Do Drivers with Health Insurance Need Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

Why drivers need uninsured motorist coverage, even if they have health insurance.

As a driver, you do not want to carry unnecessary auto coverages that increase your insurance rates.  This is why you may be wondering if you can go without uninsured motorist coverage.  While it may seem that this coverage simply overlaps your health insurance, this isn’t the case.  Here’s why all drivers can benefit from carrying uninsured motorist protection.

What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

If you get into an accident with a driver who is not carrying auto insurance coverage, then you have a situation on your hands.  Because the other driver does not have auto coverage of their own, they will not be able to file a claim to pay for your damages.  Additionally, because uninsured drivers usually do not have assets to seize, it’s unlikely that the driver will be able to pay for your damages out of pocket.

This is where uninsured motorist coverage kicks in.  Because the other driver is unable to cover your accident expenses, your uninsured motorist coverage will to pay for things like your car’s repairs and your medical treatments.

Do I Need This Coverage?

Many drivers do not want to secure uninsured motorist coverage because their injuries would be covered by their existing health insurance policy.  However, it’s important to understand that uninsured motorist coverage actually offers more benefits that your health insurance can.  For instance, if you are unable to work following the accident, then your uninsured motorist coverage would cover the cost of your lost wages as well as offer reparations for your pain and suffering.  These non-material expenses are something that basic health insurance will not cover.  With these additional benefits in mind, it’s easy to see why drivers benefit from carrying uninsured motorist coverage.

It’s important to note that uninsured motorist coverage is mandatory in some states, particularly those with a high concentration of uninsured drivers.  If you live in the following states, then you are legally obligated to carry this coverage:

  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • Washington D.C.
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

This is why drivers need to carry uninsured motorist coverage.  Do you have additional questions about your auto insurance?  If so, then contact the experts at James Page Insurance.  Our dedicated team is eager to get you the coverage that you need today.

How to Protect Your Home from Thunderstorm Damage

Don’t let a thunderstorm cause damage to your home.

As temperatures start to get warmer, the risk for thunderstorms increases.  Unfortunately for homeowners, a thunderstorm can cause serious damage to their property and belongings.  To protect against thunderstorm damages, here are some of the precautions that you should take around your property.

  • Trim Trees

If you have trees near your home, then you should trim them as soon as possible.  This is because a thunderstorm can rip the branches off of your trees, causing them to fall onto your home and cause damage.  If the trees on your property are very tall, then do not attempt to trim them on your own.  The last thing that you want is to fall and injure yourself, so leave this task to the experts.

  • Bring in Outdoor Furniture

If a thunderstorm is on its way, then make sure that you bring in your outdoor furniture.  This includes things like patio chairs, barbecue grills, sports equipment, gardening tools, and so on.  By bringing these things inside, you reduce the chance of the wind sending them flying into your home and causing damage.

  • Install Storm Shutters

Because heavy rains and fierce winds can shatter your home’s windows, you should consider installing storm shutters over them.  Not only will this prevent damage to your windows, but it also protects your family and belongings from getting hit by broken glass or debris.

  • Invest in a Surge Protection System

During thunderstorms, electrical lines are left vulnerable.  This is because lighting strikes and falling trees can take out power lines and cause power.  Should this happen near you, then your home’s electrical system will probably get hit with sudden power surges.  These surges can cause damage to plugged-in appliances and electronics and can even start fires.  To protect against these risks, you should put your entire home on a surge protection system.  These systems ensure that a sudden influx of electrical power doesn’t shock or override your home’s electronics and outlets.

These are some of the precautionary measures that you should take to protect your home from thunderstorms.  Want another way to keep your home safe?  Then make sure you have the right homeowners insurance protections in place.  For assistance with all your home coverage needs, contact the experts at James Page Insurance today.

Tips for Dealing with Problem Neighbors

Living with rude and toxic neighbors can be a source of major stress.  However, you don’t have to sit back and simply accept your bad neighbor’s discourteous behavior.  Instead, take these steps to deal with rude and toxic neighbors and potentially build a positive relationship with your neighbor.

Tips for Dealing with Rude or Toxic Neighbors

Here are the 3 important steps that will help you to handle a bad or a rude neighbor.

1. Make Sure You Are Not the One at Fault

While it’s easy to assume that your neighbor is just toxic, it’s important that you stop and think about how your behavior may be affecting them.  Often a neighbor’s actions are actually a form of retaliation for your own inconsiderate behavior.  So, before you confront your neighbor, carefully think about your conduct and determine whether you may be the one at fault.

2. Be Friendly

You can’t resolve neighborly disputes if you don’t actually know your neighbor.  This is why you should make an effort to be friendly and actually introduce yourself to them.  As you build a relationship, it will be easier to bring up the problems that you are having with their behavior.  By maintaining the relationship and fostering open communication, you can address current issues and prevent future problems from ever arising.

3. Don’t Make Bad Assumptions

When dealing with a bad neighbor, it can feel like they are purposely doing things to annoy you.  However, this is probably not the case.  More often than not, your neighbor is a good person who is just oblivious to how their behaviors are negatively affecting you.  So, rather than storming up to their front door with accusations at the ready, try to be courteous and introduce issues in a non-confrontational manner.  This will give your neighbor a chance to apologize and reflect on their actions, without the whole situation becoming hostile.

These are some of the suggestions that you should try when dealing with rude, toxic, and bad neighbors.  Looking for ways to deal with troublesome insurance policies?  Then turn to the experts at James Page Insurance. We provide affordable home, auto, life, and business insurance.  Our dedicated team is eager to assist you with all your insurance needs.  Click here to call or contact us to get started today.

Dispelling Common Myths About Electric Cars

Don’t believe these lies about electric vehicles.

As electric cars become more popular, so do the misconceptions about them.  Sadly, these mistruths often prevent drivers from giving these eco-friendly vehicles a fair chance.  To ensure that you aren’t making unfair assumptions about electric vehicles, here is the truth behind some of the most common myths.

“They Don’t Have Enough Range.”

Many drivers believe that electric cars cannot hold their charge long enough to travel long distances.  In reality, the average American drives about 40 miles a day.  Even the shortest-range electric vehicles can travel double that on a single charge.  Generally, electric vehicles have the ability to get anywhere from 150 miles to 310 miles on a single charge.

“They Cost Too Much to Maintain and Repair.”

Many drivers write off electric vehicles because they believe that they are too expensive to maintain and repair.  While it’s true that electric cars do require unique parts and specialty technicians, this cost is offset by the fact that they do not require as much maintenance.  Unlike standard cars, electric vehicles do not require regular oil changes or tune-ups.  Additionally, electric vehicles have fewer moving parts that require servicing or replacement.  Because they are so low maintenance to own, electric vehicles are also very cost-effective.

“They Are Too Slow.”

Many drivers hold the belief that electric vehicles are glorified golf carts.  However, you may be surprised to learn that most electric cars are actually quicker than standard gasoline-powered cars.  This is because an electric motor generates 100% of torque instantly.  This means that electric vehicles can actually reach their top speeds in a fraction of the time it takes gas-powered cars to get there.

This the truth behind common electric car myths.  Interested in getting an electric vehicle?  If so, then make sure you protect it with the right auto insurance.  For assistance with all your car coverage needs, contact the experts at James Page Insurance today.

Why Your Home Insurance Rates May Have Gone Up

Factors leading to home insurance premiums increases.

As a homeowner, you understand why your insurance rates increase after filing a claim.  However, it’s important to know that your claims history isn’t the only thing that affects your rates.  Here are some of the other factors that can cause your homeowners insurance premiums to increase at renewal.

  • Increased Likelihood of Extreme Weather Events– In recent years, the number of wildfires, windstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, and other extreme weather events have increased significantly. As the frequency of these damaging events increases, insurance companies must increase their rates so they can keep up with resulting home insurance claims.
  • Increasing Local Crime Rate– When calculating your premiums, your home insurance provider will look at the local crime rate to determine how likely you are to become a victim of theft or vandalism. If your local crime rate has increased over the past year, then your insurer will consider you a higher risk to insure.  As such, they will also increase your premiums.
  • Increasing Cost of Repairs and Replacements– As the cost of emergency cleanup services, skilled trades, personal belongings, and home values increase, so does the amount of money that insurance companies have to pay to address policyholder claims. Insurance companies will increase policy premiums to offset the higher cost of claims.

These are some of the reasons why your homeowners insurance rates may have increased this year.  Do you have additional questions about your home coverage?  If so, then contact the experts at James Page Insurance.  Our dedicated team is eager to assist you with all your home insurance needs today.

How Homeowners Can Protect Their Homes This Winter

Preventing damage to your home this winter.

Because winter weather conditions are the harshest that you will face all year, it’s important to protect your home from the elements.  To prevent damage caused by freezing temperatures, wind, snow, and hail, here are some of the precautions to take around your home.

  • Keep Your Home Heated– Homeowners should keep their home heated to at least 65° F, even when there is no one present in the home. Keeping your home warm will ensure that the plumbing running through your walls doesn’t freeze and burst, causing significant water damage.
  • Let Your Faucets Drip– If you live in an area where the temperatures drop below freezing, then you should leave the faucets inside your home to drip slightly. This keeps the water in your pipes moving, which reduces the chances of it freezing and causing your pipes to burst.
  • Close Your Fireplace Flue– When your fireplace is not in use, you should make sure to close the flue. Leaving your flue open will allow cold air, water, and even vermin to enter your home.
  • Clear Snow and Ice from Your Walkways– If you receive heavy snowfall or if temperatures drop below freezing, then you need to remove the snow and ice that accumulates on your driveway and the walkways leading up to your home. Shoveling the snow and salting your walkways will ensure that visitors do not slip and injure themselves while on your property.
  • Check Your Roof– During the winter months, ice dams can form on your roof and near your gutter downspouts. These dams can cause water to build up on your roof, increasing your chances of serious water damage.  So, make sure you routinely check your roof for ice flows and clear them away, so water is able to drain off your roof.
  • Keep Your Garage Door Closed– Most homes do not have heated garages. This leaves the plumbing running through your garage susceptible to freezing temperatures.  The best way to keep your pipes insulated is by opening your garage door as infrequently as possible.  This will keep warm air trapped inside your garage.

These are some of the precautions that you should take around your home to avoid winter damage.  Want another way to keep your home safe?  Then make sure you have the right homeowners insurance in place.  For assistance with all your home coverage needs, contact the experts at James Page Insurance today.

Steps to Take If You’ve Locked Yourself Out of Your Car

What to do if you’ve locked your keys inside your car.

If you haven’t already locked yourself out of your car, then chances are you will probably do it at some point in your lifetime.  While this is a distressing situation, there are steps that you can take to get back inside your vehicle.  Here’s what you should do if you’ve locked your keys inside your car.

  • Remain Calm

First, take a moment to settle your nerves.  Acting panicked and flustered will do nothing but make an unfortunate situation even worse.  So, do yourself a favor and collect yourself before weighing your next options.  Also, make sure that you check all your doors before calling for help.  The last thing you want to do is jump through all these hoops only to find that your passenger side door was open the whole time.

  • Have Someone Bring Your Back-Up Key

Most drivers have a spare key for their car.  It’s a good idea to leave your spare with a trusted family member or friend.  If you are in the local area and your spare key holder is available, then all you have to do is give them a call.  While you may owe them a favor in return, this is the easiest scenario.

  • Call for Roadside Assistance

If you don’t have a spare key or cannot reach your spare key holder, then it’s time to call for roadside assistance.  Roadside assistance is a service that many drivers have through their insurance.  This service allows the driver to call for help, and the company will send out a technician to assist them.  Roadside assistance technicians can unlock your car, tow your car, replace dead batteries, bring spare gas, and so on.

  • Contact a Professional

If you do not have roadside assistance, then place a call to the nearest tow truck company.  Many towing companies offer lockout services and can help you get back into your car.  If there isn’t a towing service nearby, then you can also call a locksmith or a car repair shop.

These are some of the things that you should do if you’ve accidentally locked yourself out of your car.  Interested in adding roadside assistance coverage to your auto policy?  If so, then contact the experts at James Page Insurance.  We are ready to get you the comprehensive car insurance you need today.

Tips for Making Your First Home Inventory

Suggestions to help you with your home inventory.

If you’ve just secured homeowners insurance, then your agent has probably advised you to make a home inventory.  However, because this task is so tedious, many homeowners put it off as long as possible.  Unfortunately, not having an updated home inventory can cause issues with your insurance.  Here’s why it’s so important to have a home inventory and some helpful tips for creating your first one.

Home Inventories Help with Insurance Claims

Having an updated home inventory is essential to managing your homeowners insurance.  This is because your inventory is a comprehensive list of all the items you own.  In the event of an emergency, you can reference your inventory to see which possessions you need to file a claim for.  Your inventory also documents the value of each item, which helps you secure an adequate amount of personal property insurance.

Tips for Creating Your First Home Inventory

The idea of documenting every item you own is daunting.  However, there are some steps that you can take to make this process as painless as possible.

  • Go room to room when creating your inventory. Do not forget to include the items in your basement, attic, and other often-forgotten storage areas.
  • Don’t try to finish your inventory all at once. This is a big job that’s best tackled over a longer period of time.  Work slowly to avoid careless mistakes and frustration.
  • While your inventory should include every item in your possession, be particularly meticulous when documenting valuable items such as jewelry, artwork, collectibles, electronics, furniture, and so on.
  • Your inventory should include as much information about each item as possible. For instance, you should include photos, receipts, and a written description of each possession whenever possible.
  • For your high-value items, you should also include an appraisal report, so you can show that an expert verified the item’s listed value.
  • Every year, you should update your inventory, making sure to add any new items that you have acquired and removing any old items no longer in your possession.

Storing Your Inventory

After creating your inventory, you need to make several copies and keep them in secure locations.  For instance, you should keep a physical copy in your home and a digital copy on your devices.  This way, you can access it immediately following a claim event.  You should also ask a trusted family member or friend to keep a copy of your inventory so you can access it if your home is completely destroyed, and you cannot reach any of the copies you have stored in it.

This is why homeowners need to create and update their home inventory.  Do you have further questions about your inventory?  If so, then contact the experts at James Page Insurance.  We are ready to assist you with all your coverage needs today.

Don’t Slack on These Homeownership Tasks

Homeowners often forget about these important tasks.

If you own a home, then you know you are responsible for paying your mortgage and keeping up with routine repairs.  However, there are many other tasks that seem to slip homeowners’ minds.  To ensure that you are being a responsible homeowner, don’t forget to keep up with these tasks.

  • Update Your Alarms

Your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors keep your family safe by alerting you to fires and gas leaks in your home.  This is why it’s so important to make sure that they are operating properly.  To ensure that your technology is up to date, experts recommend upgrading your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors every ten years.  Additionally, you should replace the batteries in all your alarms annually.

  • Replace Your Fire Extinguisher

Many homeowners are surprised to learn that fire extinguishers actually expire.  To ensure that your extinguisher works well in an emergency, experts recommend changing it out every 5-15 years.  You can check the condition of your extinguisher by looking at the pressure gauge on the extinguisher’s handle.  If the needle is in the “green,” then your extinguisher is good to go.  If the pressure drops below this range, then it’s time for a replacement.

  • Refresh Your Emergency Kit

Many homeowners make an emergency kit, only to forget about it until disaster strikes.  However, your emergency kit won’t do any good if it’s filled with expired products.  This is why it’s important to go through your kit and refresh certain items every year.  For instance, homeowners need to change out the batteries, first aid supplies, food, and water in their kits every couple of years or so.

  • Clean Your Appliances

Cleaning your appliances is an important part of keeping them in good condition.  Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t think to complete these routine maintenance tasks.  For instance, they fail to clean out their dryer vents, flush out their water heaters, scrub their refrigerator coils, and wash their dishwasher.  When you take care of these tasks semi-regularly, you will find that your appliances perform better and last longer.

  • Review Your Insurance

Many homeowners secure insurance and then forget about their policy until they need to file a claim.  However, when you fail to review and update your homeowners insurance, you risk having insufficient coverage.  If your policy does not offer adequate coverage, then you may be forced to cover claim costs on your own.  Rather than assuming this significant risk, it’s best to review your policy annually and update your coverage to reflect your current needs.

These are some of the tasks that many homeowners forget about.  Do you need help with your homeowners insurance?  If so, then contact the experts at James Page Insurance.  We are ready to assist you with all your home coverage needs today.

What’s the Difference Between Personal and Commercial Auto Insurance?

How personal and commercial auto coverage differs.

If your work operations require the use of company or personal vehicles, then you need the protection offered by commercial auto insurance.  But why do business owners need to secure commercial auto policies, and how are they different than personal policies?  Here’s what you need to know.

In actuality, personal and commercial auto insurance are not that different.  In fact, both types of insurance essentially offer the same types of coverage.  For instance, personal and commercial auto policies both offer coverage for collision, comprehensive, liability, and so on.

The main difference between these two forms of insurance is the amount of liability coverage each offers.  Because businesses have more assets and face a higher risk for liability lawsuits than individual drivers, commercial auto insurance policies have much higher liability coverage limits than personal policies.  Additionally, commercial policies are also equipped to cover a wider array of vehicles, such as delivery vans, shipping trucks, as well as standard cars.

There is also a special form of commercial auto insurance designed to cover heavy-duty vehicles.  Because heavy vehicles cause more damage in an accident than light vehicles, they need higher liability coverage limits.  So, if your business owns things like minibuses, cement mixers, semi-trucks, tow-trucks, and so on, then talk with your commercial insurance provider to make sure you have the right amount of coverage.

Commercial auto policies are also more expensive than personal car insurance.  This is because businesses face more driving risks and require higher liability coverage limits.  Naturally, more coverage means higher rates.  Commercial auto policies are also more expensive than personal ones because there are usually more drivers and vehicles insured under the policy.

This is what you need to know about the difference between personal and commercial auto insurance.  Do you need help securing coverage for your company vehicles?  If so, then contact the experts at James Page Insurance.  We are ready to assist you with all your business insurance needs today.