Why Your Claims History Affects Your Auto Insurance Rates

Here’s why your claims history matters to your auto insurer.Why Your Claims History Affects Your Auto Insurance Rates

When you apply for auto insurance, the insurance company will take several factors into account when determining your rates.  One of the things that they will look at is your history of past claims.  But why do insurers place so much weight onto your past auto claims?  Here’s what you need to know.

More Claims Mean Higher Costs

Auto insurers use your claims history to determine if you are a high or low-risk driver.  If you have a track record of making a lot of claims, then insurers will consider you riskier to insure.  As always, the higher-risk you are, the higher your insurance rates will be.  On a positive note, if you are a safe driver, then your auto insurance rates will be on the lower side.

How Do Insurers Know About Previous Claims?

Auto insurers will track claims from different carries with a CLUE (“Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange”) report.  CLUE is a database that all insurers use to track and review your claims history.  All insurance companies submit monthly loss history reports to the CLUE database.  These reports include your personal information, your claims history for the month, and inquiries.  These reports remain in the system for 7 years before they are deleted.  Before offering you coverage, all auto insurers will check your CLUE report to determine how high-risk you are.

Comprehensive Claims

It’s important to note that comprehensive damage claims will not affect your auto insurance premiums.  Because comprehensive claims are a result of things outside of your control, such as fire, storm damage, theft, and so on, insurers will not hold these claims against you.  It is only the claims for actual at-fault auto accidents that will affect your rates.

This is why your claims history matters to your auto insurer.  Do you have more questions regarding your auto insurance?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  We are ready to assist you with all your car coverage needs today.

Tips to Get Your Home Ready for Spring

Try out these suggestions to get your home ready for the change in seasons.Tips to Get Your Home Ready for Spring

With spring on its way, it’s time to get your home ready for the change in seasons.  Not sure which home maintenance tasks you should complete to get ready for spring?  Then crossing these items off your to-do list is a great place to start.

  • Inspect Your Roof

Now that the weather is a little clearer, you should take the opportunity to inspect your roof for signs of damage and wear.   By taking the time to replace damaged or missing shingles and patch up cracks, you can ensure that your roof holds up against spring showers.

  • Examine Your Concrete

This spring, you should also check the concrete of your driveway and walkways for cracks and other damages.  Because cracks in your concrete can trap water and direct it towards your home’s foundation, it’s important that you repair these damages asap.  Simply applying concrete crack filler or silicone caulk will seal up your concrete and keep your home safe.

  • Check Your Power Equipment

The return of nice weather means that you will probably be spending a lot more time on yard maintenance and landscaping.  However, before you undertake these tasks, it important to check your power equipment and make sure that it’s working properly.  For instance, you should check things like your lawn mower, hedge clippers, chainsaw, and so on.  Making sure this equipment is well-maintained will ensure that your yard work goes much more smoothly.

These are some 0f the home maintenance tasks that you should take care of in preparation for spring.  Want another way to take care of your home this season? Then make sure you have the right homeowners insurance protections in place.  For assistance with your home coverage needs, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services for assistance today.

Understanding Term Life Insurance

Here’s what you need to know about a term life insurance policy.Understanding Term Life Insurance

While most people understand the importance of securing life insurance coverage, many are unclear about their coverage options. One of the most popular types of life insurance is term life. But how does this policy work and what does it cover? Read on to learn more about term life insurance coverage.

What is it?

Term life insurance policies offer life insurance coverage for a set amount of time, or term. Usually, term lengths last for anywhere between 10 and 30 years. Many people secure term life policies because they are straightforward and because they offer coverage for an important period of their lives. For instance, many people secure a term life policy to last them until they retire or until their children are no longer dependent on them.

How does it work?

During your term, you will make your regular premium payments. If you die sometime during your term, your beneficiaries will receive a previously agreed upon death benefit. However, once your term length ends, your life insurer no longer has any obligation to you. If you were to die once your term is up, your beneficiaries will not receive compensation. If you still need coverage after your policy expires, you will have to secure a new policy.

How much does it cost?

Because term life policies only offer you coverage for a set amount of time, they tend to be cheaper than whole life insurance options. That being said, the actual cost of your premium will be dependent on a variety of individual factors. For instance, your insurance costs will vary according to your age, overall health, your lifestyle, and so on.

This is what you need to know about term life insurance policies. Do you have further inquiries regarding your life insurance coverage? If so, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services. We are ready to assist you with all your personal coverage needs today.

Happy Holidays from Miller Carlisle Insurance Services

Wishing you a happy and safe holiday season.Happy Holidays from Miller Carlisle Insurance Services

With the holidays finally here, we at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services would like to take a moment to wish you and your loved ones a very happy holiday season. Of course, being safe is extremely important this time of year. As experts in risk management and insurance, we know exactly how to keep our clients safe from all the risks they face. Try out these safety tips to protect the people and things that matter most to you this holiday season.

Fire Safety

  • If you want to light up your fireplace this winter, make sure you are taking all the necessary safety measures. Please refer to our blog “Winter Fireplace and Chimney Care” for some helpful safety tips.
  • Do not use real candles to decorate your home; having lit candles increases your home’s risk for fire significantly. Instead, try using electric or flameless candles to decorate.
  • If you want to decorate your home with lights, make sure you inspect each light for damages. Discard any strings of light with broken bulbs, frayed cords, or exposed wires, as they pose a fire risk for your home.
  • When cooking, never leave your stove or oven unattended while they are switched on.

Traveling Safety

  • Before you set out on a winter road trip, make sure you have your car inspected by a professional. This will reduce your chances of breaking down in the midst of your journey.
  • Check the weather conditions you will encounter on your drive. Then, make sure your car is properly equipped to deal with these conditions. For instance, if you are expected to encounter snow, make sure your car is equipped with winter tires, snow chains, and heavy-duty windshield wipers.
  • During your drive you are sure to encounter drivers who are behaving unsafely. Do not engage with these drivers or react in a fit of rage. Instead, do your best to avoid them and drive defensively when you are near them.

Home Security Safety

  • If you are going to be away during the holidays, keep your plans under wraps. You do not want to advertise that your home will be uninhabited for days at a time.
  • While you are gone, hire a house sitter or ask a friend to collect your mail and check on your home every day. This will reduce your chances of a break-in while you are gone.
  • Another way to protect against a home invasion is by installing a home security system.

These are some of the safety tips we urge you to take this holiday season. Want another way to stay safe? Make sure you have the right personal insurance protections in place. For assistance will all your coverage needs, contact us at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services today.

Smart Hacks for Defrosting Your Car’s Windshield

Here are some of the tips you should try to defrost your windshield this winter.Smart Hacks for Defrosting Your Car’s Windshield

If you cannot keep your car inside this winter, you will have to deal with a fresh layer of frost or ice on your windshield every morning. While this is annoying, having a clear windshield is essential for safe driving. To ensure you drive safely this winter, here are some of the suggestions you should try to quickly and effectively remove ice and frost from your car’s windshield.

1) Ice Scraper

Using an ice scraper is the most tried and true ice removal method. Most scrapers feature a scraper to remove thick sheets of ice while the opposite end features a soft brush that you can use to clear away snow. Make sure you use each side for their respective jobs to avoid scratches on your glass or paint.

2) De-Icing Fluid

If the scraping method is too time-consuming, you can facilitate the process by using a chemical de-icer. While you can purchase this liquid at your local auto or hardware store, you can also make your own with ingredients you already have in your home. To make your own de-icer, combine one part water with two parts isopropyl alcohol. Spray this mixture onto your windshield and the ice should simply melt away.

3) Warm Water

If the ice on your car is particularly stubborn, you can pour warm water onto your windshield to melt it down slightly. However, you need to be very careful if you are using this method. Applying water that’s too hot could cause your glass to shatter. Be cautious and only use water that is lukewarm at its hottest.

These are some of the suggestions you should try to quickly and effectively de-ice your car’s windshield this winter. Want another way to drive safety this season? Make sure you have the right auto insurance protections in place. For assistance with all your car coverage needs, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services today.

Do I Have Enough Personal Liability Insurance?

Is your homeowners policy offering you enough liability protection?Do I Have Enough Personal Liability Insurance?

When you secure a homeowners insurance policy, it actually consists of four main coverages: property coverage, personal property coverage, loss of use coverage, and personal liability coverage. Your personal liability coverage is what will offer financial protection in the event that an accident takes place on your property, or if you are found responsible for third-party injuries or property damage. As personal liability issues tend to result in the most expensive claims, it’s important to ensure that you have adequate protection. Here’s what you need to know about securing the comprehensive personal liability insurance that you need.

Do I have adequate coverage?

When it comes down to it, there is no set amount of liability coverage that you need to carry. Because everyone has different risk factors, everyone has different liability insurance needs. The amount of coverage that you carry is dependent on a series of individual factors. For instance, if you own a pet, have a swimming pool, or have a trampoline on your property, you would need more coverage than someone who does not. Additionally, your coverage limits should increase along with your income, investments, and home property value. To determine exactly how much liability protection you need, speak to a trusted insurance agent today.

Can I increase my coverage?

If you would like to secure more personal liability insurance, you have some options. You can speak to your insurer and have the personal liability coverage limits on your existing homeowners policy increased. This is convenient if you only want to increase your coverage a little. If you would like a more comprehensive insurance solution, you should secure a personal umbrella policy. This type of insurance offers coverage in the event that a liability claim exceeds your existing coverage limits or is not covered under your policy. Investing in an umbrella policy is a great way to fill your liability coverage gap.

This is what you need to know about securing the right amount of personal liability coverage. Do you have further questions regarding your liability or homeowners insurance? If so, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services. We are ready to assist you with all your coverage needs today.

Seniors, Stay Safe This Winter

As temperatures drop, seniors should take extra precautions to ensure their safety.Seniors, Stay Safe This Winter

Just as cold weather conditions can wreak havoc on our homes and the world around us, it can also affect our bodies. As we age, our bodies become increasingly susceptible to the cold. This means that seniors need to take additional health and safety precautions when temperatures drop. Here are some of the things seniors should do to protect themselves.

Watch Out for Ice

As you get older, your bones become more brittle, making you more susceptible to breaks and fractures. Broken hips are a particularly common injury for the elderly, usually caused by a slip or a fall. During winter, patches of ice can make it dangerous for anyone to walk around outside. However, it is especially dangerous for seniors who could easily break a hip or another bone during a fall. The best way to avoid slipping and falling is by staying vigilant and avoiding walking over patches of ice. Ice isn’t the only slipping risk that seniors face this winter, as wet or snowy ground can also increase the chances of slipping. To reduce your chances of taking a nasty fall, make sure you are wearing shoes with non-skid soles every time you venture outside.

Stay Warm

Older individuals can lose body heat very rapidly, making them more vulnerable to hypothermia. Additionally, because your body and immune system are not as strong as they once were, hypothermia can lead to many other serious medical concerns. For instance, it could result in a heart attack, kidney problems, and, in the most extreme cases, death. This is why it’s so important for seniors to keep their body temperatures up. You can accomplish this by keeping the heat on inside your home, and by dressing in layers. When you wear multiple layers, you have an easier time trapping your body heat and staying adequately warm.

These are some of the things seniors can do to stay healthy and safe this winter. Looking for another way to take care of yourself this season? Make sure you have the right personal insurance protections in place. For assistance with your coverage needs, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services today.

Handling Family Pets During an Emergency Situation

Here’s what you should do to keep your pets safe during an emergency situation.Handling Family Pets During an Emergency Situation

Between the wildfires on the West Coast and the hurricanes buffeting the east, this country has seen its fair share of natural disasters and emergency situations. These recent events have reminded people across the country about the importance of emergency planning and being ready for the worst. While you may have a plan for your family members, what about your four-legged friends? If you are not sure how to prepare your pets for an emergency, here are some of the steps you should take.

Pet IDs

If you are forced to evacuate your home, there’s a chance that you and your pet may be separated in the chaos. However, taking certain precautions beforehand will ensure your swift reunion. For instance, you should always make sure that your pets are wearing tags with your most updated address and contact information stamped on it. Additionally, you should have your pets microchipped. This way you can still be identified as your pet’s owner even if they somehow slip out of their collars or lose their tags.

Gather Essential Supplies

Just as you made an emergency kit for the human members of your family, you will also need to make a kit for your pets. Your emergency kit should include food, water, a pet first-aid kit, current medications, disposable bags for waste clean-up, bedding, an individual carrier for each pet, and some toys to keep them occupied. Have this kit assembled at the first sign of danger so you can just grab these supplies, scoop up your pet, and be good to go.

Find Shelter

If you are forced to evacuate, some human shelters will not let you bring your pets with you. If this is the case, you will have to take your pets to another safe location. Your local veterinarian or animal shelter should have a list of havens where pet owners can take their pets during an emergency evacuation. If you have a little more time, you can also make arrangements with friends or family members to house your pets until the emergency has passed.

These are some of the steps you should take to keep your pets safe during an emergency situation. Want another way to prepare for a natural disaster or emergency? Make sure you have the proper insurance protections in place. For assistance with all your personal coverage needs, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services to get started today.

It’s Snowing—What Does My Home Insurance Cover?

From ice damage to snow removal, here’s what you can expect from your homeowners insurance this winter.It’s Snowing—What Does My Home Insurance Cover?

If you live in an area that routinely experiences snowfall and freezing temperatures, you know that these extreme weather conditions pose a considerable risk to your home. While you probably have homeowners insurance in place, you might not know what your policy covers. Here’s what your home insurance will and will not cover this winter.

Covered

Luckily, standard home insurance offers a wide array of coverages that may come in handy this winter. For instance, your homeowners policy will offer coverage for the damages that your home and personal possessions sustain during a storm. This includes the damages caused by lightning strikes and wind. Here’s a list of some of the things your home policy will cover this winter:

  • Damage caused by hail
  • Damage caused by wind
  • Damage caused by fallen trees
  • Damage caused by the formation of ice dams
  • Damage to your home’s roof
  • Damage caused by frozen and burst pipes (Note: this coverage doesn’t always come standard)

In addition to this coverage, your policy will also offer you personal liability coverage and loss of use coverage in the event that storm damage is so extensive that you are forced to temporarily live elsewhere.

Not Covered

While your homeowners insurance does offer you a relatively comprehensive list of coverages, you don’t have coverage for every risk that your home faces. For instance, if snow accumulates on your roof and on your property, your insurance will not offer coverage to take care of its removal. Snow removal is seen as the homeowners responsibility and therefore not under your insurer’s jurisdiction. The only time you may have coverage for ice and snow removal is if it needs to be removed as part of a covered repair. Even in this scenario, policyholders may have to pay for this removal out of pocket.

Another major risk that your homeowners insurance will not protect against is flood damage. If you would like to secure coverage against flood damages to your home, you will need to get a specialty flood insurance policy.

This what your homeowners insurance will and will not cover this winter. Are you looking to secure the right coverages to protect your home and belongings? Don’t hesitate to contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services. Our expert team is ready to get you covered today.

What is Non-Owner Car Insurance?

Here’s what you need to know about non-owner car insurance.What is Non-Owner Car Insurance?

If you don’t own your own car, you may not see a need for auto insurance. However, there are certain scenarios in which having car coverage is extremely important. This is where non-owner car insurance comes into play. Read on to learn more about this type of auto coverage.

What is it?

Non-owner car insurance offers the policyholder liability coverage in the event that they get into an accident or cause third-party losses while operating a vehicle. Because the policy owner does not own their own vehicle, this type of insurance does not offer coverage for any damages that a car might sustain when the policyholder is behind the wheel.

Who needs it?

This type of auto insurance is a great investment for individuals who often borrow their friends’ or family members’ cars to get around, people who rent cars frequently, and drivers who often utilize car-sharing services such as Zipcar. When you borrow another’s car, their insurance will offer coverage for any accidents you get into. However, if you are involved in a particularly expensive claim, your non-owner car insurance will offer coverage to supplement the primary car owner’s policy once it reaches its coverage limits. If you frequently rent cars, non-owners car insurance will ensure that you do not have to buy liability coverage through the car rental company. This will help you save money, as rental car insurance is notoriously expensive. Finally, when you use a car-sharing service such as Zipcar, the company will offer drivers some coverage. Your non-owner car insurance will simply supplement this coverage to ensure that you do not have to pay out of pocket for any claims that exceed the car service’s coverage limits.

How much is it?

Because non-owner car insurance only offers liability coverages, these types of policies tend to be far cheaper than standard auto policies. However, the actual cost of your policy will depend on a series of individual factors such as your driving history, age, gender, and how frequently you intend to drive.

This is everything you need to know about non-owner car insurance. Do you have additional questions regarding your auto insurance options? If so, contact the professionals at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services. We are ready to assist you with all your coverage needs today.