Thursday, August 11, 2011

Careful … that 15 minutes could cost you more than you think.

By: Edward L. Blais, JD, CIC

Despite what many advertisements promote, much more goes into insurance than just price. And it takes more than 15 minutes to do it right. The real question for consumers should be: What does that eye catching price really buy?

Imagine if I said to you: How much would you pay me for my car? Without knowing what type of car it is, you would have no idea what a fair price would be. This example illustrates the questionable nature of online,  instant insurance quoting – how do they adequately protect your home and auto exposures without first seeing what you need to protect.

The only way to shop for insurance responsibly is to start with the coverages you need, then research and secure the best possible price for those coverages. Unfortunately, the second you need it, it is already too late to obtain any more of it. You have to get it right the first time.

Your home is most likely the largest investment you will ever make. Therefore, it is essential to make sure it has adequate insurance, which enables you to rebuild in the terrible event it is destroyed or damaged.

 “Insurance-to-value” is a term used to explain whether the amount of insurance coverage you have covers the total cost of rebuilding your home and replacing your belongings. It is likely that the cost to initially build is far less than the replacement costs associated with rebuilding your home today. Rebuilding costs depend on the current price of materials and labor, which fluctuate with inflation. However, being “insured-to-value” safeguards you against rising costs.

If you build an addition, remodel your home, or refinish your basement, it is important to update your policy. Call us at 725-0070 to review your current policy and arrange for an estimator to determine how much insurance your home needs. Please be advised however, it will take us longer than 15 minutes!

Monday, April 11, 2011

The benefits of working with a local, independent agent

By: Edward L. Blais, JD, CIC

At Blais Insurance, we are a third generation, family-owned business, and we understand the great responsibility that comes with protecting what matters most to our policyholders. We care about this community and our neighbors, because it is the where we have raised our families and maintain our business. When considering whether to shop for insurance online consider the benefits of working with a local, independent insurance agent.

Rest assured knowing your insurance is being managed by a licensed, trusted insurance professional. Insurance agents must be licensed, insured and adhere to all state regulations. In addition, they must meet educational and accreditation standards.

Insurance professionals offer a higher-lever of service.
According to Jana Bell, Director of Operations at, “Customers who work with a licensed agent before purchasing their auto insurance policy have a better chance of finding the right coverage and qualifying for all available discounts.” Bell goes on to say that, “State and lender requirements vary per customer and a licensed consultant is there to ensure you get the most appropriate coverage for your needs.”

Placing your insurance with insurance professionals offers greater security, safety and quality. Have you ever tried to search purchase insurance online? Millions and millions of hits generate and, while some are larger, reputable insurers, many are ‘fly by night’ quote sites. It is become increasingly difficult to ascertain which sites are legitimate.

An agent knows his/her marketplace and can advise accordingly. An agent can personally visit your home or business to assess need. They can review pertinent paperwork, and they understand all state and local laws. In addition, they are your best source for best practices to avoid claims.

Should you have a claim, your agent is there for you. While independent agents work hard to help policyholders avoid claims entirely, if you do have a claim an agent will fight on your behalf and keep you informed regarding claim status.

Agents bring value to the insurance-buying process. Independent insurance agents have access to many companies and will work with you to design a customized policy, tailored to your personal or business insurance needs. When dealing with an online company, and something happens by design or through an incident that affects your policy, they can do little to adjust your policy beyond the standard parameters. An agent will work with you to address your specific situation and arrive at appropriate, fair coverage options.

If you ever have any questions or concerns regarding your insurance coverage we urge you to call or stop by our offices for a coffee and a chat. Our staff is always available and eager to assist you however we can.