Is it finally time to buy a new car?

Do you ever have car envy? Maybe a shiny new vehicle caught your eye the other day and now you can’t stop thinking about upgrading.

Before you head to the lot and make an impulsive decision, consider whether it’s really time for a new ride. Here’s what to keep in mind:

Think About Safety

A safe car is a valuable investment. New vehicles offer a variety of features to help reduce risks and better protect your family. If you don’t feel safe on the road with your current car, it makes sense to trade up for the benefit of having curtain air bags, backup cameras, blind spot assistance and more.

Consider the Costs

You’ll also need to ask the basic question: How much will it cost? Calculate how much you can comfortably afford to spend on a car payment and don’t forget to include any taxes and interest fees.

You also need to estimate insurance costs. Newer cars are more valuable, which means your premium will likely increase. And remember that the type of car is also a factor. You’ll probably see your rates rise quite a bit if you buy a flashy sports car, but not so much if you choose a traditional family vehicle.

On the other hand, if you’re putting a lot of money into your existing car for repairs and maintenance, it’s costing you more than it should. And are you currently getting great gas mileage, or will buying a more efficient car allow you to save some money at the pump?

The Takeaway

You’ll know it’s time to buy a new car when you’re putting too much money into your old vehicle or you no longer feel safe in it. When it’s more of a “need” than a “want,” it’s probably time to take the plunge.

Need to change your coverage? Have questions about your premium? Reach out to our team anytime, or check out our social media on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


Protect Your Home With an Umbrella Policy

Imagine you’re having a party and someone twists their ankle on your property. This kind of thing happens more than you might think, and while your basic liability insurance may help, unfortunately it may not cover all the resulting costs.

Wouldn’t you rather have peace of mind knowing your assets are protected? If you don’t know much about umbrella insurance yet, now’s the time to learn.

What is umbrella insurance?

Umbrella insurance is a form of liability insurance designed to provide an all-encompassing level of protection. This coverage picks up where other forms of liability insurance leave off.

Could you benefit from umbrella insurance?

If you have a higher-risk home, such as one with a pool, umbrella insurance adds an essential layer of protection. Parents of teenagers (who tend to be riskier drivers), dog owners and anyone with a boat or rental property are also good candidates.

How much does it cost?

Umbrella insurance is available as an add-on to most people who purchase a property insurance product, such as home insurance or business insurance. Because it’s an extension of your existing coverage, it tends to be very affordable — and it’s a small price to pay for the level of protection it can offer to you.

Why do you need it?

You can easily fall victim to a liability lawsuit in today’s world. Even if you don’t have a high-risk home, accidents do happen. If you want to protect your money and property from claims made after an accident or injury, having an affordable umbrella insurance policy makes sense.

Interested in learning more about umbrella insurance? Get in touch today with one of our agents at Vick Insurance Group. You can also reach out to us on our social media Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


Find Peace of Mind (and Lower Premiums)

You’re enjoying yourself at your kid’s soccer game when suddenly it hits you: You left the front door unlocked.

Do you run home immediately and miss the rest of the game, or do you cross your fingers and hope for the best? With new advances in home safety technology, you don’t have to make this choice.

Installing devices like smart locks and sensors can help keep your home safer — and might even reduce your insurance costs. Here’s how:

Smart Locks. No more worrying about forgetting to lock the door. With a tap of your mobile device, you can lock and unlock your home from anywhere. You can also program smart locks to automatically lock whenever you leave your home — reducing the chance of an incident.

Solar Power Integrations. Want to save energy and potentially earn tax credits? Investing in solar-powered security lights or security cameras can help you do just that.

Geofencing. This emerging security technology gives peace of mind by creating a virtual bubble around your home. When you’re out of the security bubble, you’ll default to “away” mode. If there’s movement within the bubble while you’re away, you’ll get a push notification.

Fire and Leak Sensors. Today’s advanced sensors can quickly detect danger and then take action to protect you. For example, in the case of a fire, the sensor can automatically enable a smart thermostat that shuts off air conditioning, slowing the spread of smoke.

Ready for added security in your home? Reach out to our office at Vick Insurance to learn more about your safety options and how they might impact your insurance costs.


Are your high-value items covered?

What do your grandma’s engagement ring, Mickey Mantle’s rookie baseball card and the painting your wealthy uncle bought at a Christie’s auction have in common? They’re all rare and valuable, and that means they need to be insured.

Homeowners and renters insurance cover your personal property. But even if your policy’s overall limit covers everything you own, it might have sublimits that don’t fully cover specific, high-value items.

So what should you do?

Eligible Items

First, determine if you need extra insurance. You might if you own:

  • Precious jewelry
  • Fine art
  • Musical instruments
  • Rare postage stamps and coins
  • Sports memorabilia
  • Fine china and silverware
  • High-end electronics
  • Other antiques and collectibles

Riders and Scheduled Coverage

To make sure your items are fully insured, you can buy additional insurance called a “rider” or “scheduled coverage” to supplement your homeowners or renters policy. What do you get for your extra premium dollars?

Riders for valuable items cover theft and other perils, just like your homeowners or renters policy does. These riders can also cover what’s called “mysterious disappearance,” which is a great thing to have if you’re the forgetful type.

These policies may also provide replacement cost coverage even when your regular policy only provides cash value coverage. Tip: Keep receipts and appraisals in a safe place to prove the cost of any lost, stolen or damaged valuables.

Costs and Benefits 

This additional insurance will probably have a much lower deductible than your underlying policy, but it’s up to you to decide if the extra cost is worth it.

Need some guidance? Reach out anytime to our team at Vick Insurance to make sure you’re not taking on unnecessary risk. You can also check out our social media on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


The Truth About Homeowners Insurance

Ask 10 people what standard homeowners insurance covers and you’ll probably get 10 different answers.

Some people think their policy only covers their physical dwelling, when in fact most property insurance goes further than that. Additional structures, personal belongings and even liability protection might also be included.

Then, there are the myths suggesting that homeowners insurance covers situations, it actually doesn’t.

Let’s set the record straight today:

Myth 1: Wear and Tear Is Covered

Fact: Coverage typically includes damage from fire, weather and theft. It does not cover damage due to general wear and tear or neglect. As a policyholder, it’s up to you to maintain your home. This includes making routine repairs and protecting your home from pests.

Myth 2: You’re Safe in Case of Flood Damage

Fact: Although some weather-related damage is covered, such as from hail, other natural disasters may not be:

  • Floods require specific flood insurance.
  • Earthquakes might be covered, but sometimes they require additional insurance.

Myth 3: All Personal Belongings Are Fully Covered

Fact: Homeowners insurance covers your furniture, clothing and other personal items up to your policy’s stated limits. More valuable items like jewelry and artwork typically require an add-on policy to be fully covered. Routinely inventory your belongings to determine if your limits meet your coverage needs.

Myth 4: You Have Protection Against Any Injuries That Happen at Home 

Fact: Your policy’s liability coverage protects you if a guest is hurt in your home. The same is not true for you. If you or a family member are injured at home, it would be covered by your health insurance rather than your homeowners.

Myth 5: Home Businesses Are Part of the Package

Fact: A home business requires business insurance to cover property damage and liability issues.

Need help understanding the ins and outs of your homeowners policy? Give your local agency a call today. Let’s chat.

Check out some of our other Vick Insurance Group media on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


4 Ways to Cover Your Belongings in a Move

Moving can be one of life’s most stressful events. It’s tiring and time-consuming to box up all your belongings, and that’s before you even start worrying about how to transport everything safely.

Speaking of that, do you know if your insurance covers your property while it’s in transit? And does your policy immediately kick in once you arrive in your new home?

Here’s what to know before you move:

1. Understand Your Coverage Limits

We see it all the time. Policyholders assume their current homeowners or renters insurance policy covers them during a move. In reality, these policies typically apply at a residence or storage unit but they usually aren’t designed to protect personal property while the items are being packed or physically moved.

2. Find Out About Additional Protections

Say your moving truck gets into a wreck and jostles all your delicate furniture around. If you have trip transit insurance or special perils coverage, you should be covered. These even kick in if anything gets stolen or disappears.

You can also ask your moving company about full value protection. This plan holds movers responsible for the replacement value of anything you’re shipping with them.

3. Don’t Assume Moving Everything Yourself Is Safer

If you’re driving your own vehicle, know that you assume all responsibility. To stay on the safe side, look into truck rental companies that offer additional coverage.

4. Know When to Adjust Your Policy

What’s the most important thing to do before you move? Check in to go over your coverage. We can time the transfer or cancellation of your policy to make sure there are no gaps in coverage during your relocation.

Whether you’re packing up this summer or staying put for a while, reach out anytime to make sure you have the right homeowners coverage at the right price.

Make sure to visit Vick Insurance Group on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


Sometimes Standard Coverage Isn’t Enough

Are you driving around with more risk than you realize? 

You’re probably thinking, “Well of course I have basic car insurance. Isn’t that enough?” Depending on your situation, it might not be. 

No matter what, it’s crucial to evaluate your coverage regularly to make sure you and your vehicle are adequately protected. And checking it is particularly important under these special circumstances:

Teen Drivers – These may be two of the scariest words in the English language, especially if you’re the parent of one. New drivers are more likely to make mistakes, so before you put your teenager behind the wheel, check in to make sure they’re adequately covered.

Collector Cars – They’re an adventure on wheels and important to protect, as damaged or stolen antique cars can cost a fortune to fix or replace. Whether you’re a restoration hobbyist or driving enthusiast, you’ll rest easier knowing your classic cars are protected down to the last rare part.

Sports Cars – Fun to drive, not fun to replace. The powerful engines may bring out your inner speed demon and usually require more coverage than a basic auto policy can offer.

Rental Cars – Do you really want to be on the hook for a car that isn’t yours? Even if you’re going a short distance, a little extra coverage could go a long way.

Accidents happen, but specialty coverage can provide the extra protection you need (not to mention peace of mind). 

Ready to re-evaluate your current coverage? Reach out to Vick Insurance Group today at www.vickinsurancegroup.com.


Is It a Big Mistake to File a Small Claim?

You know that sinking feeling you get when something goes wrong with your house? 

Whether it’s a stolen bike or a burst pipe, your first reaction may be to call us to file a claim. In reality, filing a claim “just to be on the safe side” could cost you — in more ways than one. 

But won’t your insurance just deny claims that are too small? Not necessarily. Find out how to decide which claims to file and which to pay for out of pocket:

Should you file a claim?

It depends. 

Some types of events, think fire or theft, are too serious and expensive to tackle on your own. Anything causing significant damage that would be impossible to pay for, even with your emergency fund, is probably a good claim candidate. 

What if…?

Here are a few common scenarios and how you might want to deal with them:

You recently filed a claim. Think long and hard before submitting another. Most underwriters assume one claim every 10 years is average. Filing more could be cause for a rate increase.     

The claim is related to home maintenance. Nope — upkeep falls squarely on you. If it’s revealed that you’ve let your maintenance schedule lapse on things like plumbing or HVAC systems, your homeowners policy could even be canceled.

The cost to repair the damage is well over your deductible. Yes, report away. Say a tornado takes out the whole back half of your house. In this case, filing a claim is the only way to make your home liveable again. 

When it comes down to it, you have homeowners insurance for a reason. If you need it, use it. 

Just be smart about when you do and you could save yourself a lot of stress and a good chunk of money.

Have questions about whether or not to file a claim? Reach out anytime to our available staff at Vick Insurance Group. Don’t hesitate to contact us at 731-584-2554.


4 Ways to Protect Your House from Water Damage

Every home is vulnerable to leaks and flooding, and dealing with water damage can be expensive and annoying. The good news is there are several easy ways to prevent problems.

Take a look at these maintenance tips to help keep your house dry and your foundation strong.

1. Clean your gutters. To do their duty, gutters must be free of leaves, nests and other debris. Be sure to clear your gutters out on a regular basis or they may send water directly to the sides and foundation of your house instead of carrying it safely away.

2. Watch for signs of a leak. Identifying and repairing potential water leaks can help you steer clear of mold and termites, so pay attention to any upticks in your water bill and listen for dripping sounds. Also look for physical signs of trouble, like dark spots around your pipes or ceiling stains.

For extra peace of mind, consider investing in a smart water leak sensor that will detect hidden leaks and alert you when there’s an issue.

3. Avoid chemical drain cleaners. Harsh chemicals can erode your pipes to the point of puncture, so do yourself a favor and invest in a drain snake. They’re effective, inexpensive and better for your health and the environment.

4. Insulate your pipes. There are plenty of ways to avoid bursting pipes. Whether you leave cabinet doors ajar, leave faucets dripping or cover outdoor spigots with foam shields, be sure to take action before inclement weather hits.

Along with these preventive actions, make sure you know what your policy covers in the event you do have to file a claim.

Have questions? Reach out today.

Be sure and visit Vick Insurance Group on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Make Today a Great Day !!!


How to Minimize the Risk of a Car Break-In

Car theft is a common occurrence that impacts more than 750,000 drivers a year — that’s roughly one incident every 41 seconds. Want to secure your vehicle from being broken into or stolen? Here are a few ways to avoid problems, plus some guidance for what to do in the event of a loss.

Keeping Your Car Safe

By some estimates, more than half of vehicle break-ins are unknowingly enabled by car owners. If you know what conditions are most desirable for thieves, you can take the right steps to help secure your belongings.

Some general rules: 

  • Roll up and reinforce your windows. This will help prevent reach-in or smash-and-grab burglaries. Adding a protective film can also make windows tougher to break.
  • Lock up when you leave. Even if you’re just running into the convenience store for a cup of coffee, be sure to lock your doors. Most break-ins happen in a matter of seconds.
  • Park smart. Stick to well-lit areas, monitored parking garages and low-crime neighborhoods.
  • Invest in an aftermarket car alarm. Most factory alarms only sound when the doors are opened. By contrast, a motion or tilt-sensor alarm can tell you when the car is experiencing movement of any kind.
  • Take valuables with you and hide everything else. Don’t leave your belongings in plain sight. Keep your keys and anything of value on your person and hide everything else in your glove compartment or trunk.

What to Do Post Break-In

If you’ve experienced a break-in, reach out right away. Also make sure to take pictures, file a police report and make an insurance claim. If any credit cards were stolen, cancel them immediately.

Some car burglaries are unavoidable, but with a little vigilance you can minimize your chances of having to deal with a break-in.

Visit us online at www.vickinsurancegroup.com 24/7.