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1147 Hwy 315 Blvd
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702

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Insurance Blog

Wilkes-Barre PA Homeowners: Are You Ready for a Surprise Flood?

People living in Wilkes-Barre, PA may not spend a lot of time worrying about flooding, but it is a real threat. It is dangerously close to the Susquehanna River that surrounds the main part of the city. The river usually stands at around 510 feet. If the river rises much above this normal level, flooding can occur very quickly.

Flood Insurance that Stands By You

The Shay Agency that serves the Wilkes-Barre, PA area is involved in helping people to prepare for the unexpected so that rebuilding and repairs can begin quickly following a flood.

The average cost of flood repair is around $3700 for every 200 feet, according to one source that keeps data on the history of flooding in various areas of the country. Imagine having to pay out-of-pocket for this. Most people simply cannot afford to do so. And you shouldn’t have to. 

Know Your Risks

The NOAA Weather Service keeps logs of flood information for various areas of the country. They recorded that the flood stage of the Susquehanna River is 22 feet. It is important to monitor the current stage of the river in your area and get out of the area when it is near the flood stage, especially if you live close to the banks of the river. 

Why Have Flood Insurance?

Having adequate flood insurance before a flood hits will keep you from worrying in the event you are hit by flooding or other potential disasters. Insurance is like a seatbelt that you hope you never have to use. But if you don’t wear it, it cannot help you.

If you have concerns about whether you should carry flood insurance and how much, see The Shay Agency for more information and find out how much insurance you should carry based on your personal flood risk.

Who Needs Life Insurance in Wilkes-Barre, PA?

Though life insurance gets used for many reasons, the chief purpose of this policy is to safeguard your family and loved ones upon your demise financially. It ensures that your beneficiaries will have the financial resources needed to maintain their lifestyle. It can be utilized to pay the outstanding debt or used as income replacement. Do you still need life insurance at all in Wilkes-Barre, PA? Get in touch with our charismatic agents at The Shay Agency serving Wilkes-Barre, PA and its environs, and familiarize yourself with different life insurance coverages that suit your needs and lifestyle.

Do you need life insurance?

The easiest way to ascertain if you need life insurance in Wilkes-Barre, PA is to assess your family structure, financial status, and responsibilities. Life insurance isn’t a one-size fit; undertaking this can help you understand better which life situations you would benefit from having a policy. The following categories of groups may need life insurance.

If you are a parent

Being a parent is a rewarding and significant milestone we envy to attain in our lifetime. This period has substantial financial impacts. When you have children, a life insurance policy helps your spouse cater to the day-to-day living expenses, cover child care, and pay significant debts. Upon your demise, the proceeds of life insurance can ensure that your kids get exemplary care.

Parents with young kids or special needs dependents

Regrettably, many adults start thinking about life insurance for the first time after the baby’s arrival. Unless your family can get comfortable with your savings, which sometimes is rare, you need coverage that can help you take the general care and all the outlays that go along with raising kids like sports and recreation fees, daycare, and children’s tuition. The life insurance policy also gives financial security for special needs dependents such as specialized care through the death benefits beneficiaries get after their death.

Older adults Without Savings

Retirement-age adults devoid of a massive amount of savings to draw on might require life insurance coverage to cater to funeral or burial costs after they die.

Other vulnerable groups include:

  • Business owners
  • Adults with private student loans
  • Spouses who provide most of the income

Getting more information about a life insurance policy is instrumental in getting good coverage in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Call or visit us at The Shay Agency and get comprehensive information about life insurance coverage.

Coverage beyond basic you might want to have

Basic auto insurance is what is mandated by the state. In Pennsylvania that is liability coverage in the amount of 15/30/5. That means $15,000 for the first person injured in an accident with a total of $30,000 for the entire accident. The $5,000 is property damage. As you can see, that really is basic coverage. At The Shay Agency in Wilkes-Barre, PA our experienced staff places service first, and we will make sure you have the insurance you need. 

Additional liability

Basic liability coverage may be fine if you are someone who doesn’t have a lot of assets. But if you own a home, a business, or anything else of value, you probably should have more than just basic liability insurance. As a matter of fact, having an umbrella policy is probably warranted. 

Collision

Collision coverage provides coverage for your vehicle in the event you are the driver responsible for an accident. Since most people count on their vehicle in order to get to work and do all the things people do, being able to get it repaired or replaced makes good sense. 

Comprehensive 

Life is filled with hazards many of which are beyond your control. If one of these hazards damages your vehicle or your vehicle is stolen, knowing that it will be repaired or replaced provided peace of mind. 

Rental reimbursement

Rental reimbursement coverage will provide a rental car to you when your vehicle is damaged in an at-fault accident or a beyond your control event. The number of days is not unlimited so get your vehicle repaired as quickly as possible. 

Roadside assistance

You may be paying a yearly fee for AAA when the reality is you can spend a lot less getting it through your auto insurance.

Contact The Shay Agency in Wilkes-Barre, PA for all your insurance needs. 

Home insurance FAQs

Home may be where the heart is, but it is also one of the largest investments you will ever make. Protecting it solidifies your financial situation. Risks are everywhere and knowing what you need to be protected from helps you to make sure you have the right coverage. At The Shay Agency in Wilkes-Barre, PA, we are an independent agency, and we believe it is our responsibility to represent our customer’s interests. We will be there for you if you ever need to file a claim, and we are here to discuss any questions you may have.

Do I need to have home insurance?

If you own your home outright, then no you don’t have to have home insurance, it is not mandated by law. If however, you have a mortgage; your lender will require that you have enough home insurance to protect their investment in your home. 

What is the right deductible?

The right deductible is one you can easily pay and allows your home insurance to be affordable for you. The higher your deductible the lower your premium. Average deductibles range from as low as $500. 

What discounts are available?

Talk to your agent about available discounts. If you get your home and auto insurance from the same carrier you may be eligible for a multi-policy discount. Having safety equipment installed in your home and being close to a fire station are also ways to qualify for a discount. 

What things aren’t covered by home insurance?

Home insurance doesn’t cover everything. It excludes floods, sewer backup, earthquakes, mudslides, and sinkholes. Don’t expect your insurance to pay for termite or mold damage. 

When you are in the market for home insurance The Shay Agency in Wilkes-Barre, PA is here to meet with you. Give us a call or visit our office for a free quote. 

Reasons You Need Life Insurance

As people get older, they start to realize the importance of having a life insurance policy in place. The agents at The Shay Agency in Wilkes-Barre, PA also know and understand the importance of having a life insurance policy in place.

Protect Your Loved Ones

If you bring in the main income for your family, a life insurance policy is a must because it will help replace the loss of your income if you die. Even if you are a young parent, it is important to have a policy in place to help your partner support your children if you suffer an untimely death. It will help your loved ones with their day-to-day expenses, house payments, car payments, and more.

Inheritance Money

A life insurance policy will create an inheritance that you can leave behind for your loved ones. You can even name them as the beneficiaries of your policy to ensure that they receive the money. This is true with all three main types of life insurance which include whole life, universal life, and term life insurance. This is a wonderful option for leaving your children money that will help them in their lives. They can opt for higher education, get married, or start a business with the money you leave behind from your life insurance policy.

Expenses

A life insurance policy will help pay for your final expenses, hospital bills, and even expenses that your loved ones incur. They can pay off credit cards, car loans, and more with money from your life insurance policy.

Peace of Mind

Since we do not know what the future holds for any of us, life insurance can provide protection for anything that may come up because you can even borrow from your life insurance policy to pay off debts while you are still alive. Ultimately, a life insurance policy will provide you with the Peace of Mind that you want and deserve. Call the life insurance agents at The Shay Agency in Wilkes-Barre, PA to get your policy started today.

What to do when you get into an accident with an uninsured motorist

What to do when you get into an accident with an uninsured motorist

We buy auto insurance to protect ourselves from the financial losses related to accidents. The sad part? They happen all the time. Despite auto insurance being a legal responsibility in Wilkes-Barre, PA, some drivers still drive without insurance. So how do you get out of such a mess? Here are a few steps experts at the Shay Agency recommend taking if you are hit by an uninsured driver.

Call the police and your insurance company.

Always call the police whenever you are hit by another driver, irrespective of whether they have insurance or not. Calling the police is even more essential if the other party is uninsured, as their report will help in the claim process.

Get information

Most uninsured drivers will try to do something to avoid the law, like running away. Make sure you get the vehicle details as well as their contact in case they make a move. There will always be witnesses and contact information as you will need them when filing a lawsuit.

Gather evidence

Record the time, place, and how the accident occurred while it’s all clear in your head. Take pictures and videos capturing the damage or injuries. You will need this information when getting compensation from your policy if you have uninsured motorist coverage. Get the name and the badge number of the officer attending to your accident, the weather at that time, and any relevant information that can help your insurance company get you fully compensated.

Don’t accept money

Lastly, the uninsured driver might try to bribe you into accepting a certain amount of money to avoid legal repercussions. Remember, you do not know the level of damage on your car and your injury levels. The amount you receive may not be adequate to cover your losses.

Are you looking for an insurance company in Wilkes-Barre, PA? At the Shay Agency, we guide you through your auto insurance policy and ensure that you are adequately covered. Contact us for a deal.

Three key options to consider when you purchase home insurance

If you own a home, you need to purchase home insurance. However, you do have a few options to choose from when it comes to your home insurance policy. We offer home insurance for those in Wilkes-Barre, PA at The Shay Agency.

The following are three key options to consider when you purchase home insurance.

Amount of coverage regarding liability expenses

You will be able to choose from various maximum coverage options regarding liability expenses. You might find policies offering as little as $100,000 in liability coverage or much more than $300,000. You need to calculate your liability coverage needs depending on your risk of experiencing a liability lawsuit at your property. 

Additional living expense coverage

It’s always a good idea to invest in added coverage for additional living expenses. If severe damage occurs at your property, you might be temporarily unable to live at your property. In this scenario, it’s important to invest in coverage for additional living expenses. 

With additional living expense coverage, you’ll have the rent costs for a temporary living space covered on your home insurance policy. 

Actual cash value vs. replacement cost

One of the most basic decisions you’ll make is whether you want an actual cash value or replacement cost policy. Actual cash value policies tend to be lower cost, but they also don’t provide as much coverage. Replacement cost coverage is more secure in the event of a damage claim for your property. 

Let us help you choose between various options for your home insurance solution in Wilkes-Barre, PA. We can help you learn more about your options when it comes to home insurance at The Shay Agency. 

What commercial insurance does my retail location need?

At The Shay Agency, we want you to obtain the best possible coverage for your Wilkes-Barre, PA business. If you own a retail business, your storefront needs different insurance than a law office or a plumber. You need multiple policies.

Retail businesses, including jewelry stores, florists, clothing and apparel stores, grocery and liquor stores, pet shops and pet stores, and electronics stores need an array of coverages starting with a retail business policy. A retail business insurance policy provides a combination of coverages. It includes policy coverage for:

  • liability to protect you from lawsuit settlements that could wipe you out from incidents like customer slips and falls, 
  • property damage from named perils, 
  • theft, 
  • some policies include liability for employee injuries and illnesses. 

You should also purchase glass insurance to protect your storefront windows from named perils and vandals. If your windows get broken for essentially any reason, this insurance pays for their replacement.

Boiler insurance also makes good sense as a purchase if the building you own or lease uses a boiler for heat and to heat the water.  It also covers other business machinery necessary for the business, such as the key cutting machine at a locksmith’s or copiers at a printing shop.

You will need commercial auto insurance on your business vehicle especially if you use it for deliveries. This policy provides full coverage for the vehicle and is valid for every licensed driver who works at your business.

You also require a workers’ compensation policy. Each state requires this type of policy which pays for the medical care and lost wages of your employees if they incur an on-the-job injury or develop an illness from exposures on-the-job.

Contact The Shay Agency serving Wilkes-Barre, PA for more information on the business insurance that can protect your business. Let us help you get the coverage you need.

Required Auto Insurance in Pennsylvania

As in other states, Pennsylvania sets its own laws about which types of insurance drivers should have. There are three that are required by the state and several other types that aren’t required but are good to have. If you have questions about your auto insurance or you need a policy, call us at The Shay Agency in Wilkes-Barre, PA to talk with an agent. 

Bodily Injury Liability

One of the required types of auto insurance is a specific amount of bodily injury liability coverage. This pays the medical bills for other parties who are injured in an accident with you. This coverage does not include your own medical bills. 

Personal Injury Protection

This required coverage covers you in case of injuries from an accident. It doesn’t cover other people’s medical bills- only your own. 

Property Damage Liability 

This is also required under Pennsylvania law. This type of coverage covers the property damage that you cause when you are at fault for an accident. It includes both vehicle damage and damage to other property. 

Suggested Auto Coverage

If you have those three types of coverage, you’re legal to be on the road. However, these insurance policies don’t cover everything. They don’t offer any protection for your vehicle, and they provide little in the way of liability. Many people expand their auto coverage so that they are better protected in case of accidents. 

Collision coverage is a good type of policy to have, though it isn’t required. It pays for damage to your vehicle when there is a collision. This can include both repair and replacement coverage. Comprehensive coverage is another suggested policy. This insurance covers your vehicle when it gets damaged or destroyed by a wide range of incidents and accidents. 

Get Your Auto Policy

If you need coverage for your car, or you want to add more coverage to it, give us a call at The Shay Agency in Wilkes-Barre, PA.

How Much Home Insurance Do You Need?

As a homeowner, it’s important that you purchase the correct amount of home insurance to replace your house and belongings after an unexpected event like a natural disaster. The Shay Agency, which serves Wilkes-Barre, PA and surrounding areas, is happy to consult with you and discuss precisely how much home insurance you’ll need for your individual situation. You’ll need to have enough home insurance to cover the following: 

Your Home
You’ll need to have enough insurance to cover repairs to your home or potentially rebuilding it entirely. You’ll first need to have a full assessment of your property performed so that you have documentation of how much your home is worth and how much it would cost to replace its various elements. If your home is damaged in a natural disaster, a fire, or another adverse event, your insurance policy can help you replace what you’ve lost. 

Special Features
As you note details about your house and property with an insurance adjuster, be sure to call out any special features that will cost additional money to replace. Do you have an attractive stained glass window, custom hardwood flooring, or specialty woodwork in your home? These will all make your property more valuable and should be noted on your insurance policy. 

Your Possessions 
You’ll also need enough home insurance to cover the majority of your possessions. Spend some time taking an inventory of the items in your home that will be expensive to replace. Consider taking photos of your items, or taking a video tour of your home and noting all of your belongings, as well as the date and time. 

As you determine how much home insurance you need to carry on your house and property, speak with a skilled insurance professional with The Shay Agency. They’ll be happy to help you determine the exact amount you need to protect yourself against damage to your Wilkes-Barre, PA home.