I was recently asked this question by one of our Denver Insurance clients, and thought I would share the answer here for our readers.

There are a lot of things that go into homeowners and auto insurance rates, one of them being credit. I’ve heard a lot of complaints from people who don’t like the fact that insurance companies use credit in their underwriting.

Some people have absolutely no idea that it’s used in the rate at all.

At the end of the day, there’s not much we can do about it though. Insurance companies have been using credit in their rates for decades, and that’s not likely to change.

By the way, insurance companies don’t pull your credit like a mortgage company or credit card company does. There is no negative impact on your credit as a result of an insurance company looking at it.

When I say “pull” what I mean is that the insurance company is doing what’s called a soft inquiry, which is not the same thing as having your credit pulled (hard inquiry).

When does credit play a role in insurance rates?
It’s important to understand that insurance companies don’t continuously check or monitor your credit. Usually, they only check it when you first get a quote and/or sign up with them in the very beginning.

This means that if your credit score increases (or decreases) your insurance company does not automatically know about it.

So, to my customers question of whether or not his increased credit score will lower his rates, the answer is not automatically.

What has to be done on our side as the agent is contact the carrier the insurance and ask them to do what’s commonly referred to as a “re-score”. This is when the insurance company can re-run the person’s credit (soft inquiry) to see if there is any positive bearing on the rate.

This isn’t something that the insurance company is going to let the agency do every single year, so it’s not worth even asking unless there has been a significant change in your credit score, and only you as the customer would know if that was the case.

If you’d like to get a better handle on your credit rating, it could be helpful to setup credit monitoring. We hope this was helpful! As always, leave us comment below if you have any questions.

Why do my auto insurance rates keep going up even though my car is getting older?  At Denver Insurance, many of our clients ask this question so I would like to address it from a couple of angles.

First things first, even though it’s called car/auto insurance, it covers more than just your car. It should technically be called “auto-owners” insurance, similarly to how home insurance is actually called “home owners insurance”.

It’s important to understand that there are a lot of variables that go into insurance premiums, and with auto insurance, it’s no different.

The insurance company is much more concerned with you crashing into someone and causing them (or yourself) bodily harm, or death, than they are about your car. A car is a material possession which can be replaced.

A human life is not.

When is the last time you looked at your auto insurance policy?
If you look at it you’ll notice there are a lot of different coverages on your auto policy.

Bodily injury
Property damage
Un-insured motorist
Under-insured motorist
Medical Payments
Loss of Income
Funeral Expense
Loss of use
Rental Reimbursement

These are all things that you are covered for on your auto policy. How many of them have to do with your car?

None.

How many of them have a price next to them on your policy?

All of them.

Your car isn’t the only thing you’re being charged for on your policy
That’s because auto insurance covers far more important things than your car as mentioned above.

Let me re-phrase that: your car insurance rate isn’t just based on your car.

You’re not the only one…
It’s also important to understand that you are not the only person your insurance company insures. You are one fish in an ocean of other fish, sharks, and sea creatures, all who have different characteristics and risk profiles.

Insurance is all about spreading costs over a large number (risk pool) of people, which each person paying their fare share. That risk pool is constantly changing, and is impacted by a ton of different things, including the overall economic climate.

This means that you are sharing in the cost of millions of other people, many of whom may have poor loss history and/or credit.

That’s what insurance is though — sharing in the cost.

The next time your auto insurance rates go up, take a look at the big picture. Make sure you’re looking at ALL of the coverages, and corresponding rates.

Hope this helps!  If you would like to know more about Car Insurance be sure to visit our page dedicated to it.

If a tree root cracks your sewer line, it can be an expensive repair for homeowners. Most homeowners insurance does not offer coverage for your sewer line to be repaired. Sewer line damage is a common occurrence in Colorado. Finally, you have an option to add coverage onto your homeowner’s policy that protect your service lines.

This coverage is a feature that is an available add on to your homeowner’s insurance  but the home has to be insured with Denver Insurance.

Auto-Owners Insurance offers an endorsement to add coverage onto your homeowner’s insurance for all of your service lines including the sewer line, wiring, valves and attached devices that connect your home to a public utility service provider or to a private system. Coverage is available up to $10,000 with only a $500 deductible.

As a homeowner, you’re responsible for the service lines that fun from the curb to your home. When your service line is damaged, it can be a very costly expense to repair or replace. From identifying the problem to excavation to repair, you are protected with the Auto-Owners homeowners insurance policy when you have the Service Line endorsement.

The sewer line coverage is an endorsement (add-on) on the homeowners insurance. The sewer line coverage is not available as a stand-alone option.

Speak with a Denver Insurance LLC agent today to get a quote for your home insurance and protect yourself from unexpected damage to your service lines.

Get a quote for sewer line coverage for your home by filling out the form below.

It’s great that the market value of your house is increasing. But do you need to increase the coverage on your homeowner’s insurance?

Probably not – the market value doesn’t have a direct correlation on the amount of insurance coverage on your home.

The amount of insurance coverage on your home is based on what it costs to rebuild the home. Market value takes into account the value of your land, location of your home and the demand for homes from buyers.

For example, if you have an identical home in Commerce City and the Wash Park neighborhood of Denver, CO then the cost to rebuild the home will be identical. The market price will be vastly different, though, because of the location of the home. For insurance purposes, you insure the home structure; not the land value. The land will always be there even if a fire destroys your home. Here are some quick points to consider discussing with your insurance agent.

  1. Generally, the insurance coverage is less than the market value of the home because the market value accounts for the cost of the land and the current market fluctuation.
  2. A good home insurance policy will also include “Extended Dwelling Coverage” or “Additional Replacement Coverage” or “Increased Dwelling Coverage”. The wording can vary with each insurance company but the coverage is the same. This gives you additional coverage in the event of a total loss, to rebuild the home with similar materials. This coverage acts as a buffer, in the event that the cost of materials and labor are at a high point.
  3. A reputable insurance agent will take the time to get details about your home. These basic details will help the insurance agent complete a “Dwelling Reconstruction Cost Estimate” for your home. This estimate is a tool that insurance companies use to help determine the rebuild cost of homes. Other good resources include the County Assessment of your property or an appraisal that contains an estimate for the building costs.
  4. You want to make sure your home insurance includes inflation coverage because the cost or materials increases each year. A high rated insurance company will automatically include inflation coverage.

Feel free to contact a Denver Insurance LLC agent today for a free review or if you have questions. Denver Insurance LLC offers free, no hassle insurance quotes. 

This week, we wanted to treat our readers to a guest blog from out favorite event planner, Mila Gates. Mila has planned large conferences, fundraisers, concerts, weddings, birthdays, reunions and more!

I was asked recently, “what is the biggest pitfall people make when planning their own event?” That’s an enormous question.

Of course, because I’m in the business of planning, I have to say “Not hiring me!” Now that we’ve covered that, here’s some things to help you next time you’re considering putting together a party:

  • Date. This may sound easy, but quite a few people will pick a date and send out invitations only to realize it’s also Easter weekend. Or cousin Jimmy’s graduation. Take a little extra time to call the key guests and make sure you’re not overlapping with something that will force guests to choose. However, also realize that we live in a very busy society, so making sure everyone can go is quite impossible.
  • Food Allergies and Intolerance. Again, we live in a hypersensitive world these days, and it’s difficult to accommodate everyone. As the host, you are not expected to provide all-allergen-free meals to your guests. It is considerate to make sure everyone can eat at least something there. Maybe put the cheese on the side instead of on top, or buy peanut-free cookies so that your nephew can have a little treat.
  • Seating. If you want your guests to be up and mingling, only provide chairs for half the guests. It makes people not want to park in one spot very long. Consider more space for standing with food and drinks, and your guests will mill around.
  • Decorations. Keep them subtle. Large, towering flower arrangements are beautiful and stunning, but usually end up splitting the area so guests can’t talk. More often than not, I find tall arrangements on the floor when guests got sick of leaning around it.
  • Ambiance. Turn your heat down a few degrees before guests arrive. All those bodies and their movement will warm up the space, and nobody will overheat. If your lights are on dimmers, start the party with bright lighting and slowly dim as the evening progresses. It will create a more intimate feeling and people will relax as the end of the party arrives.
  • Outfits. Wear something you can wear all night without fiddling or adjusting. The movement calls attention to how uncomfortable you are, and will likely make other guests fidget as well. Pick something you feel confident in, that will move with you through the night. Sometimes that means going up a size (I know) to make it comfortable.

There are so many more tips I can share! This could probably be a workshop just on throwing your own event. But, hopefully these tips help you during your big party. And when you decide that there’s too much to think about, give Belle du Jour Events a holler.

Happy planning!

Mila can be reached at mila@belledujourco.com

Does it seem like driving has become more expensive in Colorado in recent years? You’re not alone and your insurance cost likely has increased. Since 2014, we have seen more new cars on the road, and those cars are driving more miles than ever. The severity of traffic-related accidents has worsened causing insurance claims for bodily injury to become more expensive. Together, these factors are increasing the cost of insurance for just about every car owner.

More new cars: New car sales hit a new record in 2015, just under 17.5 million vehicles sold, in increase of 5.7% from 2014, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. That’s great for the economy! The new safety, technology and convenience features get better every year. Still, new cars can be more expensive to repair or replace. All that technology doesn’t come cheap, though, and the cost of accident repairs is also increasing.

More miles driven: Encouraged by lower gas prices, those cars are driving more miles. Lower gas prices make vacations more affordable for families making the trip to the mountains or to see distant relatives. U.S. drivers drove 3.1 trillion miles in 2015, according to the Federal Highway Administration. That’s another record, and it’s also highest number of miles driven since Americans logged 3 trillion miles in 2007. Of course, the more miles driven, the greater the potential for accidents.

Traffic deaths increase: Unfortunately, the U.S. registered a 7.2 percent increase in annual traffic-related deaths from 2014 to 2015. The largest increase since 1966. It’s a heartbreaking trend that’s both dangerous and costly.

  • Half of those who died were not wearing seat belts
  • A third of the deaths were due to drunk drivers or speeding
  • At least one in 10 involved distraction.

Medical costs rising: From 2005 to 2013, the average cost for a bodily injury liability claim rose 32.1% according to the Insurance Research Council. These increasing costs are due to a number of factors including:

  • The rising severity of accidents
  • The rising cost of medical care
  • Higher speed limits
  • Distracted driving

Distracted driving: Using a mobile phone while driving is restricted in many states but cell phones continue to be a major cause of accidents. Cell phones have brought greater awareness to the larger category termed “distracted driving,” which is any activity that takes the driver’s attention away from the road. Distracted driving contributes to up 16 percent of the nation’s fatal crashes, about 5,000 deaths annually.

Distracted driving includes:

  • Using a cell phone
  • Texting while operating a car
  • Eating while driving
  • Operating your car’s navigation system
  • Conversing with passengers.

All of these rising costs and dangers impact your auto insurance rate. You might see the cost increase in your insurance bill and be tempted to reduce your costs by reducing your insurance coverage. But, at a time when the risk of costly accidents has increased, it may not be wise to save money by undercutting your protection.

As an independent insurance agency, Denver Insurance LLC is dedicated to helping you reduce your insurance costs without sacrificing the protection that you need. Our insurance agents know about discounts that can benefit you. Discounts are everywhere! Have a conversation with one of our licensed insurance professionals. Denver Insurance LLC can help you save money without sacrificing your security. Contact us today to get a free insurance quote!

Have you ever wondered if you have enough life insurance? Take our life insurance survey or answer the below questions. It should help you in determining if you have enough life insurance:

  • Do I currently have a personal life insurance policy?
  • Do I currently have life insurance through work?
  • Do I have the option to purchase life insurance through work?
  • Do I have enough life insurance to pay off your home if something happened to you today?
  • Do I have enough life insurance to pay for your child/children’s college?
  • Do I have enough life insurance to pay for your final expenses?
  • Do I have enough life insurance to cover loans and any outstanding credit card debts?
  • Do I have a family business?
  • Am I still working?
  • Do I have retirement savings?
  • Does my spouse have retirement savings?
  • Do I have enough life insurance to cover ongoing living expenses for your spouse?

Life insurance can be complicated but Denver Insurance is happy to simplify things. Give us a call at 720-446-5566 or email Info@DenverInsuranceTeam.com and one of our insurance agents will be happy to answer your questions. We offer free insurance quotes and policy reviews.

Do you own one of the following: general auto shop, auto body shop, tune up shop, quick lube shop, paintless dent repair, mobile windshield repair, brake and muffler shop, accessory and undercoating, tire shop, motorcycle repair, boat repair, RV repair, mobile detailing, full service car wash, truck, tractor and trailer repair…. All of these are examples of a business that needs insurance. Coverage for these businesses can be complicated but Denver Insurance is here to help!

Garage Liability is the basic policy and provides coverage for bodily injury and property damage that happen in the insured’s business. The policy provides coverage for Non-Owned and Hired Auto. Examples of incidents that could potentially be covered under Garage Liability include:

  • Failure to tighten a lug nut, which leads to an accident. Damage to the other person’s car and their injuries could be covered under Garage Liability.
  • A customer trips on an extension cord in the repair shop.

Garage Liability excludes property damage for property in the shop owner’s control, care or custody. But there is an option to add coverage for your customer’s vehicles. It’s called GarageKeepers coverage.

In the simplest of terms, GarageKeepers coverage offers coverage to the customer’s vehicle if it is damaged while in the control and care of the shop. A few examples could include:

  • Hail damage
  • Another driver hitting the customer’s vehicle
  • Accidents that occur while a shop employee test drives the customer’s car.
  • Theft of a customer’s car

Your GarageKeepers Options:

  1. Direct primary, (2) Direct Excess and (3) Legal Liability
  2. Direct Primary is the best coverage. The shop owner does not need to be at-fault for this coverage to pay. This coverage will be primary to any other insurance (usually the customer’s insurance).
  3. Direct Excess will cover damage to the customer’s vehicle that is not covered by the customer’s auto insurance i.e. deductible, damage above limits.
  4. Legal Liability will pay for losses to the customer’s vehicle when the garage is legally obligated (at-fault).

Your business is your livelihood! Contact Denver Insurance to make sure that you are properly insured. We serve the Front Range and all of Colorado.

It’s a great idea to review your insurance coverage with your insurance agent once a year. Life events happen and life changes throughout the years. The insurance agents at Denver Insurance understand that you’re busy and insurance isn’t the most exciting topic but a quick conversation can ensure that you have the correct insurance coverage. If nothing else, it’s a good refresher on your coverage.

Here are some questions to get you started on the process:

  1. What Was Updated On My Home?
    Did you add an addition or a detached garage? Did you finish your basement or remodel your kitchen? These are examples that could increase the rebuild cost of your home. You should update your insurance coverage to reflect these improvements.
  2. Has Anything Changed With My Vehicles Or Drivers?
    Do you drive a shorter distance to work? Do you work from home? Are you taking public transportation now? Did you make any expensive additions to your vehicle? Is your child now driving or has a driver moved out of the home? It’s a great idea to review your auto insurance coverage on an annual basis. A review is a good reminder of the coverage you have for windshield repair, roadside assistance and rental reimbursement.
  3. Have I Made Any Significant Purchases?
    Have you added any expensive jewelry or art? Did you inherit heirlooms or purchase a new computer? If the value of your personal possession has increased significantly, check to make sure you have sufficient coverage. For specific items, you can add special coverage, which will give you a lower deductible and coverage for broader types of losses.
  4. Is Anything New With My Family?
    Did you add a family dog? Did you get engaged? Have you introduced a bundle of joy into the world? These are all examples of what to discuss with your insurance agent.
  5. Are There Any Discounts for Which I Now Qualify?
    Adding a burglar alarm in your home can give you a discount on your homeowner’s insurance. Driving less miles could improve your auto insurance premium. You should get every discount that you qualify for on your insurance. An annual conversation of recent changes in your life and around your home can help.
  6. Should I Add Or Remove Any Coverage Options?
    New coverage options might be available like new car replacement, GAP coverage, windshield replacement, guaranteed home replacement and more. Maybe can save money on your auto insurance because you have good health insurance now. Your insurance agent can advise you on what you might be missing out on.

Some other questions you might consider before your annual insurance review include:

  • Do I have an updated home inventory?
  • Would it be worth increasing your insurance deductible?
  • Do I have sufficient liability limits to protect myself from an at-fault accident?
  • Should I get a personal liability umbrella?

It’s better to review your coverage before a claim to help assess if you have any coverage gaps. Talk with Denver Insurance today to ensure you are properly covered.

 

We are incredibly proud to be a local Colorado insurance broker of SafeCo Insurance. Our clients have had a ton of success with SafeCo, we’ve often quoted really good insurance rates through our SafeCo insurance policies mainly because Safeco provides great stability and has been less likely to increase their insurance rates for Colorado.

But before they sign their insurance contract, many of our clients like to research the insurance company before signing up. We always encourage our clients to do this. We want them to do as much research as possible because you should be 100% comfortable with your insurance selection.

Learn more about SafeCo insurance with this handy link to reviews on Safeco Insurance:

http://www.safeco.com/about-safeco/safeco-reviews/

What You Should Know about Safeco Insurance Company:

  1. Safeco, the parent company is Liberty Mutual Insurance.
  2. Liberty Mutual Insurance ranks on the Fortune 100 list of the largest U.S. corporations.
  3. They are the 5th largest property and casualty carrier in America.
  4. The company has been insuring clients since 1923.
  5. The company has financial strength ratings to ensure that their clients are properly serviced:
  • A (Excellent) from the A.M. Best Company
  • A2 (Good) from Moody’s Investors Service
  • A- (Strong) from Standard & Poor’s

Safeco is one of the few insurance companies that has not dramatically increased their Colorado insurance rates in recent years. This is a great sign of financial stability and a strong management team.

Get a Free Safeco Insurance Quote by simply filling out the form below.