Learning Insurance Lingo

Posted on: September 20th, 2013 by SRSblogger

Learn the Lingo: Common Insurance Terms Everyone Should Know

“When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” This often-quoted phrase can also be applied to the insurance world, more specifically whenever you need to evaluate your insurance needs or take out a new policy. Often times a visit with an insurance agent can feel overwhelming because they’re using terms you don’t understand.

Insurance Lingo

Southern Risk Services wants to help out those that don’t quite get the insurance lingo. Take a look at some of the most common insurance terms, make some flashcards and study up so you can impress your insurance agent the next time you meet.

Deductible- the amount you agree to pay before your insurance covers a loss. Ex: a car accident causes $1000 worth of damage, and your deductible is $300. You pay $300 and your insurance pays the remaining $700. 

Premium- the cost charged by your insurance company to be covered.

Claim- a request by you (or a third party from another insurance company) for losses to be covered by your insurance.

Collision coverage- covers damages to your vehicle from collisions with other cars or objects.


Liability coverage (personal)-
covers any bodily injury or property damage to those you are liable for (spouse, children, etc.). Comprehensive coverage- covers damages to your vehicle from non-collision incidents such as vandalism, weather events, theft or contact with animals.

Umbrella policy- an additional layer of protection in the event of a serious accident on your property or auto accident; helps if you are liable for more than current coverage limits.

If you think we’ve missed some important ones, let us know and we’ll add them. Half the battle to knowing how well you are covered is understanding every aspect of your policy.

At Southern Risk Services, we help you understand your policy so you leave knowing exactly how you are covered. If you need help with your insurance needs, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today!

Misconceptions about Liability

Posted on: September 10th, 2013 by SRSblogger

Perhaps the most common question we here from business owners is “Do I need business insurance?” Yes, even in today’s world where fast food restaurants are sued because people who knowingly ate unhealthy food had health issues, some business owners still don’t know if they need liability coverage. The answer is and will always be an overwhelming “YES!”

Liability Insurance

Sure, being covered means a little more money out of your pocket, but it protects you in the event of an accident that could have an attorney going after you for everything you have. At Southern Risk Services, we hear excuses and reasons every day as to why business owners think they don’t need liability coverage.

We’ve chosen our favorite three to show you why these excuses need to be retired.

“Nobody will sue me. My business doesn’t make a lot of money; my business isn’t collectible.” EVERY business is collectible and every business can be sued. Once a money judgment is rendered against your business, it doesn’t just go away. Your wages can be garnished, accounts and assets seized or equipment seized and sold in order to pay the judgment.

“Since my business is a corporation, I’m protected from liability, so I don’t need insurance.” While the corporate format protects individual owners, officers and investors from personal liability, this shield can be brought down in certain situations. Then, they can take you for your house, your car or any other asset that will pay the judgment.

“Even if I die or become disabled, my work partners and my family are great friends! They’ll be able to work things out nicely.” Most small businesses don’t survive the death of an owner or other principal member, and though they may be friends, family members and work partners often times don’t work things out.

So why leave things up to chance? Wouldn’t you rather have peace of mind knowing that you’re covered in an accident or that your business will keep going after you move on? Again, liability insurance and other forms for coverage for your business are a must!

If you have any questions, the knowledgeable staff at Southern Risk Services can help you understand the ins and outs of what your business needs. Get in touch with us today!

 

Auto Insurance Tips and Advice for College Students

Posted on: August 23rd, 2013 by SRSblogger

As we discussed in our last blog post, the beginning of another academic year is upon us, meaning your students are heading back to school. If you’re the parent of a college student taking a car to campus, you may be a little extra nervous, and for good reason.

Shopping around for auto insurance helps to find the best deal possible.

Shopping around for auto insurance helps to find the best deal possible.

Numerous studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation have shown that college-aged students are at a higher risk for being in an auto accident. So, having the auto insurance to protect your child is vital, but where do you start?

You can keep them on your insurance if they are already on there. They can also take out their own auto insurance as a young adult to learn some responsibility. It really is a choice dependent on your family’s preferences, so you may need to sit down and have a talk.

If they are going to take out an auto insurance policy of their own, here are a few things they need to keep in mind:

  • It will be expensive. Insurers know the statistics and demographics for this age group and aren’t bashful about charging more
  • Good grades can help lower rates, so make sure your child is doing their best in class
  • Shop around. Auto insurance is one of those things in life where you definitely want multiple options to choose from, so settling on the first quote they get won’t help them very much. Different companies have various criteria, so rates can differ.

In addition to making sure your child is insured, you should also talk with them about what to do in the event of an accident, especially if they’ve never been in one before. This includes taking down the other driver’s information, asking witnesses for their information and what questions to ask.

The biggest thing is that you are sending them off to school prepared. Southern Risk Services  hopes they don’t ever need to use their insurance, but we want to help in any way we can. You can get in touch with us for any assistance you need for auto, home, health or other insurance needs.

Getting Covered: Health Insurance for Your College Student

Posted on: August 14th, 2013 by SRSblogger

It’s that time of year again where college campuses and universities across the country begin to fill up with our nation’s young adults who are eager to learn. Alright, so they may or may not be eager, but they’re there, meaning your college-age child is away from the safety of home.

Make sure your college reaches this day safely with the right health insurance coverage.

Make sure your college reaches this day safely with the right health insurance coverage.

It can be an anxious time for parents because even though your college student may think they’re invincible, you know they aren’t. That’s why having them protected under a health insurance plan, especially if they’re out of state, is important for your peace of mind.

The good news is that there are plenty of options when it comes to your child’s health insurance. Let’s take a closer look at the choices: 

Continued coverage on your policy- most plans allow dependent children to stay on their parent’s coverage through age 25. However, it may mean your child will have to get treated where you live in the event of an injury or illness, which can be difficult if they are out-of-state or far away.

Check with the school- a lot of colleges offer low-cost student health plans, though they may require comprehensive health care coverage. It doesn’t hurt to check, though.

Locate other group coverage- does a group, organization or club you belong to offer health care coverage? Check if your child would be eligible.

Find individual coverage from a private carrier- this can be an expensive option, and your child will have to be evaluated to see if they are eligible. Different companies have different criteria, so if they are declined by one company, keep searching.

We understand that health insurance can be expensive. However, it would bring you peace of mind in the event your child becomes sick or is injured and needs medical assistance. Southern Risk Services can help identify possible solutions for your college student’s health care, so please get in touch with us if you need assistance.

Beat the Scam: The 4 Most Common Car Accident Scams

Posted on: July 17th, 2013 by SRSblogger

It seems that criminals will do anything these days to try and make a quick buck. From sending phony emails and text messages designed to steal your personal information to filing ridiculous lawsuits for pretty much anything, these people will stop at nothing to benefit from technology or law.

Auto scammers

Protect yourself against auto scams just like this one!

The same, unfortunately, is true when it comes to your car and accidents. The National Crime Insurance Bureau found that staged accidents increased by 102 percent between 2008 and 2011. Staged accidents are “accidents” that are set up by usually a team of perpetrators to make money off a supposed mishap.

While there are many kinds of staged accidents being perpetrated across the United States, here are the four most popular ones among scammers:

  • The swoop and squat: this involves three cars working together. The first two will pass their victim, while the third comes alongside the victim. The driver of the middle car will then “squat” on the brakes in order to be rear-ended. The middle car will be full of 3-4 passengers, all of which will claim “injury.”
  • The drive down- when waiting to turn left, you’ll be lured into thinking you can make it past an oncoming scammer, who will then speed up just in time to hit you.
  • The wave down- two or more scammers set up an accident while another gives a victim a wave that the road is clear to pull out of  parking lot or side street.
  • Enhanced damages- in a legitimate accident, the driver not at fault adds more damage to their car to increase the claim.

How can you beat such ruthlessness? In any accident, gather as much information as you can. Take pictures with your phone, write down names and phone numbers (test phone numbers on the spot) and find any witnesses that can help you out.

We hope that none of you are ever a victim of these scams. If you think you’re being scammed, inform the officers on the scene as well as your insurance company.

Until next time, drive safe!

What to do and What Not to do After a Car Accident

Posted on: July 10th, 2013 by SRSblogger

You’re driving through an intersection, you have a green light and you’re almost through when a driver going the opposite direction tries to pull a quick left in front of you. With no time to react you slam into the right front corner of their car. Your eyes shut, you instinctively grit your teeth and hear the sound of metal crunching against metal.

After a car accident

Don’t let yourself by walked over or overwhelmed after a car accident

You open your eyes and the inside of your car is hazy from the airbag deploying. Ears ringing, you piece together the situation: you’ve just been in an accident. “I just hit someone!” you think, but then your remember that you had a green light and there was no reason that person should’ve turned in front of you.

What do you do now?

DO: Get out of your car, if not seriously injured, and check on the other driver

DO: Call 911 immediately.

DON’T: Start yelling at the other driver.

DO: Get their insurance information and give them yours, as well as your phone number and address.

DO: Try and find someone who saw what happened and ask them if they can wait until police arrive so they can tell them what they witnessed. If they can’t stick around, ask for their name and phone number so police can contact them.

DON’T: Lose your cool.

DO: Be nice and courteous with the police, and answer all of their questions as best you can.

DO: Ask the police if they or someone can give you a ride to a hospital if you feel pain anywhere.

DON’T: Start making angry accusations.

DO: Stick up for yourself with insurance.

DO: Write down the names of everyone you talk to in the insurance claims process, and try to get everything in writing.

DON’T: Think the other person’s insurance will be nice and take care of everything.

In short, stay calm, use your head, be nice to authority figures and don’t let yourself be walked on by the insurance company. Accidents are always terrifying, but if you force yourself to think and be active in seeking a solution, more often than not things will turn out okay.

If you’re seeking new auto insurance in the wake of a bad experience with your current company, Southern Risk Services can help! Simply call us and we’ll help find you the overage you need!

Business Liability Risk: How to Keep your Premium Under Control

Posted on: June 26th, 2013 by SRSblogger

As a business or company owner, you don’t have a lot of spare time in your days. You’re busy managing your employees and planning to put your company on the best track for the future. Something like “business liability risk” was something you addressed when you first started, and then your mind was off to more important things.

Location affects liability premium

Location, location, location doesn’t just apply to real estate; it applies to your liability premium as well

Unfortunately, your business’s liability risk is an ever changing entity that varies based on a number of factors that you may or may not have thought of. We’ve come up with a list of these factors so you can be sure to make the best decision:

  • Location- areas with higher crime rates equal higher business liability
  • Type of structure- is your build newer older? Older buildings and certain building materials could mean higher premiums
  • Emergency access- being able to call 911, response time to your location, hydrant access and distance to medical facilities all play a role
  • Lease requirements- these aren’t option, and vary from location to location
  • Your neighbors- the types of businesses in your area can increase your business liability risk. Steer clear of establishments selling liquor, ones that produce fumes (dry cleaners) and business with high fire risk can bump up your business’s liability risk

There are other special factors such as your business being within a certain distance of water that requires a separate business liability policy. Your best bet is to get in touch with one of our experienced agents to go over your options.

You should also be sure to enforce safety at your business as much as possible. Many insurance companies have discounts for keeping safety up to certain levels. You can also look into alternative locations if your current place is a “hot spot.”

Your business deserves your full attention, and worrying about possible lawsuits against your business only distracts you. Get a little peace of mind by getting in Southern Risk Services to go over your business liability coverage today!

Sincerely,

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Terry Young, President

Call Now 256-442-3443 or Toll Free 877-222-UROK (8765)

For a FREE, No Obligation Phone Quote

Compliments of Terry Young, Southern Risk Services

3224 Rainbow Drive, Suite 2, Rainbow City, AL 35906

Phone: 256-442-3443 Fax: 256-442-9546

ty@southernriskservices

2236 Cahaba Valley Drive, Birmingham AL 35242

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Personal Liability: It’s not Worth the Risk

Posted on: June 18th, 2013 by SRSblogger

We’ve touched on the litigious nature of our country in previous blog posts and how common lawsuits are. In short, people will sue you for just about anything these days seeking a payday. That’s why it’s so important to know exactly how you are protected and to have the right plan in place.

Swimming pools are just one of the many things that increase your personal liability!

Swimming pools are just one of the many things that increase your personal liability!

Most people forget about simple things that can increase both their personal and home liability risk. Here are a few things that many overlook when it comes to their personal and home liability risk:

  • Swimming pools, hot tubs or ponds on your property
  • Trampolines
  • Dogs, horses or other large animals
  • Do you drive someone else’s kids to/from school, sports practice or other places?
  • Drivers under the age of 26
  • Rental properties, or owning properties that the public has access to
  • Your personal and combined net worth
  • If anyone in your household is a member of a charitable board
  • If anyone in your household has a prominent public profile on the local, state or national level
  • The number of family members active on social media
  • How often do you host parties or other events at your home when 25 or more people are present?

There are other factors that you can find in this personal liability risk scorecard created by ACE Insurance Company. Based on your score, you know whether your liability policy is ideal, or if you need to talk to an agent.

As far as cost goes, ACE estimates the cost for $2 million policy for a client with one home, two cars and two drivers to be about $474 a year (or around $40 a month).

While we certainly hope that you never find yourself faced with a lawsuit, the litigious attitude of many and the financial awards given by more and more juries in bizarre lawsuits definitely increases the likelihood.

For help finding the best protection for you and your family, contact Southern Risk Services. Our experienced and knowledgeable staff can provide solid advice to help you find the policy that best fits your needs.

Sincerely,

BlogSignature

 

Terry Young, President

Call Now 256-442-3443 or Toll Free 877-222-UROK (8765)

For a FREE, No Obligation Phone Quote

Compliments of Terry Young, Southern Risk Services

3224 Rainbow Drive, Suite 2, Rainbow City, AL 35906

Phone: 256-442-3443 Fax: 256-442-9546

ty@southernriskservices

2236 Cahaba Valley Drive, Birmingham AL 35242

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Testimonials: A Reputation Built on a Commitment to Customer Service

Posted on: May 18th, 2013 by SRSblogger

When we come to work in the morning, our goal is to help our customers achieve their unique and varied goals. Our job satisfaction is found in helping customers just like you save money and being in a better position to protect yourselves, your employees or your families, and we don’t consider a job done until we’ve found the best solution.

A great testimonial

Testimonials and customer feedback give us the ability to see how well we’re serving you!

The staff at Southern Risk Services doesn’t work for awards or special recognition, only to serve businesses and families across the Southeast and be the source they turn to when they need help with various insurance and liability issues.

We’ve been fortunate enough to work with some amazing people and businesses, and a few of them have sent us their thanks, unsolicited. We would like to share some of these kind words and say thank you to everyone for choosing to work with us!

The attention and response I get is very prompt and considerate.  They are concerned about me, my issues, and what I need to accomplish…It is customer service that I have not been used to getting from anyone lately.” –D. Thornton

“We were able to save approximately 48% ($83,000) because Weaver Insurance  assisted us in correcting errors on our MOD worksheet which resulted in our being placed in preferred market.” –M. Johnson

I have been with [Southern Risk Services] for quite a few years now.  I am very, very, satisfied with how promptly they handle everything.  I have had one claim in the whole time and they were very prompt.  Everybody is courteous and always willing to go the extra mile with you to make sure you are covered.  They are not one of these people to say ‘There’s no way we can do it.’  They always find a way to do it.–Don

We allows work to give our customers the best service and experience as possible. If you find yourself needing help with insurance, liability or risk protection, give us a call and get started on the right path with Southern Risk Services today!   

Sincerely,

BlogSignature

 

Terry Young, President

Call Now 256-442-3443 or Toll Free 877-222-UROK (8765)

For a FREE, No Obligation Phone Quote

Compliments of Terry Young, Southern Risk Services

3224 Rainbow Drive, Suite 2, Rainbow City, AL 35906

Phone: 256-442-3443 Fax: 256-442-9546

ty@southernriskservices

2236 Cahaba Valley Drive, Birmingham AL 35242

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Homeowner’s Insurance: A Worthwhile Investment

Posted on: May 11th, 2013 by SRSblogger

In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to worry about natural disasters like floods, tornadoes or hurricanes. We would be free from accidents that injure our family or others at our home, and our pets would never be the cause of a guest’s injury.

Threat to homeowner's insurance

Only certain natural disasters are covered in your homeowner’s insurance policy

Unfortunately, we live in a world where floods, hurricanes and tornadoes damage property, and people injure themselves at our homes by accident or because of our pets. In these situations, having homeowner’s insurance helps when it comes to making repairs or paying medical expenses.

A standard homeowner’s insurance policy covers your home and everything inside of it, such as valuables, electronics and furniture. In the event that these things are damaged by any natural disasters, fire or vandalism, or if they are stolen, your policy provides the financial means to make repairs or replace taken items.

Additionally, injuries to others caused by your home, you and your family and even your pets are covered. For example, if a guest trips over your dog and breaks their arm, you could be liable to pay their medical bills. Homeowner’s insurance will help you financially to own up to your responsibility of paying the injured guest’s medical expenses.

Home is where we go to be safe, and life is hard enough without damage occurring to these safe havens. When these kind of bad things happen, it’s easy to be shell shocked and paralyzed by not knowing what to do. With the right homeowner’s insurance policy, you’ll be taken care of and will be able to get back on your feet.

If you don’t have homeowner’s insurance or need to have your policy updated, the experienced staff at Southern Risk Services is ready to help. Contact us today to be put in touch with professionals who can help give you and your family peace of mind in the event disaster strikes.

Sincerely,

BlogSignature

 

Terry Young, President

Call Now 256-442-3443 or Toll Free 877-222-UROK (8765)

For a FREE, No Obligation Phone Quote

Compliments of Terry Young, Southern Risk Services

3224 Rainbow Drive, Suite 2, Rainbow City, AL 35906

Phone: 256-442-3443 Fax: 256-442-9546

ty@southernriskservices

2236 Cahaba Valley Drive, Birmingham AL 35242

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