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Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702

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Insurance Blog

Does Your Flood Insurance Policy Meet Your Needs?

Flood insurance is a separate policy, and it is not a part of what is offered on your homeowners’ coverage. Unfortunately, not everyone realizes that. They end up without the coverage they need when a flood takes place, and it is only after the problem occurs that they find out they are not covered. Even if you have a flood policy, though, it may not be giving you what you need. By working with The Shay Agency in Wilkes-Barre, PA, you can find out if you are properly covered, and get the guidance you need to find the right flood policy or make changes to the one you have.

A policy for flood insurance should be based on the risk you have in your location. Not everyone who has flood insurance is in a flood zone, but it can flood anywhere it can rain. What you need from a policy will generally be a little bit different if you are in a designated flood zone, so you want to make sure you are working with an agency and an agent who understands your needs and the location of the property you are getting insurance on. Flood zone maps and designations change periodically, as well, so it is a good idea to have your insurance policy reviewed at least once a year.

When you work with The Shay Agency in Wilkes-Barre PA, you will have the representation you need, along with a flood policy that offers you what you actually require for your location. You can feel safe in the knowledge that you will be protected in case of a flood, and you can also reduce your worry about whether your policy is the right one for you. Having the right agency on your side is a great feeling.

Helpful Tips about Things to Consider When Acquiring Life Insurance

Life insurance provides death benefits, and some types of policies also have investment characteristics. Deciding what type of life insurance is a smart choice for your personal circumstances but can be challenging. Work with an agent at The Shay Agency, serving Wilkes-Barre, PA and the surrounding areas, to discuss the different types of life insurance available.

Here are a few things to consider that will help you make the right decision:

Coverage Term

Term life insurance with level premium payments is available for a specific number of years, which are 10 to 30 years in five-year increments. If the time needed for life insurance is predictable, the term life insurance is a good choice. However, after the term is over, life insurance premiums will be much higher. For life insurance needs longer than 30 years, it is better to get whole life (also known as “permanent”) insurance.

Death Benefit Choices

The amount of the death benefit needs to be decided. Term policies only offer payment of a level death benefit. Whole life policies offer the choice of a level death benefit plus the cash value, a decreasing death benefit that is reduced by the accumulated cash value in the coverage, and a decreasing death benefit to reduce premiums over time.

Policy Guarantees

Term policies, some universal life, and some whole life policies offer a guaranteed premium amount and guaranteed death benefit. In other types of policies, which are designed to be investment vehicles, the policy premiums and death benefit are based on the assumption that is made for the rate of return. Premiums may be larger, and death benefits may be smaller if the underlying investments of the policy have a lower rate of return.

Cash Value

Term policies do not accumulate any cash value. Permanent whole life and other insurance policies that have investment characteristics accumulate cash value over time. Some prefer to have term insurance that comes along with a conversion rider that allows the option to convert the policy to permanent life insurance at some point in the future.

Talk with your agent at The Shay Agency in Wilkes-Barre, PA about these issues and any others to get a complete understanding of the options available for life insurance in New York and Pennsylvania.

Why is auto insurance mandatory?

Some car owners fail to understand why auto insurance is mandatory yet other sensitive insurance policies such as health insurance are not. Auto insurance is mandatory in nearly all states. In other words, every driver is legally required to carry auto insurance. Your auto insurance from The Shay Agency protects you financially in the event that you cause injuries to others or damage to their properties in a car accident. The insurance policy also provides the protection if you are injured or your car is damaged in an accident. At the bare minimum, you need a car insurance policy that pays for the other party’s injuries or damages.

Why is it mandatory?

In order to understand why auto insurance is considered compulsory in Wilkes-Barre, PA, it is important to understand why health insurance is not mandatory. Health insurance is designed to help you and your loved ones pay for a portion of your medical bills. It doesn’t take care of your neighbors. The early proponents of making auto insurance mandatory reasonably argued that car owners who are determined to be at fault in the event of an accident may cause damage to property and bodily injury to others but fail to compensate them for their losses and medical bills due to their own financial constraints.

If drivers who cause car accidents were to be allowed to walk away without being held responsible for their mistakes, it can eventually hurt the country’s economy or result in violence. Therefore, an auto insurance policy is designed to protect the financial and medical interests of those whom you may hurt while driving your car. In other words, it is not designed to protect your financial interests as is the case with health insurance. You are not mandated to have insurance coverage on your own expenses resulting from a car crash, but it is compulsory to provide proof of financial liability when you own a car.

If you want peace of mind while driving your car or simply want to protect your savings and assets, consider purchasing sufficient auto insurance. For more information about auto insurance and how to get the cheapest auto insurance quotes suitable for your budget, contact us at The Shay Agency in Wilkes-Barre, PA today.

 

My oven broke. Can I use my home insurance policy?

What better time for your oven to give way to the pressures of being old than the day before your grand dinner party? You have dozens of guests who are counting on a hot meal to come from your kitchen, and your oven has decided that it no longer desires to fire up. You have to find another way to make your dinner party a success, which means that you will not have the funds to buy a new oven.

Will your homeowner’s insurance policy cover the event? Read on to find out! Contact an agent from The Shay Agency in Wilkes-Barre, PA to learn more about what is and is not covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy.

Does a homeowner’s insurance policy cover appliances?

The average homeowner’s indemnity plan will only pay for damaged or broken appliances that fall prey to severe storms or other things that damage the overall structure of your home. The roof caving in on your oven would make it eligible for replacement under your homeowner’s insurance plan. 

Unfortunately, normal wear and tear are not typically counted as events covered by your standard homeowner’s insurance policy. There are, however, instances where you can purchase an add-on that pays for an old oven so long as the appliance came with the home. Of course, your residence may not qualify for such added coverage if it was sold to you as a fixer-upper. There is also the option of purchasing umbrella insurance that covers everything from worn appliances to broken laptops. 

Call The Shay Agency for Your Insurance Needs!

The agents at The Shay Agency in Wilkes-Barre, PA have been in the business of finding the right homeowner’s insurance policies for its customers for many years. Contact us today to get a quote and have your questions answered!

Starting Up My Salon. Do I Need Commercial Insurance?

If you are thinking about setting up a salon, then there is a high chance that this will end up being the thing that pays the bills and supports your family. This means that you need to get the right commercial insurance from The Shay Agency to keep your investment secure.

Remember the fact that your beauty salon will act as a one-stop-shop for your customers’ every beauty need. However, you must realize the fact that things can go wrong at any time and you may find yourself in a disaster or accident no matter how professional you may be.

Your commercial insurance in Scranton or Wilkes-Barre, PA will protect your small business against that angry client whose eyebrows were waxed too thin or who experienced a severe allergic reaction to the hair dye that you used. Here are some of the top reasons why you should purchase a commercial insurance policy if you are starting a salon.

The Beauty Products that You Use May Be Recalled

To help you maximize profits, you will probably sell beauty products in your salon. To make your clients start using that particular product that you stock, you will have to demonstrate the product by using it on them during their routine appointments and tell them why you think that is a good brand.

 A few months or years later, the product that you have been recommending to your clients is recalled from the stores. How will your loyal clients feel? They’ll feel cheated and assume that you didn’t vet the product, but instead, you were just after the profit. 

Finally, some of your customers may decide to walk away, and your business will drop. This means that your enterprise will suffer significant financial losses as a result of the above scenario. Luckily, your commercial insurance from The Shay Agency may be reimbursed if the scenario is included in business interruption.

Your Salon May Suffer Damages Due to a Fire

The back room of your beauty salon where you store your essential oils, nail polishes, hair dye, and other highly flammable chemicals is considered a high-risk area. If precautionary measures aren’t taken, your store could easily end up in flames.

However, the business’s property damage coverage may cover such damages and ensure that you can still serve your clients afterward. Without a commercial insurance policy, could you manage the financial effects of such a disaster?

Do you run a beauty salon in Scranton or Wilkes-Barre, PA? Contact The Shay Agency today for a client-friendly commercial insurance policy.

Can You Buy a Motorcycle Policy Without a Car Policy?

When it comes to driving a vehicle of any kind, it is always best to make sure you are adequately covered as far as insurance goes. Motorcycles pose a special risk when it comes to getting into accidents and therefore need very specific coverages to make sure that riders are covered and protected in the case of an accident. For those that live in Pennsylvania, the agents with The Shay Agency in Wilkes-Barre, PA can help you find the right motorcycle coverage for you.

So, can you buy a motorcycle policy without having a car policy?

The simple answer is "yes." You can purchase a motorcycle policy without having to have an auto policy. The only difference is that your motorcycle policy may end up costing more on its own than it would when bundled with a car policy. This is not a be all end all, however, as even on its own, a motorcycle policy is going to cost far less than a car policy.

There are a few important things to remember when it comes to motorcycle policies, for starters, those that are driving motorcycles are far more likely to be in an accident than those that are driving cars for a few different reasons. For starters, motorcycles are smaller and harder to see when on the road, they do not provide much protection if you are in an accident, and many drivers do not pay close attention to motorcycles that are on the road with them. It is always essential that you get the right coverage for your specific needs as far as liability, the cost of your bike, and the overall cost of potential medical bills.

For those that live in Pennsylvania, New York, or New Jersey, the agents with the Shay Agency in Wilkes-Barre, PA can help you find the perfect motorcycle policy.  

Do I Need Flood Insurance

You might ask yourself if you need flood insurance even if you live in an area that does not have a lot of flooding. The short answer is yes. You do need flood insurance. Flooding can happen anywhere. Damage created by a heavy rainstorm, hurricane, tornado, or other natural disasters are the first thing homeowners think about when considering flood insurance. But apartment renters and condo owners also need to realize that their property could be damaged too and flood insurance is a great safety net to have. Contact The Shay Agency in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Our independent insurance agents can get you started with the appropriate amount of insurance you need for your home, apartment, or condo.

What is a Flood?

According to FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, a flood is the most common natural disaster. Floods can happen as a result of heavy rains, melting snow, overflow from levees, new development, dam outages, hurricanes, and rising rivers. The advantage of flood insurance is that you can purchase it no matter where you live, even if you don’t live near a flood zone.

What is Flood Insurance?

Flood insurance is protection that covers you if a flood ruins property in your home, business, condo, or apartment. You can acquire one of two policy types. The first covers the building and its structure. This type is usually purchased by condo associations or apartment building owners, so this will help to reimburse them if their buildings receive any damage. On the other hand, inside the apartment or condo, your items will not be reimbursed unless you have protection with the second type of policy. This policy covers personal property.

The Shay Agency in Wilkes-Barre, PA has independent insurance agents to help you understand your need for flood insurance. You can also get further assistance with auto, life, and commercial insurance throughout Pennsylvania, Florida, New York, and New Jersey. Reach out to our agents to learn more.

When Can You Claim Life Insurance?

The benefits of life insurance are always paid to the beneficiaries listed on the policy. They can be the insured’s family members, siblings, or charity organizations. As a result, conventional life insurance policies are settled after the death of the policyholder.

Contact the insurance provider and inform them of the death of the insured and your intention to file a claim. The contact information is always available on the insurer’s webpage or policy documents. One may call, email, or send a letter to the insurer.

Get the documents ready

Some documents are vital for a successful insurance claim. They are:

  • Death certificate: It provides proof of the death the policyholder. You may need several copies if there are several insurance policies
  • Certificate of insurance: This is a policy document that is provided at the time of purchasing insurance coverage. It should be kept among essential papers since it easily gets lost given that it is rarely used.
  • Insurance claim form: Insurance companies have a life insurance claim form on their website. You can download or fill them online depending on the policy provider’s requirements. At The Shay Agency in Wilkes-Barre, PA, we insist on seeing the original documents at some point.

Once you have these documents, you can visit the policy provider to file the claim. Alternatively, you can send them to the post office or courier services. The processing of the claim may take one to two months, depending on the level of necessary verifications. The benefits are often settled in lump-sum.

In conclusion, taking on an insurance policy is a choice that safeguards the future of your family and other dependents. You can secure them today by purchasing a policy with The Shay Agency in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Other states where we offer service include Florida, New Jersey, and New York. Contact us today at (570) 704-0074 for more information.

Predictive and User-based Auto Insurance

Usage-based auto (UBI) insurance, also referred to as PAYD (pay-as-you-drive) or PHYD (pay-how-you-drive) insurance, is a new type of auto insurance where the premiums are dependent on the driving behaviors such as time spent on the road, distance covered, and the places where you drive. This is different from the typical auto insurance which tends to reward safe drivers by giving them lower premiums while imposing higher rates for those who have been labeled “high-risk drivers.” UBI involves installing a telematics device in your vehicle that monitors and records your driving habits such as speed, mileage, and location.

Some of the benefits of investing in user-based auto insurance with The Shay Agency in Wilkes-Barre, PA are:

Drivers are able to control their premium rates

Since the premium rates are dependent on driving habits, drivers are enticed to adopt safer driving habits and reduce mileage. This, in the long run, reduces accidents on the road which are beneficial to society.

Safety

The use of telematics offers safety benefits such as tracking stolen vehicles, monitoring driver safety, and improving accident response time. It also allows drivers to determine the most effective routes hence saving on gas and maintenance costs.

Flexibility

If a policyholder makes changes to their daily routines that would reduce the number of times they use their vehicle, for example, working from home, their premium reduction will take effect immediately.

Affordability

If drivers take into account good driving habits, they will most likely pay lower premium rates. Plus, those who are currently paying higher premiums because they are considered high-risk drivers can switch to this arrangement and pay according to their current driving patterns.

The major downside to this insurance plan is that it raises privacy issues since the vehicle has to be tracked 24/7, but with the rising technologies, there’s room for improvement. Embrace UBI and change the future of auto insurance. Contact The Shay Agency in Wilkes-Barre, PA to learn more about the coverage options you can choose from whether you live in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, or Florida.

Three Questions to Ask When Buying Home Insurance

Here at The Shay Agency in Wilkes-Barre, PA, we want to help all potential customers get the right insurance for their situation. Asking the right questions helps to ensure that the policy you buy fully covers your needs.

Here are three important questions to ask when you are looking to buy a new home insurance policy. 

How Much Coverage Do I Need

When you are looking to purchase a new home insurance policy, always ask an agent how much coverage you need. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is thinking you need to purchase a policy based on the value of your home. This may or may not be enough coverage. An insurance agent can sit down with you and determine how much coverage you need. 

What is Covered By the Insurance Policy?

Another key question to ask is what is covered by the insurance policy. Different policies offer different coverage. Always ask what is covered by the policy to help to ensure that everything within your home is covered in the event of various incidents. 

What Supplemental Policies Do You Recommend I Buy?

Lastly, be sure to ask an insurance agent what supplemental insurance policies they recommend you purchase when buying home insurance. Supplemental policies may include policies such as flood insurance. Flooding is not covered under a home insurance policy, so a supplemental policy is a must to ensure you are properly protected. An agent can help you determine what supplemental policies you need. 

If you are looking to purchase a new home insurance policy, The Shay Agency in Wilkes-Barre, PA would love to assist you. Contact us today to get a free estimate or try our online rating tool for a quote.