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August Insurance Agency of the Month | Rough Notes Magazine

August Insurance Agency of the Month | Rough Notes Magazine

A Purposeful Life – With Flamingos

We were honored to be recognized by Rough Notes Magazine’s as August’s insurance agency of the month. This is yet another reminder on how blessed we are to live in such a great and caring community!

As mentioned in the write up, with the help of our community, we have raised/given over $120,000 to local charities since 2012! In 2012 Preferred Insurance became a centenarian. We wanted to celebrate in a BIG WAY. We started Quotes for Causes, where we donated $10 for every policy we quoted (no obligation) to local charity. At this time those lovely pink flamingos made their debut as well! 

We are dedicated to providing excellent insurance and top notch customer service all while making a difference in our community! If you would like to help make a difference and save a bundle on your insurance, give us a call today and request a quote! 419-678-2326

Donating $10 to local charity for every policy we quote!

We are so thankful to our clients and our community for supporting our, shall I say “unique”, ideas. Without great clients and a fantastic community none of this would have been possible. THANK YOU!

If you would like a copy for yourself call or stop into the office!
Or read the online version by clicking HERE.

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.

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.

Donating $10 to local charity for every policy we quote!

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.

Donating $10 to local charity for every policy we quote!

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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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. 

    Donating $10 to local charity for every policy we quote!

  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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4 things to know when insuring your teen driver

4 things to know when insuring your teen driver

Are you about to add a teen driver onto your Ohio insurance policy?

Let’s admit it: adding the first teen driver onto our auto insurance policy can be very scary.  Not only are we crossing our fingers that the new insurance premium won’t break the bank, but we are also sending our babies out behind the wheel. Here at Preferred Insurance Center, we want to make this transition as easy and manageable as we can.

Adding teen driver to insurance policy

  1. Did you know most Ohio insurance companies do not require a permitted driver be added onto the policy until they get their driver’s license?  A permit driver is required to have a parent or a legal guardian as co-pilot.  Therefore, most Ohio auto insurance companies do not require them to be added until they get their license.  If you are unsure if your permitted driver is covered, give us a call and we can check for you. 
  2.  Most states require we add our licensed teen drivers onto our auto policy if they are members of our household and/or drive our vehicles on a regular basis.  If they are not added, the company may or may not cover them if they are involved in an accident.
  3. Adding the first teen driver onto our policy can give us the most sticker shock than any other change we make to our policy.  Youthful operators are among the highest-risk drivers out there and companies have more at stake to insure them.  Also, statistics show that boys tend to take more driving risks than girls and are usually slightly more expensive to insure.
  4. Our kids can help by doing their part and keeping their grades up.  All of our companies give a Good Student Discount for any youthful operators who are full-time students that maintain a “B” or better grade point average.  This can be up to a 10% discount (varies from company to company).

Again, we want to make this transition as easy and manageable as we can.  So, once that big day arrives, let us know.  We will reach out to all of our companies to make sure you are in the best fit once that first child is added.  As always we’re here to help.

Give us a call to learn more about adding a youthful driver or any other questions you may have, 419-678-2326. Or Click Here to request a quote online!

Sincerely,
Kelly Heitkamp | Service Specialist

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I’ve been hit by an uninsured motorist, now what?! Ohio Insurance

I’ve been hit by an uninsured motorist, now what?! Ohio Insurance

According to the Ohio Insurance Research Council, one in seven motorists in Ohio are operating without Ohio auto insurance. ONE IN SEVEN! That is 14%! After hearing this staggering statistic, I shouldn’t be surprised that I was a victim to one of these drivers.

Ohio Insurance - Uninsured Motorist

At the scene, the other driver was able to offer an insurance ID card to the police officer, but the driver did not own the vehicle. She was borrowing a family member’s car who allowed their policy to lapse due to non­-pay so neither Ohio auto insurance was going to cover the claim. Of course, I did not find this out until 5 days after the accident and freaked out. “Am I covered?!” “The accident wasn’t my fault!!” “Why should I have to pay out of pocket for an accident I didn’t cause?!” All of these thoughts were running through my head but thanks to my Progressive adjuster, I was informed I had the correct, optional, coverage to take care of this loss.

"If I had not had this optional coverage on my policy, I would have been out almost $6,000 and a car."

Phew! I was still pretty upset I was going to be subject to my collision deductible, $250, but they would cover my bodily injury, medical bills, pain and suffering AND lost wages. I had a totaled vehicle, doctors visits for a neck injury and was unable to work for 14 days, all these bills were covered, less my $250, which Progressive fought to get back to me for two years. I was never reimbursed the $250 I paid out of pocket but this is not always the case. Your company will fight for you!

Uninsured and under-insured motorist coverage is optional in Ohio but after knowing that 14% of drivers are driving without insurance, I would not suggest a policy without this coverage. If I had not had this optional coverage on my policy, I would have been out almost $6,000 and a car. I would gladly pay $250 to have those items covered all over again!

Give us a call to learn more about uninsured and under-insured motorist coverage! Be proactive and get coverage todayClick Here to get a quote!

Yours truly,
Andrea AbouJaoude | Service Specialist

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Ohio Auto Insurance

Ohio Auto Insurance


OHIO AUTO
INSURANCE

Preferred Insurance Center is Your Ohio Auto Insurance Specialist

We have contracted with a lot of great companies so we can do your shopping for you. Some are national, like Safeco, Travelers and Progressive, and some are more regional like Westfield, Donegal and Auto-Owners.  The great thing is we usually can just gather your information once. In return give you Ohio auto insurance quotes from 6 to 8 different companies.


We’re a small agency in a small town and we treat you like a neighbor. We do more than just sell you a policy, we make a difference.

  • We care enough to cover you right, and we have the companies and resources to do it at a fantastic price.
  • Donating $10 to charity every time we give a quote, whether you buy or not.
  • Have raised over $100,000 for charity.
  • Our owner’s cell phone numbers are on the claims page.  That’s 24/7 service.

Minimum Ohio Auto Insurance At Minimum Rates, Really Safe?

Fill out my online form.

Why minimum coverage may not be enough >

Geico: “Save 15% or more in just 15 minutes.”

Esurance: “15 minutes for a quote is crazy. With Esurance, 7-and-a-half minutes could save you on car insurance. Welcome to the modern world.”

SafeAuto: “Minimum coverage at minimum price”

auto accident ambulance fire trucksImagine you are in a serious accident.  Ambulances and sirens everywhere.  People are hurt bad…and the lawyers will be calling.  All that separates you from losing your home, your savings, your retirement, and even your future paychecks, is your Ohio auto insurance.

  • Do you really want to trust your financial future to 7 minutes on the phone with a nameless sales person who can only give you rates from one company?
  • Do you really think that Ohio state minimum auto insurance requirements will be enough?

August Insurance Agency of the Month | Rough Notes Magazine

A Purposeful Life - With Flamingos We were honored to be recognized by Rough Notes Magazine's as August's insurance agency of the month. This is yet another reminder on how blessed we are to live in such a great and caring community! As mentioned in the...

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...

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...

Renting A Car – Should I Buy The Damage Waiver? Ohio Auto Insurance

So you're going on vacation and renting a car.  The rental car company offers you the "damage waiver" for an additional charge.  Do you need it? I wish I could just answer yes or no, but it really isn't that simple. First of all, we are assuming you are in the United...

Renting A Car – Should I Buy The Damage Waiver? Ohio Auto Insurance

Renting A Car – Should I Buy The Damage Waiver? Ohio Auto Insurance

vacation-726732_640, Ohio Auto Insurance

So you’re going on vacation and renting a car.  The rental car company offers you the “damage waiver” for an additional charge.  Do you need it?

I wish I could just answer yes or no, but it really isn’t that simple.

First of all, we are assuming you are in the United States or Canada.  If you are not in one of those two places, we STRONGLY recommend not renting the car at all because your insurance probably doesn’t cover you at all.  It could if you have a personal umbrella, but even that is not a sure thing.

If you have comprehensive and collision coverage on at least one vehicle on your personal auto policy, we will cover a normal, short-term car that you rent just as if it was your own car.  So if you have a $1,000 deductible on your collision, and you wreck your rental car, we will fix the car and you will have a $1,000 deductible to pay.

So what’s the problem?

There are some things a rental car company may want you to pay, that your insurance wouldn’t pay because the charges wouldn’t apply to a vehicle you own.

  1. Loss of Rents – This means the rental company could have rented the car for $30 a day, but it was disabled for 10 days till they fixed it.  They may charge you $300 for the rent they could have collected.  Now before you just pay the bill, ask them to prove that all their cars of that size category were all rented during that time period.  If they had cars available to rent, then you don’t owe them for the loss of rents, because they didn’t actually lose any rents.
  2. Diminution of Value – This means when they resell the car you rented they will get less for it because it was wrecked.  This you will probably owe for, and it could be substantial.  If they could have resold the car for $18,000 but now they can only sell it for $14,000 they can charge you for the $4,000.  Ouch!
  3. Administrative Fees – The rental car company had to pay an employee to organize getting the car fixed etc.

So what is the bottom line?  I would buy the collision waiver most of the time.  Just pay a little more, and enjoy your vacation!

Get an Ohio Auto Insurance Quote from the people that are making a difference right now!