Hitting the road this summer? Be prepared.

Posted by Alex Boyer on Sat, Jul 08, 2017

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It's summer road trip season! Please enjoy this edition of Risk Solutions Series from our friends at Nationwide Insurance to make sure your summer road trips are safe and fun!

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With gas prices expected to remain relatively low and the current average price of unleaded gasoline at $2.37 per gallon,¹ you can expect another busy summer driving season. With this rise in traffic comes an increase in calls for roadside assistance. Insurance companies are busy preparing for a high number of roadside assistance dispatches for common vacation mishaps, such as a flat tire, dead car battery or keys locked inside the car. The most common calls for roadside assistance from our clients are: towing (54%), jump starts (23%) and flat tires (15%).²

Nationwide Private Client Risk Solutions recommends the following tips to be safe on the road.

Prepare for your road trip

• Take your vehicle to be inspected by a qualified mechanic several days before you depart.

• Make sure your vehicle is in good working order for your trip, including but not limited to tires, battery, belts, fluids and air conditioner.

• Ensure child car seats are properly installed and are size-appropriate.

• Get a good night’s sleep. Drive only when well rested, and make sure to stop every two hours or 200 miles to stay sharp.

• Pack an emergency kit, and include:

--Water
--Warm blankets
--Flashlight
--Jumper cables
--Flares or reflectors
--Tools to change a tire
--First-aid kit
--Fully charged cellular phone

Stay safe during a roadside emergency

• Take action immediately. Pull onto the shoulder and out of traffic as far as possible considering the conditions.

• Warn others you are having trouble. Use your hazard and warning flashers immediately. Raise the vehicle hood, if safe to do so, to alert passing authorities that the vehicle is disabled and help is needed.

• Call for roadside assistance. Nationwide Private Client policyholders with roadside assistance coverage can call our Solutions Center at 1-855-473-6410 and select option 1, then option 1 again, to be directly connected to our roadside assistance partner, Agero.³

• Wait for professional help to arrive. Don’t attempt to fix your vehicle unless you have training to do so. In 2016, the wait time for roadside assistance arrival was an average of 30 minutes or less.

• Don’t exit your car until it’s safe. Don’t exit the vehicle unless it is necessary and safe to do so — especially if you are on a  busy road or highway. Don’t stand next to or behind the vehicle. Too often people survive car accidents only to be injured from a secondary accident because they have gotten out of their vehicle.

• Download our mobile app. With the Private Client Connect™ mobile app, help is at your fingertips. You can access roadside assistance benefits whether or not you are in an insured vehicle. This will give you added peace of mind, especially if you have children since the benefits follow the client, not the vehicle. Your children can get assistance even when traveling in a friend’s car.

About Agero, our roadside assistance partner:

With more than 40 years of experience, Agero is a leading provider of vehicle and driver safety, security and information services, including roadside assistance, consumer affairs and claims management services.

Agero protects over 80 million vehicle owners in partnership with leading automobile manufacturers, insurance carriers and others. Managing one of the largest national networks of service providers, Agero responds to more than 10 million requests annually. Agero’s awardwinning solutions leverage advances in technology and information services to accelerate and enhance response to drivers’ needs while strengthening customer loyalty. Agero, a member company of The Cross Country Group, is headquartered in Medford, Mass., with operations throughout North America.

• 11 out of 15 top insurance carriers choose Agero
• 75% of new passenger vehicles sold in U.S. use Agero’s solutions

If you have any questions, please contact your agent or Nationwide Private Client Risk Solutions professional. For more information on how you can help prevent losses, visit nationwide.com/solutionseries.

We offer this information to assist you in making decisions that can help mitigate your risk. While we cannot address every possible scenario or guarantee these tips will work for you, our goal is to support your efforts to protect yourself and your family.

 

1gasprices.aaa.com/ as of 5/31/17
2Data provided by our roadside assistance vendor Agero as of August 2016.
3Roadside assistance benefits are only available to Nationwide Private Client policyholders. Coverages may vary by state, so check with your policy or insurance agent to verify what benefits are available to you.

Tags: E&K Insurance, safety, auto insurance, driving, Car insurance, accident, prepare, personal insurance, vehicle maintenance, vehicle preparation, personal liability, motor vehicle, nationwide insurance, roadside, roadside emergency, roadside assistance, summer, road trip, emergency, nationwide

The Social Security Claiming Guide

Posted by Alex Boyer on Sun, Nov 13, 2016

Thinking about Social Security and retirement benefits? Have some questions? Take a look at the Social Security Claiming Guide, which your agents at E & K consider a good primer on Social Security benefits and retirement planning in general – courtesy of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College:

http://crr.bc.edu/special-projects/books/the-social-security-claiming-guide/

And of course, if you have more specific questions, feel free to contact your local E & K agent!

Tags: retirement plan, social security, retirement

Here's Why You Can Depend E & K’s Independence

Posted by Alex Boyer on Sun, Jul 10, 2016

Rather than simply a policy, don't you really need comprehensive risk management and a true partner that can fit you with the right coverage at the best value?

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Unlike exclusive agents that are beholden to one insurer, E & K is independent and represents scores of  insurers.  This allows us to provide a wide variety of valuable insurance options tailored to you and your unique needs.

But that's really just the beginning of why E & K’s independence is valuable.

Greater Satisfaction

According to J.D. Power and Associates, overall satisfaction among customers who patronize small auto insurers is now greater than with large insurance firms. This is notable because smaller auto insurers are typically marketed by independent agents like E & K.

"Price perception among customers of smaller insurers is likely influenced by the fact that they frequently select their insurer with the help of an independent agent," said Greg Hoeg, J.D. Power vice president of U.S. insurance operations. "Smaller insurers benefit from the personal interactions provided by their agency force, including their  ability to educate customers about the value their policy provides."

Speak on Your Behalf

E & K's top concern is its clients.  Your interests are our interests, so if you're having a problem with your coverage or encounter issues that prevent you from being fully satisfied, we're ready to go to the plate on your behalf.

One-Stop Shopping

E & K deals with multiple products, including renters, homeowners, automobile and business. Bundling is a great savings tool, and E & K can help you take advantage of these savings by finding you the right "package" of coverages from a single carrier.

The insurance buying process can be daunting.  E & K’s Insurance Counselors make it easy.

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Well-Versed In All Things Insurance

E & K’s Insurance Counselors  devote their professional lives to insurance, making them extremely knowledgeable on the topic. According to data from PayScale.com, nearly 40% of insurance agents have between five and 19 years of experience.  The longevity of experience of E & K’s staff far exceeds the national average.  At a time when so many consumers complain about the constant turnover of employees at the large insurers and direct writers from whom they try to get help, the average E & K Insurance Counselor at E & K has been part of our family for over a dozen years.

Confirms Your Insurance is Appropriate

All too often people buy insurance only to learn they're underinsured when they need to make a claim. As we like to say:

Cheap insurance is good when you buy it…

The right insurance is good when you need it.

This is one of the risks of buying coverage on your own. E & K’s Insurance Counselors not only help you determine you're buying the right type of insurance, but also the right amount.

Ready to get started? Learn more about how E & K can help you at:

www.e-kinsurance.com

info@e-kinsurance.com

732-389-6000

Learn more about Insurance Independence at:

http://www.e-kinsurance.com/resource-center

Tags: E&K Insurance, Insurance, independent insurer

Happy Memorial Day

Posted by Alex Boyer on Fri, May 27, 2016

To all our veterans, we remember and thank you for your sacrifice and your service.  

Your friends at E & K Insurance.

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Tags: Holiday, memorial day, veterans

Mortgage Life Insurance – Is There a Better Way?

Posted by Alex Boyer on Wed, Apr 27, 2016

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Many of our clients are bombarded with mailed solicitations for the purchase of Mortgage Life Insurance. A common question they ask us, particularly those for whom we write homeowner’s insurance, is:

"Do I need, or should I get, Mortgage Life Insurance?”

Our short answer is that, like much life insurance, Mortgage Life Insurance can be helpful in the right circumstance. However, there may be far better alternatives for you and your family.

Let us share 5 reasons why you should speak to E & K about Term Life Insurance, as compared to Mortgage Life Insurance, if you are concerned about how to leave your family without the worries of a mortgage should something happen to you.

  1. Unlike most Mortgage Life Insurance, with Term Life Insurance your coverage amount will not decline as your mortgage balance declines.
  2. Your family may use the proceeds of Term Life Insurance for whatever they deem necessary.  This may be to pay off your mortgage, but it doesn’t have to be. Your family may use the proceeds for other important household, medical or college expenses  It’s nice to have that flexibility when you never know what life may throw at you.
  3. As the owner of your Term Life Insurance, you can pick the beneficiaries. The beneficiary doesn’t have to be the bank holding your mortgage.
  4. Even though you pay the premiums of a Mortgage Life Insurance policy, the bank, not you, usually owns the policy and is the beneficiary – not your family.
  5. You may have to replace your Mortgage Life Insurance policy if you refinance your home. Aside from being a pain, health changes may make you less insurable in the future. With Term Life Insurance, you don’t have to replace your policy just because you refinance your home.

Let E & K help you make the best life insurance decisions for your family.  We can help you structure protection with the flexibility you want that makes sense with your budget.

Please call us to speak to one of our life insurance professionals and, as always, thank you for giving E & K the opportunity to service your insurance needs.

This is not an offer of coverage or a solicitation of insurance to anyone outside of the State of New Jersey. Policy descriptions provided here are not statements of contract. Please refer to the policy forms for full disclosure of all benefits and limitations. Please note that any life insurance offered by insurance companies through E & K as an agent of the companies is not a deposit, not FDIC or NCUSIF insured, not guaranteed by the institution, not insured by any federal government agency and may lose value.

Tags: Homeowner Insurance, E&K Insurance, Homeowner, Insurance, Homeowners insurance, term life insurance, mortgage, mortgage life insurance, life insurance

Only 1 in 3 Know When Puppies Become Dogs

Posted by Alex Boyer on Tue, Apr 19, 2016

Please enjoy this article on dogs and pet safety, courtesy of Selective Insurance company.

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Each of us may not see eye to eye on everything, but here's something we all can agree on: Puppies are pretty doggone precious. Who among us doesn't melt at the sight of a young pug's scrunched snout or fall to pieces looking into the doughy eyes of a tender-aged Labrador?

Where there's less like-mindedness, however, is exactly when puppies transition to full-grown pooches, according to a newly released survey.

Veterinarians indicate that puppies shed their pup status usually by the time they turn 1 year old. Talk to your average dog owner, though, and few realize that this is the case - even though they may think they know. Nearly half of respondents in a recent poll, conducted by pet food company Royal Canin, said they could determine when dogs moved into adulthood. In reality, however, less than 1 in 3 got the answer right.

Of course, age isn't the only thing that changes when young canines become dogs. Their behaviors do as well. In fact, a number of people wrongly believed that dogs' activity levels determined when puppies became adults, the poll found. Approximately 1 in 4 said it had to do with their teeth, specifically when their incisors and fangs grew in.

One-third of all home insurance claims relate to dog bites

Unfortunately, a number of people are all too familiar with just how sharp dogs' teeth can be, as thousands of bites happen every year, often affecting young children. You may be surprised to learn that nearly one-third of all homeowners insurance claims are dog bite-related, according to the Insurance Information Institute. For example, in 2014 - the latest year that data is available - the number of dog bite claims fell by 5% from the previous year. However, the cost of treating dog bite injuries rose, averaging over $32,000 per claim from $27,850.

While some dog bites may not penetrate the skin, even one bite is one too many. With National Dog Bite Prevention Week approaching, the following are a few basic things you can do to ensure your four-legged companion becomes a well-adjusted adult:

Seek out dog training
Hiring a dog trainer may be an expense, but it's well worth the investment, as both you and your dog will learn basic commands like "Sit," "Heel," and "Stay." Obedience classes can also help your puppy calm down and be less hyper. Excess energy can sometimes lead to a bite due to over aggressiveness or biting too hard during play.

dog2.jpgConsistency is a key element to effective dog training.

Be respectful of a dog's space
If you have children, make sure they understand that dogs are just like people, in that they don't want to be bothered during times when calm is necessary, like when they're eating or sleeping.

Socialize your dog
The more your dog is around people, the easier it will be for your pet to behave properly when prompted. However, if still a puppy, it's best to introduce new interactions at a more gradual pace rather than all at once, which may be overwhelming and result in overstimulation.

For more tips on dog bite prevention, visit the American Humane Association's website.

Tags: Homeowner Insurance, Insurance, Homeowners insurance, pet owners, pets, dogs, pet safety

The Sharing Economy

Posted by Alex Boyer on Sat, Mar 26, 2016

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If you would like more information about the sharing economy, particularly ride sharing programs like Lyft and Uber, please check our post about insurance considerations when driving for a ride share program. Also be sure to call us to check your homeowner insurance policy if you're considering joining a program like Air BNB!

Tags: Insurance, ride sharing, sharing economy, air bnb, home sharing

Need a Certificate of Insurance?

Posted by Alex Boyer on Fri, Mar 25, 2016

A new law in New Jersey changes how we use Certificates of Insurance and it applies to those who will ask you for them as well.  Please review this Q&A to help you understand your rights when faced with unreasonable requests for Certificates.

Certificate of Insurance Q & A

If We Talked About Flood Insurance

Posted by Alex Boyer on Sun, Mar 20, 2016

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The transcript of an imaginary conversation between you and E & K Agency about a flood policy.

E&K: Are you aware that you don't have any protection for your home and its contents in the event of flood damage?

You: I buy my homeowners insurance from you. Doesn't that cover me for flood?

E&K: No. Nobody's homeowners policy covers damage caused by flood. What you need is a special flood policy to protect your house. And since your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), you are eligible to purchase this coverage.

You: Why should I buy a policy now? Can't I just order it when the weather turns bad?

E&K: It doesn't work that way. There is a 30-day waiting period before coverage begins, so now is the right time to buy.
 
You: How much flood insurance should I get?
 
E&K: The NFIP allows you to purchase up to $250,000 on your home and $100,000 on your contents. A deductible applies. If you want more coverage than this, I can get you the numbers.

You: How much will an NFIP flood policy cost with those limits?

E&K: Your annual rate can be as low as a few hundred dollars or less for lower limits! Your actual cost depends on the location, construction and age of your home. Special lower rates apply to you because participates in the NFIP! 

You: Great. How do I sign up for the policy? 
  
E&K: It's easy. Just give me a call at 732-389-6000 or email
ProtectMe@e-kinsurance.com and I'll get everything started for you.
 

Tags: Flood, Homeowner Insurance, E&K Insurance, Insurance, Flood Insurance, Flood insurance policy, Homeowners insurance

Coverage Gap Evaluator

Posted by Alex Boyer on Mon, Mar 07, 2016

Personal insurance clients often ask us what is a sufficient amount of liability insurance?  Here’s an easy, helpful tool to help you figure out the right liability coverage for you.

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Tags: E&K Insurance, Insurance, Liability, personal insurance, coverage gap evaluator, personal liability, liability coverage, coverage gap, liability insurance