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Claims and Your Insurance Rates

10/24/2017

When is it time to contact your auto insurance or home insurance agent to file a claim?

You might be thinking, "Whenever my car or house has been damaged, like by an accident, or a disaster." But deciding whether to file a claim can be a complex process. In some cases, a claim may cause an insurance company to raise your rates.  In other instances, a claim could land your name in a database that might make it difficult to get or maintain coverage in the future.  Before you file a claim, make sure you completely understand how it will impact your future premiums and insurability.
 
Claims that spike premiums
 
Certain types of home insurance claims are more likely to trigger an increase in premiums. They include:
 
1. Dog Bites
 
2. Water Damage
 
3. Slip-and-Fall Claims
 
"The whole point of insurance is to make good on a loss, to make individuals whole again," says Claire Wilkinson, the editor of Terms + Conditions, the blog of the New York-based trade group the Insurance Information Institute. However, many people fear that filing insurance claims will cause them to be "blackballed" by insurance companies, resulting in higher premiums, loss of coverage and difficulties obtaining new insurance. And in some cases, they might be right.  Read more here:

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What You Should Know About Rental Car Insurance

8/1/2017
There are some very serious contractual gaps in coverage for rental vehicles. Even if you purchase their Collision Damage or Physical/ Loss Damage Waivers, many rental car contracts exclude the following:
  • Theft of the Vehicle
  • Tolling, or Turning the Vehicle Over
  • Lease Gap coverage
  • Loss of Use
  • Glass, Tire and Undercarriage Damage
  • Animal Collision
  • Flood and Hail Damage
  • Damage above the Windshield
  • Individuals who rent personal vehicles for extended periods and do not have a Personal Auto policy in force
  • Drivers who rent, and do not own another vehicle insured elsewhere, need to be expecially careful here

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5 Ways to Control Rising Homeowners Insurance Premiums

6/10/2017
Just as with real estate values, location rules when it comes to homeowners insurance costs. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the average annual U.S. premium was $842 in 2015, the most recent year for which figures are available. Floridians paid the highest rates, averaging $1,534 a year, while at the opposite end of the spectrum, homeowners in Idaho paid $422.  North Carolina residents averaged $664 per year. 
 
Fortunately, you can take several steps to bring down the cost of your own homeowners policy, short of packing up and moving:

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5 Reasons Why Auto Accidents Are on the Rise

3/8/2017

According to the National Safety Council, traffic deaths increased 6 percent to 40,200 — the first time since 2007 that more than 40,000 have died in motor vehicle crashes in a single year.The 2016 total follows a 7 percent rise in 2015. Much of this is attributed to continued lower gasoline prices and an improving economy which has increased motor-vehicle mileage. 

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Questions about Your Claim? We Can Help...

12/28/2016

There are a few things you can do to help speed up your home insurance claim process. 

You can file a homeowners insurance claim by contacting:

  • Our agency; or
  • One of your carrier's local offices
You can also file the claim online. Most carriers we represent have adjusters available 24/7 – ready to help you. The sooner you report the loss, the faster we can get moving on your claim. 

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John Pratt is November's "Refer A Friend" Winner!

12/13/2016

 John Pratt is our November 2016 "Refer a Friend" winner! He received a $75 gift card to the River Birch Lodge.  Every month we draw a name from the list of folks that refer their friends and clients to us. 


Monthly winners receive a gift card of their choice. Spread the word, and get rewarded! 

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What is Distracted Driving?

6/20/2016

Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person's attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. These types of distractions include:

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Have Your Homeowner's Rates Increased?

6/7/2016

Homeowners insurance rates are on the rise in NC. If you have not already experienced a rate hike, you are likely to see one at your next renewal. According to the latest data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the cost of homeowners insurance increased 29 percent between 2005 and 2012, nearly twice the rate of inflation. 

Alex Tsetsenekos, vice president and general manager of homeowners insurance for LexisNexis Risk Solutions, says the rate spikes are caused by several factors, including “unanticipated losses from various weather-related events such as tornadoes, wind, hail and flash flooding in areas not previously prone to these losses.”  Insurance companies also have seen less investment income due to monetary policy following the recession, Tsetsenekos adds.  As a result, they have had a harder time offsetting unexpected losses.

To avoid higher premiums, we recommend that homeowners meet with their insurance agent annually to review their coverage and explore their eligibility for available discounts.  These annual meetings also ensure that your coverage is sufficient and up to date with any upgrades or changes made in the past year. 
 
Here are 10 additional, proven ways to lower your homeowner's insurance premiums:

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Boat Insurance Basics

5/1/2016

Learn the basics of boat insurance to ensure you have the knowledge and insurance coverages to help you stay afloat.  

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Life Insurance Basics

4/13/2016

Learn the basics of life insurance and its importance in protecting your loved ones.

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NC Cracks Down on Uninsured Employers

1/11/2016

Employers skimping on their Workers’ Compensation Insurance got an unwelcome surprise in the last 18 months: a knock on the door from an investigator ready to charge them with a crime.  Hundreds of others had another unpleasant encounter – a fine for their neglect. 

In the last year, the state Industrial Commission, responsible for enforcing workers’ compensation laws, has cracked down on employers who fail to carry proper insurance. The agency has collected nearly $1 million in civil fines from uninsured companies and charged 100 employers with misdemeanors for willingly going without coverage.  State law requires any employer with three or more employees to provide workers’ compensation insurance at no cost to the workers.

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Possible Higher Auto Insurance Rates tied to Gas Prices?

12/22/2015

Check out Fletcher Wilson of Wilson Insurance Services on WXII 12 News this past weekend: http://www.wxii12.com/news/possible-higher-insurance-rates

 

 

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Roof Insurance: ACV vs. Replacement Cost

8/11/2015
Will your homeowners's insurance policy fully cover the cost of damage to your roof?
 
You may have a gaping hole in your Homeowner's policy related to roof insurance coverage.  Many policyholders have indicated that they are not aware of recent changes made by multiple large HO carriers that significantly impact the way that claims are settled for roof damage.

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Barbeque Grill Safety

6/30/2015

Each year about 1,000 fires/explosions occur in the U.S. with gas grills, causing injuries. Many of the accidents happen the first time a grill is ignited for the season or after the grill's gas container is refilled and reattached.

Before you plan your next outdoor cookout, review these safety tips:

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Insurance Planning for Retirees/Empty-Nesters

6/5/2015

When the kids are out of the house and retirement is either on the horizon or has arrived, many people think about downsizing. Whether or not that’s true for you, it’s important to recognize that when you retire your accumulated wealth is probably at its peak.  

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More on Insurance Deductibles

6/2/2015

Deductibles are a vital component in any insurance policy, but they can be confusing. Learn how deductibles work and what to consider when picking one for your policy. 

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Personal Umbrella Policies

5/29/2015

Do you own a dog, drive a car, or Invite guests into your home? If so, you have the potential to be the target of a lawsuit, putting you at risk of losing everything you’ve worked for over the years! 

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Insurance Planning for Businesses

5/22/2015

As a small-business owner, you’re responsible for two families: the one you have at home, and the one you have through work. No matter what your business, a well-conceived insurance and benefits program is essential. If you die or become disabled, insurance can help protect your family and your business.  To get a sense of how well you’ve planned for these responsibilities, ask yourself these questions: 

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Renter's Policy Basics

5/19/2015

Home is where the heart is, and maybe all of your stuff too! If you're among the 1/3 of all U.S. households that rents, your stuff may not be protected should you suffer a fire or theft. Watch this video to learn the importance of having the protection of a Renter's policy:

Renter's Coverage Video

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Un-Insured & Under-Insured (UM/UIM) Coverages for Personal Auto

5/15/2015

3 out of every 7 drivers on the road are driving without insurance or without enough insurance coverage, and they're putting YOU at risk!

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Choosing Homeowner’s Limits

5/12/2015

Understanding insurance limits and how to pick them can be one of the most confusing parts about buying insurance coverage for your home and possessions 

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Insurance Planning for Singles

5/5/2015

If no one depends on you financially, your path to financial security may be smoother than most. However, it also means that if the unforeseen were to happen, you may not have someone to rely on for support—financial or otherwise. 

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Insurance Planning for Established Families

4/28/2015

You may be juggling kids at home or college, plus the demands of your job. Now that you’ve been in the workforce for quite a while, you don’t have as much time as you once did to recover from unexpected setbacks. 

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Long Term Care Insurance Basics

4/21/2015

Did you know that neither your health insurance nor Medicare would pay for extended long-term care services in the event that you needed them in the future? 

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Choosing Personal Auto Limits

4/14/2015

You're purchasing auto insurance to protect your vehicle, but what are these coverage limits about?

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Insurance Planning for Young Families

4/10/2015

When you’re starting a family you face perhaps the most daunting financial pressures you’ll encounter at any stage of life. Expenses like a new home and young children weigh heavily, and you’re likely still early in your career, far from your peak earning potential.

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Cyber Security and Your Small Business

4/7/2015

Today's businesses rely on technology to succeed. Unfortunately with the increased conveniences of technology, comes increased risk. 

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Tree Damage

4/3/2015

From heavy winds to ice and snow, all kinds of weather can bring tree limbs or even entire trees crashing down. Will your insurance policy cover the damage? 

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Disability Insurance

3/27/2015

Learn the basics of disability insurance and how it can protect your paycheck. 

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Personal Auto Coverage Details

3/24/2015

Personal Auto Insurance can be confusing! Briefly learn about the four basic coverages included in a standard personal auto policy. 

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Business Income/Interruption Coverage

3/17/2015

Learn about the basics of Business Income coverage and how it benefits business owners. 

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Why Choose an Independent Agent like Wilson Insurance Services?

3/10/2015

Why Choose an Independent Agent like Wilson Insurance Services? Discover the advantages of using an Independent Insurance Agent to build a custom insurance portfolio, while unlocking some of the mysteries of personal insurance - view our brief video here:  

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Insurance 101: Preventing a Data Breach

3/6/2015
When it comes to data breaches, the risk for organizations is high, from the easily calculable costs of notification and business loss, to the less tangible effects on a company's brand and customer loyalty. Consider the numbers: Total breach costs have grown every year since 2006, and in 2012, data breaches cost companies an average of $234 per compromised record, up $20 or 10% from last year, according to the 2012 Ponemon study.

The upside for companies nationwide is that they can minimize their risk. To avoid what sometimes amounts to operational paralysis, organizational leaders need to follow some basic guidelines.  In the following video, we share several proactive measures a business can take to prevent a data breach. 

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What Car Insurance Covers, and What it Doesn't...

3/3/2015

Understanding exactly what your car insurance covers is a crucial part of owning a vehicle, but experts say few consumers are fully informed on their auto policies. According to a 2012 survey by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), more than half of Americans don't know basic facts about auto insurance, and only 45% feel confident making decisions about it.

Here are six things you need to know about how well your car is protected:

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NHTSA Survey on Distracted Driving Attitudes and Behaviors Released

2/25/2015

The highest number of auto accidents occur at speeds between 35-40 MPH and between the hours of 3:00 PM - 9:00 PM.  These statistics illustrate the need to drive carefully during your daily routine in and around Winston Salem and the Triad.  This time frame also indicates a correlation between high phone use times and traffic accidents. Most drivers will answer a call while driving and most will continue to drive after answering. About 2 out of 10 drivers (18%) report that they have sent text messages or e-mails while driving; about half (49%) of those 21 to 24 years old report doing so. More than half believe that using a cell phone and or sending a text message/e-mail makes no difference on their driving performance, yet as passengers, 90% said they would feel very unsafe if their driver was talking on a handheld cell phone or texting/e-mailing while traveling with them.

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If a tree falls into your yard, who is responsible?

2/17/2015

“When a tree falls from your neighbor’s yard damaging your fence, why isn’t it their responsibility to cover the damage?”

The answer in a nutshell: because it is not their fault that the tree fell.  Stop for a minute and look at the tree and your fence.  Chances are, the tree has been there longer and when you decided to put up that fence, you set the stage for the tree to fall upon it.  Now I know the tree wasn’t as large when you put up the fence, and it may have seemed quite far away, but trees are known to fall when the wind blows, or when they are heavily laden with ice. If the tree was healthy and there was no danger of it falling on its own (i.e. absent the influence of weather conditions outside the norm), there is no negligence on the part of your neighbor and no responsibility for the damage caused when the tree fell.  This is a generalization, so always check with local authorities if there is any question.

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Preventing Water Damage from Outside Your home

2/3/2015

Devastation from water damage is not limited to the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry rooms. Leaking roofs, poor drainage, and clogged gutters/downspouts can also lead to significant water damage inside your house.  Here some ways to prevent damage from external water sources: 

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Homeowners Coverage for Gradual Water Damage

1/27/2015

Home ownership is a big responsibility. When you include all of the interior and exterior maintenance for which an owner is responsible, on top of the daily chores, owning a home merits a lot of planning and forethought.  

Obtaining the right homeowners coverage is a complex element in taking care of your home. Without the proper coverage, a homeowner's investment can quickly be destroyed.  Many homeowners purchase their homeowners insurance and never look back, not realizing that there are many perils that are excluded, even with the best possible homeowners insurance forms.  That brings us to today's topic: gradual water damage.  This type of loss is an excellent example of a common peril that is typically not covered under a homeowners insurance policy.

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Should you buy Flood Insurance?

1/20/2015

Flash flooding can occur anywhere, regardless of whether your property is located within a defined "Flood Zone" area.  A standard homeowner’s or business owner's policy does not cover flood damage. You must purchase a separate policy to have coverage for damage caused by "rising surface waters".  Pipes bursting, leaking, or other water damage from internal water sources are generally considered to be covered causes of loss and are not considered "floods". 

It’s a good idea to contact our agency to start the application process early - most flood insurance policies have a mandatory 30-day waiting period before they take effect.
 
For more specific information regarding flood insurance, please see the following:

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Six Signs That Your Injured Employee is being Treated by a Non-Employer Friendly Physician

1/13/2015

Most states allow an injured worker to seek care with whatever physician the employee prefers.  There are some rules to follow, but as long as the doctor cooperates there usually is not a problem. 

But when there is a problem, it is usually a big problem.  When the adjuster is working with a doctor that does not want to cooperate and respond to certain questions, that is a major issue.  This issue will affect the injured worker by affecting care and time off of work. It can cause the claim to go to litigation.  Something as simple as going to the doctor for an injury can morph into a serious legal issue. 
 
Please read on for some warning signs that a claim could be heading down a bumpy road.

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Freezing Weather Tips...

1/6/2015

Property damage caused by freezing weather occurs more frequently and creates greater damage than is commonly thought. When water freezes, its volume increases by approximately eleven percent (11%), and this expansion exerts tremendous force. This force is sufficient to break concrete or even steel! When even a small amount of water enters a structure and freezes, the resulting expansion further damages and weakens the structure, allowing more water to enter. The damage cycle continues until the source problem (the initial entry point) is repaired.

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5 Winter Tips to Avoid Workplace Injuries

12/30/2014

Winter is knocking at the door.  Ice and snow will soon be on the doorstep.  If your work environment involves a lot of transition between indoors and out, icy conditions present significant increased risks of bodily injury.  The problems  start as soon as employees pull into the parking lot.   In most jurisdictions, Worker's Compensation coverage begins as soon as the tires of the employee's vehicle cross into the lot from the road that leads to it.

With the slick conditions, injuries are eleven times more likely to occur than in normal conditions.  Accidents, ranging from minor slips and falls to major injuries such as broken bones, are common.  Do not wait for the injuries to occur.  Below we discuss Five Ways to be prepared for the long winter haul:

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How the Insurance Grinch Stole Christmas

12/23/2014

Every major event or activity that involves a family will usually have some impact on their insurance.  Christmas is no exception. Many of the gifts given to kids these days have insurance implications that the family should be aware of.

A partial list includes bicycles, tricycles, scooters, roller blades, skateboards, battery-powered “kiddie cars,” ATVs, radio-controlled vehicles, watercraft and aircraft, mopeds, motor scooters, motor bikes, go-carts, golf carts, kayaks, canoes, surf boards, “boogie boards,” wind surfers, inflatable rafts, jet-skis, gliders and kites.
 
Are you aware of the insurance implications of these “toys”? Read more below regarding some of the most common gifts for kids, with a discussion of the insurance issues surrounding both Property and Liability coverage.

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When Faced with a Business Crisis, How Will You Respond?

12/17/2014

In a day and age when a host of concerns—power outages, fires, illness of key staff, damage to stock, stolen laptops, customer complaints or criminal activity—can greatly disrupt business activities, every business owner needs to be prepared to mitigate the impact of these events.

A carefully thought out business continuity plan can help you cope with a crisis and enable you to minimize disruption to your business and your customers. It can also help safeguard your staff, assets and reputation while protecting your bottom line.
 

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8 Reasons to Review Your Business Insurance Coverage

12/17/2014

You have invested a lot of time and money into your business and you want to help keep it safe.

Your business insurance coverage helps to ensure that all you have invested in your business is protected in the event of an accident, disaster, disruption or emergency.  Let's review some changes to your business that would likely cause rating or underwriting adjustments that should be addressed as soon as possible.

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5 Steps for Frozen Pipes

12/9/2014

Homeowners often find an indoor swimming pool in their property when they haven’t taken proper precautions to prevent or deal with the possibility of freezing pipes. Here are some excellent ways to ensure large quantities of water get in your house!

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Snowbird and Vacation Smarts

12/2/2014

Whether you’re flying south for the winter or just leaving for the week, make sure to prep your home while you’re gone. This will help you avoid damage and be able to come back to your home to find it just the way you left it.

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Before the Winter Storm

11/19/2014

Before the winter storm strikes, it’s important to know the weather terminology that may appear across the bottom of your television screen or on the local radio station.  

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Buying a New Ride? Here’s How to Keep that Baby Safe

11/11/2014

It can be one of the most exciting purchases—a new car. Whether it’s a sports car or a family ride, here are a few things to know about keeping it insured:  

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Pay Off Your Car Loan? Update Your Insurance

11/4/2014

It’s a great feeling when your vehicle title switches hands from the bank to you. If you’ve recently paid off your car loan, give us a call as part of your celebration. We can help you update your Erie Insurance auto policy to reflect the changes. We can also give you a quote on insurance for a new ride should you decide to go car shopping.  

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Understanding Your Auto Policy

10/28/2014

Auto insurance isn’t rocket science, but it can be confusing. Here are simple definitions for six types of coverage within an ERIE auto insurance policy.

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Why do you need Uninsured Motorists (UM) and Underinsured Motorists coverages?

10/21/2014

In this video, we explain the need for Uninsured Motorists (UM) and Underinsured Motorists (UIM) coverages and how these coverages protect your assets.

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Nine Reasons to Check Your Coverage...

10/14/2014

As our lives change, so do our insurance needs. Letting us know about changes can ensure that you have adequate insurance coverage through our agency. Here are some examples of when to check your coverage: 

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How Safe Is Your Winter Heating?

10/7/2014

Is the chill of winter creeping in and around your house? The best defense is making sure your home’s heating system is maintained properly. Follow these tips for extra efficiency and warmth:

  • Have a professional inspect your heating system once per year, before winter hits.
  • Replace air filters often, per the manufacturer’s recommendation (the professional who inspects your heating system can tell you what’s best).
  • Seal up air leaks and add insulation around the house.
  • Clean registers and make sure they’re not blocked by furniture, carpets or drapes.
  • Bleed trapped air from hot water radiators.

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Ten Trouble-Free Tips for Travelers

10/3/2014

Will you be one of the millions on the road this summer?

Safety is one of the most important things to consider as you pack your car and leave home. To help you get ready for your next road trip, the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) recommends these 10 tips for travelers:

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Should You Buy Identity Theft Insurance?

9/29/2014

A number of insurance companies that we represent offer some form of identity theft coverage as an endorsement to their Homeowner's coverage forms.  Is it a good buy? Are these carriers simply preying upon an unreasonable fear of this type of event in the wake of large scandals involving Target and Home Depot customers where massive amounts of data are compromised?

Many people do, in fact, fall victim to this type crime. More than 11.6 million adults in the United States dealt with identity fraud in 2013, up 13 percent from the previous year, according to a recent report from Javelin Strategy & Research.  In order to make an informed buying decision, let's take a look at this frequently misunderstood product.

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The Five Costliest Traffic Tickets for Auto Insurance

9/23/2014

Those whirling blue lights in the rearview mirror usually mean just one thing: It's traffic ticket time. The worse the violation, the more your car insurance costs may rise because it's more likely you'll be considered a bigger risk to the insurer.  Rack up a combination of the nastiest violations plus a few accidents, and insurers may even refuse to cover you, says Loretta Worters, spokeswoman for the Insurance Information Institute, a trade group.

 
It boils down to matching the premium you pay to your risk as a customer, says State Farm spokesman Dick Luedke. "Sometimes you get lucky and violate (traffic laws) a lot and don't get caught, and sometimes you do it once, and you are caught," he says. "That's why we use all sorts of other things to measure risk as well." So it's tough to say how much your insurance premiums will rise per violation. Different insurers calculate premium costs differently, Worters says. With the help of experts, including J. Robert Hunter, insurance director for the Washington, D.C.-based Consumer Federation of America, we now identify what are considered the five worst traffic violations for your insurance bills:

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What steps do I take if I am involved in an Auto Accident?

9/16/2014

Auto accidents are very common occurrences. In fact, there were 10.8 million auto accidents in 2011.  Chances are that at some point in your life you will be involved in one. It may be a minor collision in a parking lot, or a serious event involving bodily injury. Regardless of the circumstances, knowing what to do in the aftermath is extremely important.

Failure to follow the proper procedures may result in the denial of your insurance claim by your carrier . You may also face fines if you do not follow proper legal procedures. Please continue reading for the exact steps you should follow if you are in a car wreck:

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Has your teen recently passed their Road Test?

9/11/2014

Has your teen recently passed their road test? You know what that means; “Mom/Dad, can I have the keys?” As a parent, this is a good time to enforce rules regarding Cell Phone Safety and Texting and Driving.

11% of all drivers under the age of 20 years old are involved in serious car wrecks involving personal injury that are caused directly by distracted driving. Before handing over the keys to your excited young driver, it is important to review some specific safety tips:

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Why Homeowners Should Always "Insure to Value"

9/9/2014
At 4 a. m. one morning, Dave and his family were awakened by smoke alarms. "I've had emergency training, but when I crawled on my hands and knees and opened the bedroom door, I was absolutely amazed at the clouds of smoke in my home. If it hadn't been for the smoke detectors, none of us would be here today." Dave and his family were fortunate, they were able to crawl to the door, get out of the house and call the fire department. 
 

 

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Does my business need Cyber Liability Insurance?

8/22/2014

Anyone with a Web site now has the legal liabilities of a publisher. The Internet has spun a whole new “web” of liability exposures.

Creating a Web site is simple. The exposures that come with it are not. Privately owned companies that venture onto the World Wide Web face liability exposures that are emerging, evolving, and complex.

Commercial companies that disseminate information to the public via Web sites face the same legal exposures as publishers, yet most have little or no concept of their resulting legal responsibilities. Moreover, new legislation continues to create potential liabilities, particularly in the areas of user privacy and domain name infringement.

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Why every Board of Directors should carry D&O Insurance

8/19/2014

Directors & Officers Liability Insurance provides coverage for your own “wrongful act” while performing duties as a Director or Officer of the insured entity, or the "wrongful acts" of other board members. 

Why Do You Need Directors & Officers Liability Insurance?

While an organization is legally permitted to cover the costs incurred as a result of personal liability stemming from the activities performed on behalf of the organization, this ability, called indemnification, may not apply to every situation.  The director or officer may become personally liable in their duties performed for the organization.  This means your personal assets are on the line for decisions you make in conjuction with a board for which you serve.

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Road Rage - A Growing Problem

8/5/2014

It's affecting drivers around the globe. It claims hundreds of lives every year.

It's called road rage, a condition that often involves anger or violence associated with on-road driving activities. This serious problem manifests itself through bizarre and often violent behavior. Since 1998, in the USA alone, over 50,000 road rage incidents have been reported to authorities.  Many more incidents go unreported.

What can be done? Most experts agree that the first step is to prepare yourself so you will not be the next victim. This means avoidance at any cost. You do not know know if the driver beside you is a ticking bomb or has concealed weapons in his or her vehicle. It's best to avoid any altercation with other motorists - period! Governments and other groups are currently trying to solve this problem through regulations, enforcement and increased penalties. Solutions take time. Don't become a victim - take preventative measures now!

Here are some Do's and Don'ts that you can use to prevent a road rage attack:

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Beware of Contractor Fraud

7/29/2014

When storms hit, your home and life can be turned upside down. You’re eager to get your home repaired, but be careful because some contractors aren’t really there to help.

Most contractors are reputable business people, but dishonest ones may try to convince you that you have hail or other damage and need a new roof, even if your roof did not experience any damage at all. Often, they do not inspect the roof damage. Instead, they explain that everyone in the area was affected by the storm, even when it is impossible to make that assumption.

That means that you may be filing an unnecessary claim and repairing a roof that isn’t damaged.  Unnecessary claims can affect your insurance rates for years.  These unscrupulous contractors travel from town to town after a storm occurs and try to take advantage of people who are recovering from a natural disaster. 

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Insurance Options You May Have Overlooked

7/22/2014

Sometimes you need a little extra assurance when making important decisions regarding your personal insurance coverage.  We can amend your car or home insurance policy to best meet your needs. We call it an endorsement. Basically, it’s a written agreement that expands or outlines the limits in your policy.

Check out some of the most common additional coverages that many of our clients opt to add to their policies.

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College Student in Your Household? Check Your Coverage...

7/15/2014

With the new academic year under away, parents of college students should take time to review their insurance coverage. You’ll want to make sure your insurance covers your children when they’re away from home. It’s also a good idea to consult with our agency when any changes occur in your household. Read more.

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Making Waves? Protect Your Boat...

7/8/2014

Many people believe sailboats or powerboats are covered under their auto or homeowners policies. But, for most insurers, that isn't the case. Consider this:

  • Typically, an auto policy won’t provide liability or physical damage coverage for a boat.
  • Most homeowners policies provide a limited amount of coverage for physical damage to boats. They also restrict automatic liability coverage to low-powered boats.

Large, fast motorboats, yachts and personal watercrafts such as jet skis and wave runners require a separate boat insurance policy. Boat insurance offers coverage for things like:

  • Bodily injury - for injuries caused to others, such as swimmers, jet skiers or other boaters
  • Property damage - for damage caused to someone else's property
  • Theft and vandalism - that can occur on land or in the water
  • Medical payments - for injuries to the boat owner, family members and others who are injured

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The Science of Fireworks

7/1/2014

How do they do that?

Dazzling firework displays have awed crowds for centuries, and while the technology has been around for more than 1,000 years, recent advances in pyrotechnics have enabled professional firework exhibitors to produce brighter and better-choreographed displays than ever before. In fact, scientists have discovered chemical compounds capable of creating larger color palettes that include powder blue, lime green, pink, lavender, chartreuse, and plum. At the same time, advances in electronic ignition, proper fuse delay, and star design have improved the choreography of firework displays, enabling them to detonate with millisecond precision. Experts can now direct blasts to exactly where they want them, spelling words, forming colorful shapes, and creating full rainbows across the night sky. 

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Study: Parents Still Struggle With Proper Child Safety Seat Use

6/20/2014

Buckling up the right way on every ride is the single most important thing a family can do to stay safe in the car. According to the latest research released by the non-profit group Safe Kids USA, most adults aren’t using child seats correctly. Learn more about the key problems.

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Steps to Prevent My Car from Hydroplaning:

5/8/2014

When your vehicle hydroplanes, you lose the ability to gain traction, steer effectively and brake. This makes hydroplaning one of the most dangerous driving conditions.

This begs the question, how do I prevent hydroplaning when driving? The key is to have a plan ahead of time and to prepare your vehicle to operate effectively in slippery conditions. Well before rainy conditions arrive, you should:

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How to Handle Hydroplaning...

5/7/2014

Spring means that beyond the usual distractions, there’s another road risk: heavy rains.

Dangerous driving conditions aren’t exclusive to winter weather phenomena like snow and black ice. If you underestimate the danger of driving in heavy rain, you expose yourself and your car to a possible accident. That’s because heavy rain storms not only limit your visibility—they also hamper vehicle traction and can cause your car to hydroplane. 

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Who's ready for some baseball?

3/28/2014

Who's ready for some baseball (and warmer temps)? Come out to the ballpark to see the Winston-Salem Dash on Opening Day next Thursday, April 3 vs. the Wilmington Blue Rocks, including postgame Fireworks and Thirsty Thursday beer specials (50% off).  One of our favorite clients, the Dash can also help your organization plan a fun, unique corporate outing. See you at the Ballpark!

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Uninsured Drivers & Car Accidents

3/24/2014

A recent report by the Insurance Research Council (IRC) reports that 1 in 7 drivers in the U.S. is completely uninsured. The report estimates that 14% of North Carolina drivers are uninsured!. Despite being required by law in most states, many drivers fail to carry even the required minimum limits of insurance on their vehicles. When an uninsured motorist is involved in an accident, the lack of coverage can cause hardship for the uninsured driver, and also for any other persons who suffer injury as a result of the uninsured driver's negligence. Here are some issues to consider if you become involved in a claim with an uninsured driver:

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Russ Perry is our February 2014 Referral Winner!

3/18/2014

Russ Perry is our February 2014 "Refer a Friend" winner!  Russ and his wife received a $50 gift card to the River Birch Lodge.   Every month we draw a name from the list of folks that refer their friends and clients to us. The winners receive a gift card of their choice. Spread the word...and get rewarded!

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Driverless Cars...Will Auto Insurance Rates Plummet?

1/30/2014
While an autonomous car may seem futuristic, they are the wave of the future, and much closer to reality than most people imagine. While Google is the industry leader at this point, they are not the only company interested in computer driven cars.  When these cars become a reality, in addition to freeing up your driving time, they will also have a big effect on your insurance premiums. 

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Tips for Handling Severe Cold Weather

1/30/2014

Much of the country has experienced severe and sustained cold weather over the last few weeks, with snowfalls interspersed with periods of melting and freezing. This freezing and thawing process can wreak havoc on your home.

Here are some steps you can take to keep your home safe and to make insurance losses less likely during extended severe weather:

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Pay-As-You-Drive Auto Insurance

12/11/2013

Pay-as-you-drive auto insurance is the term now commonly used for usage-based programs that offer drivers the option of having customized premium rates.  The idea behind usage-based programs is to give drivers a financial incentive to drive less and, depending on the information that is monitored, to drive more carefully. The more positively they react to the incentive, the less they pay for their auto insurance.  Currently, no insurance companies are able to sell such policies in the State of North Carolina. NC Legislators and insurance company officials are working together to evaluate the possible approval of this new type of discount sometime in 2014.

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Managing Your IT Risk

11/19/2013

Symantec's Internet Security Threat Report 2013 lists small businesses as the target of 31% of all cyber attacks in 2012, up from 18% in 2011. 

"While it can be argued that the rewards of attacking a small business are less than what can be gained from a large enterprise, this is more than compensated by the fact that many small companies are typically less careful in their cyber defenses."

These days, all businesses rely and benefit from information technology (IT) like computers, the internet, and even mobile telephones.  IT provides huge advantages in efficiency but can also create exposure to some very serious risks.  Large businesses have teams of IT people making sure they don't run into trouble.  Small businesses, however, don't have the same resources and therefore have to choose what they can reasonably address. 

 

Here are four IT risks that small businesses can address easily and without great expense.  Start with these and you'll be in much better shape:

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Have you ever completed a Home Inventory?

10/25/2013

If your home were damaged or destroyed by a fire, theft, or natural disaster, would you be able to recall every item you own? In the event of a total loss, you will be expected to provide a list of all your personal property that was damaged, along with its estimated value. A Household Inventory can not only make it easier to settle your insurance claims, but can also help determine if you have the right type and amount of insurance for your home and its contents. Follow these simple steps to complete a Household Inventory.

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Kids Headed to College? Check Your Coverage...

8/1/2013

If you’re helping one of your children go off to college for the first time, or return to college, ISU Wilson Insurance can help you gain some extra protection. 

Here are five questions to consider about insurance when a child enters college:

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Wilson Insurance Joins the ISU Network of Independent Insurance Agencies

7/19/2013

Effective July 15, 2013 Wilson Insurance Services, Inc. joined the ISU Network of 150 of the largest, best-capitalized Independent Insurance Agents in the country.  ISU Wilson Insurance now represents over 350 preferred carriers who write over $1.7 Billion in annual premium for more than 100,000 businesses and 3,000,000 families and individuals.  Our carrier access gives us the capacity to find you the best value for your premium dollar on every transaction.

Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, ISU has won numerous national awards for consistently delivering the highest levels of customer satisfaction since 1979. Through the proprietary ISU One Responsible Source™ concept, our clients around the country gain access to a nationwide delivery system for comprehensive and integrated risk management solutions. Business owners and individuals have the convenience of buying their insurance from a single point of contact.  Our enhanced product offerings include Property and Liability, Employee Benefits, Personal Insurance, Human Resources, Loss Control, Claims Administration and Premium Financing Services.

The ISU Network is an organization exclusively for independent insurance agents that offers a cohesive national database of insurance knowledge. The Power of Independence and the Strength of Unity allows ISU's member agencies to solve complex insurance and financial risk management problems.  Our national leverage improves overall pricing, coverage terms, and claims processing for our clients.  ISU Wilson Insurance can now deliver the strengths and resources of a national organization, while maintaining the personal attention expected from a locally-owned business.

ISU Wilson Insurance - Our Knowledge is Your Best Assurance™.   

For more details, please see below:

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What’s the No. 2 Cause of Accidental Death in Children?

7/10/2013

Drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death in the US, where about 10 people die from drowning every day.

The risk is even greater among children aged 1-4, who have the highest drowning rates, and it remains the second-leading cause of accidental death (second only to motor vehicle accidents) for kids 1-14.

What’s shocking, however, is that many drowning deaths among children occur when the child is being supervised and may be only a short distance from an adult. Occurring quickly and quietly, a drowning can happen right before your eyes, before you even realize what happened…

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Everyone in the Pool!

6/5/2013

Here comes summer, and that means swimming pool season! Kids are breaking out the water noodles and beach balls everywhere. Adults dream of sunning on the poolside lounge, or getting in a few laps. Your insurance agent may like an afternoon at the pool, too, but we also want you to enjoy lounging in the water, not waiting in the emergency room. Pool-related injuries send unfortunate thousands to the hospital every year.

Please continue reading for some eye-opening pool accident statistics, and a few tips to keep you and your family out of the ER this summer: 

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Is Your Family Prepared for a Tornado, or other Natural Disaster?

5/23/2013

As Independent Insurance agents, we not only advise our clients about insurance, we strive to provide our insureds with important disaster readiness guidance.  The storms that ripped through Oklahoma earlier this week should serve as motivation to take action with regard to your family's Emergency Plan in the event of a natural disaster.

A good way to begin your planning process is to gather as much information as you can regarding the best practices for disaster planning in your area.  Our agency offers many disaster-specific planning tools and tips for consumers, including the following suggestions to get started:

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Keeping Your Workplace Safe is Smart Business

3/27/2013

Business owners have the absolute responsibility for the day-to-day health, safety and welfare of employees and work-site visitors. To make your work place safer, know the three common areas of risk: people, environment and company.

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Notify Your Insurance Agent Before Starting a Remodeling Project

3/22/2013

In 2013, home improvement activity is expected to increase considerably. For those who plan to be a part of this growing segment of homeowners, it is important to have the right type of insurance and the right amount of coverage in place. Insurance specific to the scope of the project should be in place during and after the construction phase. Anyone considering a remodeling project should contact an agent before the process begins. Many clients must alter their coverage to add specific endorsements related to the temporary construction exposures. Waiting until the project starts or is nearing completion can be an expensive mistake. Please take the following four important steps to avoid potential coverage problems down the road:

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Fallen Trees and Homeowners Insurance - What's Covered?

11/3/2012

One of the most common types of homeowner's insurance claims involves trees damaging insured property. In the spring of 2012, the Triad witnessed multiple severe thunderstorms accompanied by unusually high wind gusts. Many local homeowners found themselves contacting their insurance agents for help handling fallen trees, property damage, and debris removal. The Insurance Information Institute (III), a trade group representing property and casualty insurers, offers the following information about such coverage from the typical homeowners insurance policy:

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A Wake-Up Call from Hurricane Sandy

11/2/2012

Some consumers will be shocked to learn that superstorm Sandy devastated not only cities, coastal areas and transit systems — but their pocketbooks, too.  “A lot of people are going to have a rude wake-up call after this storm and realize that flood damage isn’t covered under their standard home-insurance policies,” says John Egan, managing editor at Bankrate. “If you don’t have flood insurance, you’re not covered for damage caused by rising surface waters."

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Countering Workplace Violence

9/23/2012

On the morning of Aug. 24, Jeffrey Johnson returned to his former place of work, Hazan Import Corp., and waited on the street outside the building. Johnson, who was wearing a suit and carrying a briefcase, blended into the crowd of people on the street who were rushing to work that morning. As one of Hazan Import's executives, Stephen Ercolino, approached the building, Johnson drew a pistol from his bag and gunned Ercolino down with no warning, making Ercolino a victim of workplace violence. Media reports suggest that Johnson and Ercolino had been involved in several confrontations, at least one of which became physical, and that Johnson held Ercolino responsible for his being laid off. Each of the men had also reportedly filed police reports claiming the other had threatened him.

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Why Most Businesses Don't Reopen After a Serious Loss...

9/4/2012

Loss of business income is a primary reason most businesses do not reopen after a serious loss.  Actual direct damage is often properly covered by insurance. Consequential Losses relating to income and depleted inventories are another matter entirely . Simply put - most businesses need a continual income stream to help ensure they can meet their financial obligations, especially when there is an unexpected interruption or need to suspend operations. Read More.

 

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Isaac Heads Into Gulf States; Hurricane Warning in Effect

8/27/2012

Tropical Storm Isaac swirled into the Gulf of Mexico on Monday, disrupting U.S. offshore energy production and threatening to hit Louisiana as a hurricane seven years to the day after devastating Hurricane Katrina.  The storm swiped south Florida on Sunday before moving into warm Gulf waters, where it is expected to strengthen into at least a Category 1 hurricane. On its current track, Isaac was due to slam into the Gulf Coast anywhere between Florida and Louisiana by midweek, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

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Congress Passes Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Bill

7/6/2012
Last Friday, Congress passed the Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Bill.  This long-term reform and extension legislation finally cleared both chambers and is being sent to the President for approval.
 

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NC Cracking Down on Enforcement of Workers’ Compensation Rules

6/13/2012

Workers’ compensation attorneys and insurance experts across the Triad say many small businesses do not know the basic tenet of compliance with NC law: If a company has three or more employees, it is required to carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance.  The N.C. Industrial Commission — the state agency that oversees Workers’ Compensation benefits — has recently begun a statewide effort to more strictly enforce Workers’ Compensation laws, those experts say.

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Top 10 Storm Surge Risks in the U.S.

6/11/2012

More than 4 million U.S. residences along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts are at risk of hurricane-driven storm-surge damage, with more than $700 billion in total property exposure—and the cost is highest along the Atlantic Coast, according to the 2012 CoreLogic Storm Surge Report.

In the Atlantic Coast region alone, there are approximately 2.2 million homes at risk, valued at more than $500 billion. Total exposure along the Gulf Coast is nearly $200 billion, with just under 1.8 million homes at risk for potential storm-surge damage.
 
“Hurricane Irene made it very clear last summer that hurricane risk is not confined to the southern parts of the country,” said Dr. Howard Botts, vice president and director of database development for CoreLogic Spatial Solutions. “Our 2012 report shows even a Category 1 storm could cause property damage in the billions along the northeastern Atlantic Coast and force major metropolitan areas to shut down or evacuate.”
 
The study breaks down risk by Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs), defined by the Office of Management and Budget as an urban center and all the adjacent regions tied to that center. The study is based on CoreLogic’s database of parcels--individual property associated with an address--within each category of the storm surge polygon, with values as of April 2012. For the full report, click here.
 
Follow along as we look at the potential property damage and risk vulnerability for 10 coastal metropolitan areas.

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New Memo from OSHA Clarifies Injury Reporting and Incentive Policies

5/22/2012

While many employers want to reward workers for safe behavior, there’s a thin line between appropriate recognition and providing a disincentive to employees for reporting injuries. Companies that cross that line could be violating the law, according to a new memo sent to OSHA regional administrators and whistleblower program managers from Deputy Assistant Secretary Richard Fairfax.

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Eight Celebrities Who Got Their Start in Insurance

5/3/2012
For some, a job in insurance is a career. For others, it's a starting point that can open the doors to other opportunities. And for others still, it's both.

The eight celebrities featured in this article represent all three. From a now-celebrated composer who worked in insurance his whole life and went unnoticed in the music world until after his death, to an Olympic hero who worked in insurance to help fund the training that helped him win, to a Pulitzer-winning poet who declined literary positions to stick with his executive-level job in insurance, these celebrities are all members of the insurance family. 

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NC Ranks in Top Five Least Expensive States for Auto Insurance

3/30/2012

Louisiana has the most expensive car insurance rates in the nation, followed by Oklahoma and Michigan, according to data from the National Underwriter's survey of premiums for 2012 models.

Those states were also in the top three in 2011 and 2010.
 
Car insurance rates are cheapest in Maine, followed by Iowa and Wisconsin.
High rates usually cannot be pinned on a single cause. Rather, a variety of unfortunate circumstances combined to make insurance bills more painful in some states:

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FBI warns of New Email Banking Scam

3/30/2012

Some crafty criminals are aiming to steal one of the most valuable pieces of your personal property: your banking information.

 
In a new warning, the Federal Bureau of Investigation warns account holders of a new spam email scheme that involves a type of malware called "Gameover." The scheme involves fake emails from the National Automated Clearing House Association, the Federal Reserve or the FDIC. These messages attempt to trick recipients into clicking on a link to resolve some type of issue with their accounts or a recent ACH transaction. Once you click on the link, Gameover takes over your computer, and thieves can steal usernames, passwords and your money.
The FBI also warns the thieves' hacking capabilities can navigate around common user authentication methods banks use to verify your identity, which is certainly a cause for concern. Those additional authentication steps -- often personal questions, birth dates or other pieces of private information -- are meant to provide some extra security padding.

 

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Last Week's Tornado Losses Will Likely Cost Insurer's Over $1 Billion

3/9/2012

In the aftermath of last week’s devastating tornadoes, independent agents and carriers are working to handle volumes of claims for those affected by the storms in the Midwest and South.

Two forceful storm systems swept through the regions, spawning a series of twisters that destroyed communities and left dozens reported dead. Some of the hardest-hit states include Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky.

While the amount of insured damage from the storms on Feb. 28 to 29 and March 2 to 3 is still being tallied, catastrophe modeler EQECAT pegged its initial estimate of insured losses at $1 billion to $2 billion

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Bracing for tornado fury again?

3/2/2012

It was deja fury all over again in the Midwest this week, where devastating tornadoes seemed to pick up where they left off last spring. Hardest hit were Branson, Mo., where twisters killed three, injured 32 and caused heavy damage to its popular country music theaters, and Harrisburg, Ill., which reported six dead, more than 100 injured and at least 200 homes destroyed.

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How Safe is Your Next Car?

2/29/2012

Thinking about a new car? If you factor safety into your choice (most people do), then you’ll want to know what vehicles aced crash tests and are considered the safest to buy.

From minicars and sedans to SUVs and pickups, you’ll find hundreds of 2012 models deemed safe by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Each year the nonprofit research and education organization determines which vehicles do the best job of protecting people in four of the most common kinds of crashes — front, side, rollover and rear — based on ratings in Institute evaluations. The ratings help shoppers pick vehicles that offer the highest levels of crash protection.

Every major automaker has at least one winner that earned the Institute’s esteemed Top Safety Pick award. Among the 115 award winners, there are 18 new recipients this year, while 97 models that previously qualified for the 2011 award carry over to 2012.

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Six Tips for New Car Buying:

1/20/2012

Are you going to buy a new car this year? Whether you’re looking for a family minivan, a sporty coupe or a fuel-efficient mini-car, here are six tips to factor into your research:

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Beware of Scammers Circulating Phony Checks

12/14/2011

Dec. 8, 2011 - If someone you don’t know well gives you a check – or what appears to be a check from an insurance carrier – and asks you to send or wire some of the money back, DO NOT DO IT.  It is a scam.

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College Student in Your Household? Check Your Coverage...

10/11/2011

With the new academic year under away, parents of college students should take time to review their insurance coverage. You’ll want to make sure your insurance covers your children when they’re away from home. It’s also a good idea to consult with our agency when any changes occur in your household.

 

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Boat Theft Often Occurs in the Off-Season

10/11/2011

Boat Theft Often Occurs in the Off-Season

Keep your boat safe when it's ashore. Boat theft often occurs in the off-season. Once they’re stolen, most boats are not recovered. If you are a boat owner, learn some easy and effective ways to protect your craft from theft.



 

 

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Ten Trouble-Free Tips for Travelers

7/18/2011

Whether planning a summer excursion or just taking a drive, the best way to protect yourself, your passengers, your vehicle, and your home while you’re away is to plan for the unexpected.

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Study: 1 in 7 Drivers Are Uninsured

6/1/2011

Even though most states require drivers to purchase auto insurance, a new study reveals that a large percentage of the population does not comply.

The Insurance Research Council (IRC) estimates that 1 in 7 U.S. drivers are uninsured.

“This forces responsible drivers who carry insurance to bear the burden of paying for injuries caused by drivers who carry no insurance at all,” said Elizabeth A. Sprinkel, senior vice president of the IRC.

In its study, Uninsured Motorists 2011 Edition, the IRC attributes the country’s economic downturn as a major factor in the increase of uninsured drivers. The estimated percentage of uninsured motorists had declined four consecutive years before it went up to 14.3 percent in 2008 and then dropped slightly to 13.8 percent in 2009.

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Maintaining a Safe Workplace is Smart Business

5/5/2011

Business owners have the absolute responsibility for the day-to-day health, safety and welfare of employees and worksite visitors. To make your work place safer, know the three common areas of risk: 1) People 2) Environment 3) Company

Read More »

Tips on Pumping Gas Efficiently

3/26/2011

As gas prices climbs toward $4.00 per gallon, it makes sense to try to maximize gas pumping efficiently when filling up your tank.  Here are some suggestions from a client of ours that runs a tanker business:

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Tips for Tax Time

3/25/2011

The tax clock is ticking...are you hitting the snooze button? Whether you file your tax return early, or on the deadline day, do not gloss over over the details. Above all, be sure to protect your personal information. To help you, check out five tax tips below and learn more about Identity Recovery

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Don’t Let a Tornado Topple You

3/21/2011

There really is no place like home. And, no matter where you make your home, wind damage is a very real possibility. Each year, about 1,200 tornadoes with wind speeds as high as 300 mph touch down in the United States. Understanding your insurance coverage, and what to do before a tornado hits, should be top of mind at this time of year.

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Erie Insurance Receives J.D. Power's 2011 Customer Service Top Honor

3/15/2011

What does Erie Insurance have in common with top brands like Zappos, Ritz-Carlton and Southwest Airlines? Superior customer service.

But don’t just take our word for it. Check out the recent honor that ERIE received for customer service excellence.

As an ERIE Customer, you’ll be working with a company that you can trust. If something bad should happen, you’ll get the help you need to make things right.

Erie Insurance offers the protection you need and service you expect – all at a fair price. That’s why our agency works with ERIE.

 

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Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

3/8/2011

“Our family is going on vacation next month, and we need to rent a car. Do we need to get the rental insurance? Or is it covered by our Auto Insurance policy? Oh, and did I mention we’re traveling to Canada? Help!”

Our Agents get asked – and answer - lots of questions, but the questions above is one of our most frequent. That’s why we’re here to help. Sure, you could spend extra time and energy trying to figure it out on your own, but with our professional Agents, you don’t have to.

Here are some of our most common questions – and the answers. If yours isn’t on the list, get in touch with us.
 

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Preventing Water Damage Inside Your Home

2/4/2011

Water leaks can happen anywhere in your house, but they occur most frequently in your kitchen, bathroom and laundry rooms. Whether it’s a slow drip or a sudden burst, water leaks can cause extensive damage to your home and personal belongings.

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Has your family ever completed a Household Inventory?

2/4/2011

If your home were damaged or destroyed by a fire, theft, or natural disaster, would you be able to recall every item you own? In the event of a total loss, you will be expected to provide a list of all your personal property that was damaged, along with its estimated value. A Household Inventory can not only make it easier to settle your insurance claims, but can also help determine if you have the right type and amount of insurance for your home and its contents. Follow these simple steps to complete a Household Inventory.

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Safest Rides on the Road

1/20/2011

Automakers have stepped up safety. Ten new vehicles have joined the 2011 Top Safety Pick winners list from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for a total of 66 winners.

Read More »

Keep the Cold Out This Winter

1/3/2011

On the heels of a record cold December, frigid weather will continue from coast to coast through January.

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Wilson Insurance Services Inc. Representing Central Insurance

9/10/2009

WILSON INSURANCE SERVICES INC is proud to announce they are now representing the Central Insurance Companies of Van Wert, Ohio.

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Don’t Let a Tornado Topple You

1/1/2009
Tornadoes are one of nature's most powerful and destructive forces; an F5, the strongest and most violent of tornadoes, can level almost any house and its occupants. Thankfully, F5 tornadoes are rare. Most are weaker and can be survived. And now is the time to prepare for them if you haven’t already. Tornadoes are most common from late winter through mid-summer.

Here’s what to do before and during a tornado:  

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College Student in Your Household? Check Your Coverage

1/1/2009

If you’re helping one of your children go off to college for the first time, or return to college, Erie Insurance may be able to help you save some money and gain some extra protection.

Here are four things to consider about insurance when a child enters college.

Read More »

Boaters: Beware of Land Sharks

1/1/2009

Keep your boat safe when it's ashore. Boat theft often occurs in the off-season. Once they’re stolen, most boats are not recovered. If you are a boat owner, learn some easy and effective ways to protect your craft from theft.

Read More »

Lessons from Superstorm Sandy: Steps Every Homeowner Should Take

1/1/2009

Superstorm Sandy was a powerful storm that packed some memorable lessons. The wind and water damage hit the East Coast the hardest, but the remnants of the fall storm stretched as far north as eastern Canada.

 
To protect yourself and your property from severe weather, review these important steps, recommended by consumer safety advocates, the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) and Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS).

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Making Waves? Protect Your Boat

1/1/2009

Many people believe sailboats or powerboats are covered under their auto or homeowners policies. But, for most insurers, that isn't the case. Consider this:

 

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Understanding Your Auto Policy

1/1/2009

Auto insurance isn't rocket science, but it can be confusing. Here are simple definitions for six types of coverage within an ERIE auto insurance policy: 

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R U Texting n Driving?

1/1/2009
For as long as there’ve been cars, there’ve been distracted drivers. And that’s never been truer than now, with drivers facing temptation from Internet-enabled mobile phones, GPS devices, iPods and all the other electronics out there.

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Next Stop: Safety Sites for Teen Drivers

1/1/2009
As a parent, you probably have some jitters about your teen driver and that’s completely understandable considering the fact that teens are statistically more likely to be involved in a crash than the general population.

 

The good news is there’s plenty you can do to keep newly minted drivers safe behind the wheel. It all starts with information — and the following sites, all created by trusted federal and national organizations, can help. (Added bonus: Many of them also include fun features like podcasts and downloadable videos.) So click over any (or all) of them to learn how to have an important — and possibly life-saving — conversation with your teen driver. 

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Steps to Prevent My Car from Hydroplaning


When your vehicle hydroplanes, you lose the ability to gain traction, steer effectively and brake. This makes hydroplaning one of the most dangerous driving conditions.

This begs the question, how do I prevent hydroplaning when driving? The key is to have a plan ahead of time and to prepare your vehicle to operate effectively in slippery conditions. Well before rainy conditions arrive, you should:

Read More »

Driverless Cars...Will Auto Insurance Rate Plummet?


While an autonomous car may seem futuristic they are the wave of the future, and much closer to reality than most people imagine. While Google is the industry leader at this point they are not the only company interested in computer driven cars.  When these cars become a reality, in addition to freeing up your driving time, they will also have a big effect on your insurance premiums. 

Read More »

Driverless Cars...Will Auto Insurance Rate Plummet?


While an autonomous car may seem futuristic they are the wave of the future, and much closer to reality than most people imagine. While Google is the industry leader at this point they are not the only company interested in computer driven cars.  When these cars become a reality, in addition to freeing up your driving time, they will also have a big effect on your insurance premiums. 

Read More »

Insurance Coverage on your Roof: ACV vs. Replacement Cost


If you live in one of the states hardest hit by wind and hail damage these past few years, you may have a gaping hole in your Homeowner's policy related to roof insurance coverage.  Many policyholders have indicated that they are not aware of recent changes made by multiple large HO carriers that significantly impact the way that claims are settled for roof damage.
 
A string of unusually costly years for residential roof damage claims in Oklahoma, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina and elsewhere has prompted some insurers to dial back the roof coverage portion of their home insurance policies, especially on older roofs.  One popular trend is to offer "actual cash value," or ACV, coverage on your roof instead of full "replacement cost value," or RCV. What's the difference? With ACV, your insurer pays to repair or replace your roof, less your deductible and depreciation for the age and type of roof. With RCV, however, the insurer pays all costs to make your roof whole again without factoring in depreciation, once you've met your deductible.

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Uninsured Drivers & Car Accidents


A recent report by the Insurance Research Council (IRC) reports that 1 in 7 drivers in the U.S. is completely uninsured.   The report estimates that 14% of North Carolina drivers are uninsured!. Despite being required by law in most states, many drivers fail to carry even the required minimum limits of insurance on their vehicles. When an uninsured motorist is involved in an accident, the lack of coverage can cause hardship for the uninsured driver, and also for any other persons who suffer injury as a result of the uninsured driver's negligence.  Here are some issues to consider if you become involved in a claim with an uninsured driver:

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Uninsured Drivers & Car Accidents


A recent report by the Insurance Research Council (IRC) reports that 1 in 7 drivers in the U.S. is completely uninsured.   The report estimates that 14% of North Carolina drivers are uninsured!. Despite being required by law in most states, many drivers fail to carry even the required minimum limits of insurance on their vehicles. When an uninsured motorist is involved in an accident, the lack of coverage can cause hardship for the uninsured driver, and also for any other persons who suffer injury as a result of the uninsured driver's negligence.  Here are some issues to consider if you become involved in a claim with an uninsured driver:

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Uninsured Drivers & Car Accidents


A recent report by the Insurance Research Council (IRC) reports that 1 in 7 drivers in the U.S. is completely uninsured. The report estimates that 14% of North Carolina drivers are uninsured!. Despite being required by law in most states, many drivers fail to carry even the required minimum limits of insurance on their vehicles. When an uninsured motorist is involved in an accident, the lack of coverage can cause hardship for the uninsured driver, and also for any other persons who suffer injury as a result of the uninsured driver's negligence. Here are some issues to consider if you become involved in a claim with an uninsured driver:

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What’s the No. 2 Cause of Accidental Death in Children?


 Drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death in the US, where about 10 people die from drowning every day.

The risk is even greater among children aged 1-4, who have the highest drowning rates, and it remains the second-leading cause of accidental death (second only to motor vehicle accidents) for kids 1-14.1

What’s shocking, however, is that many drowning deaths among children occur when the child is being supervised and may be only a short distance from an adult. Occurring quickly and quietly, a drowning can happen right before your eyes, before you even realize what happened…

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Why every Board of Directors should carry D&O Insurance


 

Directors & Officers Liability insurance provides coverage for your own “wrongful act” while performing duties as a Director of Officer of the insured entity, or the "wrongful acts" of other board members. 

Why Do You Need Director’s & Officers Liability Insurance?

While an organization is legally permitted to cover the costs incurred as a result of personal liability stemming from the activities performed on behalf of the organization, this ability, called indemnification, may not apply to every situation.  The director or officer may become personally liable in their duties performed for the organization.

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Kids Headed to College? Check Your Coverage...


If you’re helping one of your children go off to college for the first time, or return to college, ISU Wilson Insurance can help you gain some extra protection.

Here are five questions to consider about insurance when a child enters college:

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Kids Headed to College? Check Your Coverage...


If you’re helping one of your children go off to college for the first time, or return to college, ISU Wilson Insurance can help you gain some extra protection.

Here are five questions to consider about insurance when a child enters college:

Read More »

Kids Headed to College? Check Your Coverage...


If you’re helping one of your children go off to college for the first time, or return to college, ISU Wilson Insurance can help you gain some extra protection.

Here are five questions to consider about insurance when a child enters college:

Read More »

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Claims and Your Insurance Rates
10/24/2017

When is it time to contact your auto insurance or home insurance agent to file a claim?

You might be thinking, "Whenever my car or house has been damaged, like by an accident, or a disaster." But deciding whether to file a claim can be a complex process. In some cases, a claim may cause an insurance company to raise your rates.  In other instances, a claim could land your name in a database that might make it difficult to get or maintain coverage in the future.  Before you file a claim, make sure you completely understand how it will impact your future premiums and insurability.
 
Claims that spike premiums
 
Certain types of home insurance claims are more likely to trigger an increase in premiums. They include:
 
1. Dog Bites
 
2. Water Damage
 
3. Slip-and-Fall Claims
 
"The whole point of insurance is to make good on a loss, to make individuals whole again," says Claire Wilkinson, the editor of Terms + Conditions, the blog of the New York-based trade group the Insurance Information Institute. However, many people fear that filing insurance claims will cause them to be "blackballed" by insurance companies, resulting in higher premiums, loss of coverage and difficulties obtaining new insurance. And in some cases, they might be right.  Read more here:
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What You Should Know About Rental Car Insurance
8/1/2017
There are some very serious contractual gaps in coverage for rental vehicles. Even if you purchase their Collision Damage or Physical/ Loss Damage Waivers, many rental car contracts exclude the following:
  • Theft of the Vehicle
  • Tolling, or Turning the Vehicle Over
  • Lease Gap coverage
  • Loss of Use
  • Glass, Tire and Undercarriage Damage
  • Animal Collision
  • Flood and Hail Damage
  • Damage above the Windshield
  • Individuals who rent personal vehicles for extended periods and do not have a Personal Auto policy in force
  • Drivers who rent, and do not own another vehicle insured elsewhere, need to be expecially careful here
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5 Ways to Control Rising Homeowners Insurance Premiums
6/10/2017
Just as with real estate values, location rules when it comes to homeowners insurance costs. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the average annual U.S. premium was $842 in 2015, the most recent year for which figures are available. Floridians paid the highest rates, averaging $1,534 a year, while at the opposite end of the spectrum, homeowners in Idaho paid $422.  North Carolina residents averaged $664 per year. 
 
Fortunately, you can take several steps to bring down the cost of your own homeowners policy, short of packing up and moving:
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