How Many Beneficiaries Do You Select When Purchasing Life Insurance?

At some point in their lives, most people, especially those with vast resources or families, will purchase life insurance. When purchasing life insurance, you must name a beneficiary or someone who will receive the benefits of the claim in the event of your covered passing. You may be wondering, however, how many beneficiaries can you name during the policy purchase process?

Choosing A Beneficiary

When Purchasing your life insurance policy, you will be required to name someone as your beneficiary. You may also be asked to provide a backup beneficiary in the event the primary beneficiary passes away unexpectedly or is unable to collect the claim for various reasons. Be sure you have the people who you will name in mind before making your policy purchase. You should seek assistance from a caring, professional life insurance agent with the proper credential and licenses. They will help you navigate the process carefully to avoid any mistakes or issues that could impact the claim in the future. 

Work With Experts

When you purchase life insurance, you want to make sure that you are working with industry experts who are knowledgeable about all aspects of life insurance and the claims process. If you live around the Opelika, AL area, you should consult Elliott & Associates Insurance for the support and guidance you need during the purchasing process and with any future claims your beneficiary may need to file. They will discover options that work for you and present you with a policy that gives complete peace of mind.

If you are considering purchasing life insurance to protect your loved ones or estate, you should check out Elliott & Associates Insurance serving Opelika, AL for assistance. Call or stop by the office for more information.

Does Home Insurance Cover Guests?

Home insurance is an essential part of anyone’s home owning experience. With the right policy, you can be fully covered from just about any event that may befall your home. That being said, home policies cover more than you might imagine they would include. For those that live in the Opelika, AL area, the agents with Elliott & Associates Insurance can help you determine what policy works best for you.

What to Consider with Home Insurance

A great thing to consider is what your home policy covers. For the most part, it simply makes sure that your home is safe, it also, however, helps to cover the people in the home as well. This means that to a certain extent, guests are included in your home insurance policy. They are covered in that if they are invited into your home, and should someone become injured on the property, they can file a claim against your insurance to help pay for the cost of their medical bills.

There are special circumstances, however, that must be met to be able to use this type of policy. You must have some sort of coverage on your policy, and you must be able to prove that the injury occurred on the insured property and not because of some sort of negligence. It may also cover the belongings of a guest should something happen to your home while you have people there. You should take the time to make sure that your policy covers guests if you have them often.

For those in the Opelika, AL area, the agents with Elliott & Associates Insurance can help you to find the perfect policy with just the right amount of coverage and the correct contingency to make sure that your policy is going to cover any guest you may have. Contact our offices to learn more and get a quote.

Important considerations before purchasing a classic car policy

If you are considering purchasing or have recently purchased a classic car in the Auburn or Opelika, AL area, it is vital that you purchase an insurance policy that covers the unique ownership aspects of a classic car. A specialist at Elliott & Associates Insurance would be happy to meet to discuss your classic car insurance needs.

The first consideration is the amount of coverage you will need. Unlike a traditional car policy that covers the actual value minus depreciation, a classic car typically increases in value over time. Under a classic car policy, you will work with your insurance specialist to come up with a mutually agreed upon value to insure.

Classic car coverage has many of the same coverages as a traditional policy such as liability, collision, and medical payments. However, there are some additional coverage options you need to consider. For example, under roadside assistance coverage, the policy should include flatbed towing to limit the damage in the event it needs to be towed.

Another important consideration while shopping for a classic car insurance policy is to make sure the types of activities you plan to engage in with the car are covered. Many insurers will not cover the car if you plan to use it as a primary vehicle such as using it to get to work. Insurers often restrict the number of miles one can put on the car each year. If you plan on attending an auto show that will exceed the limit, you will need to speak with your insurance specialists for additional coverage.

No matter if you are new or old to classic car ownership, it is vital to make sure your investment is protected. If you live in the Opelika, AL area,  please reach out to an insurance expert at Elliott & Associates Insurance today!

What Does Renters Insurance Cover?

If you rent an apartment or house, your landlord’s homeowner’s insurance does not cover your belonging in the case of theft, fire, or any other event. If you need to protect your belongings, consider a renter’s insurance policy. You can contact your Elliot & Associates Insurance agent in Opelika, AL for help in determining what policy options are available to you. In the meantime, here’s some basic information to get you started.

What is Renter’s Insurance?

Renters insurance covers your property when you rent a house or apartment. It works like a homeowner’s policy except that it covers you as a tenant and is not a part of your landlord’s insurance policy. Instead, if you need coverage for your belongings, you have to take out a separate policy.

What Does Renters Insurance Cover?

If the actual building or home is damaged, your landlord’s insurance covers it. Your renter’s insurance pays for lost or damaged property you own located in the rental unit.

Does Renters Insurance Cover Water Damage?

Renters insurance doesn’t pay for flood damage. However, a burst pipe that ruins your furniture or other belongings would be covered up to the policy’s limits. Renters insurance is a good idea if you have valuable artwork or rare items that would be expensive to replace.

What is Apartment Renters Insurance?

Renters insurance gives you the peace of mind that your belongings will be replaced in the event of unexpected damage or injury. Renters insurance pays to restore or replace clothes, furniture, electronics and other items that are damaged or stolen.

Contact Us

Contact Elliot & Associates Insurance in Opelika, AL today for more information or to set up an appointment for a free consultation and quote.

 

 

 

5 Safety Tips for New Motorcycle Riders

If you’re new to motorcycle riding, you’ll want to take every precaution to stay safe on the road. Riding safely protects you and those around you. The following safety tips can apply to both new and experienced riders.

Take a Course on Motorcycle Safety

Motorcycle safety courses provide valuable input for new riders. They give you a chance to hone your riding skills, learn how to handle emergency situations and become familiar with traffic laws in your state. You’ll also learn safety tips that can help you be a better rider. Even experienced riders can benefit from a refresher course on motorcycle safety.

Choose Your Bike Wisely

Motorcycles vary in type, size, and power. As a newbie, you should stick to a bike you can handle, taking into consideration your limited abilities and skills. Once you’ve gained experience, you can always invest in a more powerful model.

Inspect Your Motorcycle Regularly

Before you hit the road, take time to inspect your motorcycle to make sure everything’s working properly. Check the brakes, lights, mirrors, and tires. A basic inspection won’t take long and could save you from having an accident.

Wear Safety Gear

If your bike is your main form of transportation around Opelika AL, you should invest in proper clothing for riding. First and foremost, get a full-face DOT approved helmet. You can also consider buying motorcycle gloves, boots, and pants. A leather jacket offers protection against the elements and could save you from road burns in the event of an accident.

Avoid Inclement Weather

Whenever possible, avoid riding your bike in bad weather. If the forecast calls for rain, sleet, or snow, leave your bike at home.

Don’t forget to get motorcycle insurance from Elliott & Associates Insurance in Opelika, AL before hitting the road. To learn more about insurance options and costs, contact an agent from Elliott & Associates Insurance.

Boat Insurance Basics

At Lake Martin, owning a boat means that you, your family, and friends will have hours of fun on the open water. Whether it is time spent enjoying nature or fishing, boating is enjoyable for the whole family. Owning a boat, however, is a big responsibility, so you want to protect it and yourself with the appropriate amount of insurance. There are not only the risks that you encounter while on the water, but there are also those when you are transporting the boat to and from the water.  While boat owners want to protect their investment, it can be difficult to wade through the myriad of options available to boat owners. How do you know which policy is right for you? The team at Elliott & Associates Insurance are the experts in boating insurance. They will talk to you about the type of watercraft you have and how you use it. This will help them to steer you toward the insurance policies that best suit your needs.

As boats are expensive to repair or replace if there is an accident, you want the peace of mind that you have the coverage you need should an accident occur.  Though not required by law, having liability coverage is essential if there is an accident or property damage in an accident where you are deemed to be at fault.  Policies can also cover events such as oil spills from your boat, if your boat sinks, is stolen, or vandalized. To help you through the policy options, talk with your agent at Elliott & Associates. With their knowledge of boating in the Opelika, AL area, they will ensure that you have the right coverage. Give them a call or visit today to discuss your options for the coverage you need!

More People Qualify for Life Insurance Than You May Think

If you are older, that doesn’t mean you don’t qualify for life insurance. While age does play a small role in the process, a life insurance company tends to focus on your health. Even if you do have a few health problems, you may still qualify for life insurance from Elliott & Associates Insurance in Opelika, AL.

Your Medical Background 

During an examination, you’ll have to ask questions regarding your medical history, such as any surgeries you’ve had or any medications you take. You’ll also need to reveal any nonprescription medications you take. Keep in mind, you take blood and urine tests, so honesty is vital because anything you don’t admit to could show up during your test.

Body mass index (BMI) plays a role in whether you qualify for a life insurance policy and what your rate is. A higher BMI means you’re overweight and more prone to certain life-threatening health conditions.

Medical Testing 

During your exam, you’ll need to have your blood pressure and pulse taken to help detect any cardiovascular issues, including hypertension. A higher pulse could indicate a hormonal imbalance or another serious condition.

After having your vitals taken, you’ll then have to undergo a saliva and blood tests as well as a urinalysis. These tests help detect any health conditions like hepatitis. The entire process determines the quality of your overall health. Many minor conditions don’t affect your overall health and therefore doesn’t play a role in you obtaining a life insurance policy. Depending on the condition, it might not change your rate much, so before you think you’re not healthy enough for life insurance, at least have the physical conducted.

For a quote for life insurance and to discuss your eligibility, contact Elliott & Associates Insurance in Opelika, AL by calling 334-745-0888.

6 Things You Must Do Immediately After an Accident

Photo by fourbyfourblazerLogistics and legal requirements are the last things anyone wants to deal with as soon as they are involved in a crash. But we’ve seen too many examples of hundreds of thousands of dollars being lost from not taking these steps.

  1. Stop and assist anyone injured. Make sure everyone is okay and out of harm’s way before any logistics are taken care of. Assessing the situation will also let you know what to tell the police when you call. However, unless you are a medical professional, do not provide medical assistance. That includes moving someone who may have injuries.
  2. Call the police. This seems like a no-brainer. But you may be tempted in minor incidents to trade information with the other driver and handle things without seeing a need for police involvement. But the position you might find yourself in is that there is no objective party involved. Facts can be misconstrued when it’s your word against someone else’s.
  3. Take pictures of the accident before moving vehicles. This will make sure facts can be backed up with visual evidence. It’s best to get shots of all vehicles involved from multiple angles as well as close-ups of the damage incurred.
  4. DO NOT admit fault (even if you are 100% sure you are guilty). The kindness that was instilled in us growing up will want us to respond to an accident with something like this: “I’m so sorry! This was completely my fault. I wasn’t paying enough attention.” The accident may be your fault, but don’t let your perception of the situation (or your abundant politeness) cloud your judgement.
  5. Get contact and insurance information from all drivers involved. Also, get tag number and make and model of the other vehicle(s). The easiest way to get most of this is to snap a picture of all licenses, tags and insurance IDs with your cell phone.
  6. Finally, call your agent. This doesn’t have to be done immediately afterwards. But don’t let it linger more than 24 hours. Of course, if you don’t have an agent, call your insurance company directly.

This is a time when we will point out the benefit of having an independent agent. Independent agents will advocate for you. We do not work for the insurance company. We can hold insurance companies accountable and follow up on your behalf. If they get something wrong, it won’t be up to you to call them to the table on it.

The No. 1 Reason for Home Insurance Cost Increases

Roof Problems
Photo by Ceridwen

Does it seem like the amount you pay for your homeowners policy continues to climb? But everything is, right? The price of food, cars, clothes. When you were a kid, everything was cheaper. But inflation and the price of oil has little to do with premium increases. It’s actually much simpler than that.

Claims drive the cost of any insurance policy.

The recent rise in accidents due to distracted driving has had a huge effect on car insurance premiums. Homes are no different. But unlike accident statistics, there may be something you can do about your home insurance premium.

Our houses are intended to protect us and our things from the elements. And no part of the house works harder to do this than the roof. Our roofs take a beating from rain, sun, wind, hail and the occasional basketball. And because of that, the majority of claims are roof related. As a result, insurance companies are very interested in what kind of roof you have, what shape it is in and how old it is.

If you haven’t had any claims, the age of your roof is probably the number one reason for your homeowners premium to go up.

A typical asphalt shingle roof that is supposed to last 25 years is considered old by insurance companies after 10 years. Some companies won’t insure the house at all if the roof is older that 15 years. If your roof is five years old or less, you’re in the best shape. The insurance company will not only take you at a lower cost, but your coverage will also be better.

That gets into completely different territory. You think price is the most important factor unless you’ve ever had a claim. Once you’ve had a claim, you understand that being able to replace your roof is what really matters. But insurance companies do not want to pay for a brand new roof on a claim where a 20 year old roof was damaged. Therefore, companies that will insure homes with older roofs will only insure the roof for actual cash value. What that means is if you have a claim, and your roof needs to be replaced, they will pay for an old roof. Not a new one. That scenario would put you in a position of not only paying your deductible but also paying the difference for a new roof.

Replacing an old roof could lower your premium around 25%.

And having architectural shingles or better yet metal roofing installed will keep that premium down longer. And best of all, you’ll be insured for replacement cost and not just cash value.

Are you unhappy with your homeowners premium? Could it be related to your roof?

Have you replaced your roof in the last few years? Have you told your agent?

What Gas Prices Tell Us About Insurance

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Love is blind. So is financial planning.

Perhaps it seemed like a good idea at the time. In 2008, gas prices were skyrocketing taking almost a daily increase moving right past the $3/gallon mark at the beginning of the year and headed to the $4/gallon by the middle of the year. One auto maker had a plan and a promotion to match the hysteria.

If you bought a new car, they would guarantee $2.99/gallon gas for up to three years. It sounds crazy now, but at the time, it looked like a huge blunder by the auto maker, not the consumer. The feeling at the time was that there was no end in sight to the gas crunch.

I remember being at a party with someone who had bought a car based on this program and listening to a friend chide him in late October about the offer. With a sly smile he quizzed, “So, are you still having to pay $2.99/gallon?” By this time, the market had stabilized and gas was well below $2.99/gallon and quickly headed below $2/gallon. Any “savings” had long since been negated due to a change in the market.

While insurance markets don’t tend to change as quickly as the gas and oil markets, it should be noted that what may have worked for you a few years ago may not be the best option for your current situation. Our job is to make sure your insurance program matches your current situation. For this very reason, we work with different companies, so we can find a company that fits your current needs and offer other solutions as your needs change.


Alex Rainey