Friday, 28 October 2016
I have followed Dave Ramsey from the early days of his career.  I know many people who work on his team and have the pleasure of insuring many folks who follow Dave's template of financial peace!  One thing Dave doesn't do:  he doesn't mince words and you're never confused about what he thinks!  His financial counseling on-air, online, in churches, schools and to the general public have turned many debt ridden people into debt free winners! (  
He had a pretty serious and factual rant about the current state of medical insurance a few days back.  He is voicing what I hear almost daily in my business with people facing MAJOR premium increases and loss of coverage as a result of our current healthcare insurance problem.  This industry is in the worse place I have seen it in my 38+ year career and Dave addresses it here:
We're here to help and do what we can to find places or solutions to any of your insurance needs including healthcare coverage.  If we can help, please contact any of our staff at or feel free to call us at 615.377.1212.  We want to earn your business!
Posted on 10/28/2016 1:07 PM by Benton White
Thursday, 20 October 2016

It's clear that autonomous vehicles are coming to the market place. The only question is how quickly.

Google garnered attention with its prototype of a self-driving car, Ford Motor Co. says it plans to sell driverless cars to the public by 2025, and several other manufacturers, such as Mercedes, BMW and Volvo, are in the test phase. And, in the United States at least, a true sign of the coming technology: The federal government issued regulations on autonomous cars on Sept. 20.

The vehicles are touted as a way for aging drivers and people with disabilities to maintain their independence. They're also predicted to increase traffic safety and cut down on distracted driving. Commercial truck fleets are also testing autonomous vehicles, and cargo container ships are interested in the technology as well.

Earlier this year, the driver of a Tesla was killed in an accident while operating the vehicle on autopilot, and Chinese researchers recently claimed to have hacked into a Tesla and taken control of the brakes, among other things.

A recent report from the Boston Consulting Group, "Self-Driving Vehicles, Robo-Taxis, and the Urban Mobility Revolution," found that 58 percent of the 5,500 consumers surveyed across 10 countries would be willing to ride in a fully autonomous vehicle, although 23 percent aren't willing to cede control to the vehicle.

Here's a look at eight reasons that drivers are reluctant to use self-driving cars, according to a survey by the Boston Consulting Group and the World Economic Forum:

8. Hackers

In the survey, 23 percent of the respondents were concerned that the car could be hacked.

7. Price tag

In the survey, 25 percent said they were unwilling to pay for self-driving functionality.

6. Traffic concerns

In the survey, 26 percent of respondents said they wouldn't trust self-driving technology in mixed traffic.

5. Unknown technology

More than a quarter of survey respondents - 27 percent - say they don't know enough about the technology yet.

4. Loss of a pleasurable experience

Almost 1 in 3 survey respondents - 30 percent - said that driving a motor vehicle is a pleasurable experience that they're reluctant to give up.

3. Driver' error

Of those surveyed, 43 percent don't want the car to make "mistakes" on the road.

2. Need for control

In the survey, 45 percent said they have a need for the driver to be in control of the vehicle at all times.

1. Safety concerns

Half of the people surveyed - 50 percent - responded that they wouldn't feel safe in a self-driving car.

Autonomous vehicles will certainly change auto insurance - both personal and commercial - in ways we're not  completely sure of yet. But what do consumers really think about self-driving cars? Will the technology be adopted as quickly as we adopted smartphones?

We'll continue to keep an eye on the driverless car developments as it relates to insurance.  Certainly insurance companies are very busy analyzing these risks and how to insure them properly and for the right price.  We'll pass along anything we learn as this subject progresses.

If we can help you with driver-controlled car insurance, we're here and ready.  Please reachout to any of our staff at or contact us at 615.377.1212.  We're ready to EARN your business!

[Portions of this post taken from a recent article by: By Rosalie L. Donlon, PropertyCasualty360 // October 20th, 2016]
Posted on 10/20/2016 11:00 AM by Benton P. White
Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Every insurance policy is different. Properly understanding what's covered requires the homeowner to ask a lot of questions and to read the fine print on his or her insurance policy. Though there are differences between policies, there are some things that almost all insurance policies will have in common.


What's Covered?

Homeowners insurance typically covers a broad range of possible damages. You can expect that your actual dwelling is covered, as well as some other structures on your property, like a garage, fence, driveway or shed. However, if you run a business on your property that's housed in a separate structure, this is generally not covered in the typical insurance policy.

Personal Property is typically accounted for in your policy as well. This is sometimes known as contents insurance. The amount of coverage for personal property may be limited on certain types of high-value items, such as jewelry or artwork, unless additional coverage is purchased for these items.

Replacement Cost vs. Fair Market Value

Not all insurance policies offer homeowners the replacement cost of the property. Buying coverage for replacement cost helps to bridge the gap that can be caused by inflation and loss of value when property items are no longer new. Otherwise, if a claim is made, it will be assessed at fair market value. Since some items depreciate quickly, this means that you may not get enough money from a claim to cover or replace the items that were lost or damaged. Coverage for replacement costs will ensure that you're able to replace the items that were lost, with similar items. If having this coverage is important to you, you'll want to be sure that both your home and personal property are covered for replacement cost. (At Benton White Insurance, we automatically include replacement cost on both dwelling and personal property.)

Car Broken in at Home

Most homeowners insurance policies generally include coverage for personal effects and separate structures on your property, such as a garage or a workshop. But what happens if your car is broken into while it's on your property? This is where the distinction between your home and auto insurance policies can become a little blurry. Many home insurance policies will provide some insurance for personal items that are stolen from your car, but some of the more comprehensive auto insurance policies may cover this, too. Insurance companies may also limit the coverage available through your policy, if the items stolen were purchased for use in the vehicle exclusively.

Natural Disaster Coverage

A wide range of natural disasters are typically covered by your homeowners insurance policy, though not all of them. If you live in some regions, you'll want to be sure to inquire about things like tornado or earthquake insurance. However, the typical inclusions for natural disaster include fire, lightning, windstorm and hail. Your policy may also include coverage for smoke damage, or damage caused by falling items. Earthquakes and other natural movements of the earth are not typically covered by insurance policies, though you can purchase separate insurance to cover these types of events.


Flooding is much the same as earthquakes, when it comes to homeowners insurance. Flash floods and even sewer backups are not generally covered in basic homeowner insurance policies, though you can ask your insurance company about adding coverage to your policy, especially if you live in a region that is prone to flooding. (For related reading, see Understanding Lender-Required Flood Insurance.)

Personal Injury

Most homeowner insurance policies include coverage for injuries incurred by those on your property where you are liable. This could include something like someone slipping on a patch of ice that's on your front walk, or falling as a result of a broken step on your porch. This coverage is usually limited to a certain dollar value, so you definitely want to know how much coverage you have and exactly what's included. We're strong advocates of perosonal injury and personal liability coverage that extends above the base limits of your policy at Benton White Insurance.  And, the pricing of the extra coverage is just pennies per day!


The deductible is the amount that the insured party has to pay when a claim is made. You can decrease your insurance costs by increasing the amount of your deductible, meaning you'll be required to pay more if you ever do have an incident that requires you to make a claim. Keep in mind that many mortgage providers require homeowners to carry a certain amount of insurance on their property with a deductible that's below a specified limit. Check with your mortgage provider before opting for the lowest possible rate with the highest possible deductible. It might be tempting to go for the lower rate, but if you ever do have to make an insurance claim, you might regret it, if you're responsible for a $10,000 deductible.

The Bottom Line

It may not seem like particularly interesting reading material, but it's a lot better to take the time to thoroughly read up on what your insurance policy covers, than to be stuck in a situation where you're not sure when you really need it. We often feel here at the agency that we are more in the education business than in the insurance policy business.  We work hard to blend both so you end up with the most competitive coverage for the most affordable pricing.  It's our job to educate you on all types of coverage's and make sure we don't miss anything that you need insured.  Who knows, you might need additional coverage to cover your original Van Gogh painting or that giant diamond ring.  We can help!

At the end of the day, doing your homework before purchasing a policy could really pay off if you're ever stuck in an unfortunate situation when you actually need to rely on your homeowners insurance.

We're here to help!  Contact any of our staff at or call us at 615.377.1212.  We're here to earn your business and help you to understand it too!

Portions of this blog post taken from: What Is and Isn't Covered by Homeowners Insurance | Investopedia | By Janet Fowler

Posted on 10/12/2016 9:09 AM by Benton P. White
Thursday, 06 October 2016

Not that we've had questions about this .... and honestly, not that we have a tremendous interest in this story.  However, there is ALWAYS an insurance angle that many don't consider.  When there is $10Million in jewelry stolen in a robbery in a foreign country, many questions have to be answered before a claim could be paid.  I thought this article from Billboard Magazine was interesting enough that we should share it.  It's interesting reading!

This comes from an article entitled: HOW MUCH INSURANCE MONEY WILL KIM KARDASHIAN RECEIVE FOR HER STOLEN JEWELS? THAT DEPENDS / 10/6/2016 by Lauren Indvik, Billboard

Jacopo Raule/Getty Images

"A multi-million dollar claim like this one is going to be difficult, both to investigate and to resolve," says Heather Perkins, head of underwriting at L.A.-based jewelry insurance specialist Lavalier.

A few hours after midnight on Monday morning, Kim Kardashian West was robbed at gunpoint in her Paris hotel of what is now estimated to be more than $10 million worth of jewelry - a story that has captivated the media, both in Europe and the U.S., in the days since.

As there is little chance the jewels will be recovered, Kardashian is now presumably about to enter into a complicated claims process with her insurance company - most likely Lloyd's of London (which specializes in insurance for multimillion-dollar gems), according to Scott Andrew Selby, co-author of Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History.

But how much Kardashian West will receive for the loss (assuming, of course, that each piece was insured) depends on a number of factors, including the category and conditions of her coverage. "It all depends on the type of jewelry coverage the customer purchased," Janece White, North American vice president of underwriting and jewelry specialist at Chubb Personal Risk Services, a multinational property and casualty insurer, tells Billboard. "Was it worldwide coverage? Was there a maximum amount of coverage provided while traveling? Were there any restrictions with regard to the security required while traveling with the jewelry? In some instances restrictions are placed on the policy, which require that when traveling the jewelry be kept in a secure hotel safe - not the room safe."

The conditions of Elizabeth Taylor's insurance on the famous, 69.42 carat Taylor-Burton diamond, for example, specified that Taylor should only wear it in public 30 days per year and when protected by security guards, according to Lloyd's. If anything had happened to the diamond while violating those conditions, she would not have received the full value of her claim.

Assuming Kardashian West is indeed insured, and was following the dictates of her policy to a T, the claims process will still be complicated. "Very high value, unique and rare items can be tricky to replace with pieces of 'like kind and quality,' which is the standard for most insurance companies," Heather Perkins, head of underwriting at Los Angeles-based jewelry insurance specialist Lavalier, tells Billboard. "So a multi-million dollar claim like this one is going to be difficult, both to investigate and to resolve.

"It is common for those who own jewels as pricey as Kardashian West's to wear imitation jewelry while traveling - something White strongly suggests for other owners of high-ticket items. And if an imitation set is not an option, storing the jewels in the hotel security safe when they aren't being worn is a must. "I would also be wary of making my whereabouts known, as individuals who could wish me harm could use that information," she adds. "And lastly, because even when all precautions are taken, sometimes bad things happen. I would want to make sure I had the best insurance coverage in place to protect my valuables."

We insure jewelry, music instruments, sports equipment and many other personal type articles.  And yes, if you have $10,000,000 to insure, we have companies.  So let us know if we can help!  Contact any of our staff at or call us at 615.377.1212.  We're always ready to earn your business!

Posted on 10/06/2016 12:22 PM by Benton White
Monday, 26 September 2016
I wanted to get this to you as soon as possible.  This is a major announcement regarding healthcare insurance here in Tennessee.  The #1 and largest provider of healthcare insurance in Tennessee is pulling out of the major metro markets including Nashville on the Obamacare exchange.  This article below from The Tennessean - released late this morning gives details. 

BCBST to pull out of Obamacare exchange in Nashville, Knoxville and Memphis - Read The Full Article

What This Means For Us...

Unfortunately, this will affect how we offer healthcare coverage in this agency because Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee was one of our primary healthcare providers.  Up until today, I have put my emphasis toward their good product(s) because one would think the largest provider would have success in this awkward national healthcare environment.  They couldn't and now we all will be forced to the site to find decreasing amounts of providers that are still participating in the national healthcare system.  We will continue to find best avenues to share with our customers as it pertains to sustainable healthcare insurance.
The premise of having everyone covered for healthcare is a good one.  But no one has considered how the insurance companies that will provide the coverage can pay for it.  And since many companies are dropping out as a result, those that remain will undoubtedly be forced to increase their premiums by incredible percentages in order to continue to participate in all of this.  The story isn't over and we'll do out best to keep you informed as the progress or lack thereof develops.

Contact Us

As we celebrate 38 years in this business this Saturday - October 1, we're here if there is anything you need from us.  Certainly, our other markets are very stable in the auto, home, commercial, life and other personal lines of insurance.  If you need us for anything, we're ready to earn your good business.  THANKS for the opportunity to do just that!  EMAIL us at or call any of our staff at 615.377.1212.  Stay tuned for more regarding this healthcare market as we learn more!
Posted on 09/26/2016 3:10 PM by Benton White
Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Have you ever been in that horrible situation where you had less than 100 miles to reach your destination in your vehicle.  BUT, your eyes are closing and your reactions are sluggish but you 'just can't stop ... you have to make it.?'  The decision to get behind the wheel or stay on the road despite feeling drowsy can be deadly.  Fatigue-related fatal and injury crashes cost a staggering $109 billion a year, not including property damage.

A new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association, "Wake Up Call! Understanding Drowsy Driving and What States Can Do," points out that nearly 83.6 million sleep-deprived Americans are driving every day. And it's taking a toll - an estimated 5,000 lives were lost in drowsy driving-related crashes in 2015. 

Drowsy driving is not a new traffic safety problem. However, the recognition of drowsy driving as a significant public health and traffic safety issue has only recently been made a priority. In March 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced the agency would take a comprehensive approach to preventing the tragedies attributed to driver drowsiness or fatigue.

Safety improvements

The NTSB added human-fatigue to its current list of most wanted transportation safety improvements just this year. In addition, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services'Healthy People 2020 program, the nation's roadmap for better health, includes sleep as a priority initiative and calls for a reduction in drowsy driving crashes coupled with an increase in the proportion of high school students and adults who get sufficient sleep.


Clearly, the nation's lack of sleep and its impact on driving is a threat to all drivers on the road and contributes to the increasing number auto insurance claims. The challenge is educating and engaging the public in order to create behavior change.

Keep reading to learn more about the epidemic of getting behind the wheel while impaired by lack of sleep:


Tired driver

Crashes involving sleepy drivers often involve a driver traveling alone at night. (Photo: iStock)

Common characteristics of drowsy driving crashes


  • They occur late at night, in the early morning hours or in mid-afternoon.
  • They are likely to result in serious injury or death.
  • They involve a single vehicle leaving the roadway.
  • They occur on high-speed roadways.
  • They involve a driver traveling alone.
  • There is no evidence of braking.

Curving road

Drowsy drivers have impaired judgment and loss of visual awareness. (Photo: iStock)

Negative impact of lack of sleep 

Drowsy driving is impaired driving. The extreme danger posed by tired drivers has prompted NHTSA to expand its definition of impaired driving to include not only drunk, drugged and distracted, but also drowsy. 

Drowsy drivers have:

  • Slower reaction times.
  • Impaired judgment.
  • Increased levels of risk taking.
  • More frequent blinking/eye closure.
  • Deficits in cognitive performance.
  • Memory impairment.
  • Attention failure.
  • Loss of visual awareness.


bus crash

In this March 12, 2011 file photo, emergency personnel investigate the scene of a bus crash on Interstate 95 in the Bronx borough of New York. Prosecutors in New York alleged the driver, Ophadell Williams, was all but asleep at the wheel, but a jury decided there was not enough proof to convict him. Although police can prove that someone is under the influence of drugs or alcohol while behind the wheel, proving a person to be too fatigued to drive is not as easy. (Photo: David Karp/AP Photo)

Who drives tired? 

No one is immune from drowsy driving, but teens and young adults are particularly vulnerable.

  • It is estimated that drivers 25 years of age and younger are involved in more than half of drowsy driving crashes annually.
  • People who work night shifts and/or long or irregular hours, including first responders (e.g., police, fire, EMS), doctors and nurses, and commercial motor vehicle operators, are at high risk for drowsy driving.
  • A study of nearly 5,000 North American police officers, found that sleepiness is a common problem with 46 percent reporting falling asleep while driving.
  • It is estimated that 10 percent to 20 percent of crashed involving at least one truck or bus may have involved tired drivers.
  • Many people who suffer from sleep disorders are undiagnosed and untreated, which means they may not recognize they are having problems with alertness or drowsiness when driving.

Powernap road sign

Laws that address impairment - including drowsy driving - must be enforceable. (Photo: iStock)

Drowsy driving laws 

Only two states - New Jersey and Arkansas - have enacted legislation that expressly addresses motorists who drive drowsy and subsequently injure or kill someone.

New Jersey's statute, known as Maggie's Law, took effect in 2003. It is named for a 20-year-old college student who was killed by a driver who had not slept in 30 hours and smoked crack cocaine. The crash led to two trials resulting in the driver receiving a $200 fine and a suspended jail sentence since driver fatigue could not be considered as a factor by either jury.

The statute deems driving "while knowingly fatigued as recklessness" and defines fatigued as "being without sleep for a period in excess of 24 consecutive hours."

Arkansas' law, like New Jersey's, defines fatigue in the same way, but also adds "or in the state of being asleep." In both states, law enforcement has had limited success convicting drowsy drivers under these statues.

While sleep advocates are encouraging other states to follow Arkansas and New Jersey's lead, the effectiveness of these laws is still up for debate. While the GHSA has not adopted an official position on states enacting drowsy driving laws, the association notes that any law that addresses impairment - including drowsy driving - must be enforceable. 

Rumble strips

Vehicles drive on a two-lane highway with rumble strips, a safety feature to alert drivers who are veering off the road. (Photo: iStock) 

Engineering improvements to make roadways and vehicles safer

Rumble strips: Raised or grooved patterns placed on the roadway surface that produce both a loud noise and a vibration when a vehicle's tires travel across them are a proven and cost-effective tool for reducing drowsy-driving crashes. When placed along the shoulder of the road, they alert drivers when they are drifting or about to run off the road. When placed along the centerlines, they make drivers aware that they have crossed into an opposing travel lane.

Installation of rumble strips is inexpensive compared to other infrastructure improvements (about $1,000-$1,500 per mile).

Evaluations indicate that they can reduce lane departure crashes by 50% or more, depending on the location.

Median cable barriers: Made of three or four steel cables strung on posts, when a vehicle hits this barrier, the posts break and the cables flex, absorbing much of the crash force. This redirects the vehicle along the median, preventing a cross-median crash.

They are much less expensive to install compared to concrete and metal beam barriers ($140,000-150,000 per mile versus $400,000-500,000 per mile).

Most states that have installed cable median barriers report a decrease in cross-median crash fatalities of 90 percent or more.

Rest areas. A rest area provides tired motorists a place to safely pull off the road and take a nap. Sleep is the most effective countermeasure for combating drowsy driving. Numerous studies point to the importance of rest areas for helping to make driving safer, however, they are typically located on interstates rather than rural roadways where there may be few or no places to safely pull off the road.

A number of websites such as Interstate Rest Areas and RoadNow and free or low-cost apps for both Apple and Android devices are available to assist motorists locate rest areas on roadways across the United States.

Vehicle technology. Automotive manufacturers and researchers have developed technologies that detect variations in driver performance and issue a drowsiness warning. These systems, which go by names such as Attention Assist, Driver Alert, Driver Attention Alert, Lane Departure Warning, and EyeSight, all essentially work the same. However, they are typically not sold as standard features, but available as upgrades to base models or on higher-end vehicles, thereby limiting their adoption.

There are other in-vehicle technologies that, while not specifically designed to prevent drowsy driving, can be helpful in preventing crashes resulting from sleepy drivers who fail to react or see a danger. For instance, adaptive cruise control senses where a vehicle in front of you is relative to your own vehicle, and slows down and speeds up your vehicle to maintain consistent spacing.Forward collision mitigation, meanwhile, detects how far and fast the vehicle in front of you may be moving and automatically applies the brakes if you do not respond.

Forward Collision Warning systems alert you when your vehicle is about to collide with another vehicle some distance ahead of yours. The warning varies by vehicle (e.g., flashing light, alarm, vibration), but unlike Forward Collision Mitigation, forward collision warnign systems do not automatically apply the brakes. Lane departure warning is perhaps the technology that has the most applicability to drowsy driving prevention. It works by looking at the road's lane markings and alerts the driver, via an alarm or vibration in the steering wheel or seat, when he or she unintentionally drives to close to the lane edge.


Rest area sign

Schedule frequent breaks on long trips; stop every two hours or 100 miles. (Photo: iStock)

Life-saving tips for avoiding drowsy driving:


  • Be well rested before hitting the road. Several nights of fewer than seven or eight hours of sleep slows your reaction time, resulting in a sleep debt. It may take several nights of being well rested to repay that debt and make you ready for a long road trip.
  • Avoid driving between midnight and 7 a.m. and in the mid-afternoon, times when we are naturally the least alert and most tired.
  • Don't drive alone. If possible, travel with a well-rested passenger who can engage you in conversation and share the driving.
  • Schedule frequent breaks on long trips; stop every two hours or 100 miles.
  • Don't drink alcohol. Just one beer when you are sleep deprived mimics the effect of two or three when you are well rested.
  • Don't rely on caffeine to keep you awake.


Make sure you're getting enough quality sleep. (Photo: iStock)

Tips for getting a good night's sleep


  • Establish and stick to a seven-day a week sleep schedule. Sleeping later on the weekends makes it harder to get out of bed on Monday.
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, but not two or three hours before bedtime.
  • Avoid caffeine late in the afternoon or evening; its effects can take up to eight hours to wear off.
  • Avoid nicotine. It's a stimulant that causes people to sleep lightly and wake early in the morning because of nicotine withdrawal.
  • Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed, which can rob you of sleep and impair breathing.
  • Avoid large meals and beverages late at night, which can cause indigestion and frequent urination, respectively.
  • If possible, avoid medications that delay or disrupt sleep. Talk to your doctor if any drug you are taking is keeping you up. Ask if you can take it at other times during the day or early evening.
  • Don't take naps after 3 p.m. They can make up for lost sleep, but late afternoon naps make it harder to fall asleep at night.
  • Relax before bed. Read, listen to music or engage in some other relaxing activity.
  • Take a hot bath before bed; it drops your body temperature and helps you feel sleepy and more relaxed.
  • Have a good sleeping environment, one that is cool, comfortable and technology-free. (When was the last time you changed your mattress and/or pillow?) If you have a clock by your bed, turn the face so you do not worry about the time while trying to fall asleep.
  • Have the right sunlight exposure. Get outside at least 30 minutes a day and turn down the lights before bedtime.
  • Don't lie in bed awake. If you are still awake after 30 minutes or starting to feel worried or anxious, get up and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy.
  • Consult a doctor if you continue to have trouble sleeping. You may have a sleep disorder or another physical or mental health condition that may be impacting your sleep.

We're in the business to insure you and help you stay safe as you drive.  Thanks for reading this blog article and know, if we can help you with anything insurance, we're ready to earn your business!  Just contact any of our staff at 615.377.1212 or EMAIL us at  We're always ready to earn your business!

[Portions of this article are a reprint from - posted on their website on August 29, 2016 .. written by Jayleen R. Heft]

Posted on 08/31/2016 11:07 AM by Benton P. White
Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Tennessee's insurance regulator approved hefty rate increases for the three carriers on the Obamacare exchange in an attempt to stabilize the already-limited number of insurers in the state.

The rate approvals, while a tough decision, were necessary to ensure that consumers around the state had options when open enrollment begins in November, said Julie Mix McPeak, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is the only insurer to sell statewide and there was the possibility that Cigna and Humana would reduce their footprints or leave the market altogether.

"I would characterize the exchange market in Tennessee as very near collapse ... and that all of our efforts are really focused on making sure we have as many writers in the areas as possible, knowing that might be one. I'm doing everything I can to prevent a situation where that turns to zero," McPeak said to The Tennessean.

Cigna and Humana both refiled their requests earlier this month after telling the TDCI that the first requests were likely too low.

McPeak said insurers asked for the opportunity to refile rates last year but she said no. This year, however, was different because many of areas of the state will only have one or two choices.

"I felt like I didn't have any choice but to allow them to refile their rates," said McPeak, who is concerned about the limited number of insurers..

Cigna asked for and received an average 46.3 percent increase.

Humana asked for and received an average 44.3 percent increase.

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, which did not refile its request, asked for and received a 62 percent increase.

The increases underscore the complex environment of the exchange. People who buy plans on the exchange are heavier users of services than anticipated. In addition, there are changes to federal transitional programs in 2017 that will impact insurers financially.

We're keeping an eye on it here at the agency and are fielding calls trying to help our folks navigate through these challenging times in healthcare.  If we can help you, please let us know.  EMAIL our staff at or call us at 615.377.1212.  We're always ready to help you and earn your business!

Posted on 08/23/2016 9:18 AM by Benton White
Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Summer is considered over in our area because school is back in session across Middle Tennessee.  Of course, that means increased traffic on the roads.

With college students packing up their cars to go back to campus, and parents dropping off and picking up kids from school, the increase in traffic congestion and distracted driving can create dangerous road conditions and contribute to increases in the frequency of auto accidents.


Young drivers are prone to distracted driving, especially with the increase of handheld technology. This is part of the reason why U.S. traffic deaths increased nearly 8 percent from 2014 to 2015, according to data recently released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

That's why the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) has released a list of back-to-school driving safety tips for parents and young drivers, alike. There are distractions all around in the car, and PCI is encouraging drivers to put down their phones and stay focused on the road.

1. Wear seat belts

Whether taking a summer get-away or just running errands around town, PCI encourages drivers to buckle up, drive safely and try to be prepared for those who may not. Seat belts save lives and help prevent injuries. Also, make sure kids are in the proper car or booster seats.


2. Plan and allow for extra travel time

With more people on the roads, often driving in unfamiliar territory, the potential for a traffic crash increases. PCI encourages motorists to plan routes in advance when traveling to new destinations, be patient, and allow for extra travel time.

3. Observe speed limits, including lower speeds in work zones

Stay focused on the road and aware of changing traffic patterns caused by construction.  Please be cautious of the construction workers themselves, who are often in close proximity to the highway - and at great risk.

4. Avoid distracted driving

When the entire family is traveling in the car, the opportunity for distraction is multiplied. Remember to put the phone down, and never text while driving.  Be careful when eating on the run, as lunch can be just as distracting as a cellphone. Buckle up or secure pets in the back of the car.

5. Have a plan for roadside assistance

If an accident occurs, be wary of unscrupulous towing companies. Have the phone number for the insurer or a roadside assistance program ready.  Some towing companies take advantage of drivers after an accident and drivers could find themselves facing excessive fees or complications recovering their car from the tow yard.

6. Update proof of insurance

Before hitting the road, make sure to replace any expired insurance identification cards in the event the driver needs to prove they have insurance during a traffic stop.

Hopefully these tips will help you be prepared and more aware of the increased traffic we all face now that school is back in session in Middle Tennessee.  If we can help you with your insurance, we're ready to earn your business.  Simply contact any of our staff at 615.377.1212 or email us at  Thanks for reading our blog and be safe out there!

Posted on 08/17/2016 2:18 PM by Benton White
Thursday, 11 August 2016

Throughout my career, many have asked why I don't represent just one company like State Farm, Farmers, GEICO and others.  "Why are you independent?"  It's always an easy answer consisting of many reasons.  The best way to show it is in this new video!  Enjoy!

We give you choices!  We're a part of the independent agency system and a proud member of the Trust Choices network.  Don't settle for just ONE company that can only quote you ONE premium.  We'll shop for you and give you what you need - not only with the right coverage's but also with the most competitive premiums.  Contact our staff at 615.377.1212 or email us at  We're always ready to earn your business!
Posted on 08/11/2016 10:27 AM by Benton White
Wednesday, 03 August 2016

Many things can affect your auto insurance premiums, for example, how many miles you drive per day and per year, whether you've been in any accidents that were your fault and where you live.

One factor you may not be aware of is the number of moving violations you've received when driving a particular vehicle. (Parking tickets generally don't count.)

When assessing risk, insurance carriers look at a person's driving habits and presume that someone with several tickets for speeding is more likely to get into an accident than someone with no moving violations. In addition, the amount of the claim for an auto in a high-speed accident is going to be higher, with more property damage and possibly bodily injuries as well.

Red cars and speeding tickets

Drivers have thought that the color of the car was a major influence on whether they received speeding tickets. A long-held belief is that red cars are ticketed more often than any other color. But most law enforcement agencies deny that a car's color has anything to do with whether it will be cited for speeding more often.

According to a recent study from, speeders tend to prefer the same model cars. Drivers and car owners can use's "Ticket Magnet" tool to analyze how many tickets their car make or model receives based on more than 323,000 insurance quotes for drivers who use the site.

The analysts at Your Mechanic examined the data more closely to determine whether the type of car makes a difference in the amount of tickets it received. When they segmented the models into luxury cars, mid-size, compact, sports cars, pickup trucks, SUVs and subcompact cars, they found some interesting data on what types of drivers are typically getting the most tickets.

Common traffic violations

As Maddy Martin at Your Mechanic points out, traffic violations can differ from state to state, but some of the most common ones are running a red light, driving at night without headlights, illegal turns, illegal parking,or running a stop sign. Speeding laws also fluctuate based on the state and road.

Here are the 10 most ticketed cars by model and percent of vehicle owners, based on the data analysis from Your Mechanic. Note that there are no dates or date ranges provided with the results. They only reflect information from a driver who provides information to the Ticket Magnet tool.

10. Toyota Tacoma - 30.1% of vehicle owners

9. Acura - 30.1%

8. Dodge Stratus SXT - 30.2%

7. Volkswagen GTI - 39.3%

6. Mazda 3S - 30.3%

5. Chevrolet Monte Carlo LS/LT - 30.8%

4. Volkswagen Jetta GL - 31.4%

3. Dodge Charge - 32.1%

2. Nissan 350Z - 32.5%

1. Lexus ES 300 - 33.4%

We get all types of comments from rumors about what is the best car to insure that is safest or less noticable to police officers.  None of the myths are really true.  Speed or wreckless driving produces tickets on the road.  Not much else competes with that.

Please let us know if we can help you with your insurance.  EMAIL us at or contact any of our staff at 615.377.1212.  We're always here and ready to earn your business!
[Portions of this article taken from - written by Rosalie L. Donlon]

Posted on 08/03/2016 4:06 PM by Benton White
Wednesday, 20 July 2016
It takes 2 extra minutes ... pull out your phone or camera and take 4 angles of your rental vehicle before you drive it off the lot.  Then, do the same thing again when you check the car in. That gives you a TIME-STAMPED visual record of the condition of your rental car before and after you drive it.  Here is why this is important!
We have had two of our customers have claims on their auto insurance in the last couple of weeks because of damage to a vehicle they rented.  One of the customers didn't even have the privilege of filing it himself - the rental car company filed it quickly direct to our insured's company!!!!  I personally have had a claim issue with a rental car company several years back.  I turned the vehicle in one early morning before catching a flight.  The rental company wasn't opened yet.  So I did as they instructed, I left the vehicle in a certain place that was supposedly secure.  About 4 weeks later, I get a notice that I was being charged for damage on that vehicle that never occurred under my watch.  The car was spotless!  So in the end, it was my word ("I didn't damage that vehicle!" against theirs ..."This car had damage on it when you turned it in!")  I had to file the claim with my credit card insurance coverage that covered the physical damage on that vehicle as a benefit of my card.  I was glad they could take care of it and keep me from having to pay out of pocket.  I later learned, much to my own disappointment, the credit card insurance paid some or all of that claim.  Unfair in my book!
Christopher Elliott is a travel editor with USA Today.  He basically lives on the road and gives great advice about travel issues.  Earlier this month, he wrote a thorough article about car rentals.  Here is what he wrote and I so agree with him:
"Eric Eatman didn't do it. He's sure of that.
When he rented a car in Atlantic City recently, he noticed several scrapes on the side of his vehicle, which he brought to the attention of an employee.
"The agent assured me that as long as the scratches were smaller than a dollar bill it didn't matter," says Eatman, a notary public from Brandon, Fla.
But after he returned the car to Enterprise, a representative claimed he damaged the vehicle, and the company eventually sent him a $3,096 bill, including a $289 bill for "loss of use."
"I was certain that I did not cause the damage," he says.
Taking responsibility is never easy. But when they're away, travelers often think they can get away with anything. Travel companies, particularly car rental companies, are understandably suspicious of their customers who balk at paying their bills. Maybe it's time for a little detente.
How badly is the relationship frayed? Let's put it this way: If something breaks in your rental car, you're guilty until proven innocent. But with good reason. Too often, motorists invoke the "wear and tear" excuse when they've trashed a rental. Owning up to our actions may be the first step toward bridging this chasm of distrust.
When James Pillow returned his car to Alamo recently, he watched another renter back his car into a concrete pole. "Nobody else saw it happen," says Pillow, who works for a sports memorabilia site in Orlando. He could see the driver hesitating - should he say something or pretend it never happened? After a moment, the customer walked over to an attendant and confessed.
"It was very noble," he says. "Especially given the damage."
It helps to take responsibility when things go wrong. When Vicki Winters, a social media manager who lives in New York, visited Spain this summer, she found a parking ticket on her rental. Initially, she and her husband decided not to tell their car rental company, and they might have gotten away with it. Tracking down a customer who lives more than 3,000 miles away - never mind matching a ticket to the right driver - is a challenge for even the best car rental company.
"We waffled some more," she says. "Then we decided to come clean and show them the ticket."
To her surprise, an employee told her she was off the hook.
"Honesty was the best policy," says Winters.
But it's equally important to take a stand when you didn't do it. I reviewed the correspondence between Eatman and Enterprise and saw a string of vehement denials by Eatman. What's more, Enterprise couldn't prove the dent had happened on his watch. From all appearances, he'd tried to warn the company about the pre-existing damage, and an employee had dismissed him.
I contacted Enterprise on his behalf and it agreed to review his claim.
"Sometimes, as you know, we may miss something, but we never hesitate to make things right for our customers," Enterprise spokeswoman Laura Bryant said. "As a result, this claim has been dropped. Thank you for bringing this to our attention."
Responsibility is a two-way street. On the one side, you have car rental companies that usually assume you're responsible for damage if you're the last person who rented the car. That's not always fair. On the other side, you have motorists who might walk away from real damage and traffic tickets, actions that don't exactly help the fragile relationship between drivers and car rental companies.
Is there a way to meet in the middle - for car rental companies to stop assuming we're guilty of destroying their vehicles and for us to own up to our violations? Changing corporate policy may not be practical, but the next time you pick up the keys to your rental car, you can make a promise to yourself: I'll treat this like it's my own car."
How to avoid a frivolous car rental damage claim
  • Take pictures or video of your vehicle - before and after. The images should be enough to exonerate you if there's a bogus damage claim.
  • Report any pre-existing damage, no matter how small. Don't let an employee reassure you with promises that smaller scratches don't count. They do count. If the car is dented and scratched, you should refuse it.
  • Get insurance. Being covered means you won't have to face a $3,096 bill. Check with your credit card company and car insurance companies before you spring for the optional insurance, which can be overpriced.
Hopefully, this information will help you as we move into the vacation season when many rent cars these days.  As you can see, I'm a big believer of rental car picture taking.  It's hard to question a time-stamped photo of a vehicle if you are ever accused of damaging a rental vehicle. 
If we can help you with anything insurance, we're here and ready.  Contact us at or call 615.377.1212.  Any of our staff is ready to assist!  Thanks for reading and be ready to pull out that camera the next time you rent a car!
Posted on 07/20/2016 10:56 AM by Benton White
Wednesday, 13 July 2016
An personal umbrella insurance policy is a liability policy that covers you and your family members over and above your primary insurance policies, including the policies you hold for your automobiles, home, rental properties, and even boats or campers.
Many of my clients believe that only millionaires need this coverage. Unfortunately, this is a gross misconception. Many people can benefit from umbrella policies.
If you are sued and then found liable, and if you do not have enough liability on your primary policies to cover the judgment against you, any assets or property that you own will be put towards the settlement-unless you have an umbrella policy.
Frequently, when I give this simple explanation, I am told, "I do not own anything nor do I have any money in the bank for anyone to take."
Here are the questions I then ask:
  • Do you have a job?
  • Do you have a retirement account?
  • Do you own a car?
  • Do you own a home, condo or rental property?
  • Does your spouse have any assets or property?
  • Does your spouse have a job?
At least one of these questions likely has a yes answer.
This means a lien can be put on your salary, disability benefits, 401(k), or any future salary you may earn, or you may be forced to sell any or all of your property or your spouse's property to pay for the judgment against you.
Additionally, many people forget about legal fees. Sometimes the attorney and investigation fees are more than the final judgment awarded. These fees can exhaust the primary liability limits on your policy very quickly.
The above facts gives very good examples of reasons why we should discuss purchasing an umbrella policy.  Here are some example that could make it even more clear:
A neighborhood child runs over to your dog sleeping in your yard, startles it, and causes it to bite and seriously injure the nerves in the young child's hand. The suit is over $5,000,000 because not only did the parents and the child have to endure trauma, but also the child was a very talented pianist with the potential of becoming a star until the accident. You will have to pay for the estimated loss of income, as well as emotional injury, even though the child startled your dog.
Your son is away at college with one of the family cars, and he lends the car to one of his friends. The friend gets into a four-car accident; two of cars involved had no insurance and five people are seriously injured, including the friend who had borrowed the car. Did you know that if your child gives permission for someone else to drive your car, it's the same thing as you giving permission, and therefore you are liable for that driver's actions as owner of the vehicle? While the driver of your car was not fully at fault, the injuries from the accident cause the lawsuit to come in at $10,000,000. If nothing else, you will need legal defense. These suits can take years to settle, and the defense costs add up very quickly.
Someone walks up the stairs to your home only to find out that she has the wrong house. However, when leaving, she trips and falls down your stairs, seriously injuring herself in such a way that she could no longer work. Yes, your homeowners policy will defend and pay the lawsuit against you; however, if that limit is exhausted and there is no umbrella, you will be liable for the rest.
Bear in mind that not every umbrella policy is the same. Does your umbrella policy cover legal fees inside the limit on the policy or outside? Do you sit on a board of directors? Do you own a personal watercraft or ATV? Unless you have underlying coverage, your answers to these questions may mean that your umbrella policy excludes coverage.
Call us today at Benton White Insurance.  We're writing more and more personal liability umbrellas these days and the pricing is some of the least expensive we offer.  Our average umbrella quote is approximately $200 per year for $1 Million of coverage.  We can offer more information on this very important coverage so you can protect the assets and property you have worked so hard to earn and grow.  Call any of our staff at 615.377.1212 or EMAIL us at We're ready to earn your business and protect yours!


Posted on 07/13/2016 11:56 AM by Benton White
Friday, 08 July 2016

It's no secret: Adding a teenage driver to an auto policy can be risky.

Teen drivers are often inexperienced, nervous and wreckless. In fact, according to the Arlington, Virginia-based Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the fatal crash rate per mile driven for drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 is almost three times higher than all other age groups.

Not surprisingly, adding a teen driver often causes a dramatic spike in annual auto policy premiums â€• so much so that they can even double in some areas. According to some sources, on average U.S. families who add a young driver to their auto insurance policy will see an annual premium increase of 79%.

For the fourth year in a row, Quadrant Information Services conducted a survey to examine the economic effect of adding a driver between the ages of 16 and 19 to a family's car insurance policy. According to the study, this year's average premium increase is down from last year's average of 80%, and is even lower than 2013, when the average increase was as high as 84%.

These gradual decreases speak to a larger trend in teen driver safety and fewer teens being behind the wheel. According to a study from the University of Michigan, 69% of 17-year-old Americans had a license 30 years ago. Today it's 45%.

It was not surprising for us to see that TENNESSEE is one of the Top 10 most expensive states where adding a teen driver to an auto policy is the most costly.  This is the first year Tennessee has made the survey and dropped into the #10 spot.  According to this survey, a parent adding a teen to their auto policy could face a 92.21% average auto insurance premium increase.  The number 1 state in the survey? New Hampshire with 125.39% average premium increase.

Here at Benton White Insurance, we're not seeing quite that much of an increase with our companies.  I usually suggest that you could see a 50 to 75% increase if you add a son to the policy and about 40% increase if you add a daughter.  Nevertheless, parents of future teen drivers need to be aware that it definitely will upset your budget when you add teens to your auto policy.  

Let us help you manage all of this.  If there is something else we can help you with, we're an email away at or make that easy call to any of our staff at 615.377.1212.  Thanks for reading!  

Posted on 07/08/2016 10:08 AM by Benton White
Wednesday, 06 July 2016
This article from The New York Times caught my eye last week because it's a subject none of us think about much.  There is a an enormous amount of Identity Theft going on these days.  When we hear or read about it, we automatically think - adults!  But on the increase, theft of social security numbers for children is on the rise and that is causing some pretty serious problems for children and their parents.
Here is the article written by Ron Lieber from the Your Money section of The New York Times - April 17, 2015.
The note that arrived in the mail, dated March 25 and addressed to my grade-school-age daughter, said what we had expected and feared: Like tens of millions of other Americans, including untold numbers of children, she may have fallen victim to thieves who gained access to Social Security numbers and other personal data from the health insurance giant Anthem.
In three single-spaced pages, it noted that anyone who had dealt with the company and many Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurance plans over the last decade could be vulnerable. The letter pointed us to the Anthem website for more information, which it described as "our source of truth."
Here's what the note did not fully address, however: What are the odds that someone will steal a child's identity? Why would a thief do that, and what exactly can parents do to keep it from happening?
I know better than to overreact to this sort of thing. Thieves have to get the data, choose to use it (instead of chickening out), pick yours to use in nefarious ways and then do so successfully before any damage to a child's credit record can occur. Still, a 2011 joint industry-academic examination of 40,000 children caught up in a data breach found that someone else appeared to be using 10.2 percent of their Social Security numbers. Most of those instances happened before the breach in question.
So crime like this does happen, and here's why: Children's credit reports are clean. That's attractive to people who want to begin their financial lives anew for any number of reasons. Plus, minors don't check their credit reports or review monthly bills the way grown-ups do, which means thieves may not get caught for years or even decades.
One way that people can protect themselves from many kinds of identity theft is to put a freeze on their credit reports with Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, the three agencies that make a lot of money tracking our financial histories and selling that information to companies we want to do business with.
A credit freeze is more stringent than the more popular fraud alerts that many consumers have used in the past. Putting your reports on ice means that any new creditor trying to open an account in your name won't have access to your credit report unless you go into the system and thaw it. Without seeing your credit report, companies that you are not already patronizing generally won't open a new account in your name, so the freeze usually has the effect of thwarting thieves.
The problem with the freeze, however, is that you need to have a credit report in the first place before you can put it in cold storage. Because most children don't, it's usually been nearly impossible to freeze a child's credit file.
In the last few years, though, that's been changing. According to Heather Morton, a program principal with the National Conference of State Legislatures, 19 states now require the credit agencies to help parents and guardians create a new credit report for a minor child for the express purpose of immediately freezing it. (Tennessee isn't in the group!)
Last month, Representative Jim Langevin, Democrat of Rhode Island, introduced legislation that would force the credit bureaus to let all of us do this. Equifax claims that it already lets any parent set up a freeze for a child in the other 31 states. Experian and TransUnion do not, though TransUnion, on its website, has a form that parents can complete so the company can check to see if there are any existing credit files under a child's Social Security number.
The bureaus aren't big fans of freezes, because they're an administrative annoyance and they throw a giant roadblock in their business of peddling our information. Equifax, on its website, introduces freezes as something a consumer does after being victimized, as if we'd all want to wait until the burglar has left the premises to hire a security guard. TransUnion deserves credit for at least mentioning that children may be able to get one. All of them, however, worry about creating vulnerabilities where there were none by creating a credit file that did not previously exist.
Still, if you try to set one up for your child, you're in for a battle. The agencies want reams of information, including copies of your child's birth certificate and Social Security number plus certain bills that prove where you live. Equifax and TransUnion ask you to put all of this private information in an envelope and drop it into a mailbox. Even worse, two Equifax customer service representatives I spoke to this week insisted that I should put "minor child" at the top of the address. It might as well say, "Steal this envelope!"
I'm doing it anyway (though without saying, "Steal Me"), if only to annoy the agencies that so clearly do not want me to do this.
Freezes won't stop every kind of theft, alas. Thieves sometimes use children's Social Security numbers and other data to file fake tax returns and get illegitimate refunds, gain access to health care and work legally even if they are not citizens. In each of those instances, there may never be a credit check that reveals the freeze.
So what are the ways to keep private data private that are within our control? Don't carry around Social Security cards. Keep them under lock and key at home. Keep your child's date of birth off social media. Talk to your offspring about where to click and not to click on websites and in incoming email. Question school officials and doctors who want children's Social Security numbers for forms, as it may not truly be necessary.

Robert P. Chappell Jr., author of "Child Identity Theft: What Every Parent Needs To Know," sometimes jots down names, insurance information and other bits and pieces as he listens in those places and then approaches people afterward to gently correct their data hygiene. So far, nobody has punched him in the nose. "Most of them are very nice and have no idea about the harm that can come from it," said Mr. Chappell, who works in law enforcement by day. "Usually, I'm in civilian clothes."
One problem with the various legislative efforts to fix the problem is that they won't do much about the many situations where it's the children's own parents who commit the identity fraud. Mothers and fathers may do this out of desperation, having already wrecked their own credit or experienced some acute financial calamity. Foster children are frequent identity theft victims, too. Whatever the reason for the crime, these parents aren't about to freeze their children's files.
So what could stop them? One possibility exists only in theory, and it's called the 17-10 registry. The idea here is that when children are born, their Social Security numbers automatically go into a "do not break the glass until two months before age 18" database. Parents could be prohibited from opting out of the database for their children, and credit reporting agencies (and employers and the Internal Revenue Service) would hopefully crosscheck it before letting anyone use any Social Security number. TransUnion is experimenting with its own database that families in Utah can put their children in.
My daughter seems unscathed so far, and we are signing up for the free monitoring service that Anthem is making available for two years. But Adam Levin, the founder or co-founder of two credit- and identity-related businesses and the author of a book scheduled for release in November called "Swiped: What Identity Thieves Do and How to Stop Them," questioned why the free service ought to halt then, even if Anthem is paying for a longer period than other breached organizations have in the past.
"Social Security numbers are like money in the bank, and thieves don't need to use them at any specific moment in history," he said. "You're going to have to look over your shoulder for the rest of your life."
Then again, you're probably already doing that. The companies we pay and the governmental agencies that keep track of us have proved with startling consistency that they are not up to the task of keeping our data safe. Then, they compound that by dragging their feet when tools emerge that allow us to flip a switch and try to contain the damage.
Until that changes, you're more or less on your own. But you already knew that, right?
Identity Theft is real!  We offer insurance coverage for expenses you might incur if you are invaded with ID theft.  Call us at 615.377.1212 or EMAIL at your convenience to We can't stop your identity from being stolen but we can help ease the costs if you have that unfortunate bad experience.
Posted on 07/06/2016 10:30 AM by Benton White
Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Based on what I keep seeing either with insurance claims or from observation as I drive around the Middle Tennessee area, the pattern seems to continue. When you take ONE SECOND to glance at or do something with your mobile device while you are behind the wheel, you, those who are with you and those around you are at risk - GREAT RISK!

The following video was released a couple of weeks ago and it's getting attention as being an example of a very common place story with common everyday people doing common everyday things. But ONE SECOND changed it all!

Thanks for viewing and passing this along to others! Here's a blog link you could share or email with your friends. Many people still aren't seeing the need to put the phone down when they are driving. So let's help others to remember!

Posted on 06/29/2016 2:57 PM by Benton White
Friday, 17 June 2016
An unexpected car accident can leave you feeling a bit scattered and often times scared.  That's why it's important to brush up on post-accident procedures now, when you're in good shape and levelheaded. Let us offer you this 7-step guide that can help make the moments after an accident less stressful - and the claims process a whole lot smoother.
1. Move to a safe area.
If it's safe to do so and you aren't seriously injured, move your car out of further harm's way, like to the shoulder of the road. If moving your car just isn't possible, flip on your hazards to warn other drivers that your vehicle isn't going anywhere any time soon.
2. Stop your vehicle and get out
Make sure your car is no longer moving, turn off the engine, shift into park, or set the handbrake if you drive a manual. Take a moment to catch your breath. Check to make sure it's safe to get out of your car before opening the door. If you have flares or similar road safety items, consider using them.
3. Check on others involved
Check on all the other parties involved, including drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, to make sure no one is hurt. Call 911 if anyone may be injured. Even a seemingly minor symptom like dizziness should be checked out by a health care professional.
4. Call the police to the scene
Even in minor accidents, a police accident report can prove invaluable when dealing with one of our companies or any other company you might need to deal with in settling this accident and other drivers. Cooperate fully, but avoid admitting fault or blaming others while at the scene. Let the police objectively judge events and determine who, if anyone, was at fault for the crash.If the police can't make it to the scene (which is more likely if there are no injuries), you can file an accident report through the Tennessee Department of Safety.
5. Gather info
Try to write down as much info as possible in the accident aftermath, including:
  • Driver and passenger names
  • License plate numbers
  • Insurance info
  • Makes and models of all vehicles involved
  • Contact info for any eyewitnesses
  • Location of the accident
  • The name and badge number of any responding police officers
6. Document the scene
Pictures, pictures, pictures!  Pull out that smartphone and snap some photos of the accident scene from ALL angles. They'll come in handy during the claim process.  
At Benton White Insurance, you can file a claim from our website at  Some of our companies have mobile apps where you can file the claim from their mobile app and take pictures within the app to send.  
7. File your insurance claim
We make it easy for you to get to us when you need to file a claim.  You can use our online process mentioned above or call us at 615.377.1212 and we'll be ready to help make it easy for you.  If you happen to need claim help after hours, all of our companies offer 24/7 claim filing service.  That directory can be found here:  If you don't remember who your insurance carrier is or forgot how to reach us, look on your auto ID card... the information is there!  
Once you complete the 7 steps, it's on us to take care of you and we work really hard to do so.  You'll be assigned an adjuster that will walk with you every step of the way to give you the fast and accurate service you deserve.  If they don't, we'll see to it that they do!
Here are some things you should consider doing before an accident.
If you haven't been in a car accident, after patting yourself on the back (while the car's stopped, of course), use these handy tips to make sure you're ready for the unpredictable:
  1. Pack a safety kit
  2. Keep important documents at the ready (ID, Auto Insurance Card ID, additional insurance company contact information, vehicle registration, health plan info, etc.)
  3. Have your phone on you and charged whenever you hit the road
  4. Keep loose items in the center console or glove box, and not on the seats, where they can get lost or fly around in an accident

No matter how clean your driving record, you never know when an accident can happen. You'll be glad you kept these 4 elements in mind if (and we do mean "if") you find yourself handling the aftermath of a crash.

If you have a question or we can help you in anyway, simply email us at or call our team at 615.377.1212


Posted on 06/17/2016 11:40 AM by Benton White
Tuesday, 14 June 2016
We're proud to represent a LEADER in travel insurance - IMG (International Medical Group).  They have been in the business for many years and have saved countless thousands from the pain of medical costs when they weren't in familiar home territory and needed care.  I have a special section on our website dedicated to the variety of plans they offer (Click Hereand the pricing has been phenomenally lower than you would imagine.  My wife and I have purchased this coverage when we travel - especially on trips abroad.  
Here's a story that illustrates the need for travel medical insurance in real life circumstances.  While skiing in South America, Mark, an IMG® member, found himself on the brink of paralysis. After skiing over a rock buried in the powdery snow, he cracked open his skull and fractured a vertebra in his spine. Mark not only required emergency medical attention, he and his wife needed an insurance company who would be there in a time of crisis.  Watch the dramatic video of Mark's harrowing story to see how IMG can assist our customers just like Mark on their mission every day.

IMG's mission is to protect and enhance the health and well-being of their members. IMG is our primary travel insurance carrier here at Benton White Insurance for travel medical coverage because they are leaders in the space.  Both our customers and this agency are assured to be safely protected during travel!
We always like to say, "if it can be insured, we insure it and we service it too!"  IMG gives us another dimension of coverage that our customers have come to expect from this agency for over 37 years.  If we can answer questions or assist in any other way with insurance, we're ready!  EMAIL us at or contact any of our staff at 615.377.1212.  We offer ALL TYPES of insurance as we continue to work diligently to EARN your business!

Posted on 06/14/2016 8:10 AM by Benton White
Friday, 10 June 2016

Teen Driving Safety

Vehicle crashes leading cause of teen death

Jessica Bliss of The Tennessean reports that parents take a great leap of faith before giving their kids the car keys. Crashes due to reckless and distracted driving are the leading cause of death for American teens.
Summer is the time of highest risk.
Students average 44 percent more hours behind the wheel each week during the summer than during the school year, according to research by SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions).
The 99 days from Memorial Day to Labor Day are the deadliest time for drivers age 15 to 20 with July 4 topping the list.
As you can see (and read further for more details of the article here), the risk is MUCH GREATER for teens - especially less experienced teen drivers during the summer months!  We see this claim increase from our own customers with their teens in the household.  So let this be a conversation starter for you and your family as we go through these dangerous 99 days.  It only takes one accident to change a life completely or end it.  We urge you and your family to be safe during this wonderful summer season ahead of us.  
If we can help you with anything insurance, we are ready!  Just EMAIL us at or Call us:  615.377.1212.
Posted on 06/10/2016 9:49 AM by Benton White
Thursday, 26 May 2016
Summer is around the corner and great cycling weather is already here!  For me, that's meant - ride my cycle every chance I get.
Have you ever wondered what happens when a bicycle is stolen or damaged while on your car's bike rack? Do you know if your insurance will cover possessions that are inside (or outside) of your car?
In many cases, a bicycle or bike rack will be covered, but there are circumstances in which your coverage may vary. Here are five common scenarios and the most important steps to take in each one:
  • Your bike is damaged while it is secured to your vehicle
    • In most states, a claim can be filed under the personal property provision of your Homeowners' or Renters' insurance policy. If the policy includes a provision for replacement cost value coverage, the insurer will pay the replacement cost of the bicycle, less any deductible. However, if the policy provides for actual cash value coverage, the insurer will only pay the current depreciated value of the bicycle.
  • A different vehicle damages your bike while it is secured to your vehicle: 
    • If the liability of the other motorist is clear, then his or her insurer will pay the full actual cash value of the bicycle. If the motorist is uninsured, that same 100% actual cash value payment will be paid by the insurer of the owner of the vehicle to which the bike is attached. However, this payment occurs only if the owner has uninsured motorist coverage.
  • A hit-and-run motorist damages your bike while it is attached to your vehicle: 
    • This claim would be paid under the owner's Homeowners' or Renters' policy. The replacement cost value would be paid, less the deductible.
  • Another person's bike is damaged while it is secured to your vehicle: 
    • In this scenario, the liability portion of your Auto insurance will pay the actual cash value to the owner of the bike.
  • A bike attached to your vehicle is stolen: 
    • As long as an incident report is filed with the police, your Renters' or Homeowners' policy will pay the replacement cost value, less the deductible.
It is important to realize that the typical deductible in a Homeowners' or Renters' policy is commonly $250 or $500. In many instances where a claim is made under the provisions of such a policy, a relatively significant portion of the bike's value will not be covered.
A "personal articles floater" can be purchased that specifically covers the full cost of repairs or the full replacement cost value if the bicycle is not repairable. If you have a very valuable bike, perhaps for racing, it can also be insured via its own policy.
So while you're giving your bike a tune-up, be sure to also check and see if your current insurance policy covers bicycle theft and other damages.
Let us help you insure your bike or any other sports equipment you may have.  Personal Article Floaters get very specific with enhanced coverage's for a very affordable price.  Plus, you have the opportunity of insuring that article for a proper amount of insurance which would be your basis for settlement if you did have the unfortunate claim.  Contact us at or call our staff at 615.377.1212.  We'll do our best to insure your bike before you take it out this summer so you won't have to worry about it!
[Portions of the blog content was written by Torr Leonard - social media manager of the Encino, Calif.-based insurance agency - Answer Financial published in PropertyCasualty360 - 5/18/2016]
Posted on 05/26/2016 1:07 PM by Benton White
Tuesday, 24 May 2016
I had never heard of Wathan Funeral Home until today!  But why would I have?  There are funeral homes around the world but this one has made headlines.  For their marketing strategy, they used this video/billboard to draw attention to their services.
They are getting their point across around the world with that video.  But here's the real truth:  Wathan Funeral Home doesn't exist.  This was all a planned marketing scheme in Ontario, Canada to change the increasing hazardous pattern of drivers to pay attention while driving on the road.  You can see their details of the promotion here:
This promotion hasn't been seen without controversy.  Many thought it was unfair to mislead that way.  Many thought it was extremely clever and appropriate to release!  How do you feel?
We're big proponents in putting your phone away when you drive and certainly don't text and drive!  If you need insurance, please let us know how we can help you at Benton White Insurance.  EMAIL us at or call us at 615.377.1212.  Any of our staff is ready to earn your insurance business!  
Posted on 05/24/2016 2:13 PM by Benton White

Benton's Blog

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