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!

Open your Cabin Checklist

 

I know, I know.  This winter has been never ending.  You are over it, we are over it.  But, summer will come! And you need to be prepared for that, don’t you?  Well search no further. We’ve compiled a nice little checklist to help you out and keep you on track.

Don’t forget to:

  • Call to turn on any services you shut off over the winter, including electricity, water and trash collection.
  • Check the insurance policies on your lake home and boat. Call Sentinel Assurance to tell us about the new jet ski, boat or wave runner you’d like to insure.
  • Check your boating registration and renew it if necessary. In Minnesota and Wisconsin, watercraft licenses must be renewed every three years.
  • If you plan to put in a dock, and you need help, call your crew a few weeks in advance to see if they’re available.

After a long winter away, you’ll need to be sure that your home is safe to inhabit again before you turn on your water and other systems.

  • Check the furnace and put in a new filter.
  • Check pipes for rust or damage before you turn on your plumbing and water heater. If you’re not sure how to make the call, hire a plumber to do a basic assessment.
  • Be on the lookout for signs of critters. Check screens and windows for holes and gaps and electrical cords for fraying or bite marks.
  • Inspect your deck and eaves for signs of rotting.
  • Test the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Test and replace the batteries in motion sensor lights on the front door, deck and on the way down to the lake.

Whether you’ll spend the whole summer or special weekends at your lake home, you’ll want to be sure it’s stocked with the basics. Run a quick inventory review before heading to the store for replenishments.

  • Go through your pantry and throw out any expired food, as well as anything that looks like it may have been the subject of a critter invasion.
  • Check that you’re stocked up on sunscreen and bug spray.
  • Check the stock of your bathroom toiletries. To save money and stay green buy shampoo, conditioner and body wash in bulk bottles rather than using travel samples.

Next, have fun.

We wish you a great cabin season this summer!

Lawsuits: Why you may need an Umbrella Policy

In today’s world, anyone can get hit with a lawsuit. That’s why it’s more important than ever to consider an added layer of protection for your assets – and your peace of mind.

An umbrella policy provides excess coverage above and beyond what is provided by your homeowners and auto insurance policies. As an example, let’s say your auto insurance pays $300,000 of medical expenses per accident and your umbrella policy is for $1 million. If you are sued for $900,000, your auto insurance would pay $300,000 of the damages and your umbrella policy would pay the remaining $600,000. Umbrella policies usually provide roughly $1 million to $5 million of additional coverage, and it is possible to get more if you have lots of assets to protect.

What about the legal expenses you’ll incur if you’re sued? With umbrella policies, legal expenses are covered on top of the policy amount. The policy may also pay you if your appearance at legal proceedings causes you to lose pay from work (for example, if you are an hourly employee or if you don’t have any personal or vacation days available). Since the insurance company’s money is at risk when you’re sued, it’ll want to protect that money with its own legal team, possibly a better legal team than you could afford on your own.

In addition to covering you for accidents on your property or car accidents you are found to be at fault for, an umbrella policy can also protect your dependent children (for example, if your daughter causes a car accident), any accidents caused by you or your dependent children while operating a watercraft, accidents that occur on rental property you own and personal injury lawsuits arising from slander, libel, defamation of character, false arrest, detention or imprisonment, abuse of process, malicious prosecution, shock/mental anguish and possibly more.

Take some to time to review your coverage.  An umbrella policy can save you a lot and literally cover you and your family.  Sentinel Assurance is here to help. Give us a call and we will put together a quote for you.

 

 


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