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.

Perry Family Insurance Dance Challenge

Welcome to the Perry Family Insurance Dance Challenge! Each week for the next few months we’ll deliver a series of awesome dances and challenge you and your family to a dance off. Record you doing the same dance and hashtag it on our FB page (www.fb.com/perryfamilyinsurance) . #PerryDanceChallenge We hope you enjoy the show. It’s hilarious!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e46McE_vJGY&feature=share

ERIE Earns Top Ranking in J.D. Power Study

Thousands of people shared their experiences about shopping for auto insurance in a national study and Erie Insurance was awarded “Highest Satisfaction with the Auto Insurers Shopping Experience.”

The J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study SM provides an in-depth look at the auto insurance policy selection process. It explores why customers shop, their attitudes toward and perceptions of auto insurance brands and how they make their final purchase decision.

Related: Is ERIE auto insurance right for you? Find out.

For ERIE, it’s the sixth year in a row in the study’s top spot. Satisfaction is measured on three factors (in order of importance):

  • Price: How customers rate their new auto insurance provider on the price of the policy given the level of coverage.
     
  • Distribution channel: How customers rate their experience interacting with their new auto provider’s agent, call center reps and website.

Related: 6 Reasons You’ll Love Having an Independent Insurance Agent

  • Policy offerings: How customers rate the variety of coverage options, the degree to which their needs are met and the ease of obtaining a new policy.

The study methodology
The study is based on responses from more than 15,000 shoppers who requested an auto insurance quote from at least one of the top 25 insurers that have the largest market share in the United States. Customers were surveyed in April, July and October 2017 and January 2018.

Why Your Kids Should Play Outside This Winter

You’ve just weathered your way through another winter snowstorm. But just because school is canceled or the roads are bad doesn’t mean your family needs to be cooped up inside all day. 

In fact, playing outside is the perfect way to make the most of your next snow day. And despite what you may think… there are several reasons why it’s actually better for your kids than staying inside.
 

STAY HEALTHY

We all know winter weather can be harsh. As temperatures drop and the snow piles up, it’s tempting to let your kids spend the day playing video games or watching TV.  But making a habit of keeping your kids inside has been proven to affect a child’s weight and mood – not to mention the potential of causing a case of cabin fever

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends children get 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily. And that number isn’t limited to the season. 

You probably have fond memories of sledding and snowball fights from your own childhood. But the benefits of playing outside don’t stop there. If you’re wondering how it makes a difference, here are some health benefits of getting outside on a winter day: 

  • Fresh air: The idea that cold air causes flu and colds isn’t true. In fact, staying indoors is more likely to expose kids to germs and bacteria. A short walk outside or a visit to your local playground can give families some fresh air — and maybe even improve your immune system.

  • Vitamin D: Sunshine does more than warm you up. It can actually improve your health. Spending just 10 minutes in the sunshine will give your child their daily dose of vitamin D, which helps improve their mood and overall health.

  • Muscle and bone strengthening: We all know exercise makes you stronger – but this is especially important for your child’s growing body. According to the CDC, regular exercise helps kids develop lifelong healthy habits and prevents serious health conditions like heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.

  • Boosting creativity: While kids are outside getting the physical benefits of fresh air and sunshine… their minds are being exercised, too. Imaginative play can help develop their creativity and problem-solving skills. The snow can turn parks, backyards and playgrounds into completely different worlds! Ice and snow present just enough challenges to help kids maneuver and expand their minds.

PLAY IT SAFE

Cold weather doesn’t mean you need to stay indoors. But it does mean you need to be prepared.

Before you step out the door, dress your child in multiple layers – more than an adult would wear. Cover them up from head to toe with hats, scarves, gloves and anything else that will warm them up. 

Wondering how cold is too cold? The best measure for when to stay inside is wind chill. If the wind chill drops below 32 degrees, be sure to take frequent breaks to warm up. And keep an eye out for shivering, drowsiness, numbness and other signs of frostbite or hypothermia

Use good common sense. The closer you move toward single digit wind chills, the more you may want to consider staying indoors.

KEEP MOVING

Once you get moving, your body will actually start warming itself. Keep your kids active and convince them to get in the snow with fun ideas like:

  • Snowball fights
  • Sledding
  • Ice skating
  • Making snow sculptures
  • Playing summer sports with a winter twist
  • Hide and seek
  • Snow angels
  • Shoveling snow 

Want in on the fun? Get ideas for kids and grown-ups alike in our list of 12 ways to stay active this winter. 

While you’re out playing in the snow with your family, don’t forget to enjoy the time you’re spending with each other. 

At Erie Insurance, we know living well means feeling confident and calm. When the investments you’ve made in your home and the things you value most are protected, you can relax and enjoy more of what makes you and your family happy.
 Want to talk to somebody who’s committed to helping you protect what you value most? Call your local Erie insurance agent. They can answer questions on what yourhome insurance will cover and help you find a policy that’s right for you.