Rise in Car Accidents

If you have been reading the Columbus Dispatch, you have heard that many Ohio insurance companies are raising rates. The reason they are raising rates is because of the rising number of claims and the rising cost of these claims. Medical bills and auto body shops are charging a bigger ticket for services.Ohio Rates

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the state troopers have investigated 45,815 crashes this year, compared to 44,836 investigated during the same time period last year. This is not just a one year spike. The Insurance Information Institute says the number of collision claims per 100 cars has been rising since 2013.

Experts expect this is due to improving economy and more drivers driving more miles. Although, most people blame the increase in distracted driving by particularly cell phones.

With rising collision claims, rising insurance rates are in the near future. The best way to combat rising insurance rates is to contact an insurance professional or independent agent to help you shop your insurance. Knowing what discounts are available or coverage is necessary, are details that an independent agent can help you with.

Steps after an Accident

Call the Police. If you are really worried about whether your car is going to get fixed, you need to call the Police. Problems during the claims process are normally started because someone didn’t call the Police.

If the accident occurred in a parking lot or during bad weather, the local Police might not come to the scene of the accident. In that case it is your responsibility to collect as much information as possible. The most important info to collect is the name, phone number, and insurance information(policy number and carrier). After you have collected those you can then collect other information so that the story doesn’t change when the claims process starts.

Most people these days have a camera on their phone. It never hurts to take a picture of the license plate and damages done to both cars. If there was a witness to the accident, that was not in either car, it could be useful to collect their name and phone number as well. If the witness was a passenger in either car they are no longer considered a witness.

Basic information like time, location, and how the accident occurred will also be necessary to file an auto claim. If anyone is hurt, do not hesitate to tell the police officer or call for help. If you have an independent agent, call your agent and they will be more that happy to assist you during this stressful situation. If everything is done correctly the claims process should go smoothly.

IMG_1246

Lost Jewelry

How many times have you taken off you wedding ring and totally forgot where you placed it? Sometimes we are lucky and the ring comes up somewhere. Other times it falls down the drain or is sucked up in the vacuum  Wedding rings are so expensive and have a lot of meaning behind them. It can be very devastating to lose your wedding ring.

My advice for every married couple would to be, have your wedding ring scheduled on your home or renters insurance police. The average amount spent on a wedding ring in the united states is $5,598 according to TheKnot reported on USA Today. Most homeowners policies have no coverage for lost rings and a limit of $3,000 or below for theft of jewelry.

Scheduling jewelry gives you a sense of relief when you can’t find your ring. By scheduling your ring you add mysteries disappearance. Then if you lose your ring, you will be reimbursed the appraisal or receipt value of the piece of jewelry with no deductible.

Rings and other valuable jewelry are tookeyboard with ring costly not to schedule. Next time you talk to your independent agent about renters insurance or home owners insurance, please inform them of your jewelry. Scheduling a $5,000 ring will cost close to $50 a year. It is very much worth the coverage and security. Please feel free to message me any questions about home or renters insurance.

You could lose everything!

swimThe fact is that if you own assets and you have a future income that exceeds your insurance liability that you could lose everything. Big lawsuits hit middle class families if their involved in a serious car accident, an injury occurs at home, or defamation of character. If you lose a lawsuit like this you can lose your home, retirement or savings accounts, and have your wages garnished until the lawsuit is satisfied.

When a situation like this occurs it is hard to figure out how to pay for damages and legal fees. Even if you win the lawsuit you still have racked up legal cost. An umbrella policy can help pay some of these cost. If you haven’t already, I would suggest talking to your independent auto and home insurance agent. Umbrella polices are additional liability policies that extend over your auto and home policies. You can buy million dollar limits for a couple hundred dollars a year.

Insurance is possibly the most important financial decisions you make. Making smart insurance decision won’t make you money but they will protect the assets and investments that you have worked hard to create. One quick moment on the road can make the rest of your work disappear if you don’t take precautionary steps like purchasing an umbrella policy. The mindset for many people when we tell them about umbrella policies is that they are only for the rich. The fact is that it is more for the middle class workers that don’t have the expendable cash to self insure their assets.

When making key decision of on your insurance coverage. Make sure your speaking with an independent agent. Independent agents work for you and at Griffin-Lantz Insurance we only give you advice that we would follow as well. Independent agents want the best for their clients.

After the Fire

The winter months are a common time for house fire due to Christmas lights, candles, fireplaces, and cooking accidents.  Everyone has been told what to do when a fire starts in your home, but what do you do after the fire is put out?

House Fire
Whats next after the fire?

Fire is a not the only thing that damages your home during a fire. After your house catches fire it will be exposed to the outdoor elements and the water pumped in to put the fire out. Within minutes, plastics and marble surfaces begin to permanently stain. Within hours, metals will tarnish, grout will stain, fiberglass and your furniture will begin to yellow. After several days if not treated right, you may lose fabrics, wood furniture and floors will stain. This is why when a fire kindles in your home it is very important what you do when the fire is put out.

First, you have an obligation to contact your insurance company. If you are insured with an independent agent like us at Griffin-Lantz Insurance, we will be able to refer you to a trusted company that will help restore and rescue your belongings. We are in constant contact with local trusted companies that can help you when time is the issue. Do not walk back into your house after the fire has been extinguished. The structure may be damage and may be at risk to collapse or fall through. Also, particles of incomplete combustion (PIC’s) remain in the air and on the surface after the fire is out. These PIC’s are carcinogens and are easily inhaled. These can be particularly damaging to those with respiratory concern.

Most importantly, we as your independent agent want to make sure you and your family are safe and have somewhere to stay. Your insurance policy should have a loss of use coverage that will put you in a comfortably living situation similar to your current home.

Auto Glass Claims and Advice

Winter is coming and so are auto glass claims. Make sure your prepared for those nicks and cracks to your windshield. As the temperatures drop, your auto glass becomes more vulnerable.

If you notice a crack in your windshield be sure to clean it and place a piece of tape over it to keep dust from settling in the crack. Then call an auto glass repair company like Safelite. Most auto glass companies will come directly to your vehicle to make the repair.

Most insurance companies will cover repairs with no additional cost. Replacement of windshields usually require a payment of your comprehensive deductible or additional glass coverage on your policy. If you have questions about your coverage, call an independent agent to discuss your coverage or possible options.

Fall is Here

Millenium Fall (1020x298)

It’s that time of year again, when the colorful leaves make for a scenic view. Whether I am going for a walk or checking my Instagram, all I see are stunning images of the natural colors of fall. Although the leaves look vibrant in the trees, they can be a nuisance to your home.

If you haven’t cleaned your gutters yet, then your home could be at risk.  Clogged Gutters are responsible for costly damage to homes, such as: rotting fascia boards, water damage to interior walls and ceilings, surface erosion around the home, wet basements, and cracked foundations. Cleaning you gutters once or twice a year can prevent your home from needing these costly repairs.

Keep your gutters clean and avoiding claims on your homeowners insurance will save you money in the future. We all know the more claims you file, the higher your homeowners insurance will be. Taking precautions like cleaning your gutters can save you money, but so can having a independent insurance agent that can give you claims advice before the claim goes against your record. We work for you.