Auto Insurance: Easier Than Your March Madness Bracket

2019 is in full swing and we're a few weeks out from the start of March Madness, the three weeks of college basketball glory! Office and neighborhood pool registrations are open and you're gearing up to make your picks and set your bracket. Completing a bracket takes time and careful thought, but completing the perfect bracket is a 1 in 9.2 quintillion chance. On average, there is an auto accident in the U.S. every 4.6 seconds. Making sure you are covered against these odds is much easier than picking your March Madness bracket.

Your auto insurance breaks down into three major sections: liability coverage if you cause an accident, medical coverage for yourself and passengers, and physical damage for your vehicle.

Bodily Injury Liability coverage protects you for any bodily harm or death of another party involved in an accident that you may be liable for. The average liability cost of an accident with a non-disabling injury is $21,000. The average for an accident resulting in a disabling injury is $61,600, and expenses can climb over $1 million for fatal accidents. These figures include lost wages, medical expense, and vehicle damage.

Property Damage Liability covers you for any damage to another parties' property that you may cause with your covered vehicle. This includes, but is not limited to, another vehicle, personal belongings, bicycles, mailboxes, and telephone poles. The state of Florida requires that you carry Property Damage Liability on any motor vehicle tagged and registered for road use.

There is coverage available on your auto insurance that will cover to pay for medical expenses and lost wages for you. Personal Injury Protection, also commonly referred to as PIP, is that coverage. Like Property Damage Liability, PIP is a required coverage by the state for any registered motor vehicle. PIP is a $10,000 limit that will be the first coverage to pay for your medical expense if you're involved in an accident, no matter who is at fault. PIP claims are required to be filed within 14 days of an accident to receive the full benefit.

Uninsured or Under-Insured Motorist (UM) coverage is one of the most important coverages you can have. This coverage will reimburse you for medical expenses and lost wages you may incur from a not-at-fault accident where the at-fault party does not have liability insurance or enough liability insurance to cover their liable expense. This is crucial as medical insurance plans may have exclusions for injuries caused in an auto accident.

Finally, you have physical damage coverage for your vehicle. This is split into two separate coverages. Collision coverage repairs damage to your vehicle caused by colliding with another object. Whether it be another vehicle, a mailbox, or simply backing out of the garage and scraping the side of the car. Second, is comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage repairs damage to your vehicle caused by anything other than a collision. This includes, but is not limited to, fire, flood, and vandalism. If your car is parked in the garage during a hurricane and the house falls in on it, coverage would be provided by your auto policy and not your homeowner's policy. These two coverages also have deductibles that you may select as out-of-pocket expense for repairs to your vehicle.

That wasn't so bad, was it? Give our office a call and one of our agents will review your policy with you. We will provide an all-around review of your coverage and provide recommendations where your coverage may be lacking. With accidents becoming more frequent with more drivers on the road than ever, make sure you're protecting yourself, your family, and your assets.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Raymond Killian is a Personal Lines Account Manager at Bouchard Insurance. Raymond is experienced in all lines of personal insurance.

Let’s Have a Conversation…About Valuable Articles Insurance

People take pride in collecting valuables and it’s vital that these items are insured with confidence.  Whether you are passionate about jewelry, fine arts, wine, coins, or other collectibles, it’s important to find a carrier who understands that these treasures reflect who you are and what is important to you. As an insurance advisor, I recognize the importance of insuring the special possessions that you may have inherited from a loved one or worked so hard to collect.

It’s easy to assume that your valuable articles are covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy; however, there are typically limits on the coverage that won’t cover your items to their full value. Your treasured collectibles should be protected for their true or appraised value and also be protected for the broadest coverage available.

Having a “Valuable Articles” insurance policy that is separate from your homeowner’s policy is the most effective way to insure your collections. Advantages of keeping your valuables separate from your homeowner’s policy include some of the following:

All-Risk Coverage

Unlike your homeowner’s insurance policy, most Valuable Articles policies cover all risks and typically have no deductible. If your collection is insured on a standard homeowner’s policy, there are exclusions and deductibles that apply to your valuables. Certain carriers, offer “all-risk” coverage for most causes of loss, usually without a deductible.

Worldwide Coverage

If you travel frequently, it’s important to have insurance coverage that follows you across the globe.  Imagine being overseas and your watch that you inherited from a family member was stolen. The last thing you would want to hear is that the watch isn’t covered. Different carriers recognize that these types of pieces are priceless and you should never doubt that you are covered, especially during a vacation.

 Mysterious Disappearance

Most homeowner’s policies exclude coverages for lost or misplaced items. High Net Worth carriers have policies that offer automatic coverage for misplaced, stolen, or lost items.

Blanket or Scheduled Items

With a standalone Valuable Articles policy, you have the option to protect an entire collection, schedule items individually, or do both.  This allows you to customize the coverage amounts that best fit your personal needs.

 As you can see, there are numerous benefits of having a standalone Valuable Articles policy.  It’s important to find an insurance carrier who understands the years that you have spent investing in managing your collections.  We recognize that our clients cherish their possessions and strive to teach them about why it’s valuable to have a collections policy that is personal to them.


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Abbey Bouchard, a Client Advisor in the Private Client division of Bouchard, specializes in high net worth personal insurance that focuses on affluent individuals with more complex insurance portfolios and exposures. As a third generation Bouchard working for Bouchard Insurance, Abbey’s purpose is to continually better serve the affluent client base by promoting exemplary service and always putting the client first. | Connect on LinkedIn

NASCAR Fans: Tips for RV'ing the Races

Most people associate February with Valentine’s Day and chocolate, but for others it’s the kickoff to the NASCAR season with the Daytona 500. If you love spending your Sunday afternoons watching NASCAR from the comfort of your living room, imagine how great race day would be from the luxury of your home on wheels?  NASCAR is one of a few sports that allows you to be right in the middle of the action while camping in your RV.  Here are some things you should know if you decide to take in a race from your infield campsite and if you’re protected if something were to happen to your RV.

Be Prepared

Most tracks on the NASCAR circuit are not going to have full hook ups.  With no water hookups, be prepared to dry camp.  Make sure your generator is in good working order, you have full water tanks, plenty of propane, and empty black tanks.  Some of the larger tracks offer extra camp services like propane delivery and waste removal, but be prepared to pay a premium for those services.

Parking

Most infield camping spots will need to be purchased far ahead of race weekend.  These coveted spots go quickly. Once you have procured your spot, be sure to arrive early. Give yourself plenty of time as most tracks will pack the infield like a can of sardines.  While maneuvering through the tight areas and making camp, you trade paint with some of your neighbors, don’t worry, a good agent will make sure your RV is protected by collision coverage that will repair your rig and property damage liability that will repair your fellow race goer’s rig for any damage you may have caused.  Remember, rubbing is racing.

Getting to the Track

You’ve gone over your check list one last time and you’re ready to hit the road.  You are on your journey to the race and you have a mechanical failure with your rig and she’s not going to make it to your destination.  What now?  Some RV policies will have a few coverages that will come in handy in a situation like this.  Roadside assistance and towing is available on most RV policies to help you get to a repair shop.  You may also want to review your policy for emergency expense coverage which would help you with transportation and hotel costs. 

Trip interruption is another coverage you may want to consider. This reimburses you for paid non-refundable fees such as reservation and lot fees that you are not able to use do to a covered trip interruption or trip cancellation.

Maybe taking your RV to the races is not your scene. Maybe you would rather travel to Yosemite and hit every stop in between or perhaps spend your time at the best beach side campgrounds the country has to offer.  Either way, making sure your RV, your belongings, and your family are covered correctly should be number one on your checklist.  Whether you’re in the market for your first RV or you’re a seasoned road warrior, contact our office to get a quote or review your current policy.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Raymond Killian is a Personal Lines Account Manager at Bouchard Insurance. Raymond is experienced in all lines of personal insurance.

Keep Your She Shed Protected

“Other structures” on your homeowner’s insurance policy often refer to attached and detached structures such as garages, carports, tool sheds, and barns. When it comes to other structures on your property, coverage on your homeowner’s policy will vary from carrier to carrier.  If you have multiple structures – either attached or detached to your home – on your property, it is worth investigating to find out what is covered and what isn’t under your homeowner’s policy should a claim arise.

Attached Structures

Garages | Carports | Porches | Pool Enclosures

Not all policies treat these structures as part of your house and may exclude or limit coverage to actual cash value only (depreciated cost), or may only cover certain components instead of the entire structure.

Quality homeowner insurers cover most types of attached structures at full replacement cost, including full pool enclosures or cages (both frames and screens). If the damage is caused by a covered peril (anything that your home would be covered against), the attached structures are generally covered as well.

Detached Structures

Barns | Boathouses | Detached Garages | Tool Sheds | She Sheds

Quality homeowner insurers consider these to be buildings and insure at full replacement cost, meaning the amount required to cover the materials and labor to rebuild the structure to similar parameters. Personal property kept inside these structures are typically covered to the same extent as personal property kept in the main house.

Fences | Docks | Gazebos

These are not considered buildings and are covered at actual cash value, meaning the current market value which is depreciated based on age and condition. Coverage for personal property outside of a fully enclosed building will vary, depending on the cause of loss.

Ask your agent what your policy covers when it comes to other structures and help ensure you have the best coverage available for all structures and personal items located on your property.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Katie Dierks is a Certified Personal Risk Manager who specializes in liability protection for successful individuals.  She takes a holistic approach in designing an insurance program that mitigates the potential threats to her client’s assets and lifestyles. | Connect on LinkedIn

Marsh & McLennan Agency to Acquire Bouchard Insurance

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Acquisition Expands MMA’s Footprint in Florida

Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA), the middle market agency subsidiary of Marsh, today announced that it has reached agreement to acquire Clearwater, Florida-based Bouchard Insurance, a leading full-service agency in Florida. Terms of the transaction, which is expected to close later this month, were not disclosed.

Founded in 1948, Bouchard has 260 colleagues based in its Clearwater, Fort Myers, Kissimmee, Maitland, Sarasota, and Tampa, Florida office locations. It provides property/casualty, employee health & benefits, and personal lines insurance solutions and expertise to midsize businesses. The firm has dedicated expertise in the agribusiness, community associations, construction, education, healthcare, hospitality, staffing, and social services industries.

As part of MMA, Bouchard will maintain its existing office locations and operate as Bouchard Insurance, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company. On closing, Doug Bishop, who has served as CEO of Bouchard since 2009, will continue to lead the operation.

“Bouchard’s strong client-first culture and commitment to the education and development of its colleagues make it a powerful addition to our growing presence across the US,” said David Eslick, Chairman and CEO of MMA.

Mr. Bishop added: “By joining the MMA team we have the opportunity to provide innovative resources and solutions for our clients, and new growth opportunities for our colleagues. Equally important, MMA shares our passion to support the communities we serve. We are excited to play a role in the ongoing growth of this dynamic national firm.”


About Marsh & McLennan Agency

Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC is a subsidiary of Marsh established in 2008 to serve as a platform for the middle market. In 2015, it expanded its national footprint into Canada. MMA offers commercial property, casualty, personal lines, and employee benefits to midsize businesses and individuals across North America.

About Marsh

 A global leader in insurance broking and innovative risk management solutions, Marsh’s 30,000 colleagues advise individual and commercial clients of all sizes in over 130 countries. Marsh is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), the leading global professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people. With annual revenue over US$14 billion and nearly 65,000 colleagues worldwide, MMC helps clients navigate an increasingly dynamic and complex environment through four market-leading firms. In addition to Marsh, MMC is the parent company of Guy Carpenter, Mercer, and Oliver Wyman. Follow Marsh on Twitter @MarshGlobal; LinkedIn; Facebook; and YouTube, or subscribe to BRINK.