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The Not At All Annual Phoenix Insurance Holiday Gift Giving Guide 2016 (Part Two)

I feel like I did pretty well writing about insurance related gifts in the first installment of The Not At All Annual Phoenix Insurance Holiday Gift Giving Guide 2016. I also did a really good job of researching that first blog for gifts, and I ended up with enough to do a part two. As the great Jerry Reed once said, “when you’re hot you’re hot” , and I am about as hot as I am going to get at doing this task for our independent insurance agency. As I look out of the window here at our Dallas World Headquarters, the weather is beautiful, and the boss is buying lunch for our office, and promises to unchain me from the blogging table as soon as I write a few more blogs about home insurance, and auto insurance.

Buckle up, buttercup; here are more of the best gifts for 2016 that might just help to keep your auto insurance and home insurance rates down.

 

  1. Vino To Go Double Wall Acrylic Tumbler. $10.79 for two.

 

Put white grape juice in and let the kids use them in public!
Put white grape juice in and let the kids use them in public!

 

So I know it says “to go”, but I am legally bound as an insurance man to say that you shouldn’t use these for “to go” wine situations, unless you are just a passenger. I think they are a great gift for your friend who has a white carpet but loves red wine. There are lots of home insurance policies that cover “all risks”, including a red wine stain on the white carpet. Obviously, avoiding making a claim for a red wine stain will keep your friend’s house insurance rates down, which is a wonderful gift for you to give. As a bonus, there will be broken glass should they refill too many times and fall down.  I think it was Ben Franklin who said, “A plastic tumbler that looks like a wine glass keeps the liability insurance claims away!”

Buy Here! 

 

  1. D-Link Wifi Water Sensor $59.99

 

I'm actually buying myself one of these when I finish this post.
I’m actually buying myself one of these when I finish this post.

Like the Nest smoke detector we talked about last time, this is one of those fancy new “connected home” devices. This one will alert you via an app on your phone if you have sudden water rising problems, and are not at home.  Inevitably, that’s when you are going to have flooding problems, and guess what – flooding absolutely ruins your home insurance rates. If you can find out immediately, you have a better change of limiting damage to your home, bumping that water damage insurance claim up, and washing away your home insurance savings. (See what I did there?)

Buy Here! 

 

  1. CellControl Drive ID $129.00

 

this is a super neat gadget as well.
this is a super neat gadget as well.

 

This neat gadget is a “jammer” of sorts for your teen’s (or your own) cellphone that keeps you from texting while your car is moving. I can about guarantee that your teen won’t see this as a gift, but hey, they also don’t really understand that life is a gift, am I right? Texting is a big problem while driving; look around sometime.  2/3rd of drivers are out there driving distracted, paying attention to their phones rather than piloting their 3000 pound death machine. Obviously not having a car accident will keep your auto insurance rates down, and keeping your  17 year old from killing people while he texts  his buddy an “LOL” at the dank meme he sent will keep you from having a liability insurance claim on your record. Win/Win.

  http://cellcontrol.myshopify.com/

 

 

  1. Fire Resistant 8 Gun Safe. As low as $349.00

 

Lock your stuff up. It just makes it safer.
Lock your stuff up. It just makes it safer.

Sure, this is a gift for the gun lover in your life; but it’s also a gift for anyone who has things to protect. The little personal sized fire safes are all well and good, but they are small, and don’t hold much. This safe will resist fire, can bolt to the floor,  and hold lots of things – so it’s actually three gifts in one. It protects your stuff in general, and it protects you from making a theft claim on your homeowners insurance, as well as making an inflated fire claim on your house insurance. (I know they are the same thing, but hey, this is an insurance blog, so deal with my keywording, will you? )

Buy Here! 

 

 

There you have it: lots of gifts you can buy that have the potential to keep the recipients paying the lowest rate for their auto insurance, home insurance, and even their liability insurance.  Now the big question is “how can I afford to buy these gifts? “. There are a couple of answers to this question, and the first is that love has no price tag. The second answer is for you to call us today for an car insurance or home insurance (or even an insurance package) quote today. Our licensed advisers will make the process simple, and you will wonder why you haven’t given yourself the gift of great insurance service until today.

Have a happy holiday season from all of us here at The Phoenix Insurance.  

We Have Our first Celebrity Endorser!

This is exciting news for us.

For Immediate Release:

DALLAS – Oct. 3, 2016: Butch Patrick, Television’s Eddie Munster, has signed on as The Phoenix Insurance’s celebrity spokesman. The Phoenix Insurance is the Southwest’s premiere independent collector car insurance agency. Mr. Patrick owns the Munster’s Koach and Dragula, both of which are insured by The Phoenix Insurance. Mr. Patrick spends most of the year on the road with his two famous custom cars, meeting and greeting fans at hot rod events and conventions.

“It just feels like a great fit for me. The guys at The Phoenix Insurance really worked hard to make sure that my custom cars were insured properly, without any pain. It was the easiest insurance transaction I’ve ever had. I’m looking forward to telling everyone about these guys. Talk to my agent!”

The Phoenix Insurance is excited to be working with Butch Patrick, and even more excited to insure his one of a kind iconic cars. Mr. Patrick and the Munster’s Koach and Dragula are currently “in residence” for the month of October at Fable’s Fright Nights Haunted Amusement Park in East Dundee, IL.

The Phoenix Insurance is an independent insurance agency specializing in classic car insurance, custom car insurance, and exotic car insurance.

Understanding Types of Car Insurance Coverage

Just as there are many types of cars, there are many different types of auto insurance policies, and many different ways to cover your car. For instance, most people don’t need to cover their “daily driver” car the same way they would cover their classic car or exotic auto. Let’s go over some different car insurance options together, so you go to bed smarter than you woke up this morning.

Usually, your every day car is covered by an actual cash value or “ACV” insurance policy. Most every day cars spend their lives both stuck in traffic and depreciating, so this is the most cost effective way to cover then on your insurance policy. ACV coverage means that you get paid the actual cash value of your car at the time of a loss. That means that you should reasonably be able to purchase another car of like kind should you have a claim. The one thing you should always consider is getting “gap” coverage if you are upside down on your auto loan. Lots of insurance companies offer it if you ask at time of purchase. Gap coverage covers the difference if you owe more than the ACV of your car.

The second type of coverage available to you is Stated Value coverage for your car. This type of policy allows you to tell the insurance company that your car is worth “X”, and then allows them to pay you up to that amount in the event of a loss. Yes, I said “up to”. That means that if the insurance company can make a case for paying you less than the value of your car, they will. We hear lots of people (and even some insurance agents) confuse stated value insurance with agreed value insurance – but in the simplest terms, and stated value policy just gives the insurance company a discussion point at claims time. It does not guarantee you the full value of your vehicle at the time of loss.

In order to guarantee the value of your vehicle at the time of loss, you must purchase an  “agreed value” insurance policy. Yes, you can get an agreed value policy on your daily driver car, if you choose to do so. However, the agreed value policy is usually intended for a collector car. Classic insurance., custom car insurance – even exotic car insurance is all written (or should be) on an agreed value insurance policy. Since agreed value policies are very specific in the coverage they offer, they are also very specific in their terms. Does your car qualify ? Are you interested in agreed value coverage? Then contact an insurance consultant today and discuss your needs.

See? Like I said, smarter than when you woke up this morning.

Understanding The Insurance Claims Process Part 1. Deductibles.

Eventually, no matter how careful you are, just about everyone makes some sort of insurance claim. If we are lucky, the only kind of insurance claim we will end up with on our “permanent record” if that time our family makes a claim on our life insurance policy. That one, unfortunately, I cannot help you with – I don’t sell life insurance, and I sure as heck don’t know what happens when you shuffle off this mortal coil. Maybe I can’t help with that, but I can help you understand your property claims a little better so that if or when you make a claim, you won’t wish that death was an option.

[i] I don't care what color Mercedes calls it, you are still at fault[/i]
 I don’t care what color Mercedes calls it, you are still at fault
I want to start of by putting this right out front – I am not here to tell you that you should not make a claim. You pay for insurance to protect you and your stuff, and that’s what it’s there for. That being said, if you want to be able to make a claim anytime, anywhere, for anything,  then be prepared to pay for the privilege. It’s not that the companies don’t want to pay you, or that they want to get all their money back right away – it’s just that you need to understand that insurance is for a disaster. While it may seem like a disaster that your sister in law spilled her red wine on your white carpet, it’s not something you want to claim on your homeowners insurance.

First, I will explain deductibles.  The deductible is the amount of the claim you must pay for yourself. Auto insurance deductibles generally range between $0 and $1000. Sure, you can go higher, but if you do that, your car had better be worth quite a bit of money. Most clients in our insurance agency generally carry a $500 deductible. We find that to be generally the best value, insurance wise. Most times, the savings in premium switching between $500 and $1000 is pretty negligible, and not enough to make the higher deductible worthwhile. Be sure to go over your deductible options with your insurance agent, but be smart. If your car is worth $2000 and you carry a $1000 deductible, you are saving a few dollars but losing most of the value of your car in the event of an accident. Yes, getting $1000 is better than a kick in the teeth, but on a car of that value, the price of a $100 deductible isn’t going to be very high, so maximize your return, should something happen.  Likewise, if you have a brand new S class Mercedes, then maybe going with the $100 deductible isn’t the best way to spend your money. Presumably, you are doing alright, and a $1000 deductible on your very expensive car isn’t going to put you on the street.

Home insurance deductibles are a bit different, and are generally a percentage of the insured value of your home, at least here in Texas. For most clients, 1% is the sweet spot, premium wise. Be sure to discuss the options with your agent though, as sometimes a fixed dollar amount deductible can be purchased. $500 – $1000 – it’s your decision to make, ultimately. I would advise you to choose as high a deductible on your home as you can afford, and in the next blog post, I will explain why. Making a claim can be a big decision, and one you should not take lightly. I will explain that as well in the next insurance blog post.

Autorama Dallas 2015

Every year we look forward to the Autorama show here in Dallas – it’s one of the best times, because it’s such an intimate show – we know most of the exhibitors (and do insurance for quite a few of them) and we get to hang around custom cars that are the best in the nation. Here a few pictures of our favorites.

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Dallas Autorama 2015

The car show season really kicks off with a bang at Autorama here in Dallas in February – we get to see all of the fiends that have been holed up for the winter, check out their new projects, and get to meet plenty of new folks. Here is the first gallery of photos from the 2015 Autoarama.

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