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Zaid

Jan 19

Miles for Missions 5k

Signature Insurance is proud to have participated in the Miles for Missions 5k run in October. Our very own Fadi Zayto participated in this great run.

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What was accomplished

We part of a group who were able to raise over $5,000 for Mission Youth Detroit!  We were of the many sponsors who hosted 150 participants who were critical for accomplishing this lofty goal.

Signature Insurance would like to thank Mission Youth Detroit for allowing us to be part such a fun and great cause.

The proceeds were critical to support the financial resources needed to coordinate local and abroad mission trips.

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Race Results

Fadi able to finish the race in 7th place overall and 2nd in his age group. He kept a healthy mile pace of 7 minutes and 30 seconds finishing the race in only 23 minutes and 15 seconds.

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We are so proud of Fadi and the rest of the runners for participating in this event.

Who Else Supported

We could not have imagined doing this single-handedly and were accompanied by some great companies also.

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It takes a community to help a community and it was exciting to be among such great company when it comes to helping. Some of the other sponsors we would like to highlight is:

alliance catholic credit union

With over 60 years of foundation, Alliance Catholic Credit Union is owned by its growing membership.  Established by and for the Catholic Community, Alliance Catholic Credit Union is uniquely qualified to provide financial products and services tailored to meet the needs of our Catholic community.

A fantastic institution whose board of directors are experienced in the banking industry and volunteer their time.

Description is taken from Mission Network Programs USA.

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The United Auto Workers Local 228 is an amalgamated Union representing working people in all different fields of business. The mission is to protect Collective Bargaining rights for all and to provide workers with a voice in the workplace. Local 228 was established in 1948 and currently represents 2457 active Members and 2492 Retired Members. Solidarity Forever!

Description is taken from Mission Network Programs USA.

advisors capital inc 3

Advisors Capital, Inc. is a privately owned, Michigan Corporation, licensed as a First Mortgage Broker and Lender in the State of Michigan. They are also registered as a Second Mortgage Broker and Lender. Advisors Capital in-house mortgage team expedites the process and their technology keeps you informed and connected all the way through closing and beyond.

Description is taken from Mission Network Programs USA.

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Good Girl Comeback is a nationally recognized, 501c3 approved nonprofit that empowers teens to set goals which build confidence, kindness, and personal fulfillment.  The GGCB – through workshops, seminars, one-on-one mentoring, and volunteering – encourages girls to become independent thinkers and virtuous leaders, who see the goodness in themselves and others.

Description is taken from Mission Network Programs USA.

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We believe that the future of Real Estate lies in technology and in service, and the future of real estate is now. Find your dream Home today! We are a team of leaders who have broken new grounds in the world of Real Estate; we have been functioning with an exceptional commitment in our field with strength, credibility, quality, and innovation. We believe in giving the very best to our clients and know a home is not defined by the size or color of the walls; it is about how you feel when you walk through the door.

Description is taken from Mission Network Programs USA.

lucido

Lucido Fine Jewelry was able to expand our reputation of quality, service, and commitment to the Metropolitan Detroit community’s clientele by consistently demonstrating our business principles. Since the establishment of our flagship store in Sterling Heights, we’ve added locations in Downtown Rochester and Birmingham through hard work and dedication. We look forward to extending a warm welcome to you and your family for generations to come.

Description is taken from Mission Network Programs USA.

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Office Express, a woman-owned business, has been serving the business community since 1986.   We seek to find win-win solutions to assist our customers in saving money, solving problems and increasing their business. We always do our best to deliver our products when our customers need them. We also value the people and suppliers who work with us, treating them as valued partners.

Description is taken from Mission Network Programs USA.

nashs auto

Nash’s Auto is a complete auto repair service provider in Shelby Township, Michigan.  At Nash’s Auto, we believe in providing a fair and honest service to our customers. All our repair work is reliable and comes with a two year warranty or 24,000 miles on the road. We work hard to exceed customer expectations and will go the extra mile to ensure that your vehicle is properly repaired and ready for the road once you leave it with us for a service or repair. Let our experienced mechanics take good care of your vehicle!

Description is taken from Mission Network Programs USA.

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At Neiman’s Family Market we have brought our family’s history with us. From Grandma Sophie’s recipes to the way we follow Grandpa John’s high standards in quality and customer service. Over the years we have followed two other rules: hiring exceptional staff to serve our guests and growing a deep relationship with the communities we serve.

Description is taken from Mission Network Programs USA.

Conclusion

We enjoy protecting and supporting our community just as much we enjoy protecting and serving our clients every day.

If you need help with your policy or want to know about the next run we would love to talk! Just use the contact form on this page to reach out.

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19 Jan 2019 in Community
Dec 18

How Your Auto Insurance Policy is Ripping You Off – And How To Fix It.

Insurance has always been one of the most controversial subjects in the auto world. Of course, we appreciate the fact that it’s compulsory in all the 50 states. Because otherwise, imagine paying your medical bills, and probably even compensating other victims after an accident.

On the flipside, it seems like players in the insurance industry are having a ball, now that it’s impossible to avoid car insurance. Even with over 4.5 million vehicle accidents resulting in property damage, 1.7 million injuries, and 32,000 annual fatalities, insurance companies are still raking in huge profits.

 

 

Number of vehicle crashes per year. Source: Statista

 

Between the year 2011 and 2015, companies in the auto-insurance space lost more than $145 billion, mostly due to insurance fraud. But, it barely made an impact in the industry. Insurance firms are still pouring billions of dollars every year in television ads and digital media. Everyone is loving the status quo- except you, the consumer.

 

 

Annual Costs of Insurance Fraud. Source: Ohio Insurance Institute

 

If you’ve had that feeling in the pit of your stomach that auto insurance companies are probably taking advantage of you, you’re right. You’re only slightly wrong on the part about auto insurance companies. Because it’s not just them. It spreads across the board.

Everyone is ripping you off- from insurance companies, to vehicle repair shops, property agents, and even medical providers. While some blatantly defraud you, most of them are ripping you off legally. They capitalize on some interesting loopholes in the current legislation.

Take Michigan Auto Insurance Policy laws, for instance. Vehicle owners in this state pay the highest premiums in the country, so medical providers can pretty much charge exorbitantly for their services.

Whichever way you look at it, that has been how the bulk of their claims have been ending up.

Because of such cases, a third of millennials and 28% of vehicle owners in the U.S. believe that they are paying way too much for their auto insurance. The insurance companies are particularly fond of leaching off high-income earners since they are not frequent complainers.

Only 24% of vehicle owners earning more than $75,000 per year are not happy with their rates. Compare that to 37% of modest income drivers with income ranging between $50,000 and $75,000 per annum.

There are many interesting facts behind the smoke and mirrors. That’s why we’ve prepared the following guide, to help you finesse your way out of possible rip offs.

 

How Insurance Companies Are Ripping You Off
Failing To Factor In Car Depreciation
Unless you’re rocking an exceptional classic car, the value of your vehicle is consistently losing value with time, and every mile driven.

But some insurance companies don’t see it that way. You still continue paying the same premiums, even after your car has lost half its value.

 

 

Vehicle Depreciation Rates in The U.S. Source: Automotive Fleet

Insurance agents who support this concept argue that aging and increased mileage translates to more frequent repairs, and increase the risk of accident due to mechanical failure.

Well, of course, that’s laughable because, in actual sense, repair costs decrease with increase in a car’s age. Parts become readily available and mechanics continue to familiarize themselves with engine intricacies.

The best and most efficient way to beat this system is switching to ask your insurance agent to revisit your policy. Don’t waste your time, allow an independent agent to shop for your insurance.

Your independent agent will have multiple insurance companies assess your vehicle and charge you cheaper premiums according to its age. sticking to one insurance provider could have you losing way too much in 12 months, let alone 5 or 10 years.

 

Dramatically Increasing Rates After Accidents

If you assumed insurance providers hate car accidents, think again. Of course, they lose money by paying out claims.

But they immediately start recovering their losses by increasing your rates. And sometimes they even make more off you after an accident.
It’s a continuous, unending cycle. Insurance firms make a lot of money off your premium payments.

Then you’d be mistaken to assume that you’ve won the battle, when you receive compensation from cumulative payments. But when that is over, they increase rates as soon as you get behind the wheel again.

All things considered, this may be fair, since it covers an insurance company’s risk of insuring accident-prone drivers. But, in some cases, rates do not climb over time.

They shoot through the roof, punishing you for the accident. It may apply even to incidents which may not even have been your fault in the first place.

 

 

Average Insurance Penalty For Not-At-Fault Accidents. Source: Consumer Federation of America

This game is especially common among insurance providers who offer very cheap rates at the beginning. And you since you’ll assume that they are still the cheapest around, you’ll stick with them despite the high rates.

The only way around this is comparing rates offered by different insurance providers. Some companies may be lenient enough to provide coverage at way cheaper rates.

While this may seem like a pretty obvious thing to do, 38% of vehicle owners have not bothered to compare their auto insurance premiums within the last 3 or more years.

That’s according to NerdWallet, a personal finance website that sampled motorists across the country. Even more surprising is the fact that 17% of these drivers have never checked at all.

As a result, they are missing out on an average of $417 of savings per year. This is silly considering an insurance agent could do the legwork for effortless savings.

Evaluating Rates According To Credit Worthiness Rather Than Driving Habits

If there’s one outrageously ridiculous thing about insurance pricing evaluation, it’s the fact that it’s partly based on credit score. This is one area that you may end up mistaking an insurance company for a bank. They act like insurance claims are loans and financial grants.

Even a good and careful driver may end up paying high rates for a poor credit score. It’s even more amusing when you discover that poor, careless drivers with good credit scores pay lower insurances rates.

And no, this doesn’t just bump the rate up by a few bucks. Going by figures published by Consumer Reports, penalties for poor credit scores are staggering.

Crunching the numbers across the top five national insurers, they established that motorists with excellent credit scores were paying an average of $1409 annually, while good credit score drivers were shelling out $1712. Individuals with the poorest credit scores were paying an astonishing $3826 every year.

Unfortunately, apart from improving your credit score, there’s no other way of finessing your way out of this. It’s almost like the United States is hell-bent on basing everything on credit score. Soon they may even start issuing driving licenses according to creditworthiness.

Rejecting Claims On Incidences Affecting Pre-Existing Injuries

The subject of pre-existing conditions and injuries is not limited to auto insurance policies. All insurance providers, across all industries, always have a clause on pre-existing conditions. No company wants to be held liable for past injuries.

In layman terms, they don’t see themselves making a profit. And that’s understandable. Because whichever way you look at it, insurance is still a business.

But, there is a rather interesting grey area in this. Imagine an accident that aggravates a past injury or condition.

Consider a person paralyzed from the waist down for instance. A car accident may snap his spine further, causing paralysis from the chest down.

Now, of course, most auto insurance firms would counter the resultant claim, citing the clause on past injuries. If he’s not keen in following up, the victim may end up with zero compensation.

Fortunately, insurance legislation addresses this, through the “Glass Plaintiff” rule. The frailty of a victim is not a defense in a claim case.

That means you are entitled to full compensation if a vehicle accident aggravates a pre-existing injury.For fair compensation in future, have your doctor comprehensively document current injuries that your insurance company is aware of. In case of an accident, your insurance provider will have a hard time rejecting a claim on grounds that pre-existing injuries were not affected.

 

Offering Unnecessary Coverage On Rental Cars

If you’ve rented a car before, chances are salespeople pressured you to cough up extra cash for insurance. At first, it may seem like they are trying to protect their vehicles, or they care about your safety.

Sadly, it can never be further from the truth. Rental car salespeople get commissions from insurance companies for every cover sold.

That’s why they’ll never reveal that you won’t actually benefit much from most their insurance covers.

As a matter of fact, most salespeople continue pressing, and persistently offer alternative insurance plans if you reject their propositions. In the end, you’re forced to cave in and say yes because extra cover would hurt, now would it?

Reviewing and researching on such insurance covers would ultimately reveal that you probably didn’t even need them. You would have bought useless insurance, at rates higher than standard market premiums.

If you own a car with its own insurance plan, don’t even entertain the thought of insurance for rented vehicles. You’re already adequately covered.
That’s because rental car salespeople focus on two types of insurance covers:

Liability Insurance at $5 to $15 a day. It should cover damages to third party vehicles and people caused by the rental car.

Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) at $10 to $20 a day. It should cover the damages you might cause to the rented car.
Of course, these are very much essential to rented cars. We are not suggesting that you proceed to get a rental without both. However, your car insurance plan extends to cover these two.

They come with most auto insurance plans and adequately apply to rentals.
So, to avoid paying for unnecessary coverage, check with your current policy and confirm its boundaries and exceptions before approaching a rental car company. That way, you’ll be able to discern factual information from sales jargon by the attendants.

 

Conclusion

We’ve discussed many critical pointers. To help you remember, here’s a breakdown of the most important ones:

Even with over 4.5 million vehicle accidents resulting in property damage, 1.7 million injuries, and 32,000 annual fatalities, insurance companies are still raking in huge profits.

Between the year 2011 and 2015, companies in the auto-insurance space lost more than $145 billion, due to insurance fraud.

Everyone is ripping you off- from insurance companies to vehicle repair shops, property agents, and even medical providers.

A third of millennials and 28% of vehicle owners in the U.S. believe that they are paying way too much for their auto insurance.

Only 24% of vehicle owners earning more than $75,000 per year are not happy with their rates.
37% of modest income drivers making between $50,000 and $75,000 per annum complain about their insurance rates.

Get quotes every 6 months to a year from multiple insurance companies. Contact our independent insurance agents if you don’t have time to do it yourself.

Insurance companies start recovering their losses by increasing your rates immediately after compensation. And sometimes they even make more off you after an accident. Shop for a new policy or have an agent do this for you to minimize the increase in your premium.

38% of vehicle owners have not bothered to compare or have an agent compare their auto insurance premiums within the last 3 or more years. As a result, they are missing out on an average of $417 of savings per year.
Even a good and careful driver may end up paying high rates for a poor credit score.

If you have bad credit, you are paying 2.7 times more than a driver with excellent credit.

Through the “Glass Plaintiff” rule, the frailty of a victim is not a defense in a claim case. That means you are entitled to full compensation if a vehicle accident aggravates a pre-existing injury.

If you own or lease a car, your insurance covers your rental.

Although we’ve covered the major rip-offs, the auto insurance industry is extensive. And so are the laws regulating it. Different stakeholders continue developing new tactics to capitalize on the loopholes. So please feel free to share the ones we’ve not mentioned.

18 Dec 2018 in Auto Insurance
Nov 17

3 Myths About Auto Insurance BUSTED

You probably rarely ever think of auto insurance. Of course, that is until you see those flashing red and blue lights in your rearview mirror. Or some idiot sideswipes you on the interstate.

Suddenly, your car insurance dominates your mind. That’s when the questions start circling.

Fact is, most people don’t have a clear picture when it comes to their auto insurance. They are fuzzy about what their insurance covers. They don’t know their deductible. And they certainly have little knowledge about how they can save on their auto insurance.

That’s why we’re happy to present this blog post. In it, we will separate FACT from FICTION when it comes to your car insurance questions. Plus, you may even discover a few ways you can save when it comes to your automobile insurance premiums.

Let’s start here:

 

MYTH # 1: Men and Women Have the Same Auto Insurance Rates

In an age where men and women are considered equal, you would think our premiums should be equal as well. Well, that’s often not the case.

Now, the age old debate of “Which sex is the better driver?” has been answered by the insurance industry. And the winner is…

The Ladies!

 

 

Here’s a little behind-the-scenes glance at how insurance companies operate. They have a bunch of PhD’s that examine every possible factor that might result in paying out a claim.

One major factor is gender, especially when you’re a young driver. They examine everything top to bottom, including:

· Types of cars driven by men and women — Men tend to drive sportier and faster cars while women often drive safer vehicles.
· Statistics about risky driving behavior — That’s another ding for you men. More women drive more conservatively than men. Men are 3x more likely to get ticketed for reckless driving compared to women!
· Frequency of accidents — Men, guess what… yes, you’re simply losing this battle. When comparing the accidents the ratio is 12 to 5 in favor of the fairer sex.
· Average number of miles driven per year — Yes, men simply drive more often and more miles. Although the number of drivers is about equal (up from 40% females), men still account for 59% of miles driven on the road.

Let’s dig even deeper at the men drivers vs. women drivers debate and look at some statistics.

Let’s dig even deeper at the men drivers vs. women drivers debate and look at some statistics.

· In 2012, 71% of all car accident-related deaths were men according to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
· In 2008, the number of drivers who died in a fatal car crash was 50% higher for men than women.
· Men are more likely to be under the influence of alcohol than women — 38% for males compared to just 20% for females.

Theories and stereotypes can’t compare to hard cold facts. And the facts all point to the fact that men are a greater risk behind the wheel then women.

As a result, it stands to reason that under many auto insurance policies, women get more of a break than men. Find out for yourself. Get a quick auto insurance quote today, and see how much you can save.

 

MYTH # 2: What You Do for a Living Has Nothing to Do With How Much You Pay for Car Insurance.

While it may seem like “big brother” is watching over you, the auto insurance industry makes an effort to know its client base so it can better assess its risks.

Therefore, they want to know quite a bit about you, including:
· Your driving history
· Your age
· Your gender
· Your driving habits

Plus, many car insurance providers are even taking a close look at your occupation and education. Yes, your education level as well as what you do for a living are factors that could determine just how much you pay for car insurance.

There are certain occupations that put you at a greater risk to drive a car, truck or SUV. As a result, you may be more likely to get into an accident and file a claim.

There are certain occupations that put you at a greater risk to drive a car, truck or SUV. As a result, you may be more likely to get into an accident and file a claim.

Some of those risks include:
· Greater stress levels
· Likelihood of overtime
· Lack of sleep
· Amount of time behind the wheel

So, what are these high-risk occupations? Well, the list varies from one insurance provider to another, but here are among the most common:
· Doctors
· Salespeople
· Lawyers
· Real estate agents
· Business owners and executives
· Architects

I bet you’re wanting to know the other side of the coin: The safest occupations. Jobs that tend to show statistically low risk of accidents among drivers in those professions are the following:
· Scientists
· Nurses and first responders
· Pilots
· Teachers
· Accountants
· Artists

You might be wondering WHY?

Well, these professions typically require someone who is detail-oriented and very stable. Therefore, they’re less likely to be involved in an accident.

If you’re not on the high-risk list, rest assured that your occupation should have little to no effect on your insurance risks and auto insurance premiums.

If so, feel free to check with us today to see if you are subject to a slightly lower premium based on your job field.

 

MYTH # 3: It Makes No Difference Where I Live. It’s All About How I Drive.

 

 

When we think of auto insurance, we typically ONLY think of accidents, tickets and our driving history. After all, if you’ve never been in an accident, had only had a couple of minor traffic citations and have a spotless driving history, you should be good… RIGHT?

If that describes you, then yes, your auto insurance premium should be among the lowest in an average field.

However, you can’t simply ignore the possibility of car theft. Yes, in the insurance world, car theft is even worse than an accident because the insurance company is on the hook for the ENTIRE vehicle replacement.

So, let’s take a closer look at some of today’s sobering car theft statistics.

First, where you live DOES matter. There are many cities where car theft is on the rise. Here are the top 10 cities for vehicle theft:
· #10 – Seattle, Washington
· #9 – San Jose, CA
· #8 – Spokane, Washington
· #7 – Fresno, CA
· #6 – Milwaukee, Wisconsin – This is the only metro area that’s NOT in the western half of the US
· #5 – Stockton, CA – Are you sensing a trend? Don’t move to California.
· #4 – Bakersfield, CA
· #3 – San Francisco, CA
· #2 – Modesto, California – Yes, this list features a bunch of cities from Cali.
· #1 – Albuquerque, New Mexico – Car thieves tend to take the stolen vehicles across the border to sell them

Of course, if you think you’re in the clear by living in Michigan, think again. Car theft has always been a problem throughout Michigan, especially in metro areas. In Detroit reported 8,500 auto thefts, which is 23 cars day.

Not only does it matter where you live… where you park is also a big concern. Think about it. Many vehicle thefts don’t occur in your driveway. They occur in parking lots, in parking garages and at your workplace.

If you tend to park your car in a zip code that’s known for auto theft, you might just find that your auto insurance quote goes up a bit.

But if you live in a suburban area with few car thefts… if you work in an office park with lots of security cameras and few (if any) vehicle break-ins… if you are always cautious of where you park your car, you may just enjoy a little break on your auto insurance.

Plus, if you have a car alarm, let your insurance provider know. Some providers offer a discount simply for deterring theft.

Most people think that only a few factors matter with their auto insurance policy. Their accident history, their vehicle, the number of citations they’ve accumulated and how well they tend to drive.

Conclusion
Now you know the FACTS. You know there are a few factors outside of your control:

– Your sex
– What you do for a living
– Where you live

These factors can either help or hurt you when getting a price quote for your car insurance.

Regardless of all the factors that go into car insurance quotes, we always strive to present the greatest possible coverage at the least possible price.

Find out for yourself: Get a free, no-obligation quote in just minutes — Yes, right now!  You’ll be surprised just how fast we respond.

17 Nov 2018 in Auto Insurance
Jun 20

Do You Need Different Auto Insurance If You Lease Your Car

Admit it. We all love new cars. And not just for the convenience. But also the glam that comes with them. Sadly, there’s that one significant downside- costs. Of course, dealerships will always scream that they have the best prices in town. And might even introduce you to a couple of models on special sale prices. But overall, you still have to dig deep into your pockets. Buying a new car is not an easy feat, to say the least. And that alone complicates everything, especially if you need one urgently and on a temporary basis. Well, at least not entirely. It’s still possible to get a new car without actually buying one. By now, I assume that you’ve heard about car leasing. It has been the magical option for decades now. Came quite handy when you needed a vehicle only for a limited period of time. However, going by recent trends, leasing has morphed into a different thing altogether. It’s not just for travelers and temporary drivers anymore. Everyone is going for it. In the past five years alone, car leasing volume has increased astronomically by 91%.
Source: Edmunds Millennials are particularly fond of this option. Of the lot that got new vehicles in 2016, at least 31% of them did it through leasing.
Source: Edmunds What’s the catch? For starters, its way cheaper than actually purchasing a new car. Including when you alternatively choose to buy your car through financing on monthly payments. Here’s the interesting bit. On average, car buyers are now paying about $120 more a month than their leasing counterparts. Let’s be honest. It has something to do with the fact that financiers are in for the long ball when it comes to profits. To be fair, however, leasing also has its sets of problems. With the principal one being lack of adequate information about the whole concept. Most of what we see are marketing campaigns by leasing dealerships. No one likes going into those finer details because they might spoil the party. Insurance, for instance, is rarely mentioned by anyone. Even the State of Michigan hardly delves into the subject. If you’ve been following this blog, you know that auto insurance is compulsory. And not just in Michigan, but also the rest of the country. What varies, however, are the actual policies. But, it’s mostly only associated with cars that have been bought. And that begs the question. Do you need different auto insurance if you lease a car? Well, your car lease dealership has probably introduced you to this thing they call lease insurance. And even told that you that it’s compulsory. Here’s the hard truth. It turns out they are right. That means you should go ahead and mark the lease insurance checkbox on the form, right? Now, hold it right there. That’s where they go wrong. They may be right about one thing, but there’s a lot they haven’t told you. Thankfully, we have your back. We’ll cover the most critical aspects of lease insurance. And then tell you why you shouldn’t rush to accept your dealer’s offer. So let’s dive in and look at the basics first. What is Lease Insurance? Going by information published by Michigan State Police, more than half a million vehicles were involved in road crashes last year. And no specific type or model was spared. Passenger cars, SUVs, and Vans led the list with a combined figure of slightly over 400,000. Pickup trucks come second, then small trucks at a distant third. You might assume that it all ends there. But surprisingly, even vehicles like motorhomes, snowmobiles, and ATVs were part of the drama. And sadly, it didn’t end so well for some of the occupants. 1,733 of the crashes were fatal, while 109,682 ended in injuries. Overall, more than 433,157 of the vehicles also caused property damage.
Source: Michigan The point? Evidently, no vehicle is safe from a traffic crash and potential carnage. Including leased vehicles. And the State of Michigan knows this all too well. As a result, no one is exempted from the compulsory no-fault insurance. That usually forms the first part of lease insurance. It comes with: ● Personal Injury Protection: This coverage grants you full reimbursement for medical expenses incurred as a result of a traffic crash. The insurance provider also caters for attendant care and pays a fraction of the lost income. ● Property Protection Insurance: If you end up crashing and damaging property or other stationary vehicles, this is the coverage you fall back on. It only applies to incidences within the state of Michigan. ● Property Damage: This is pretty similar to Property Protection Insurance. The only difference is the fact that it fundamentally applies to incidences outside the state of Michigan. ● Residual Bodily Injury Liability: This is applicable to traffic crashes that cause third-party injuries. The insurance company takes care of the resultant medical expenses. But what happens when the car you’ve leased is owned by someone already covered? Wouldn’t that be good enough? According to the Department of Insurance and Financial Services, you’re considered the owner of a vehicle if you lease it for more than 30 days. That essentially makes it compulsory to purchase this insurance of the lease period stretches past one month. Come to think of it, the insurance is reasonably fair for parties involved. Quite a solid set of coverage there, to be honest. But take another look. Assess it much deeper this time. Notice anything missing? One prominent party has been left out. The dealership or individual that actually owns the car you’ve leased. The state makes no mention of any coverage for the vehicle you’re driving in the event of a road crash. As far as they’re concerned, you can even wrap it and send it to the moon. All they care about, apart from your health, is reimbursing third parties. So, do the actual vehicle owners stand a chance of losing their investment? Well, that forms the second part of lease insurance. It basically protects the car owners from potential loss of their vehicle. All factors considered, they actually face more risks than you. A crash is only one part of the potential problems. They could still lose their vehicle through theft, fire or natural disasters. To make matters worse, cases of vehicle theft in the U.S have been increasing since 2014. After trending downward for 25 years. Are thieves getting smarter?
Source: Statista According to FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, thugs made away with 765, 484 vehicles in 2016. Translates to 239.6 cars for every 100,000 people. A disappointing 6.6% rise compared to the previous year.
Source: FBI And since today’s cars cost more than previous models, these cases translate to significant financial losses. In actual figures, Americans lost about $5.9 billion in 2016 alone. Now, review this really critically. Not as leaser. But rather as a car owner. Well, you’re dead right. Your leased car’s owners want none of this. That’s why in addition to no-fault insurance, you’ll also be required to get comprehensive auto insurance. Collectively, they make up a typical lease car insurance. So, does it operate within the same framework as regular auto insurance? No. Not quite exactly. There are certain crucial elements that you should always remember. Important Facts About Lease Car Insurance ● It Might Cost More Than Regular Auto Insurance Admittedly, leasing has been attractive because of its comparatively low costs. But sadly, it’s not a fairy tale bed of roses. And lease insurance cost is the culprit here. As we’ve discussed, you’ll have to take insurance against two levels or risks. The no-fault insurance applies to you as the driver, while comprehensive insurance protects the car owners. Sounds good to some extent. But quite a different tale when it’s all translated to actual costs. Especially when you consider the fact that auto insurance rates have increased by 20% since 2011.
Source: Zebra ● There Are Still Ways To Save on Lease Insurance Paying more for lease insurance is one thing in other states. Like North Carolina, where the average auto insurance rate is a paltry $865. Now, when we cross over to Michigan, it becomes quite a hard pill to swallow. We’re already the highest in the nation, paying an average of $2,610 for auto insurance.
Source: Zebra Things are even worse in some of the cities. Detroit drivers, for instance, are paying $5,414, on average. So, of course, it’s understandable to feel helpless when you learn that lease insurance might even be costlier than regular auto insurance. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce your overall premiums. Several, as a matter of fact. But, they are not universally applicable. Plus they don’t come easy at all. You see, each dealership has its unique lease terms. And insurance providers, similarly, have their own unique offerings with varying policies and corresponding discount rates. Securing a good rate, therefore, requires extensive shopping. And most importantly, working with a reputable independent insurance agency. They know where to mine for the most suitable discounts. ● The Rental Car Dealer Is Not Always Right And now back to our issue with the rental car dealer. There are many issues that dealers are quite conversant with. But insurance is certainly not one of them. The one you’re dealing with might attempt to include the lease insurance as part of the whole lease agreement. Of course, it might seem like a convenient package. But, don’t entertain the idea of signing it. Odds are the dealer could be making some commission off your insurance premiums. Although they are correlated, leasing a vehicle and purchasing lease insurance are two different things. Treat them as separate entities. They should never get mixed up. A good approach would be negotiating with different rental companies on their rates. Then engaging an independent insurance agency when it comes to the corresponding insurance. Conclusion To recap: ● Leasing has morphed into a different thing altogether. It’s not just for travelers and temporary drivers anymore. ● In the past five years alone, car leasing volume has increased astronomically by 91%. ● Millennials are particularly fond of this option. Of the lot that got new vehicles in 2016, at least 31% of them did it through leasing. ● On average, car buyers are now paying about $120 more a month than their leasing counterparts. ● Going by information published by Michigan State Police, more than half a million vehicles were involved in road crashes last year. And no specific type or model was spared. ● No one is exempted from the compulsory no-fault insurance. That usually forms the first part of lease insurance. ● According to the Department of Insurance and Financial Services, you’re considered the owner of a vehicle if you lease it for more than 30 days. ● All factors considered, lease car owners actually face more risks than you. A crash is only one part of the potential problems. They could still lose their vehicle through theft, fire or natural disasters. ● Cases of vehicle theft in the U.S have been increasing since 2014. After trending downward for 25 years. ● According to FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, thugs made away with 765, 484 vehicles in 2016. Translates to 239.6 cars for every 100,000 people. A disappointing 6.6% rise compared to the previous year. ● You’ll have to take insurance against two levels or risks. The no-fault insurance applies to you as the driver, while comprehensive insurance protects the car owners. ● There are ways to reduce your overall premiums. Several, as a matter of fact. ● There are many issues that dealers are quite conversant with. But insurance is certainly not one of them. That said, what kind of insurance did your dealer make you get for your vehicle?
20 Jun 2018 in Auto Insurance
Jun 12

How To Get The Best Price On Homeowners Insurance

Here’s something you don’t see every day. A new homeowner. Yes, of course, we recognize that the homeownership rate in the United States is still above 60%. But, if you’ve been keen lately, you’ve probably noticed the slight but steady uptake dip. People are not buying homes as they previously did.

Source: Statista

So congratulations for joining the big league of homeowners. That’s one increasingly admirable feat, to say the least. For what it’s worth, we share your excitement.

And let’s be honest here, you’ve probably never been this exhilarated before. I mean, people work their backs off to get to this point.

That’s why it’s pretty understandable that some things might have slipped through the cracks. Those negligible details like homeowners insurance.

Apparently, that’s unimportant for now. Or so it seems. Because there are possibly other more important issues to handle as you settle down.

More paperwork is seemingly the last thing you need right now. But wait until you see a rather disturbing trend by the end of the year. More than five of your 100 neighbors will have filed insurance claims for various losses.

If you’re a mortgage buyer, on the other hand, the situation is quite different. You don’t have the luxury of ignoring a homeowners insurance. Because lenders are not willing to risk their investment.

Believe me, we’ve heard enough stories about last-minute frantic phone calls to insurance providers. And they mostly never end well for buyers. Because what’s more profitable to insurance companies than desperate buyers in a hurry?

Then there’s that category of homeowners who’ve been patient and diligent enough to clear their mortgages. Well, here’s a double toast if you’ve achieved that.

It’s an accomplishment to move into a mortgaged home. It’s another thing altogether to brave it out and make all the payments.

And the best thing is? No one is looking over your shoulder anymore to compel you to maintain the insurance coverage. The last thing you need right now is more bills.

But, here’s the kicker. While shaving off your bills is commendable, opting out of homeowners insurance coverage actually leaves you vulnerable.

Of course, you might not have seen any serious property damage within your neighborhood. For as long as you’ve been making mortgage payments. So, why should you get worried about possibly inexistent risks?

Fair enough. But then again, consider this. It takes only one disaster to render you completely homeless.

We’ve seen even the most unexpected events. Situations that previously only featured in storybook tales. Like the 2013 sinkhole that opened up and swallowed an entire home.

Now, imagine paying a mortgage for all that time, only for the ground to open up and take everything away.

All in all, here’s the point. You’re still a homeowner regardless of your category. And risks are always imminent. Waiting right by the corner.

Michigan’s average premium rate of $1,073 is slightly lower than the nation’s $1,288. But it’s still beyond what most individuals might consider reasonably comfortable.

Especially if you’re within Detroit area, where it’s almost double at $2,038.

Source: Insurance

Well, it must feel good that the State doesn’t treat this like auto insurance. Since it’s not compulsory at all. Hence the persistent temptation to save yourself the cash.

Undeniably, this is the reason why half of the homes in high-risk areas, according to FEMA, are not even insured.

I’ll tell you what though. We’ll approach this differently.

The truth is disasters will always occur. And the best way to protect your hard-earned home investment is insurance.

So I’ll show you how best to do just that. Through a home insurance buyers guide that helps you secure the most ideal coverage.

Let’s jump right in.

Appraise Your Home
As you start searching, here’s something you should expect. Each insurance company will talk a big game about providing adequate protection for your home.

Now, this is one thing agents in Michigan are particularly skilled at. They’ve worked around even the most doubtful buyers. You might find yourself purchasing a seemingly comprehensive policy right off the bat.

And the most interesting bit? We’ve seen buyers who get so absorbed into the whole price comparison that they forget another critical bit. The final possible insurance payout in case of complete loss.

Not everyone falls into this trap though. There are some who’ve proven to be more analytical. But only to a limited extent.

They seek information about their respective liability limits. And they leave it at that. Forgetting the other equally crucial half.

It’s impossible to adequately insure a home if you don’t know what you’re protecting in the first place.

A homeowners insurance essentially safeguards the value of your home. That’s why a payout is always tied to the corresponding property value.

Usually, insurance providers will always do property value assessments. But don’t let it blind you.

Their math is always skewed to analyze their potential profits. That makes it the worst source of reliable information.

Before everything, therefore, the buck should start with you. Start shopping only after you’ve conducted a comprehensive appraisal of your home.

Naturally, you might think of proceeding with your home’s previous buying price. But that could also be inaccurate.

All properties in Michigan have always been subject to varying appreciation and depreciation rates. Over the past year, for example, home values have shot up by 8%. Consequently pushing the average value to $153,000.

If you thought next year could be the same, here’s the shocker. Predictably, the appreciation rate will adjust even higher to 9.2%.

Source: Zillow

The only way out of all this confusing math is consulting a professional appraiser. They should subsequently conduct a detailed independent valuation of the entire property.

The corresponding report should be done by the time you start worrying about how to find homeowners insurance. That is your ultimate reference authority through the whole shopping process.

Determine Specific Risk Factors
Ok, you now know the value of what you’re protecting. But do you have an idea of what you’re protecting it against?

We’ve might have advised that any unexpected disaster could occur. But don’t take that too literally.

Otherwise, every home would be insured against possibly everything. Consequently making homeowners insurance premiums much more expensive.

A reliable way to minimize your resultant premium is limiting the covered liabilities.
Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. If you opt out of way too many liabilities, you end up with cheap but inadequate insurance. That’s how 64% of homes have ended up uninsured.

This, to say the least, is a rather complex analysis of probabilities. The only way to get the economics right is achieving that delicate balance between insurance cost and possible risk factors.

And the first step is always historical analysis.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, house fires are quite rampant in Michigan. Despite increased efforts by fire departments, properties are still destroyed by fire, and people continue losing lives.

Source: USFA

In 2017 alone, the news media reported 79 home fire fatalities. This makes Michigan, along with Alabama, the leading states in deadly home fires.

The situation is even worse when we zero in further on some of the cities in the state. Detroit, for instance, is placed topmost above 100 cities with the highest home fire risk. It’s so dire that nearly a fifth of its residents have already experienced fires in homes.

What does this tell you?

Basically, if there’s a place you should start, then it has to be fire liabilities.
But this barely scratches the surface. There are many more risk factors which are specific to particular cities. And they start varying when we focus on precise neighborhoods.

Even after all that, the assessment becomes more complex. Because we also review future forecasted patterns of weather and social trends. That’s the best way to make conclusive reports on actual foreseeable risks.

Shop Around And Compare Multiple Policies
General shopping is already too cumbersome for many people. It takes up a lot of time to sort, even when you’re conveniently doing it over the web.

Well, that pretty much covers typical shopping with all information readily available.
Now, switch to insurance providers and you’ll probably end up with a headache.

The whole thing would be much easier if we had a single comparative chart. But insurance companies have always withheld such critical information.

As a result, you’ll be forced to contact them individually to seek any information. And that’s just the first part. Because you should subsequently compare everything to make an informed choice.

Makes sense why homeowners find this whole process to be very challenging.

That said, it’s still critically important. Especially if you want the best possible policy for your home.

Try contacting a couple of providers for starters. And you might notice that homeowners insurance is not as competitive as auto insurance.

Needless to say, the cost variations can be pretty wide.

Bankrate confirmed this after sampling 15 U.S. cities including Michigan’s Grand Rapids. They contacted various providers for quotes on varying property scales. Then worked out the average at the end to table conclusive results.

And they were astonishing. In every sense of the word.

Some quotes differed by as much as 188 percent. In Grand Rapids, the difference between the highest and most expensive quotes was 55%. Yet Bankrate had only approached three providers.

Source: Bankrate

Evidently, one thing’s for sure. The more you shop around, the better the deal you ultimately settle for.

Understand The Policies
All things considered, shopping around is not just about the cost. You should also focus on the respective policy details.

That’s precisely where the devil is always hiding. As a matter of fact, it’s impossible to comprehensively assess the cost without reviewing underlying policy details.

Unfortunately, the review process is not that simple. The fundamental problem is that the language that insurance companies use for their policies.

Technically, they are all in English. But they might read like some form of an alien dialect because of all the complex phrases.

Words like riders, sub-limits, actual cash value, replacement cost, and deductible are just a tip of the iceberg. There are many more where these come from.

And the worst thing is? Overlooking one simple term could make all the difference in your homeowners insurance.

Sadly, many individuals have fallen victims in the past. Only to be stunned by legitimate rejections when they filed their claims.

Simply put, there’s no way out of this. You have to fully understand all the policies to make an informed decision. And that includes the often-skipped fine print.

Thankfully, there’s a translator that can save you all the trouble. Just talk to a reputable independent insurance agency. It really is that simple.

Conclusion
To recap:

● The homeownership rate in the United States is still above 60%.

● By the end of the year, more than five of your 100 neighbors will have filed insurance claims for various losses.

● While shaving off your bills is commendable, opting out of homeowners insurance coverage actually leaves you vulnerable.

● Michigan’s average premium rate of $1,073 is slightly lower than the nation’s $1,288. But it’s still beyond what most individuals might consider reasonably comfortable. Especially if you’re within Detroit area, where it’s almost double at $2,038.

● Half of the homes in high-risk areas, according to FEMA, are not even insured.

● Start shopping only after you’ve conducted a comprehensive appraisal of your home.

● Over the past year home values have shot up by 8%. Consequently pushing the average value to $153,000.

● The only way to get the economics right is achieving that delicate balance between insurance cost and possible risk factors.

● According to the U.S. Fire Administration, house fires are quite rampant in Michigan

● Detroit, for instance, is placed topmost above 100 cities with the highest home fire risk.

● In Grand Rapids, the difference between the highest and most expensive quotes was 55%.

● Shopping around is not just about the cost. You should also focus on the respective policy details.

How did you shop for homeowners insurance before?

Did you find anything that I forgot to mention? Let us know in the comments below.

12 Jun 2018 in Homeowners Insurance