Friday, August 28, 2015

Avoid costly water leaks in your home -- find out how in one minute and eleven seconds...


Refrigerator Icemaker Water Line
I disconnected our icemaker's water line years ago, when I saw how often they're prone to failure and silently leak into the floor, usually when you're on vacation.  Nothing wrong with using ice cube trays instead!
         Consider disconnecting your icemaker      
and turning off water supply to fridge.

Water Lines
Check all your water connections periodically under your sinks, dishwashers and toilets.  Should be dry.

Washing Machine
Make sure your water line hoses are braided, not just rubber.  A floor drain by the clothes washer is an outstanding idea, or, at the very least, a plastic drip pan, placed underneath, can help.  Also be sure to shut off your hot and cold water valves when your washer's not going to be in use for a while -- although, if you do this every single time you're finished washing, it could lead to premature wear on your valves, as I found out!   At a minimum, turn them off when you're out of town.

Main Water Supply
Some of the biggest water damage and insurance claims seem to happen when people are on vacation.  If a pipe bursts, the water has lots of time to do plenty of damage. Consider shutting off your main water supply when you're out of town for an extended amount of time (always consult a qualified plumber to properly and safely do this).  Finally, have someone check in on your home periodically.  Peace of mind.

Consider water leak sensors/alarms in your kitchen and bathrooms.  I haven't tried them yet, but they sound like a great idea.  I'll bet they can even be configured to alert you on your smartphone (if not, then that's a million-dollar idea just waiting to be developed).

I've got a lot more tips I'll be happy to share with you to save you from big-time water headaches. Just call me.  Or, when you're in the Cool Springs area of Franklin TN, please stop by.

David Yates – Farmers Insurance
1881 General George Patton Dr., Suite 103
Franklin, TN 37067
Phone 615-778-1816  Fax 615-778-1817
dyates1@farmersagent.com

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

If you've ever misinterpreted something, you need to read about a most important part of your auto insurance policy...


Has this happened to you?  A friend tells you they finally bought a new car and want you to see it.  When you do, it turns out to be a 10-year-old car, which surprises you a bit, because you thought that "new" meant a "this-year" model.  But to your friend, buying the car is a "new" development, so it makes perfect sense to them to say they have a "new car".

The fact that all humans have different perspectives, and thus, different definitions for things, are the reasons we have dictionaries, laws, and yes, insurance policies.

In every auto insurance policy, there is a "Definitions" section, arguably one of the most important parts of a policy.  Why?  Because it tells you specifically what the insurance company covers, and what it doesn't.

Here are a couple of examples:

Within the "Definitions" section, you'll find it defines the term "Your Insured Car", so when you see the phrase throughout the rest of your policy, you'll know what your INSURANCE company considers "your insured car".  Does it mean only the specific cars listed on the policy?  What about a family member's car?  A car used for your pizza delivery business? A 17-passenger van?  A dually pickup truck? Does it mean a car you rent to take a weekend trip? Does it include a new car you just bought, but haven't informed your agent about yet?  Get the picture?  And guess what, if your car's in an accident, the insurance adjustor will follow whatever the policy definitions say, not necessarily what YOU might have been expecting.

What about the definition of who is "An Insured Person" under the auto policy?  Does that mean only people specifically listed on the policy?  Or anyone living at your house?  Or, someone you've loaned the car to?  Don't loan out your car to your neighbor until you've checked to see if your insurance policy will consider them "An Insured Person".

As I've said many times before, insurance policies are NOT all the same, and not understanding your specific auto policy can potentially ruin your life, in case of a mishap.  So lean on me, your trusted advisor.  I'm here to help you understand what's important to YOU.

David Yates – Farmers Insurance
1881 General George Patton Dr., Suite 103
Franklin, TN 37067
Phone 615-778-1816  Fax 615-778-1817
dyates1@farmersagent.com




Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Spend one minute and thirty-one seconds and learn surprising answers to some of the most common auto insurance questions here in Franklin TN and surrounding areas...


My car was broken into and several things were stolen.  Is this all covered by my auto insurance?
Anything stolen would be likely be covered by your homeowners policy, and the damage to your car would be covered by your "Comprehensive" coverage component of your auto policy.

Had a small accident with another car in a shopping mall parking lot. Should I call the police?
You should try, but there's a good chance they won't to come, because a shopping mall parking lot is considered private property, and not necessarily within the police's normal jurisdiction when it comes to a minor accident (although I've noticed that the Franklin TN police are willing to come more often than not).  Best to take lots of pictures, look for witnesses who can back you up, exchange insurance, license numbers, and basic contact information, and do everything you can to prepare to show you were not at fault -- if you weren't.  Based on what you and the other party tells the insurance companies, and what evidence you supply, the insurance companies involved will ultimately decide where to place the blame.

My neighbor's tree fell on my car. Should I get their insurance company's phone number?
No, but you'll need to call YOUR insurance company and start a claim!  It will be covered by your insurance (although your insurance company may later opt to seek payment from your neighbor, if they were somehow negligent regarding the tree).  Events that are "other than collisions", and damage your car, are usually covered by your "Comprehensive" coverage.

As I always say, when in doubt about something, call your agent -- that's what we're here for!

David Yates – Farmers Insurance
1881 General George Patton Dr., Suite 103
Franklin, TN 37067
Phone 615-778-1816  Fax 615-778-1817
dyates1@farmersagent.com

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Quick answers to the most common homeowners insurance questions here in Franklin TN...

I'm considering buying a house. If the previous homeowners had an insurance claim at this house, could that affect how much I pay for homeowners insurance? 
Yes. It's always an excellent idea to request past insurance claims information for the house (going back 5 years), then reviewing the potential home with your insurance agent, who will need to know about the past claims information to help you find the best coverage and rate.  Past claims involving weather (like a hail-damaged roof being replaced), are not as problematic for new insurance as is past water damage as a result of a leaking refrigerator water line, or a broken upstairs toilet line, for instance.

How can I save money on my homeowners policy? 
Assuming you have a competent agent and an adequate amount of replacement-cost "Dwelling" coverage (the amount of money available to pay for repair/rebuilding in the event of a loss), the best place to look is your deductible.  This is the amount of money you pay first when a covered claim occurs, with insurance paying the rest.  Most home insurance deductibles are in the $500-$1,000 range, but you can save a substantial amount on your annual premium by increasing your deductible, to, say, $2,500 or even more.  This COULD make sense IF you have a newer home and roof, where the chances of weather-damage or leaking plumbing fixtures should be lower.

I'm thinking of buying a home in the country and have heard that insurance is sometimes more expensive in rural areas.  What can keep insurance costs down? 
Put simply, make sure the home is within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant and less than 5 driving miles from the responding fire station.  These two factors are absolutely crucial for getting the best rate.

These are questions I hear from folks here in Franklin TN and Middle Tennessee on a regular basis, and the answers I have given are just for starters.  There's a lot more to consider with any of these topics, so don't solely rely on these brief answers --  be sure to discuss them with me in greater detail.

David Yates – Farmers Insurance
1881 General George Patton Dr., Suite 103
Franklin, TN 37067
Phone 615-778-1816  Fax 615-778-1817
dyates1@farmersagent.com


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Monday, April 27, 2015

Car insurance -- demystified! The best 1-minute explanation I've ever seen...

Here's an easy way to understand what car insurance provides:


"Other-Person" coverage.  Hurt or kill someone, or damage their car, and your "other-person coverage" (also known as BI/PD or bodily injury/property damage) kicks in, but only to the limits you chose when you got your policy.  Is it enough?  Otherwise, you could be sued for hundreds of thousands of dollars -- coming from your home equity, savings/investments, even some of your future income. 

"You and Your Family" coverage.  If you or a family member is hurt or killed by someone with little or no insurance (half of the drivers out there), your "Uninsured/Underinsured" coverage steps in, up to the amount you chose when you first bought your policy.  Where would your family get the rest of the money to pay for the medical/funeral bills?  Do you think you have enough?

 "Your Car" coverage.  Make a mistake and wreck your car, and your "Collision" coverage helps out with the cost to repair or replace your car (after you pay an amount called the deductible).  If something else damages your car (tree branch, hail, road debris, hitting an animal, vandalism, stolen, etc.), your "Comprehensive" coverage helps out with the cost, after you pay the deductible.  You don't need this coverage forever, though -- did you know that?
 
Now that you know the absolute basics, know this:  Auto insurance policies ARE different.  That's why they're not all the same price. 

And that's also why you'll get different answers to questions like these, depending on your insurance:  Is your friend covered when they drive your car?  Is that car you rent already covered by your insurance?  Is your new car covered for the full value of your loan?

If you bought your policy online or from a 1-800 call-center, these things probably weren't explained to you.  And you don't have an agent who will take a long-term, personal interest in you, explaining potential gaps you have in your coverage and fixing them for you.  With you and your family's financial future at risk, don't you think it's time you worked with an agent and company who will take the time to help you, not just themselves?

David Yates – Farmers Insurance
1881 General George Patton Dr., Suite 103
Franklin, TN 37067
Phone 615-778-1816  Fax 615-778-1817
dyates1@farmersagent.com

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Beware when someone uses the term "full coverage" when discussing your auto insurance...

Generally, when you hear that you have "full-coverage" auto insurance, what you think that term means, and what someone else thinks it means are likely to be two different things.  Same with "liability-only" auto insurance.  When protecting yourself, your family, and your assets, you don't want any misunderstandings between you and your insurance company!  That's why I don't use these terms with my clients.

The state of Tennessee requires you, at minimum, to have auto liability insurance that covers bodily injury/death and property damage for the "other guy" if you have a wreck with somebody.  That's it.  Yet, there are 5 to 7  specific coverages that you also need if you want to be properly protected.  How are you going to know if you have them, or not, if you tell a 1-800 company you want "liability-only", or full-coverage"?  How do you know what's right?

You need a local, qualified insurance agent who will happily spend the time with you, in person, to explain what the risks are, and make the proper recommendations based on your specific situation.  You can't get that from someone in a cubicle 500 miles away or from an online website.

Let me know how I can help you at my office in the Cool Springs area of Franklin, TN.

David Yates – Farmers Insurance
1881 General George Patton Dr., Suite 103
Franklin, TN 37067
Phone 615-778-1816  Fax 615-778-1817
dyates1@farmersagent.com

Friday, February 27, 2015

Franklin Tennessee flood maps have been revised -- is your home safer, less safe, or still the same?

No one in Franklin TN will forget the severe flooding in May of 2010.  Now, FEMA has revised the flood plain mapping for Franklin TN.  Some folks will now be required to get flood insurance, where they didn't previously.  Is your home affected?  Here's a quick and easy way to find out:  The City of Franklin will present the revised FEMA flood maps for our area, at a community open house held between 4pm and 7pm at City Hall on Tuesday March 3, 2015.  I think every homeowner should see what's changed.  I'll be there, and hope to see you, too.

David Yates – Farmers Insurance
1881 General George Patton Dr., Suite 103
Franklin, TN 37067
Phone 615-778-1816  Fax 615-778-1817
dyates1@farmersagent.com


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