Friday, 11 March 2016
Excuse me - the insurance guy - if I have had my brow raised over this development and discussion of self-driving vehicles being tested.  Do I like the idea?  Yes!  Do I think it will come to the buying public sometime in the future?  Most likely!  How will insurance companies handle the risk of insuring a car with no driver?  Heck if I know but something will be designed if they become prevalent in the marketplace.  
The Insurance Journal publication came out with an article in the last few days that focused on which population segment might have the most interest in self-driving cars!  Guess who!  Senior adults!  Here's the article that makes some good points!
Florence Swanson has lived through every American car from the Ford Model T to the Tesla Model S. Now, at 94, she has stepped into what Google hopes will be the automotive future: self-driving vehicles.
After her painting of a guitar player won a Google contest, she became the oldest person yet to ride in a model with the company's autonomous technology.
"You haven't lived until you get in one of those cars," the Austin, Texas, resident said of her half-hour excursion. "I couldn't believe that the car could talk. I felt completely safe."
Google is betting others will share her sentiment. With more than 43 million people in the U.S. now 65 and older, and 10,000 more hitting that mark every day, aging Americans are a natural target market for self-driving vehicles. Mobility needs - getting to the doctor or the grocery store, seeing family and friends - become paramount for seniors, especially since 79 percent live in suburbs and rural areas.
"For the first time in history, older people are going to be the lifestyle leaders of a new technology," said Joseph Coughlin, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's AgeLab in Cambridge. "Younger people may have had smartphones in their hands first, but it's the 50-plus consumers who will be first with smart cars."
John Krafcik, chief executive officer of Google's Self-Driving Car Project, featured Swanson during a January presentation in Detroit. His own mother is 96; both she and Swanson gave up their driver's licenses, and the freedom that came with them, roughly a decade ago.
"A fully self-driving car has the potential to have a huge impact on people like Florence and my mom," Krafcik said. "Mobility should be open to the millions around the world who don't have the privilege of holding a driver's license."

Designing for Elderly

Ford Motor Co. also sees autonomy "as a way to strategically address an aging population," said Sheryl Connelly, the Dearborn, Michigan-based company's in-house futurist. To help design vehicles for the elderly, engineers and designers have donned a "third age suit" incorporating glasses that impair vision and gloves that reduce finger control and strength.
In Japan, Toyota Motor Corp. is racing to bring autonomous cars to market, partly because elderly drivers disproportionately cause and are injured in traffic accidents. Some of this work is in the U.S., where the company hired Gill Pratt - former program manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and head of DARPA's Robotics Challenge - to lead the Toyota Research Institute. The company is spending $1 billion on artificial intelligence and robotics technology to eliminate driver errors and reduce traffic fatalities.
"We often talk about autonomy as if the goal is just to create autonomy in machines," Pratt said last fall when his new job was announced. The focus is more on people having "the ability to decide for themselves where they want to move, when they want to move," regardless of limits imposed by age or illness.
Baby boomers - who came of age in the suburbs and equate car keys with freedom - want to remain mobile. Older Americans are keeping their licenses longer and driving more miles than in the past, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. But advancing age often brings health problems, including poorer vision, memory loss, arthritis and other impairments that can affect driving ability.

Safety, Convenience

Fatal crash rates are highest among drivers ages 85 and older, according to the institute's analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Transportation. That's mainly because the elderly are more fragile and often suffer medical complications from crash-related injuries.
Autonomous cars could provide seniors with the safety and convenience they need, and older people are willing to use new technology "if it provides a clear value to them," MIT AgeLab's Coughlin said.
Fully self-driving cars are still years off, however. Automakers and technology companies are using artificial intelligence to help teach them not just to avoid collisions and read traffic signs but also to respond to different types and needs of passengers. Older people, for example, might have several medical appointments and want to tell the car to take them to a specific doctor.
Engineers at Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., are evaluating ways riders can interact with their cars, including by giving voice commands, according to spokesman Johnny Luu. The vehicles currently give verbal warnings about their intended path, including lane changes, he said.
The small white robot cars Google is testing seat two passengers. Swanson rode in a modified Lexus sport utility vehicle with the same technology. She sat in the back seat with her 70-year-old daughter; a driver and another Google employee were in the front.
When asked if companies will use older consumers as guinea pigs for autonomous vehicles, Coughlin said he doesn't think so, partly because there are bound to be "transition problems." Younger people "tend to trust technology without verifying it, while older people want to understand what's happening."

Baby Boomers in Control

This may create a marketing challenge for manufacturers developing robot cars. Many baby boomers, in fact, wouldn't buy a self-driving vehicle, according to a November 2015 study by MIT's AgeLab and The Hartford, a Connecticut-based insurance and investment company. While 70 percent of the 302 participants said they'd like a test drive, only 31 percent would purchase one, even if it were the same price as a regular model.
"They're still less enthusiastic about using systems where they have less control," said Jodi Olshevski, a gerontologist and executive director of the Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence, a unit of The Hartford.
June Raben, 86, isn't ready to yield control to a computer, even though she has an iPhone, an iPad and uses WhatsApp mobile messaging with her granddaughter. She gave up driving a year ago after an accident totaled her car and left her deeply shaken. She now uses the ride-hailing service of Uber Technologies Inc., which is also working on autonomous vehicles.
"I have always considered myself a forward-looking risk-taker, but I am not ready for technology to be the only one behind the wheel," said Raben, who lives alone in a Miami Beach condo and likes the social aspects of chatting with Uber drivers. As autonomous vehicles evolve, however, "I can guarantee you that my 15 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren will all be driving robot-driven cars, plus many other robot-driven objects, after I'm gone."
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We're here to help with all things insurance!  EMAIL us at or contact any of our staff at 615.377.1212.. We work hard to EARN your business - not just get it.  Let us know how we might help you, your family or friends.
(Portions of this blog post taken from the March 2, 2016 article from Insurance Journal - Self-Driving Car Developers Betting on Senior Citizen Market by Dana Hull and Carol Hymowitz)
Posted on 03/11/2016 12:47 PM by Benton White
Tuesday, 08 March 2016
I learned something new last week that caught my eye.  Maybe this new information will be important to you also.
There's a smartphone app that turns your phone into an earthquake sensor. There is potential with this to save lives which makes it a great app to have.  Even though earthquakes in our region aren't as prevalent as in other parts of the world, this app is an attention getter for anyone who wants to be aware of earthquakes when they shake us all.
Researchers from the University of California at Berkeley and Deutsche Telekom AG have built an app that uses a smartphone's motion sensor to feel earthquakes. The app, called MyShake, records the time and amplitude of a tremor and sends its data and the phone's location to Berkeley's seismological lab for analysis.

MyShake can be downloaded for free from Google's Play store, and an
iPhone app is also planned. (Photo:
The more people who use the app, the better the system will work. The goal is to create a global seismic network - a collective seismograph if you will - that will eventually warn users ahead of time of incoming jolts from far-away quakes.
"For many earthquake-prone developing countries such as Nepal or Peru, MyShake could warn potentially affected persons valuable seconds earlier and, ideally, safe lives," Deutsche Telekom said in a statement. "These countries currently have either only a sparse ground-based seismic network or early warning system, or none at all - but do have millions of smartphone users."
While a phone's motion sensor, or accelerometer, is less sensitive than an in-ground sensometer, it can record earthquakes above a magnitude of 5 within 10 kilometers (6.2 miles). And the sheer number of potential users makes up for a phone's insensitivity, with an estimated 16 million smartphones in California and about 1 billion worldwide. MyShake can be downloaded for free from Google's Play store, and an iPhone app is also planned, Deutsche Telekom said.
As many of our customers know, we offer earthquake insurance as an 'add-on' option to your home insurance policy.  If you have an interest, let us know.  We would be glad to price-quote the addition for you.  In the meantime, MyShake could help you be aware when any shaking is going on close by.  
As always, we appreciate you reading our blog.  It's our way of going beyond just insuring folks!  It gives us a personal way to help our readers understand all things related to insurance.  As I have often said - we're in the insurance education business as much as we are working hard to properly insure our customers.  We hope you learn something as you read these and will continue to.  Of course, you can pass these along to others by simply linking them to Facebook or other social media outlets.  Checkout the SHARE buttons at the top right of this article that easily assists you in posting this and other blog articles to other places.  We would appreciate that also.
Contact us if we can help you.  EMAIL us at or call any of our staff at 615.377.1212.  We're always ready to earn your business!
(Portions of this blog article taken from a article by Stefan Nicola - February 15, 2016)
Posted on 03/08/2016 12:56 PM by Benton White
Friday, 04 March 2016
A little history for you!  When we first began our internet web presence nearly 20 years ago, our first domain was  Not knowing any more than we did about this new medium that we thought would truly take off because Al Gore invented it and said so (just kidding!), we thought would be easily remembered.  So my first business email was  A little later, I thought - why not just use the business name since Benton White Insurance was predominant in our marketing strategy. (I know - real original and creative!).  So we acquired the domain - and at the same time, I purchased  I was getting a little 'domain crazy' because I even considered,, and several others but passed on them all! 
Later on I came up with other types of configurations so I could be sure that when someone typed into their browser Benton & insurance, we would show up.  It's supposedly the right marketing strategy one should use.  Over time, our domain/web presence has certainly bumped us to the top of most all searches. Just type in Benton White, Benton White Insurance, Benton White - Tennessee, Benton White - Brentwood or any other combinations of those words into GOOGLE or BING, you'll quickly see us at #1.  In this day and internet age, it takes time to earn those positions because these two search engines, along with many others, work very hard to make sure a searched business is valid, credible and long-lasting.  Thankfully, we have been all three in our favor over these many years!
That leads me to my latest domain acquisition - a new way for you to find us if you are so inclined.  The internet world just released some new domains in the last couple of weeks which in laymen's terms means the extension after the (.) dot are new.  The moment I saw .insure and .claims, I immediately acquired them for the agency.  If you type into your browser, or, take a look at what you'll find!  Pretty nifty huh!??
Admittedly, I'm not just an insurance guy, I'm a marketing and computing geek too!!  Therefore, these two domains were destined to be here and I'm glad we now have given you yet - two more ways to find us.  
Selling insurance is our life-line here!  That's a given!  So if we can be available in some way - 24/7 and offer quick, easy and convenient ways for everyone to reach us, it's another advantage we have in serving our folks like we should.  Thus the reason for this post and the news that and is ready for you to click to - NOW!
As always, thanks for reading and please let us know how we can help you, your family or friends.  Certainly, we're giving you enough options to get to us! :)
Posted on 03/04/2016 2:34 PM by Benton White
Tuesday, 01 March 2016
State road crews are hustling to patch a deluge of potholes left in the wake of the recent winter storms.  Potholes are all around and they are probably more dangerous or expensive to you than you imagine. Vehicles that ram potholes can have damage that can run into the thousands.  They're also deadly!  A motorcycle rider hit a pothole in our town last week and was killed when he was thrown from his cycle. 
 The Tennessee Department of Transportation is using all of its available manpower to repair the damage done to interstates and state highways as quickly as it can. A TDOT spokeswoman said the weather created a "worst-case scenario" for road conditions, and crews are already being called to make emergency repairs.
"We had two prolonged events with not just snow, but ice as well, which cakes on the roadway and then, of course, it's a combination of freeze/thaw cycles, the chemicals that we use to get the ice and snow off the roads and then, of course, traffic," Jensen said.

Question:  Does my insurance cover my car if I had damage from hitting a pothole!?

Answer: In the auto insurance industry, a road hazard can be anything in or on the surface of the road dangerous to you as a driver or cause you to have an auto accident. That could be a pothole, a nail, oil, a tree, construction debris , a deer running into the roadway or myriad other foreign objects that you can hit, or that can hit you.
Certainly, car insurance companies want you to be a safe, defensive driver who is observant and on the lookout for dangers on the roadway that may cause damage to your vehicle and avoid these perils if possible. Your auto insurance provider knows that avoidance isn't always possible and that you may need to make a claim under your physical damage coverage if you hit a road hazard.
For instance, potholes aren't always seen or unavoidable, but you can easily end up with a punctured tire, misaligned steering or damage to the underside of your vehicle. Car insurance policies will cover such damages under your collision coverage if the damage is more than your collision deductible amount.
Whether a road hazard accident will fall under your collision or comprehensive coverage depends upon how the incident occurred.
If you hit a fallen tree or big rock in the road, then it's a collision claim because you collided with the object. Instead, if the tree fell on your vehicle or a boulder rolled onto the hood of your vehicle, then most auto insurers would find the accident to be a comprehensive claim.
Whatever the damage, if the cost of repairs is minimal, it might not be worth filing a claim with your auto insurance provider, either because it doesn't reach your deductible amount or is barely above it.
While comprehensive claims don't typically raise your rates, collision claims can, and either type of claim may get you surcharged by your insurer if you have accumulated several claims (of any type) within a short period of time.

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At Benton White Insurance, we are always ready to help with information like this either from this blog or when you contact us by email or phone call.  Education is important and knowing these types of answers in advance might save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in deductible or other claim expenses.  EMAIL us at or call any of our staff at 615.377.1212  We're here to help!

(a small segment of this blog post came from an article released by The Tennessean)
Posted on 03/01/2016 1:00 PM by Benton White
Thursday, 25 February 2016
Although it hasn't affected any of us on this side of the country as of yet, the recent GOOGLE movement into selling online auto insurance caught everyone's attention in the insurance industry.  Sure, there have been some others that still attempt to sell insurance online with at best, meager success.  But to have the giant GOOGLE enter that market space got some attention.  Personally, (and please forget that I do this for a living), person to person sales for big ticket items such as insurance still needs a person to handle it.  Sure, we ALL get educated in some way online by seeing what is available, price shopping, price comparing etc.  That's one of the conveniences of having online availability.  But to take that final step to give my money to a computer for something as big as insurance, I along with obviously many others, just can't do it.  We never know what the future holds in this arena but this GOOGLE development of pulling out of the online auto insurance sales market is an example of true selling/buying reality.
Take for example - purchasing a car.  I bought a car last year and did much shopping over 6 to 8 months prior to purchase.  I went to dealerships, shopped online, reviewed Kelly Blue Book online and Consumer Reports.  After all of that, I felt like I was educated to make the right deal for the right car that worked for us.  But when I wrote the check, I put it in the hands of a person - not a computer.  I have people like that who buy insurance from us.  They read, compare, get more education and when they come to us, they know better what they want.  Then they find that we can truly SHOP for their coverage with a number of companies in our portfolio and find the best coverage for the best pricing here.  That's been our goal over these many years.  With the continued year over year growth we have enjoyed, we're still a welcomed place to purchase insurance vs. the available alternatives.
So GOOGLE tried and they decided it's not working and excuse me (along with many others) if I/we think it is because of the lack of personal contact and service available from the independent agent.  We can walk customers through the complete process and custom make the insurance program that works best for their age, income and insurance history.  One stop and you're insured with us.  And unlike the ONE COMPANY outlets with the gecko and so many others, we're in the community, live and buy in that community and know the area where your insurance will be used.  THAT makes a difference and I promise, we do our best to use all of that to YOUR advantage.
So let me close by saying ... we're here and always ready - not to be GIVEN your insurance business but we want to EARN it!  You can reach us at or call any of our staff at 615.377.1212.  
I'm a fan of GOOGLE!  I use them almost everyday and am glad they've decided to stick with their core competencies that has made them a leader in the internet space.  They don't need to worry about insurance sales!  We've got this! :)
Posted on 02/25/2016 2:42 PM by Benton White
Tuesday, 23 February 2016
I have these questions posed to me all the time?  What type of insurance do I need?  How much is not enough or too much in coverage?  AND, who will benefit from me getting this insurance.  These are all great questions and are rather easily answered.  Certainly, there are so many choices that deciding what is best and how much can be confusing.  I ran across this article last week by Tara Siegel Bernard in the New York Times that answers some of these questions.
You've probably seen the life insurance commercials in which small children, all wide-eyed and adorable, ask questions like, "Hey, Dad, what's life insurance?"
While these campaigns are supposed to put a small lump in your throat, most people don't think about life insurance until they absolutely have to. That usually happens when their financial well-being becomes increasingly intertwined with someone else's, which can come with getting married, buying a home or, the big one, bringing a child into the world.
Those happy events don't make the task of buying life insurance any more pleasant - just more urgent.
"It is one of those things that people put off," said Emilie R. Goldman, a financial planner in San Mateo, Calif. "Most people I talk to are pretty surprised about the amounts they need and often think because they have coverage at work, it's enough."
That's hardly ever the case. So consider this a back-to-basics guide that will help sort out what you need as quickly and efficiently as possible. Buying insurance has a lot in common with ripping off a Band-Aid: You just need to do it and then get on with the business of living.
Below are answers to some of the most common questions that are likely to arise:
What type do I need? Most people are best served by a plain-vanilla term insurance policy. At least that's what many financial planners - who are paid a fee for their advice - will recommend. As the name suggests, these policies pay a set amount if the policy owner dies within the boundaries of the term, typically somewhere between 10 years and 30 years.
Term insurance is simple, the policy features generally don't vary greatly across providers (other than the cost), and it's cheap compared with other types of insurance.
A healthy 30-year-old woman might pay $38 a month for a $1 million policy with a 20-year term (men pay $10 more) based on current average rates.  A 45-year-old woman might pay about $48 a month for a $500,000 policy with a 20-year term ($60 for men). Smokers can expect to pay two to three times as much.
But don't be surprised if you find yourself sitting across the table from an insurance agent who tries to push a permanent insurance policy, like whole life or universal life insurance. Those policies generate higher commissions, so there's that temptation for the agent.  And even if the agent truly believes in the merits of permanent insurance, which can accumulate a cash value, it is far more expensive, often costing several thousand dollars a year.
Permanent life insurance can, however, be the right choice for people who will always have a need for life insurance. They might include the parents of a child with special needs or a wealthy family who will owe estate taxes.
How much to buy? The rule of thumb tossed around most often is to buy coverage worth 10 times the policyholder's salary. But each family's needs will vary depending on what amount of income the family is seeking to replace and what other items family members may want, or need, to pay for.
Would you want to take time off from work if a spouse died? Pay off the mortgage (or just receive enough to continue making payments)? Pay for a portion or all of college? Are there any debts that would need to be repaid?
Matt Becker, a financial planner in Florida whose practice focuses on younger families, said working parents should buy enough insurance to replace their income for five to 20 years, depending on how old their children are and whether a spouse or partner could support the children on one income.
"For a stay-at-home parent, you should consider the cost of hiring someone else to perform all of your daily duties," added Mr. Becker, who created a life insurance guide and a work sheet to calculate how much insurance you'll need. The costs can add up, particularly when considering child care, buying and preparing meals, chauffeuring children around and the overall job of keeping a household running.
One policy or more? Families' needs will probably change over time, so some individuals may consider buying policies with different expiration dates: maybe a $1 million policy with a 20-year term that gets the children through college and another $500,000 policy with a 30-year term that gets you to retirement.
That's a strategy suggested by Mark Maurer, president of Low Load Insurance Services, which provides insurance to other fee-only advisers. "You're layering it for different milestones," he added.
But since it's usually cheaper to buy term insurance in bulk, he said it wasn't always cost-effective to buy policies in increments of less than $500,000.
Buy the policy as soon as the need arises, or even earlier. Pregnant women, particularly late in their pregnancies, may pay more because of their weight and naturally elevated cholesterol levels.
Whom to name as beneficiary? The easiest alternative for a happily married couple is to name one another as the beneficiary.
But if both parents die and a minor child is named as a contingent beneficiary, or if a single parent names a child as a beneficiary, matters can get complicated. Surrogate courts will probably get involved.
The simplest and most inexpensive way to avoid this situation is to have the policyholder's will create a testamentary trust after the holder's death. The trust is named as the beneficiary, providing instructions for a named trustee, said Steven A. Loeb, a lawyer with Fein, Such, Kahn & Shepard, in Parsippany, N.J.
But that's not the only option. An individual can also create a revocable living trust, which essentially serves as a will but has the added benefit of avoiding probate, the sometimes-lengthy court-directed process to settle a will. Unlike a will, the trust remains private and doesn't become a public record, as long as it's properly funded.
Then there's the bulletproof option. Parents can name an irrevocable life insurance trust as the owner and beneficiary of the policy. Not only does that protect the money from creditors (helpful for doctors subject to malpractice suits), it also removes the proceeds from the estate for tax purposes.
Life insurance proceeds aren't subject to income taxes, but the amount is included in the deceased's estate, said Brett J. Barthelmeh, an estate planning attorney with Squillace & Associates in Boston.
That isn't a problem for most people, now that the federal estate tax exemption is $5.45 million (double that for married couples). And while there are states with far lower exemptions for state estate taxes - New Jersey is a mere $675,000 and Massachusetts is $1 million - many families don't set up trusts to avoid those taxes.
Why? Assets left to a spouse are not subject to estate taxes. And the surviving spouse is likely to spend a big chunk of the insurance money anyway. But state estate taxes could become an issue, at least in certain states, if both parents died with substantial policies.
Where to buy it? There are many choices in the market place as with all insurance.  But in our case at Benton White Insurance, we really do offer a ONE STOP SHOP for life insurance.  The reason is - we have 15 companies with rates that in almost all cases are the least expensive in the market.  The article suggested that one should work with an independent agent who has access to the top term insurance providers.  We've known that for years and that is just what we offer.  That's important because some insurers may provide better pricing for people who are overweight, while others may be more competitive for policyholders, say, in their 40s and 50s. We have choices here at the agency.
Another questions that some often ask: What about just buying coverage through an employer? It's usually not a good idea.  "If you're healthy, individually underwritten coverage is better than group," said Byron J. Udell, founder and president of an online quoting service for life insurance.  That's because employer-provided group coverage doesn't usually require a medical exam, so workers pay a bit more to account for less healthy people in the mix. Also, employer policies are generally not portable if you switch jobs.
We're here to help you!  Contact any of our staff at or call us at 615.377.1212.  We began our career in life insurance and are approaching 38 years experience in this field.  We have the answers you need and the competitive products available to make life insurance an easy and affordable purchase.
In closing .... honestly, the biggest mistake people with dependents can make is NOT buying any life insurance at all.  Don't let that be you!
Posted on 02/23/2016 2:22 PM by Benton White
Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Some put it off and in the end - their family LOSES!  Some are proactive NOW and everyone WINS!  

When I began my insurance career as a life insurance producer, I found out quite early what an important role life insurance plays in the life of a family after a love one passes away.  It's truly astounding what life insurance can do to help a family grieving the loss of the loved one.  It never replaces that person but surely takes a layer of pain away during that devastating time. This past year, I have represented my companies who paid several of my insured's beneficiaries hundreds of thousands of dollars in life insurance benefits.  This is just a small amount of the millions of dollars of life insurance coverage that I have written on customers - of all ages through these many years.  

Here is a creative 2 minute presentation that displays LOSING OR WINNING by having life insurance.  


If we can help, we are ready.  Just contact any of our staff at or call us at 615.377.1212. You too can spend a few pennies on a dollar and provide security for your loved ones at time of death.


Posted on 02/16/2016 12:38 PM by Benton White
Tuesday, 09 February 2016
When I first entered this career in the insurance business in 1978, I started it all by being a life & health insurance adviser.  I've continued to write a lot of life insurance throughout this 38 year career and really enjoy digging down with customers to decide what is best, how much is enough and finding the perfect plan that fits their budget.  The great Ben Feldman - a premier life insurance salesman in the 60's and 70's always promoted this phrase:  'You spend pennies on the dollar and create safety and financial wealth with those dollars for families to survive at death!'  After the many death claims I have facilitated over the years for widows and widowers, I see the TRUE VALUE of life insurance and how it truly has saved a lot of additional heartache after a loved one breathes their last breath!  Life insurance is needed and it works!

Here's a quick and simple video that breaks down the need for life insurance and what it can do:


Contact Us

We've written millions of dollars of coverage over the years!  Our premiums are extremely competitive and most always save you money from either other company or online shopping for coverage.  I have 15 companies to choose from and we can find the right match for you.  Simply contact our staff at or call us at 615.377.1212.  It's not a matter of IF you die - but WHEN you die.  Let us help you be ready to help your loved ones when you do!



Posted on 02/09/2016 2:12 PM by Benton White
Tuesday, 02 February 2016
We've written recently about pipes bursting, dishwasher or ice-maker pipes leaking or a supply line to a toilet or washing machine going bad and drenching your house with water!  When ANY of this happens, you have inside flooding that almost certainly will damage your carpets, hardwoods, furniture and I could continue down the list.  If you are in that unfortunate place, there are steps you can take that will prevent excessive damage in your home and YOU can do them immediately.  It could be the difference between total damage and light or no damage.  
Here are quick Emergency Steps that you can take upon discovering in-house flooding in your home, condo or apartment:
  • Wipe water from wood furniture
  • Remove upholstery cushions
  • Block or stack furniture away from the water in a dry place if possible
  • Remove area rugs quickly!
  • Remove newspapers, books, shoes, etc.
  • Remove valuable artwork and sensitive materials to a dry place.
  • Keep furniture skirting and draperies from contacting wet carpeting or floors.
There are also some things YOU SHOULD NOT DO:
  • DO NOT use your household vacuum
  • DO NOT use electrical appliances
  • DO NOT turn on wet ceiling fixtures
  • TURN OFF Circuit Breakers for the wet areas but only do this if access to your Power Distribution Panel is safe!
What duties do you have as an insured to handle?
  • It is your responsibility as a policyholder to mitigate (make something less harmful or severe by taking action) the damage.
    • Many insurance policies word it this way: "The insured is responsible to take reasonable and prudent steps needed for protecting the structure and contents ..."
  • And as we wrote last week - "Where Do YOU Shut Off YOUR Water?", make SURE you immediately STOP the source of the incoming water or moisture.
Maybe some of these items are common sense to you or maybe they are all foreign since you haven't experienced in-home flooding before.  But take advice from those that have gone through this.  They wish they had this list in their hands when they went through this hardship in their own property.  Thinking prevention and having action steps in place TODAY can make a gigantic difference for you if you unfortunately do face this later!
Hopefully, you see with this blog post one of the biggest reasons we produce these weekly.  We feel strongly about the education our customers should receive in all aspects of insurance policy ownership.  If we can help you, we're here and ready to earn your business!  Contact any of our staff at or dial us up at 615.377.1212.  Let's hope you never have to use this list!   THANKS for your business or that which you potentially would like to bring or send our way!  We're here and ready to earn it!
Posted on 02/02/2016 1:21 PM by Benton White
Friday, 29 January 2016
I caught this article this week that I thought was beneficial - especially during this first quarter of the year when you can make financial/insurance adjustments that you can follow for the remainder of 2016 and beyond.  I see the benefit of planning financially everyday in my own life and those customers I serve.  Sadly, I also see the problems associated with NOT planning financially and with proper insurance coverage's.   
This article from Scott Stump of has some great points contributed by Jean Chatzky - TODAY financial editor.  Take a couple of minutes to review this.  It could help you!
Often because it's too stressful to think about or seemingly too expensive to implement, many people fail to put a protection plan in place to safeguard their money.
Here are three areas that can help protect your money from being wiped out in the case of an emergency or disaster. From giving yourself an emergency cushion to the different types of insurance to estate taxes, here are some helpful tips.

1. Have an emergency cushion.

  • It's your first layer of defense: You have to create some sort of emergency fund.  It can bail you out in a jam: Whether you need new glasses that aren't covered by a vision plan or a car repair to help get you back and forth from work, an emergency fund can save the day in crucial areas.  Use your tax refund: The average U.S. tax refund is about $3,000, so that is a good place to start an emergency fund by depositing that money in a separate savings account.

2. Get insurance.

  • Health insurance
    • Health insurance is a must have and also is required by the government (the penalty for not having health insurance in 2016 is 2.5 percent of your income, or $625 per adult and $347.50 per child, up to a max per family of $2,085).
    • Health problems can lead to bankruptcy: Medical issues are the biggest source of bankruptcy in the U.S. every year, so having a health plan is crucial to staying afloat financially in case of an unexpected hospitalization or other health emergency.  
    • Open enrollment deadline is Jan. 31: If you are not covered, the open enrollment deadline at is at the end of this month, and eight out of 10 people who sign up for coverage sign up for financial aid to lower the cost of monthly premiums. With financial assistance, seven out of 10 people find plans with premiums less than $75 a month.
  • Life insurance
    • If you have dependents: You need life insurance if you have a spouse, children or older parents who depend on your income, but many don't have it. Thirty-seven percent of parents with children under 18 have no life insurance, and another 20 percent have no more than $100,000 in coverage, mainly due to the cost.
    • 20-year policy: You generally want a 20-year level term policy that pays if you die but doesn't have any other investment bells and whistles attached.  
    • Use an insurance calculator: It costs about $350 a year for a 35-year-old non-smoker to buy $250,000 in life insurance. Chatzky has a free life insurance calculator on her website that can help you figure out what it will cost for your plan.  8x your income: As a rule of thumb, you should have insurance totaling eight times your current income.
  • Consider other coverage.
    • If you can't replace, insure: As a general rule, if you can't afford to replace something, get some insurance for it. If you can afford to replace it, don't insure it.
    • Disability insurance: This belongs on your list if you couldn't afford to replace your income with savings in case your were injured or had a long-term illness.
    • Renters insurance: If you could not afford to replace your possessions in case of a fire or theft, you should have this type of insurance, which is not expensive.

3. Have estate plans.

  • Have a will: More than half of all Americans don't have wills, including 51 percent of Americans ages 55 to 64, according to RocketLawyer. If you're a parent, a will is a must because it's the only document that allows you to name guardians for minor children, so if you don't have one, the state will decide what happens to your children if you die.  
  • Use online resources: Resources like Willmaker, which is $55 through, or LegalZoom, where wills start at $69, allow you to create one online. These work as long as your financial life is not complicated or you're not looking to cut someone out of your will, which requires a lawyer. Make sure to have it properly witnessed when you sign it.
  • Hire help: You can hire an estate planning attorney, which usually starts at about $500. While writing your will, make sure to get three other documents to protect your family - a durable power of attorney for finances and healthcare in case someone has to make medical or financial decisions because you're incapacitated, and a living will that tells a hospital what you want for life support.
  • Review every three years: A good rule of thumb is to review the insurance and estate plan every three years to be sure nothing has changed.

Contact Us

We can help with everything you read about above.  Even though we don't do estate plans any longer, we did them earlier in our career and now recommend some highly trained and experienced folks who specialize in financial/estate planning.  However, on the insurance side, we can fill those holes today!  Simply contact our office at or call any staff member at 615.377.1212.  
Don't be caught without the proper planning in place to help you and your family survive the unexpected.  Everyone involved will be so much better taken care of if you put an action plan together that includes these items. 
Posted on 01/29/2016 12:59 PM by Benton White
Tuesday, 26 January 2016
A scenario from one of our customers who filed a claim:  Washing machine piping was old and a leak occurred and they were not at home.  The laundry room was upstairs and water ended up flowing in numerous places both upstairs and downstairs.  Their insurance claim was sizable and the inconvenience lasted for many days until all was repaired.  If they had been home, they could have prevented such serious damage had they turned off their main water valve into the house.
So the question is:  If you have a leak or serious flow of water begin in your residence, would YOU know how to stop the water coming into your home?  Watch this:


Often times, when you think about water damaging your home, you might conjure up an image of a hurricane, torrential rain or other natural catastrophe. The unfortunate reality is that damage that is caused when ordinary household appliances fail can be just as destructive as an extreme weather event.  Also, with these cold temperatures, you have to be ready for the possibility of frozen pipes bursting and causing damage.

According to the Insurance Industry Institute, water damage accounts for billions of dollars in losses to homeowners and renters each year. It is also responsible for about 25 percent of all property insurance claims. Insurance company claim data suggests that water is ten times more likely to damage your home than fire.

Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to help prevent water damage from appliances, and protect your home. It is helpful to understand some of the common causes of water damage, which include leaky baseboard heating, air conditioning condensation drains, and failed water heaters, washing machine hoses and plumbing.

These household appliances do not always offer warning signs until the damage has already occurred. That is why it is important to check them regularly. The simple steps below can help you protect your home from the most common causes of water damage:

  • First, know where the main water supply is located in case of emergency.
  • If you will be away from home for an extended period, shut off the water supply and drain the pipes. During the heating season, if your home is heated by an older steam heating system, consult with your heating professional to determine if it is safe to turn off the water supply for your particular heating system. Also, if your home is protected by a fire sprinkler system, do not turn off the water to this system, and maintain sufficient heat to prevent a freeze-up.
  • Consider having your air conditioning system inspected regularly by a professional. Check the drain lines annually and clean them if they are clogged.
  • Inspect water heaters, showers, tubs, toilets, sinks and dishwashers annually, and have them repaired if there are any signs of leaks or corrosion. When possible, install water heaters in areas with floor drains to minimize damage if leaks should occur.
  • Check caulking around showers, bathtubs, sinks and toilet bases, and make repairs as needed.
  • If your refrigerator has an ice machine or water dispenser, the hose between the wall and the refrigerator should be made of braided copper, which has greater cracking and corrosion resistance.
  • Check pipes for cracks and leaks. Have pipe damage fixed immediately to prevent more costly repairs in the future.
  • Check appliance hoses and plumbing fittings for breakage, crimping or bending.

Hopefully, these tips will help us all be more aware and motivated to be on the offense for water drainage/leaks instead of being completely caught off guard and having a major water disaster where you live.  If we can help or offer any insurance for you, your family, or friends, we're ready to earn it.  Please contact any of our staff at 615.377.1212 or EMAIL us at ...  Let's keep it dry in our homes!



Posted on 01/26/2016 3:29 PM by Benton White
Saturday, 23 January 2016

Meteorologists are calling for extremely cold weather in Middle Tennessee tonight & for the next couple of days.  We hope these tips below will help to increase your chances of avoiding frozen pipes during this extreme cold weather!

Tip #1 - Run Water!  In extremely cold temperatures, keep a small stream of both hot and cold water flowing at a faucet at each end of your home.  Flowing water does not freeze.  The stream does not need to be full flow, just about the size of the graphite in a standard #2 pencil.

Tip #2 Close everything up.  Close the vents and doors to your crawlspace.  If the pipes beneath your home are exposed to wind, it is far more likely that they will freeze.  Also, if you have a water heater or other water piping in your garage be sure that your garage door is closed.

Tip #3 - Keep everything heated.  If you have sinks on an exterior wall, open your cabinet doors.  If you only keep parts of your home heated in the winter, in extremely cold weather, be sure to turn the heat on to all parts of your home.

Tip #4 - Remove your garden hoses.  Do you still have garden hoses attached to your outside hydrants?  If so, remove them.  Many hydrants are designed to let water, inside the hydrant, drain.  If your hoses are still attached, the water has nowhere to drain and can freeze and bust the hydrant.

We see many claims each year from PIPES BURSTING and causing damage to ceilings, walls, floors and anything else the water overflow comes in contact with.  You have a better chance of frozen pipes not occuring if you heed the advice above.  We have already started doing these procedures in our home to hopefully prevent a large plumbing bill and insurance claim from these subfreezing temperatures this week.  Of course, if you are not successful in preventing frozen pipes, we're here and ready to help with your claim!  Just call any staff member at 615.377.1212 or EMAIL us at  You could also refer to our blog post this week "It's Back!  Rain, Slush, Ice, Snow!" that gives you complete information on how to you can reach us if you have that unfortunate claim during this harsh winter weather.

Stay safe and warm and we're ready if you need us ... and good luck with those pipes!




Posted on 01/23/2016 2:25 PM by Benton White
Tuesday, 19 January 2016
Here we go again!  I guess we can't complain since the fall and early winter was above average warm. However, we have two weather events facing us this week.  One is overnight tonight and another on Thursday/Friday of this week.  So it's time to do the right stuff now so you won't have that unfortunate insurance claim and deductible money spent because of possible bad weather. 
Here's the info: (from the National Weather Service):

More Information
We've put together an extensive weather checklist that you can use in order to be sure you are READY for these and other upcoming winter weather systems!  CLICK HERE for a printable PDF that we hope will be of help!
If you happen to have a claim need during this event or at anytime, we're here to help.  Call us at 615.377.1212 or EMail us at  Or, for your 24/7 convenience, you can use our claim information from our website available HERE:  Our 24/7 claim numbers are HERE:
Insurance isn't any good if we're not here for you when you need us!  We are here and are ready to help!  THANKS for your business!
Posted on 01/19/2016 11:33 AM by Benton White
Friday, 15 January 2016
Unfortunately, we've seen a lot of rear-end vehicle crashes lately.  Draw your own conclusions as to why that might be but certainly, at the top of the list, you have to ask: "Are drivers paying close attention to what they are doing when on the highways!"
More often than you would think. we get calls from customers asking: "I just got hit from behind by someone!  What should I do?"  That's not surprising because insurance is first of all, complicated for most of us but especially questions do arise when you are not at fault and you expect the other party to be completely responsible for damages and any possible injuries you might face.  Even one of our staff had a rear-end collision over the holidays from someone who accelerated by anticipation instead of actually seeing the car in front (our staffer) move forward.  Hopefully, this will help if you are in one of these situations in the future.
  • TAKE PICTURES!  TAKE PICTURES!  TAKE PICTURES!  Did we get the message across?  With most everyone carrying mobile phones. it's simple to take a picture of the damage - both to your vehicle and the other vehicle AT THE SCENE - not later!  EVEN if either party states NO DAMAGE, always TAKE THE PICTURE!  We have seen cases when both parties left the scene and later, the at fault party decided they found some damage that they didn't notice at the scene or vice versa.  Your picture can save you from a 'he said - she said' event!
  • Should I get insurance information from the other party?  YES!  It is important that you exchange car insurance information with the person who rear ended you. This is the case even if you don't notice any immediate damage to your vehicle. Don't allow the other person in the accident to convince you that you don't need to file a report with the insurance company, even if they offer to pay cash for your damage.  The reason you must exchange car insurance information is that there is always the possibility that you could have an injury that doesn't present itself right away. In addition, there may be more damage to your vehicle than is immediately noticeable and you don't want to have to foot the bill for that.
  • Do I need to call the police if I am rear ended in my car?  The laws vary in each state, but in most cases there are allowances for not calling the police. The general rule is that you don't have to call the police if there are no injuries and there appears to be no damage over a specified amount of money (deductible).  The problem is there is no guarantee that the damage that has occurred won't be higher than what you imagine. You might think that a damaged bumper and scratched paint is a $300 problem when, in truth, it could very well be a $1200 problem depending on the type of car and the availability of parts and paint.  And truthfully, I can't remember when we have had any claim under $1000 in recent times.  Your insurance company always wants you to call the police after an accident. This helps to corroborate that the accident was not your fault and also provides an additional witness at the scene.  If the cost of the damage is higher than initially thought, not having a police report could slow down the claims process, as the adjuster will need to investigate and ensure that no further damage occurred after the accident. Furthermore, the adjuster could determine that you aren't eligible for a payout at all.
  • Do I need to get witness statements to prove the other car rear ended me? The truth is that in most cases a car being rear ended is a cut-and-dry case for the police. Your car is hit from behind and there is no denying what has happened.  Even if the other driver claims that you stopped short and caused the accident, you will be found not at fault.
  • What if the at-fault driver refuses to share their insurance information? If the at-fault driver doesn't want to provide their insurance information and insists on paying outright for the accident, then you must call the police and let them handle it for you. While it isn't illegal to simply accept payment for an accident, once you do this, you have no recourse if there are other problems in the future.  If you do call the police for a minor accident, you can expect that there is going to be a wait time, especially if the accident occurs during high traffic times where many accidents occur.
  • What if the at fault driver is angered at my thorough actions and leaves? You should simply write down their license plate number, the make and model of the car, and any descriptive information that you can remember, and provide it to the police.  If the other driver leaves and the police cannot find them based on the information that you have provided, then your insurance company may pay for the damages to your vehicle if you carry the right kind of insurance. In this case, collision coverage would be necessary to pay for damages to your car.
We're here to help!  Letting us know you've had this incident as soon as you can assures for you that we have documented your information if you do need to file a claim with one of our companies.  As an example, in the 4th quarter last year, one of our great long-tenured insureds called to say their son was in an accident but he was hit from behind in a multi-car collision.  They were thinking he wasn't at fault but wanted to tell us just the same.  At this point of the claim that is almost settled, our company has paid nearly $30,000 in expenses for this one accident and our insured shared fault.  So one never knows what can happen in one of these rear-end type accidents.

Contact Us

If you have additional questions or we can assist you further regarding anything insurance, EMAIL us at or call any of our staff at 615.377.1212 We're here to earn your business and help you navigate through claims!


Posted on 01/15/2016 9:23 AM by Benton White
Tuesday, 12 January 2016
Sadly, it's that season of fires!  So many fires are caused during colder weather where space heaters or heat lamps are used in the wrong place or in inappropriate ways! That's the case for two fires in the Williamson County area Monday morning ..  Here are details!
A Williamson County home where a couple resided for multiple decades, according to family, was destroyed in a fire Monday morning. The house fire on the 5000 block of Carters Creek Pike was reported by multiple motorists passing by just before 8 a.m., said Bill Jorgensen, director of public safety in Williamson County. Tony and Connie Jones were not at home at the time. The house is one of several homes on a family property, son-in-law Jason Eubanks said. Eubanks estimated Tony and Connie Jones have resided at the home 35-40 years. Flames were coming from the back of the home, where the most extensive damage occurred, when firefighters arrived, Jorgensen said. Trees in the back were also scorched.
No injuries were reported.
Investigators are looking at whether the fire started in the area near a space heater, Jorgensen said. But the cause is still undetermined.
Fire also destroyed a Brentwood family's home earlier on Monday. The preliminary investigation indicates the fire may have been caused by a heat lamp in a dog house on an outside deck.
"The biggest concern we have in cold weather is people using alternative heating methods," said Brentwood Fire Department Chief Brian Goss.
Here are some fire and cold weather tips from the Brentwood and Nashville fire departments and Williamson County Emergency Management Agency.  They include:
  • Make sure space heaters don't have anything stored or stacked in front of space heaters.
  • Keep anything that could catch fire at least three feet away from any heat source.
  • Turn off space heaters when leaving a room or going to bed.
  • Chimneys should be cleaned and inspected yearly.
  • Central heat and air-conditioning units should be maintained and serviced.
  • Use extreme care when using outside heating equipment.
  • Never use an oven to heat a home.
  • Make sure smoke alarms work by testing them every month.
We've had an above average amount of house/property files in the last 90 days that we are settling those claims on currently.  One of our customers experienced a tragic fire in their practically new home as a result of what is being determined as a possible gas leak fire.  No injuries but they lost the majority of what they had.  So it is SO IMPORTANT we all pay attention to fire risks including those mentioned above.  
If we can help you with insuring your property or can be of service another way, please let us know.  Contact our staff at or call us at 615.377.1212.  We're always ready to earn your good business!
Posted on 01/12/2016 3:00 PM by Benton White
Friday, 08 January 2016
We've been very busy during the last 6 weeks writing Affordable Health Care (ACA) policies.  Several of our customers had to wait until national enrollment to secure their new coverage and since they were customers of ours already, we were able to help.  The premiums shocked most everyone I talked to and for those that couldn't afford the increased costs, we were able to lower benefits to help them meet their premium needs for their budget.
The New York Times published an eye-opening article this past Tuesday that explains what we have been seeing.  Securing new coverage is the beginning of even more expenses for each insured based on what their needs for coverage claims are.  As you will see in this report, hardships arise even if the coverage is there.
Here is the surest way to enjoy the peace of mind that comes with having health insurance: Don't get sick.
The number of uninsured Americans has fallen by an estimated 15 million since 2013, thanks largely to the Affordable Care Act. But a new survey, the first detailed study of Americans struggling with medical bills, shows that insurance often fails as a safety net. Health plans often require hundreds or thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket payments - sums that can create a cascade of financial troubles for the many households living paycheck to paycheck.
Carrie Cota learned the hard way that health insurance does not guarantee financial security. Ms. Cota, a 56-year-old travel agent from Rosamond, Calif., learned she had the autoimmune disease lupus in 2007. She ran up thousands of dollars in medical and dental bills and ended up losing her job, and eventually her house.
"I had to move in temporarily with my ex-husband," she said in a recent interview. "I'm staying with him until I can figure out what to do."
In the new poll, conducted by The New York Times and the Kaiser Family Foundation, roughly 20 percent of people under age 65 with health insurance nonetheless reported having problems paying their medical bills over the last year. By comparison, 53 percent of people without insurance said the same.
These financial vulnerabilities reflect the high costs of health care in the United States, the most expensive place in the world to get sick. They also highlight a substantial shift in the nature of health insurance. Since the late 1990s, insurance plans have begun asking their customers to pay an increasingly greater share of their bills out of pocket though rising deductibles and co-payments. The Affordable Care Act, signed by President Obama in 2010, protected many Americans from very high health costs by requiring insurance plans to be more comprehensive, but at the same time it allowed or even encouraged increases in deductibles.
"We're at a point where there's been slow growth in health care costs and huge improvements in the numbers of people who have health insurance," said Sara Collins, a vice president at the Commonwealth Fund, a health research group. "But there is this underlying trend towards higher cost sharing that could put increasing numbers of people at risk for being underinsured."
Among those who reported having problems paying their bills despite having insurance, 63 percent said they used up all or most of their savings; 42 percent took on an extra job or more work hours; 14 percent moved or took in roommates; and 11 percent turned to charity.
Randy Farris, 58, a factory worker from Conger, Minn., needed a knee replacement three years ago. His insurance covered 80 percent of the bill, but he needed to cash in an I.R.A. to pay his $4,000 share. "I haven't been to the doctor since because I don't want any more doctor bills," he said. His wife's retirement savings had been wiped out years before, he said, when he used them to pay her hospital bills after she died of cancer.
The health law has led to a decline in the number of Americans suffering financial stress from health problems, thanks to the new options for receiving coverage, especially for the poor. But the problem is still widespread, touching roughly a quarter of Americans under 65, when the insured and uninsured are looked at together. Americans older than 65 are covered by Medicare, which more frequently protects people from major financial trouble.
Unlike other polls, which have focused on the ways that insurance affects health care, the new Times-Kaiser survey explored the effects of medical bills on people's daily lives well beyond the medical system. We found that medical bills don't just keep people from filling prescriptions and scheduling doctors' visits. They can also prompt deep financial and personal sacrifices, affecting their housing, employment, credit and daily lives. Kaiser has released a report today, detailing the survey's main findings about this population.
"The major impact is actually a pocketbook or economic impact: their ability to pay the rent or the mortgage or buy food," said Drew Altman, president of the Kaiser Family Foundation.
People without health insurance, of course, are more vulnerable to medical bills than those with health coverage. The study found that the people most likely to report bill problems were uninsured, poor or disabled. But the majority of people struggling with bills are insured. Of the people in the survey reporting difficulty with their medical bills, 34 percent lacked health insurance, 39 percent had insurance through work, 14 percent were covered through public programs and 7 percent had purchased their own health plans.
One reason, many experts said, is a gradual shift in the norms about the generosity of health insurance. In recent years, health plans have come with growing deductibles and narrowing networks of providers, provisions devised to lower the cost of premiums. Those features have made health insurance accessible to a larger share of the population, but may also be leaving more insured Americans vulnerable.
Ten years ago, David Dranove, a professor of health management at Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management, conducted research on people experiencing medical bankruptcies. The study he co-authored found that bankruptcy was largely a problem of the uninsured. "But with more people buying less generous health insurance, I think the old evidence might no longer be relevant," he said.
Insured people with financial problems often have plans with higher deductibles. But many said that the smaller co-payments piled up to make their care unaffordable. Many also received big bills that were not covered by their insurance. Among the 32 percent of insured patients stuck with an out-of-network bill, more than than two-thirds of patients said they didn't know the provider wasn't covered. More than 25 percent of the insured respondents said a medical claim had been denied.
Medical bill problems rarely occur in a vacuum, the survey found. Most of the people surveyed said their finances were tight even before there was an illness in their family. This pattern held true even for families higher on the income scale. The rates at which people with medical bill problems sought charity or borrowed money from friends was similar among people earning less than $25,000 and those earning more than $100,000.
Research on medical bankruptcies has been controversial because it can be hard to untangle how medical bills fit into a family's overall pattern of financial troubles. Twenty-nine percent of the people with medical bill problems said a family member had been forced to stop working or cut back on hours. (On the other side, about 41 percent of people said they'd taken on extra work to help pay bills.) 
"Is that a job problem or a medical bill problem?" said David Himmelstein, a professor of public health at the City University of New York's Hunter College School of Public Health who has studied medical bankruptcies. "It's both of those things."
The survey included a random sample of 1,204 adults under 65 who reported problems paying household medical bills in the past 12 months. Interviews were conducted online and by telephone between Aug. 28 and Sept. 28, and some respondents gave follow-up interviews in December. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4 percentage points. Information about the poll methodology is available here.
The survey asked people to describe the ways that bills had changed their lives. The chart above shows some of the most common answers. 
If we can help you with any insurance needs you may have, please let us know.  Our staff is readily available at 615.377.1212 or you can EMAIL us at  Visit our website too - there is loads of great information there at  We're always ready to earn your business!
[Portions of this blog is taken from "Even Insured Can Face Crushing Medical Debt, Study Finds" by David Leonhardt, The New York Times / January 5th, 2016]
Posted on 01/08/2016 2:56 PM by Benton White
Tuesday, 05 January 2016
Happy New Year and we hope you are ready for another opportunity we all get to start fresh with new activities, new ideas and no doubt another great adventure!  I saw a great quote last week from country music singer - Brad Paisley that was posted on New Year's Eve:  It read: "Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book!  Write a good one!"  I'm all for that so let's get to it!
We're seeing a lot about what different car insurance policies offer with saturated advertising all over the place!  We see in these advertisements that Company A offers accident forgiveness or Company B offers total loss coverage to a new vehicle or pet coverage and more.  The companies releasing these ads make it seem like they are the ONLY ones offering this type of coverage.  But as usual in advertising, it's not as it seems.  The companies we represent have the same - similar coverage's and in many cases, BETTER options than the advertised companies.  Some just like to shout about it more than others!
My companies offer all or many of these same extra coverage's.  Some are included in the policy - some for a small additional fee.  So let me shout what's out here for your viewing pleasure and hopefully, this won't be as obnoxious as some of these commercials we all see:
  • Accident Forgiveness:  This coverage guarantees the first at-fault accident will not be surcharged, depending on the dollar amount paid on the claim and the number of years the insurance has been with that company.  In other words, have extended tenure (usually 3 years) with a company and they'll not jack up your rates if you have an at fault accident if you've been with that company long enough to earn it.  In some cases, you can pay an extra fee up front and have that available immediately at policy inception.  We all can have accident forgiveness.
  • Total Loss to a New Vehicle:  There is a clause in some of our policies that automatically rolls this coverage into each Personal Auto policy.  It provides new car replacement if:
    • Insured purchased the new car
    • It is determined it is a total loss that cannot be repaired, and
    • The loss occurs within:
      • 360 days of the purchase date and has less than 30K miles
      • 90 days of the purchase date regardless of mileage.
    • Definitions vary from company to company but the general idea is there.... Get this coverage and have a totaled car replaced within the terms specified in the policy.  We have policies that INCLUDE for no fee or some small fee.
  • Towing Coverage:  Towing assistance is available when the insured needs it.  Road trouble service coverage provides nationwide assistance 24/7/365 days per year.  This covers a flat tire, minor mechanical repair, emergency fluid service, dead battery, lock out service & towing.  
  • Pet Medical Coverage: This coverage option is provided in the event a policyholder's cat or dog is injured or killed when a vehicle they are riding is involved in an accident.  If Collision coverage applies to at least one automobile, this coverage will provide up to $750 per animal and $1500 per loss.  Some of my companies furnish this coverage for no additional fee.
  • Go Paperless & SAVE: For those insureds who are environmentally-friendly, they can go PAPERLESS.  The insured will save money on postage and receive - with some of our companies - a discounted premium as a result.
  • Discounts:  There are other discounts available for specific situations.  For example, more than one vehicle on the policy gets a MULTI-CAR discount.  Insuring your home or property with us yields a MULTI-POLICY discount.  Having an anti-theft device on your vehicle can save you money.  Plus, with some of our companies, if you pay the full term premium at once, you get a PAID-IN-FULL discount (fairly substantial) ....
So YES, we offer all of this and more!  Feel free to contact our staff at or call us at 615.377.1212..  We're ready to help you save premium dollars on your auto, home, apartment coverage, motorcycles or any other insurance you may need.  It's there for asking and we're ready to be asked!
As always, thanks for reading!  We'll continue to give you information that hopefully you can use as you work your way through 2016!
Posted on 01/05/2016 2:57 PM by Benton White
Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Today - our #1 Christmas video this holiday season.  Grab some tissues and enjoy what we think is an important part of Christmas.  

Tomorrow, a personal family greeting on Christmas Eve.  We hope you'll check back here on the blog for that!  In the meantime, we wish for you and your family, a very Merry Christmas and the best to you in 2016.  Thanks for letting us serve you with insurance.  As we always say, "we appreciate your business!"



Posted on 12/23/2015 3:40 PM by Benton White
Tuesday, 22 December 2015

We continue our video countdown for Christmas.  We hope you enjoy these selections and trust that each make your Christmas a little more enjoyable and more meaningful.

We wish for you and your family, a very Merry Christmas and the best to you in 2016.  Thanks for letting us serve you with insurance.  As we always say, "we appreciate your business!"

Posted on 12/22/2015 12:10 PM by Benton White
Monday, 21 December 2015
We continue our video countdown for Christmas.  We hope you enjoy these selections and trust that each make your Christmas a little more enjoyable and more meaningful.

We wish for you and your family, a very Merry Christmas and the best to you in 2016.  Thanks for letting us serve you with insurance.  As we always say, "we appreciate your business!

Posted on 12/21/2015 1:51 PM by Benton White

Benton's Blog

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