News & Events

Our dedication to advanced continuing education

Our dedication to advanced continuing education is ongoing. Co-agency principal and VP, Joseph Beck is currently attending the Practical Application of Risk Management class in Milford, MA, just outside of Boston.

Topics include: effective practices serving the affluent to high net worth client, developing a high net worth division, relationship management, client stewardship, advanced claims practices, excess / surplus lines markets, and international coverage.

“Clients don’t remember good, they remember exceptional.”

Beck Insurance Agency, Inc.

Auto Repair Shop / Auto Dealership Insurance

If you own or manage any type of auto repair shop or auto dealership, you need to know that Beck Insurance Agency has both a full understanding of your coverage needs, but also the full backing of multiple insurance companies with excellent Garage Insurance Programs.

Joe Beck, co-agency principal and a garage insurance specialist, has nine years working experience working within a franchised auto dealership.  Also a former ASE Master Technician, Joe has a unique understanding of your needs not only from an agency perspective, but also from your perspective as well.

Beck Insurance will take the time to properly evaluate your auto shop’s insurance needs, and provide accurate coverage solutions for your: Property, Garage Keepers Liability, Dealer Blanket, Employment Practices Liability, Ohio Stop Gap, Group Health, Life, Commercial Umbrella, Commercial Auto, and anything else that may come up.

Our markets are strong, and stable.  Have you recently had a large rate increase?  Has your insurance provider “un-capped” the wind / hail deductible on your inventory?  These are issues we’ve been hearing about, and we can help.

Call Beck Insurance today at 419-446-2777 or click here and we will be in contact soon!

 

4 Things to Look For When Buying A Used Car

Buying a used car? Used vehicles can be significantly less expensive to purchase than new vehicles, but their history could end up becoming costly. Here are some things to look for when shopping for a used vehicle to help you find any lurking issues and feel more confident in your purchasing decision.

1.Take note of the VIN. The 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN) is typically found by looking through the vehicle’s windshield near the driver side dash. Use the VIN to look up: ◦Open recalls on the vehicle (nhtsa.gov)
◦The vehicle’s service and repair history (carfax.com)
◦If the vehicle has been stolen (nicb.org)
◦Whether or not the vehicle has been in a flood (dmv.org)

2.Ask questions. Ask the seller: ◦Why are you selling the car?
◦What was the vehicle’s prior use? (Who drove it? Was it mostly city, highway, or country road driving?)
◦What is the vehicle’s history (e.g., recalls, accidents, theft, flood)? See if the seller’s response matches the reports you found when searching the VIN.

3.Go for a test drive. Get in the car and drive it. Do you feel comfortable and safe? Listen to how the vehicle sounds when traveling at varying speeds and stopping. Examine the vehicle’s exterior and interior. Look for rust, dents, cracks, signs of water damage, funky smells, and tire quality. Check to see if everything works, including the doors, trunk, lights, windshield wipers, A/C and heater, turn signals, locks, audio system, mirror and seat adjustments, and automatic safety features.

4.Check the vehicle’s price. Look up the vehicle’s value on websites such as TrueCar.com, kbb.com, Edmunds.com, or cars.com. If you have concerns with the vehicle, ask a mechanic to do an inspection and estimate how much it would cost to fix any issues. Consider the cost of tax, title, registration, insurance, and any warranty in the price of the car as well.

Buying a car can be stressful. Follow these tips before purchasing a used vehicle to help save headaches and money down the road.

For a full review and quotes on your auto insurance please call Beck Insurance Agency at 419-446-2777, or click here to submit a request.

Why You Shouldn’t Lower Your Car Insurance Liability Limits

Find out why cheaper coverage isn’t always better for your budget.

  • Individual Blog
  • Why You Shouldn’t Lower Your Car Insurance Liability Limits

Why You Shouldn’t Lower Your Car Insurance Liability Limits

Posted by Pekin Insurance on Feb 26, 2019

4 min read

Find out why cheaper coverage isn’t always better for your budget.

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You make sacrifices to hit your financial goals. You hold on to coupons and take staycations because you know a penny saved is a penny earned. A dollar doesn’t go as far as it once did, so you might think about changing your car insurance coverage to save money.

You should read this entire blog post to see why you shouldn’t lower your car insurance liability limits.

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What Liability Does

Car insurance liability coverage kicks in when you’re found legally responsible for an automotive accident, and it helps pay for damages done to the parties injured or affected by the accident.

Your liability coverage includes two parts:

  • Bodily injury
  • Property damage

 

Bodily Injury

Bodily injury liability starts working when you injure someone in an accident.

Bodily injury helps pay for:

  • The injured parties’ medical expenses
  • The injured parties’ lost wages
  • Legal fees if you are sued

There are two kinds of bodily injury coverage limits:

  • Per person limit: This is the maximum amount the coverage will pay if a single person is hurt in an accident.
  • Per accident limit: This is the maximum amount the coverage will pay if more than one person is hurt in an accident.

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Property Damage

If you’re legally responsible for an accident, property damage liability covers the cost of:

  • Vehicle repairs
  • Legal fees stemming from property damage
  • Lost income if damaged property is needed for business purposes
  • Repairs for buildings, mailboxes, fences, and more

 

Policy Limits

You’ll often see car insurance liability limits written like this: 25/50/20 or $25,000/$50,000/$20,000. 

Here’s a more detailed look at these liability limits:

  • $25,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury per accident
  • $20,000 property damage per accident

With these liability limits, insurance would pay up to $25,000 if you cause an accident where a single person is hurt (with some exclusions applying, depending on the policy). Insurance would pay up to $50,000 in an accident you cause where more than one person is hurt, and the coverage would cover up to $20,000 of property damage.

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Lower Liability Limits = Higher Financial Risk

When you think about your car insurance liability limits, consider how much you want to prepare for worst-case scenarios. You pay for damages with your own money when you don’t have enough coverage.

In another blog post, we discuss the main reasons for car insurance rates increasing:

These are the same reasons why you should reconsider low liability limits. Using the 25/50/20 policy scenario, we’ll show you why cheaper isn’t always better when it comes to car insurance.

  • The average new vehicle costs about $35,000. A $20,000 property damage limit probably won’t cover the costs if you cause an accident that totals another driver’s new vehicle.
  • In 2010, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that the average auto fatality costs an average of $1.4 million over a lifetime, and a critical injury from a car accident costs an average of $1 million over a lifetime. As we mentioned, the cost of medical services has increased 12% since 2012, and low bodily damage limits wouldn’t come close to covering these amounts.

Unfortunately, we see claims where new vehicles get totaled, drivers and passengers sustain serious injuries, and lives are lost.

 

Are You Distracted?

Do you think of yourself as a careful driver who takes every precaution to avoid accidents? You might use this as a justification for having low car insurance liability limits.
Have you ever driven while:

  • Struggling to stay awake?
  • Talking to someone?
  • Recovering from a bad day at work?
  • Eating or drinking?
  • Using your cell phone?

 

If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, then you’ve driven while distracted. According to the NHTSA, distracting driving led to:

  • 3,450 fatalities in 2016 (the most recent year with available data)
  • 391,000 injuries in 2015 (the most recent year with available data)

 

Forces Beyond Your Control

Sometimes, nature contributes to accidents caused by:

  • Hydroplaning
  • Sliding on ice
  • Losing visibility in fog
  • Struggling to steer in strong winds

 

Let the Umbrella Protect You
An umbrella policy is designed to give you extra liability coverage beyond your regular limits.  In the case of car insurance, an umbrella policy adds extra bodily injury and property damage coverage.  

Medical bills, vehicle repairs, and legal fees add up quickly, especially when you can be sued for mental pain and suffering if you cause an accident.

An umbrella policy is especially useful when you have a teen driver on your policy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teenagers are more likely to get in motor vehicle crashes than any other age group.

 

Better Ways to Save

To save on your car insurance policy, see if you qualify for Pekin Insurance discounts such as:

  • Auto/Home
  • Anti-Theft Device
  • Multi-Car
  • Good Student
  • Paid-In-Full

 

Are there any exceptions to the ELD mandate?

The electronic logging device mandate does have a few exceptions, such as the 100 air mile rule.

“Are there any exceptions to the ELD mandate that you are aware of?”

“Well there are several. Getting back to the small business one, if they are a contractor for example and they are building a house in lets say Indiana and they are domiciled in a home office in Ohio there is one exception where they have a 100 air mile rule so they can operate on a time card basically for their 100 air miles back to their normal work reporting location – as long as they report within a twelve hour period.  The important thing for contractors in these industries that go and do a job out in the field for a longer period of time is that they can change that normal work reporting location from let’s say the home office back in Ohio to that work location in Indiana.  So that one hundred air mile operating radius can change depending on their work location that they have.  So that’s very important to know.”

For more information on electronic logging devices for your trucking business please watch the full live stream with Cliff here: https://www.facebook.com/acuitytrucki…

Who insures vacant homes? We do.

While your vacant dwelling is waiting for new renters or owners, or just simply waiting, you can rest assured it’s properly protected. As your partner in property protection, we also can quickly and seamlessly transition your Vacant Dwelling policy to Landlord Insurance.

What coverage is provided?

Named peril coverage. Our “basic form” policy (CP 10 10) protects your vacant dwelling from fire, windstorm, hail, vandalism, smoke, sprinkler leakage, lightning, explosion, vehicle damage, sinkhole collapse, aircraft damage and volcanic action.
All risk coverage available. For broader protection, our “special form” policy (CP 10 30) provides coverage for all causes of loss unless specifically excluded from the policy. Our “special form” policy also provides theft coverage for properties with an active central station fire and burglar alarm.
Property coverage available up to $5 million limit of insurance.
General liability coverage available. Select this coverage (CG 00 01) for financial protection up to $1 million should you be found legally responsible for an accident on the property that causes injury to others.
Easily transition to a landlord insurance policy. Is your vacant property now ready to rent? Your vacant dwelling insurance policy can easily be converted to a landlord insurance policy with a simple endorsement.
Multiple locations. If you have more than one vacant dwelling in the same state, we can provide coverage with just one policy.
Flexible policy terms. We write 3-, 6- and 12-month policies in most states.
Flexible payment options. Installments are available for 6- and 12-month policies including the ability to pay online any day, any time.
Solid protection. We have been protecting vacant properties since 1978. Our coverage is provided by a carrier with a group rating of “A” (Excellent) by A.M. Best, the leading rating agency for the insurance industry.

Eligible vacant dwellings include:
•Dwellings that are 100% vacant and not undergoing repairs, remodeling or renovations of any kind
•Dwellings with up to four residential units
•Dwellings with three residential units and one commercial unit
•Dwellings with two residential units and two commercial units
•Fully skirted mobile homes that are anchored and/or on a permanent foundation
•Individual condominium and townhouse units

Buildings intended for demolition do not qualify for any of our insurance products.

Contact Beck Insurance Agency at 419-446-2777 or click to request a quote.

5 Reasons to Choose an Independent Insurance Agent Instead of Buying Insurance Online

Trust the experts, your local independent insurance agents.

You look for insurance once, then you’re bombarded with digital ads everywhere you go online. These marketing messages promise a quick purchase and a rock-bottom price.

When you start your search with an independent insurance agent, you connect with an expert, an advocate, and a great general resource.

Discover the 5 reasons why you should work with an independent agent instead of buying online.

Here are 5 reasons to choose an independent insurance agent instead of buying online.

1. Agents Ask the Right Questions


An online insurance provider doesn’t always consider your financial needs or life situation.

Here are some examples:

  • A college graduate with $100,000 of student loan debt won’t need the same life insurance policy as a recent retiree who’s finalizing her estate plan.
  • The little local coffee shop should have different business coverage than the huge car dealership down the road.
  • A five-bedroom house shouldn’t be insured the same as a one-bedroom starter home.

You could be single, married, caring for your parents, or looking after disabled family members. These factors determine what coverage you need.

Your independent agent will ask you the right questions and deliver personalized service

2. Agents Offer One-Stop Shopping


Independent agencies offer a wide variety of coverages, including:

  • Auto
  • Business
  • Financial products
  • Home
  • Life
  • Renters

If you run a business, some agencies will offer employee benefits like term life, accident insurance, and short-term disability for your employees.

The point is, an independent agent will help you with almost any coverage need you can think of.

3. Agents Value-Hunt for You


Independent agents represent multiple insurance carriers. They value-hunt policies for you to find the right coverage at the right price. They know all about the carriers’ discounts and will find them for you.

4. Agents Are Licensed


We’ll admit it: insurance policies aren’t always easy to read. Adding to that, coverages vary from one state to another and from one company to another.

That’s why agents have to take an exam to earn an insurance license. This gives them the knowledge they need to interpret your policies and help you understand them.

5. Agents Are Local Businesspeople


You support a local business when you purchase a policy from an independent agency. Don’t be surprised to find an insurance agent on your city’s Chamber of Commerce.

Many independent agents take pride in community involvement, whether they donate to charities, coach Little League teams, or attend school board meetings.

The Downside of Online Insurance


The online purchase process gives you convenience and low prices up front. Saving money now doesn’t mean you’ll save money later if you don’t have enough coverage.

Take a moment to think about these examples:

  • State-minimum car insurance probably won’t cover property damage costs and medical bills if you cause a major accident.
  • A small life insurance policy doesn’t account for student loan debt, car payments, mortgages, and living expenses.
  • A homeowners policy without a replacement cost enhancement could put you in a bad place if a fire or natural disaster leaves your home as a total loss.

It’s not all about money, though. You take on risks you might not know about when you don’t have an expert to review the policy with you.

Contact Beck Insurance Agency here or call 4219-446-2777 today.

5 Benefits of Dash Cams

Dashboard cameras—have you seen them in cars? Cameras mounted to the dashboard are not just in police cars anymore. A camera that records sounds and images both outside and inside your car can have several benefits, including:

Proof of an accident. A video record can help prove you were not responsible for an accident or traffic violation. It can also help expedite a claim with your insurance company.

Extra set of eyes. Some dash cams continue to record when your car is not in use, like when parked, providing the ability to capture hit-and-runs or break-ins.

Improve your driving. Driving videos can be used to review your driving skills. Some dash cams also have built-in safety warnings like if your car is too close to the vehicle in front of you or if your car starts to drift out of its lane.

Monitor teen driving. Parents can view how their teen is driving and see who else is in the car. Dash cams with GPS can also track when and where they were driving.

Road trip memories. Since the camera will be recording, quick and unexpected moments can be captured safely without reaching for a phone or being distracted while driving. These can be shared or downloaded to another device.

The cost of a dashboard camera can range from $25 to $250, depending on the features included. However, it may pay for itself after using it to fight a ticket or get reimbursed for your auto insurance deductible. Installing a dash cam typically involves applying the camera’s suction cup to a window or the dashboard—just don’t place it in a spot that obstructs the driver’s view.

Posted by Lisa D. on August 23, 2019 in Auto Focus

How to Avoid Distracted Driving

3 Tips for Keeping Your Eyes on the Road in a Digital World

Forty-eight states have banned texting while driving, yet distracted driving is listed as a probable cause for an increase in the number of collisions each year. The following steps are potential safeguards for you to consider while driving:

Put Your Phone in a Distraction-Free Mode

Adjust your phone’s settings so that you aren’t tempted to look at (or respond to) every buzzing, dinging or flashing notification. Try putting your phone into airplane mode while driving to your destination to eliminate all distractions. If putting your phone in airplane mode seems too severe, most phones have settings that will allow for media sound and major service providers offer a free app that will silence text alerts once your vehicle attains a certain speed, while still allowing GPS apps.

Ask Your Passengers to Help

When you are unable to turn off alerts completely, passengers can be a useful extra set of hands. Enlist your passengers as navigator or DJ so you can keep your focus on the road.

However, regardless of whether your alerts are set to “on” and you are travelling alone, always remember to…

W82txt

Did you know drivers normally spend five seconds looking at their phones when receiving a text? That’s enough time to cover more than the length of a football field when traveling at highway speeds.

As part of our commitment to reduce distracted driving, Auto-Owners began the W82txt campaign, which attempts to increase awareness of the dangers of distracted driving through local advertising and education, as well as direct community engagement by local Auto-Owners agents.  Click here for the original blog post.

Thank you Auto-Owners Insurance for all that you do in trying to keep us all safe!  For more information or auto insurance quotes please contact Beck Insurance Agency at 419-446-2777, or click here!

My child just got a drivers permit…do we need to add him/her to our auto insurance?

Not yet!

While most auto insurance companies would prefer to have information on any potential new driver ahead of time, some as early as age 14…..we don’t actually need to add / rate for them on the auto policy until they are licensed.

Once licensed, they should be officially added to your auto insurance policy.  Preferably…with us.  Call 419-446-2777, or click!