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. 

There are 2 types of life insurance. Term life and Permanent life insurance.

  1. Term Life Insurance: The amount of coverage (death benefit) is set for a certain term (number of years) for a set premium (price).
  2. Permanent Life Insurance: These are called Whole life or Universal life policies. They are ideally designed to last the entire lifetime of the insured. Permanent insurance is more expensive than a term policy because it lasts longer and can build a cash value. Contact Denver Insurance for more information on the cash value aspect.

  • Life insurance gets more expensive as you get older because the chance of a person dying increases with age. For example, if you get term insurance now, the cost will be less than when you’re 50 years old.
  • Since Permanent life insurance is designed to last forever, the cost is more expensive than a Term life policy.
  • A Term life policy will be valid for a certain number of years (usually 20 or 30) while a Permanent life policy is designed to continue forever.

If a person is looking for insurance, essentially, to cover a mortgage or until their children are adults then a Term life policy is usually recommended. If a person wants life insurance coverage forever, then a Permanent life policy is usually recommended.

Some clients like to have both types of policies – a larger Term Insurance for short-term needs (like a mortgage) and a small Permanent life insurance policy so that they have something in place when the Term Insurance expires and they are older. The older you get, the more expensive the insurance costs and the harder it is to get life insurance because of medical reviews.

Life insurance is important for people of all ages but the options can be complicated. Denver Insurance is happy to help out any of our Colorado clients.

Simply put, an insurance score is different than a credit score but the usage is similar. Finance companies use your credit score to establish your interest rate for loans, credit cards and mortgages. Insurance companies use your insurance score to establish your insurance premium. Each insurance company uses their own algorithm to assign you an insurance score. The better your score, the better your insurance rate.

Data that makes up your insurance score includes: insurance history, length of time with previous insurance company, claims, tickets, elements of your credit report, current liability limits and many more. Even the insurance agents and underwriters aren’t told how the score is computed.

The data and weighted value of each criteria varies with each insurance company. For example, State Farm and Travelers Insurance will collect similar information but your score will likely vary with each company. This is where independent insurance agents have an advantage because we provide quotes from more than one insurance carrier. This gives you the best chance to get the lowest insurance rate. You can then easily breakdown and compare coverage. Aaaand you only have to make one call to an insurance agent to get multiple quotes.

Also an important note, your credit score is NOT pulled when you get an insurance quote or policy. The majority of the time, insurance companies don’t even require or know your social security number. Colorado insurance regulations do allow the use of your credit profile to help assign your insurance score.

Simple insurance quotes will save you time and money. Call Denver Insurance today for a free, no obligation quote.

An inventory is not required but it is a great idea! If anything happens, whether it be a fire, theft or tornado claim, an inventory will help you identify what was lost. An insurance claim is always a stressful event and a home inventory will improve the situation.

Look around the room that you are sitting in and think about all of the items that are around you. If there is a fire, all of those items are likely gone. You will be asked to list all of your belongings in the event of a claim. It will be much easier and stress-free for you if you have a home inventory.

Some people simply take pictures or video to store them on cloud software or outside of their home. Generally, your personal belongings add up to much more than you expect. Think about your jewelry, clothing, furniture, electronics and all of your belongings.

Luckily, one of our insurance partners, Safeco Insurance, offers a free home inventory app. AND the best part is that you don’t even need to be a Safeco client or Denver Insurance client. You can upload photos, receipts, serial numbers, purchase dates and more.

Download the free home inventory app now!

Insurance companies traditionally have exclusions on personal auto insurance that do not cover the driver if an accident happens while the vehicle is being used to transport people for a fare. Since the introduction of Transportation Network Companies (TNC) like Uber and Lyft, this has become widely talked about. As an insurance agent, we often get questions like:

  • “When does commercial use start and end?”
  • “What is actually covered?”
  • “Do I need special insurance for Lyft or Uber?”
  • “Will the insurance coverage be expensive?”
  • “Doesn’t my rideshare company provide insurance coverage?”

These are all very good questions and to answer them, we have to use technical terms. In simple terms, add an endorsement to your personal auto insurance. The cost is usually around $10 per month and offered by top-rated insurance companies like Travelers and Safeco. This infographic provides a great visual of the different stages of a service like Uber and any potential gaps. Contact Denver Insurance LLC for more information or a free auto insurance quote.

Per Uber’s policy on 7/8/2016, Uber will provide comprehensive and collision coverage during a trip and the coverage is contingent, meaning you have to have comprehensive and collision coverage on your personal policy. Comprehensive and collision coverage is to replace or repair your vehicle. If your rideshare app is on but you don’t have a passenger, Uber could deny your claim because the accident didn’t happen during the ride. Your personal insurance company could deny your claim because you were driving commercially. This gap in coverage is highlighted in yellow above. Also, if you do not have comprehensive and collision coverage on your personal insurance policy then Uber could deny your claim, even if the accident happens during the ride.

Per Lyft’s latest insurance policy information online, Lyft will provide comprehensive and collision coverage, on a contingency basis, meaning that you have to have comprehensive and collision coverage on your personal policy. Lyft’s comprehensive and collision deductible is currently $2,500, according to their site. Comprehensive and collision coverage is to replace or repair your vehicle. Lyft now provides contingent liability coverage while you’re driver mode is on but no ride is accepted. Lyft still does not provide comprehensive or collision coverage while you’re in driver mode. If you want coverage to repair/replace your car while in driver mode then you will want to add a rideshare endorsement to our personal auto insurance policy. Again, the additional cost is approximately $10 per month.

Lyft and Uber services are great and definitely a needed mode of transportation! But the service might create a higher risk because they carry more passengers, drive in unfamiliar areas, make frequent stops on the road and violate more traffic laws to get to a fare.

Always check Uber, Lyft or any Transportation Network Company frequently to stay up-to-date with any changes in their insurance policy.