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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Farewell 2013 - What Have YOU Learned This Year?

It's hard to believe we are in the final days of 2013.  It has been an action packed year with so much happening in all of our lives and in the economy as well.  It has definitely been a roller coaster ride and some of us are eager to say "Farewell, 2013!"  But let's not be too hasty, because with all farewells we want to be prepared for the journey that lies ahead.  Are you ready? 

Let's review some of the important items we've discussed with you throughout the year.  With so many changes in the industry and in the economy, it's good to brush up on the facts!

Why did your home insurance rates increase in 2013? Weather related catastrophes have been steadily increasing and the expenses to repair a home has also been steadily increasing.  These repair costs can be associated with the current state of the economy, such as the price of fuel to import/export building supplies.  We are insurance agents, not scientists, so we can't truly verify any of the theories as to why weather related catastrophes have increased, but we can verify that studies used for claims modeling have supported the rate increases in the cost of insurance. 
 

These increases have prompted many consumers to shop their insurance policies, which is always a wise decision, but many consumers are not insurance specialists and could be making a mistake.  Are you comparing apples to apples? SouthGroup Insurance Services is focused on not only saving you money but also recognizing your personal insurance protection needs to find what coverages are best suited for you as an individual.  Saving money is not the most important factor in protecting yourself or your loved ones, even though it may feel like it in this current economy.  A few things you want to consider when shopping your insurance coverages aside from savings are; What is the financial rating for the new company you are considering? Is the coverage you are considering adequate for your needs? Is your quote correctly rated or will you be facing a premium increase after you sign on the dotted line? Before you make an important decision regarding your future and your protection, we recommend you schedule a full insurance review at one of our 3 convenient coastal locations free of charge and without obligation.  Now is the time!
 

This year we have seen many consumers clumping mortgages and insurance policies together, however, in reality these are two very different animals even though they usually walk hand-in-hand in the jungle! Here are some important things to remember about the relationship between your mortgage and insurance policies; If you re-finance, it is your responsibility to make sure the mortgage clause is up-to-date on your insurance policy.  Your insurance agent will follow through with any instructions provided by your new mortgage holder with your authorization, however if the re-finance fails for any reason, they are not obligated to contact your insurer or your agent, and this creates an issue with incorrect information on your insurance policy.  Many mortgage companies have been selling their accounts to other companies, and often the insurer is not informed in a timely manner which can cause gaps in insurance coverage due to non-payment.  Often, consumers don't even know their mortgage was sold.  We recommend you contact your mortgage holder within 2 months of your insurance policy renewal to verify if anything has changed.  Many mortgage companies will wait until the end of the month to pay premiums, even if the due date was 2 weeks before.  Unfortunately, this causes insurance policies to lapse and leaves consumers without coverage for a period.  To avoid periods without coverage, when you receive your copy of your insurance policy renewal billing, you should follow up with your mortgage company to verify they intend to pay in a timely manner.  In 2013, we saw a huge increase in this problem and learned that consumers have to be aggressive in getting premiums paid by mortgage companies. 
 

How much do YOU have to lose? In today's litigious society, how do you know if you have enough insurance coverage to protect you and your assets in the event of a lawsuit? This is an important question to ask yourself any time of year and is the heart of the insurance industry's relationship with you! A Personal Umbrella Insurance Policy may be the answer you're looking for when you have a lot to lose as it protects your assets and future income in addition to your primary insurance policies.  It is not the same as excess insurance and only goes into effect when your underlying policies are fully exhausted, which is very common in lawsuits today.  A typical umbrella policy premium averages $135/year.  Umbrella policies provide additional liability coverage above the limits of your home, auto and boat insurance policies and sometimes may be used to provide coverage for claims which may be excluded from your primary insurance policies.  To learn more about Personal Umbrella Insurance, give us a call.  In fact, you may not be able to afford not to!
 

These are just a few of the informative and important topics we've discussed with you in 2013.  We invite you to re-visit our blogs from this year by checking our blog archive.  Remember, a new year is always a fantastic time to review your finances and your insurance.  We are eager to assist you and look forward to working with you in 2014.  Give us a call at 228-466-4498 to schedule an appointment, but remember walk in clients are always welcome also.  Thank you for a fantastic year! We appreciate you and your business!
 

Your Trusted Choice Insurance Agent stands ready to assist you. We help you through the maze of insurance coverages, carriers, and premiums, and we find the best personal and business coverage for you at affordable rates. We help you save money on insurance --- and we save you time!  And remember, when it comes to insurance, one size does not fit all.

We are your LOCAL Trusted Choice Advisors, SouthGroup-Gulf Coast http://www.southgroupgulfcoast.com / , SALES AND SERVICE AGENTS: Angelyn Treutel, Tammy Garfield, Tammy Hogue, Brittany Jones, Wendy Johnson, Denise Russell, Melissa Moran, Alex Treutel, Susan Monti, Anne Gillam, Ashlie Moody, and Whitney Zimmerman 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: atreutel@southgroup.net , phone:228-466-4498, fax:888-415-8922,  FaceBook www.facebook.com/southgroup.gulfcoast , or Twitter www.twitter.com/atreutel !

We have 3 Gulf Coast locations to serve you - 2505 Pass Road - Biloxi, 5400 Indian Hill-Diamondhead, and 412 Hwy 90 Ste 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.

Thanks to Susan Monti for her words of wisdom!