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New Year Update

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New Year Update

As humans, people, consumers, etc… We love to constantly update our life status, as well as be up-to-date on the latest and greatest. It can be the newest cell phones, techno-gadgets, movies, and fashion – whatever. We like to appear to our social universe as being interesting, exciting, fresh, and new. It is a competition of who can post and update first or who can get the newest ‘it’ item. Nobody wants to finish last or be left behind. It is all about the update!

Do you know what else needs to be updated?
Your insurance policies.

The start of the year is always a good time to review all of your polices and make any necessary changes. However, it is almost entering the third month of the year – have no fear! There is still plenty of time to update, but don’t procrastinate.
I know a woman that updates her policies almost a dozen times per year. She is always reviewing coverage to ensure that it matches with her current coverage needs and lifestyle. Marriage, divorce, children, pets, change of job, business ownership, and health – all of these events create a change in insurance policies. She consistently updates, because she knows that as life goes through changes, the amount and type of coverage for each policy must also change.

Have you made any major purchases? Save your receipts and educate yourself on inflation and exchange rates (for items purchased overseas) and how those might affect the value of your items and the replacement value as well. On the other side, be aware of insured items that have potentially depreciated. You don’t want to be paying a ton of extra money for being over-insured.
Did you do any major home renovations? Added solar panels? Updated your security system? Yes – you need to update!

Don’t get discourage or confused and feel like you have to go at this alone. Yes, there is plenty of information you can find on the internet, but our recommendation is to contact your agent and allow them to assist. Updating isn’t a difficult process, but it is an important one that deserve a lot of attention to detail. The right changes can save you money – now and in the future.

NOW might be a good time to review and update all your policies and make sure everything is still in alignment with your lifestyle. Then you can be the first among your friends to brag and update your social status!

Update NOW!
Update NOW!

Auto Coverage Analyzer

Buying a car means taking a well thought out decision. However, sometimes taking a well-thought, wise decision gets difficult. This is even more so, when it involves a big investment decision like buying car and insuring it. One wrong decision and you might end up in a financial soup. Once you have already bought a car or you have owned a car for sometime now, it is time for getting it insured.

Factors

Now, when we come to think of car or for that matter any auto insurance there are quite a few factors that have to be considered before settling for a particular market offer. Analyzing these factors would determine which auto insurance policy suits your needs the best. Or else you might end up paying too high premium or not taking enough coverage for your automobile. First of all one has to consider what is the purpose of owning it. Whether it is for personal use, used as public transport such as private taxi, or used in transportation of heavy duty or light duty industrial goods or is it put to some other use. Age is also a major consideration. Old vehicles have to pay higher premium as compared to the new one. Type and model of the vehicle also play a major role. Like wise there are N number of factors that need to be checked out.

Getting The Right Insurance

When you buy auto insurance online there are large numbers of sites that offer auto insurance on each site there are quite a few number of market offers. This makes online shopping for the right kind of auto insurance a tedious task. However, there are some sites that provide automated tools that assist you in determining what kind of auto insurance would work the best for you and how much coverage do you need. These tools or auto coverage analyzer can go a long way in helping you save a whole lot of money on auto insurance.

Wrong auto insurance would leave you paying amounts that are too high and paying extra for coverage you may not need. On the other h and, if you choose amounts that are too low, you risk being uncovered in case of an accident. Thus, whether you’re shopping for new auto insurance or renewing your existing policy, Auto Coverage Analyzer can help you make the right coverage choices. All you have to do is answer a few question about your financial st andings and your automobile conditions, price tag, coverage needs etc and the auto coverage analyzer would automatically generate coverage category wise auto policy value recommendations and explanation as to why is it needed.

Why it is Important to Buy Full Coverage for your Car

Having your car fully insured is one of the best ways to protect yourself from being completely out of luck if you were to get into a crash and needed to buy a new car. Here are just a few of the many reasons why a comprehensive insurance policy might be the best coverage to have.

1. If you have a loan out on your car, it is probably required.

In nearly every case where a vehicle is financed, you are going to be required to have full coverage on the car. This is a rule to make sure that the financier is covered in case the car ends up getting destroyed. You will find that this is the rule almost all throughout California, and especially in a crowded area like LA. For the most part, a dealership or bank cannot come after you for any difference between what your insurance would pay, and what you still owe on the loan.

2. Need your car for work? Better have it fully insured.

Some people absolutely need a vehicle either to get to and from work, or for their work itself. If you don’t have full coverage on your car, and you end up causing an accident that is your fault, you may quickly find yourself without a way to get from point A to point B. With comprehensive insurance, you will at least get a check for the value of the car.

3. Be covered if someone hits you who is uninsured.

An uninsured driver can end up being your worst nightmare if you get into an accident that they cause. While you can almost always go to court with a civil case and win a judgement against them, there still exists the very real possibility that since they did not have car insurance, they may not have much in the way of other assets or cash. If they were to decalre bankruptcy, or they just had no way of paying you, you would be out of luck. With full coverage, you will at least get the value of your car, and most of your medical bills paid.

4. Don’t be a victim of a hit and run.

Unfortunately, there are people out there who, if they get into an accident, will do everything they can in order to skirt responsibility. Someone who majorly damages your car, but has their car relatively unscathed, may decide that they would rather not give you any information or wait around for the police. With only liability insurance, you are probably going to end up only getting the scrap value for your car. If you have full coverage, or a comprehensive plan, you will probably be covered.

While buying full coverage will be more expensive than just buying liability coverage, you should recognize that you will keep yourself better protected from the millions of drivers in Los Angeles, and you will be covering yourself in case your car gets destroyed in a fire, flood, or something else that isn’t necessarily an auto accident.

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.

Who Are You Asking

Have you ever been in the middle of a discussion with someone, and then, out of the blue, they hit you with a question from left field? You know what I mean. This question is from left field for a couple of reasons. First of all, we were in the middle of a conversation that had nothing whatsoever to do with what you just asked me. I know some of you are thinking that I should be the last person in the world to complain about switching topics mid-stream. You may have a valid point, but I need you to stay focused.

The second reason that this question is from left field is because it is on a topic that have no knowledge of whatsoever. So, this person has broken the flow of a perfectly good conversation (a right reserved exclusively for me), to asked me a question I could not possibly answer. Okay, my mind is going a million miles an hour right now. I am thinking, “What are they up to?” Is this some type Jedi mind trick? The paranoid conspiracy theorist has emerged. So, I answer their question with a question: Who sent you? Good, I catch them off guard. They can’t respond, so I crank up the heat. Are you the guy that has been setting all of the brush fires in the state of California for years (For those who are new to reading my posts; I have a theory that the annual brush fires in California are the work of one man)? By now, the guy has forgotten the question he asked. He is on the defensive. Do I back off and give him time to recuperate? Of course not, that would be totally counterproductive. I turn up the heat.

Okay, right now everyone is going what in the world does this have to do with insurance in California? If I have told you once, I have told you a thous and times; let me do this. You read, and I write. That is the arrangement here. The connection between this story and Insurance in California, whether it is in Brentwood, Encino or Santa Monica, is that often in life things come out of left field with no warning. If you are not prepared to engage the unpredictable, it could literally derail your life.

If it’s okay with you, I am going to finish my story now. By the time I finished sending a barrage of question at this gentlemen, I could see that he was mentally dazed. He can’t even put together a complete sentence. I can tell that his pulse is racing and he is beginning to perspire. Let me ask you once more; do you think I relented? No, not even close. I could have said that I was just kidding. I could have given him a moment to explain why he felt the need to ask me that silly question in the first place, but that was not my objective. I had made up in my mind that I was going to teach him that despite what his second grade teacher told him, there is such a thing as a stupid question.

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.

Always The First

I have to be honest with you guys. I don’t really feel like talking about insurance. Tomorrow is my birthday and I am feeling quite blessed that my family won’t be cashing in my insurance policy. I just want sit here and take in the blessing of making it to see one more year. I do realize this is not a platform for pushing one’s faith, and that is not my intention. Whatever your faith may be, there has to be a point in which you take the time to sit down and simply express your gratitude for life. I have experienced and accomplished much. I have had my triumphs and my perceived failures, but I woke up this morning and I realized that in all that I have been through, I was still st anding.

Life has a way of putting things in perspective. With the forest and brush fires that you guys in California experience among other cataclysmic events, it can be easy to become consumed by the moment. Whether you live in Encino, Brentwood, of Beverly Hills, life happens. If you are insured when these moments come in your life, than great, but remember there are certain things that money can’t replace. Spend your life being grateful.

Okay, now that I have that out of the way, I do have something that I want to talk with you about. Yes, I am about to go there. People who live in California are always quick to remind me that they are not as liberal as most people think they are. Tell me why the passing of Proposition 215 was the first statewide medical marijuana initiative passed in the United States. Don’t get me wrong, this has nothing to do with politics, but I am just looking for some clarity. The passing of this proposition means that the majority of Californians voted to legalize marijuana for medical purposes. I am not arguing against it or for it, I am simply saying that a state that tries extremely hard to convince everyone else that they are not liberal in their approach to life has vending machines in which terminally ill patients can stop by and get their marijuana.

I have no desire to get into the political side or medical side of the discussion; I am simply attempting to wrap my head around the concept that legalizing marijuana should not be considered a liberal act. I know a bunch of people that are feeling pretty liberated right now.

Look, you guys were the first to legalize marijuana, but other states have since followed suit. I simply want you guys to realize that you have a liberal approach to life in general. I don’t doubt that there are some extremely conservative people who were just plain flabbergasted when that proposition became law, but they were in the minority on this one.

Now, to the logistics involved here. If a person is diagnosed with a terminal illness like cancer and they end up taking chemo, the doctor prescribes them some marijuana in whatever dose increments it is dispensed in, and the person just walks up to the vending machine and gets some weed? That is interesting. We need to revisit this one again.

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.

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.

All insurance agents are the same (NOT!)

Insurance agents are all about the big sale. They want to sell you everything you don’t need so they can get a tidy check at the end of every month. All they care about is getting your money. These are all common sentiments when people discuss insurance. We have all heard the horror stories. On one h and, we have an uncle who was badgered so much by his insurance agent, he finally got sick and died with the exact same disease the agent told him would be covered if he bought the new policy. Luckily he had purchased the policy, so his untimely death was not in vain.

Insurance agents are often unscrupulous, trying to get clients to purchase more insurance than they really need at inflated prices. They talk so fast you would have to have bionic ears to decipher all the rhetoric they throw in. Most try and convince their intelligent clients they don’t underst and, but what they are actually doing is trying to confuse and manipulate the buyer. What they tend to forget is, most of their clients aren’t as dumb as they want them to be and will often wise up fairly quickly.

The fact is all insurance agents are not the same. A good life insurance agent will help you figure out what your family will need in case of an emergency and you are no longer there to provide for them. They will get you what you need without burying you financially. Some agents actually care and try to do the best by their clients.

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