EMPLOYER PROVIDED LIFE INSURANCE

EMPLOYER-PROVIDED INSURANCE:

This is great stuff and I advise that our clients load up on it. It is inexpensive and plentiful. Yes, please! However, a lot can happen during your working lifetime:

CRITICAL ILLNESS: You could develop a critical illness (e.g. cancer, stroke, heart disease, complications from diabetes, etc.) that could result in a long-term disability. What this means is that you are no longer an employee and that your life-insurability flew out the window with your employment status.

 

JOB LOSS: Lose your job and you lose your employer-sponsored life insurance. Nobody thinks this will happen to them but it does. A lot. In 25 years in technology, I can count on 3 fingers the number of colleagues who retired on their own timeline.

 

As well, this may happen at an inopportune time in your life. Say, for example, on your 50th birthday. After you’ve developed health conditions that either make you uninsurable or make life insurance extremely expensive. Ask yourself this question: Do I think it makes more sense to purchase life insurance for $50 per month now or $350 per month later?

 

ENTREPRENEUR: You may decide to strike out on your own, either because of a job loss or because you think the timing is right. Congratulations! You’ve built that solid financial base with a life insurance policy in your younger days when it was inexpensive. Or maybe you didn’t. Oops!

 

PLAN, PLAN, PLAN: Not having a portable life insurance policy is not a plan for success! Build the foundation for your wealth by protecting your income for your family. After all, it is for them not for you!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Personal Umbrella Policy

Personal Umbrella Policy

…rainy day coverage even if you aren’t rich or famous…

Before we launch into a discussion of “Who needs a Personal Umbrella Policy (PUP)?” let’s start with a definition, shall we?

What is a Personal Umbrella Policy?

Personal Umbrella Policies provide liability coverage beyond the limits of your underlying policies (e.g. home, auto, renter, landlord, boat, motorcycle, etc.). By definition, a liability insurance policy indemnifies (i.e. it “makes whole”) others because of damage or injuries cause by your negligence. A PUP also provides personal injury liability protection against claims due to libel, slander, invasion of privacy, and more. Your other policies do not provide this type of coverage.

The limits of protection are very high, typically starting at $1,000,000 and increasing in one million dollar increments. Most carriers require high liability limits on the underlying policies but this also serves to make the cost of the PUP affordable.

OK. So now you know enough about “What is a Personal Umbrella Policy?” to be able to have an intelligent conversation with your insurance agent.

Who Needs a Personal Umbrella Policy?

The obvious answer is: the rich and famous. Unfortunately, most of us are neither rich nor famous. However, we likely either engage in certain pursuits or present risks inherent in our lifestyle or family life cycle that can increase the possibility of lawsuits or losses and accidents.

Here are some examples of Pursuits and Life Cycle/Lifestyle Risks:

Pursuits

If you serve on the board of a non-profit organization, you have a much higher public profile than an average person and may be a target for lawsuits. Also, you might be held to a higher standard of conduct if you are clergy, counselor, or coach. Failure – or perceived failure – to meet these standards can result in a lawsuit.

Life Cycle/Lifestyle Risks

The risks presented by you and your family change over time and there are certain key Life Cycle events that trigger a greater need for increased liability protection, for example:

  •          Significant increase in income
  •          Large inheritance
  •          Inexperienced drivers in the household
  •          Increased commute due to a job move or a relocation
  •          Long weekend trips to visit kids in college or aging parents
  •          Purchase of a vacation or a rental property
  •          Retirement or Pre-Retirement

Your risks increase with certain Lifestyle choices as well, although most of us don’t realize it. The harm inherent in the following leisure activities and amenities requires not only increased awareness of safety measures but also present an opportunity for a lawsuit:

  •          Boat(s)
  •          Waverunner / Jet Ski
  •          Recreational Vehicle
  •          Motorcycle
  •          Snowmobile
  •          Horses
  •          Guns
  •          Pool
  •          Trampoline

Do You Need a Personal Umbrella Policy?

That is a question you need to answer for yourself. Talk to your agent and let him/her uncover your needs and develop a plan for protecting what is important to you. A PUP may not be as expensive as you think and you cannot put a price on piece of mind.

Remember: ‘This isn’t the Sears and Roebuck!’ You can’t exchange your protection once the damage has been done. It is important to have the protection before you need it.

“Stop being your own insurance agent!”

Gary Filippi, Allstate Agency Owner

981 Sunset Lake Rd

Fuquay Varina, NC 27526

919.552.0551 Office

919.609.0713 Mobile

 

GaryFilippi@allstate.com

http://www.allstateagencies.com/GaryFilippi

Facebook: Gary Filippi Insurance Group

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Now that’s Customer Service!

Now that’s Customer Service!

Why the telephone operator is not your knight in shining armor …

Ask anybody about the level of customer service provided by their insurance company and you’ll likely either get a blank stare or a resounding endorsement for the manner in which a claim was handled. The former is inexcusable, while the latter is not surprising.

Why am I not surprised?

I’m not fazed because we all have trained, detached, and pleasant-sounding operators standing by to handle reporting of your claims. And the claims adjuster will quote the damage and the repair shop will fix your car.

Hmmm. So, up to this point, your agent hasn’t had to do too much. Exactly!

Well, folks, what if you didn’t have the correct coverage levels built into your policy? Let me lay out a scenario for you:

The accident is your fault, and the other party was a lawyer who is now unable to practice law while she is on the mend.

What is the cost of her injuries? $80,000

Your insurance agent sold you a policy with only $50,000 worth of bodily injury liability coverage per person.

So the insurance company will pay the first $50,000. Guess who is going to pay the other $30,000?

Hint: It is not going to be the insurance agent who skimped on the coverage to get you into a policy that was cheaper than the other guy’s!

So what is the solution? Don’t buy insurance from a Telephone Operator! Talk to an agent and let him/her uncover your needs and develop a plan for protecting what is important to you. Did you know that it is usually only incrementally more expensive to increase liability coverage two- and even three-fold?

Now what are you waiting for? Talk with your agent to protect your family, your belongings, and your lifestyle.

Now that’s Customer Service!

“Stop being your own insurance agent!”

Gary Filippi, Allstate Agency Owner

981 Sunset Lake Rd

Fuquay Varina, NC 27526

919.552.0551 Office

919.609.0713 Mobile

 

GaryFilippi@allstate.com

http://www.allstateagencies.com/GaryFilippi

Facebook: Gary Filippi Insurance Group

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Auto Insurance Deductibles

Auto Insurance Deductibles

…deducing the correct deductible for your auto insurance …

Let’s start with a brief primer on “What is an auto insurance deductible,” shall we?

Deductible Defined

Your auto insurance deductible is the amount of money that a policy holder agrees to pay if he or she files a claim on their policy. So, say, for example that you have a $500 deductible and have a claim of $1,600. You (the policy holder) will pay the first $500 and the insurance company will pay the remaining $1,100. Please also keep in mind that auto insurance deductibles must be paid on each claim. They are not cumulative as are health insurance deductibles.

So what are my options?

Most insurance companies provide the following optional deductibles ($): 0, 100, 250, 500, and 1,000. There are not unlimited numbers of options (unlike what Flo would like you to believe) because it would be ridiculously difficult to determine appropriate rates given the many other considerations that go into pricing auto insurance for a policy holder (Hey! That sounds like the topic for another Blog!).

As you can see, the options run from “Whoopee! I’m going Crazy Taxi!” to “I’d better drive responsibly so as not to cause an accident.” Also — as you might guess — the lower the deductible, the higher the insurance premium. Why is that?

The reason for the inverse relationship is that lower deductibles entice policy holders to file claims. Isn’t that why you have insurance? Yes and no. It’s all about scale. I’m talking about the difference between a total loss and a dent that could be popped out by the local Dent Wizard for $50. Frequent filing of claims proves that you are a higher risk to insure, which results in higher rates.

So what do you recommend?

When you set your car insurance deductible, your main concern should be how it will affect your premiums. Although low deductibles may seem attractive, they may drastically raise your auto insurance rates. The less you’re willing to pay in the event of a loss, the more your insurer will charge you for coverage.

Usually, experts advise policyholders to set their deductibles as high as is affordable, given their ability to pay the deductible in the event of a loss. So if you don’t have a spare $1,000 available to repair your car, then you should carry a lower deductible.

Ideas? Sure! Put the savings from the lower premiums into a savings account and use it if/when you make a claim to pay your deductible. Remember: You don’t know if you’ll ever need to file a claim, but you do know that you need to pay your insurance premiums. Keep those deductibles as high as you can afford to and keep those premiums as low as possible.

“Stop being your own insurance agent!”

Gary Filippi, Allstate Agency Owner

981 Sunset Lake Rd

Fuquay Varina, NC 27526

919.552.0551 Office

919.609.0713 Mobile

 

GaryFilippi@allstate.com

http://www.allstateagencies.com/GaryFilippi

Facebook: Gary Filippi Insurance Group

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why Accident Forgiveness is Like Frequent Flyer Miles

Why Accident Forgiveness is like Frequent Flyer Miles…

…because both allow the carrier to overcharge the customer and retain customer loyalty…

 

With accident forgiveness, the carrier will “forgive” the surcharge on an at-fault claim. They do not forgive the claim — that still counts, and too many of them will result in cancellation of your policy!

 

So what is the customer to do? Not claim the small stuff! And this is just what the carrier wants and it is the precise purpose of insurance. You take responsibility for the small stuff and save the insurance dollars for the catastrophic stuff.  Folks that is why you carry a deductible on your insurance policy.

 

But you need to be careful that you are not being overcharged for the privilege of the get-out-of-jail-free card. Periodically reviewing your insurance coverages and comparing prices is always a good idea. Each person’s case is unique but you need to do the math. If “accident forgiveness” costs $200 per year in extra premiums and you haven’t filed a claim in 5 years, then you’ve nominally lost $1K – not to mention the opportunity lost to convert those savings into investments or even additional insurance coverages (e.g. additional life insurance, a Personal Umbrella Policy, etc.).

 

And take care with your coverages. If you carry low collision deductibles with accident forgiveness, then you are giving up too many dollars unnecessarily. It’s all about spending your insurance dollars wisely.

 

“Stop being your own insurance agent!”

Gary Filippi, Allstate Agency Owner

981 Sunset Lake Rd

Fuquay Varina, NC 27526

919.552.0551 Office

919.609.0713 Mobile

 

GaryFilippi@allstate.com

http://www.allstateagencies.com/GaryFilippi

Facebook: Gary Filippi Insurance Group

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

This isn’t the Sears and Roebuck

This isn’t the Sears and Roebuck

You can’t take it back once you’ve had an accident…

Many years ago, a mortgage loan officer told my wife and me that his bank ‘wasn’t the Sears and Roebuck…that we couldn’t take back our loan if we didn’t like it.’

That was a shock to the system at the time. The permanence of it all! Once I signed on the dotted line, I was committed to that loan. There was no turning back. I couldn’t reconsider and change it for one with better terms.

Well, folks, your auto insurance is the same – sort of. You can change your coverage levels as your needs change, and that is why you should have a good working relationship with your agent/agency. However, changing it after you’ve had an accident is too little, too late. After all, this isn’t the Sears and Roebuck!

So what is the solution? Talk to your agent and let him/her uncover your needs and develop a plan for protecting what is important to you. Did you know that it usually only costs incrementally more to increase liability coverage two- and even three-fold?

Now what are you waiting for? Talk with your agent to protect your family, your belongings, and your lifestyle.

“Stop being your own insurance agent!”

Gary Filippi, Allstate Agency Owner

981 Sunset Lake Rd

Fuquay Varina, NC 27526

919.552.0551 Office

919.609.0713 Mobile

 

GaryFilippi@allstate.com

http://www.allstateagencies.com/GaryFilippi

Facebook: Gary Filippi Insurance Group

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What is Homeowner’s Insurance

What is Homeowner’s Insurance?

More than just a warm, fuzzy blanket for your home…

Common Misconception

First, let me clarify a common misconception regarding Homeowner’s Insurance: Your homeowner’s policy is not a home maintenance policy. You must continue to keep your home in good repair and to deal with life’s little surprises. It is for catastrophic losses, such as a tornado or a tree falling on your house, etc. as well as to indemnify guests and others their bodily injury and property damage.

Replacement Value for Your Home

In case of catastrophic loss, Allstate will indemnify you the replacement value of your home. Replacement Value is not market or tax value as those include the value of your land as well as the access to and the cost of amenities provided in your neighborhood. Replacement value is the cost to replace your dwelling with similar materials and quality of construction.

 

Replacement Value must be accurately computed. At Allstate, it is determined by a variety of parameter values (e.g. square footage, quality of building materials, etc.) that are plugged into Allstate’s replacement cost estimator software. Think of it this way: if your home had granite countertops and the Viking stove before the fire, then it will have them after the fire. If not, then you will not get the upgrade – and your insurance rates should be reflective of this.

Liability Insurance

Liability Insurance provides coverage for lawsuits arising from bodily injury or property damage incurred to others as a result of your negligence. Get as much of this as you can. It is very inexpensive.

Guest Medical Insurance

Finally, Guest Medical protection covers the medical expenses of others incurred while on your premises – whether you are negligent or not. This is great for handling costs associated with Emergency Room, Urgent Care, or even Ambulance rides to the hospital since most people have large deductibles for these services.

Here’s What Homeowner’s Insurance is…

Homeowner’s insurance is something we must have. However, we shouldn’t view it as a “requirement.” It is protection for your home from catastrophic loss due to life’s big surprises. Inspect your plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems regularly. If tree branches or dead or damaged trees hang over your home, trim them back or remove them. Leaving for a few days? Turn off your water at the meter or have a friend or neighbor look in frequently. Maintenance is a part of the homeownership experience. Insurance is for unexpected and catastrophic events.

Likewise, it provides protection to your lifestyle. In 2009, $412 million was spent on dog bite lawsuits. The average payout per claim was approximately $25,000. Accidents happen and lawsuits sometimes follow. Could a lawsuit jeopardize your lifestyle?

So, think about homeowner’s insurance as a warm, fuzzy blanket that protects your home and your lifestyle.

Gary Filippi

Gary Filippi Allstate Agency Owner

981 Sunset Lake Rd

Fuquay Varina, NC 27526

919.552.0551

GaryFilippi@Allstate.com

http://www.allstateagencies.com/GaryFilippi

Facebook: Gary Filippi Insurance Group

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fear and Loathing in the Insurance Industry

Folks, there is much Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt about the insurance industry. In fact, in Germany our credibility is actually a notch below that of a Career Politician: http://bit.ly/du9WmT.

Why is this? Here are some of the interesting bits I’ve heard from prospects with whom I or my agents have spoken:

  • ‘You have a $1M umbrella policy on your home.’ Not really. Nope. Not at all. An umbrella policy is excess liability coverage that extends liability protection over your home and your auto. The additional cost for $100’s of thousands of liability coverage for your home is usually about $1 per $100 thousand per year. The cost of a $1M umbrella policy usually varies from $150 — $400 based upon the risk. The “risk” most closely correlates to the risk you put out on the road: teen driver, accidents, tickets, etc.
  • ‘My agent said I should take a deep breath before I switch insurance due to the accident forgiveness I get with <carrier X>.’ Sort of. This particular person hadn’t filed a claim on an accident in the 5-year accident experience period. If he did have a fender-bender, he paid for damages out of pocket, so as not to use up his “forgiveness” on a minor transgression. How much was he paying for insurance? Too much, as we discovered. He was paying a premium for the privilege of a free pass on an accident. And his behavior had been modified sufficiently well to prevent use of insurance as a maintenance policy (please look for an upcoming post “Why Accident Forgiveness is Like Frequent Flyer Miles”).
  • ‘My agent sold me a commercial auto policy because he said it was less expensive than a personal auto policy.’ OK, so a bit of groundwork must be laid to frame this in a context. If your auto is registered in the name of your business, then you must obtain a commercial policy. Folks, this is about insurable interest not economics. When a car is damaged, it is the owner who is indemnified. Finally, commercial auto insurance is not less expensive than personal auto coverage.

Consult a professional insurance agent and get the straight scoop. If you are insured by a call center, you are your insurance agent and you have gotten what you paid for.

Gary Filippi

Gary Filippi Allstate Agency Owner

981 Sunset Lake Rd

Fuquay Varina, NC 27526

919.552.0551

GaryFilippi@Allstate.com

http://www.allstateagencies.com/GaryFilippi

Facebook: Gary Filippi Insurance Group

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Insurance as a Commodity

Most People Think Insurance is a Commodity
You are unique, your insurance coverage should be too…

Our industry has trained you to think of insurance as a commodity: think green lizard with a British accent. You, on the other hand, are unique.

“One-size-fits-all” is cheap and easy for manufacturing but it shouldn’t drive the choices for protecting your family, your property, and your future. You don’t have the same priorities, concerns, and challenges as the next guy and you shouldn’t have to settle for cookie-cutter coverage. We are the insurance professionals so you don’t have to be.

Our promise to you:
Understand what you value (family, home, security): Often, that value is not apparent until you experience a loss. Then you become acutely aware that insurance is NOT a commodity.
Help you spend your insurance dollars wisely: Being underinsured risks everything. Being overinsured locks up money you could otherwise use to build wealth.
Build relationships: We strive to meet all of our clients face-to-face either at the office or at their home. We really do make house calls!
Build trust: We build trust one customer at a time. We are not a call center. We listen, we identify your risk exposures, and we analyze your needs and wants. We want to be your insurance professionals.

We’re not selling a commodity. We’re offering our services and our promise to protect what is valuable to you.

Gary Filippi
Filippi Allstate Agency Owner

Insurance is the service we provide to you as professionals in your community.

Filippi Allstate Agency

981 Sunset Lake Rd

Fuquay Varina, NC 27526

919.552.0551 Office

919.609.0713 Mobile

http://www.allstateagencies.com/GaryFilippi

Facebook: Gary Filippi Insurance Group
GaryFilippi@Allstate.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Welcome to Filippi Insurance Blog

We’re an Allstate agency in Fuquay serving southwest Wake County, NC. We’ll help you make sense of insurance.

This is our very first post on our agency blog. We are also on Facebook http://bit.ly/bGH13h also on Twitter http://twitter.com/FilippiInsAgncy

Drop by for a visit. We’re sure to post something interesting from time to time.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment