Monday, December 31, 2012

Make 2013 happier by making these resolutions…

At the end of this 2012, may I suggest a few New Year’s “Insurance” resolutions for you, to make your life happier and easier in the year ahead?Make 2013 better by adopting these "Insurance" resolutions!
· Schedule a review of your policies with your agent, so your insurance keeps up with your changing needs.
· Don’t tailgate – leave at least 2 seconds between you and the car in front of you. I can’t tell you how many accidents are caused by tailgating, and guess who always gets the blame – yep, the tailgater!
· Make a narrated video of all the stuff in your house – I mean everything – and store in a secure spot on a backed hard-drive or in a safe deposit box. It will help if all your things are lost in a fire and you need to prove their existence to your insurance company.
· Commit to increasing the bodily injury liability and uninsured motorist bodily injury limits on your auto policy to $500,000 per person. It’s not expensive to do so, and then you’ll have more than enough protection to pay for the average bodily injury jury award (in Tennessee) of $388,000.
· Check your clothes washer water hoses and replace if worn. Make sure your clothes dryer lint trap and rear duct are clear.
· Check and replace the batteries in your smoke detectors.
Just doing these simple things will give you a lot more peace of mind and should help you sleep better in 2013. If you want more detail about each suggestion, just review my past blogs, and you’ll find it.
From my family to yours: Here’s hoping you have a very happy, safe, and prosperous 2013!
David Yates Insurance Agency
1881 General George Patton Dr, Suite 103
Franklin TN 37067
Phone 615-778-1816

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Is your auto insurance coverage sufficient to help you survive an ”average’ lawsuit? It’s questionable…

If you hit another car and injure the other driver, and they successfully sue in you in court, do you know what the average award is? In Tennessee, it’s $388,050 (as of the latest available data from 2009). That means that your insurance must come up with that amount to keep you from having to dig into your own wages, savings, and assets. And, isn’t that what you have insurance for, anyway?
Okay, but have you looked at your “Bodily Injury Liability” coverage limits on your policy? This shows the maximum your current policyIs your auto insurance sufficient enough to withstand a lawsuit... will pay, per person. Unless you’re a current customer of mine, chances are that yours will pay a maximum of only $100,000 per person. That’s the default amount most folks around here seem to have. Where does the other $288,050 come from? From you. It means raiding your savings, having to sell assets, and having your wages garnished. 
If, instead, you have a bodily injury coverage limit of $500,000, you have far fewer worries. Changing your bodily injury limits, per person, from $100,000 to $500,000 is not nearly as expensive as you think, and is a whole lot cheaper than the alternative.
Get a copy of your current auto insurance coverage and give me a call. I can help you analyze your current coverage and vastly improve your protection in a few quick steps. Many times, I can do this for little or no additional cost at all. I want us all to sleep better at night!

David Yates Insurance Agency
1881 General George Patton Dr., Suite 103
Franklin TN 37067  
Phone:  615-778-1816

Monday, October 1, 2012

Another successful day delivering free Child ID Kits

It was a beautiful day to be out at the soccer fields, and thanks to all who showed up last Saturday (September 29, 2012) at the Williamson County Soccer Association’s complex on Downs Boulevard in Franklin, TN.  It was WCSA team picture day, and I was there passing out free Child ID fingerprint kits as part of my community service efforts.  Thanks to you all for stopping by my booth!The David Yates Insurance Team stopped by to say hello and show off their cool new uniforms!
The David Yates Insurance Agency is a long-term sponsor and supporter of WCSA, and we are proud to say we passed out over 200 free fingerprint kits to caring parents from all over Williamson County (Tennessee) on Saturday, and made lots of new friends.
If you couldn’t make it, but still want a Child ID fingerprint kit, please call me at 615-778-1816 and we can make arrangements to get one or more to you, at no cost.

David Yates Insurance Agency
1881 General George Patton Dr., Suite 103
Franklin TN 37067  
Phone:  615-778-1816

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Free Child ID fingerprint kits available

Come on over to the soccer fields on Downs Blvd in Franklin this Saturday, September 29, 2012, and I’ll give you a free Child ID fingerprint kit. For the sixth straight year, in addition to being a team sponsor, I’ll be handing out free Child ID Kits to parents at the Williamson County Soccer Association (WCSA) picture day from 7:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.. David Yates Insurance soccer teamMy booth will be at the entrance of the indoor soccer arena at 1878 Downs Boulevard, Franklin TN 37064. It’s also where WCSA soccer teams will have their team pictures taken, starting at 7:30 a.m. Hope you can stop by! If you can’t make it on Saturday, but still want one or more Child ID fingerprint kits, please call or stop by my office, and we’ll be glad to give them to you.
David Yates Insurance Agency
1881 General George Patton Dr., Suite 103
Franklin TN 37067  
Phone:  615-778-1816

Friday, September 7, 2012

Major home insurer makes big change to policy – are you impacted?

In last month’s blog, I showed you how not all insurance policies are the same, and that you really need to read your policy to make sure you’re properly covered.
Well, a huge example of this pitfall is now out there for you to see. One of the largest insurance companies in Tennessee will soon make a major change to its home policy regarding paying for roof damage.  Beginning October 1, 2012 it will start paying its existing and new customers based on “Actual Cash Value” for roof repair claims, instead of “Replacement Cost”, as it has in the past.Will your insurance pay to replace your whole roof?
What’s the difference? Well, potentially, big. If you’re their customer and your 12-year old roof needs replacing because of a claim (hailstorm, windstorm, fire, etc.), your settlement (the amount they pay you to have your roof repaired or replaced) may not be enough to pay for a brand-new roof. Instead, the company will calculate 12 years worth of depreciation, deduct it from the replacement amount, and THAT will be what you receive. Could be thousands of dollars of difference! Think a roofing company will accept that depreciated amount for installing a brand-new roof? Probably not -- and you’ll be asked to make up the difference -- if you want the new roof.
If your roof is even older, that’s even more depreciation that will be counted against you. Of course, if you have a brand-new roof, there will be little depreciation, but then, new roofs usually don’t need replacing.
Of course, an insurance company is not going to trumpet to the world about this change, other than filing it with the state of Tennessee, and providing legal notice to its customers.  Remember, on paper, the difference is only a few words (“Actual Cash Value” instead of “Replacement Cost”), but to your wallet, it could be a major difference!
Insurance is NOT a commodity. Insurance providers and their policies are NOT all the same. This brief story is but one example of why you need to do a little research and work with a knowledgeable insurance agent to help you get the best coverage possible. Let’s meet, and I’ll be happy to take a look at your home and auto policies and help you do just that.   My office is nearby, in the Cool Springs area of Franklin, TN.

David Yates Insurance Agency
1881 General George Patton Dr., Suite 103
Franklin TN 37067  
Phone:  615-778-1816

Monday, August 20, 2012

Do you really know what your insurance policy covers? Keep from being surprised at claims time.

People get hooked up with insurance companies for lots of different reasons: funny commercials, a relative in the business, the absolute cheapest rate. Picking for any of these reasons would be okay if it weren’t for this truth: Claims happen, and all insurance policies are NOT the same.
For instance, if a hail storm destroys your roof and you need a new one, will your home policy pay for the full replacement cost of a new roof? You’d think so. But not all policies do. Some take depreciation of your old roof into account, paying you half of what it actually costs for a new roof. Now, you have to come up with an extra $3,000 to replace your roof. Was saving $100 on the extra cheap rate for your home policy worth it?
How about your auto insurance? Does your policy extend your insurance to that rental car you’re driving to Florida next week? Or does it exclude rental cars, meaning you need to sign up for the car rental company’s insurance (at great cost)? Not all auto policies cover a rental car. Does yours?
Let’s say your Franklin Tennessee home is being rebuilt after being blown away in a tornado, but it’s taking longer than a year (a more common occurrence than you think)? Does your policy’s “Loss of Use” coverage (pays for extra living expenses while you’re not able to live in your house during rebuilding) last more than 1 year? Some do; some don’t. Will your policy pass the test when it’s needed most?
You have a relative who doesn’t have car, doesn’t have insurance, but does have a valid drivers license. She has an urgent need to borrow your car for the afternoon. Is she covered? Are YOU covered? Maybe, maybe not. It always depends on the language contained in your specific policy.
Can you operate a business in your house and be covered by your home policy?
You have an accident and your car is damaged beyond repair -- how does your insurance company figure the salvage value?
If your $4,000 ring is stolen, will you get the entire amount back from your home insurance?
Your car broke down in Lebanon. Will your policy even provide roadside assistance? Will it merely tow you to the closest gas station or bring you back to Franklin?
The list of scenarios could go on and on…
Homes burn. Cars crash. People are injured or even killed. You don’t want to find out what your policy covers, or doesn’t cover, AFTER something bad happens. The way claims are settled depends on what’s written on those pages of the policy. It’s in your interest to know what those pages say. That means to, gulp, read them!
We all know that insurance policies will never make it to any “bestseller” list. Just find a moment of weakness, and force yourself to read your home and auto policies. Also review the policies with your agent, who can help decipher the insurance-speak, and research answers to any specific questions you may have. If your agent’s unwilling to do this, find a new agent – it’s part of the job!Take the time to make sure you're properly covered by your insurance!
Won’t it be comforting to know that you have reviewed your policies with your agent, and made changes or switched companies, depending on the review? We can’t choose whether a major event will impact our lives, but at least we will have done our best to protect ourselves and prepare for the possibility.
Let me know if I can help you “decode” your insurance policy and make sure you have the protection you need.

David Yates Insurance Agency
1881 General George Patton Dr., Suite 103
Franklin TN 37067  
Phone:  615-778-1816

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Have a belt for the road…

I wear seat belts when I drive. I’m sure you do, too. But did you know that 132 of the 238 Tennesseans who died in traffic accidents from January to April of this year were not wearing seat belts? Click it or ticket!
Here’s another shocker -- look at what Captain Jim Hutcherson, commander of the Tennessee Highway Patrol’s Nashville District (made up of 12 middle TN counties), did on April 6, 2012. As reported in The Tennessean newspaper, on that day he directed all THP troopers in the Nashville District to do nothing except look for drivers not wearing seatbelts. Troopers pulled over 1,101 people that day!
According to National Safety Council, 88% percent of Americans do indeed use seat belts, but there are a few groups that are less likely to wear belts: teens, commercial drivers, males in rural areas, pick-up drivers, people driving at night, and people who have been drinking.
In the end, we can’t save people from themselves, but we can at least try to pay a little more attention to friends and loved ones who drive and make sure they are buckled up.

David Yates Insurance Agency
1881 General George Patton Dr., Suite 103
Franklin TN 37067  
Phone:  615-778-1816

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Little-known potential insurance pitfall for home buyers

The home buying season is ramping up in Franklin TN and the rest of Middle Tennessee.  Are you thinking of shopping for a home? Better also think about the homeowners insurance for that house sooner, rather than later. Past homeowners claims – either for your own home, or even those for the house you’re interested in – can drastically increase the new rate you pay, if you can even find coverage. Don't let an unknown claim complicate your home purchase.
I know that’s hard to believe, but it’s true. If you tell your insurance company you’re going to be buying a home in a few weeks, and need to know what it will cost to insure it, your insurance company is going to look up your own homeowners claim history, as well as that of the home you’re purchasing, and factor that into the premium you’re charged.
If they see no claims, you’re home-free (pun intended!). But the more claims they find, the higher your rate will likely become.
Of course, not all claims are weighted the same. Many insurance companies don’t count one weather related claim (hail, wind, lightning damage, for instance) every 3 years. But if there’s been a “water loss”, like a leaking upstairs toilet that ruined some flooring, walls and the downstairs ceiling, or an ice maker water line that burst, causing the wood floor in the kitchen to be replaced, now that’s a potential game-changer. Even one of those within the past 3 years for either you, or for the home you’re buying, could jeopardize your getting reasonably priced coverage for your new home. Two or more claims like that within the past 3 years will make your job finding even high-priced insurance substantially more difficult.
What to do? Ask the seller of any house you’re interested in to provide you with a full history of any homeowners insurance claims for the past 5 years. Also, get documentation that the repairs, if any, were made. Review this information early in the home-buying process with your insurance agent, who can help you determine whether your rate will be affected. You can also check with your insurance agent to review your own past claims history.
There are two organizations that maintain databases of insurance claims: 
Lexis Nexis -- “C.L.U.E. Report”, phone 866-491-0873                                     
ISO -- “A-plus Report”, phone 800-709-8842
Insurance companies use these databases extensively when determining what rates to charge. You can request claims information for your own home from these organizations, and there may be a charge (of course, if you’ve been with the same insurance company for a while, call your agent first, who should be able to help). You can’t order claims information for someone else’s home, though. But it’s in your interest to ask the seller to provide the C.L.U.E. or A-Plus Report, or at least some sort of verifiable documentation, for their own home.
Don’t let a long-forgotten claim or claims potentially derail your home and home insurance purchase at the last minute. Look into claims history early in the home buying process.

David Yates Insurance Agency
1881 General George Patton Dr., Suite 103
Franklin TN 37067  
Phone:  615-778-1816

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Franklin TN makes a U-turn

U-Turners in Franklin can soon celebrate! The city of Franklin TN is making U-turns legal in U-turns will soon be legal in Franklin TN, except where markedcity limits starting May 1, 2012.
As I mentioned in a 2010 blog, many were surprised to learn that U-turns haven’t been legal in Franklin for decades. Recently however, police were only sporadically enforcing this regulation, and our aldermen have now decided to make official what most drivers assumed was the case, anyway.
Please be aware there are as many as 29 intersections around town that will continue to ban U-turns, and all will have “No U-turn” signs installed, if they aren’t already. If you’ve ever seen someone make a U-turn that becomes a 3-point turn mess, and holds up traffic, or almost gets hit, you know that it’s not smart to try a U-turn just anywhere!

David Yates Insurance Agency
1881 General George Patton Dr., Suite 103
Franklin TN 37067  
Phone:  615-778-1816

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Are you prepared for an active tornado season in Middle Tennessee?

Springtime 2012 in Middle Tennessee could be an active one for storms that could cause tornadoes.  According to the National Weather Service, a predicted warmer, wetter Spring here can be an indicator.
“We have found when we have a La Nina during the Spring, we have a higher incidence of tornadoes through the Tennessee and Ohio Valleys,” said meteorologist Bobby Boyd of the National Weather Service.Are you prepared for an active tornado season in Middle Tennessee?
The so-called “La Nina” weather condition occurs when water is cooler than normal in the tropical Pacific Ocean.  The same La Nina was in place last year, when Tennessee had a record number of tornadoes.
With a higher chance for severe weather here in Franklin and Middle Tennessee, it makes sense for you to review your emergency plans, and be prepared.  Click here to check out the excellent Red Cross Tornado Safety Checklist.
It’s also a great idea to take written and/or video inventory of all the personal belongings in your home, in case you would ever need it for an insurance claim.  Please see my April 23, 2010 post at www.davidyatesinsurance.com which contains many good tips for accounting for your stuff in the event of a disaster.

David Yates Insurance Agency
1881 General George Patton Dr., Suite 103
Franklin TN 37067  
Phone:  615-778-1816

Monday, February 6, 2012

Safe Way to Put Out a Stovetop Fire

A friend sent me a video today, which showed quick easy steps to put out a stove fire.  Its simplicity Stay calm -- and follow a few simple steps.and effectiveness really struck me, and I thought it was worth passing on to you. 
Just knowing these simple steps might just save lives some day.  If your pan or pot catches fire, follow these steps:
1. Turn off the heat.
2. Run a dishcloth under the faucet and wring it out.
3. Cover pan or pot with wet dishcloth and wait till it has cooled down. Don’t ever throw water on top of the fire.
Of course, this is not a substitute for also having a charged fire extinguisher on-hand, too!

David Yates Insurance Agency
1881 General George Patton Dr., Suite 103
Franklin TN 37067  
Phone:  615-778-1816