Insurance Score

There are a myriad of elements that play into the price you pay for insurance. Some are obvious. Your driving record and claims experience are well-known variables. Lesser-known, but equally (if not more) important, is your Insurance Score (IFS).

An IFS is derived from your credit score. In short, if your IFS is good, you will pay (significantly) less for your coverage than if your score is just average or (even worse) poor. Insurance scoring is a snapshot of your insurance risk picture at a particular point in time based on credit report information.

Insurance scores help to reward low risk customers with lower premiums. Nobody has a perfect insurance score. The score changes as new information is added to your credit report. To improve a score, you should pay bills on time, keep low balances on unsecured debt (like credit cards) and apply for new credit accounts only as needed.

You can rely on the Barndt Agency to provide pertinent advice surrounding this important, often-misunderstood element. Please contact us for a thorough review and discussion.

Agency Standards

Let’s face it – insurance is complicated. If purchasing coverage was strictly a matter of finding the lowest price for basic arrangements, a trip to the online insurance store (insert GEICO, Progressive or SafeAuto here) would be all you need.

Unfortunately and all too often, you get what you pay for with this impersonal approach. If your insurance advisor is content to merely duplicate your current arrangements without regard to advice that includes cost-saving ideas as well as coverage enhancements, they are selling you short.

At The Barndt Agency, we have developed trusted Agency Standards over the course of decades of experience that form the basis of our recommendations. Our mission is, as always, to provide the best advice so you can make confident decisions regarding your coverage.

We’ll look forward to our next conversation.

Water, Water EVERYWHERE…

All homeowner policies cover damage caused by water escaping from a plumbing or heating device. Ground water, however, is usually excluded under standard homeowner policies. Let’s look at a couple of ways coverage can be secured for ground water damage:

Flood Insurance
Flood insurance is a program for providing coverage for some types of ground water. For a flood policy to respond, there must be a general inundation of the land. A flood policy is very limited in regard to damage in a basement area. Flood insurance can be expensive and often only purchased when required by a financing contract.

Water Back Up Coverage
This popular homeowner endorsement provides coverage for water that overflows a drain or sump pump. The coverage can be crucial if you’ve finished your basement area and are relying on the sump pump to protect walls, carpeting and contents from damage when the sump pump fails. Water back up coverage is a must for finished basements with a sump pump.

Contact The Barndt Agency for a thorough discussion of water damage concerns and coverage solutions. We provide the best information so you can make confident decisions regarding your coverage.

Inconvenience vs. Tragedy

Many consumers will focus on the bottom line rather than the importance of the coverage contained in the policy. When exploring alternatives for reducing your premium burden, always examine the route that represents an inconvenience rather than the option that can never be overcome.

For example, low deductibles on your auto policy may seem like a great idea (“No way do I want to pay $500 to have my car repaired!”) when your car is in the shop following a loss. Low deductibles should never be your spending extravagance at the expense of reducing or eliminating valuable coverage elements such as Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists protection.

A $500 out-of-pocket expense (which might be reimbursed if fault lies with the other party) pales in comparison to hundreds of thousands of dollars of potential benefits lost when not maximizing UM and UIM limits.

Let The Barndt Agency help you navigate your options!

Misplaced Allegiance

I’m always surprised by the difficulty in successfully communicating with our clients. Even with a multitude of platforms for disseminating information (mail, email and telephone), most contact efforts go unanswered.

Insurance products and procedures are ever-changing. It may not seem right, but insurance carriers generally make better coverage and rates available to new applicants as a way to bring new customers on board.

If you swear by the service relationship in place with your current agent because he doesn’t “bother” you with periodic contact, I would suggest that he might not have your best interests in mind.

An agent must be patient and persistent in offering information. A successful relationship is forged over many contacts occurring over the course of the customer’s tenure.

At The Barndt Agency, building relationships with our customers and helping to ensure you have the best coverage to fit your needs is our focus. Learn more about how we can help you!

Caveat Emptor

As consumers, we find ourselves caught in the crossfire of advertisers. We are pulled and pushed in different directions. It’s easy to give up and take the course of least resistance.

When it comes to insurance, this might mean staying the course with your present arrangements or relying on a phone call or email as the method of choice for establishing new coverage.

Unfortunately, regardless of what the insurance lizard or coverage cashier might lead you to believe, proper insurance (insert “peace of mind”) requires thoughtful discussion and a clear presentation of options (which is not possible in 15 minutes). Anything less… let the buyer beware (caveat emptor).

At The Barndt Agency, our mission is to provide the best information so you can make a confident decision regarding your insurance coverage.

Ready to learn more about your insurance options? Learn more about the insurance coverages offered at The Barndt Agency!