When To File a Claim

by Kevin Perry
March 29, 2019

Insurance, whether it’s for your personal vehicles, home, rental properties or business, it’s an important asset when catastrophe happens. However, in today’s society insurance is often viewed as somewhat of a maintenance or warranty mechanism. Let’s be clear, insurance is no way a maintenance policy.

When catastrophe happens and the event sets you or your business in financial stress, that’s when insurance should kick in and restore you or your business back to where you were before the event. A blown car engine is not something insurance covers.

Some policyholders also believe they should get more out of their insurance than what the policy describes or covers. Unfortunately, insurance does not cover “above” restoration of what you have insured. Example, if you insure your 1,800 square foot, 2 story frame home and one day it burns down. You cannot replace or restore it with a 2,800 square foot, 3 story brick home.

So, when should your file a claim with your insurance company? The first step of determining if you actually have a claim is to have a conversation with your insurance agent. Insurance agents are advocates that understand your insurance coverages, exclusions and deductibles. For the most part, insurance agents can quickly identify if a claim should be filed.

The obvious insurance claim, for example, you rear ended another vehicle or your house caught fire, will be an automatic claim. However, there are scenarios where you may be unclear if your insurance policy will cover the loss. Let’s say your water heater decides to malfunction one day and your plumber says the equipment needs replacement. Most of the time home insurance policies won’t insure against mechanical and electrical breakdown. However, some insurance carriers now will extend coverage for mechanical and electrical breakdown for an additional premium. The key to discovering if you have or need to add this type of coverage to your policy is to have a conversation with your insurance agent.

Another example of when insurance coverage doesn’t apply is getting a flat tire. Though your insurance policy may not cover the flat tire, you may be able to at least ask for roadside assistance to have the vehicle towed so long as the coverage is included on the policy. Most auto policies can add roadside assistance, which includes towing, jumpstarts, fuel, tire change, lockout, and winching, for a very small and affordable premium.

Why is it important to file a claim with my insurance agent? Your agent will not only help you understand the coverages on your policy but will guide you through the claims process. Agents also have excellent tips of how to document claims, where to go for repairs, and can advocate on your behalf with claims adjusters. Having a personal relationship with your insurance agent is vital to your claims experience. Agents will help you before, during and after your claim has been filed. Also, some agents have the ability to settle small claims right from their office.

Can you file a claim with an agent after their office hours? Most agents have office hours, typically between 9 AM – 5 PM, Monday through Friday. However, claims don’t always happen during this time and some agents have after hours claims reporting lines, whether by phone, email or text messaging. In the event an agent is not available and you really need to speak with someone immediately, you can always count on filing a claim with your insurance carrier.

The bottom line, always communicate with your insurance agent on any issue that may arise. You hope that your never have to experience a day where your property or liability is at stake, but rest assured insurance agents are here to help you with that process.

Of course you can always count on agents to help you with billing, customer service questions, changes to your policy, setting up new insurance, coverages questions, or even just a friendly chat of how life is going. Your agent not only is an advocate for your insurance needs but a local small business owner that experiences the same questions and issues you have too.

How to Move From the Couch to a 5K

by Justin Metz on March 7, 2019

If you’re looking for motivation to get off the couch, running a 5K is a great fitness goal to work toward. Don’t be intimidated by the number. At a distance of just over three miles, a good training program can have you crossing the finish line of your first 5K in just a few months.
 

WHERE TO START

There are plenty of benefits to running for exercise. It’s been proven to improve both your physical and mental health. And because you can run nearly anywhere, it’s an activity that’s accessible to anyone. 

But you should first talk to your doctor to see if you’re healthy enough to start training. Once you’re cleared to begin, it’s time to set your goal and get to work!
 

WHAT TO EXPECT

The biggest rookie mistake many aspiring runners make is trying to do too much, too fast. This can lead to an injury, which will set you back from achieving your goal. So don’t overdo it during your first few workouts. Instead, follow a 5K training plan. 

Related: 7 Tricks to Stay Motivated About Your New Year’s Resolution… All Year Long

Most programs give you about 8-12 weeks of training leading up to the race, which helps you steadily build stamina. You can start with an online training plan, like this series of 5K training programs from Runners World. Some are more aggressive than others, so be sure to choose one that’s a good fit for your level of fitness and running experience. 

Once you pick a plan, your training will include a combination of walking, running and rest. Here’s a look at what you can expect: 

  • Walking: Most programs recommend that you run and walk in the same workout. For the first few weeks, you’ll walk more than you run. But as time goes on, you’ll get stronger and start walking less.

  • Running: If you’ve never exercised much, this will be the most intimidating part of the program. The important thing to remember is you should run at a pace that’s comfortable for you, even if it’s a casual jog. Remember, the ultimate goal of your 5K is to cover the distance — not to set a record-breaking time.

  • Rest: When you’re training, putting your feet up can be just as important working out. Giving your muscles time to recover will build your strength and help prevent injuries. Training programs often have rest days built in, so you’ll have something to look forward to after a hard day of running.
     

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY

Any time you start a new workout program, it’s important to listen to your body. Factors like uneven terrain, bad form and overtraining can all cause running injuries. Wearing the wrong type of running shoes can cause injuries, too. 

Follow your trainer or doctor’s advice to treat any specific conditions you’re experiencing. For general information, the Cleveland Clinic offers these tips to prevent running injuries. 

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s time to rest, check your gear or see a doctor: 

  • Joint pain: Pounding your feet on the pavement can do a number on your joints, particularly your knees and ankles. Arthritis and other chronic pain can also get inflamed with exercise. Be sure that you are icing and getting proper rest if you start to experience joint pain.

  • Persistent pain: It’s normal to experience some soreness after you start training. But if the pain doesn’t decrease after rest or begins as soon as you train again, there could be something wrong.  If you have lasting discomfort or need pain medications to train, contact a doctor.

  • Heart issues: Running is great for your cardiovascular health. But if you’re at risk, know how to spot the signs of serious trouble like a heart attack. If you experience chest pain or shortness of breath, put the workout on pause and get medical help right away.

ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of accomplishment you get from achieving a goal.

At Erie Insurance, your goals in life are important to us. Whether you’re training for a 5K, renovating your home, starting a family or changing direction in life… looking to the future means making a plan and having encouragement along the way. 

When it comes to your financial goals, our local agents are here to help with insurance coverage that protects what you’ve worked so hard to build. By getting to know you, your local ERIE agent can make sure you have coverage that fits your life and budget.
 Learn more about homeowners insurance from ERIE or find a local agent in your area to request a quote.

Insure your LOVE. Life Insurance for Stay-at-Home Parents

Life insurance isn’t for the people who die. It’s for the people who live.

If you never thought a stay-at-home parent needed life insurance, you might want to think again.

That’s because in addition to being full-time caregivers, stay-at-home parents are often also cooks, housekeepers, tutors, psychologists, chauffeurs, nurses and more. That’s a lot of responsibilities that often demands life insurance protection.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, one in five primary caregivers for preschool age children is a man. Recent economic trends that saw big layoffs in traditionally male sectors such as construction, finance and manufacturing only ushered along that trend.

Regardless of whether it’s a mom or a dad, stay-at-home parents add to a family’s bottom line in a big way. According to salary.com, stay-at-home parents work an average of 92 hours per week and contribute a salary of $143,102 to the family.

Another cost stay-at-home parents often assume is caring for elderly relatives as well as young children. Pew Research reports that one in seven adults falls into this “sandwich generation.”

This list makes it easier to see the hole a stay-at-home parent’s premature passing would present. In addition to footing the bill for the mortgage, car and credit card and funding any college and retirement funds, the surviving spouse will likely need to pay for more childcare, buy more prepared meals and hire more household help.

“If there’s no money, there are no options,” says Greg Wieser, business initiatives leader, Strategic Marketing. “A family might have to split up, look at nursing homes if there are elderly relatives in the picture, sell possessions, drastically cut expenses and/or move to a less expensive house in a different school district. These are painful realities to confront during an already trying time.”

Luckily, even a small amount of life insurance can help in these sorts of situations—so no excuses about not being able to buy a big policy.

So now that you know a stay-at-home parent needs coverage, how do you figure out how much is needed for how long? Start simple by considering the four L.I.F.E. questions:

Liabilities. What’s your total debt?
Income. What will your income needs be—and how long do you need that income?
Funeral. Figure $8,000 for a very simple service.
Education. How much do you want to contribute toward your children’s education?

While no policy can replace a parent, it can help your family in a big way if the unthinkable happens. Your ERIE Agent can help you get an accurate picture of your family’s needs and which coverage would work best.

Easy, affordable life insurance for stay-at-home parents
term life policy that provides coverage for a set number of years is usually the best bet for stay-at-home parents. That’s because it’s ideal for handling expenses during the high-cost childrearing years in a more cost-effective way than a whole life policy.

A great term life option for stay-at-home parents is a term life policy from Erie Family Life, a product that lets you easily and affordably get $90,000 worth of term life coverage – without a medical exam.*

Applying for an Erie Family Life term policy is easy. Instead of a physical exam, there’s just a simple application that asks a few medical questions. All told, most people can get approval in as little as 15 minutes.

Connect with an insurance professional like an ERIE Agent to discuss life insurance that fits your needs and budget.

ERIE® life insurance products and services are provided by Erie Family Life Insurance Company (home office: Erie, Pennsylvania) and are not available in New York. Additional terms, conditions, exclusions, licensure and territory information are available at erieinsurance.com/life. The insurance products and rates described in this letter are in effect as of July 2013 and may be changed at any time. Eligibility for insurance coverage will be determined at the time of application, based upon applicable underwriting guidelines and rules in effect at that time.

*Issuance of policy is dependent on answers to medical questions.

Life Happens is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping consumers take personal financial responsibility through the ownership of life insurance and related products. Life Happens Pro furthers its mission of educating the public by making its resources customizable and putting them directly into the hands of agents.

Choosing Your Medicare Supplement Plan

We’re here to help. Simple solutions from people you trust.

 

Health care and out-of-pocket costs for Medicare participants are on the rise, making the need for supplemental insurance even greater.1 With the advice of your ERIE agent, selecting a Medicare Supplement plan can help alleviate some of those costs.

ERIE offers several supplemental plans2 designed to meet your needs and fit your budget. Our agents are standing by; ready to answer your questions and provide the information you need to make your decision.

As always, we’ll be there when you need us. That’s our promise of service.

 

 

 

1. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation report on Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket health care spending.
2. These plans are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program.
This is a solicitation of insurance. An agent (or the company) may contact you.
ERIE® life and health insurance products and services are provided by Erie Family Life Insurance Company. The policy has terms, limitations and exclusions under which the policy may be continued in force or discontinued. For costs, complete details and licensure information, contact an ERIE agent. Eligibility for insurance coverage will be determined at the time of application, based upon applicable underwriting guidelines and rules in effect at that time. In some states, Medicare Supplement policies are available to disabled individuals under the age of 65. Not all plans are available in all states and not all ERIE agents offer Medicare Supplement insurance. Medicare Supplement insurance is not available in the District of Columbia, New York and Wisconsin. Life insurance is not available in New York.

 

What Makes a House a Home?

When you look around your home, chances are you don’t just see four walls and a roof. You also see the marks on the walls where you lovingly marked your children’s height so you could watch them grow. You see the chair your dad always sat in on Christmas morning, and the fireplace you all gathered around in the evening. A home is so much more than just a house.

When you purchase your homeowners insurance with Erie Insurance, we want to protect your house and your home. Our ErieSecure HomeSM insurance program is one of the most comprehensive coverage packages in the industry. It protects 100 percent of the value of your home in case of total destruction. It offers blanket coverages for jewelry and other valuable items you own in case of theft or destruction. It offers customizable protection to make sure your house is covered in ways that make sense for you.
We might not always be able to save the things that make your house a home—those marks on the wall or that favored chair. But ErieSecure Home makes sure that when the worst happens, you can pick up, go on and start creating new memories. And we think that’s pretty special.
Call us today to find out how you can cover your home.