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.

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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
Friday, 18 December 2015

We continue our video countdown for Christmas with #4 in our Top 5 Christmas Videos of 2015.  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 12/18/2015 10:55 AM by Benton White
Thursday, 17 December 2015

Today, we begin our video countdown for Christmas. We hope you enjoy these selections and trust that each of these for the next 5 days will make your Christmas a little more enjoyable and 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 12/17/2015 10:31 AM by Benton White
Tuesday, 15 December 2015
During this great year of 2015, we have tried to educate and hopefully entertain a little on this Benton White Insurance blog!  The response has been awesome and so glad you are enjoying our efforts to educate as well as inform about all things insurance.  THANK YOU for your readership!  What good is a blog without eyes on it to digest our material.  Also, thanks to my blog technician, Mark McGowan who takes what we produce and makes it come alive on this page as well as across social media outlets on the web.  His work is such a big part of what we want to create.  He honestly makes us look good!
Beginning this Thursday, we'll post what we consider the TOP 5 Christmas videos of this 2015 Christmas season.  I am amazed at the quality and the meaning of some of these advertisements or public relations videos we are seeing.  I have reviewed many and have narrowed down to the top 5 for your viewing pleasure.  They surely have helped me get into this wonderful Christmas spirit as well as reminded me about the TRUE meaning of Christmas .... 
Then, on December 24 - Christmas Eve .... I'll post a personal Christmas Greeting from me and my family.  Basically, it's time for you see my crew - all 18 of them - kids and grandkids ... Can't help it!  Got to do it!  Hope you'll enjoy seeing these folks I so care about and really, what makes my earthly world go 'round and 'round...

So be ready - video #5 - this Thursday ....

Thanks again for joining us on the blog.  We truly treasure your interest!
Posted on 12/15/2015 2:47 PM by Benton White
Friday, 11 December 2015
The holidays often find us at our busiest, most stressed, least careful, and most distracted time.  They also bring a sudden, seasonal spike in the flow of goods, money and digital information through our homes and businesses.
Criminals know, and prey, on this - waiting to catch you off guard, while they make off with personal property or, worse, your identity. 
Here are five types of theft to watch for, and a few things you can do to help protect your purchases, personal information, or business, this holiday season.
  • Safeguard Personal Information to Help Avoid Identity Theft
    • More than 13 million identities were exposed in the U.S. last year.1 Taking steps to protect your personal information, particularly during the holiday season, is key to preventing identity theft. Now and through the new year, be sure to: 
      • Monitor your credit report.
      • Review your credit card statements carefully.
      • Keep a close eye on your wallet and purse while shopping.
      • Carry only those credit cards you need, leaving cash, debit cards, and checks at home.
  • Protect Purchases in Your Car and Delivered to Your Home
    • Claim data shows that thefts from parked cars increase 20% more during this season than any other day of the year. To help protect your car (and everything inside) from burglars during holiday shopping, it is best to keep all valuable items, including purchased gifts, out of plain sight. Be sure to park in well-lit, safe areas, roll up your windows, and lock your doors, too.
    • If you are having packages delivered to your home, you can help avoid the risk of porch pirating by instructing drivers to drop them off in a safe location at a specific time, or opt to pick them up yourself from the nearest facility.
  • Secure your Business Assets & Inventory Against Theft
    • It should come as no surprise that retail theft increases during the holidays. But it may be shocking to learn that shoplifters only account for 11% of store loss, while employees account for 38%2. With an estimated 725,000+ temporary workers expected to be hired this year3, retailers should be extra vigilant to protect their assets and inventory through the holiday season:
      • Evaluate daily transactions.
      • Review security cameras every day.
      • Conduct background checks on all prospective employees.
  • Protect Your Customers - and Business - against Cybrer Crime
    • Online holiday sales for 2014 are expected to reach as much as $105 billion4. Having strong cyber security controls in place to protect your customers' personal information is always important, but the busy online shopping season is a good opportunity to take stock of your risk management plan to ensure it adequately addresses:
      • The level of sensitivity of the stored, digital data.
      • Evaluation of company systems, and policies to protect them.
      • Data breach incident response teams and procedures.
      • Restriction of access to only necessary employees.
      • Separation and protection of payment processing systems.
  • Keep Cargo Safe!
    • All kinds of cargo theft - deceptive pickups, identity theft, misdirected loads, driver-involved theft, and facility burglary - increase during the holiday season. Taking a few extra precautions to help ensure shipments arrive at their intended destinations is the key to keeping cargo safe and secure. Remain on heightened alert throughout the holidays and be sure to:
      • Check driver documentation and credentials closely before releasing shipments.
      • Be leery of drivers arriving early for pickup, especially closer to the weekend, when criminals hope theft will go unnoticed until Monday.
      • Ensure drivers are properly trained in on-the-road safety protocol - such as securing locking devices on trailers, not picking up hitchhikers, fueling prior to loading, calling for help if you see a disabled vehicle, and not discussing details about loads or pick up points with unauthorized personnel.
If you really want to dampen your Christmas spirit this year, having a theft of your personal belongings or Christmas gifts could do it.  DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU!  The above precautions can go a long way in helping you prevent sadness and loss this holiday season by taking these few precautionary steps.  At Benton White Insurance, insurance is our world but prevention is also.  Hopefully this will help you to be more aware during this wonderful season of Christmas.
Coming next week - a special Christmas Holiday treat for all of our blog readers!  Stay tuned!
[Thanks to Christine Lamb - Sales Executive with Travelers Insurance for furnishing this good data for us to use!]
Posted on 12/11/2015 1:20 PM by Benton White
Tuesday, 08 December 2015
They're becoming more popular this year and expect these to be common place in the near future.  I already have some of these devices in my home and intend to add more as we go along.  The ability to control your home whether you are there or away is such a great feature and comforting too if you are away for longer than a few hours.
Below is a flow chart that will help you decide if either you or someone on your gift list might benefit from some of the latest technological developments to keep you or them safe and secure in 2016!
Safe and secure means less insurance claim deductibles not to mention loss of valuable items.  We hope this will help you to become acquainted with these new items that truly could keep you or those you give these to for Christmas safer.
Let us know how we might can help you with your insurance.  We're ready to earn your business.  Simply contact any of our staff at or phone us at 615.377.1212.  Hope you are enjoying the holiday season.  Something special is coming to you from this blog in the next couple of weeks.  Stay tuned!
Posted on 12/08/2015 1:32 PM by Benton White
Thursday, 03 December 2015

This is becoming a welcomed and honorable pattern.  It was announced a few days ago that J. D. Power and Associates has recognized Auto-Owners Insurance Company for "Highest in Customer Satisfaction with the Auto Insurance Claims Experience."  Auto-Owners has been recognized at this level for the sixth time in the eight years this survey has been taken.  This only happens as a result of hard work, a commitment to serve, and a great partnership between the company and it's insureds through the local independent agency - like all of us here at Benton White.Insurance.

From my agency, we work hard with the local claims department here in Brentwood to be sure they make initial contact quickly after a claim is filed.  We strive for 24 hour or less initial contact for each claim and meet that deadline the majority of the time.  That initial contact was one of the highest rated items on the Power survey that is successful.

With more people expressing frustration with service in today's fast-paced, impersonal world, we hope it is reassuring to you, our customers that we minimize confusion and problems in claims.  This J.D. Power award shows that Auto-Owners company-wide makes this a goal of theirs also.

I've often said ..."we can sell insurance all day long but if we aren't there to offer high quality service after the sell, we're not worth much to our people."  That's been our goal for over 37 years and the longer we do this business, the more we know it is true!  Thank you for letting us serve you with prices that are competitive and service that is local and personal built around relationships with our insureds.  We think this is what truly makes us different. Without you, we couldn't do it.  So I say once again, "we appreciate your business!"

If we can assist you or your friends with this type of insurance environment, we're here to earn yours and their business.  EMAIL us at or call any of our staff at 615.377.1212



Posted on 12/03/2015 3:23 PM by Benton White
Tuesday, 01 December 2015
WASHINGTON - For 2014, the first year she got health coverage through the Affordable Care Act, Gail Galen chose a plan from a new nonprofit insurer, Oregon's Health CO-OP. But the price jumped for 2015, so Ms. Galen switched to a policy from a different company, LifeWise Health Plan.
Now, with open enrollment for 2016 underway, she is preparing to leap to her third insurer in three years - and stocking up on whiskey, she says, only half in jest, as she braces for another round of shopping on the federal insurance marketplace.
"Every year I feel like I'm starting all over again, and I just dread it," said Ms. Galen, 63, of Warrenton, Ore. "My stress level just shoots up."
Over the past two years, the Affordable Care Act has created entirely new markets for health insurance, and a new way of buying it, via online exchanges that allow comparison shopping. They have brought coverage to nine million people, many of whom could not afford it or were rejected by insurers before. But these new markets have also seen sharp price swings, or changes in policies, that are driving many consumers to switch plans each year.
The Obama administration is encouraging switching as a way to avoid steep increases in premiums - and to promote competition among insurers, as the law intends. Next year will be no different: The price of plans will rise in most states, and the administration says that 86 percent of people who currently have coverage through the federal exchange can find a better deal by switching.
"This may be just one of those environments where there's a new normal," said Sabrina Corlette, a professor at the Health Policy Institute of Georgetown University.
For many consumers, the volatility in the markets has been a source of anxiety and disruption. To have any choice at all is a welcome development, many say. But switching plans is also becoming an unwelcome ritual, akin to filing taxes, that is time-consuming and can entail searching for new doctors and hospitals each year.
"I don't have a regular doctor anymore, so I avoid going," said David Saphier, a self-employed technology consultant in Manhattan who will be switching to his third exchange plan for 2016.
Some experts have raised concerns that frequently switching doctors could result in worse health care, though carefully controlled research on the issue is sparse.
Dr. Joseph Ladapo, a physician and health policy researcher at New York University School of Medicine, said it could be problematic in part because new providers often cannot get a patient's old medical records. Doctors also may feel less invested in the health of patients they believe are with them only for the short term, he added.
"It's going to be a challenging issue to really parse out," Dr. Ladapo said. "But it's a very important one, and in general, any breaks in continuity that happen as a result of these narrowing networks or plan changes are probably not in the best interest of patients."
The annual changes in plans and prices are a result of the many unknowns in the new markets. Insurers are changing their pricing, often significantly, year to year as they struggle to figure out how healthy or sick their new customers are. In some cases, insurers tried to get a foothold in the market with unsustainable low prices that they now must raise.
An additional factor for 2016 is the closing of a dozen nonprofit cooperative insurers that had more than 500,000 customers around the country. Those consumers will have no choice but to find a new plan, as will others whose insurers are leaving the exchange markets because they were losing too much money.
In Nashville, Alyssa Bernhardt learned recently that her plan from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee would rise to $115 a month even after her federal subsidy, from $45. She logged onto last week and found a comparable plan that will cost only $40 a month. She has switched plans every year since the exchanges opened, though she has managed to stay with Blue Cross Blue Shield all along.
"It's so confusing," said Ms. Bernhardt, 28, a graduate student and part-time consultant. "It would be a lot easier if I could just renew the same plan."
Last year, many people did just that, taking no action and letting their coverage automatically renew for 2015. Still, about half of returning customers at least shopped around before settling on a health plan, and about 25 percent switched - far more than many experts predicted. Those who switched insurers but kept the same level of coverage ended up saving about $490 over the course of the year in premium costs, according to a report by the Department of Health and Human Services.
As much as they dislike switching plans, people like Ms. Galen, who has a history of skin cancer, say it is far preferable to what they faced before the health law took effect. Then, many people with medical conditions could not get insurance or had to pay much more for it, and they clung to whatever coverage they could get because if they tried to switch to a different insurer, they would most likely be rejected.
Mary Stuart, 64, of Omaha, has already switched to Assurant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska, and so far has been able to keep her doctors. Now Assurant is leaving the exchange market, and Ms. Stuart is intent on finding a new plan that will cover the ophthalmologist who treats her macular degeneration, a serious eye disease.
"I'm like, oh God, here we go again," said Ms. Stuart, who does not receive a premium subsidy and pays $890 a month for her current plan.
On the other hand, she said, "With my medical issues, to get with another insurer pre-Obamacare would have been really hard. So even though I'm bouncing and bouncing around, in some respects the current situation is so much better."
If Ms. Stuart has a Zen-like approach to the shop-and-switch routine, Ramon Cinco, a middle school teacher in Houston, said he is approaching it "in panic mode." He is switching plans not to get a better deal, but because his current plan with Cigna, which allows his family to see any doctor without a referral, is being discontinued.
Mr. Cinco, 43, switched to Cigna this year after being frustrated with his 2014 plan from Aetna, which he said had too narrow a provider network to be useful. Now, he said, he is likely to switch back to Aetna for 2016, to a plan that seems to have a narrower network of hospitals than he has access to now.
"I wasn't expecting to make a switch for 2016," Mr. Cinco said. "I'm very happy and pleased with my plan, and this came as a big shock."
As for Ms. Galen, her insurer, LifeWise, is discontinuing her current plan and offering her a similar one with premiums that are 38 percent higher over all. She will get a bigger subsidy next year because of rising rates in her state, so her share of the premium would increase by only $27 a month. But she would also face higher out-of-pocket costs for visiting the doctor, and a higher out-of-pocket limit. And the new plan does not appear to cover her current doctors, she said.
That leaves her with more than a dozen choices from six insurers, which she has begun researching. She wants to make sure she can stick with the dermatologist she has been visiting since her skin cancer diagnosis.
"It's a constant, background nagging feeling of a chore undone," she wrote in an email last week. "And still, it's a huge improvement over the old days! I didn't have to shop at all then; I was stuck with the same rip-off, narrow policy."
We are spending a considerable amount of time this enrollment season trying to help our insureds find their way through all of the healthcare insurance challenges.  It is complicated and it takes a considerable amount of the insureds time to get resolution for their healthcare needs.  Most often, the conversation leads to matching premiums that have risen considerably vs. coverage's that the insured can receive for the premium spent.  It's challenging!  
If we can help you with your insurance, please let us know.  We write all types of insurance and will work to find you the best pricing for the best coverage's out here.  Contact any of our staff at or call us at 615.377.1212.  We appreciate the opportunity to earn your business!
[Portions of this article comes from an ONLINE POST from The New York Times - November 18, 2015 written by Abby Goodnough: "Shopping for Health Insurance Is New Seasonal Stress for Many"]
Posted on 12/01/2015 3:16 PM by Benton White
Tuesday, 24 November 2015
Today and everyday!  This week and every week, we are grateful for so many things, including great relationships with family, friends, business acquaintances and many wonderful customers!  Let's take a much needed break this week and remember how truly blessed we are!
Enter His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise!  Give thanks to him and bless His name!
Psalm 100:4 (NASB)
Happy Thanksgiving!

Benton P. White
Benton White Insurance

Posted on 11/24/2015 1:40 PM by Benton White
Tuesday, 17 November 2015

This upcoming holiday season, relationship statuses will be upgraded to "engaged".  Did you know engagement season spans from Thanksgiving to New Years? A sparkly ring can create many new decisions - one of which how do you insure your wedding.  Many people forget about this issue with a long list of "to-do's" before you say "I do!"

We offer The Wedding Protector Plan®  It is private event insurance which may protect against financial loss from unavoidable mishaps.  Putting an inexpensive policy like The Wedding Protector at Benton White Insurance in force should be implemented as soon as contracts are signed and deposits are paid.  Policies can be issued up to two years in advance of the big day!  And the premiums?  They are amazingly inexpensive for the coverage offered. 

The coverage's listed below are all available on a single policy and can be purchased with increasing limits of coverage.

The Wedding Protector Plan® can cover:

  • Cancellation / Postponement
  • Lost Deposits
  • Additional Expenses
  • Event Photographs & Video
  • Event Gifts
  • Special Attire
  • Special Jewelry
  • Liability Insurance (optional coverage)
  • Liquor Liability (optional)


Total Cost of a Wedding Protector Plan® Policy
For as little as $160, The Wedding Protector program through Benton White Insurance can help protect your financial investment while offering you peace of mind as you plan your special day. You can click this link to get more detailed information about premiums and coverage's available:

We're here to help!  THANKS for reading our blog and let us know how we can better assist you with a program like The Wedding Protector or some other insurance need you may have!  EMAIL us at or call us at 615.377.1212.  We're always ready to earn your business!

Posted on 11/17/2015 11:15 AM by Benton White
Friday, 13 November 2015

Personal data was stolen from 100 million Americans this year in cyber-attacks and thefts from retailers, banks and hospitals. Many of them will become victims of identity theft. While the financial hit to people and companies is real, the emotional impact can be "life-altering," says Terrell McSweeny, a member of the Federal Trade Commission.

"It's essential to remember that there is a human face on each of these ID crimes," he said, speaking at Google Inc.'s offices in Washington, D.C. 

Depending on the information that's stolen, problems go well beyond canceling a stolen card or changing a PIN. Criminals file false tax returns or misuse identities to get cellphone service, open utility accounts and obtain prescription drugs. Some victims have had their names wrongly invoked in arrest reports and court records of other people's crimes. Victims say the violation brings with it anger, anxiety, sadness, shame and even suicidal thoughts.

While theft of credit card information remains the most common type of cyber fraud, medical identity theft is growing. It can result in victims being billed for medical services and prescriptions they didn't receive, or finding another person's health information in their medical records. Consequently, they can be denied health benefits or insurance.

At Benton White Insurance, we can insure you for the problems you could face with Identity Theft.  Our endorsement to your home, condo or renters policy includes:

  • Obtaining a free credit report from the three main credit bureaus
  • Placing fraud alerts with major credit reporting agencies
  • Eenrolling you in six months of daily credit monitoring
  • Providing you with an Identity Fraud "First-Aid Kit"
Also included from most insurance companies is reimbursement for the expenses you can incur in your resolution efforts.  These can include:
  • Lost wages as a result of time taken off from work to deal with ID Fraud - up to $1000 per week for up to 5 weeks
  • Travel expenses related to resolving ID Fraud
  • Costs for daycare or elder care as a result of ID Fraud
  • Notary and certified mailing charges for completing and delivering fraud affidavits.
  • Fees to reapply for loans that were denied due to erroneous credit information caused by the identity fraud.
There are many other advantages and reimbursements included that are too lengthy to mention here.  The cost to add this coverage to your policy is an amazing $25.00 per year for all of what I've mentioned above and much more!

We can help!  Identity Theft is a growing problem and we are ready to make sure you have the coverage with us or add it if you don't have it.  Contact us by EMAIL at or call our staff at 615.377.1212.  Identity Theft is real!  Can any of us afford NOT to have this inexpensive coverage option on our policies?
Posted on 11/13/2015 10:18 AM by Benton White
Tuesday, 10 November 2015

I often say: "We're in the business to pay claims" and we pay many.  When I began in this business in 1978, I chose this segment of the insurance business because I liked the opportunity of helping people solve their problems in a real way with insurance when they would have a claim.  Paying claims is one of the primary joys of what I/we do.  

This fall season always has its claims challenges and I thought I would outline 8 of the most consistent claims we file on behalf of our insureds at this time of year.  A little prevention might help you not to have one and face deductible expenses if you have to file one of these claims.

Fire & Smoke Damage

Just like summer means more grill-related fires, in the fall more time is spent indoors and fireplaces, wood stoves and candles become the culprits. According to, more than 2,500 people lose their lives in house fires each year, and another 12,600 are injured. Property losses from these fires total more than $7.3 billion annually, and many homeowners fail to understand that the time from a small flame to a home being fully-engulfed can be mere seconds.

To reduce the likelihood of fire:

  • Inspect chimneys annually and clean as needed. How frequently a chimney needs to be cleaned depends on how often it is used.
  • Open the flue before starting a fire.
  • Don't leave candles lit in unoccupied rooms. In addition, make sure pets can't knock them over and keep them away from curtains and clothing.
  • Don't leave pots or pans cooking unattended on the stove.
  • Don't smoke if drowsy, cigarettes can fall into furniture cushions and smolder before igniting.
  • Don't overload electrical outlets with appliances.

Water & Freezing Damage

Water damage is the most common type of loss reported, according to Xactware. The firm received 1.2 million water damage estimates in 2014, and the average estimate totaled $6,089.

Freezing pipes and water damage account for an average of 20% in 4th QTR. claims. Burst pipes, dishwashers, water heaters, ice makers, water supply lines and toilet valves are frequent sources of water damage. Turning the main water valve off when leaving a home for several days can reduce the risk.

Home Thefts

Home robberies increase about 7% in the summer but there is an even bigger increase when the weather turns cooler. There is statistical evidence that the number jumps to 25% in the latter part of the year.  Smart homeowners keep lights on a timer and use motion detectors for outdoor lights. Today's home apps let owners monitor remotely to see who is coming and going. Valuables should be stored in either a fireproof safe or a safety deposit box.

Auto Thefts

Approximately 25% of the year's auto theft claims occur during the fourth quarter. The Insurance Information Institute found that over $4 billion worth of auto thefts were reported in 2013. Cars full of gifts and other items can be tempting to thieves. Taking some preventative actions can reduce the chances that you'll be the victim of a theft.

Snow & Ice

34% of all skidding and snow claims occur between October and December. Before cold weather hits, check the tread on tires and make sure they are properly inflated. Decrease speeds on wet, icy or leaf-covered roads.  During winter months, keep the gas tank at least half full since getting stuck in snow traffic can burn fuel quickly. Also check the battery, windshield wipers, anti-freeze and wiper fluid levels. Consider leaving a shovel, blanket and some non-perishable snacks in the car in case of a breakdown.

Parking Lot Claims

With the holidays just a few weeks away, shoppers are flocking to malls and shopping centers in greater numbers. This means more drivers and an increase in parking lot-related claims. Damage from shopping carts, car thefts and tight parking spaces are just a few of the hazards. On average, 25% of parking lot-related claims occur between now and the end of the year.

Rear End Collisions

According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), there are approximately 1.7 million rear-end collisions in the U.S. each year. During the fourth quarter, most of those types of claims occur and 87% of them are caused by drivers who aren't paying attention. It's important to put down the phone, stop adjusting the radio, and back up slowly, checking mirrors and windows multiple times for oncoming cars.

Animal Collisions

Deer are no longer confined just to country areas. As development spreads into their natural habitats, these animals can be found in highly populated areas, especially as food becomes scarcer. Hitting a large animal can be just as dangerous as hitting another car, so always wear a seatbelt. Animals tend to be more active at dawn and dusk, so watch for deer, raccoons, foxes and coyotes.

Contact Us

Hopefully, these spotlighted claims can help you avoid one.  We're here to cover you if any of these occur and we do our best to make a tough situation a positive one for you.  If we can help you with anything insurance, please let us know.  Our staff is ready to help at 615.377.1212 or EMAIL us at  Let us EARN your business!


Posted on 11/10/2015 1:39 PM by Benton White
Friday, 06 November 2015
Parents have a lot on their parental plate.  There are many items of teaching that need emphasis as children get older.  But there is a thought in the media that with all of the pressing societal issues facing parents and their teens, parents are underestimating the risk that driving presents to their teenagers and often allow dangerous behavior including night-time trips and carpools, a safety group said. 
Only 24% of parents identified hazardous driving or car crashes as their biggest safety concern for children ages 15-19, according to a National Safety Council survey released recently.  The category of drugs and alcohol was cited by a similar share of parents. Other top concerns included bullying, Internet safety, teen pregnancy and school shootings.
The council is seeking to sharpen focus on some of the most routine dangers by addressing misconceptions about risk. The group in June highlighted that overdoses from prescription painkillers and car accidents are more likely to kill Americans than dramatic events like plane crashes and cataclysmic storms.
"The biggest threat to teens' safety is sitting in the driveway," Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and chief executive officer of the NSC, said in a statement. "The statistics have shown this for years, yet too many parents still do not appreciate that the first year of driving is a particularly deadly time in a teen's life."
Almost half of parents set the driving curfew at 10 p.m. or later, even though 40% of fatal crashes are after that hour, according to the council. The group also said that most parents who talk on a mobile phone while behind the wheel continue that behavior when teens are passengers.
In 2013, there were more than 6,600 deaths in the 15-24 age group tied to motor-vehicle mishaps, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. That's more than all non- transportation accidents combined, a group that includes poisoning from "noxious substances."
The National Safety Council is a non-profit organization focused on reducing risks in the workplace, on the roads and in homes. The group released the report in observance of National Teen Driver Safety Week last month.
The review was conducted for the council in September by Irwin Broh Research using an online consumer panel. There were 1,010 completed responses, and the sample was balanced by gender, geographic region and ethnicity, according to the NSC.
Teen vehicle safety contributes to us having less auto insurance premiums for both parents and teens.  We monitor our youthful drivers and do all that we can to educate newly licensed drivers the rules of the road as it pertains to insurance.  We're here to help you!  Contact any of our staff at 615.377.1212 or EMAIL us at info@BentonWhite.comOur teen driver insurance rates are competitive and if you or your teen has a tough driving history, we can insure them too!  Let us know if we can help!

Portions of this article are taken from a PropertyCasualty360 article - Parents focused on drugs, bullying overlook risk of car crashes by Christie Boyden with BLOOMBERG
Posted on 11/06/2015 11:56 AM by Benton White

Benton's Blog

Hit-and-Run Deaths hit RECORD High!

WASHINGTON, D.C. - More than one hit-and-run crash occurs every minute on U.S. roads, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. These resulted in 2,049 deaths in 2016 – the highest number on record and a 60 percent increase since 2009. With the number of hit-and-run crashes on the rise, AAA is calling for drivers to be alert on the road in order to avoid a deadly crash and always remain on the scene if a crash occurs. AAA researchers examined common characteristics...

Why Does ANYONE Do This?

We have been candid and completely forthright with our thoughts about TEXTING and DRIVING or DISTRACTED DRIVING!  One action IS NOT worth the results of what can happen when you are behind a wheel of a car or riding with someone driving who gets distracted. AT&T has come forward with their “IT CAN WAIT!” campaign and it’s eye-opening to say the least.  I’ll say no more and let this following video speak for us and so many others in saying: “IS IT WORTH IT!?” .embed-container { position:...

Homeowners Insurance!  Do You Have Enough Coverage?

We have coverage discussions on two levels most often here in the insurance agency. From the customer: “I’m not sure I have enough coverage on my home or on my property.  How much is enough?” From the insurance company: “You just wrote a new home insurance policy for one of your insured’s and our walk-around inspection indicates the dwelling value amount is too low.” It’s been interesting determining dwelling values over the last couple of years simply because, as the video below will...