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7 Reasons to Choose an Independent Insurance Agent

Insurance can be complicated.  How do you know you’re making the right decision when it comes to protecting the most important things in your life?  Find out how an Independent Insurance Agent is a simple solution to this!

    We give you more choices and options

    The beauty of working with an independent insurance agent is that we represent many different insurance carriers that offer a wide variety of coverages at varying price points.  We do the work of shopping your quotes around with those different companies to determine which one is the best fit for the types of coverage you need with the best rates for that coverage.  We shop, you save!

    We are industry experts

    Insurance is complicated, let’s be real!  We are licensed and trained in industry verbiage and terminology and are equipped to be able to explain to you, in simple terms, which help you to make informed decisions.  Why go to google and confuser yourself on the different kinds of insurance that are available, when we are just a phone call away?

    We are your advocate

    Since we work for YOU and not the insurance company, we are your advocate!  We will assist with claims, billing or changes your coverage directly with the insurance company.

    We are your neighbor

    We are a small, local business that shares your passion for our community and famillies.  We are woman-owned and have a pusle on the local community and its benefits and challenges.  You won’t sit on hold in a quete, but can walk right into our quaint office in Rosemount.

    We are a one-stop-shop

    With the ability to write with so many different insurance companies, we are able to meet all of your insurance needs.  Everything from Home, Auto, Life & Business coverages, we work with tons of companies that offer a variety of coverages.

    We are your personal advisor

    Insurance isn’t just about finding the cheapest prices.  It’s about making sure that you aren’t suprised by unexpected expenses if a loss were to happen.  Through working one-on-one with you, we listen to meet your specific, unique insurance needs.  

    We are your lifelong advisor

    We love building life long relationships with our customers and often times, they become good friends.  We know that life is ever-evolving and we work with you throughout those stsages.  Everything from buying a home, getting married, growing your family, teen drivers and getting ready for that retirement home.

    Safety Tips For Boating At Night

     

    Essential Safety Tips for Boating at Night

    If you own a boat (or better yet, as the joke goes, you know someone with a boat), you’ve probably thought about spending some evenings on the water — especially in the summertime.

    It’s a great thought, of course. But, when you’re boating after dark, you need to think about staying safe, even as you enjoy the stillness of the water and the starry sky.

    Here are seven things to keep in mind, both before you hit the water and once you’re out cruising around:

    Have a plan — and tools to help if it goes wrong.
    Don’t go boating at night in an unfamiliar place. You can’t see as well, obviously, so stick to where you know the ropes, so to speak. And because things look different in the dark, make sure you have the correct navigational tools in case you get lost.

    Share your plan— Always give a friend or family member your “float plan.” Include where you’re going, your boat’s description and registration information, who’s with you and when you’ll be back.

    Check – and dress for – the weather— On top of the other difficulties of boating at night, you don’t want to get caught in a storm if you can help it. And you want to be comfortable, so be sure to bring clothing appropriate for the forecast. A sweatshirt, blanket and extra towels may come in handy, even in the summertime.

    Do a pre-trip inspection— This is good advice for daytime boating as well, but at night it’s crucial that your navigation lights work, for starters. You also need a horn, plenty of fuel, a radio, a flashlight, flares, fire extinguishers and life jackets for all passengers.

    Slow down— Speed is a factor in many boating accidents, and the limited visibility at night makes the water even more dangerous. Remember, you aren’t going to be the only one on the water at night, so know the right-of-way rules.

    Pay attention— Know how to monitor the navigation lights of other vessels to recognize which direction they are going. Be particularly cautious about small vessels, such as canoes and kayaks, as well as anchored or drifting boats. Their lights can be easily confused with lights onshore.

    Don’t get distracted — or drunk— It’s never okay to drink and operate a boat, so be sure you have a designated driver. And, though you’re out there to have fun, make sure you can still hear the sounds from approaching vessels. Keep the stereo low and your ears open.

    While these tips are important, there’s nothing like experience to help ensure a safe voyage. If you’re a new boater or just in an unfamiliar vessel, you may want to put in more hours during the day before tackling an area at night. Even then, start with short evening outings and work your way up to a moonlight ride. And don’t forget to turn on the lights at the dock before you go!

    What should I do if I have a claim?

     

     

     

    You’ve just been involved in an auto accident. The most important thing is your safety. If you are injured , please call for emergency help right away.  Here are some additional steps to help you file a claim on your auto insurance:

    • Call for emergency assistance if needed.
    • Once all parties are safe it’s helpful to take pictures of the damage and exchange insurance and driver information.
    • Next call your agent whether you are at fault or not
    • Follow the directions your agent gives you to provide all documentation related to the accident and file your claim. You may need a police report.
    • Keep copies of all your documentation and bills related to the accident. Jot down detailed notes following conversations about the accident. You need to know who you spoke with and what they said, at what date and time, and how to contact the person.
    • Find out from your agent:
      • Time limitations for filing your claims and submitting bills.
      • Time limitations for resolving claim disputes.
      • When you can expect the insurance company to contact you.
      • Whether you need estimates for the damages.
      • Whether your policy covers a rental car while your car is being repaired and how much it covers.

     

    Next we will cover the steps to take to file a claim on your homeowner’s insurance:

    • Report any crime to the police if its due to a burglary or a theft
    • Phone your insurance professional immediately
    • Have the insurance adjuster inspect the damage
    • Make any temporary repairs to prevent further damage to your home or items in it
    • Prepare a list of lost or damaged articles
    • If you need to relocate, save your receipts, some of those costs may be reimbursed

    We hope this has helped you navigate the claims’ process and answered any of the questions you may have had.  If we can be of further help, feel free to give us a call here at Sentinel Assurance at 651-237-5180.

     

    Top Reasons to Check Your Insurance

    Insurance.  Love it or hate it, when life happens … you are glad you, your family, your home and your belongings covered.  Sometimes it can be an afterthought, so here are a few times that you need to check and/or update your insurance.

    Your family status changes: If you’re marrying, expecting a baby, or adopting a child, you’ll want to protect your growing family with adequate life insurance and disability income insurance. Losing a family member through death or divorce should also prompt a policy review.

    Your children grow up: When you have a new teen driver, adequate auto insurance is a must. You may be eligible for discounts.  If your student is leaving for college or has recently graduated, it’s a good time to consider personal property, liability, and renters insurance for the new living arrangements.

    You’re moving or remodeling: Whenever your address changes, review your homeowners insurance to make sure the new property is adequately protected. It’s also a good time to update your home inventory – whether you’re adding items such as new furniture or scaling back for a move to a smaller home. Also, be sure to update your coverage if you renovate your current home or make updates.

    You’re starting a business: If you are going to rent office space or open a home-based business, include a thorough insurance review in your start-up plans. Depending on the size of your business, you may have to consider property and liability, commercial vehicle, and workers’ compensation coverage, as well as a health care plan for employees. If you’re a sole proprietor working from home, be sure to review your homeowners plan to see that your business and equipment are fully covered.

    Sentinel Assurance has you covered, let us know of any updates, or simply if you are unsure on what you need for coverage. We are here for you and can help. 651-237-5180 for a free quote.

    Back to School, Back to Basics-Umbrella Policy

    It’s back to school time!  It’s that time of year where you buy school supplies and new shoes and make sure everyone has all they need and prep yourself for a new routine.  We love the crisp weather and fall sweaters.  We want to talk about something that will make sure you have all the things YOU need. If something were to happen to you and your family or someone else at your home, would you be covered?

    Before you roll your eyes or fade away because this info is bland or boring, I promise to keep it short and simple.

    An umbrella policy is a type of insurance that adds an extra layer of protection for you and your assets when you need coverage that exceeds the limits of your homeowners or auto insurance. For example, if you’re at fault for a multiple-vehicle accident, medical bills and property damages could quickly add up to more than your auto insurance will cover. If you’re sued for the difference, your savings, your home and even your future wages could be at stake!

    You can protect yourself from a situation like this with a personal liability umbrella policy. For a few hundred dollars a year, an umbrella policy can increase your liability coverage from the standard $500,000 to $5 million. Talk with us here at Sentinel Assurance to determine the type of insurance coverage that’s right for you and your family.

    See? We kept it short and sweet and that’s our process here…let us know if you want a quote on an umbrella policy, we will keep that short and sweet too!

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    The Steps in Handling a Car Accident

    Do you have teen drivers in your home?  Maybe you are doing some distracted driving yourself.  An unexpected car accident can leave you feeling a bit scattered. That’s why it’s important to brush up on post-accident procedures. Here are 7 steps guide can help make the moments after an accident less stressful — and the claims process a whole lot smoother.

    1.Move to a safe area if you can

    If it’s safe to do so and you aren’t seriously injured, move your car out of further harm’s way, like to the shoulder of the road. If moving your car just isn’t possible, flip on your hazards to warn other drivers that your vehicle isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

    2.Stop your vehicle and get out

    Make sure your car is no longer moving, turn off the engine, shift into park, or set the hand brake if you drive a manual. Take a moment to catch your breath. Check to make sure it’s safe to get out of your car before opening the door.

    3.Check on others involved

    Check on all the other parties involved, including drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, to make sure no one is hurt. Call 911 if anyone may be injured. Even a seemingly minor symptom like dizziness should be checked out by a health care professional.

    4.Call the police to the scene

    Even in minor accidents, a police accident report can prove invaluable when dealing with your car insurance company and other drivers. Cooperate fully, but avoid admitting fault or blaming others while at the scene. Let the police objectively judge events and determine who, if anyone, is at fault in the crash. If the police can’t make it to the scene (which is more likely if there are no injuries), you can file an accident report through your state’s DMV.

    5.Gather info

    Try to write down as much info as possible in the accident aftermath, including:

    • Driver and passenger names
    • License plate numbers
    • Insurance info
    • Makes and models of all vehicles involved
    • Contact info for any eyewitnesses
    • Location of the accident
    • The name and badge number of any responding police officers

    6.Document the scene

    If you have a smartphone with a camera, snap some photos of the accident scene. They’ll come in handy during the claim process.

    7.File your insurance claim

    After step 7, it’s our turn to help. We’ll work with you to get your car repaired as quickly as possible. Call us at 952-479-5781

    We sincerely hope this post gives you some tips if you are ever in the situation above. Safe driving!


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