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What’s that Umbrella Policy all about?

What’s that Umbrella Policy all about?

If you have completed an account review with one of our customer service agents, you have probably heard us ask you about umbrella policies. If this is the first time you’re hearing the term, allow me to explain. An umbrella policy is one that provides additional coverage above and beyond your auto and home liability coverage’s. Oh I’m sorry, that was all mumbo jumbo?! Of course it was! How about some of these examples of times an umbrella policy would come into play.

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We usually ask our clients, if they were involved in a terrible accident and people were suing them, how large of a lawsuit they would want covered. This catches some off guard or we will get the response: “I don’t have that much so they wouldn’t get a lot.” Unfortunately, judgement aren’t only based on what you have in this sue crazy society we have become. Some people don’t settle for the limits of an insurance policy.

As we all know, accidents happen. Sometimes, we have no control over them and others were do to maybe a little negligence. What if you were in an unfamiliar area and accidentally ran a stop sign and collide with another vehicle. Depending on the speed, their airbags could deploy, or God forbid, someone could be killed. You carry $100 thousand in liability coverage. Would you think that the family of the other vehicles family would settle for $100 thousand for their loss? Or would $100 thousand cover several surgeries if a passenger was terribly injured? An umbrella policy could help in this situation.

What about at home? An unfortunate example was given to us from one of our carriers. A woman with two dogs had her friend and her friend’s daughter over to the home, as she had many times before, for a visit. During that time, the daughter fell into one of the dog’s beds and the dog bit her face causing some significant damage, which then needed several surgeries. The homeowner’s policy paid to the liability limits of $300 thousand but that was not enough to cover the cost of her recovery. The homeowner was still liable and lost most of her personal assets and now is in severe debt. An umbrella policy could help here as well.

The beautiful thing about the umbrella policy is the price versus the coverage. An umbrella policy starts at $1 million in coverage for, sometimes, less than $250. That is likely less than visiting with an attorney for an hour to find out that somebody has submitted a claim against you. If we’ve ever peaked your interest about the umbrella policies, just give us a call to quote one for you!

John Maxwell: Weeks Seven and Eight

John Maxwell: Weeks Seven and Eight

We have a lot to cover in the past few sessions! In this summary, we will be going through the four chapters we went over in weeks seven and eight. They actually flow into each other pretty smooth which makes implementing them a little easier to practice. We will be going over laws 13-16, the laws of Picture, Buy-In, Victory and Big Mo.

The Law of the Picture, started by taking a look at the HBO series A Band of Brothers. In the real life version, a company in the army was preparing for the invasion of Normandy and had a terrible leader who would berate the troops to the point of them taking bets on who would be the first person to shoot him in the battle. He was luckily replaced but it wasn’t until Dick Winters stepped up as lead in command that the company was successful. He was a true leader and embodied The Law of the Picture because he led by example and was always out front encouraging his men. He was able to get a following because his men respected him and would do as he told them out of that respect. The amazing thing about Dick Winters was how selfishly he went about it. The Law of the Picture is all getting people to follow you but they have to trust the motivation and respect the leader in order for that to happen.

The Law of Buy-In shows what happens when a leader is able to get the people to follow, or buy-in, to what they are trying to get across. The example we read about was Gandhi and followed his story of how he was able to get a large amount of the Indian population to buy-in to getting their independence from the British. He led by example and by getting the people to buy-in, they were able to be more effective because they were all “fighting” the same way. He was a huge believer in using non-violence against the oppression they were seeing and that idea has lasted generations. The quote that stood out to me in this chapter that really explained The Law of Buy-In was: “The leader finds the dream and then the people. The people find the leader and then the dream. A leader is going to follow their dream no matter what, but a great leader will be able to get people to help them achieve that dream.”

The Law of Victory began with the quote “leaders find a way for the team to win” but what they failed to mention was NO MATTER WHAT! I first thought that the chapter would be about great coaches of sports teams that have gained a lot of success. I was mistaken. We were taken back to Great Britain in the 1930s and 40s and introduced to their leader, Winston Churchill. We have all learned about WWII and all the leaders that were involved, but I was never given the pleasure to actually hear Winston Churchill speak until Dave was kind enough to play us a sample of one of his powerful speeches. The words from that speech that really rang true were, “What is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory – victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.” We have all felt victory and defeat at some point or another but I don’t remember the last time I was inspired by a victory that Winston Churchill portrayed. Living The Law of Victory means doing whatever it takes to bring your team the success they deserve and are going to help achieve.

The Law of Big Mo, or Momentum, has really come alive for us here at Preferred lately. We have laid out ourplans as a team and in starting to reach for them have found that momentum is really starting to take over. “Momentum is like a magnifying glass; it makes things look larger than they really are,” which can sound a little alarming but momentum is actually easier to steer than to start. We are really lucky here to have partners that are willing to listen to all of our hopes and dreams and allow us the opportunity to reach for them. We were also given the example of Pixar films and the person who made the first film was with Disney previously but was not given any chances. After a tough 20 years, and the success of Toy Story, momentum started to take over and the rest, as they say, is history. Understanding momentum and how it works has enabled us to start using it to our advantage and steer towards the success that we are all striving for together!

In the next review, we will be looking at the next two laws, The Law of Priorities, and The Law of Sacrifice.

How to Respond in the Event of an Auto Claim

How to Respond in the Event of an Auto Claim

How to Respond in the Event of an Auto Claim

Andrea AbouJaoude 

We here at Preferred Insurance Center get calls frequently about being involved in an auto accident. Sometimes they come in the same day or shortly after the accident occurs, and other times the calls are a few days later. Whether it is a collision involving multiple parties or something as small as a chip in the glass, these calls are not exciting for anyone involved but here are a few tips to make the claim go as smooth as possible.

  1. The first thing to do in the case of an accident is to make sure you remain safe. If you are in traffic, try to get on the side of the road. If there are injuries involved, call 911 right away! If involved in any type of collision, especially with another vehicle, you should call the police. This is going to save you a possible headache in the future if another party is involved. Once the police are called and respond, make sure to get the information from the other party. If you are uncomfortable talking to the other person, the police will gather the name, phone number, address and insurance company from the other driver and trade them with your information. This allows the insurance companies to have everything they need and not have to wait on a police report to be generated to get the information later.
  2. Call your insurance agent, aka: US! When you call us, we check your policy for proper coverage, and take down essential details that the insurance companies consistently ask so we can turn them in for you. You should hear from a company adjuster within 24-48 hours.  If you have waited this time and still have not heard anything, call us and we’ll follow up! We are always here to help!
  3. Determine the damage and take pictures. If the car needs to be towed, make sure it gets to a safe location, usually wherever you decide to have repairs done. If your vehicle is drivable, we usually suggest getting an estimate from the repair/body shop of your choosing.  Many repair/body shops in the area have our contact info and can forward the estimate right to us.  We’ll take it from there to make sure it gets to the company!   

We never like to hear that our insureds have been involved in an accident just as much as you would not like to be involved in one. We do our best to make sure the claim is handled correctly and efficiently to get you whole as soon as possible. We all hope we never have to get your claim phone call but are always ready to assist in ANY way we can in the event of one!

Why We Claim to be Preferred

Why We Claim to be Preferred

Why We Claim  to be Preferred

Andrea AbouJaoude December 14, 2016

One situation that agents and insureds alike are never excited about is when we have to submit a claim. Usually that means that something “bad” has taken place and now the insurance policy is going to come into play (up until now it was just a written contract; this is where we deliver that promise!)  It can sometimes be scary and maybe even a little upsetting. If you are going to use your insurance policy and deal with adjusters and appraisers (as you will have to do), you are not alone through this process! Let me take you through our claims process and show you why we receive 4.8 out of 5 stars on handling claims which is why we claim to be Preferred.

Our service team here at Preferred Insurance consists of myself, Kathy Riethman, and Kelly Heitkamp. We are your first contacts here and will usually be the ones you talk to regarding your claim. When one is reported to us, whomever it is reported to will be your main contact during the claim for a more personalized experience. If they aren’t available when you call, there are two others with the same knowledge who are always ready to assist you with questions and concerns regarding your claim. Now that the claim has been reported to us, it’s time to get to work.

After we have the details of the claim, we report it directly to your company using everything you’ve told us. We ask general questions up front to make sure the adjuster will have as much information available to them to speed up the process. Once an adjuster has been assigned, we send you an email containing your claim number, the adjuster’s name and contact information, and general notes about the claim (or we’ll call you with this info, if you prefer.) It also lists your Preferred agent so you know who to ask for if you call the office. This usually comes the same day as turning in the claim or within the first 24 hours. We are here to help you through this process! If at any time you have a question or a concern on your claim, or things just don’t seem to be going as as well as you think they should, please give us a call right away.

Now that you have your adjuster information, he/she will contact you to get your description of events and, if need be, an appraiser will come inspect the damages.  No matter what, you will hear from us regularly during your claim. We have processes in place to follow up with you on a regular basis so we ensure you are satisfied with the way the claim is proceeding. If at ANY time you are not, we will do all that we can to make it right. You are not alone in this process!

This is just another mechanism in our daily operations that I have seen only at Preferred Insurance Center. We understand that claims are the least exciting thing about insurance.  We do our best to make sure you are satisfied which really allows us to continue claiming to be Preferred!

Stay tuned on how to respond if you are ever involved in a claim situation.

Holiday Traveling Safety Tips

Holiday Traveling Safety Tips

According to the Dayton Daily News, about 4 million Ohioans and 103 million Americans will be traveling over 50 miles this Christmas weekend and many of them will be driving. Traffic is set to increase around 37% this Christmas, which is the highest rise since 2001 when AAA started tracking holiday travel. This staggering statistic shouldn’t be too surprising as young people are moving farther away from home. Since we would all like to be spending time with our families over this Christmas holiday, here are a few things we can all do to keep each other safe out there.

One of the major distractions on the rise has been texting while driving. Checking or reading a text message takes your eyes off the road for an average of five seconds. How far can you travel at 65 mph in five seconds? Almost one tenth of a mile! A lot can happen in that short time frame. We are sure you’ve heard it many times, but the text, call or post can wait until you arrive safely at your destination. Nothing is more important behind the wheel than your safety and the safety of your fellow motorists sharing the road with you. Wait to reply to that text or call until you are off the road and safely stopped. Some other examples of distracted driving to avoid would be eating or drinking while driving and trying to play around with the music selections when your attention should remain on the roadway.

Drinking and driving is another predicament people find themselves in this time of year. I personally come from a long line of Irish Catholics who refuse to celebrate without a little alcohol present. We may all have a good time at the party, but we always designate a sober driver to get us safely home at the end of the night. If you are going to be celebrating your holidays with a little “eggnog” make sure to have a plan to get home at the end of the night.

The weather can be a deterrent for travel this time of year as well. It wasn’t 10 days ago that we had some surrounding counties under weather advisories and not allowed on the road ways. Make sure to check the weather conditions before traveling and be sure to pack extra blankets, water and flashlights in case you find yourself in need of a tow because of icy roadways. Also, if the weather looks like it might be become a little inclimate, make sure to give yourself enough extra time to get to your destination safely! If you are going to try to get up early to leave or stay a little late to try to avoid traffic, make sure you are well rested! Drowsiness is another leading cause of accidents across the United States when we find ourselves in a hurry from time to time.

With all of the extra people on the road during this holiday season (which is looking to be unseasonably warm) remember to try your best to stay calm. Yes, someone may cut over in traffic causing an extra delay, or maybe going a little slower than you may like, but instead of letting your anger get the best of you, remember how much fun you are going to have with your loved ones instead! So remember, keep your cell phone away until you arrive, designate your own sober transport and keep those hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. From all of us here at Preferred Insurance Center, we wish you a safe and Merry Christmas season and a wonderful 2017!

What is MedPay Coverage on your Ohio Insurance Policies?

What is MedPay Coverage on your Ohio Insurance Policies?

There is a coverage on both Ohio Home and Auto insurance policies that might go a little unnoticed of course until it’s necessary.

That coverage is known as Medical Payments. The way that the Cincinnati Insurance Board defines the purpose of Medical Payments Coverage (on an auto policy) is: to pay for relatively small amounts (such as $2,500 or $5,000) of medical expenses, regardless of any fault on the part of an insured. It also provides payment for medical expenses on behalf of the policyholder and resident family members that may have suffered injuries stemming from an accident.

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On a Homeowners policy

This coverage is more of a “good faith” coverage. Medical Payments would be paid out for a situation where you may not necessarily done anything wrong or in insurance terms, negligent, but you feel responsible for your visitor’s injury. Unlike the auto medical payments, they are not payable to the homeowner as you can not be held responsible to yourself in regards to homeowners insurance. An example of this, that actually happened, was an insured’s daughter was visiting, got up in the middle of the night to use the restroom and in the process tripped over their cat and fell resulting in a trip to the hospital. The homeowner in this case did not do anything to cause the fall, but her insurance stepped in and paid $1,000 which were the limits of her medical payments coverage. Another strange situation was a man helping a friend put up a roof and shot a nail through his own foot. He was on the homeowner’s property but the homeowner did nothing wrong. The homeowner offered the coverage right away even though there were no resulting payments made, it showed his concern, or “good faith,” for the man that was injured.med-pay-coverage-ohio-insurance

As far as an auto policy

The fact that these payments can be made to yourself and anyone in or around your vehicle can come in super handy if you are involved in an accident. If you are not at fault, the other party’s insurance will not make any medical payments until you are ready to settle. This can put you in quite a bind if you find you need extensive treatment. Bills usually start coming in before the claim is closed and the fact that you would have to pay out of your pocket could be cause for a lot of stress. Unless of course you approach your insurance carrier for the med pay coverage.

Our advice

Suggested starting point for medical payments coverage is $5,000 which is usually the cost of an emergency room visit. We have also found though that this could be insufficient as we recently had a claimant go to the ER after an accident, was there for five hours and the bill came to $6,500. He is currently thinking of increasing this coverage. The good news is that when the med pay runs out, your health insurance will then kick in. This is another one of those optional coverage’s that we always suggest keeping as it is inexpensive and could make a world of difference if needed.

We would love to talk to you more about med pay coverage’s! Give us a call today, 419-678-2326. Or Click Here to request a quote online!

Yours truly,
Andrea AbouJaoude | Service Specialist

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Difference in Deductible Amounts 101 – Ohio Insurance

Difference in Deductible Amounts 101 – Ohio Insurance

We are often asked here at Preferred Insurance Center about the difference in Ohio insurance deductibles and are asked how to choose. The best way to explain a deductible has been asking our insured how much of the damage they would be willing to “absorb.” When we ask this, we are asking how much you would be willing to pay out of your pocket regarding repairs.

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On a home insurance policy:

Our options don’t start very low. Most of our companies are not offering a deductible lower than $1000. The companies have found that they are not covering so many of the smaller claims which allows their rates to remain pretty stable. The higher the deductible, the lower your premium.  

Ohio insurance deductibles - Ohio Insurance

As for the auto policy:

There are two different deductibles to consider. The collision deductible would cover moving accidents that you cause and would repair your vehicle. These deductibles start as low as $100 and go as high for some companies to $5000. Again, the question remains of how much you would absorb. The higher the deductible, the lower the premium but that might not be practical with auto. If you are in an at-fault-accident and had to repair your vehicle but repairs only came to $500, is that something you would expect insurance to repair? If so, then a lower deductible would be a good idea. Most of our clients have deductibles around $500 as they would turn in a claim over that amount. Again, these are for at-fault-accidents. If the other party is at fault, their company would handle the repairs and your deductible would not apply.

The other deductible on an auto policy is the comprehensive or other than collision deductible. This coverage is for, surprise, anything other than collision! What are some comprehensive coverage’s you may ask? Some examples include, fire, wind, tree branches, glass claims and deer. You may have also heard some of these referred to as “acts of God.” They are considered things that you have no control over. These deductibles can start as low as $0 for some of our companies and increase again with some companies to $5000. When asked about this deductible, we usually suggest that they remain fairly low. If you have a windshield that cracked for example, a windshield for most vehicles are not more than $250-300 and having a $500 comprehensive deductible would not help in this case. On the other hand, damage from deer, fire and tree branches can cause quite significant damage where a $500 deductible wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

If there is a loan on a vehicle that you own, your bank will likely require that you carry both comprehensive and collision deductibles that are not over $1000 to satisfy the loan. We like to remind people of that when they are thinking of purchasing a new vehicle.

The choice is yours!

Ultimately, the choice is yours when it comes to deductibles but this information should help you to make an informed decision. We also bring them up during our account review as a way to decrease the premium for the renewal term. We are more than happy to assist you with deductible questions on your current home or auto policies so don’t hesitate to ask!

Yours truly,
Andrea AbouJaoude | Service Specialist

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Are you covered under your roommate’s Renters Policy?

Are you covered under your roommate’s Renters Policy?

3 Things you should know about renters insurance! Ohio Insurance.

These days, young people are waiting longer to get married and in an effort to get out of mom and dad’s while still saving money, move into a house or apartment with a roommate or few people. This is a great idea, but don’t be naive and forget about all of your belongings. Here are few things you need to know about Ohio renters insurance!

Ohio renters insurance - Ohio Insurance

  1. If you are still a full-time student away at school, you and your belongings would still be covered on your parent’s homeowners policy. A percentage of their coverage would extend to you in the event of a loss. This includes living in the dorms or student housing, and off campus apartment or housing. Your roommate’s belongings would not be covered in the event of a loss. If you are no longer in school, to cover your belongings would need an Ohio renters policy.

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  2. If your roommate has a renters policy and there is a covered loss, the only way your belongings would be covered is if you are related or married. If you are not related or married, the company covering the loss would deny any coverage to your belongings because you are not related.  This allows renters policy premiums to remain low and deter any conflict arising from a loss.
  3. If you plan on moving out on your own but still need to rent for a while, don’t hesitate adding a renters policy to cover you and your belongings. Moving in with a roommate or multiple people? Encourage them to do the same for all the unknowns as we’d hate to have their belongings uncovered in the event of a loss!Give us a call to learn more about renters insurance! Or Click Here to get an Ohio renters quote!Yours truly,Andrea AbouJaoude | Service Specialist

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6 Perks of Picking an Agency for Ohio Insurance

6 Perks of Picking an Agency for Ohio Insurance

To buy Ohio insurance online or from an insurance agency?

Is it easy to find Ohio insurance online? Absolutely. Is it easy to purchase insurance online? Most likely. With these two questions answered, why would you pick an Ohio insurance agency? We understand that insurance can be intimidating, sometimes maybe a little scary, and most of the time you probably don’t think much of your policy at all. That is of course until you need to use it. The 6 perks for picking an agency listed below are only a few of the things we have made standard at Preferred Insurance Center that all benefit you, our client.6-perks-of-insurance-agency-ohio-insurance

  1. Every year we offer what we call an Account Review. We place a phone call when your homeowners or renters policy comes up for renewal and give you the option to answer a few questions, and go over your coverage’s on your policies. Some of the questions include asking about updates or renovations made to your home and going over your auto coverage’s to understand your policy. Filling out this form gets us the most up to date information to properly shop your account for the best rates if you so choose. 

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  2. Flag alerts on large rate increases. These alerts take place when ANY policy takes a larger rate increase than expected. This allows us to get in front of the renewal process giving us more time to possibly find a better company/rate for the next term. Our calls for the account review and rate increases are placed before the renewal comes in the mail to allow us to be the ones to alert you instead of hearing through the mail.
  3. Have a claim? This is usually not a “fun” experience, but we do our best to follow up regularly to make sure your questions and concerns are addressed in a timely fashion. We send an email with your adjuster’s name and contact information so it is available at your fingertips if ever needed. We do our absolute best to keep you happy during what can sometimes be an unnerving experience.
  4. Need to change a vehicle on your policy? We do our best to get you off the phone quickly to get you right back to your day. Need to pay a bill? We can assist you with that as well in a timely manner. Adding a driver? We let you know what you need to get to us so the process is finished as quickly as possible.
  5. One-call Insurance Company. Unlike calling a company which can take several minutes out of your day waiting to get a human on the phone, we are a “one-call company.” We are able to assist with auto, home, life and commercial insurance policies all at the same place making it a huge convenience for you.
  6. One call gets you quotes from 8 great companies! We do the shopping for you! We have several companies available to us which makes finding the best rates easier than it would be for you to check each company individually on your own.

If you have been using the internet to find the best rates for you, I encourage you to give Preferred Insurance Center a shot. Who knows?! We may be able to increase your coverage’s and save you money along the way!  Click Here to get a quote!

Yours truly,
Andrea AbouJaoude | Service Specialist

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Insurance and the Lost Art of Customer Service

Insurance and the Lost Art of Customer Service

“It’s a great day at Preferred Insurance Center, this is Andrea, with whom do I have the pleasure of speaking with?”

This greeting is repeated several times a day by anyone that answers the phone at this office, and we believe it. I will admit, before I started working for Preferred Insurance, I did not know a whole lot about insurance but I did know a lot about customer service, and in my opinion, I have found it to be a lost art. Not here. The customer is our prime focus because we provide a product that you can’t touch.

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Have you been waiting at a register ready to check out and you notice the clerk is wrapped up in a conversation with a coworker, or just not really concerned with you standing there? Just recently I stopped at a gas station for supplies and had an entire transaction without hearing ONE word from the clerk. Not even the amount I owed! I remember walking out disappointed with the service I received, and I am sure many of you have had similar experiences. With technology moving the way it is these days, even calling a service provider (cable, cell phone, or even electricity) to make a change could result in an entire call without speaking to a person. I don’t know about you, but that makes me crazy!

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Now how does customer service come into play here? You are our most important asset! Without you, there is no us. Let’s admit, insurance is not exactly a stimulating conversation starter, I have never been at a dinner table where insurance has been brought up but we are here to help you every step of the way. If you aren’t happy when you are done talking with us then we aren’t doing our job. If you are sick of hearing, “press 0 to speak to a representative,” then might I suggest giving us a call.

It would be our pleasure to assist you! Give us a call today for a fast and easy quote, 419-678-2326. Or Click Here to request a quote online!

Yours truly,
Andrea AbouJaoude | Service Specialist

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