full coverage insurance

Full Coverage Insurance: What does it mean?

You’ve probably heard the term “full coverage auto insurance”. If you have financed a vehicle, the finance company will require you to have full coverage insurance. What exactly does that mean? You may be surprised to hear that there isn’t exactly a full coverage policy. Full coverage is a combination of solid protection coverage for you and your vehicle. When you tell your insurance agent that you need full coverage, there are a few things that they will put together for you. Let’s take a look at what it all means.


Your state requires that you have a minimum of liability coverage. This is to protect both parties. The two types of liability coverage are bodily injury and property damage.


Bodily injury will covers medical expenses for another person, if you cause the accident. This will also protect you, if you are sued.


Property damage covers damage to someone else’s property, if you cause the accident. This coverage takes care of another vehicle if you cause the accident. This does not cover your vehicle, collision covers that.  


Some states require uninsured or underinsured coverage which covers cover your medical expenses. Medical payment coverage and personal injury coverage covers yours and your passengers medical payments up to the maximum limit.


Collision coverage is required, by the finance company, if you have financed your vehicle. Why? Because this is what covers your vehicle if damaged. This coverage pays for repair or replacement. Again, there are limitations.


Comprehensive is another type of coverage that finance companies require. Imagine a deer jumps in front of your vehicle and you hit it. There isn’t anyone else in that situation that can pay for the expenses, except for you and your insurance company. Damage from hitting a deer can be expensive. You comprehensive insurance will cover this. Also, under this coverage is vandalism, theft, and weather related damage, like hail.


Rental vehicle reimbursement pays up to a limit per day, for you to have a rental vehicle, while your vehicle is being repaired or replaced.


Having coverage does not mean that your insurance company will cover all of the cost associated with the accident. There are maximum limits that your insurance will cover. This is important to speak with your insurance agent to go over what your maximum limits are. Remember, your state requires minimum coverage, you may want to increase that coverage.


These have deductible which you have to pay. Common deductible are $500 or $1000, meaning you pay that portion and the insurance company pays the rest, based on the limits of your policy.


Speak to your agent about what type of coverage you can have with your budget. You may be able to play around with the deductible to get the coverage you want with the budget that you have.


Lost Jewelry: Does Your Homeowners Policy Cover That?

A homeowner’s insurance policy usually covers fires and storm damage, but does it cover lost or stolen jewelry. What happens if you come home and find that your home has been robbed? What if your rings slips off while swimming in the lake? Are you covered? Let’s take a look at common coverage.

Remember, all policies are different. Be sure to check with your local agent to see what is covered and what is not. This is a good time to increase your coverage, if possible.

Damage & Theft

There are many restrictions that can cause your claim to be denied. Common reasons that jewelry could be lost or damaged, but is most likely covered includes: fire, storms, and damage from a vehicle.  Most homeowners policies only cover jewelry for $1,000-$2,000. That means that if theft occurs and your $30,000 wedding ring is stolen, you will only receive $1,000-$2,000. That is an industry standard. The same goes for fire and storm damage.


Losing a ring, necklace, or watch is very common. Imagine this, you’ve just got back from a trip and realize that your necklace is gone. You don’t know where you lost it, but it is gone. It could be at the hotel, beach, or the airport.  Say you were swimming in the lake, and you feel your watch slip off. You frantically try to grab it, but it’s gone. What now? In most cases your homeowner’s policy will not cover this.

How to cover lost jewelry or expensive jewelry

Insurance companies usually offer inland marine policies or endorsements you can add for extra coverage. If you’ve lost your engagement ring or your valuable watch, this policy will have it covered. You will need to talk with your agent for the specific details of this policy. For the insurance company to approve this coverage, you will mostly like need an appraisal. If you say you have a $15,000 watch, they will want proof that it is valued at $15,000. This policy also covers theft. As we discussed earlier, if your $30,000 wedding ring is stolen, your homeowner’s policy will only reimburse you $1,000-$2,000. This added policy or endorsement will cover the actual value of the ring, not capping you at $1,000-$2,000.

If you have jewelry that is valued higher than $2,000, it is time to talk to your agent. Tell your agent what jewelry you have and learn what coverage you have. This is the time to talk about theft and lost jewelry. Your agent will be able to give you options. You may need a new policy or an extra endorsement. Find out the criteria you will need for this coverage to start, such as, an appraisal. Loss and theft are very common, so act quickly to get your jewelry adequately covered.

Is Your Home Insured And Ready For The Harsh Winter Months?

There is a chance of snow in the forecast for Marion, IL. Snow can be so beautiful, and oh so damaging. While this round of snow may not be destructive, we are still mid-winter and another round of ice or snow can be damaging. We have already seen freezing temperatures that can cause water lines to freeze. What happens if your pipes do freeze or if next month we have an ice storm? Are you covered?

First, call your agent. All homeowner’s policies are different. It’s important to understand what your policy covers and what it does not. You may find that you need to change your policy to better fit your needs.

Here are a few things that are typically covered (Be sure to check your policy).

  • Roof collapse
    • A roof can collapse because of the weight of ice or snow.
  • Damage to walls and ceiling due to ice damming
    • Ice damming causes damage to walls and ceilings because the water from melting snow or ice cant drain off the roof and leaks into the home.
  • Damaged shingles
    • Just like storms in the Spring and Summer, winds from a Winter storm can damage shingles also.
  • Frozen pipes
    • Burst pipes is a very common claim. When the pipes freeze, it can cause them to burst.

Although these are commonly covered, there are some stipulations that can result in denial

Negligence is a good reason to get your claim denied. Here are a few scenarios that could cause a claim to be denied.

  • Not having trimmed tree limbs
  • Not acting reasonably to protect your property from an impending storm. Leaving windows and doors open and allowing the elements in, either intentionally or unintentionally, could be grounds for denial.
  • Intentionally turning the heat off or too low which caused pipes to freeze and burst
  • Things like not making repairs to a leaky roof, not trimming trees, not removing snow from sidewalks, and not insulating pipes are all things that can result in denial of a claim.

Winter weather comes with many challenges. The best thing you can do is have a conversation with your insurance agent. Your agent can educate you on your coverage and maintenance that needs to be done to keep you from getting a denial. Being prepared is important. During your discussion with your agent, it is good to talk about coverage you have during Spring and Summer. Those seasons are full of nasty, damaging storms. Now is the time to increase coverage if you are not adequately covered.


Four Questions to Ask Yourself When Deciding to Repair or Replace Your Windshield

There’s a sound that occurs when a rock or pebble hits your windshield that is unique among most sounds. Most people, if they were asked to close their eyes and listen, would be able to pick out the sound easily. It’s a mix of a smack, whack, and splintery sound that makes anyone cringe. We all know it’s going to need to be either repaired or replaced. To help you decide, here are four questions to ask yourself as you consider whether to repair or replace your cracked windshield.

How deep is the damage?

Modern windshields are made of two layers of tempered glass with a plastic resin sandwiched between them. Auto glass manufacturers developed this type of glass specifically for the front windshield of cars. The side windows are made of tempered glass that is thicker and will shatter into a thousand glittering pieces when hit with something hard. This is not the case with household window glass. It is made of strong, clear glass that breaks into long slivers and could easily skewer an adult or child. Neither of these types of glass will last long at the front of your vehicle while you are driving at speed. Even tiny pebbles would create instant havoc to the front driver and passenger.

Because of this three layered construction, the damage can be shallow and barely dent the first layer of tempered glass. It can be slightly deeper and go into the plastic resin middle layer. Or it can go completely through all three layers leaving a whistling hole in your windshield.

If the crack is only through to the first or second layer, it’s likely you can repair it yourself or have it repaired. If it’s the final case and you can push a toothpick through to the inside and feel it’s poke on your finger, then you’ll likely want to have an auto glass repair guru go through it to see if it needs to be repaired or replaced. Most likely it will require replacement.

How close is the crack to the edge of the frame?

Cracks that touch the windshield frame or that are within a few inches of it are not very good candidates for repair. Todays auto manufacturers have engineered the windshield to be part of the structure that keeps the roof from collapsing when the car is in a rollover accident. Cracks that touch the frame are extremely difficult to repair and are unlikely to stay repaired. This is also true for those close the edge. This type of damage directly affects the integrity of the frame support and could cause a roof to collapse onto the passengers inside, severely hurting them or worse, killing someone. The risk is too high to take. It’s best to just have the windshield replaced.

How big is the chip or crack?

Most cracks less than an inch and a half in diameter and only exposing the plastic resin can be easily fixed with a home windshield repair kit. These are easy to do and normally take only a half a day to accomplish. You can find them online at Amazon.com or you can go to your local Walmart or Sears for a kit. You can also purchase them at Autozone or another auto parts store in your area.

Your local auto repair shops can also easily repair damaged windshields up to three inches in diameter. If the damage is larger than that, most auto repair shops will tell you to replace your windshield. There are some specialty repair shops who are willing to repair a crack up to 12 inches long, but they are quite expensive and it might be more cost effective to have it replaced.

What does my insurance cover?

Most insurances today are required to cover repairs of small cracks done by an auto repair shop and you won’t have to pay anything. However, there is legislature in Arizona being backed by some insurance companies to remove that requirement. So things could drastically change in the near future. Especially if the insurance companies are successful in their lobbying to have the requirement removed. So check with your insurance to see what they cover, how much it will cost you, and if you have a say in who repairs or replaces your windshield. Some insurance companies have specific requirements regarding whether to repair or replace a windshield, so you’ll want to know ahead of time what they are so you’re not incurring costs you don’t need to.


Deciding whether to repair or replace a windshield is an important decision for the safety of yourself, your family, and those who ride with you. Don’t wait to decide what to do because the longer you wait, the more chance the damage will spread. Using your windshield wipers, having the sun beat down on the crack, or allowing water to stay and freeze in the crack are just a few ways the crack can continue to grow, so decide quickly then act just as quickly to repair the damage so you can go back to smiling through your clean clear front windshield.

Car Insurance Premiums Vary For a Wide Variety of Reasons

Choosing a vehicle isn’t just about the look or speed. You may find a beautiful vehicle that is fast and is perfect for you, until you check with your insurance company. Yikes! The premium could be a deal breaker.


Car Insurance premiums widely vary between vehicles. There are many factors that come into play when determining the premium both personally and for the vehicle.


Personal factors include:

  • AGE
  • SEX


For the vehicle




Luckily, we’ve chosen the top five cars with the cheapest premiums among the most popular vehicles and the most expensive.


BONUS: Check the bottom for the best brand for insurance premiums.



Vehicles with the lowest premiums


Honda Odyssey LX

Annual Insurance Premium: $1112


Jeep Renegade Sport

Average Annual Insurance Premium: $1,138


Jeep Wrangler Black Bear Average

Annual Insurance Premium: $1,148


Honda CR-V SUV

Average Annual Insurance Premium: $1170


Jeep Compass

Average Annual Insurance Premium: $1183



Vehicles with the highest premiums


Mercedes S65 AMG (Convertible)

Annual Insurance Premium: $3835


Dodge GTS Viper

Annual Insurance Premium: $3779


Mercedes S63 AMG 4Matic (Convertible)

Annual Insurance Premium: $3624


Maserati Quattroporte GTS

Annual Insurance Premium: $3547


Mercedes S550 (Convertible)

Annual Insurance Premium: $3502


Every insurance policy is going to be different. There are different rates and coverage with different deductibles. Before purchasing a new vehicle, speak with your insurance agent about what type of vehicle would work best for you. Your personal details, including what coverage and deducible you can afford, should be discussed with your agent. Save yourself the heartache of finding a vehicle you love, only to learn you can’t afford it plus the insurance.


When you are shopping for vehicles be sure to ask about its safety rating and safety features. Some vehicles will have back-up cameras, rear cross traffic alerts, lane departure alerts, and blind spot monitoring. These features may help your insurance rates, but are really useful while you’re driving.



The best brand for lowest insurance premium goes to JEEP. Jeep has several vehicles that consistently have lower premiums. The Jeep Wrangler SUV, Jeep Patriot, Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Compass, and Jeep Renegade have some of the best insurance rates.

Does Insurance Cover Windshield Repair?

It promises to be a sunny, pleasant day as you and your family are cruising down the road. Suddenly, a large truck passes by and produces tiny rocks in its wake. You hope for the best but unfortunately, a small stone finds your windshield and produces a ding. It’s only a little star-shaped spot, but you know that it could start spreading at any moment causing need of a full out windshield replacement.

There are two ways to go about attending to the ding. You can repair it yourself, which will fix it for a little while but might require replacement later, or you could go ahead and get it replaced. The good news is that most insurance policies cover this sort of damage, but let’s look into your options and examine the possibilities.


Repairs Before Insurance

According to the NWRA, National Windshield Repair Association, replacing a windshield is much more expensive than repairing one. They suggest that any repairs should be carried out as soon as possible to prevent any further cracks or the damage becoming worse. A general rule to help your decision is that a chip or crack smaller than a dollar bill can generally be repaired.

Find a magnifying glass and take a good look at the damage. To fix this little problem, a neat technique is to inject acrylic adhesive or epoxy into the crack. You can purchase a repair kit for around $10 to save your windshield, at least for a while. Walmart and other big department stores carry these sort of items, as do autoparts places like Autozone.

Unavoidably, your window might need to be replaced, but at least you’ll have time to save a bit of money before diving into the process of  windshield replacement.


Insurance Help

No need to fear however, if you aren’t able to patch up the ding. Your insurance policy may be able to help with any repairs needed. Comprehensive or full glass coverage options are available to protect you against the cost of fixing or replacing a windshield.

Comprehensive coverage assists you in repairing or replacing your vehicle if it’s stolen or damaged in an accident that’s not a collision. This can include fires, vandalism, or falling objects like trees or hail. If you are leasing or financing your car, your lender most likely requires comprehensive coverage. If you own your vehicle, this coverage is an optional addition to your car insurance policy.

Full glass coverage is available in some states as part of, or addition to, your comprehensive coverage. With this option, you may not have to pay a deductible for any repair done to your windshield. Talk with your local insurance agent to get more details about your specific coverage choices.


Determining Deductibles

The amount of money that you would pay out-of-pocket before your insurance starts helping pay for the claim is the deductible. Whether you pay for a damaged windshield claim or not depends on your own policy and where you live. Keep in mind that usually a car insurance policy will only cover the amount of a claim that exceeds the deductible.

For example, say you have a deductible of $500 on your comprehensive coverage. If you make a glass claim to get your cracked windshield repaired but it only costs $198, you’d end up paying entirely out-of-pocket. But don’t worry, there are some situations that could relieve you from paying a deductible on a glass claim.

  • If your comprehensive coverage includes a glass repair agreement, then depending on your policy, your insurance company won’t apply the deductible if the windshield only needs repairs and not replacement.
  • If you’ve chosen full glass coverage, then it will pay for the repair of a windshield with no deductible.
  • Some states do not apply deductibles to comprehensive claims on windshield damages, so check out your state’s regulations on auto insurance claims.  

All in all, repairing the damage yourself is the best route to go, but if you need replacement, it’s always best to check out what sort of insurance coverage you have. Looking into it now can help any future accidents as well.

Windshield damage can’t always be prevented, but having the proper automotive coverage in place may help you get repairs made so you can get back on the road.

3 Things to Consider when Choosing a Life Insurance Policy

When it comes to selecting the proper life insurance plan to fit your needs and the needs of your family, the options and various plan features may seem a bit overwhelming. Though it might all be confusing at first glance, some research and the helpful expertise of an insurance agent can help you determine which life insurance policy will suit you best.

1. How much coverage do I need?

When considering how much coverage you would need from a life insurance policy, think through your personal situation inregards to how many people rely on you and the income you generate. How many dependents do you have? What percentage of your family’s income is brought in by your work? In the event of your death, would your family be able to continue paying its mortgage and other bills, and to send your kids away to college? Consider your role in financially supporting your loved ones.


You also must consider any debts you may have and the lifestyle your family possesses. You want to ensure that if you were to be gone, they would be able to pay off any remaining debts and maintain the lifestyle that they are accustomed to if possible.

2. What type of plan should I get?

The three main types of life insurance offered are explained in more detail here, but be assured that with them you are presented with the options you need.


  • Term insurance (after having bought life insurance for a particular term) will simply grant your beneficiary the sum of your policy in the event of your death.
  • Whole life insurance is purchased to cover (you guessed it) your whole life rather than just a specific period of time.
  • Universal life insurance allows you to choose how much you would like to contribute to your policy in addition to its minimum premium. Then, in the event of the policyholder’s death, this extra cash will either be added to the value of the policy or have the beneficiary receive most or all of it along with the value of the policy.

3. How much can I pay in life insurance costs?

Let your goal in choosing a life insurance policy be to hit the sweet spot of balancing what you are able to afford with what would maximize the policy’s return. Purchasing life insurance on a term basis will be the least expensive and can serve its purpose in greatly benefiting your family if something were to happen to you. A universal life insurance plan on the other hand will end up costing you more, but would also pay more if it were to be used by your family in the case of your death.


With the way life insurance plans are set up, it is likely that should you pay what you can afford for your plan’s premium, your family will be appropriately covered if the need were to arise.

Talk with an expert, think through your family’s lifestyle and needs, and consider all your options when making life insurance decisions. Doing so will help you to pick the plan that will be best for you and those depending on you. We have offices in Harrisburg, Marion, and Eldorado for your convenience.


How to Avoid a Rear-End Collision

Rear end collisions are the most frequent type of collision. Because of property damage and medical expenses, they can be quite expensive. Who is liable for a rear-end collision? Typically, the driver that rear-ended the vehicle.


What can you do to avoid being rear-ended or rear-ending another vehicle?


  1. Inspect your vehicle to ensure all lights are working. Broken taillight, break lights, or blinker lights could cause a rear-end collision because the driver of the vehicle behind you may not know your intentions until it’s too late. Rear lights give the driver behind you time to react to your next move.


  1. Do not text or any other activity that is distracting to the driver. That includes looking at passengers while driving. If you drop something, like a drink, do not reach over to find and pick up the drink. Use your blinker and slowly drive your vehicle to the shoulder of the road before picking any object up.


  1. Be aware of your surroundings. First, check the visibility conditions before you start your vehicle. During dense fog leave extra room, so that you have time to react to the driver ahead of you. Rain and snow can be very hazardous. Those road conditions can leave drivers somewhat helpless at times. You may be aware that the vehicle in front of you is stopping, but your vehicle may slide into them anyway. Give yourself extra room during slippery conditions.


  1. Be cautious of your surroundings. While driving down a busy street, leave extra space between you and the vehicle in front of you. If a person or animal runs in front of their vehicle they may not have very much warning time either. While driving near schools, parks, veterinary offices, and dog parks be aware of children or animals that could run in front of you or the driver ahead of you.


  1. Know your medications. Many medications, both over the counter and prescriptions, cause drowsiness. Drowsiness can impair reaction time.


  1. Drive the appropriate speed. The speed limit is set based off of road conditions and risks. Neighborhoods and curvy roads will have a lower speed limit, while highways will have a much higher limit.


  1. Avoid tailgaters or tailgating other vehicles. If you notice a vehicle that is following too closely, pull to the shoulder and allow them to pass. If they are too close, they may not have enough time to react to your vehicle turning or slowing to a stop sign. To avoid tailgating another vehicle try the 3 second rule. This rule of thumb will give you enough space to react to the vehicle


  1. Larger vehicle, larger following distance. If you can’t see in front or around the larger vehicle leave extra space between both vehicles. This will allow increased reaction time.


  1. Many vehicles that stop frequently will have a sign or lights giving you notice that they will stop many times. Look for these vehicles and adjust your speed and distance accordingly


  1. Have a safe exit route. Sometimes the only way for you to avoid rear-ending another vehicle is to pull to the shoulder. There may not always be a safe place to go to, but many times there will be a shoulder to drive to.


Rear-end collisions are one of the most frequent collisions and can usually be avoided. Being aware of your situation and using the appropriate speed and distance can help you avoid this. Not only will these tips help you from rear-ending another vehicle, but these can help you from being rear-ended.  In the event that this happens, having vehicle insurance is important and can save you thousands of dollars, not to mention a ticket for not being insured.




6 Tips for Finding the Right Commercial Insurance Policy

While insurance coverage is not something business owners love to talk about, having the proper coverage is essential. Commercial insurance packages include plans such as property, general liability, and other optional policies bundled together under one plan to suit each of your business needs.

Without coverage, you could be responsible for medical expenses, legal fees and more. When looking for the right commercial insurance policy, here are some tips to help you.


  1. Get Professional Help

The internet makes it all too easy to go online, click a few buttons, and purchase an insurance policy. The problem is, the computer program that is building your policy, be it home, auto, or commercial doesn’t take your unique situation into consideration. Additionally, you may be tempted to click on the cheapest option on each screen, unaware of the vulnerabilities you could be creating to your personal assets by under-insuring your business. Commercial insurance claims can be massive, taking the time to find a reputable independent insurance agent and go over your situation could lead to massive savings if something does happen.


  1. Look Beyond the Premiums

A common mistake people make when comparing insurance policies is focusing solely upon the price of the policy. Even worse, some agents will offer plans with minimum coverage in order to offer you the lowest price. When you are in the market for commercial insurance, be sure to do a line by line comparison of the costs and coverage so that you are “comparing apples to apples”. You should also make sure that all of the policies offer enough coverage to protect you on your worst day. Hopefully it never comes but if it does, the little bit extra you paid monthly for the right policy will more than pay for itself.


  1. Get a Plan Customized to Your Business

A good insurance agent should take the time to gather important information about your business to ensure you are getting the coverage you need. While there many “bundle” options that may be a great fit for your business, understanding your risks, needs, and history is the best way to be certain. Jessica, at our Marion office would be happy to help you find the right coverage for your business when you are in the market.


  1. Ask about Reducing Your Policy the Right Way

Commercial insurance premium is usually calculated based on the risk levels. For instance, as compared to web-based businesses, retail store businesses normally have a higher risk level. If possible it’s important to make changes to your business to make it less risky. Inquire about your level of risk with your agent and ask what changes you can make to lower your risk level. This will get you a great policy and save you money.


  1. Compare Your Options with an Independent Agent

This is perhaps the most important tip. As a client, you need to take your time and compare your options. Just like car insurance, premiums usually vary from one company to another. You, therefore, need to compare premiums, customization options, and coverage levels to choose the right one for your commercial needs.


As a business owner, you know that you need business insurance.  Reach out to a professional to find the policy that your business needs. You just may find that your agent can not only help you lower your premium, but lower the risk to your business.

What the Flood of 2017 Taught us

Southern Illinois was hit with rainfall has high as 11 inches in some areas, over a span of two days. That caused major flooding in the region. Several people were evacuated from their homes by boat in Johnston City, Illinois. Flooding impacted both homeowners and renters. Many of those people who contacted their insurance companies because of damage were shocked when they learned that flooding was NOT COVERED. If you are also surprised that flooding is not covered, it is time to see what water damage IS covered by insurance.

Water damage does not always come from flooding caused by the weather.  There are many small events that can cause water damage.

  • Toilet overflow
  • Dishwasher leaking
  • Broken hose on a washing machine

If you have water damage because you skipped doing maintenance, you may be on the hook for the bill. If you knew about a leak but didn’t get around to fixing it, your insurance may not cover it. Most insurance providers won’t pay for the source of the water damage.  If your broken washing machine caused the problem, your insurance should pay for tearing out and replacing the damaged floor, but not the washing machine.  Are you covered if the sewer backs up into your basement, probably not? If you speak with your agent, there may be something they can do to help you by adding to your policy.

Now is the time to talk with your insurance agent. Your agent will find a policy that best covers you while staying within your budget. Your agent should be able to give you tips on preventing damage too. Here are just a few tips:

  • Inspect all water hoses in and around your home. This includes the ice maker on your refrigerator. Many hoses for your washing machine and water heater need to be replaced every couple of years.
  • While moving a refrigerator, or washing machine, even if it’s just a little bit, check the hose to ensure that it is still properly attached.
  • During the winter, it is common to have frozen water pipes if your home is not properly maintained. You can easily prevent this by insulating the pipes and by also keeping a warm temperature in the home.

Call your insurance agent today to learn about your coverage. You may find that you need to make changes to your policy. Explain your situation to your agent and what concerns you have. Remember, your agent is your friend. They are there to help you.