Monthly Archives: August 2017

Mobile Web Surfing – We Are Ready

pexels-photo-377909There has been an explosion of mobile devices that can access the Internet. Mobile Internet access began before the iPhone, but prior to Apple’s introduction of this landmark device, most mobile web users were accessing the Internet on devices designed specially for business, specifically smart phones from Blackberry and Palm. But then Apple made mobile web access a consumer game as well.

And once Google entered the mobile scene with their Android operating system, consumer mobile web access shot up again. According to a report from big data analyst Flurry, Android and iOS, smart phones have captured a 55 percent share of the U.S. smart phone market.

Of course, mobile isn’t confined just to smart phones. In February of 2012, Apple’s Tim Cook mentioned that Apple had sold 55 million iPads to-date, and Google and others have entered this arena as well.

We know an increasing number of our Tennessee business and personal insurance clients are surfing the web on mobile devices now. We anticipated this trend from day one by providing you with a mobile version of our website. You don’t need to do anything special to access either our smart phone or tablet version website, our servers will automatically detect your mobile device and serve up the appropriate website for fast service and access to information.

If you haven’t already done so, you may want to bookmark our website on your mobile device. Ready access may come in handy for several reasons:

  • You may be out of town and realize you need to pay your bill. Most of our insurance companies have online bill payment options.
  • The mobile websites come with instructions for auto and home claims as well as all the 800 numbers for claim reporting. Think of your smart phone as your glove box claim kit.
  • We also have detailed product lists, Quote forms, insurance videos, cell phone interactive driving directions. (depending on your device) and much more.

Answers to those questions are just a click away on your tablet or phone.

For live help with a quote call AmeriAgency at 615-209-9362.

Insurance: From Fire Marks to Fire Insurance Pools

Fire Marks

Times have changed substantially since the dog-eat-dog days of fire marks-distinctive plaques fashioned of lead or copper that home and business owners displayed on their property to indicate that it was insured against a fire. In the 18th and 19th centuries, fire insurance providers gave these plaques to policyholders who paid in advance for their protection. If a home or business caught fire, the fire insurance provider (who also ran the fire brigade!) would look for that all-important fire mark before going to the trouble of putting out the flames. If there was no fire mark to be found, they would turn around and leave, letting the building burn.

Cold? Heartless? Mercenary? Try all of the above. One has to admit, though, that those old fire marks are pretty cool to look at today, if you can find one (they’re still visible on some buildings in older American cities).

Modern Times

These days, fire insurance is handled in a decidedly less primitive fashion. For one thing, the insurance provider is not the one with the power to put out the fire. There are different degrees of fire insurance available: some plans can cover the physical building itself; others cover the structure as well as the belongings inside of it.

All contemporary fire insurance policies, however, generally have four distinct parts:

  • Part One pertains to the building itself, be it a home or business, and is termed the “insuring agreement.” This part of the policy simply states the address of the building, as well as its monetary value.
  • Part Two is the definitions section of the policy. This explains what other buildings, if any, may be included. In the case of a home, this might include a garage or shed. The section also provides definition to key terms used in the insurance policy document.
  • Part Three of the policy details the exclusions, or, in layman’s terms, what isn’t covered by the insurance policy – both in terms of property and types of loss.
  • Part Four lays out just how much the insurance policy will pay in the event of a fire.

*More common are insurance policies, such as homeowner, condo owner or business owner policies, that combine fire insurance with other types of insurance such as liability.

Fire Insurance Pools

Some home or business owners have property in an area that is particularly vulnerable to fires; classification codes, known as Public Protection Classifications (PPC or PC). These range from 1 – the best, to 10 – the most scant fire protection. Home and business owners with property in areas with high Protection Class ratings may find that the cost of fire insurance is exorbitant, or that they can’t even find a provider to sell them a policy. Fortunately, there are state-run pool plans that enable home and business owners in high-risk areas to obtain coverage; these plans pool together several home and business owners whose properties are vulnerable to a similar degree of risk, and insure them against loss.

Fire Insurance Pools are also managed by some insurance companies. These companies pool together properties subject to comparable fire risks, and insure their owners against significant loss. The companies calculate the statistical potential of loss for each individual property using underwriting methods, including physical inspection and a credit report check. Everyone in the pool pays in a little, and whoever has the misfortune of suffering loss of property or belongings in a fire has protection.

Save up to 30% on homeowners insurance call AmeriAgency today at 615-209-9362.

18 Most Hipster Cities in America

pexels-photo-69212

Where is ground zero for hipsters in America? Would it be Portland or New York?

Not quite, according to a recent analysis  searched cities across the country for the classic signs of hipster populations, and found a surprising number in middle America.

The definition of hipster is admittedly squishy — this is not a group easily forced into stereotypes –but they are generally thought to share some characteristics. They have an “effortless nonchalance,” according to FindTheHome. Their preferences cross societal lines, blending cheap beer and organic food, wordly cynicism and an aspirational idealism, recycled furniture and ultra-cool clothes.

Those are tough characteristics to measure, so FindTheHome took an easier route and looked at four attributes that it thinks hipster cities have in common:

  • Young people. Hipsters can be any age, of course, but they’re more likely to be between 20-34.
  • Education. A high percentage have a bachelor’s degree.
  • Cafes. Where else would you debate the best method for brewing pour-over coffee?
  • Yoga studios.

Here they are in reverse order:

18. West Des Moines, Iowa

17. Iowa City, Iowa

16. San Francisco, California

15. Ann Arbor, Michigan

14. Seattle, Washington

13. Bloomington, Indiana

12. Provo, Utah

11. Berkeley, California

10. Davis, California

9. Santa Monica, California

8. Auburn, Alabama

7. Arlington, Virginia

6. Somerville, Massachusetts

5. College Station, Texas

4. Cambridge, Massachusetts

3. Boulder, Colorado

2. Ames, Iowa

1. Hoboken, New Jersey

 

For the best in hipster auto insurance call AmeriAgency at 615-209-9362.

 

 

 

Stop Heat-Related Illnesses

pexels-photoExtreme heat can be fatal in Tennessee. Already this year, 29 children have died in our country from being left in hot cars, and hundreds of adults die each year from heat stroke or other conditions that are made worse by the high temperatures. As unusually high temperatures become more common, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms of heat-related illness, and how to prevent them from happening.

What are Heat-Related Illnesses?

Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are conditions that happen when your internal body temperature gets too high. When your body’s cooling system cannot keep up, your internal temperature rises beyond what is safe. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are caused by prolonged exposure to hot weather and/or overexerting yourself (i.e. playing tennis or working outside) on a hot day.

Symptoms of Heat-Related Illness:

According to the Mayo Clinic, signs of heat stroke or heat exhaustion may include confusion, dizziness, agitation, skin that is hot to the touch, nausea, vomiting, rapid breathing, headache and an elevated heart rate.

Heat Exhaustion VS Heat Stroke:

Heat exhaustion is a precursor to heat stroke, which develops if the heat exhaustion is not recognized and treated. If you’re suffering from heat exhaustion, you will probably start to think “I’m feeling overheated.” You may begin to sweat excessively and feel sick. Your heart rate may increase and you might have a headache and feel desperately thirsty. When your body completely loses its ability to bring your body temperature down, you have crossed the line to heat stroke. You will probably have many of the same symptoms, plus mental confusion, muscle cramping, seizures or fainting.

At-Risk Populations:

Babies, adults ages 65 and older, and those with chronic health conditions are at greater risk of getting sick from the heat. In these groups, the body’s cooling system may be underdeveloped or compromised due to age or illness. It’s imperative that these populations follow recommendations for heat safety, especially in the summer months.

Prevention:

To reduce your risk of heat related illness, minimize your time in the sun or outdoors, especially on days when the heat index is 90 or above. Wear loose clothing and drink plenty of water, and always use sunscreen. Try to avoid vigorous activity during the hottest hours of the day. Finally, never leave a child in a hot car, even for a minute.

Treatment:

If you recognize the signs of heat exhaustion in yourself or somebody else, get out of the heat and drink some water. Remove tight clothing and lie down. Check your temperature. You can also take a cool shower. If your symptoms don’t go away within 30 minutes, or more severe symptoms start to develop, go to the emergency room.

Pets:

Dogs and cats can get heat related illnesses, too. Make sure they have plenty of water and a shady spot to rest in outdoors. Never leave animals in a hot car. If your animal seems distressed and is panting like crazy, get them out of the heat immediately. Try cooling them off with a hose or in the bathtub. If symptoms persist, call your vet right away.

For hot auto insurance rates call AmeriAgency at 615-209-9362.

ARTOBER in Nashville

ARTS. EVERYWHERE.

Artober Nashville is a month-long celebration of the arts in Music City. Artober Nashville celebrations include hundreds of events in visual and performing arts, music, theatre, dance, craft, film, and more. Just take a look at some of the upcoming events during Artober in Nashville. Visit artobernashville.com for more events happening during Artober in Nashville.

 

AmeriAgency Loves the Arts! Hope you enjoy this special event in Nashville!

Let us help you with your insurance needs!

AmeriAgency Inc

615-209-9362

Fall Festivals You Won’t Want to Miss!

fall-autumn-red-season.jpg

MUSICIANS CORNER – SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER

The fall performances of Musicians Corner take place each Saturday in September and October at Centennial Park. This FREE, family-friendly event is open to the public with musical performances from 1:30 to 5pm.

CHEEKWOOD HARVEST – SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER

Celebrate fall during Cheekwood Harvest. Enjoy viewing more than 5,000 chrysanthemums in deep autumn as hues will take center stage in the gorgeous Robertson Ellis Color Garden. Stop by to see the Scarecrows invading their Turner Seasons Garden. Or pick the perfect pumpkin from their patch!

TENNESSEE VOLKSFEST – SEPTEMBER

Enjoy the tradition and tastes of Munich, Germany in the heart of Nashville. The Tennessee Volksfest features German food, beer, automobiles, a family fun zone, live music, and more. The festivities take place in East Nashville at East Park. Also, the event is FREE and open to the public so there is no excuse on why you can’t go!

TENNESSEE CRAFT FAIR – SEPTEMBER

Hundreds of Tennessee Craft artists showcase their handmade treasures on the lawn of Centennial Park this fall for thousands of guests looking for that one-of-a-kind piece.

Call us for your insurance needs!

AmeriAgency Inc

615-209-9362

Insurance Rates and the Law of Large Numbers: Making Sense of the Math

The law of large numbers is a statistical concept that relates to probability. It is one of the factors insurance companies use to determine their rates.

The Law of Large Numbers Defined

There are several ways to explain the law of large numbers. Unfortunately, they are all rather convoluted and confusing. Basically, the law of large numbers means that the larger the number of units that are individually exposed to an event, the greater the likelihood that the actual results of that exposure will equal the expected results.

In Layman’s Terms

The Law of Large Numbers Defined using eggs as an exampleLet’s try to understand the law of large numbers from a different angle, using eggs as an example. Say that for every three-dozen eggs sold by a grocer, an average of one of those eggs is cracked. Therefore, we expect that every time we buy three-dozen eggs, it is likely (though not guaranteed) we will find one cracked one. The more eggs we buy, the more likely this is. If we buy 12-dozen eggs, the likelihood that one for every three-dozen will be cracked increases. If we buy 18-dozen eggs, the likelihood that one for every three-dozen will be cracked increases even more. The more eggs we deal with, the more likely we are to find that one out of every three-dozen is cracked!

How the Law of Large Numbers Relates to Insurance

Insurance companies use the law of large numbers to lessen their own risk of loss by pooling a large enough number of people together in an insured group. The size of the pool corresponds to the predictability of the losses, just like the more eggs we deal with, the more likely we are to know how many will be cracked.

For example, an auto insurance company may record and study the number of accidents caused by a very large population of 18-year-old males. They will be able to predict how many 18-year-old males will cause an accident in a given year. They will know that in a given year there is a high probability that X number of 18-year-old males will cause an accident. Knowing this, they partially can determine how much an 18-year-old male should pay for auto insurance (excluding other factors, such as the type of vehicle, region where the driver resides, etc.) This is how the law of large numbers helps insurance providers determine their rates, and why the rates vary from one type of individual to another.

Call or click to start saving on auto insurance – AmeriAgency  615-209-9362.

Insurance We Don’t Think of as Insurance

Most of us in Tennessee have insurance for our homescars or businesses. We know life insurance is part of any good financial plan and health insurance can protect us from catastrophic medical bills. But there are a few other programs that we come in contact with – we don’t usually think of these programs as insurance, but they are.

Social Security

Social Security is a form of social insurance that began when Franklin D. Roosevelt was president. Its purpose was to improve poverty rates among senior citizens, which, during the Great Depression of the 1930s, exceeded 50 percent. Today, Social Security benefits people of all ages. In 2010, it functioned to lift over 20 million people out of poverty. Those people included: over 1 million children; over 5 million non-elderly adults; over 13 million adults over the age of 65. In that year, the poverty rate among senior citizens decreased from 44 percent to a mere 9 percent. If you haven’t already benefitted from Social Security, chances are you will when you reach age 65.

Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ Compensation is another form of social insurance that serves to protect working people from losing money due to injuries sustained on the job, which may cause them to have to miss work, sometimes for lengthy periods. If a construction worker, who relies on his job to feed his family, gets hurt while building a house, workers’ compensation keeps his wages coming and covers his medical expenses, so neither he nor his loved ones will suffer unduly. In 2010, workers’ compensation helped 128,000 people stay out of poverty.

Unemployment Compensation

Unemployment compensation insurance works to assist those who have lost their jobs and are actively seeking new employment. This form of social insurance makes a big difference in the lives of those who have been unexpectedly laid off, often due to the fact that many corporations are scaling down in order to cut costs. Unemployment insurance makes it possible for those who have lost their jobs to continue to eat, pay rent, and cover other living expenses while trying to get back into the workforce. You may be a stellar employee who does everything right, but if your employer can no longer afford to pay your salary and you are let go, it can be comforting to know you’ll still have some money coming in until you land a new position elsewhere.

For more information, call AmeriAgency today at 615-209-9362.

Umbrella Insurance for Tennessee Residents – Added Protection When You Need It

Interested in learning more about umbrella insurance?

girl-person-human-childSometimes, what appears to be an impenetrably solid roof above your head actually has little openings through which the rain can leak. The same is true of some car insurance and homeowner’s insurance policies; they can appear to provide sufficient coverage, but, in the event of an accident of some sort, you may find yourself drowning in debt. To avoid getting soaked by surprising expenses, use an umbrella; umbrella insurance, that is.

What is Umbrella Insurance?

Umbrella insurance is a term for insurance that sits “over the top” of your auto and homeowner’s insurance policies. It supplements your existing policies and provides increased protection to your current assets as well as your future income. Unlike pure “excess insurance,” which kicks into gear only after all the underlying insurance policies have been exhausted, umbrella insurance can also fill in any gaps in coverage between other insurance policies.

How Much is Umbrella Insurance Worth?

Most umbrella insurance policies are sold in increments of one million dollars. A one million dollar umbrella insurance policy, coupled with an already-existing auto insurance policy with a $300,000 liability limit, will afford $1,300,000 liability coverage in most auto liability situations.

What Type of Coverage Does Umbrella Insurance Offer?

Umbrella insurance is a liability coverage, which means that if any mishap has been deemed your fault or responsibility, the liability insurance will cover expenses that would otherwise have to come out of your pocket. Umbrella insurance can come in handy in all kinds of situations, including the following:

  • You are found to be at fault in a car accident on a residential street that results in a fire causing $800,000 worth of damage to a home. Your auto insurance policy has a $100,000 liability limit. The umbrella insurance, which you have obtained in a one million dollar increment, would take care of the remaining $700,000.*
  • You host a party at your own home and a guest falls down some crooked stairs. His medical bills amount to $700,000, and you are liable. Since your homeowner’s insurance policy has a liability limit of just $500,000, your umbrella insurance opens up to take care of the extra $200,000. *
  • You’re at fault in a car wreck with a woman whose injuries prevent her from ever returning to work. A jury decides to compensate her with $3 million, all of which is supposed to come from you. Fortunately, you’ve purchased five million dollars worth of umbrella insurance, which means you get to hold on to your paychecks, your home, your car, and all your other assets.

How Much Does Umbrella Insurance Cost?

Think umbrella insurance is an exorbitant form of added security that only the wealthy can afford? Think again. It’s actually quite affordable, costing as little as $150 annually for the first million dollars in coverage.

Call AmeriAgency at 615-209-9362 for an umbrella policy. 

*All umbrella policies have limitations and exclusions. The examples here do not supersede insurance policy language. If you have umbrella insurance, you should check the policy language or check with your insurance agents for any applicable limitations or exclusions.

Contractor Caution: Smart Tips to Avoid Getting Burned

Contractors are people, too. What does that mean? Well, even though they may have licenses and many years of experience in their profession, they are fallible. There are good ones and bad ones. Some are ethical and honest, while others seem to be missing a conscience. Just as you would be careful about choosing a nanny, a personal accountant, or a used car salesman, so should you use caution in selecting a contractor before you begin that home building project, renovation, or repair. Here are some good tips to avoid getting taken for a ride:
  • building-joy-planning-plansDo your research. The Internet is a great place to find consumer reviews of anything and everything, including contractors. Pay attention to what others have said about their experiences with contractors in your area. Usually, if someone takes the time to post a review online, it’s for either a very good or a very bad reason.
  • Before meeting with a contractor, check with the Better Business Bureau to see what his or her track record is like, and if any complaints have been filed.
  • Ask for references. Bear in mind that most contractors already have what they know will be three stellar references in their back pocket. Ask for four or five.
  • Keep in mind that flashy advertising does not a good contractor make. On the contrary, many of the best contractors thrive due to great word of mouth, and don’t even need or bother to advertise. Don’t be fooled by slick marketing.
  • Stay away from contractors who don’t have a local address, is not affiliated with any recognizable trade association, and/or has unverifiable license or insurance information. Make sure your contractor has insurance to cover his or her employees in the event that any of them are injured while on the job at your house.
  • Draw up a contract with clear start and finish dates. Have an attorney look over the contract to make sure it’s solid.
  • Once work begins, you should know exactly how many and what types of supplies, appliances, and fixtures will be purchased for the job.
  • Pay as you go. It’s not uncommon for consumers to pay contractors in stages as the job progresses. And it’s smart to withhold part of the final scheduled payment if there are any loose ends that remain to be tied, or little repairs that need to be made.

If you are hiring a contractor in Tennessee to help rebuild after any sort of natural disaster or accident, and your insurance company is footing some or all of the bill, don’t hesitate to involve your insurance company or agent if you have any questions or concerns. He or she will be a good, trustworthy resource as you navigate the ins and outs of employing a contractor.

Call AmeriAgency now to start saving on your bundled

auto & home insurance at  615-209-9362.