Spring is here (almost) – What now?

If you're a home owner, there a few things you should take a look at every spring. Here in Minnesota, the changing seasons are one of the things many of us enjoy, but it causes some havoc on our homes. Here are 3 things you should consider taking a look at.

  1. Look around your foundation, the apron by the garage, the sidewalks and anywhere else you may have concrete or asphalt. The winter freeze and the spring thaw create heaving in the ground below your feet.  You may notice cracking in the concrete or asphalt. Evaluate if repair is needed. Cracks in the home's foundation may allow water to seep in the home. Cracks and heaving in the sidewalk may create a tripping hazard.
  2. Check your roof. For homeowners that use a snow rake, examine the roof to make sure the shingles are still adequate. Shingles that are cracked, bent or loose need to replaced. If they are becoming very worn, consider getting quotes for replacement shingles. A worn leaking roof can cause much greater issues if gone unchecked. Have you seen any spots in your ceiling? They may be from a leaking roof.
  3. Is your sump pump still working? For some homeowners, the spring thaw results in a full sump pail in your basement. Test the sump pump by pouring water in the sump pail to make sure the pump activates. If you're able to fill up the sump pail and the pump does not turn on, repair is needed. Also, make sure you have a hose outside the home that carries the water away from the foundation. Hoses can be purchased at most hardware stores.

For more tips or ways to save on your insurance, contact Corey at 952-469-9261.

Worried about health insurance costs?

I'm getting a lot of calls about health insurance and the rising costs people are seeing on their renewal statements. Options are raising the deductibles, searching for a new company or accepting the higher premium. But, there's a another option, health share programs. It looks and feels like traditional health insurance, but it's different. For one, the costs are less and lower deductibles. It passes the affordable care act but doesn't have the same requirements. You are reimbursed for expenses vs the insurance company paying the hospital or clinic directly. There are other differences, but for someone that doesn't have pre-existing conditions (meaning they haven't had treatment within the past 12 months, including prescription medication), are a non-smoker and lead a healthy moral lifestyle, this may be a good alternative worth looking at. Costs are about $250 for an individual to $650 for a family. Prices may vary based on options.

Oak Tree Insurance is proud to offer State Auto Insurance

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We're excited to announce this next addition. We've added another company to our already big selection, State Auto Insurance. State Auto is competitive for home, auto, business, farm insurance and more.

Below is an excerpt from State Auto Insurance.

 

About State Auto

In 1921, Robert Pein set out to create a new kind of insurance company. He was frustrated by insurance rates that were too high and claim settlements that weren’t handled fairly. State Automobile Mutual Insurance Company, he said, would be different. He pledged reasonable rates with prompt and fair claim service that remain our hallmark to this day.

We’ve grown a lot since then. Today we have assets approaching $4 billion and write nearly $2 billion in premium in 50 states and the District of Columbia. And we continue to rely on independent agents and wholesale brokers to market our products.

Throughout our nearly 100-year history, we’ve developed a well-respected heritage and built a strong foundation. We’ve always celebrated a culture of people who care. Who deliver exceptional service. Who plant themselves firmly in the communities they serve. Who genuinely understand their customers. And who develop trusted relationships.

That is State Auto Insurance.

Coverage for Service Lines? Yes, you should consider it.

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Mutual Aid eXchange Insurance, aka MAX Insurance, has a very unique endorsement available on their homeowners insurance policies that is not available at most other companies. The endorsement is for service lines outside the home. Normally if your sewer or water line OUTSIDE the home is damaged, from something like a tree root, you are responsible for all costs to repair the lines. This unique endorsement could save you thousands of dollars and it's only $30 per year to add this coverage and provides up to $10,000 in coverage with only a $500 deductible. It even covers you if the line simply fails due to age. Contact Corey for more information or to add this coverage to your policy.

Don’t forget about life insurance

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I've been thinking about this more lately. Do I have enough life insurance? I think I do, but then I look around and wonder if the people around me do. I went to a wedding recently. Great wedding, great family. She has a son from a previous relationship and they recently welcomed a second child into the world. Let's think about this for a second. 2-3 years ago they may have just met, today they are married with 2 wonderful children, a mortgage and 1-2 car payments. I'm not sure on the details but that's fairly typical for a growing family. Today they are responsible for each other and raising two children. That's a lot of change. That's a lot of responsibility. That responsibility has a high price tag. Have they updated their life insurance yet to factor in all that change and responsibility?

When I speak with someone about life insurance I ask them what there biggest asset is. It's not your home or your bank account or your car. For working people, it's your ability to earn money. For a stay at home parent, it's taking care of day to day tasks and raising your children. All of this has value. All of this would need to be replaced in the event of your death. What is the value on that? You'll have to replace lost income or take on more expenses. A very common number is $1,000,000. Some go lower and some go higher. Don't make yourself insurance poor but make sure it's adequate. If you'd like to know how much term insurance is, here's a good place to start a quote. Then contact me. It's time to make sure you can take of those even if you're not here.