True costs of insurance - Spencer Insurance Agency, Inc

Is your child settled into college?

 

Now is the time to ask “How does my college student affect my car and home insurance?

Congratulation on your child’s achievement!  As you prepare to send your child to college let’s review some important items.

Is their “stuff” covered on while at a dorm or off campus apartment?

Generally, as long as your child is a full time student, was a resident of your house before moving to college, and is under age 24 there is some coverage for the students “stuff” while they are away at school. However, that coverage is generally limited to 10% of your contents (Coverage C) on your homeowner’s policy. For example, if the contents limit on your policy is $140,000, your child would have $14,000 of coverage for the “stuff” in his dorm room. There are limitations on certain items including computers, jewelry, musical instruments and collectibles.  If your child is taking any of these items with them to school, give us a call to review.

What if my child has a roommate and they buy “stuff” together?

In this situation you should consider a Renter’s policy to cover both your child’s and roommates stuff.  As long as both children are on the lease most companies will write one renter’s policy covering both children.  Call us to discuss your situation.

How does my child going to college affect my car insurance policy?

If you have a student away at a college that is over 100 miles and they do not have a car with them, we can add a discount for “Child Away at School.”  If your child is taking their car to a college that is in the same state you reside, then we may be able to rate the car as being “garaged” at the college, rather than your household.  If the collage is out of state, however, it would need to remain as rated at your home address.

If you have any questions, give us a call at 215-885-2200 or contact us from our website and discuss your situation with our experienced staff.

Why should I use an independent agent?

Spencer Insurance Agency is a local, second generation, family, independent insurance agency located in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. The agency was founded by Edward F. Spencer and Walter R. Hauck in 1963. The family tradition continues with Ed’s sons Charlie and Steve. The agency’s personal and business clients are located throughout state of Pennsylvania especially in the Philadelphia area including Montgomery county, Delaware county, Bucks county and Chester county. With our friendly and experienced staff you can rest assured you are talking to someone that understands your insurance needs; not just another 800 number operator across the country.

Spencer Insurance Agency customizes your insurance package to reflect the risk you face in your business and at home. As Independent Insurance Agents, Spencer Insurance Agency represents several top rated insurance companies and can choose the company that has the right insurance package for your needs. We do the research for you. Spencer Insurance Agency may not be the lowest or highest price, but you will know you have the proper protection at a very competitive price At Spencer Insurance Agency, “Your Protection and Peace of Mind is our only Business!”

Call us at 215-885-2200 or contact us from our website for a review or second opinion on your coverage.

Are your summer toys insured?

The hot, hazy, lazy days of summer are here.   I hope you are having fun taking some time to kick back and relax.  Summer is a time to enjoy outdoor activities like golf, boating, fishing, water skiing, swimming and a barbecue.  There are a lot of summer toys like golf carts, trampolines, swimming pools, boats, jet skis, ATVs, motorcycles and motor homes,  just to name a few.

Summer is the time to enjoy these toys, but make sure you have the proper coverage.  An accident with one of these toys could lead to property damage and a lawsuit.  Are you prepared for that?  Many times people are surprised to find they have limited or no coverage under their auto and homeowner’s insurance policies for these toys.

 

Does your homeowner’s or auto insurance cover these toys?  Sometimes the answer is yes but way too often the answer is no.  Call us today at 215-885-2200 to make sure you have the proper protection or contact us from our website.

 

Let’s discuss a few of these toys. . .

  • Liability from backyard toys such as a trampoline or pool is covered by your homeowner’s insurance but there is a problem.  Due to the nature of the injury that can occur, most homeowner’s policies provide only limited coverage.  You should purchase an umbrella policy and make sure your policies don’t restrict claims from these items.
  • Jet Skis/personal watercraft– These items are fast and fun and you probably have no liability coverage under your homeowner’s policy.  You need to buy a personal watercraft policy and umbrella policy if you own a personal watercraft.  Be careful, not all umbrella policies cover your personal watercraft.  If you rent a personal watercraft while on vacation you have no liability insurance.  You are riding around with no insurance. Purchase the coverage from the marina.
  • Boats– You have some limited coverage on your Homeowner’s policy for damage to your boat, but sinking and banging the dock is not covered.  You also have limited coverage for liability as long as the boat is a sailboat under 26 feet or your boat has an outboard motor less than 25 horsepower.  If you rent a sailboat under 26 feet or a boat with an outboard motor you have some liability coverage from your homeowner’s insurance.  Why risk having limited or no coverage?  Purchase a boat policy for your boat.
  • Motorcycles or ATV – If you own a motorcycle, your auto and homeowner’s policy provide no coverage.  You need to purchase a motorcycle policy or recreational vehicle endorsement.  If you rent a motorcycle while on vacation you have no coverage from your auto policy and no coverage on your homeowner’s policy if the motorcycle requires registration (Hint – Most do!).  Hopefully the place that rented you the motorcycle can provide you insurance; otherwise you are riding around with no coverage!
  • Golf Carts– When you play a round of golf and rent a golf cart you have liability coverage under your home and auto policies.  You have some limited property damage coverage in this case.  What if you own a golf cart?  This gets tricky so talk to us.  The golf cart is covered while on a golf course, but you may need an endorsement if you travel off the golf course.

Contact us today to check your coverage or get a second opinion.

“Why did my car insurance rates go up when I haven’t any accidents or claims?”

Teen Driver Insurance and Resources

 

We hear this question often from our clients.  Car insurance rates for all companies have increased over the last few years and I’d like to address some of the reasons:

  • While technology in cars can make them safer on the road, it also adds to the cost to repair the car. My new Camry has five cameras to help me back up and see what is around my car. It also has lane departure warnings and helps navigate me back into the lane. I also have headlights that move as I turn my car.  All these features are great but to repair a bumper or windshield is now a lot more expensive.
  • There are more cars on the road than ever before and with stable gas prices people are driving more. More driving leads to more accidents.
  • Distracted driving. Do I need to say more?  I was on the road the other day when the driver in the car next to me was holding his cell phone to his ear talking with one hand as he drank his coffee using the other hand.  Not sure how he was driving.  It used to be when one of our clients was rear ended at a traffic light they were hit at about 10 MPH. Now due to distracted driving, drivers don’t even realize the light is red and smash into the car in front of them going 40 or 50 MPH. This leads to much more serious claims and higher payments. Over the last three years our agency has had three claims over $500,000 in liability payments.  Fortunately for two of our clients they purchased an umbrella policy that we recommended.

All these factors contribute to the rise in car insurance rates. Our goal at Spencer Insurance Agency is to make sure you are paying a competitive price for your insurance coverage. We review your renewal policy to make sure it is not out of line.  As independent agents we have several companies to choose from for your auto insurance rates.  If you ever feel your rates are too high let us know. We will check it out.  If another company’s rate seems a lot lower please call to discuss the quote with us to make sure you are getting the same coverage.  The “True Cost of Insurance” is not just the premium but also the additional out of pocket costs you incur because you had the wrong coverage.

Contact Spencer Insurance Agency for a second opinion on your car insurance.

 

Did you return the Annual Review Checklist?

To quote Heraclitus “The Only Thing That is Constant is Change.”

Things change in your life every year. That is why Spencer Insurance sends an Annual Review Checklist to our clients once per year.  You should have received one in the mail recently.

Spencer Insurance Agency makes coverage recommendations based on your lifestyle. Life changes and we need to know about
these changes to make sure your insurance is up to date. Our goal is to provide you with the proper coverage at a competitive price.
We understand that price is important to you however the “True Cost of Insurance” includes the out of pocket costs you incur when you do not have the proper protection.

We suggest you complete and return the Annual Review Checklist to us at your earliest convenience. Feel free to call us to discuss the checklist.

Don’t be caught short with coverage come claim time.  Contact us now!

Fall is here and so are the Spencer Agency’s fall safety tips!

Fall Auto and Home Maintenance - Abington, Glenside, Jenkintown Homeowners Insurance company Spencer Insurance

 

As summer comes to a close I ask “will we get rid of this rain and humidity.”  I am looking forward to some crisp fall days and seeing the beautiful change of the color of the trees.

But it would not be fall without Spencer’s fall safety tips.   Check these tips out so you can prevent future claims. This fall section has tips on how to prepare your car and home for fall and winter.  It also has some teen driver tips for parents of teen drivers.

       

Lastly, September is Life insurance awareness month so I have some tips on how to protect your family with life insurance.  Tips on what you need to do with your life insurance if you are getting married or divorced. Rachel will tell you why you should not delay purchasing life insurance.

As always just contact us if you have any questions or concerns.  “Your protection and peace of mind is our only business.”

You may have noticed your car insurance rates increasing.

 

You may have noticed your auto rates increasing.  Why are my rates going up you may ask?  I have had no accidents.  We have noticed too.

Spencer Insurance Agency wants you to know we keep an eye on industry trends to make sure our clients are getting the coverage they need at a competitive price.  We are proactive in checking to make sure you are getting all discounts and make sure the company you have is competitive.

As independent agents Spencer Insurance represents several top rated insurance companies and can choose the company that offers you the coverage you need at a competitive price.  We understand that price is important but that the “True Cost of Insurance” can be much higher if not properly covered.

So why are car insurance rates rising.  There are several factors.  Here are a few:

  • According to Strategy & PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2016 Auto Industry Trends, people are buying more cars. In 2015, Americans bought a record 17.5 million new vehicles.
  • People are driving more. Due to lower gas prices and higher employment, 2015 saw the highest increase in driving in 25 years according to U.S. Department of Transportation.
  • Repair Costs are rising. Newer car repairs include costly electronics – like cameras, sensors and other safety devices.
  • Injury costs are rising due to medical inflation
  • According to the National Safety Council, Insurance Information Institute traffic fatalities are reaching record levels. 2015 brought the largest single – year increase in driving – related deaths since 1966. Worse yet, we’re on track for a two – year increase of 18 %.
  • Distracted Driving is increasing! According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fewer people are talking while driving, but more are texting and surfing the web.

We all know it is crazy out on the roads these days.  How many times have you been at a red light when it turns to green and the car in front of you does not move because the person driving is texting?

We ask that you be careful about switching just due to price.  Check out our article “True Cost of Insurance” before you switch and contact us to compare the quote you received with your actual coverage. Yes, sad to say some agents will quote lower limits to get your business. You may not realize it until you have a claim when it is too late. Here are some additional reasons why you may not want to switch carriers even if you save some money:

  • You may have a disappearing deductible or deductible credit which you will lose.
  • You may have accident forgiveness on your current policy.
  • Because rates are changing for all our carriers you may find the company you switch to costs more come next renewal. You then lose loyalty credits.
  • Does the company you choose have the same level of claim service you have come to expect?
  • Are you talking to the same people when you call your insurance agent or do you just get the next person available to take your call?

Spencer Insurance has a licensed and highly experienced team. You know when you call that you will be talking to Joan, Beth, Denise, Steve or me.  If you have any questions please contact us!  We are here for you!

Please drive safely and pull over to use your phone to make a call, text or check the GPS.

Do you know someone who is a parent of a teen driver . . .

If you have a teen driver continue reading.  If not, forward this message to a friend or family member who is a parent of a teen driver.  You will be doing them a favor.

I remember when my four children were teen drivers. My head was spinning. I had to teach them how to drive safely and pay those high rates for car insurance.  Now that I have grandchildren I look forward to watching my children navigate through this process.

Spencer Insurance has help for parents of teen drivers.  Check out our website designed just for parents of teen drivers.

What is on the website?

  • A list of driving schools – email us if you know another good one.
  • Tips and suggestions
    • Parent – teen driving contract
    • 101 Safe Teen Driving Tips
    • 7 costly mistakes parent make
  • Links to the PA, NJ and DE motor vehicle sites to learn how to get a permit
  • A link to our “Safe Teen Driving Course”

Spencer Insurance understands this is an important and stressful time.  Let us help you navigate through this process.

Please contact us with any questions you may have.

“Your Protection and Peace of Mind is our only Business.”

 

The Devil is in the details . . .

Teen Driver Insurance and Resources      

I am sure you have heard the saying “The devil is in the details.”  This applies to insurance as well.  When you shop around for insurance you may think you are being quoted the same coverage only to find out the reason the quote is cheaper is because you have lesser coverage. When you call the 800 number to get a quote in 5 or 15 minutes you don’t know if the person you are talking to has been on the job for a week or 7 years. They may know very little about insurance and just follow a script. They have no skin in the game if they give you poor advice or if they don’t tell you the coverage you have is not sufficient.  They may not talk to you again, ever.

That is why Spencer Insurance Agency asks our clients to call us when they get a quote from another company before they consider switching to a new company.  We are a local independent agency which means we write with more than one company and all of our staff members are licensed professionals, not just order-takers.  You can even stop in and talk to us! Our staff understands insurance and knows that details are important. You talk to the same people when you call us.

Spencer Insurance Agency is not offended when a client calls and tells us they feel their rates are too high.  We will review your policies and see if there is anything we can do to bring the price down that will not put you at a greater risk because you have less coverage. We have several quality carriers not just one.

Recently, a client notified us they switched to another company to get a much better rate.  When the client sent us the new policies for us to review they were shocked to find how much coverage they lost.  They had a 2% wind deductible which means if there was a  thunder storm with strong winds and their house sustained wind damage (tree blown onto house, shingles blown off roof, etc.) that they had a $8,000 deductible. The policy our client had with our carrier was a $1,000 deductible regardless of the cause of the covered loss.  They also did not have any water backup coverage and other coverage was missing as well.  When they called the new company to inquire about the missing coverage they could not get through to anyone that could help them and became very frustrated by the service. Yes, they got a better price but the coverage and service they received was very poor.  They cancelled those policies and came back to Spencer Insurance.

We understand that price is important but please call us before you switch so we can help evaluate the offer you received before you switch.  A savings of $500 could end up costing you $20,000 when you have a claim.

Call us today at 215-885-2200 for a review.

Will you be our next winner?

 

Here are some recent winners of the Spencer Rewards Program.  We thank you for each referral you send our way.  We appreciate the trust you place in Spencer Insurance Agency.

 

 

Tim Carey won an iPad Mini, Roy Klotz won $100 in cash, Bernie Rooney was a $50 Gift Card and Felix Tuccillo won $100 in cash.  We have a drawing each month and pick the name of someone who has referred a coworker, friend or family member to us.  Check out our website for details.

I hope to see you in our office spinning the Spencer Insurance Big Wheel!

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Check out how you can win an iPad mini.

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