5 Tips to Avoid Insurance Mistakes

Tips to Avoid Insurance Mistakes

When we are shopping around for the best insurance policies, we aren’t always looking at the aspects of those policies that should matter the most to us. It is so easy to get caught up in the deductible, premium and getting a good deal that you forget about avoiding some of the most common insurance mistakes. Today, we are going to discuss some of the most common mistakes that most people make when shopping for insurance, and how you can avoid them.

Look at the Big Picture

One of the best things that you can do when you are shopping for a health insurance policy, car insurance, homeowners insurance or any other kind of insurance is to look at the big picture. Most individuals only look at what their premium and their deductible is, without ever exploring what kind of care and benefits they are going to get by enrolling in a particular program. Take a step back and look at your prospective insurance options from a “ten thousand foot view,” so that you can see all your choices with their advantages and disadvantages.

Understanding the big picture is not always easy.  That’s a huge benefit of having an independent agent like BJI.

Answers to… questions are all readily available and easily accessible through your independent insurance agent via phone, fax, email or even a visit to their office where a real person can help you. They are working in your best interest to help you find the best coverage at the best price for what you need.
~ from “Why should you choose an independent insurance agent over online insurance?

Learn How Your Policy Works

Another important concept that you need to keep in mind when you are shopping for insurance policies is that you can never ask too many questions. Whether it be for your health or your car, make sure that you discuss every aspect of your insurance plan options with your agent, so that you aren’t taken off guard by any fine print in your policy.

Update Your Insurer

You need to keep your insurer up to date on your health and your socioeconomic status. When it comes to your health insurance, make sure that you report any changes to your household or your income to them because you could be getting benefits or breaks on your insurance that you weren’t aware of.

Talk to Your Insurer

Instead of waiting until you have an emergency or issue before you have to talk to your insurance agent, make sure that you talk to them regularly. If you have any questions about how your policy works, consult your insurer. That’s what they are there for.

Don’t Over-Insure Yourself

If you believe that you may be using your car or health insurance fairly often, you may want to go ahead and pay for a high premium and the lowest possible deductible. The truth is that you you may not need or use your health insurance or car insurance that often. There is no need to be losing your shirt in paying for insurance if you rarely need it. In the end, that is for you to decide.

Have questions about insurance or need to get an insurance quote? Get in contact with us today.

Tips for Handling Power Outages

Tips for Handling Power Outages

If you are not already prepared for the event of a power outage, it is something that we highly recommend. Power outages can occur for a number of reasons and can happen anytime, without warning. We recommend that you have a list of materials ready in the event that you have a power outage, and an action plan put in place in the event of a power outage.

Preparing for An Outage

Make Sure Your Devices are Charge

This one is pretty simple, make sure that your cell phone, laptops and other electronic devices are fully charged at all times.

Have Backup Batteries

You may want to make sure that you have some backup chargers and portable batteries that you can use to charge your devices in the event of a power outage.

Have a Generator

Having a backup generator is critical in the event of a long term power outage. Make sure to speak with an expert about what size you need for your home.

Get a Cooler

Coolers are always handy in the event of an outage. Make sure that you have a reliable cooler that can keep your food cool for six to seven days, in the event of a long term power outage.

Have Ice Bags or Packs Stocked

To accompany the cooler, make sure that you either have a bag of ice in your freezer or individual ice packs that you can use in your cooler to keep your food cold.

Keep Your Gas Tank Full

In case the outage is widespread, make sure that you always keep a full tank of gas in your vehicles. This can come in handy in the event of an emergency.

Know How to Manually Open Your Garage

If your cars are parked in your garage and the power goes out, make sure that you know how to manually open your garage doors.

During an Outage

Here are some pointers that you can use during an outage.

Use Flashlights

Use flashlights instead of candles to prevent a fire from occurring.

Keep your Refrigerator and Freezer Closed

Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed when you aren’t using them to keep your food and drinks cold.

Go Somewhere Cool

If it is hot, go somewhere cool like a movie theater or find a shelter.

Keep Warm When it is Cold

If it is cold outside, layer up so that you can stay warm.

Disconnect Appliances & Electronics

Make sure to disconnect any of your appliances to avoid a surge when the power comes back on.  If any of your electronics are not protected by a surge protector, unplug them as well.

 

Although a power outage is many times a temporary inconvenience, other types of damage to your home is not. Homeowner’s insurance helps protect in case you experience loss or damage to your home or property.  If you’d like, call us at 865-922-3111 (local) or 800-624-3339 (toll free) or click here to contact us.  Our staff are trained to help you make the best choice to protect your home and property.

9 Reasons to be Thankful

9 Reasons to be Thankful

With Thanksgiving in sight, we all begin to make an honest attempt at being thankful.  Have you ever considered that thankfulness is a skill that we can develop?  The more we practice, the easier it is to think of the various ways in which we have been blessed.

Some people practice extensively during November.  Each day, they do their best to post on their favorite social media one thing for which they are thankful.  Still, there are some who don’t give much thought to just how much we can be thankful for.

One aspect that we sometimes do not consider during this season is thankfulness is not just FOR something we have received.  Thankfulness is also TO whoever provided it.  Ultimately, all that we have is provided by God.  So here are 9 reasons to be thankful to God every day.

You Woke up Today

We are all grateful for life, but sometimes we don’t consider that each day is given.  There are many around the world who are not nearly as fortunate.  Don’t let this opportunity for being thankful get away.  We are blessed with another day.

Health

We are not always thankful for our health until something goes wrong or we witness others suffering. We can be thankful to God for our health, for providing doctors and science, and even for His healing.

A Roof

We may not live in our dream home, but we have a roof over our head. It is both a necessity and a privilege. With so many homeless, those of us with a home can be thankful both for the home and what we have in it.

Jobs

Work is work, but we need to be grateful for the Lord providing us with work to support ourselves and our families. There are many who either cannot work or do not have the opportunity to work.  God places us in our occupations and for that we are grateful.

Loved Ones

It is easy to take those closest to us for granted. Tell your family you love them, and thank God that they are near.

Food

We are blessed with not only nourishment and energy, but more choices than ever before.

Transportation

This one might sound a little funny, but have you considered how the early settlers used to travel?  Distances that took them months to cover can now be reached in just a few hours. Transportation helps us make money as it carries us to our jobs.  It helps facilitate relationships as we travel to one another to visit.  It’s never been easier to travel, and we have plenty of choices.  Take a moment to thank Him for transportation — as funny as that may sound.

Good Friends

There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother, and His name is Jesus. He also provides us with true friends in our lives. Be thankful for these people and for God who put them in your life.

The Scriptures and the Freedom to Read Them

Not every person in the world has the freedom we have to even own a Bible.  We have the opportunity to both own and read our Bible without fear of punishment.  Because the Bible is “God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16), when we read it we can trust that it is His way of speaking into our lives.  Take a moment to be thankful for the liberty to read your Bible. Do not take it for granted.

 

This Thanksgiving, remember not only to feel thankful for what you have received.  Also give thanks to the One who provided it.  If you have opportunity, you might even share some of what you have with others who are less fortunate.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving season!

3 Types of Insurance You Probably Don’t Need

Ben Johnson of Bob Johnson Insurance in TN

It may seem to the average person that there is an insurance policy for just about everything in this life. Health, auto, life, dental, travel, pets, homeowners, unemployment, business — the sheer range of possible coverages can seem overwhelming at times, and these are just the major types of coverages available. What do you actually need and what can you do without?

What You Need

In most circumstances there are five insurance policies from those listed above that most people need to consider purchasing:

Health insurance.

Automobile Insurance.

Homeowner’s or Renter’s Insurance.

Life Insurance.

Disability Insurance.

What You Can Do Without

Then there are insurance coverages that are unnecessary, and the number of them available is quite staggering. Let’s focus on three that definitely fit into the category of insurance you probably can live without.

Insurance on Your Credit Accounts

Often, this type of coverage is sold to unsuspecting consumers as being similar to homeowners having to buy mortgage protection insurance. Nothing could be further from the truth. The only true beneficiary for this type of policy is the insurance companies that sell them. While on the surface this type of insurance might appear as if it will pay off your balances on your credit accounts in full should you be unable to make your payments due to injury or disability, or losing your source of employment income, the reality is quite different. In most instances the amount actually paid out each month is no more than your monthly payment — and that’s if you can get them to pay at all.

Fraud Insurance on Your Credit Accounts

Despite occasional, and mostly unreliable reports about credit card fraud being perpetrated on an unsuspecting public, it rarely happens. Insuring against it is almost always a waste of money that would be better spent on the types of insurance coverages you truly need. While some people feel as if this type of coverage provides them peace of mind, the truth is identity theft and credit card fraud are more than adequately covered in terms of your maximum liability by provisions set by both the federal government and the credit card companies themselves. Save your money.

Credit Card Fraud protection that pays back the money stolen from you can be expensive.  On the other hand, identity theft affects more than just your credit card.  There is a useful “Identity Theft” endorsement that you can add to your homeowner’s policy.  It is inexpensive, and, although it does not pay for the money stolen from you, it covers the extra expenses that possibly can happen if someone steals your identity.  If you would like more information, call us at 865-922-3111 (local) or 800-624-3339 (toll free) or click here to contact us.

Life Insurance Policies for Children

If you have children you’ve probably heard one or more of the reasons that are spoken in favor of purchasing life insurance on them:

It provides funeral expense costs.

It creates a great savings opportunity for them.

It locks them into a lower rate for future purchases.

Do yourself and your children a big favor and don’t buy it!

Life insurance is a vital component of a family’s financial security planning, and the breadwinner, or breadwinners, should carry a face amount that will protect the family against estate taxes and provide sufficient income in the event it is needed. You’d be far better off in allocating the money you contemplated spending on life insurance for your child into a college fund.

Insurance is Important

Sometimes we don’t like to admit it, but carrying adequate insurance that helps cover expenses for the death of a loved one, for our health needs, to protect us from liability and to cover repairs and replacements for our homes and vehicles, is something we should all take seriously. Since you’re already here, be sure and peruse other areas of this site for valuable information on those forms of insurance coverage that are crucial for you to carry for the sake of yourself and your loved ones.

If you’d like, call us at 865-922-3111 (local) or 800-624-3339 (toll free) or click here to contact us.  We will be happy to help you look at your current coverages and needs to help you decide the best choices for your insurance.


Series: What Kinds of Insurance Do You Need?

Part 1:  3 Types of Insurance You Need
Part 2:  3 Types of Insurance You Might Need
Part 3: 3 Types of Insurance You Probably Don’t Need

3 Types of Insurance You Might Need

Ben Johnson of Bob Johnson Insurance in TN

Some types of insurance are required, while others may simply be nice to have. All insurance is helpful and can save you significant money if you need to file a claim. Depending on your specific circumstances and needs, some types of insurance may be a good fit. Here are three types of insurance you might need.

Disability Insurance

In the event you become injured and are unable to work disability insurance will replace your income. Depending on the policy the coverage will pay you all or part of your income for a specified period of time. In a single income household disability insurance is extremely important. If you are unsure if disability insurance is necessary, consider what your financial situation would be if you or your spouse or partner were unable to work for health reasons.

Life Insurance

Funeral expenses can add up quickly, and a life insurance policy can be used to cover those costs along with any other bills or expenses. More substantial policies can also serve to replace the income your family would no longer receive in the event of your passing. Life insurance is not mandatory, but if your death would cause financial hardships for your loved ones, a policy is worth considering.

In addition to funeral expenses and income replacement, life insurance can be used to help cover any loans you cosign. For instance, if you cosign a car loan or credit card or student loan for a relative or friend and you pass away, your loved one will be solely responsible for the balance due.  Life insurance protects them as it can be used to repay that loan.

Umbrella Insurance

This type of coverage goes above and beyond your existing insurance policies. Umbrella insurance provides additional liability should you max out your homeowner’s, auto or other type of insurance policies. For example, if you cause a car accident and someone is injured they will receive money from your auto insurance to cover medical expenses. If the maximum payout from your auto insurance does not cover all of their medical bills and lost wages they can sue you for the balance. At that point your umbrella policy would kick in and cover that expense.

Make Sure You Are Protected

The purpose of insurance is to protect your assets and cover unforeseen expenses. Disability, life and umbrella insurances all achieve these goals. Depending on your circumstances and other factors it is worth considering these types of coverage. If you have questions about the types of insurance you might need, or contact us.  We can help you understand how each of these policies work and can help you determine if you need them.  Call us at 865-922-3111 (local) or 800-624-3339 (toll free) or click here to contact us.

 


Series: What Kinds of Insurance Do You Need?

Part 1:  3 Types of Insurance You Need
Part 2:  3 Types of Insurance You Might Need
Part 3: 3 Types of Insurance You Probably Don’t Need