April Fools!
April 1, 2016
Do You Rent or Own….Your Life Insurance?
June 1, 2016

I love cooking and entertaining! Food is a great (and tasty) way to bring people together. I have so many wonderful memories growing up and being in the kitchen with my family, and each time I cook old family recipes it takes me down memory lane. It is a creative outlet for me to experiment with new recipes, or just throw everything I have in the fridge into a skillet and see how it turns out!

One of my favorite shows to watch on the Food Network Channel is “Chopped”. Being competitive in nature along with my love for cooking is a “recipe” for binge watching this show! Chefs from all over the country bring their skills to compete for the title of “Chopped Champion.” As confident as they all are, no one wants to hear the words “you’ve been chopped.” Whether you are the first one to be eliminated or the last, it’s disappointing when your hard work has been eliminated.

So, how does it feel if you spend all this time working on something and then be eliminated? Have you ever been “chopped” by an insurance company? Unfortunately, this does happen and can happen whether you are a new policy holder or been with a company for many years. There are some conditions that are unavoidable such as being in a territory where the company will no longer write coverage, or in some cases a policy is cancelled due to a certain number claims. On the other hand, companies may cancel a policy due to hazardous conditions discovered upon inspection, premiums not being paid, occupancy or misrepresentation.

Here are some tips to help prevent being “chopped”:

  1. These are a few common property conditions that can be addressed prior to getting insurance – repair broken or uneven driveways or sidewalks, cut back tree limbs or plants that are too close or hanging over the roof, replace broken windows, missing siding, or missing roof shingles, dispose of any debris in the yard, install hand rails for all balconies or porches that are 3 ft. or more off the ground. This does not include all potential conditions so talk to your agent about specific hazards.
  2. Disclose any animals (and breed type), swimming pools or trampolines to your agent. Answer all of the underwriting questions honestly and accurately.
  3. Stay on top of your bills. There are many payment options – monthly EFT, direct bill, mortgagee bill, etc. Whichever billing option you choose, set up a reminder so you know when your next payment is due. If you are not going to be able to pay a bill on time, do not wait until it is past due – notify your agent or customer service department to discuss possible payment schedules. If your insurance is paid through escrow, follow up with your mortgage company to verify the payment has been sent.
  4. When getting an insurance quote, provide the correct owner, property type (such as single family dwelling, ranch, mobile home, etc.), and occupancy.

It is an insured’s responsibility to help prevent certain conditions which could cause cancellations, and more importantly to provide accurate information to your agent when reviewing your policy. Take the initiative and help reduce your risk of getting “chopped”!

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