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Tuesday, 13 May 2014
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Consider this a public service post!  It can happen to us all!

Upon first check of my email early yesterday morning, I had an order from Amazon for a $145 watch that was purchased from my account overnight.  The order was completed, charged to my debit card and was being processed for shipping.  I saw this 5 hours after the order was placed.  My EMAIL address on my account had changed to Benton1??6@????.com.  My address had been changed to a street address in Glendale, CA.    As many of you have experienced (this wasn’t my first time having this occur with another vendor), I felt the helplessness and violation of my privacy.  However, I knew what to immediately do.

I found the Amazon contact number.  Mind you, this was 4:50AM as I was heading to workout.  I dialed the number on my way to the gym, spoke with a customer service rep who immediately understood my issue.  She put me on hold for less than 2 minutes and when she came back she indicated this: “Mr. White, your account has been shut down, we have voided the attempted shipment, you have not been charged for anything and our security department will email you within 48 hours so you can reset your password, re-input your banking information and do any other updates to your account.”  THAT is how you handle this situation and Amazon gets an A+ for their service.

Within 1 hour (not 48), I had a long, thorough and very descriptive EMAIL on what I should do.  Basically, Amazon opened up a backdoor to my account so I could access it.  Then, they instructed that I change the password to some wild arrangement of characters, numbers & symbols to better protect me in the future from these – excuse me – IDIOTS that sit around and cause all of us these problems.

Interesting note: I KNOW how complicated passwords need to be.  I have a program that gives me top-flight, incredibly complicated passwords and those are what I use.  I can’t imagine ever having more secure passwords than what I use but guess what, one of my most complicated passwords was hacked during this event.  So – nothing is safe.  If we do internet, we take risks!  But what I know is that the reputable companies that participate in internet commerce are prepared, as Amazon was, to immediately reverse these types of issues.

So call me crazy (and many do!), but I still think we are as safe as we can be at this point dealing with cyberspace and the privacy thereof!  As the internet continues to grow, security will continue to get better.  This is a great example of the BAD happening and the GOOD quickly rising up!  Thought it might help you too!  I hope that it does!

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Posted on 05/13/2014 8:10 AM by Benton White
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Friday, 09 May 2014
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I am lucky enough to love and respect TWO great Mom's!  

I'm blessed to have a wonderful Mom who is 83 years young.  She still mows her lawn, plants her flowers and against our wishes, occasionally climbs up a step-ladder to pull something off of the roof of her beautiful home.  May we all be my Mom at age 83.

Then there is the Mom that I live with.  We have been blessed to raise 4 incredibly gifted children and they have now given us 9 - nearly 10 grandchildren.  My wife is a Mom's mom.  Her most important holiday besides Christmas & Easter is Mother's Day.  She loves our kids, walks daily working hard to stay in constant connection and care for them and does not know the word NO when they ask for something.  Our kids love her, respect her and want time with her and that is all any parent could ask for.  She's cool, fashionable, beautiful and a definite role model for our kids.  Our girls all want to be like her when they grow up and since they are now in their 30's, they are following her lead quite ​wonderfully.  They're smart kids because they know if they do, they'll all be better for it.

So as we approach Mother's Day on Sunday, I'm sure you have a celebration set for the Mom or Mom's in your life!  Make sure they know how important they are!  I'll be celebrating BOTH of the mother's I love and care for.  They have made me so much better and I'm forever grateful to them!

Now to close, have you seen Kid President?  This kid has got it going on!!!  He has some great points with humor about Mom's and how important they are to us all!  Enjoy a little FUN but meaningful video from a young man who makes me smile when I watch this!

Happy Mother's Day to all!

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Posted on 05/09/2014 11:17 AM by Benton White
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Tuesday, 06 May 2014
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There are multiple factors that determine how much you pay for auto insurance at Benton White Insurance.  These factors range from your occupation to your vehicle type. For example, if you’re in the right age bracket, live in a low-risk area, and have a spotless driving record – you may be paying lower insurance rates than other drivers. However, if your circumstances make you pay high car insurance rates, here are some ways to get discounts with the many insurance companies we represent at Benton White Insurance!

1.  Multi-policy discounts:  The more policies you have with one company, the more that company discounts the policies that you have with them.  Insuring your home, auto, personal liability umbrella, personal articles, life insurance and more can yield discounts on EACH policy and in some cases that can be 20 to 25% in premium savings for you!

2. Multi-Car Discounts: All of our companies offer significant discounts if you insure more than one vehicle on the same insurance policy. It is common that families own more than one car.  If this is your case, you should ask your auto insurance company for a multi-car discount. If you have a teenage driver that you would like to insure, this type of discount is especially beneficial. To qualify for this discount you must meet the following requisites:

  • Each vehicle must be insured under your name and can only be driven by other family members that live under the same roof, and yourself.
  • All of your vehicles must be covered by the same insurance provider. If you have vehicles that are insured by other providers, you will have to cancel the policies and insure them under a single insurance company.

Sometimes a multiple vehicle discount can help you save as much as 15% on your current insurance premiums – so it pays to look into it if you own more than one vehicle!

3. Paid in Full Discounts: You can also save a lot of money by paying your auto insurance in full rather than in monthly installments. In most cases, this type of discount is offered immediately by your insurance provider (other types of discounts are not advertised and you generally have to inquire about them). This type of discount gets rid of the installment fees since you pay the full amount up-front. If you can afford to do this, it is one of the easiest and surest ways to pay less on your auto insurance.

4. Defensive Driving Course: This is a good way to get a nice discount on your auto insurance premiums.   In Tennessee, you can take this course online.  Becoming eligible for a defensive driver discount can help you become eligible for other additional discounts such as the safe driver discount or the accident free discount. Here is a listing of defensive driving courses offered in Tennessee.  http://www.tn.gov/safety/defensivedriving.shtml

Please let us know if you would like for us to shop around for you, so we can maximize discounts for you on your insurance.  We’re independent!  We write for many companies & can surely find the right fit for your budget & the coverage’s you need.  EMAIL info@BentonWhite.com or Call 615.377.1212.

 

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Posted on 05/06/2014 9:45 AM by Benton White
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Monday, 28 April 2014
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Hi Folks,

It's Spring and with the beauty of the season comes ugly weather.  Based on reports I trust most, today and tomorrow could produce strong winds, hail and possible tornadoes.  The latest severe weather front is headed our way, so please stay vigilant.
 
At one time, tornadoes meant severe weather but from an insurance point of view, STRAIGHT LINE WINDS and HAIL are additional claim causes which actually have been causing us more problems in the last couple of years than tornadoes!  We have a threat of all three in the next 24 hours. Insurance property rates in this area have increased in the last two years mostly because of these three causes for claims.  
 
Be vigilant as the front approaches and know your safe place. Keep an eye on the storm with your phone, tablet, laptop, TV or radio.  Make sure your portable items are charged to capacity so you can keep a close eye on this storm.
 
 
If you need us for anything claim related, WE ARE HERE AND READY! You can now file a claim right on our website and on your phone - just click here and hit the FILE A CLAIM button!
 
 
I can be reached at any of the following:
 
Reaching Benton White Insurance
Twitter: #BentonWhiteIns
Facebook: Facebook.com/BentonWhite
Benton White Insurance Blog: www.BentonWhite.com/Blog/
Benton White Insurance website: www.BentonWhite.com
Phone: 615.377.1212
Email us: info@BentonWhite.com
 
 
Our claim teams can help you 24/7 to assist you in filing a claim:
 
 
Our Claim Teams!
Travelers Claims: 800-Claim33 (800.252.4633) Web: http://travl.rs/1gL8GmB
Auto-Owners Claims: 800-ClaimAO (800.252.4626) Web: http://bit.ly/1jLTFAJ
Progressive Claims: 800-Progressive (800.776.4737) Web: http://pgrs.in/1jSHwgz
Kemper Claims: 888.252.2799 Web: http://bit.ly/Qjk3Ic

We fully understand insurance isn't worth much if we're not there when you need us.  Hopefully, we'll all pass through another storm front with no issues.  But we want to make sure you have the information you need to reach us if needed.
 
 
Thanks for your business and know, we are here to serve you when you need us.  Keep this information handy so we can!
 
 
Benton.

 

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Posted on 04/28/2014 8:20 AM by Benton White
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Thursday, 24 April 2014
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I'm always amazed when I get offers in the USMAIL for auto or homeowners insurance.  I got another one in the last few days at my residence!

The envelope arrives looking SO official, no identification indicating who it is from - just a PO Box return address.  I know it is mass mailed because there is nothing personal about it except my name and address is correct.  Companies use all types of phrases to get your eyes on their mass-mail piece.  I know you've seen these Solicitation Phrases:

So many questions arise and very few answers are given.  I wonder many things like:

  • Why is this offer available for a limited time only?
  • How does Company A pre-qualify me when they SHOULDN'T have my driver's license or social security number?
  • What does 'significant auto savings" really mean??  What scale do they use to rank significant

And I can guarantee you if I had a high-rated sports car (which I don't) and 2 tickets and an accident in the last 36 months (which I don't), I would NOT get their best rates.

I have more questions than those but I'll move on!  After nearly 36 years in this business, here is what I know:

  • A good agent can, in almost ALL CASES, beat another companys' premium pricing.  That agent can manipulate coverage's, premium and pricing tiers so that their quote is lowest.  I could do it everyday.
  • Any agent can promise something when quoting and then once the policy goes to issuance or underwriting, something mysteriously changes!  There are a number of factors that could change a quote if the agent doesn't completely research all angles of the quote in order to be accurate - NOT solely bottom-basement priced!

"You Get What You Pay For..."

    
I had a case this week where one of my experienced, money conscious clients called me to say..."I got this quote from Company B in the mail ... They quoted X Tier of coverage and they are beating your property rate by X%.  Since I also represented the company that the agent quoted to him, it took me 30 seconds to tell him why the quote was lower.  The quoted premium tier offered 3 levels of less coverage.  That quoted premium reflected a major degradation of coverage.  Old adage applies: "you get what you pay for!".  The client quickly said .."That's all I need to know ... just wanted to check!"

At Benton White Insurance, we don't operate this way!!  We quote coverage's that gives us and our clients the best ability to say YES at claim time when you really need us!  I won't write insurance on anyone for the cheapest premium because the client ends up the loser!  You are buying insurance for peace of mind and protection to help you with auto accident injuries, property fires, liability lawsuits, rental car coverage and so many other items we insure on your behalf.   Even with my philosophy of ranking best coverage's over lowest price, we continually have premiums that are lower than most!

Don't get caught in the US MAIL solicitation racket - and yes I do mean racket!  Know your coverage, know the agent you are working with and seriously review if the premium really is low because your current carrier is higher or is it really a "bait and switch" routine.  Sadly, if you don't do your due diligence with your insurance, the latter could be the case! And if you ever have any questions or concerns you can always call me: 615 377-1212 or email: Benton@BentonWhite.com

 

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Posted on 04/24/2014 10:19 AM by Benton White
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Tuesday, 22 April 2014
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So how did you spend your Easter??  As you can tell by this photo, ours was wonderful!  

We celebrated the reason for Easter as a family grateful for the sacrifice our Father has made for us!  Then, we continued the celebration with 20 friends and family at our home for lunch.  Of course, there was the traditional Easter egg hunt with 7 grandkids (missed our 8th one who lives in Florida) and 140 eggs to hide.  Each kid had a color and he/she found the plastic eggs that were filled with their favorite treats. Yes - they were PLASTIC eggs!  12 dozen eggs wasn't in our budget nor did we have the time to dye them!

If I was a boastful Poppy - I would show you all of the 150 pictures we took during the day.  But I'll spare you with only this one.  Just try getting this many to pose to a camera saying "sweet" or "cheese".  If you have a trick, let us know.

Grateful for family, friends and my wonderful clients.  My wife and I marvel daily at how truly blessed we are to have all that we have!

 

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Posted on 04/22/2014 9:30 AM by Benton White
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Thursday, 17 April 2014
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I just received Roadside Assistance cards from my insurance company.  They send these so my wife or I would be covered if we ever have car troubles, on the road; rescue cards!

In the insurance company's mail piece that came with the cards, it reads: "We're here when you need us.  One call gets you help fast, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  Service professionals get you up and running quickly or tow your vehicle if needed.  Knowing you have Roadside Assistance provides peace of mind when your vehicle breaks down.  Any day, any time, we're here to help with:

  • Towing or flatbed transportation
  • Jump starts for a dead battery
  • Changing a flat tire
  • Key lock-out service (does not include loss of key)
  • Delivery of supplies, including oil, water, other fluids and fuel (does not include the cost of supplies or fluids)

They give me an 800 number to call when I need them.

I'm paying $11.00 per year per car for all of that!  I personally think that is a bargain and wouldn't be caught without the service.  Check your policy to see if you have the coverage (or contact us and we'll check for you) and if you don't and would like it, send an email to info@bwhite.com or call us - 615.377.1212.   We will get it added to your coverage.  

They say you can't buy peace of mind!  With Roadside Assistance, I think you can!  Pretty sweet deal!

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Posted on 04/17/2014 10:24 AM by Benton White
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Tuesday, 15 April 2014
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Progressive Insurance  is one of the most technologically advanced companies in the country. They have just announced you can now get text updates and reminders! This is just another example of their great use of communication and why their customers love them! If you are insured with us through Progressive, this is available to you now. 

We work tirelessly here at Benton White Insurance to make sure that doing business with us is as simple as possible. We do the work of shopping around for you. We save you time finding the best rates and make signing up easy! Progressive is just one of our many companies we'll quote for you (they offer some of the best rates in vehicle insurance.) For help with this, or any insurance need, EMAIL us at info@BentonWhite.com or call 615.377.1212.  We're ready to help!

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Posted on 04/15/2014 9:50 AM by Benton White
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Thursday, 10 April 2014
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Spring is here and so is golf!  The Masters is this week and we couldn't resist a little "insurance spin" on it.  Travelers Insurance likes to use their dog as a branding icon.  Here is one of the latest commercials where this not-so-good golfer gets a little help!

We proudly represent Traveler's Insurance with products that you need.  They are competitive with their rates and their service in claims is second to none!  We can hook you up and chances are, we'll save you money!  Let us know if we can help!  EMAIL us at info@BentonWhite.com or call 615.377.1212.
 

 

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Posted on 04/10/2014 8:21 AM by Benton White
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Tuesday, 08 April 2014
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I've always said that I work hard and I play hard.  There is no better “play” than when my wife and I are Mimi & Poppy to our 9, soon to be 10, grandchildren. They all live here in Nashville except for Charlie who lives with his mom and dad in Miami.  He will soon be a big brother to a new little one! My wife spent this weekend in Miami with that crew, and I had a boy’s night with 5 year old Finn.  We played with remote control cars, had his favorite San Antonio Taco’s, watched a little Curious George, built Lego Dude's (as we called them) and then a trip to the grocery store. It’s so fun to watch that little guy smile and enjoy everything and everyone he comes in contact with.  He's such a joyful fella and his Poppy loves him so.

The next day I took Finn home to his mom and dad and I went straight to the first coach pitch baseball game for Jack.  He's gifted in the sport (I know - I'm his Poppy and I would say that - but HE IS!)  He was two for two at bat during that 4 inning game and got a player out at 2nd.  His team - the Knights - were trailing 11 to 4 in the bottom of the 4th and the Knights came back to win it!  Big fun and yes, Jack was pretty happy about it.  Next was lunch with my daughter Erin, her friend Emily, Jack and his sister Lily Kate.  Big fun!

To wrap it all up, I was invited to dinner Sunday night by my favorite (and only) Daughter-in-Law!  My son was in Peru this past weekend on a mission trip from our church.  He spoke to and encouraged over 300 men in their church (that our church helped to start) on how to be better leaders to their people. Kajsa invited me for dinner to enjoy time with her, Jake (2 1/2) and Annie (nearly 8 months).  We tumbled on the floor, played with new Lightening McQueen & Mater remote control cars and just enjoyed Poppy-time with those 3. Jake loved "Light-nin LeKeen!" :)

I love my insurance work and most of the time; I call insurance a pleasure. Many days it doesn't seem like work and that’s a blessing.  But if I'm honest, being husband, dad and Poppy are my most important callings! If I'm not at the office when you call sometime, you might very well find me handling duties from one of those 3 important titles.  
 
I am glad to have all that I have: great clients and a job I enjoy, a wonderful family and grandkids that remind me I’m more than just an insurance agent, I’m their Poppy!  What an honor!

 

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Posted on 04/08/2014 10:54 AM by Benton White
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Thursday, 03 April 2014
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I want my clients to know: texting and driving in Tennessee is illegal!  You also need to know that police can and will use your phone records against you.

I'm seeing it just about every day as I drive: TEXTING while behind the wheel of a vehicle.  We are beginning to see insurance claims that are related to distracted driving.  The government is starting a new awareness campaign in the days ahead and it is none too soon in my estimation.  TEXTING and DRIVING is dangerous, lives are being lost and we all have to pay attention and take personal responsibility to end this.  Even if you don't text and drive, the roads are becoming more dangerous because of those who do.  

Take a look at this excellent infographic from the folks at NBC, then take a moment to watch this very moving video that will take 4 minutes of your time but could save a life.

If you have any questions concerning this email me: Benton@BentonWhite.com

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Posted on 04/03/2014 10:17 AM by Benton White
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Thursday, 27 March 2014
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Open enrollment deadline is March 31

  • If you submit your application for healthcare coverage March 16 through March 31, your effective dates of coverage would either be April 15 and May 1

When the open enrollment period ends on March 31, applicants cannot purchase individual major medical plans until another open enrollment period begins. However, if a qualifying life event triggers a special enrollment period, individuals can purchase individual major medical plans outside of open enrollment. The special enrollment period for the individual healthcare coverage is typically 60 days from the date of a triggering event.
Triggering events are:

  • A qualified individual and any dependents losing other minimum essential coverage which include: loss of Medicaid and CHIP--as a result of a reported
  • change in household income, or as a result of other circumstances
  • A qualified individual gaining or becoming a dependent through marriage, birth, adoption, or placement for adoption
  • An individual, not previously lawfully present, gaining status as a citizen, national, or lawfully present individual in the U.S
  • Consistent with the Medicare Prescription Drug Program, a qualified individual experiencing an error in enrollment
  • An individual enrolled in a QHP adequately demonstrating to the Exchange that the QHP in which he or she is enrolled substantially violated a material provision of its contract
  • An individual becoming newly eligible or newly ineligible for advance payments of the premium tax credit or experiencing a change in eligibility for cost-sharing reductions (does not apply if they become eligible for an increase or decrease in their existing advance payments of the premium tax credit; however if an individual experiences a change in his or her existing payments of the premium tax credit in tandem with a change in level of cost-sharing reductions, the individual could qualify for this special enrollment period)
  • New QHPs offered through the Exchange becoming available to a qualified individual or enrollee as a result of a permanent move (includes Qualified individuals newly released from incarceration)
  • The individual is an Indian, as defined by the Indian Health Care Improvement Act.
  • A qualified individual or enrollee meeting other exceptional circumstances, as determined by the Exchange or HHS.  

Even after this open-enrollment period passes, we can still offer you Short Term Medical insurance and other supplemental health insurance medical products outside the open enrollment period.

 
>>> Minimum essential coverage — what you need to know
Most Americans must now have health insurance coverage that is minimum essential coverage (MEC). If insured’s do not have MEC, they may be subject to payment of a penalty. Here at Benton White Insurance, I offer plans that qualify as MEC. We offer non-MEC plans also mentioned above (Short Term Medical insurance and other supplemental health insurance medical products). We will advise you in our discussion more about MEC and outline the program you need as being either MEC qualified or non-MEC and the possible consequences of purchasing a plan that is not MEC.
There is an enormous amount of information that we all have to learn in order to make a qualified decision about healthcare coverage these days.  We’ll do our best here at the insurance agency to help you in any way that we can and if we don’t have the answers, we can certainly get them for you.  We want you to be covered and have choices that you are currently available to you.  However, after March 31, the options are much more limited.  Please contact me personally if I can help either by EMAIL – Benton@BentonWhite.com or 615.377.1212

 

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Posted on 03/27/2014 11:54 AM by Benton White
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Tuesday, 25 March 2014
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Dave Ramsey is one of the most common sense, easy to understand money advisers in our culture today.  He has grown from a very small radio show many years ago here in Nashville to what is now a national following of millions.  I wasn't suprised when his website blog a few days ago had an article about Dave's most popular money saving tip.  He understands what we do and why we do it in the independent insurance agency system.  I made a career choice based on it and he solidly promotes the concept to his readers/listeners.  Independent insurance agents have choices and can cater to the needs of the insurance buying public and not to one insurance company like the non-independents.  Here is a portion from Dave's website blog recently:

Everyone loves saving money. And Dave has lots of ideas for cutting back expenses—everything from brown bagging lunches to buying beater cars. But there’s one tip that Dave’s fans absolutely love. Every time we mention it, people thank us because they save hundreds—sometimes thousands—of dollars.

 

Maybe you’ve heard it before. If so, bear with us—many folks are just getting to know Dave. Or perhaps you’ve heard it and never tried it. If that’s you, we encourage you to go for it!
 

So what’s everyone’s favorite tip? Shop for insurance with the help of an independent insurance agent!

The Difference Is in the Name

Why is an independent insurance agent such a great money-saver? Because they’re not limited to a single provider’s options. With access to a whole network of insurers, an independent agent casts a wider net to find you the best deals on the coverage that’s right for you. It’s like having your own personal shopper! And you can feel confident knowing your independent agent doesn’t have a dog in the hunt when it comes to which provider or policy you choose. At the end of the day, the choice is yours.

It’s About More Than Your Bottom Line

Saving money is awesome. But cutting costs shouldn’t mean cutting corners. A true pro takes time to walk you through your coverage options so you can make the decision that’s right for you.

Start Saving Today
Think about what you could do with hundreds of extra dollars a year. Would you knock out your debt snowball? Boost your retirement fund? The possibilities are endless! So what are you waiting for?

This is just what we do!  We offer many companies to choose from and we custom make the proposal to fit the insurance buyer instead of the insurance company.  We're ready to earn your business!  Let me know if we can help you or someone you know to get the right insurance at the right price shopping several companie on your behalf instead of just ONE!  EMAIL us at info@BentonWhite.com or phone 615.377.1212615.377.1212.  Our website can tell you more at BentonWhite.com.  

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Posted on 03/25/2014 10:12 AM by Benton White
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Wednesday, 19 March 2014
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Congratulations!!  You or your daughter is getting married soon and you are basking in the joy of it all. Conversations with just about everyone are focusing on wedding stories of the past.  You want this to be a memorable event not only for the bride and groom, but for you as well!  Because you will spend hours, days, and months making plans for this special day, have you thought about protecting your investment?

$28,400!  That was the average cost of a wedding in 2012!  Are you ready for this?

Just like you would protect yourself for a collision accident with your car, you can now protect yourself against unforeseen, unplanned, out-of-your control problems and all the “what ifs…” 

  • What if your reception venue goes out of business close to your wedding date, you lose your deposit and have to find another location?
  • What if your bridal shop closes, leaving you without a gown?
  • What if the photographers camera is damaged and your pictures are gone?
  • What if the wedding needs to be postponed because of sudden illness preventing the bride, groom or their parents from attending and everything needs to get rebooked?

$160.00!  For as little as that sum of money, you could protect yourself with a wedding insurance policy that can cover a variety of situations, such as:

No Dress

Lost deposits

Lost Rings

Ruined photos

Transportation shutdown

Damaged gifts

Sudden illness

Venue requires insurance

Liquor liability (extra fee but available)

We can actually make your wedding day more peaceful than you think.  EMAIL us at info@BentonWhite.com or call 615.377.1212.  You can get more information about this or any other policy we offer by visiting our website at BentonWhite.com.  Let us help you keep your wedding HAPPY instead of one that could really be SAD!

(article written by Lorry & Mandy at Benton White Insurance - who both have children weddings in their future!)
(resource: money.cnn.com)

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Posted on 03/19/2014 11:45 PM by Lorry & Mandy @ Benton White Insurance
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Tuesday, 18 March 2014
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You’re headed on a wonderful vacation with family.  You fly to a beautiful destination, get off of the plane and then the big decision comes at the rental car counter!  Do I take the insurance coverage offered (or in some cases forced on you) or do I not?  You review the agreement before signing and you see temporary car insurance for rental car options such as loss damage waiver, partial damage waiver, liability supplement, motorist protection, and personal effects coverage - and you will say, "Oh, man, just put it on there." Suddenly your rental car bill will be hundreds of dollars over the base rental price.  If you are in this situation, and you haven't reviewed your existing insurance coverage back home and can part with hundreds of dollars, then it would make sense to select short term car insurance options to ensure that you can walk away from an accident without huge financial losses.  If however you are willing to put in a few minutes time and do some research, you will feel confident in stepping up to the desk and checking "Declined" after each expensive temporary car insurance option on the list, and know you are no worse off than if you had paid a lot more.

1. If Renting in the United States, don't Buy Temporary Car Rental Insurance If You Have An Existing Insurance Policy

Already own a car? You're probably already insured.

The first step is to find out what is your existing coverage and write it down, or get a print out. You want to have this with you at the rental car desk, so you have information to counter their sales pitch. Know how much you're covered for, what you are covered for, and what's your deductible. Decide beforehand if you are willing to pay the deductible in the event of an accident, keeping in mind that it's not likely to happen.  You might, for example, be offered a Loss Damage Waiver. They will say anything happens to this car, you're not responsible. Sounds great. But it's expensive. What they are trying to sell you is peace of mind and convenience. You may already have what you need to have that peace of mind!

2. If Renting OUTSIDE of the United States abroad, seriously consider the coverage. 
 

If you are abroad, no matter what policy you have, you probably should take the counter offered coverage.  Most US licensed insurance companies do not cover you outside of the continental US or non-US properties. So it's unlikely that you will feel at ease and at peace if you are involved in a car accident abroad, no matter what policy you have. You should call us or your insurance carrier before you take the trip and ask what you would have to do if you got into an accident abroad. Get the specifics so you'll know ahead of time. Ask questions like:

  • Will you have to pay in cash?

  • Will you need to call a tow truck?

  • Will you get a replacement car? etc. etc.

Get all the facts!

 

3.  Don't Buy Temporary Car Rental Insurance If You Have A Credit Card That Offers Rental Insurance

Have a credit card? Check if it includes car insurance.

Many credit cards offer auto rental collision damage waiver on top of your existing coverage. This means that they will reimburse you only for the damage not payable by any other means such as existing car insurance.  Again, you will need to verify the details. There's no way to take a cheap shortcut around this - you have to get on the internet or call and find out what your coverage is. The card benefit will probably not have as much coverage as you would have on your typical car insurance policy. You will also need to purchase the rental car using this credit card. There will be other stipulations; but then, all insurance has stipulations, and you should know what they are. Print out your credit card rental car insurance coverage details and bring them with you on your trip.

4.  Know What Other Insurance You Have, e.g., Medical and Homeowners

Do you know what other insurance you have? Look it up.

It's important to know your total insurance picture when making a decision on car rental insurance. For example, what happens if you are injured in a car accident, or injure someone else? You may have coverage for this under your health insurance plan. Know what this is and what it covers.  Also check to see if your homeowner's insurance has any provisions for your personal property while you are renting a car.  In most cases, the insurance you buy at the desk of your car rental agency will be duplicate coverage.  There is no substitute for simply understanding what coverage you already have. Then you can make an informed decision at the rental counter to fill in any gaps.

 

Pull your insurance information that you have and study up a little.  Or certainly, you can contact us and we’ll be glad to answer any questions you have regarding coverage while renting a car.  We’re here to save you money in insurance and doing a little pre-trip insurance studying could save you a bundle.  EMAIL us at info@BentonWhite.com or call 615.377.1212.  Of course, we have detailed information about renting cars and insurance on our website at BentonWhite.com.  We will be glad to assist you before you take that trip!

 

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Posted on 03/18/2014 10:39 AM by Benton White
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Thursday, 13 March 2014
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One of the services we offer at Benton White Insurance is that we REVIEW any policy you have with us at least annually if not more.  Being an independent agency, we have many companies to choose from and shopping for you gives you a wide variety of options that we can offer you.  Of course, as you read this and you’re not with us yet, when you first come to us for insurance, the FIRST thing we do is SHOP our companies to get the best fit for coverage vs. price that we can offer.

Our process is what some call “correlation or comparative shopping” which guarantees you that we are checking for all discounts that you qualify for which include driving histories and credit scoring.  These are just a couple of cash sparing tips that can spare you a fortune on auto protection.

Correlation shopping for auto insurance is to your advantage.  There are many variables that go into your rates.   For example, where you live, your driving record, your age and the type of auto you drive are just a few.  Some companies give larger discounts for different variables you bring to the policy.  That is why we shop them all.

Many folks don’t realize the additional discounts that are available if we insure more than just one part of your insurance portfolio.  The more policies we have, the better discounts afforded to you.  Just insuring your home and auto with us alone can save you as much as 20 to 25% premium on each auto and home policy you place with us.  That is sizable money in some cases.

Of course, everyone knows, the better driver you are, the better the rates you qualify for.  If you have a CLEAN driving history (no tickets or accidents in the last 3 to 5 years), you will step into our most competitive package for rates.  Even if you have tickets or accidents on your record, we certainly can insure you at a little higher premium but over time, we help you to lower that premium as you work to get your driving history back spotless again.  That is another reason we annually review your policy and coverage’s.  If we see where we can change companies because you have moved into a more competitive premium tier, we suggest a change!

I often explain that insurance can either be “you are doomed if you pay for it and you are doomed if you don’t!”  Many drivers complain about paying their insurance premiums because they never use it.  However, I have never heard a customer complain if they have that unfortunate claim and the insurance company takes care of them by handling their claim completely after that insured’s deductible is paid.  So, we hope you agree with us:  Keep your insurance in force so you’ll have help in time of need when that claim does appear.

We’re here to help!  We’re your comparative shopper for auto, home, life, long term care and any other insurance you might need.  Reach us at info@BentonWhite.com or contact our office at 615.377.1212.  Please spend a few minutes on our website in order to get more specific information on WHAT we really offer.  (www.BentonWhite.com)

 

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Posted on 03/13/2014 10:38 AM by Benton White
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Tuesday, 11 March 2014
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Many years ago, my astute mother did her research about long term care insurance right when it became public.  She asked her insurance selling son what he thought about it and to be honest, it was so new, I moved quickly to catch up with her.  What I did know that making an annual payment toward that type of policy early on when she was at that much younger age would surely help her when she is older.  

My Mom's greatest fear has always been: "I don't want you boys (me and my brother) to have that burden of responsibility when I get much older and can't take care of myself."  She bought a John Hancock long term care policy and now as she approaches a healthy age 83, she still has it.  It is by far one of her most treasured possessions and the peace that policy gives her is worth every bit of the premium she pays for it.

Such a policy is not even available anymore for my mother to buy and the closest option would cost my Mom double or more what she paid for it years ago. People on the wrong side of the baby boomer population curve are getting doubly squeezed. As costs for private long-term care insurance skyrocket, state Medicaid programs are imposing greater hurdles to qualify for nursing home coverage.

In an article in the March 3, 2014 The Tennessean - written by Tom Wilemon, private policies with lifetime payouts are now a rarity, said Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.

“Options and features that were attractive or even offered five years ago are not offered today,” Slome said.

However, the private policies do keep people from having to depend upon Medicaid for nursing home coverage, which may not be available. TennCare has implemented a new point system for determining eligibility, and many applicants aren’t making the score.

Private policies also offer a level of protection for family estates. Federal law stipulates that state Medicaid programs place liens against a recipient’s home or land to recover costs in the event of a death, except when specified hardships exist.

And long-term care policies just aren’t as good a deal as they used to be.

People who buy private long-term care insurance — particularly women — now receive fewer benefits or pay more than in the past. Insurers started charging women higher premiums last year because they tend to live longer and need a caregiver. The industry has made other changes in recent years after actuaries found that company investments weren’t keeping pace with obligations.

Policies now have a cap on the total amount they will pay — a departure from the past, when companies offered unlimited lifetime benefits and 5 percent annual inflation adjustments.

Despite the generosity of those plans, they had few takers. Nationwide, only 7 percent of nursing home care is paid for by private insurance, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. In Tennessee, 141,800 people had the coverage as of 2010, the last year for which data is available, Slome said.

The coverage remains a good idea for people who want it, can afford it and qualify for it, he said.

Industry experts advise people to get the coverage at younger ages when they are more certain to qualify. While the premium payments won’t be a locked amount, future increases will be based on the age at which coverage began.

That means if an increase occurs when you’re 65 but you started coverage at age 51, your premium will be assessed as if you’re perpetually 51.

I have been marketing long term care insurance for many years.  What I advise is that people should consider both age and the assets they want to protect when deciding whether to buy coverage.  I strongly encourage a good decision time for this coverage is around age 50.  Most folks around that age are in very good health and the premiums are still reasonable.  I have several couples who have purchased long-term care insurance and they generally pay less for a joint policy than two individual policies

TennCare has a partnership agreement that allows people to qualify for Medicaid nursing home coverage once a private policy reaches its cap. Families also get to keep assets equal to the coverage that was paid for by a private policy.

The older someone becomes, the less likely they are to get coverage.  After age 60, we usually see about 25% of applicants can’t get coverage because they have health issues.  The old adage is true - there is no better time than now to get Long Term Care insurance.  Let me know if I can help you with it.  It's a coverage that shouldn't be overlooked.

(Portions taken from March 3rd article in The Tennessean written by Tom Wilemon)

(Rising costs data source: American Association for Long Term Care Insurance)

 

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Posted on 03/11/2014 9:12 AM by Benton White
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Wednesday, 05 March 2014
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No matter if you love her or hate her, Progressive Insurance has built their ad campaign around Flo over the last couple of years.  It's all about branding and remembering that brand.  Chances are, if someone mentions the name Flo to you, you think of Progressive.  At least they are hoping you will!
 
Progressive is one of our primary companies in the agency.  They offer insurance for wheeled or floating modes of transportation.  You name it: motorcycles, 4-wheelers, ice cream trucks, commercial vehicles, fishing boats, yachts and a host of other varieties, Progressive is ready!  They are the company we insure most peoples "toys" with and their rates are incredibly competitive.  Plus, their service is some of the best in the industry.  
 
If you have "toys" to insure or maybe have a driving history that you're not too proud of, we have a place to insure you with Progressive.  Reach us at 615.377.1212 or info@BentonWhite.com.  We're here and ready to help!
 
Flo knows all about Progressive and Progressive is hoping you know about Flo!  Here's one of her latest videos!

Find out more from Progressive: https://www.progressiveagent.com/articles/right-insurance-for-your-toys.aspx

 

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Posted on 03/05/2014 10:07 AM by Benton White
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Thursday, 27 February 2014
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I am spending some of my time each day explaining the reason for property insurance increases!  The primary culprit for these property increases right now are wind and hail claims we have experienced in the last couple of years.  Middle Tennessee misses out on most winter storms and hurricanes. The trade-off seems to be that we get more than our fair share of high winds and hail storms at various times of the year. These two forces combine to wreak havoc on the roof over our head.

Homeowners in our area spend countless dollars every year repairing or replacing their roofs as a result of storm damage. Insurance companies have become stricter in damage assessment, claims processing and the ultimate payment on repair or replacement of the roof.  As a result, premiums have escalated steadily over the last 24 months.

When your roof is in need of repair or replacement, regardless of the reason, it pays to get the work done in a timely manner. A roof in disrepair is not the same as worn out carpet or dingy paint. A damaged roof can ultimately cost the owner thousands of dollars if water leaks into the home and causes cosmetic or structural damage.

If there is storm-related damage, in most all cases, I suggest you contact us and let us advise you of coverage possibilities for your claim that can be filed under your homeowners, renters or condominium policy. Our adjusters can advise you the best avenue to take to fix the problem quickly!

If the damage is not storm-related and the roof is near the end of its life expectancy, you will need to assess the impact of repair or replacing the roof.  Insurance companies are beginning to pay only actual cash value replacement for roofs that are 16 years of age or older.

Roofs have become a prime target of insurance companies these days.  You could save money if your roof is in great shape when you purchase homeowners insurance.  We can help you with that! Click Here to see what we offer or email with any questions: info@bwhite.com

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Posted on 02/27/2014 9:48 AM by Benton White
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Thursday, 20 February 2014
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We have a severe weather front coming into Tennessee tonight, with a chance of tornados landing, so please stay vigilant. It appears the strongest line of storms will hit Davidson and Williamson County between 6 pm through Midnight.
 
Did you know there are some new 'buzz words' in the insurance claims industry that are now almost as important as tornado?  STRAIGHT LINE WINDS and HAIL!  Reports say we could see all three tonight. Insurance property rates in this area have increased in the last two years mostly because of these three causes for claims.  
 
Be vigilant as the front approaches and know your safe place. Keep an eye on the storm with your phone, tablet, laptop, TV or radio.  Make sure your portable items are charged to capacity so you can keep a close eye on this storm.
 
If you need us for anything claim related, WE ARE HERE AND READY! You can now file a claim right on our website and on your phone - just click here and hit the FILE A CLAIM button!
 
I can be reached at any of the following:
 
Reaching Benton White Insurance
Twitter: #BentonWhiteIns
Facebook: Facebook.com/BentonWhite
Benton White Insurance Blog: www.BentonWhite.com/Blog/
Benton White Insurance website: www.BentonWhite.com
Phone: 615.377.1212
Email us: info@BentonWhite.com
 
Our claim teams can help you 24/7 to assist you in filing a claim:
 
Our Claim Teams!
Travelers Claims: 800-Claim33 (800.252.4633) Web: http://travl.rs/1gL8GmB
Auto-Owners Claims: 800-ClaimAO (800.252.4626) Web: http://bit.ly/1jLTFAJ
Progressive Claims: 800-Progressive (800.776.4737) Web: http://pgrs.in/1jSHwgz
Kemper Claims: 888.252.2799 Web: http://bit.ly/Qjk3Ic

We fully understand insurance isn't worth much if we're not there when you need us.  Hopefully, we'll all pass through another storm front with no issues.  But we want to make sure you have the information you need to reach us if needed.
 
Thanks for your business and know, we are here to serve you when you need us.  Keep this information handy so we can!
 
Benton.
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Posted on 02/20/2014 9:03 AM by Benton P. White
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