Top Insurance Questions Answered by Insurance Agents – Part 2

Insurance helps to ensure that your assets are covered from a range of incidents. To help you feel confident when shopping for insurance we have answered five common insurance questions our agents commonly receive.

1. Are home-based businesses covered under a homeowners policy?

A homeowners policy protects homes from unexpected incidents and damage. However, it can be difficult to know what exactly a homeowner’s policy will cover for a home-based business. For example, unlike a homeowners policy, a small business insurance policy would cover the inventory stored in a home, a vehicle that is used for business, etc.

2. Does my homeowners policy cover damage if my tree falls on my neighbors’ property because of a tornado or ice storm?

Typically, if a tree or part of it from your property falls on your neighbors’ property and causes damage because of a tornado or ice storm, you will not be held liable. Your neighbors would file a claim with their insurance company. Our claims reporting hotline is available 24/7 and is ready to help whenever you need.

3. When should I get Life Insurance?

Did you know obtaining Life Insurance while you’re young and healthy is usually the most optimal time to obtain it? This is the period of time where an individual will most likely benefit from lower rates. Use our life insurance calculator to determine how much Life Insurance coverage may be needed. Obtaining Life Insurance as soon as you are able is beneficial in the long-run. It can provide peace of mind when thinking about loved ones.

4. Does Auto Insurance cover a hit-and-run accident?

In most cases an Auto Insurance policy will cover vehicle damage, possible medical bills, etc. in the case that a car accident occurs and the individual at fault intentionally leaves without providing contact information.

5. What do I need to do to file an insurance claim? 

Don’t delay taking action after an event that damages your property if you suspect it may make you eligible to file a claim. Start by contacting your agent, or using your carrier’s online claims tool – we have several claims options to choose from. Make sure to have your contact information, policy number and detailed information of the incident ready when you file. 

If you have additional insurance questions, check out our FAQs. Also, you can always contact your local OKFB agent with any inquiries or questions about your policy or specific coverage needs.

4 Changes That Affect Life Insurance

If you’re like most, your world can change very quickly. Growing up can lead to major life events, and you’ll want to have the right Life Insurance to match. Whether you already have coverage or are thinking about getting it, check out these four life changes that could impact how much Life Insurance is needed. 

Marriage/Divorce

Getting married is exciting, but it can also prompt changes to a Life Insurance policy. For example, you may decide to designate your spouse as the beneficiary. Having Life Insurance in place is a way to economically protect each other’s future. Additionally, going through a divorce can be a difficult time and can also prompt changes. You might consider changing the beneficiary on the policy or designating the policy to cover child support payments.

Children

As a family grows, there are many changes that could affect a Life Insurance policy. Consider adjusting the policy to pay for daycare, save for college or other child care expenses. Updating or obtaining Life Insurance when having children could ensure your family has the resources to maintain a home, costs of child care, schooling and more. Additionally, if your child is now an adult and financially independent, a reduction in coverage may be possible.

Mortgage 

Paying off a mortgage can lead to a decrease in living costs and thus may reduce the amount of Life Insurance needed. Alternatively, a higher mortgage on a new home could mean an increase in the Life Insurance policy is needed. Adjusting this coverage can ensure your family has financial help to maintain mortgage payments should you no longer be able to provide your source of income due to death.

New Job/Promotion

A new job or promotion could mean an increase in salary. If the higher earnings help you afford an upgraded lifestyle, you may want to reevaluate Life Insurance coverage to ensure your family can afford the lifestyle they’ve become accustomed to. If you were depending on a policy through a former employer, you may be able to keep that plan or replace it with one from a new workplace.

If you have Life Insurance or are thinking about obtaining it, contact an OKFB agent to talk through options. Our Life Insurance calculator can be a great tool to help understand the amount of coverage that is right for you! Remember, Life Insurance is about ensuring your loved ones are financially secure.

Tips for Merging Finances after Marriage

As the month of love, February is a great reminder of how special love can be, no matter the form it takes in life. One of the most exciting forms for love is marriage, which is exciting but can also bring with it some challenges. 

Joining lives with someone typically requires some changes, especially when it comes to merging and managing finances. Financial decisions can directly impact your future together, so creating a thoughtful plan and communicating well about finances is key. In honor of the month of love, we’re sharing some tips for how to successfully merge your finances and insurance after marriage. 

Discuss Goals

Sharing goals is the first step in planning a solid financial future. Start with a list of goals, both short-term and long-term. After establishing a list of goals, decide which items are most important to both of you. When you’ve set priorities on goals, then you can focus on accomplishing them. 

Prepare a Budget

Next, set a reasonable budget together. Start by identifying required expenses and then give yourself an amount for unplanned expenses. If your expenses are exceeding your income, determine where you can cut back. Decide how you want to approach managing your finances. If both people want to be involved, be sure to use a system that works for both parties.

Decide on Accounts

You’ll have to decide whether to combine bank accounts or keep them separate. Weigh the pros and cons of each and consider what will work best. A joint account is beneficial in easily keeping records and lower maintenance fees. Separate accounts may be more beneficial in keeping track of how much money is in the account at all times, as just one person is withdrawing. 

Consider Your Debt

If you’re considering adding your name to your spouse’s credit accounts, think thoroughly. Joint credit means both parties are responsible for the debt and it can negatively impact the credit rating if one person has poor credit. Additionally, make sure to consider any debt, either from student loans or elsewhere, when planning your joint budget. 

Combine Insurance

You and your spouse likely already have your own insurance coming into the marriage, whether it be auto, life, etc. You’ll want to examine both policies and decide if it will be more beneficial for you to keep separate policies or get on the same plan. Bundling multiple cars with one insurance provider may make you eligible for discounts and can make managing policies easier. 

As you work through this new chapter in life, consider visiting with a financial adviser to help you along the way. If you’re an OKFB member, your member benefits provide you with multiple insurance and financial services. Contact an agent to receive guidance through merging insurance, or use the banking and financial services from Farm Bureau Bank. 

New Year Annual Insurance Review

As you kick off the new year, one resolution should be to ensure you have the proper insurance protection for the year ahead. Policyholders often treat insurance as something to simply check off and forget about. However, your policies are more valuable than that.

Your policies are protecting you through miles on the road, unpredictable tornado seasons and all of life’s ups and downs. They require updates regularly to adapt to the changes in your life. What better time for this than at the beginning of the year? An annual insurance review will help ensure your policies are up-to-date and provide the protection you need. It can also uncover discounts that you may be eligible for. 

Check out this list of common changes that could require an adjustment to any one of your insurance policies. Talk to your agent to schedule your annual insurance review today: 

  1. You may need to update your Auto policy if you’re driving significantly more or less than you were in previous years, if your vehicle is aging or if you have passed it down to a child.
  2. Consider updating your Home policy if you added high dollar personal property to your home inventory, if you installed a pool, if you completed home improvements or added on to your home size.  
  3. You may need to update your Life policy if you added or lost members of your family recently, if you experienced changes in your health, if you changed jobs or your family’s cost of living increased or decreased. 
  4. Consider updating your Farm & Ranch policy if you expanded operations or added new equipment, if you’re using certain machinery or vehicles more often than usual or if you’ve increased your livestock inventory.

If something has changed in your life over the past year that isn’t reflected in your current policies, talk to your OKFB agent today to schedule an annual insurance review. Life changes fast, this annual review will help make sure your insurance keeps up.