Preventing Vehicle Break-Ins

// Taylor Vivant on Thursday February 25, 2016

Vehicle thefts and break-ins have been declining in the past decade, and according to a 2014 Gallup poll, only 42 percent of Americans are frequently or occasionally worried about having their car stolen or broken into. But, shouldn’t this still be a topic of concern?

The Insurance Information Institute says a car is broken into every 10 seconds. I’d say that’s a reason to take precaution. So, what can you do to make your vehicle less susceptible to car theft? Consider these suggestions:

Create Good Habits – As a driver, every day you should practice safe habits, such as removing the key from the ignition and locking your doors every time you leave the vehicle – even if it is a quick two minute stop at the bank. Additionally, make sure you park in well-lit areas. Dark locations make it easier for criminals to get away with your vehicle. 

Make Your Car Less Attractive – Someone wanting to break into a car is going to look for the vehicle that is easiest to be successful with. Making your car less appealing to a criminal will help deter them. Here are a few ways you can discourage a car thief:

  • Anti-theft window decals;
  • Audible alarms;
  • Steering wheel or brake pedal lock;
  • Blinking lights or other displays; and
  • Tracking system.

Protect Your Property – It is understandable that you’d keep some of your personal property in your car. However, when leaving your vehicle unattended, these items should be kept in the trunk where they cannot be seen or tempt a criminal to break in. Place items in the trunk immediately before getting in your car rather than once you’ve reached your destination. You also may consider keeping your registration card in your wallet instead of the glove compartment. 

Whether you are a part of the 42 percent worried about your car being compromised or not, these precautionary steps are easy and simple, and may prevent a significant loss. Make sure you’re doing what you can to protect your assets. 

 

Sources:
•    Insurance Information Institute
•    National Insurance Crime Bureau   

This material is for information only and is not intended to provide legal or professional advice. You are encouraged to consult with your own attorney or other expert consultants for a professional opinion specific to your situation. This information is only a general description of the available coverages and is not a contract. In an effort to keep your policy coverage affordable, the actual policy contains certain limitations and exclusion. Please refer to your insurance policy for the pertinent contract language and coverages. Some coverages and discounts are not available in all states. GuideOne welcomes all applications, without regard to religion, race, color, national origin, sex, handicap or familial status.

Taylor Vivant

Taylor Vivant

Taylor Vivant is a member of the Corporate Communications and Marketing team at GuideOne Insurance, where she assists in a variety of projects and tasks.

Away from work, she enjoys being active outdoors, adventuring with her friends and planning her next vacation.

Insurance Terms – A Year in Review

// Natalie McCormick on Tuesday November 24, 2015

This material is for information only and is not intended to provide legal or professional advice. You are encouraged to consult with your own attorney or other expert consultants for a professional opinion specific to your situation. This information is only a general description of the available coverages and is not a contract. In an effort to keep your policy coverage affordable, the actual policy contains certain limitations and exclusion. Please refer to your insurance policy for the pertinent contract language and coverages. Some coverages and discounts are not available in all states. GuideOne welcomes all applications, without regard to religion, race, color, national origin, sex, handicap or familial status.

Natalie McCormick

Natalie McCormick

Natalie McCormick is the Marketing Coordinator for GuideOne Insurance where she manages the direct mail program and assists with content marketing. 

When she's not at work she enjoys playing volleyball as well as perusing the local farmer's market.  If you can't find her outside you may find her inside reading a good book or baking a new recipe.

How to Run a Successful Food Bank

// Natalie McCormick on Tuesday November 10, 2015

In the United States, one in seven people struggle with hunger.  That’s 48.1 million Americans who are unsure where their next meal may come from.  Churches around the globe are working to decrease this number by donating food and implementing food banks at their house of worship.  If your church is interested in starting a food bank, or looking for ways to improve their current food bank check out the tips below.

  • Community Support – Your food bank will need ample community support to successfully operate.  Talk with other organizations in your area and see if they would be willing to assist in the operation of the food bank.  This could mean help with supplying volunteers, gathering donations or simply delivering the goods to families in need.
  • Mission – Develop a mission statement and service plan for your food bank.  Answer questions like, “What areas will we serve?”, “Will there be eligibility requirements to receive our donations?”, “Who will do the work?” 
  • Keep Records – Establish practices for recording who received what donations and of what items you have in inventory.  The practice of recording will be critical should you ever need to contact a recipient, about anything regarding the donation, such as a food recall. 
  • Distribution Method – Determine how your organization will get the food to the individual or family in need.  Two common methods are the shopping method and the ordering method.  In the shopping method, the individual will browse your pantry and pick what he or she needs.  In the ordering method, the individual will select items from a list you provide and a food bank volunteer will fulfill the order accordingly.
  • Insurance – Contact your insurance agent for information on your current church policy and if your food bank is covered.  In some cases, a small fee may be added to your policy to ensure your food bank is protected.

 

Sources: Feeding America, Food Bank of the Rockies

This material is for information only and is not intended to provide legal or professional advice. You are encouraged to consult with your own attorney or other expert consultants for a professional opinion specific to your situation. This information is only a general description of the available coverages and is not a contract. In an effort to keep your policy coverage affordable, the actual policy contains certain limitations and exclusion. Please refer to your insurance policy for the pertinent contract language and coverages. Some coverages and discounts are not available in all states. GuideOne welcomes all applications, without regard to religion, race, color, national origin, sex, handicap or familial status.

Natalie McCormick

Natalie McCormick

Natalie McCormick is the Marketing Coordinator for GuideOne Insurance where she manages the direct mail program and assists with content marketing. 

When she's not at work she enjoys playing volleyball as well as perusing the local farmer's market.  If you can't find her outside you may find her inside reading a good book or baking a new recipe.

Religious Expression Coverage – Is Your Church Covered?

// Ellen Wade on Tuesday November 3, 2015

It's important that your church has written policies that clearly outline and define your ministry’s beliefs. As a ministry leader, people look to you to set an example and embody the values of your faith – even though sometimes that can lead to challenges from those whose values differ from yours.

On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court issued its ruling in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, which involved two questions regarding same gender marriage: (1) Does the Constitution require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex; and (2) Does the Constitution require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed in another state.

The U.S. Constitution provides religious organizations certain protection for faith-based beliefs. However, it is important that your organization have the policies in place to outline what you believe in your governing documents and policies.

Download GuideOne's FREE e-book and better understand the key elements to safeguard your ministry and your religious expression. This timely e-book, developed specifically for churches, will offer you key considerations, such as:

  • Understand the laws in your state regarding religious exemptions to state civil rights laws.
  • Consider incorporating appropriate belief statements into your organization’s governing documents.
  • Consistently follow the provisions of your governing documents and operational policies.
  • Exercise caution when publicly addressing sensitive issues relating to sexuality and same gender marriage.
  • Discuss with your church's insurance agent the insurance coverage that may be available to your church in the event a claim is brought.

Download your free e-book today!

This material is for information only and is not intended to provide legal or professional advice. You are encouraged to consult with your own attorney or other expert consultants for a professional opinion specific to your situation. This information is only a general description of the available coverages and is not a contract. In an effort to keep your policy coverage affordable, the actual policy contains certain limitations and exclusion. Please refer to your insurance policy for the pertinent contract language and coverages. Some coverages and discounts are not available in all states. GuideOne welcomes all applications, without regard to religion, race, color, national origin, sex, handicap or familial status.

Ellen Wade

Ellen Wade

Ellen Wade is a Marketing Specialist for GuideOne Insurance, focusing on content marketing and social media.

In her free time, she enjoys running, biking, reading and exploring new cities.

How to File an Insurance Claim

// Troy Spoonemore on Thursday October 22, 2015

No matter how careful you choose to live your everyday life, accidents happen. Sometimes, they’re unavoidable, and there will probably come a time when you will have to file an insurance claim.

Filing a claim isn’t a bad thing. You buy insurance to help protect you during times of loss. The claims process is designed to help you and your family return to pre-loss conditions, and continue living as if the loss never occurred. So when life throws you a curveball, such as a car accident, house fire or break-in, how exactly do you begin the claims process?

When an accident occurs, one of your first calls should be to your insurance agent or to the customer service center of your insurance carrier. Your insurance company should be informed of the accident, so they can begin the process on their end. When making the initial call or submission, be sure to include the following information:

  • Name;
  • Contact information;
  • Preferred way of contact;
  • Best time to contact;
  • Date of the accident;
  • Type of accident; and
  • Severity of damage.

After this information is provided, you will be contacted by an insurance adjuster.  The adjuster is one who represents the insurance company, and their job is to serve as a channel between the customer and the company, and resolve the customer’s issue as quickly as possible. The adjuster will follow up to your claim submission with a few more questions and compile everything they need to create an estimate for damages. This will ultimately lead to you receiving a check. At GuideOne Insurance, it is expected that the customer is contacted by an adjuster within two business days or 16 business hours after submitting the claim. 

Before you are contacted by an adjuster, here are some tips on what to have prepared for common types of claims:

  • Auto Accident:
    • Date of the accident;
    • Sustained damage to vehicle;
    • Indication of vehicle damaged; and
    • Indication of persons injured.
  • House Fire:
    • Date of the fire;
    • Cause of fire;
    • Indication of persons home when accident occurred;
    • Indication of persons injured; and
    • Sustained damage to home. 
  • Theft or Burglary:
    • Date of loss;
    • How criminal entered the home;
    • Items stolen or damaged; and
    • Indication of other damage to property.
  • Roof Damage:
    • Date the damage occurred;
    • Cause of the damage; and
    • Sustained damage to roof.

The insurance adjuster may spend two to five business days collecting information to receive an estimate. Every loss is different, so the timeline of the entire claims process may vary. The more severe the damage or loss, the longer you can expect to wait. Across the entire insurance industry, the average time to resolve a claim is 10 to 14 days for auto and 16 to 20 days for property. However, at GuideOne Insurance, our average timeline is 10 to 12 days for auto and 13 to 15 days for property. We work hard to follow through on the promise from our agents – that you’ll be protected during times of loss and we’ll get you back to pre-loss conditions in a timely manner. 

With any accident, it is understandable you may be stressed and in a hurry to return to normalcy. However, it is important to remember to remain patient. Your adjuster is doing everything they can to resolve the issue, and do it quickly. Patience and cooperation are the keys to a smooth claims experience. 

This material is for information only and is not intended to provide legal or professional advice. You are encouraged to consult with your own attorney or other expert consultants for a professional opinion specific to your situation. This information is only a general description of the available coverages and is not a contract. In an effort to keep your policy coverage affordable, the actual policy contains certain limitations and exclusion. Please refer to your insurance policy for the pertinent contract language and coverages. Some coverages and discounts are not available in all states. GuideOne welcomes all applications, without regard to religion, race, color, national origin, sex, handicap or familial status.

Troy Spoonemore

Troy Spoonemore

Troy Spoonemore is the Director of Claims Development at GuideOne Insurance. He directs and oversees strategic development and transformation initiatives. He has worked in the insurance industry for 25 years, spending 17 years with GuideOne.

Common Insurance Terms: Adjuster

// Natalie McCormick on Thursday October 8, 2015

Your monthly vocab lesson in insurance terminology

Ever wonder what some of the terms on your insurance policy mean? If you're a first-time insurance buyer, or just not familiar with all of the insurance jargon, making sense of your insurance policy can be tough. Maybe the terms are memorable to you, but when asked to explain them, you're at a loss for words. That's why we're here, to help you make sense of insurance. Check out the Insurance Term of the Month below for your monthly dose of insurance vocab.

Adjuster ad·just·er [uh-juhs-ter] noun A claims agent charged with evaluating an insurance claim to determine the insurance company’s liability under the terms of an owner’s policy.

Adjusters may represent the insurance company, may be hired by the claimant or may be independent. Adjusters often handle property claims relating to damage of structures or liability claims involving personal injury. The adjuster reviews the claim by speaking with the claimant, interviewing witnesses, researching records and inspecting any involved property.

 

Source: A.M. Best Resource Glossary

This material is for information only and is not intended to provide legal or professional advice. You are encouraged to consult with your own attorney or other expert consultants for a professional opinion specific to your situation. This information is only a general description of the available coverages and is not a contract. In an effort to keep your policy coverage affordable, the actual policy contains certain limitations and exclusion. Please refer to your insurance policy for the pertinent contract language and coverages. Some coverages and discounts are not available in all states. GuideOne welcomes all applications, without regard to religion, race, color, national origin, sex, handicap or familial status.

Natalie McCormick

Natalie McCormick

Natalie McCormick is the Marketing Coordinator for GuideOne Insurance where she manages the direct mail program and assists with content marketing. 

When she's not at work she enjoys playing volleyball as well as perusing the local farmer's market.  If you can't find her outside you may find her inside reading a good book or baking a new recipe.

Common Insurance Terms: Out-of-Pocket Limit

// Natalie McCormick on Tuesday September 22, 2015

Your monthly vocab lesson in insurance terminology

Ever wonder what some of the terms on your insurance policy mean? If you're a first-time insurance buyer, or just not familiar with all of the insurance jargon, making sense of your insurance policy can be tough. Maybe the terms are memorable to you, but when asked to explain them, you're at a loss for words. That's why we're here, to help you make sense of insurance. Check out the Insurance Term of the Month below for your monthly dose of insurance vocab.

Out-of-Pocket Limit out of pock·et lim·it [out-uhv-pok-it lim-it] noun A predetermined amount of money that an individual must pay before insurance will pay 100 percent for an individual's allowed healthcare expenses.

The out-of-pocket limit helps the insured control risk by placing a maximum on the most they could spend in a policy year. It also helps the insurance company control risk by making the insured responsible for some of his or her healthcare costs. Once the insured has reached his or her out-of-pocket limit, the insurance company will pay for 100 percent of the allowed healthcare expenses. Deductibles, co-payments and co-insurance costs count toward the out-of-pocket limit.

 

Source: A.M. Best Resource Glossary

This material is for information only and is not intended to provide legal or professional advice. You are encouraged to consult with your own attorney or other expert consultants for a professional opinion specific to your situation. This information is only a general description of the available coverages and is not a contract. In an effort to keep your policy coverage affordable, the actual policy contains certain limitations and exclusion. Please refer to your insurance policy for the pertinent contract language and coverages. Some coverages and discounts are not available in all states. GuideOne welcomes all applications, without regard to religion, race, color, national origin, sex, handicap or familial status.

Natalie McCormick

Natalie McCormick

Natalie McCormick is the Marketing Coordinator for GuideOne Insurance where she manages the direct mail program and assists with content marketing. 

When she's not at work she enjoys playing volleyball as well as perusing the local farmer's market.  If you can't find her outside you may find her inside reading a good book or baking a new recipe.

Insurance 101: What College Students Should Know

// Ellen Wade on Thursday August 13, 2015

School is nearly back in session (where did the summer go?!) and it’s time to start thinking about packing up your college kids and moving them back to school.  In addition to making sure they're covered with tuition and books, it’s also important to ensure they have the proper insurance coverages while they’re away.

Auto insurance

Regardless of whether or not they take their vehicle to school, you need to call your insurance agent to let them know of the change in situation.  If your student takes their car with them, you need to inform your agent that the car will be housed in a new location.  If your child attends school out of state, you want to ensure you have proper coverage for that state, as laws, regulations, and minimum insurance limits can differ, and may require a coverage change.  If your student is leaving the vehicle behind, you want to let your agent know about the change in activity.  And, don’t forget to ask if your student qualifies for any discounts.

Homeowners insurance

Is your student moving into the dorms?  Depending on the value of their contents and your current homeowners policy, their property may be covered under your existing homeowners policy.  If your student has a considerable number of valuable items, like electronics, computers, and other devices, consider scheduling those items on your policy for additional protection.

Renter’s insurance

According to a recent study, only a third of renters had renter’s insurance. If your student is renting an apartment, whether it’s with friends or on their own, and they’re not covered under your homeowners policy, it’s imperative that they purchase renter’s insurance.  These policies are reasonably priced for the coverage given.  There’s no reason not to purchase the coverage to protect your belongings and gain peace of mind. 

There is a lot to think about when moving your student back to school.  Let insurance coverage be a no brainer by keeping your student properly covered.

This material is for information only and is not intended to provide legal or professional advice. You are encouraged to consult with your own attorney or other expert consultants for a professional opinion specific to your situation. This information is only a general description of the available coverages and is not a contract. In an effort to keep your policy coverage affordable, the actual policy contains certain limitations and exclusion. Please refer to your insurance policy for the pertinent contract language and coverages. Some coverages and discounts are not available in all states. GuideOne welcomes all applications, without regard to religion, race, color, national origin, sex, handicap or familial status.

Ellen Wade

Ellen Wade

Ellen Wade is a Marketing Specialist for GuideOne Insurance, focusing on content marketing and social media.

In her free time, she enjoys running, biking, reading and exploring new cities.

Common Insurance Terms: Umbrella Policy

// Natalie McCormick on Tuesday August 11, 2015

Your monthly vocab lesson in insurance terminology

Ever wonder what some of the terms on your insurance policy mean? If you're a first-time insurance buyer, or just not familiar with all of the insurance jargon, making sense of your insurance policy can be tough. Maybe the terms are memorable to you, but when asked to explain them, you're at a loss for words. That's why we're here, to help you make sense of insurance. Check out the Insurance Term of the Month below for your monthly dose of insurance vocab.

Umbrella Policy um·brel·la pol·i·cy [uhm-brel-uh pol-uh-see] noun Coverage for losses above the limit of an underlying policy or policies such as homeowners and auto insurance.

An umbrella policy provides an extra layer of protection to the insured. For example, if a homeowner is sued for damages or injuries caused to another person, and the dollar limit of the homeowner's policy has been exhausted, the umbrella policy is there for further coverage. An umbrella policy is particularly useful to an individual with a lot of expensive assets and therefore is at a higher risk of being sued.

 

Source: A.M. Best Resource Glossary

This material is for information only and is not intended to provide legal or professional advice. You are encouraged to consult with your own attorney or other expert consultants for a professional opinion specific to your situation. This information is only a general description of the available coverages and is not a contract. In an effort to keep your policy coverage affordable, the actual policy contains certain limitations and exclusion. Please refer to your insurance policy for the pertinent contract language and coverages. Some coverages and discounts are not available in all states. GuideOne welcomes all applications, without regard to religion, race, color, national origin, sex, handicap or familial status.

Natalie McCormick

Natalie McCormick

Natalie McCormick is the Marketing Coordinator for GuideOne Insurance where she manages the direct mail program and assists with content marketing. 

When she's not at work she enjoys playing volleyball as well as perusing the local farmer's market.  If you can't find her outside you may find her inside reading a good book or baking a new recipe.

Common Insurance Terms: Copayment

// Natalie McCormick on Tuesday July 28, 2015

Your monthly vocab lesson in insurance terminology

Ever wonder what some of the terms on your insurance policy mean? If you're a first-time insurance buyer, or just not familiar with all of the insurance jargon, making sense of your insurance policy can be tough. Maybe the terms are memorable to you, but when asked to explain them, you're at a loss for words. That's why we're here, to help you make sense of insurance. Check out the Insurance Term of the Month below for your monthly dose of insurance vocab.

Copayment co·pay·ment [ko-pay-muh nt] noun A predetermined, flat fee an individual pays for health-care services, in addition to what insurance covers.

For example, a copay would require you to pay a certain amount per doctor visit or per prescription to a specified coverage limit. A copay fee varies among insurers, but typically is $25 or less. A copayment is different from coinsurance in that a copay plan requires the insured to pay a flat fee, while a coinsurance plan requires that the insured pays a percentage of the covered costs.

 

Source: A.M. Best Resource Glossary

This material is for information only and is not intended to provide legal or professional advice. You are encouraged to consult with your own attorney or other expert consultants for a professional opinion specific to your situation. This information is only a general description of the available coverages and is not a contract. In an effort to keep your policy coverage affordable, the actual policy contains certain limitations and exclusion. Please refer to your insurance policy for the pertinent contract language and coverages. Some coverages and discounts are not available in all states. GuideOne welcomes all applications, without regard to religion, race, color, national origin, sex, handicap or familial status.

Natalie McCormick

Natalie McCormick

Natalie McCormick is the Marketing Coordinator for GuideOne Insurance where she manages the direct mail program and assists with content marketing. 

When she's not at work she enjoys playing volleyball as well as perusing the local farmer's market.  If you can't find her outside you may find her inside reading a good book or baking a new recipe.

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