Monthly Archives: April 2017

Green Endorsements to Your Insurance Policies?

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Over the last few years, both Federal and State governments have been increasing the tax credit benefits of making your business green. As a result, more and more companies have been investing in green technology and building materials.
Look at your Current Coverage

Most property insurance policies cover the cost of replacing property using materials similar to the original construction. This means that it is difficult to use property insurance to cover the costs of converting to green materials after damage.
An increasing number of insurance providers have begun to provide green endorsements to their property policies. These endorsements allow coverage for green materials (often more expensive) to replace original construction, as well as recycling costs, certification fees and more.

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Costs

While green endorsements will cost more than the standard property policy alone, they add value to your business. Should you rebuild with green materials, it’s possible you will in turn create a more secure building, with less risk of damage in the future. And as the industry continues to keep up with the trends in building, there may even be insurance discounts similar to existing discounts on hybrids and electric vehicles.

For advice on green insurance call AmerAgency today at 615-209-9362.

Insurance and the Power of Being Mindful

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In in Psychology Today, an article described mindfulness as the practice of staying in the present moment. Instead of being distracted by thinking about the future, dwelling on the past or allowing lots of white noise in your head over everything but “the now,” being mindful allows you to fully invest in the current moment and pay attention only to what’s in front of you.

Mindfulness and Insurance – There are a million things you could insure and a million things that could go wrong. But taking a step back and putting things into perspective about what truly matters to you can take the stress out of the process of deciding what to insure and what not to insure. When you purchase insurance, it’s essential you allow yourself time to be quiet and mindful. It is normal to feel anxious when thinking about all the perils facing your home and vehicle, when working on final expense and legacy planning, when imagining your future potential disabilities and anticipating all the liabilities and other negative aspects of life that make insurance necessary. To be properly insured and prepared, however, you must allow yourself to be fully invested in the process of insurance planning rather than distracted and intimidated by what-ifs.

Mindful Insurance Planning – Instead of being bullied by the unknown, be sure to stay focused on the facts while you are planning your insurance portfolio like the risks that anyone in your position may actually face and the value of the property you want to protect. It’s really that simple and knowing this will allow you to fashion a much more secure financial future.

Being frightened of a possible accident that hasn’t yet happened, or being overwhelmed by the amount of data you must consider as you buy insurance hurts rather than helps you purchase insurance. Deliberating the amounts you need to protect your family won’t make it any easier to select the types of policies that offer you the kind of protections you’re looking for. Instead, it makes you feel doubtful and powerless during what should be a very empowering process.

When you give yourself the mental space to be mindful, you can approach the task of buying insurance as practically and detached as possible. This will help you to deliberate and reason the practical risks you face each day and assign a dollar value to them. From there you can make relevant adjustments as you consider your budget versus potential premiums.

An AmeriAgency agent can help in keeping your emotions in check and your approach to insurance planning practical. If you are ready to start looking for insurance policies that will protect you and your family, give us a call at 615-209-9362.

Protect an Empty, Unsold Home – Learn How

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Don’t get caught without coverage.

In the process of moving to a new city for a new job, most homeowners may be too busy to think about the insurance implications for the old home they just left.

Most homeowner policies have a maximum number of days that a home can be vacant before some or all coverages are voided.   A max of 30 days vacant is common but each state and policy can have different maximum days vacant before coverage is reduced or nonexistent.

To avoid an unwelcome surprise, such as a claim denial or coverage limitation, call your agent to modify your current policy or write you a new vacant policy if needed.

Call AmeriAgency at 615-209-9362 for advice.

Auto    Home    Life    Business

A New Baby Means New Insurance

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As new parents with a million things to plan, it’s important not to neglect the new insurance situation you will face. Planning now will you give at least one less thing to do while you’re changing diapers and feeding when your new arrival comes.

Life Insurance

You may want to consider creating a trust to be the beneficiary of your life insurance policy so you can prevent death benefit proceeds from being added to your estate or, after your death, your spouse’s estate for tax purposes. You can ensure that a portion of your benefit is allocated toward your minor child at the time he or she reaches the age of majority or whenever you indicate within your trust. You have a certain amount of control over the use of your death benefits so that you can direct them to help make financial life easier on your spouse and children after you pass away and later on in life.

Buying life insurance for your child gives them a financial head start when they become adults because by buying a child an insurance policy, you lock in low rates and can start creating cash values that they can take loans against later, such as when they go to college.

Disability Insurance

A disability insurance policy ensures that you can continue supporting your child even in the face of a disabling injury. Disability insurance allows you much more control over the receipt of benefits compared to Social Security and can help you rely less on savings during the waiting period for benefits to begin.

Home / Renters Insurance

With home or renters insurance, you can make sure that your children have a roof over their heads even after an insurable incident makes your home inhabitable as long as you have loss of use benefits. Both types of insurance will assist you with financing your family’s lost possessions. A home insurance policy will also help you get necessary repairs to make your home livable once again.

Auto Insurance

Not only is auto insurance required by your state, but it is one of the best ways to keep you and your children safe. Auto insurance can help compensate for liabilities you incur, and therefore removing the need to access your savings to satisfy injured parties. The medical payments can help your family afford the best health care after one of them has been hurt. It’s critical to note that state insurance limits may not be representative of the actual protection your family needs.

 

If you want to ensure your insurance portfolio will protect your family when you need it, give AmeriAgency a call today at 615-209-9362 and we’ll be happy to help you through this life decision.

Auto    Home    Life    Business

Some of the Best Wedding Venues in Tennessee

Jubilee Hills Estate   Lewisburg

Price: $ • $$
Catering: Choose From List, BYO
Type: Barn, Mansion

Union Station Hotel    Nashville

Price: $ • $$ • $$$
Catering: Provided
Type: Ballroom, Historic/Landmark Building, Hotel

The Westin Memphis Beale Street    Memphis

Price: $ • $$ • $$$
Catering: Provided
Type: Ballroom, Hotel, Resort/Spa

Chimes and Occasions    Memphis

Price: $ • $$
Catering: BYO
Type: Banquet Hall/Events Facility, Church/Chapel/Temple

Crown Winery Humboldt

Price: $ • $$ • $$$
Catering: Choose From List, BYO
Type: Barn, Winery

Heartwood Hall    Rossville

Price: $ • $$ • $$$
Catering: Provided, Choose From List
Type: Banquet Hall/Events Facility, Barn, Historic/Landmark Building, Mansion, Private Estate

Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center   Nashville

Price: $ • $$ • $$$
Catering: Provided
Type: Ballroom, Banquet Hall/Events Facility, Conference Center, Golf Course/Golf Clubhouse

The Historic Cadre Building    Memphis

Price: $ • $$ • $$$
Catering: Provided, Choose From List
Type: Ballroom, Banquet Hall/Events Facility, Historic/Landmark Building

Almost Heaven Resort and Weddings    Gatlinburg

Price: $ • $$ • $$$
Catering: Provided
Type: Bed and Breakfast, Church/Chapel/Temple, Resort/Spa

Historic Rock Castle    Hendersonville

Price: $ • $$
Catering: Choose From List, BYO
Type: Banquet Hall/Events Facility, Historic/Landmark Building

The Barn at Drewia Hill    Sale Creek

Price: $ • $$
Catering: Choose From List
Type: Banquet Hall/Events Facility, Barn

Jon Haven Farm    Lascassas

Price: $ • $$
Catering: BYO
Type: Banquet Hall/Events Facility, Barn, Ranch/Farm

Esplanade Memphis    Cordova

Price: $ • $$ • $$$
Catering: Provided
Type: Ballroom, Banquet Hall/Events Facility, Conference Center

Hilton Garden Inn Nashville Vanderbilt    Nashville

Price: $ • $$ • $$$
Catering: Provided
Type: Ballroom, Banquet Hall/Events Facility, Hotel

The Mill    Chattanooga

Price: $ • $$ • $$$
Catering: Provided
Type: Banquet Hall/Events Facility

Music Road Convention Center    Pigeon Forge

Price: $ • $$ • $$$
Catering: Provided
Type: Ballroom, Banquet Hall/Events Facility, Conference Center, Inn/Lodge, Resort/Spa

The Barn Event Center of the Smokies    Townsend

Price: $ • $$
Catering: Provided
Type: Banquet Hall/Events Facility, Barn

Bluff Mountain Inn    Sevierville

Price: $ • $$
Catering: Provided
Type: Barn, Church/Chapel/Temple, Inn/Lodge

Capitol Theatre    Maryville

Price: $ • $$ • $$$
Catering: Provided, BYO
Type: Historic/Landmark Building, Other

Special Event Insurance for Weddings

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Not sure whether you need special event insurance for your wedding day? Use this handy check list to find out.

ð      Is your wedding or reception outside? When having an outdoor ceremony or reception, you have a high risk of event cancellation due to inclement weather. Special event insurance can help reimburse you for out-of-pocket costs when you can’t hold your event as planned.

ð        Could a vendor cancel? When getting married, the bride and groom may be the most important people attending but they are not the only important people who should be in attendance. From caterers to florists, photographers to videographers, musicians to bartenders there are a number of different vendors who are an important part of the puzzle that creates the sum total of your wedding day. Should any of these venders not follow through after you’ve paid a deposit to secure their services, special event insurance can protect you from that financial losses.

ð        Can the banquet hall close down? You expect the businesses involved in your wedding day to remain operational from the date that you give them a deposit to the actual date of your nuptials. But whether you like it or not, a vendor could go bankrupt and close down before your wedding day. If one does, it will result in a lost deposit and event cancellation that special event insurance can protect you against.

ð        Could you be held liable? If you are hosting an event such as a wedding, you may be held responsible for accidents, injuries, and property damage experienced by your guests or vendors. Special event insurance can help protect you from liabilities that involve property damage and bodily injury.

To find out more about how special event insurance can help protect you on your big day and to discover just how affordable this coverage can be, give us a call today!

AmeriAgency 615-209-9362

Auto    Home     Life     Business 

Easy Steps to Change Your Lifestyle & Reduce Your Healthcare Costs

Changing your lifestyle to be healthier doesn’t just mean you get to feel good — it means your wallet does as well.

Being a healthier person is always a good thing but it can also help lower healthcare costs with less trips to the doctor and such.

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  • Stop smoking: This is the big one. Smoking can increase your chance of cancer and cause a variety of problems for your lungs, throat and mouth. It also has a trickle down effect — smokers are generally more out of shape which can lead to other problems. Drop this expensive habit.

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  • Stay active: Most doctors recommend being active for 30 minutes a day to maintain and improve fitness and health. That could mean going out for a walk, taking the dog to the dog park, going for a job, playing pick-up hoops, etc. Just get out there and get moving.                              Loose weight/eat better: These go hand-in-hand, as watching what you eat will help you lose some weight and be in better shape. Exercise regularly and stay away from fatty and processed foods that will increase your blood pressure among other problems.pexels-photo-218844
  • Manage stress: Stress is one of the leading causes of your body breaking down and becoming sick. Learn to manage your stress by taking yourself out of stressful situations, picking up a healthy way to blow off steam (exercising, video games, writing, etc) and try to keep the stress off.

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These are just a few easy lifestyle changes that everyone can do right now. By doing so, you’ll lower your trips to the doctor and lower your healthcare costs in the process.

Call AmeriAgency for healthy, stress free insurance at 615-209-9362.

Should I Buy a Manual or Automatic Transmission?

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There are a lot of decisions that have to be made when buying a new car. Everything from choosing a make, model, and trim level to deciding if upgrading the stereo is worth the extra money. One of the biggest decisions you will have to make is whether you prefer a manual or automatic transmission. There are definite pros and cons to each, and understanding the basics of these two types of transmissions is key to making the right decision.

When shopping for a new car it is a good idea to test drive both a manual and an automatic if you are on the fence regarding a transmission choice. While a manual transmission will give you more control over the vehicle and may enhance the driving experience, an automatic is easy and convenient.

The transmission that is right for you will depend on a number of factors. Everything from how you drive to the horsepower under the hood to whether you prefer convenience over performance will influence your decision.

Automatic: Automatic transmissions use a planetary system of gears. These gears transfer power to the wheels using a variety of different gear ratios. A planetary gear set uses a central gear that is referred to as the sun gear. It also has an outer ring with internal gear teeth, this is call the ring gear. In addition, there are two or three other planet gears, which allow the gear ratio to change as the vehicle is accelerated.

The drivetrain of the vehicle is coupled to a torque converter, which functions as a clutch between the transmission and drivetrain. An automatic transmission change gears automatically as the vehicle accelerates or slows down.

Manual: A manual transmission has a flywheel that is attached to the crankshaft of the engine. The flywheel spins with the crankshaft. There is a clutch disk between the pressure plate and the flywheel. The pressure created by the pressure plate holds the clutch disk against the flywheel. When the clutch is engaged, the flywheel spins the clutch plate and the transmission. When the clutch pedal is pushed down, the pressure plate no longer applies pressure to the clutch disk, which allows the gears to be changed.

The costs associated with each transmission

There are some very real differences between a manual and automatic transmission and depending on what you are looking for, they can be advantages or disadvantages. Let’s have a quick look at just a few of the major variances between the two systems so you can decide which factors are important to you.

Initial costs: In almost all cases, a manual transmission will be the cheaper option when buying a new car. Savings will vary depending on the vehicle but expect a price cut of at least $1,000 when comparing a manual to an automatic.

Running costs: Again, the manual transmission is the winner in this category. Manual transmissions will almost always get better fuel economy than an automatic. The gap is closing though as automatics gain more gears and become more sophisticated.

Maintenance costs: Automatic transmissions are complicated and contain lots of moving parts and for that reason they tend to be more expensive to maintain. Expect more regular maintenance costs as well as a big bill if the transmission ever fails.

For example, having to replace or rebuild an automatic transmission will usually cost thousands while the cost for replacing a clutch will be in the hundreds.

  • Note: Eventually, an automatic transmission will have to be replaced or rebuilt, they almost never last the entire life of a car.

Manual transmissions are much simpler and will often perform flawlessly over the life of the car, requiring a much less maintenance. In most cases the clutch disc will have to be replaced over the life of the car but in general, maintenance costs are lower. Manual transmissions use gear or engine oil, which doesn’t deteriorate as quickly as automatic transmission fluid (ATF).

Power: There are definite differences in how an automatic and manual transmission transfer engine power to the wheels and that can make one transmission type offer a distinct advantage over the other. In the majority of cases you get the most power out of a vehicle using a manual transmission but there are trade-offs, especially convenience.

Convenience:The truth is that automatics are just easier and more convenient to drive. It pays to carefully consider your lifestyle and driving habits when choosing between a manual and automatic.

Stop and go: A manual transmission can be a pain for people who have a long commute in rush hour traffic. The constant shifting and depressing the clutch pedal can become tiresome. In some cases, especially a vehicle that has a heavy clutch, leg or joint pain has been known to occur.

Learning curve: While driving an automatic is pretty easy and straightforward, there is a definite learning curve with a manual transmission. Beginning drivers can expect to experience missed shifts, jerking, bucking and stalling. In addition, starting off on a hill can be a somewhat scary experience until you become comfortable with the clutch.

Now you are ready for a test drive.

Call AmeriAgency at 615-209-9362 for a great rate on auto insurance.

5 Most Common Home Insurance Claims

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Most of us think of our home as a place of safety, yet billions of dollars of home damages are claimed each year to insurance companies.  The most common claims are not typically avoidable; however having the correct insurance coverage is the best way to be prepared.

The natural elements of wind, water, and fire are things we normally think of when talking about damage to our house.  These three, along with animals and visitors round out the top most common causes of insurance claims year after year.

Top 5 claims filed with insurance companies each year:

1.  Water Damage

The most common cause of loss for a homeowner  is water damage.  Damage can occur for many different reasons, common examples would be:

–  A leaking / damaged roof
–  Cracked pipes
–  Broken washing machine hose

Residents living in older homes are at the highest risk, however the location of your home is also a major factor.  Consider asking your agent about the need for water backup / sump pump overflow coverage for your building and personal property.  Water backing up into your home due to blocked pipes is a leading causes for potential water damage claims.

2.  Fire Damage

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Fires in the home happen unexpectedly and often take a huge toll on your property and your family!  Most homeowner insurance policies will assist you in rebuilding after a fire, but check to see if your policy offers “Guaranteed Replacement Cost” on your dwelling & personal property.  Depending on your company, some only offer coverage a percentage of your homes value.

It’s very important to keep up to date documentation and/or receipts of you personal belongings.  Take photos or video of your home and keep it in a safe place.  With today’s technology, it’s easy to create and store a visual reminder to your possessions and aide you in remembering everything you own following a loss.

Imaging sitting down tonight to make a list of everything you own in just one room of your home.  Include the approximate value all the items.  You are highly likely to not only forget a few major items, but also to highly undervalue your belongings.  When a loss occurs, your insurance coverage is ready to get you back to whole again.  Being prepared with documentation is a key factor in reducing some of the stress.

3.  Wind and Storm Damage

Living in Wisconsin, you never know what the weather is going to be.  Winter storms, tornadoes and straight line winds are becoming more frequent and are causing substantial damage to homes.  These types of storms may only cause damage to the exterior of your home, but repairs are necessary and often expensive.  It is important to make sure your home is covered properly to help protect your assets if these natural disasters occur.

4.  Visitor Accidents

As a homeowner you are responsible to have adequate liability protection for visitors in case of an accident that causes bodily injury occurs on your property.  Weather related slip and falls, pool related accidents, trampolines and swing set incidents are among the most common claims reported.

Having the proper liability coverage in place is essential because accidents can unexpectedly happen.  Many times, even your underlying liability limit isn’t enough; increase your protection with an umbrella policy.  This additional coverage can be as little as $10 per month!

5.  Animal Bites

As a homeowner it is necessary to cover your home, both in and around it, including your pets.  Animal bites and pet attacks are very common and are not necessarily always provoked.  These types of losses can end up being extremely costly, especially if you’re not properly covered.  Whether your dog is in the yard when someone approaches them or on a walk around the neighborhood; if an attack occurs, you are held responsible(dog bite laws vary by state).

Call AmeriAgency at 615-209-9362 for the best in homeowners insurance.

20 Ways to Say Happy Birthday

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20  Ways to Say “Happy Birthday”

Please use these at your own perl, or as an inspiration to write something original of your own, to displace the mindless, repetitive flood of banality that fills our social walls one day a year.

  1. Happy birthday to you and 1 in 365 people worldwide.
  2. I wish you a happier birthday than anyone else has wished you.
  3. Happy increased-likelihood-of-getting-special treatment.
  4. Enjoy the dash between the two dates on your tombstone.
  5. If you count the day you were born as your first birthday, you are a year older than you think you are.
  6. Didn’t we just celebrate this like a year ago?
  7. Happity birdie.
  8. Another year, another 584 million trip around the sun. May your next 584 million miles be your best yet.
  9. Happy oldieth birthday.
  10. I noticed in the right column of my Facebook timeline that today is your birthday. I am now writing a message of acknowledgement and well-wishes, as is the socially appropriate custom.
  11. hpy bdy
  12. Time for your birthday tickles!
  13. Happy oldest-you-have-ever-been and youngest-you-will-ever-be-again day.
  14. Half a yappy bidet!
  15. Another year without dying. Good on you!
  16. He drank alone. It was your birthday, but that didn’t matter. He sat at the typewriter and wrote. None of it was very good. —If Hemingway wrote you “Happy Birthday”.
  17. Happy older you day.
  18. Defriend all of those who did not recognize the anniversary of your existence.
  19. May the best of your birthdays be today, and today be the least of those yet to come.
  20. Happy anniversary of the day you were abruptly brought forth from the warm comfort of your mother’s womb into this cold, unforgiving world.
  21. Happy better than the alternative.

Call AmeriAgency at 615-209-9362 for birthday insurance!

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