How to Help Your Insurance Broker: Top 7 Facts They Need to Know

How to Help Your Insurance Broker: Top 7 Facts They Need to Know

When it comes to managing your insurance policies effectively, your insurance broker plays a crucial role in providing you with the best coverage options. But in order to do their job efficiently, your insurance broker needs to have a thorough understanding of your personal and financial situation. In this blog, we’ll cover the top 7 things your broker needs to know about you to help your insurance broker tailor the best insurance policies to meet your specific needs.

Your Full Personal Information

The cornerstone of any effective insurance plan is rooted in the accurate and comprehensive sharing of your personal information with your insurance broker. This goes beyond just your name and birthdate; it encompasses your permanent address, telephone numbers, and email addresses. Such data plays a pivotal role in not only ensuring that all communications and documents reach you without fail, but also in securing the preciseness of your insurance application and subsequent policies. 

As things change, make sure to keep them updated, as well. Errors or omissions in personal details can lead to unnecessary complications, from delays in processing claims to issues with policy validity. For that reason, it’s essential for your broker to understand any changes in your personal circumstances that could affect your insurance needs, such as a change in marital status or a significant move.

Your Employment and Income Details

Understanding the intricacies of your financial landscape is imperative for your insurance broker to accurately gauge the level and type of coverage that best suits your needs. This doesn’t only include your basic employment status—whether you’re a full-time employee, self-employed, or part-time worker—but also a detailed breakdown of all of your income sources, like any secondary jobs, freelance income, investments, or benefits you might receive. This granularity allows your insurance broker to assess your financial stability and risk level, crucial factors in determining your insurance premiums and the scope of coverage required. 

Moreover, understanding your income level aids in identifying the most appropriate insurance solutions that fit within your budget while still offering the necessary protection. For example, higher-income individuals might have more assets to protect, necessitating more comprehensive coverage options. Conversely, for those with a tighter budget, an insurance broker can prioritize the most critical coverage areas to ensure essential protection without overextending financially.

Your Health History

Disclosing your health history to your insurance broker is vital to secure policies that adequately cover your healthcare needs. This should include a comprehensive account of any chronic conditions, significant illnesses, surgeries you’ve undergone, medications you are taking, and any ongoing treatments or therapies. The relevance of this information cannot be overstated, as it significantly influences both the type and cost of the health insurance coverage available to you.

For instance, certain health conditions may necessitate specialized insurance plans, which only a broker informed of your health history can recommend accurately. Similarly, some treatments or medications might not be fully covered under standard policies, necessitating additional or specialized coverage to ensure you are not left out of pocket. 

It’s also crucial to update your broker about any changes in your health status. New diagnoses, changes in medication, or the conclusion of a treatment can all affect your insurance needs and potential premiums. Openly sharing this information ensures that your broker can proactively adjust your coverage to fit your evolving health landscape, keeping your policies relevant and effective over time.

Your Lifestyle Choices

The choices you make every day, from engaging in adrenaline-pumping extreme sports to your smoking habits, play a significant role in shaping the insurance policies that best suit your needs. Transparency with your insurance broker about these activities is necessary, as it allows them to understand the full spectrum of risks you’re exposed to and recommend coverage that truly reflects your lifestyle. 

While it may feel a little vulnerable, disclosing such habits enables your broker to navigate the insurance landscape more effectively, securing policies that encompass all aspects of your lifestyle without leaving you underinsured.

Your Financial Obligations

Navigating the landscape of your financial obligations is essential for your insurance broker to develop a protective net around your fiscal well-being. This encompasses a detailed overview of your debts such as student loans, credit card debt, and any other liabilities that may influence your ability to manage financial risk. Equally important is the disclosure of ongoing commitments like mortgage payments, lease agreements, or child support, which bear weight on your financial stability and insurance necessities.

Acknowledging these responsibilities allows your broker to consider additional layers of protection you might require. For example, life insurance becomes crucial if you have dependents or significant debt, ensuring that your financial obligations are covered in unforeseen circumstances. Likewise, disability insurance might be a strategic recommendation, offering income protection if you’re unable to work due to illness or injury.

Your Current Insurance Policies

One crucial piece of information that your insurance broker needs from you is a complete rundown of any and all insurance policies you currently hold, including health insurance, life insurance, auto insurance, and property insurance policies. For each policy, be prepared to share the specifics such as the provider, the coverage limits, the premiums you’re paying, and importantly, the expiry dates. 

This exercise is not just about transparency; it’s about leveraging your broker’s expertise to scrutinize your existing coverage and identify potential areas for optimization. They can pinpoint where you might be over-insured, thus helping you streamline your policies to potentially reduce costs, or under-insured, where they can suggest enhancements to ensure you’re adequately protected. Additionally, understanding your current insurance landscape enables your broker to craft strategies that avoid duplication of coverage, ensuring that every dollar you spend on insurance is working as efficiently as possible for you.

Your Long-term Goals

Understanding your ambitions and plans for the future is imperative for crafting an insurance strategy that grows and adapts with you. Your long-term goals might include major life events such as starting a family, buying a house, or transitioning into retirement—each of which have unique insurance considerations, from adjusting life insurance coverage to planning for estate taxes or securing long-term care insurance. 

For example, if you’re aiming to purchase a home, ensuring you have adequate property and liability coverage becomes essential. Likewise, if retirement is on the horizon, exploring annuities or long-term care insurance might be prudent. Sharing these aspirations with your insurance broker enables them to foresee potential changes in your insurance needs and recommend policies that not only protect you today but also pave the way for a secure tomorrow. 

As you can see, providing your insurance broker with a complete and detailed overview of your personal situations—from your full personal information to your long-term aspirations—is vital in shaping a comprehensive insurance strategy that suits your needs. Your transparency allows your broker to personalize your coverage, ensuring that you are both adequately protected and positioned to achieve your future goals. If you’re looking for a broker who you can trust, reach out to us. We’d love to get to know you better.

Insuring Family Heirlooms- From Generation to Generation

Insuring Family Heirlooms- From Generation to Generation

Some of the most valuable things in life aren’t those that were expensive—they are things that are truly unique. Like the old grandfather clock that sat in your ancestor’s living room to the family ring that has been a part of more weddings than you have, these family heirlooms are the foundation of our own backgrounds and characters, and can be—quite literally—irreplaceable. For that reason alone, you should make sure you are doing what you can to take care of them—including insuring them in case of loss, theft or damage. 

What is considered a family heirloom?

While the word “heirloom” brings up ideas of art passed down for generations, or a piece of priceless jewelry, the reality is that an heirloom is anything of value that is passed down from generation to generation. Practically, this means that everything from furniture, clothing, serving ware, textiles and more could be considered an heirloom. As such, any of these things can be worth insuring, if they are valuable enough for your family.

What kind of insurance will I need to insure an heirloom?

There are a few different types of insurance that may cover an heirloom, depending, of course, on what the heirloom is. Homeowners insurance may cover items within the home, but generally will not recognize the inherent value of a specific thing, so typically you will be looking at more specialized policies. Other options are personal property insurance, which focuses coverage on a per-item basis. At Penny Insurance, we offer Valuable Items Insurance, which takes into consideration the value you place on an heirloom item.

When in doubt, it’s best to consult your insurance agent for guidelines on what can be insured and for how much. Even if they won’t cover it, there is a great chance they will know who will. 

How do you insure a family heirloom?

Insuring the most precious of items isn’t hard—even though there are a few things you’ll need to do to get everything in order. Here is a step-by-step process for getting your family heirlooms insured.  

1. Locate and List

What do you consider a family heirloom? Is it—practically—worth insuring? Do your due diligence and determine what pieces you would like to insure—from artwork to jewelry or even grandma’s vintage recipe book. Once you have compiled all the information you can, you’ll need to find out what it’s generally worth.

2. Get an appraisal

While an appraisal can’t tell you how much you value grandpa’s old watch, it can give you a more complete picture of what you have to insure—the monetary value of the item, how old it is, and maybe even a bit of background information you didn’t have before. All of this information will be vital to have on hand as you meet with your insurance agent. 

3. Work with your agent

Once you have all the information in place, schedule a time to sit down with your agent and go over the details of what you want to insure and for how much. They’ll be able to not only walk you through the process and the price, but often may also give you ideas on how to protect the item, or coverage options you should consider. 

4. Keep them safe

While it’s great to have Aunt Cindy’s stole insured in case something happens to it, keep in mind that there is no compensation equal to that of losing something that held personal value for you, so you’ll want to make sure you keep your family heirloom as safe as possible. Consider how you will store and care for the item until it’s ready to pass down to someone else—and when you do, let them know how they can go ahead and protect and insure it, as well.

No matter what type of heirloom you want to insure, Penny Insurance is ready to help. Should you have any questions about coverage or insurance types, or if you would like to schedule a consultation or get a quote, please contact us and let us know. 

The Real Scare of Halloween

The Real Scare of Halloween

The Real Scare of Halloween: Why You Need Homeowners Insurance with Liability

When considering a homeowners’ insurance policy, it is imperative to consider personal and family liability protection as part of the policy. Accidents happen, and you need to be proactive about your coverage before it’s too late. With Halloween being right around the corner and increased liability and property damage risks, not having a comprehensive insurance policy can be scarier than Halloween and here’s why:

Trick-or-Treaters on Your Property

According to the National Retail Federation, 69% of Americans plan to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters on Halloween to celebrate. If you have your porch lights on, you are welcoming people onto your property, and this can pose a number of risks. While giving out candy and complimenting kids on their costumes is a fun tradition, if a trick-or-treater hurts themselves on your property, you could face serious consequences such as legal fees, medical fees, and more. Some common liability incidents that occur each year include, but are not limited to: trick-or-treaters tripping on homeowners’ sidewalks or falling because of bulky costumes, children having allergic reactions to candy or other sweet treats, and pets getting spooked by the unfamiliar visitors and causing harm. Hand out candy worry-free this year knowing you’re covered if a mishap occurs.

Accidents at Parties

Pumpkin carving contests and alcohol are popular elements at any Halloween party, but are also accident-prone elements. Sharp tools used to carve pumpkins and burning candles to light up jack-o’-lanterns are obvious risks for party participants, but did you know that you could be held responsible and face serious consequences if one of your alcohol-infused guests causes harm to someone else’s property or to another person? In addition, without liability insurance, you could face serious consequences if an underaged party guest gets a hold of alcohol. Host Halloween parties with confidence knowing you won’t have to face haunting repercussions.

Spooky Season Pranks

It is undeniable that the number of pranks and damage to personal property spike during spooky season. In fact, there are 17% more insurance claims for theft and vandalism on Halloween versus any other day of the year. If your personal property is not protected, you could be fronting the costs of fixing car vandalism, repairing damage to your home, replacing smashed mailboxes, and more. In addition, if you plan on decorating your home or dressing up to surprise trick-or-treaters, be sure to keep it reasonable as motion-sensored decorations and scary costumes can easily frighten children, causing them to run away or hurt themselves and suffer from physical or mental distress at your expense. It’s spooky out there– make sure you’re covered.

Consider these risks this season and don’t let a liability mishap haunt you. Make sure your homeowner’s insurance policy includes liability coverage to protect you and your family. We want you to have an enjoyable fall season with a peace of mind knowing that if something happens, we’ve got you covered. If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, don’t call the Ghostbusters, call Penny Insurance Agency! We’re here to help.

Flight Risk Private Aviation Insurance

Flight Risk Private Aviation Insurance

It’s that time of the year again! The cold air, snow, lights, decorations and delicious food, make us wish this season could be year-round. More importantly though, it’s a time where families can gather together once again. Travel rates during this time of year tend to increase, as everyone is visiting family. Last year in 2017, it was estimated that roughly 100 million Americans were planning to travel, whether that was to see family or go on vacation.* Whereas driving may be cheaper, many people opt to fly because it is often quicker and more efficient. Although some people tend to prefer private aviation because of the convenience and privacy it offers, private aviation is much more dangerous than flying commercially.**

Aviation insurance differs greatly from personal home and auto insurance, but insuring your aircraft and your safety is just as important. Choosing the best insurance provider will not only protect your aircraft business, but more importantly all the passengers on the plane. It will also cover third parties involved in aviation accident like the people injured during the crash, any crops or buildings that are ruined by the plane and the properties that are damaged because of the accident.***

With all the risks associated with flying, we have listed below a few insurance options you may want to consider when purchasing private aviation insurance.****

  • Owners Aircraft Insurance
    • If you’re the owner of an aircraft, we highly suggest the Owners Aircraft Insurance, which covers aircraft categories such as jets, airplanes, seaplanes, turbines and air gliders… just to name a few. It’s also mandatory to have in-flight Insurance since this specific type of insurance will cover the liabilities incurred by the plane during accidents in the air as well as incidents that occur on the ground.
  • Hangar Insurance
    • As an owner, you should consider purchasing Hangar Insurance to secure the locations where you park your plane. Additionally, the owner also has the option to get Hangar Keepers Insurance, which includes the personnel who maintains your aircraft and their safety benefits.
  • Renters Aircraft Insurance
    • If you are a renter of planes, acquiring Renters Aircraft Insurance would allow you to protect yourself and your beneficiaries in time of an accident.
  • Non-Owned Insurance
    • If you are a student learning to fly various aircrafts, it is mandatory for the schools to get non-owned insurance to protect the students if something goes wrong during the course of training.

Although purchasing private aviation insurance can be extremely costly, it’s extremely vital and worth having. Further, after you have done your research determining which insurance is right for you, your insurance company can help offer you rates and pick out the correct insurance option that suits your budget.

While private aviation provides you with maximum travel freedoms, it can also bring about numerous liability concerns. Let us develop a comprehensive coverage plan for your unique travel accommodations. Contact us today so we can help you soar the skies with peace of mind!





How to Avoid a Halloween Horror Story

How to Avoid a Halloween Horror Story

With October 31 quickly approaching next week, the Halloween craze has certainly set in. Decorations have popped up in every corner, carved pumpkins are on the front porch, fake tombstones and witches in the yard, skulls on the ground…it really is quite a scary site. However, the monsters, costumes and decorations aren’t the only things you should be afraid of during Halloween. Liability issues should also be a major concern. Listed below are just a few reasons why you should ensure that your insurance policies are prepared to handle any horrors that may present themselves.*

  • Decorations
    • With all the decorations lying in the yard, it’s only a matter of time before a child trips on something and hurts himself. Some of the more popular Halloween costumes for kids are princesses, witches or super heroes. Most of these costumes involve capes, masks, or even full-body suits which are sometimes too big, which can cause a child to trip walking up the steps to retrieve candy. According to Moneytips, the liability portion of your homeowner’s policy will generally cover these types of accidents. However, it is important that you remove any potential danger or threat from your walkway on which a child could trip and get injured. If your decorations present a danger to trick-or-treaters, your insurance may not cover the damages.
  • Dogs
    • It is important to note that although your dog may be very friendly to you or other people it knows well, children can often startle dogs, especially at night, which could lead to them biting out of fear. Dogs are especially afraid of loud noises and generally get scared or protective when they see a large group of people approaching on their territory. Stressed or nervous pets are more inclined to bite and scratch, and hearing loud and excited kids dressed in many different types of strange costumes coming to the front door will surely startle the dogs. So, for the sake of the neighborhood children, and your liability insurance premiums, be sure to restrain and confine your pets on Halloween. Keeping them away from children in a crate, for example, will prevent severe liability risks for homeowners.
  • Accidental Fires
    • Candles certainly do create a spooky atmosphere for Halloween, but they are also a huge liability issue for homeowners. During this night, you will often see candles lining the pathway to the front door or they will be lighting up jack-o-lanterns. This spooky effect is also a safety factor, but ironically, lit candles pose an enormous risk for these people. Generally, a homeowner’s policy will cover repairs and living expenses during the repair period, unless the fire was caused irresponsibly or on accident. To prevent accidental fires, LED lights come highly recommended.

It is important that your insurance policies are ready for any potential liability issues that can occur this Halloween. If you are not exactly certain what your homeowner insurance policy covers, contact us at Penny Insurance because we can help you. Give us a call today to connect with an agent to discuss your coverage options.


Young Professionals Series- Digital Risks for Young Professionals

Young Professionals Series- Digital Risks for Young Professionals

The last two decades have been dominated by technology; we have become completely immersed and dependent on it. One of the largest effects technology has had on society has been a change in communication. We no longer communicate face-to-face; it’s all carried out via texting, talking on the phone, through social media applications or direct messaging. Because communication can be performed this way, it is no longer necessary to schedule an appointment with someone in person because it can just as easily be carried out through a phone call or an email which certainly adds a factor of convenience.

This digital age has transformed society from a standpoint of accessibility; everything is easier and oftentimes faster. Daily responsibilities and tasks such as payments, transportation, dating and even communication in general can be performed digitally. Wouldn’t you rather complete a task in 30 minutes than in two hours? Why spend more time on something when it can be completed in less amount of time? We, as consumers, enjoy convenience, and the primary goal of technology is to make life easier, and that it does… hence the phrase of having everything at the “tips of your fingers.”

Not surprisingly, because of this convenience factor, young adults make up the highest number of digital users. UNICEF’S State of the World’s Children 2017: Children in a Digital World report* revealed that one in three internet users is younger than 18 years and 71% of 15–24-year-olds are online. Further, according to Chubb Insured**, 53 million young professionals, born between the years of 1981 and 1992, manage more and more of their business digitally. Based on recent reports from Statista, 77% of the US population has a social media account / profile.*** Over ¾’s of our country’s population is online!

Although these new ways of conducting business have proven to be more efficient and therefore convenient, they are also associated with dangerous risks, such as financial loss, a damaged reputation and legal problems. The reliance that young professionals place in technology is very risky. However, certain types of insurance can assuage these negative effects of living and working in a primarily digital age. By purchasing cyber liability insurance, you can protect your yourself and your company’s valuable information. This is the only type of insurance created specifically for the event of electronic data theft. If you don’t properly monitor your digital channels, you can even become the victim of identity theft, incur travel/transportation-related risks as well as failing to attain renters’ and other non-compulsory insurance.

Even though this age group forms the largest demographic of users, their knowledge on the power of technology is insufficient, which would explain the increasing number of hazardous occurrences among this group. In order to avoid such dangers, young professionals must educate themselves on the many risks that exist in today’s digital world. It’s imperative that they can identify these risks and know how to avoid them. These young professionals need to seek out the advice of an expert to teach them about the insurance solutions. Experienced professionals in this industry can help instruct them on these dangers of an ever-growing digital society and how to decrease these potential risks.

It is absolutely crucial that this generation stay informed on the liabilities and effects of using technology in the workplace. Just because something is easy or convenient does not mean that it is the safest course of action. We at Penny Insurance can help you. Give us a call today to connect with a Penny Insurance agent to discuss your coverage options.


** file:///Users/baileyverrault/Downloads/the-sharing-economy–digital-risks-for-young-professionals.pdf