She is also a very frugal individual.

So it alarmed me a bit as she called, but she assured me she was wearing her seatbelt and using her Bluetooth which was hooked up in her truck. She told me she was passing a new coffee shop that opened and heard it was the best in Los Angeles. After I said, I’d like a cup, all I could hear was a skidding noise and horns honking. I asked Sheryl what was going on, she replied that she had to cut across the highway because this cup of coffee could probably save her on her premiums and she couldn’t afford to be late for our appointment, nor pay another toll.

Going Green to Go Red

So, my client Mike is a conservative and laid back fellow. He’s likes to treat himself well and have a good time. I was surprised to hear from Mike not long ago as he told me he was in a new relationship and believed he was falling in love. Mike really wanted to impress his new girlfriend as she was an environmentalist and always talked about green efforts.

So, without ado, Mike enrolled in the Beverly Hills Library and started taking a few computer courses to brush up on his skills. He figured he would start by recycling efforts at home and trying to reduce paper waste. He’d heard a lot of his friends were going paperless with their bills and paying them online, so he wanted to verify my office did the same. I told Mike we sure do and he can even print his insurance cards and we would not need to mail them. Mike was ecstatic. So I helped walk him through everything online and he was ready to go.

One afternoon, I get a call from Mike. Mike had received a ticket the night before. I asked him what had happened and he replied he was on his way to the airport to make a business meeting. He was running behind and speeding. However, he didn’t want to take a chance on being pulled over without his insurance card and left the one I walked him through printing online at home. Mike got pulled over for speeding and pulling his insurance card up online at the same time. Mike talked the officer out of the ticket for not having his insurance card as he h anded the laptop to the officer and told him he was holding his paperless version. However, Mike did get the speeding ticket.

Up Close and Personal

West Los Angeles could be a cool place to live. It wasn’t far from the Southern California coast or from the attractions of the city. Most of the time I really enjoyed it. The only tough part was my neighbors; it’s LA and most of the houses were built on top of each other. I eventually got used to being able to see into my neighbor’s kitchen and having them be able to see into mine but there were still times when I really wished we both had a little more privacy.

Tonight just happened to be one of those times. I was getting over a cold so instead of going out with my friends for the weekend, I’d just kind of hung around the house watching bad T.V. My sleeping schedule was off so there I was at one o’clock in the morning, wide awake and watching re-runs of Bewitched. During one of the commercials I decided I was hungry and got up to go scrounge in the kitchen for a snack.

That’s when the trouble started. I knew the guy next door had a new girlfriend and from a couple encounters I’d witnessed on his front porch I suspected they fought a lot. Tonight it seemed that suspicion was being confirmed. It was a summer evening and the windows were all open a crack. That made it really easy to hear the yelling from the kitchen next door. Though I couldn’t always hear what the guy said, I could certainly hear his girlfriend who was shouting at the top of her lungs. It seemed that she was accusing him of cheating on her and he seemed to be denying it.

Since the conversation next door was far more entertaining that anything I’d been watching on television, I sat down at the kitchen table with my carton of ice cream to listen. The more he denied her accusations, the angrier she would get and soon she was also blaming him for not making enough money and for wearing ugly clothes. It was getting a bit ridiculous. I was just getting a good chuckle out of her long-winded description of what really were a very ugly pair of shorts, (I’d seen him wearing them), when the argument suddenly turned violent. I could hear something shatter in their kitchen and alarmed, I jumped to my feet to look out the window. By the time I got there I could see that she’d gone outside into the very narrow side yard between our houses. She had something in her h ands but I couldn’t really tell what.

As it suddenly shattered the glass of the window beside me though, I was soon able to see it had been a DVD player.

“What the heck?” I shouted as I launched myself out the back door.

The girl had already stormed back inside but my neighbor was still st anding there by the fence.

“I may need to break up with her,” he stated bl andly as he stared at me.

“You think?” I replied sarcastically. “She just put your DVD player through my window.”

He shrugged. “Hope you have insurance,” he responded then turned and went back inside.

Like I said, most of the time West LA is a great place to live.

You Don’t Say

Living in California with its elevated cost of living and the constant coping with natural disasters is a constant reminder to Californians of the need to protect their assets through properly and adequately insuring them. Everything from life to property must be adequately secured. No one wants to face the situations of catastrophe and loss, but it is a reality in the life of every human being. Failing to prepare for these inevitable moments in our lives leaves us in an even more vulnerable position.

Although the majority of my posts look to find humor in discussing the subject matter at h and, the bottom line is quite serious. Whether you are in the affluent areas of California, such as Malibu, Beverly Hills, and Bellaire, or you live in the more impecunious areas, such as Compton, South Central, etc., the fact remains that tragedy happens and no one is exempt. It is always best to be prepared.

With that being said, I have learned quite a bit about the state of California over the course of my many visits and short stays. For instance, are you aware that there are more turkeys raised in the state of California than any other state in the United States? Somehow, California is just not registering in mind as the turkey capital of America. I guess my first question would be, “What are you guys planning on doing with all those turkeys? Don’t answer that.

There is a county in California, Alpine Country, which literally has no ATM’s, high schools, banks, dentists, or traffic lights. How in the world is this place considered to be a county? What supports the economy around there? No ATM’s and no traffic lights, I know what that means. It means that we don’t like strangers; we don’t even want your money, just keep right on moving.

What in the world is a riparian brush rabbit? That actually sounds kind of scary, almost pre-historic. This particular species of rabbit is said to reside in Caswell State Park. If I am correct, that is a total of about 255 acres. I often wonder how animals tend to remain within sightless boundaries. One thing I can say is that I don’t think that I will be visiting Caswell State Park anytime soon; not until I learn a little bit more about this riparian brush rabbit.

Okay, how many of you know where this is leading. That’s right; I am concerned that this poor animal may become extinct. Not because it is confined to such a small area, relatively speaking, but because with a name like brush rabbit, they are bound to become victims of the notorious brush fire b andit. For those of you who are reading my posts for the first time, you are not aware of my personal theory concerning the annual brush fires in California. It is a theory of mine that one person could be behind all of the fires. Admittedly, this is the result of the combination of too much time on my h ands and an overactive imagination.

Maybe we will talk more about this next time around; or maybe not. No telling what will be on my mind by then.

So Not True

You know it can be easy to pigeonhole people. People tend to stereotype other people, it is a natural tendency. This is not something that humans like to admit about themselves, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s true. I used to have this impression of people in California, especially those people who lived in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. Movies, magazines, and TV commercials portrayed Californians as stuck up and unapproachable. How many people know that I should not have allowed the media to influence my impression on anything?

Well, here I am with this notion of all these stuck up people. I mean, who else but stuck up people could live in towns with names like Brentwood Hills and Pacific Palisades, except stuck up people. Needless to say, my first trip (as an adult) to Los Angeles was quite interesting. I got off the plane with an attitude. Who do these people think they are? In Texas, what we call uppity people really chap our hides. That means stuck up people draw our ire. So, I am in Los Angeles giving everybody, including the cab driver, attitude.

After a while of engaging people I realized, hey, these are some pretty cool and laid back people. Are there some people that are walking around believing that the world revolves around them? Yes, but there are narcissists in every geographical location. Here I am eyeballing and mean mugging (looking angry) everyone, with no cause. I learned a valuable lesson that day. I learned that everyone deserves a chance to express who they are as a person before someone develops an opinion about them. I can’t imagine what the people that I encountered on that day was thinking about me, but it could not have been too good.

There is one thing that the media was not off on when it comes to Los Angeles, and that is its shopping and fashion influence. You can spend a lot of money very fast in LA. I know that I have. You can buy clothes, jewelry, art and so much more. This is where we talk about insurance real quick. How many know that when you buy nice things there are people who are motivated to relieve you of those nice things without remuneration? With all of the multitudinous trips that I have take to California, I have had several occasions in which some rather expensive items came up missing out of my room. When I notified the hotel manager of the incident and the cost involved, he had me file a formal complaint and in a reasonable time, I was reimbursed for my loss. The thing is the hotel did not have to pay me out of their own pockets (yes, I know that the hotel does not have pockets, work with me here), but they filed a claim on my behalf with their insurance company. It is important to have insurance that can cover all of the contingencies in which you are at risk for loss.

As far as the person who took my property, shame on you. Every time that I am in Los Angeles, I think about looking you up. One day my friend, one day.

This is Ridiculous

I am not from California, but I love the State and its diversity of cultures and regions. Being from Texas, I know what it feels like to drive for nearly and entire day, but still be in the same state. In fact, it was a driving trip to Los Angeles from Houston that brought me to the reality that driving out of state is for the birds. They have perfectly good airplanes for things just like this. It took more than 17 hours just to get from Houston to El Paso. That’s ridiculous. You can drive from Houston to Atlanta in 13 hours. As usual I am getting a little off course here, but those of you that know me, that is not that unusual.

As I was saying, you can drive forever and still be in Texas. There are only three states that you can experience something like that; Alaska, Texas, and California. California, however, is the only state in which the scenery and the culture changes so quickly and so drastically. Both, Alaska and Texas are extremely beautiful, but much of the drive through Texas is dry country. A drive up the coastline of California is simply extraordinary. I literally love California. There is one issue; however. The cost of living is totally ridiculous. When you compare the cost of living in California to the cost of living in Texas, the differences are astronomical. No wonder there are so many people from Los Angeles living in Texas.

If you know me, you also know that I am not going to be satisfied with simply expressing my concerns over the disparity in the cost of living between these two states, right? I need to know who in the world is determining this cost of living thing. I know that there is some economist somewhere that is going to chime in and give all of these different economic variables and formulas that contribute to the disparity in the cost of living in different geographical locations. Honestly, I’m not trying to hear it. Plus, I have my own theory about economists. By the way, where were you when the last California brush fire was started (inside joke with publisher)?

For what I paid for my little apartment is Marina Del Rey, I could buy a couple of houses in Houston. Let’s not even discuss places like Beverly Hills, Malibu, and Santa Monica. Man, if there is ever a group of people who need insurance, it is the people in California. There are some people that believe that they cannot not afford insurance, the people in California cannot afford not to have insurance.

Anyway, we still haven’t gotten to the answer to my question. Who in the world determines the cost of living? Does anyone have a phone number or email for this person? He probably does not even live in California. Then again, maybe he lives in wine country. There is something going on in wine country. I have not figured it out yet, but give me a little time and I will definitely figure it out.

For those of you that may be sitting there scratching your head, trying to figure out where you got lost in this discussion, don’t worry, it’s not you.

Paying too much for insurance? At least you’re not paying for these policies

For many California residents, the multiple forms of insurance are an inescapable cost of living. According to USA Today, the Golden State has the seventh-highest annual car insurance rates ($1,819) in the country, and Covered California announced this past May that the average cost of a st andard health insurance plan on the state’s health insurance exchange will be between $3,648 and $3,852 a year. That doesn’t even include the monthly costs of life insurance and homeowners or renters insurance.

If it feels like you’re spending too much on insurance, one way to look at things is that at least you don’t have to pay the premiums that many celebrities have shelled out to protect some of their prized assets. “It’s Not Unusual” singer Tom Jones saw nothing unusual in taking out a $7 million insurance policy on his chest hair, rock b and Kiss bassist Gene Simmons once had his famous tongue insured for $1 million and singer-songwriter Dolly Parton has $300,000 insurance policy on each of her, well, you get the idea.

Even if you are not the owner of a world famous body part, you might feel better about not shelling out the additional chunk of change for these five rather unusual policies that others have paid for:

  1. Alien Abduction insurance — A woman in the Southern California city of Santee garnered some attention in May when she photographed what appeared to be a UFO hovering behind a historical barn, but is that enough to compel people to seek a policy in the event they encounter extra-terrestrials? The United Kingdom’s Telegraph reported that more than 37,000 people have actually bought such policies, with one of the most famous purchasers being actress Shirley MacLaine.
  2. Supernatural attacks — Whether you’ve read “Twilight” one too many times or have been regularly viewing “The Walking Dead,” British insurance giant Lloyd’s of London does actually offer policies for those who are concerned about vampire, zombie or werewolf attacks.
  3. Asteroid/Meteor insurance — Los Angeles residents reported seeing the bright light of a meteor streak across the Southern California sky this past February. While this might seem like a more plausible policy to take out than some of the others listed here, an object from outer space that l ands on your home would usually be classified just the same as common falling objects here on Earth, like trees. So chances are good that your home is already insured for this type of disaster.
  4. Immaculate Conception insurance — One British company provided a policy for women seeking insurance in the event that they suddenly found themselves pregnant with the son of God. BBC News reported in 2006 that three sisters had been renewing the policy since 2000 before the company canceled it because of complaints.
  5. Improbable insurance — If you are a couple preparing for the birth of your first child, this type of insurance can help with additional costs in the event that the mother has twins, triplets or even more than what you were expecting. In one case, an insured couple actually collected on the policy when the mother gave birth to twins—twice.

Why I Love Term Life Insurance

I love term life insurance because it helps to secure my future in case something happens to me. It will protect my loved ones from financial disaster should I die.

I love term life insurance because I can get it at a fixed rate and is renewal when the term expires. Term life insurance is least expensive to obtain, so it fits better into my budget. My term life will help to replace my income should I decease. It will help to pay off a number of things so as not to be a burden on my family. It will take care of my debt, medical care, student loans, end of life expenses such as funeral costs and my mortgage.

If I bought a term policy for one year and I am told that I am going to die within one year, the death benefit is paid. No death benefit is paid if I were to die one day after the term should end. It is not likely that I will ever chose one year policies unless the doctor said I had less than one year to live.

At terms end, I can renew my life insurance or convert it to a permanent type life insurance.