Oak Tree Insurance is part of the Atlas Insurance Brokers (www.aibme.com) network of agents with over 50 locations in Minnesota. Being Independent Insurance Agents allows us to compare rates from over 50 insurance companies including AAA, Encompass, Progressive, Travelers, The Hartford, Safeco, West Bend, Selective and many more. We provide you with a customized, comprehensive, and cost effective insurance plan for your auto insurance, home insurance, business insurance, life insurance, health insurance, boat insurance, motorcycle insurance, farm insurance, and other insurance needs. This gives you more CHOICES and insurance options than agents that can only offer one insurance company like State Farm, American Family, Allstate, Farmers Insurance (One size does not fit All).
Jackie suffered serious injuries requiring several surgeries and intensive physical therapy to recover and even though she was not at fault for the accident, she got a $650,000 hospital bill.
HOW IT WENT (EVEN MORE) WRONG
Ian's minimum coverage for Jackie's medical bills was quickly exhausted — he was underinsured — so she had no choice but to sue him for reimbursement, incurring legal fees paid in advance, out of her own pocket.
Since Ian didn't have significant assets, he declared bankruptcy, putting Jackie back to square one. Burdened by debt, unable to work and without compensation for lost wages, she too was forced to declare bankruptcy.
REWRITING THE STORY
If Jackie had a personal umbrella with $1MM excess UM/UIM, it would have kicked in after the underinsured motorist on her auto was exhausted to take care of lost wages and medical bills.
- Why UIM? If you're in an accident and the other driver is at fault and has limited coverage, it covers the gap between what their policy pays and your medical expenses. Without it, you are responsible for the difference.
- UIM is insurance for your benefit. It's insurance for you and your passengers. It takes care of bodily injury and ensures your well-being.
Health insurance won't rescue you. It won't cover lost wages, pain and suffering or emotional distress and has limits for essential medical care, like physical therapy. And co-pays add up. If your bills are $650,000 and your health insurance pays 80%, you would be responsible for $130,000.
When it rains it pours is the phrase we hear often. Close your eyes and think about the last near accident you've been in, or even more realistic, think about the last time you've actually been involved in a collision.
Here's my example: A relative of mine was involved in a pretty serious collision a few years ago. He was stopped at a stoplight when a car rear ended him going at a very high rate of speed. His truck was a total loss. He was rushed to the hospital with severe injuries to his back and neck (and I suspect more than that even). After months of physical therapy and a few surgeries he ended up settling with the other driver's insurance company for a large sum. He was never able to return to occupation he went to school for and will have life long pain to his back from the accident.
Now imagine you were in that truck with your spouse and 2 kids. Now imagine you were the other driver and you rear ended a family of 4 because you were distracted while you were driving. Are the liability limits on your auto insurance policy enough to pay for the medical bills for an accident you may cause? Are the limits on your homeowners insurance policy enough to cover an accident that happens at home? What if someone is hurt at the cabin?
An personal umbrella policy gives you extra protection over your homeowners insurance, auto insurance, motorcycle insurance, etc.
There are two main parts you should consider when looking at an umbrella policy.
1. Personal excess liability: This is when you are at fault or deemed negligent. If you were the reason why someone else was injured this pays for the settlement after you are sued. Typically $1,000,000, but you can go much higher.
2. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage: This gives you protection when another driver runs into you, you are injured and you are not at fault. If you are awarded a settlement for an injury in an accident you first go to the at fault drivers insurance policy (assuming they are insured), then you go to your own insurance policy. If your injuries or anyone in your vehicle has severe injuries and are awarded a settlement that exceeds the liability limits on the first two policies, then you can access the uninsured/underinsured motorist endorsement on the umbrella policy.
Contact Oak Tree Insurance for more details and examples.
Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes and many us like to spend time on the water. If you are one of them and have a boat, don't forget to renew or update your boat insurance. While it's not required like it is for a car, it's a good idea to have at least liability coverage. Oak Tree Insurance has access to several companies for boat insurance. Here's an example of coverage to consider when buying a new boat.
1. Physical damage - pays for the boat in the event it's damaged, stolen or even sinks.
2. Personal property - pays for all the fishing equipment, life jackets and other items you bring along.
3. Liability and medical payments - what if an action you did driving the boat injured another person or property? This pays for the injuries to a person and replaces property you damaged.
4. Uninsured boater - This pays for your medical injuries if someone runs into you or your family members and they didn't have insurance.
5. Spill Liability - Spilled gas or oil in the lake could be big expense to you if it happens. Think about the logs and rocks you can't see but could cause damage to the motor, and then the lower unit starts spilling oil and then the gas line ruptures, etc...
6. If you have an older boat with a motor 50hp or less and have a homeowners insurance or renters insurance policy, you may have liability coverage in that policy already. Contact your agent for clarification.
Did you know that your insurance agent needs to be licensed in that state that your property is located in? If you have your primary home in Minnesota, have a cabin in Wisconsin, or a rental property in Arizona, Oak Tree Insurance can help you.
The agent, Corey, is licensed for business in MN, WI, or AZ. Contact Corey if you'd like to consolidate your policies with one competitive agency.
Remember, it's all about choices. Now it can also be convenient.
If you're buying a home soon or just thinking about it, call me. Not only can Oak Tree Insurance provide you with a great homeowners insurance policy, we also have relationships with some of the premier mortgage loan officers and realtors in the Twin Cities South Metro area and a few other areas.
It's important that you make sure you follow some sound advice when purchasing a home. Whether it's your first home or your 10th home, here are a few tips when you buy a home.
1. If you're financing, try to avoid any major purchases for 3-6 months prior to buying. Any credit inquiries in the months leading up to a your purchase could reduce your credit rating which in turn could raise your interest rate. When you do start looking, get pre-approved first. This way you won't be wasting your time and you can get serious.
2. Only buy what you can afford. This might be obvious. Think about how much you're spending now on rent or your current mortgage. If you don't seem to have any extra money at the end of the month, don't spend more just because you're pre-approved for it. Just because you're preapproved for a large payment, you need to know how much you can really afford.
3. Once you've found the house, get a home inspection. See if you can go with the home inspector, ask questions, and don't rush it. You plan on living in the home, make sure you know what you're buying. If you see something that looks suspicious, ask about it. A crack in a basement floor could mean something as serious as a water drainage issue. But don't worry about paint colors, you can always paint. Some things are a simple fix, some things are not. Know what you're buying.
4. If you're buying an older home, make sure the systems are in good shape. Make sure the electrical system and plumbing system is up to date. Not only is this safer for the homeowner, it's also better for insurance rates. Check the roof too. New shingles means the insurance rates are better, old shingles could mean you'll be replacing them at some point in the near future.
5. But, if the price is right and you have the skills or the budget, you can overlook some of these repair items. Just make sure you don't wait too long before the repairs are done.
Disability insurance helps replace a major portion of your income when you are sick or injured and unable to work. Some people think of it as “paycheck protection.” Others view it as a way to protect their home since a mortgage payment is often a family’s most significant monthly expense.
Having disability insurance can provide a sense of security, knowing that if the unexpected should happen, you’ll still receive a monthly income.
If you think about it, everything you have today - your home, car, groceries, savings - basically your lifestyle, depends on your ability to earn an income. Most people are quick to insure their possessions, such as their home and car. And they generally have life insurance that would provide for their family. But the one thing that makes all this possible is – your income. It’s your most important asset. So, protecting it with disability insurance isn’t just a good decision – it’s essential.
How much do I need? Try this handy calculator from lifehappens.org.