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Monday, July 2, 2018

Condo Insurance - What Do You Need?

Condominiums offer an alternative to traditional single-family home ownership with the benefits of hassle-free grounds keeping and maintenance of common areas. Condo owners can protect their personal belongings and finances with a condominium insurance policy that is designed for their specific needs.
If you are purchasing condo insurance for the first time, you may have many questions about this distinctive form of home insurance. An independent agent in the Trusted Choice® network can provide you with answers, help you assess your unique coverage needs and help you make an informed decision about your coverage. Contact SouthGroup Insurance to get more information and receive personalized condo insurance quotes.

Top 5 Benefits of Owning a Condominium

  1. All maintenance, from yard-work to plumbing, is handled by the condo association
  2. Residents often have access to amenities such as swimming pools or tennis courts
  3. Condos provide a social living environment and many residents feel a strong sense of community
  4. Condominiums are usually conveniently located near shops and entertainment
  5. Many condominium buildings offer a high level of security

Condominium Insurance vs. Homeowners Insurance

A traditional homeowners insurance policy provides coverage for damage to the structure of the home as well as the contents within. Typically, the condo association will have a master policy that covers damages to the structure of the building and to the common areas. This policy also provides liability coverage for injuries that occur in common areas or on-site facilities such as a gym or swimming pool.
Because condominium association insurance covers damage or injuries in common areas, condo owners can obtain insurance coverage that is less costly than typical homeowners insurance policies. In this way, condo insurance policies are written specifically for the unique needs of condo owners.
Cooperative housing residents have special insurance needs as well. If you are just starting out as a home buyer and are assessing your insurance costs and options in advance of purchasing a home, condo or co-op, talk to an independent agent about the insurance coverage you will need.

What Is Condo Insurance?

Condo insurance, also known as HO-6 insurance, covers the personal property damage and liability risks faced by condo owners; it picks up where the condo association insurance leaves off. Most mortgage companies require you to buy condo insurance and remain covered for the life of your loan.
Condominium insurance is designed to protect you, the condo owner, from financial loss if someone is injured within your home. It will also protect you from damages and loss due to burglary, fire or other incidents.

What Does Condo Insurance Cover?

When you own a condominium, you are responsible for covering any and all damages within your unit, often including interior walls, flooring and ceilings. A condo insurance policy will also provide coverage for your personal property. If you should incur losses due to theft or experience property damage caused by such things as fire, water damage or tornado, you may be able to receive compensation through your condo insurance.
Your condo insurance will also cover you against liability claims. If a guest is injured while in your home and you are held liable, your condo insurance can cover some portion of the bodily injury claim, depending on your liability limit. If you are sued, most policies will also provide coverage for court costs and legal fees. Be sure to check the terms of your policy for full coverage details.
When shopping for a condo insurance policy, be sure to carefully review your needs, and inventory your personal belongings to understand their value if lost or damaged. Find out from your insurance company the specifics of your coverage and what exclusions apply to your policy.

What Is Not Covered by Insurance for Condos?

Condo insurance will not cover damages to personal property caused by flooding; you must have a separate flood insurance policy if rising water from a river or other waterway damages your home. Keep in mind that flood insurance requires 30 days from the date of purchase before it will provide coverage, so do not wait until a flood warning to buy a policy.
Condo insurance will not typically cover damages to your property caused by your car or truck, or damage to your vehicles. While in some cases you can add a personal watercraft or ATV to your policy, the coverage offered for these recreational vehicles is often very limited. Insurance professionals recommend purchasing separate policies specific to your speciality items, boats, recreational toys and vehicles.

What Is Vacant Condo Insurance?

Vacant condo insurance will cover your condo when nobody is living in it. These policies tend to be very inexpensive. If your condo will be empty for several months at a time, for instance if you use your condo only as a vacation home and do not rent it out when not in use, vacant condo insurance might be a good option for you. These policies often include named-risk coverage, meaning they will offer reimbursements for damage caused by named hazards. If your policy covers only fire and water damage risks and your home is destroyed by a tornado, however, your lost possessions will not be covered.

How Much Condo Insurance Do I Need?

The amount of condo insurance you need depends on the value of your belongings. To best assess your coverage needs, go through your home and write a detailed list of all your belongings as well as their estimated replacement-cost values. This will give you a good idea of how much you stand to lose in a disaster as well as how much it will cost you to replace everything and start over.
It is always a good idea to purchase a large amount of liability insurance. If an injury occurs in your home that involves a trauma to the head, neck or spine, for example, the injured person may require extensive and continual medical care. These costs can add up quickly. If your liability insurance is not enough to cover full restitution, you will be responsible for the remainder of the medical costs out-of-pocket.
An increased liability limit or an umbrella policy can provide the additional protection you need if you find yourself in an expensive legal situation.

How to Find the Best Condo Insurance Policy

To make the most informed decision, be sure to compare several different policies. The coverage, deductible options and rates can vary greatly from insurer to insurer. Comparison shopping can sometimes be time consuming, however, so getting guidance from a knowledgeable insurance professional could save you a lot of hassle.
Trusted Choice member agents have relationships with multiple different insurance companies and can provide you with easy, one-stop comparison shopping. Member agents will also explain your options and ensure that you fully understand the terms of the policies that you are considering. Contact SouthGroup Insurance, a Trusted Choice member agent in your neighborhood today and get an obligation-free condominium insurance quote.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Motorcyle Insurance - Don't Leave Home Without It

Every activity comes with risks, especially those that involve wheels, speed, and the unpredictable factors that drivers and motorcyclists experience while on the road. Make sure you have the motorcycle insurance you need to be fully covered in the event of an accident.
Contact SouthGroup Insurance for home, auto and motorcycle insurance quotes.

Motorcycle Accident Facts

  • Motorcycle-related deaths increased by 55% in the past decade
  • 4,500 people died in motorcycle accidents in 2010 alone
  • Motorcycle injuries and deaths cost about $12 billion annually
You know the risks are out there: a deer crossing the street in a blind curve; drivers neglecting to check their blind spot or traveling too fast through an intersection. Motorcycle riders see these dangers each time they ride.
You can’t prevent an accident from happening, but you can be prepared. Some of the important measures that can make a difference include taking a motorcycle safety course, wearing protective gear, and making sure you have adequate motorcycle insurance.
What kind of policy do you need, and how much coverage should you buy? Let’s discuss motorcycle insurance requirements and how you can find out more about what is required in your state.

Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

Every state in the U.S. requires motorcyclists to have liability insurance, with the exception of Washington State, Montana, and Florida. However, Florida still has a financial responsibility law, requiring motorcyclists to pay personal and property damages in an accident they cause.
Liability insurance pays (up to your set limits) for damages or injuries you cause in an accident, as well as your legal defense if needed. Because these costs can quickly soar to hundreds of thousands of dollars in the event of severe injuries, property damage or law suits, a good liability policy is highly recommended.

Structure of a Liability Policy

Liability coverage has three forms of coverage: bodily liability for one person, bodily liability for all people involved, and property liability. If you cause an accident and someone is injured, the bodily liability would cover the costs of treatment for that person.
When you buy motorcycle insurance, you determine the limit. If you purchase a 10/20/10 plan, it means the insurance company will pay up to $10,000 in medical care for one person, $20,000 for all injuries, and $10,000 in property damage.
Before you decide on the liability coverage in your motorcycle insurance policy, consider how much you can afford if the accident is severe. If the costs of the crash exceed your limits, you will have to pay out of pocket.
As an example scenario, let’s say you have coverage for 10/20/10, and you cause an accident resulting in $30,000 of medical expenses and $15,000 in property damage. You would have to pay $10,000 for medical care and another $5,000 in property damage, out of pocket.

How to Get Free Online Quotes and Compare Policies

You can get a free quote from TrustedChoice.com now.
There is more to getting a motorcycle insurance quote than just the numbers, however. When it comes to making the best decision on insurance, it is important to meet with an agent. Working with an agent in the Trusted Choice network means you will have someone to talk to who can answer your questions about the best policy, deductibles and limits for you.
Should you be purchasing uninsured and underinsured coverage in case you are in an accident caused by someone else who does not have the means to pay your expenses? Should you consider an umbrella liability policy? Do you know what kind of coverage you need if you travel with your motorcycle out of state?
Insurance can be confusing. Plans often have various limitations and exclusions, though they are not always clear. Without reviewing the policy with an experienced insurance professional, you may not know what your plan covers – and what it does not cover.
Before you buy motorcycle insurance, get free quotes from several providers. A Trusted Choice member agent can help you to get comparative motorcycle insurance quotes for you, and can also look for any discounts for which you may qualify.

Factors that Affect Your Rates

In general, motorcycle insurance rates are affected by the following factors:
Your credit score: It's true - your credit history affects your motorcycle insurance premium as much or more than your driving history. Statistically, motorcycle riders with poor credit are more likely to file a claim, so insurance companies tend to raise premiums for these customers to compensate for risk.
Your age and driving history: The insurance company will do a risk assessment based on how old you are and any included traffic accidents or violations on your record, both for your motorcycle and your car.
Where you live and travel: If you travel in high accident or crime areas, your risks are higher. Where you store your bike also matters: if it is kept in a locked garage, it is much less likely to be stolen or damaged.
How often you ride: If you ride year-round, you will face more risks than drivers who only use their motorcycles for a few months of the year, or only on weekends.
The make and model of your motorcycle: How expensive is your bike? How new? And how much horse power? A new Ducati 1199 Panigale will require more expensive repairs than a used Honda Stateline. This is because the Ducati will cost more to repair or replace in the event of an accident.
After-market additions: Insurers will also take into account whether you have added specialty components, such as a custom frame.

Additional Coverage

The costs of a severe wreck can quickly exceed your state’s required minimum coverage. Consider adding additional forms of insurance to a general motorcycle insurance plan.
  1. Accessories coverage: If you have done any after-market upgrades or any enhancements to the motorcycle, you may want additional coverage for these items. It is a good idea to retain all receipts and photos of any equipment or custom work.
  2. Collision coverage: If your motorcycle is damaged in an accident, collision coverage will pay for repair or replacement regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
  3. Comprehensive coverage: Also known as “other than collision,” comprehensive coverage covers any damage not caused by an accident with another vehicle, including:
    • Weather-related damage, such as hail
    • Criminal activity, including theft and vandalism
    • Collisions with wildlife
  4. Medical payments / personal injury coverage: Pays for your medical treatment or funeral costs after an accident, regardless of who is responsible for the accident.
  5. Uninsured / underinsured motorist coverage: If an uninsured or underinsured driver causes a collision in which you are injured or your motorcycle is damaged, this policy would cover your out-of-pocket expenses.

Finding an Agent

General motorcycle insurance policies available from an online insurance company may not be tailored to your needs. Even if you start your research by comparing online quotes, make sure you find an agent or motorcycle insurance broker.
A local agent in the Trusted Choice network can compare multiple plans from several insurance companies, find all available discounts and tailor a policy to fit your needs and budget. Contact SouthGroup Insurance, a Trusted Choice member agent today.
 
We are your LOCAL Trusted Choice Advisors, SouthGroup-Gulf Coast http://www.southgroupgulfcoast.com ,  SALES AND SERVICE AGENTS: Angelyn Treutel Zeringue, Tammy Garfield, Tammy Hogue, Tracy Arnold, Brittany Jones, Denise Russell, Melissa Moran, Alex Treutel, Anne Gillam, Ashlie Moody, Mark Strickland, Johnny Walton and Whitney Zimmerman Webb at SouthGroup Gulf Coast. You can reach us by snail-mail or in person: 412 Hwy 90, Suite 6, Bay St Louis MS 39520, email: info@southgroupgulfcoast.com, phone: 228-466-4498 fax:888-415-8922,  FaceBook www.facebook.com/southgroup.gulfcoast, or Twitter www.twitter.com/atreutel ! 

We have 2 Gulf Coast locations to serve you - 2505 Pass Road - Biloxi and 412 Hwy 90 Suite 6-Bay Saint Louis, MS. We write coverage in 40 different states and can assist you with Mississippi insurance, Louisiana insurance, and Alabama insurance and many other states.



Insurance is stressful, but we make saving easy.  We help you save money on insurance!
#trustedchoice #southgroup @southgroup   @stateauto  @libertymutual @TRV_insurance @safecoinsurance @progressive #savemoney @atreutel

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Business Continuity is critical - be prepared for Hurricane Season!

The IRS issued Tax Tips https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/disaster-assistance-and-emergency-relief-for-individuals-and-businesses   which is also good advice for your insurance coverage!  Safeguarding your records will provide you with better information for tax deductions and insurance claims.  Simple steps can keep you prepared:

1.  Recordkeeping - With today's technology, you can easily take advantage of paperless recordkeeping for important documents such as tax returns, insurance policies, appraisals, receipts for major purchases, etc.

2,  Document Valuables - A room-by-room inventory is extremely helpful in reconstructing records following a disaster.  Consider photographing or videoing your contents.  Be sure to store the pictures/videos in a safe place outside of your home or business.  Multiple copies are recommended.

3. Update Emergency Plans - You and your family are the most important assets.  Think through your emergency and/or escape plans NOW.  Keep a battery operated weather/news radio and flashlights ready.  Evacuate when directed by authorities.

4. Count on Your Agent - Know how to contact your local Trusted Choice agent following a loss, so they can assist you through the claim process.  Don't rely on a 800 number - you need a person to talk to!  In the event of a federally-declared disaster, be aware that the IRS may provide you with assistance on filing.

We are your LOCAL Trusted Choice Advisors, SouthGroup-Gulf Coast http://www.southgroupgulfcoast.com ,  SALES AND SERVICE AGENTS: Angelyn Treutel Zeringue, Tammy Garfield, Tammy Hogue, Tracy Arnold, Brittany Jones, Denise Russell, Melissa Moran, Alex Treutel, Anne Gillam, Ashlie Moody, Mark Strickland, Johnny Walton and Whitney Zimmerman Webb at SouthGroup Gulf Coast. You can reach us by snail-mail or in person: 412 Hwy 90, Suite 6, Bay St Louis MS 39520, email: info@southgroupgulfcoast.com, phone: 228-466-4498 fax:888-415-8922,  FaceBook www.facebook.com/southgroup.gulfcoast, or Twitter www.twitter.com/atreutel ! 

We have 2 Gulf Coast locations to serve you - 2505 Pass Road - Biloxi and 412 Hwy 90 Suite 6-Bay Saint Louis, MS. We write coverage in 40 different states and can assist you with Mississippi insurance, Louisiana insurance, and Alabama insurance and many other states.



Insurance is stressful, but we make saving easy.  We help you save money on insurance!
#trustedchoice #southgroup @southgroup   @stateauto  @libertymutual @TRV_insurance @safecoinsurance @progressive #savemoney @atreutel

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

How You Can Cover Your Risks With Business Insurance

Business insurance can be complex, and it takes an experienced insurance agent to help you get the right commercial coverage for your enterprise. You need an agent who can service not just one portion of your business insurance needs, but all of your commercial coverage, from commercial vehicle insurance to professional liability coverage to workers' comp.
A Trusted Choice®  independent agent who specializes in business insurance can do just that. Unlike captive agents who provide specific coverage from one insurance company, Trusted Choice agents work with many carriers. These agents can meet all of your commercial insurance needs, even when you need specialty coverage, or several different policies from different carriers.
Independent agents handle over 50 percent of commercial insurance policies in existence today, and are located in over 27,000 offices nationwide. Call a local agent in your area today to get help with your entire business insurance portfolio.

Top Risks Businesses Face

  • Property damage from fire, storms and accidents
  • Liability in many forms, including product liability, accident/injury liability, libel, malpractice and professional liability or “errors and omissions” risks
  • Fraud, embezzlement, extortion
  • Cyber-crime and data loss
Every company, large and small, has unique risks. Some have workers who operate heavy machinery or drive vehicles while on the job, while others serve food and alcohol or handle toxic substances. Doctors and hospital staff handle patients, body fluids, sharp needles and equipment. Some employees handle sensitive documents, data, or money, potentially opening the door to business fraud. For this reason, every company needs commercial insurance coverage specifically matched to the risks of the enterprise.
Determining your risks and making sure you have the right commercial insurance in place requires an evaluation of a wide range of factors, including:
  • Your business needs
  • How you serve your customers
  • How many employees you have on staff
  • The materials or substances those employees handle
  • Whether your employees drive in the course of their work
  • The safety of your building, equipment, and processes
  • The security of your data and intellectual property
  • Risks facing your corporate officers
To assess your business insurance needs, start by contacting an online Trusted Choice independent agent who specializes in commercial insurance. These agents can fully address every aspect of your business coverage and help to ensure that you do not have gaps that could leave your business exposed to financial risk.

Types of Commercial Insurance Policies

Every commercial operation needs business insurance. The specific blend of coverage types you need for your business depends on many factors, such as whether your employees handle money, dangerous substances, sensitive data or expensive merchandise.
Your agent will be able to recommend a package combining the coverage types you need, tailored to your risk management concerns.
For example, you may need some combination of the following types of commercial coverage:
  • General liability, contractor’s liability, or professional liability (errors and omissions)
  • Directors’ and officers’ liability
  • Malpractice insurance
  • Commercial property insurance
  • Commercial vehicle or commercial truck insurance
  • Contractors and builder’s risk coverage
  • Inland marine coverage
  • Business interruption insurance
  • Landlord insurance
  • Commercial tenants insurance
  • Crime coverage or fidelity insurance
  • Cyber-crime insurance
  • Workers compensation
  • Construction bonds
While you certainly do not need all of these coverage types to safely run your business, it’s nice to know that you have a variety of ways to manage the specific risks your company faces.
You may also want to offer or provide certain types of coverage to your employees, such as:
The coverage you choose for your business and employees should be designed to provide full protection for your company’s assets. A quality benefits package will show that you are an excellent employer to work for, and may even help you to attract the best talent.

Business Fraud Stats from the NFIB and the FBI

  • In 2011 the FBI secured $2.4 billion in restitution for corporate fraud
  • The same year, the FBI ordered $16.1 million in fines from corporate criminals
  • The median loss in a fraudulent scheme for businesses of 100 employees or less is $190,000
Corporate fraud, or “white collar crime,” is one type of business risk that nearly every commercial enterprise can encounter, whether it is a large corporation, a farm, a school, a restaurant, a non-profit charity, a medical practice or a machine shop. This is because any business operation, large or small, involves the exchange of money for goods and services.
According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), small business owners tend to believe their company is not prone to business fraud. However, in a study the ACFE found that small businesses are actually at a greater risk of employee embezzlement simply because they have a higher level of trust in their staff. The result of that trust can unfortunately result in more opportunity and more temptation for those who have access to the financials.
There are a few key lessons we can learn from the ACFE business fraud study:
  1. The first step in mitigating risk is to gain a full understanding of what can happen in the course of doing business.
  2. The worst time to find out that you need coverage for a problem is after the incident has occurred.
A qualified commercial insurance agent can work with you to help you evaluate your business risks and reduce your exposure.

Managing Risk in Every Aspect of Your Operations

One of the biggest challenges of risk management is simply assessing the potential problems your business may face so you can take the appropriate measures to reduce or eliminate those risks. If you run a commercial operation, there are several vital risk management strategies you can use to protect your business:
  1. Spend some time identifying your company's specific risks, from customer relations challenges to employee safety concerns, property risks, business interruption and corporate fidelity.
  2. Identify the specific proactive methodology you want to implement to mitigate each risk. This step will help you to develop a multi-pronged approach to reducing risk that includes everything from workplace safety measures to security systems, employee education and commercial insurance.
  3. Work with a knowledgeable commercial insurance agent to choose the specific business coverage you need to reduce the financial impact on your enterprise in the event of accidents, injuries, property damage, fraud and the other risks you have identified.
By assessing your business risks from multiple angles with a qualified commercial insurance agent, you can more adequately protect your company from the challenges that can undermine your company's financial health.

Comparing Commercial Insurance Quotes

A member agent in the Trusted Choice network can review your business needs and help you evaluate the commercial coverage options that make the most sense for your organization. Your agent will also compare policies and quotes from multiple business insurance companies to make sure you have the right protection in place.
These independent agents are devoted to helping you get just the right insurance for your business. Because of their many insurance company partnerships, Trusted Choice independent agents can handle all of your business insurance needs with friendly and convenient service in one office, simplifying your business policies, and even finding you discounts
We are your LOCAL Trusted Choice Advisors, SouthGroup-Gulf Coast http://www.southgroupgulfcoast.com ,  SALES AND SERVICE AGENTS: Angelyn Treutel Zeringue, Tammy Garfield, Tammy Hogue, Tracy Arnold, Brittany Jones, Denise Russell, Melissa Moran, Alex Treutel, Anne Gillam, Ashlie Moody, Mark Strickland, Johnny Walton and Whitney Zimmerman Webb at SouthGroup Gulf Coast. You can reach us by snail-mail or in person: 412 Hwy 90, Suite 6, Bay St Louis MS 39520, email: info@southgroupgulfcoast.com, phone: 228-466-4498 fax:888-415-8922,  FaceBook www.facebook.com/southgroup.gulfcoast, or Twitter www.twitter.com/atreutel ! 

We have 2 Gulf Coast locations to serve you - 2505 Pass Road - Biloxi and 412 Hwy 90 Suite 6-Bay Saint Louis, MS. We write coverage in 40 different states and can assist you with Mississippi insurance, Louisiana insurance, and Alabama insurance and many other states.



Insurance is stressful, but we make saving easy.  We help you save money on insurance!
#trustedchoice #southgroup @southgroup   @stateauto  @libertymutual @TRV_insurance @safecoinsurance @progressive #savemoney @atreutel