Posted by & filed under Homeowner’s Insurance, Safety.

Halloween is fast approaching. All kids love to dress up, get together with friends, and go door-to-door hoping to find the full size candy bar.

A little pre-planning can prevent unfortunate accidents that could turn out to be tragic for kids and trying for you. Here are some pointers for ensuring your house is a safe place for trick-or-treaters on Oct. 31.

Pets first. Dogs, cats, and other furry family companions get scared when oddly dressed strangers approach their door in droves. Make sure your pet is in a safe and comfortable space or take them to a secure, relaxing offsite location for the evening.

Clean up your yard. If your yard gathers stuff – like toys, rakes and other yard tools, hoses, tree branches, you name it – take the time to clean it up. Make sure your yard is free of potential hazards and create a clutter-free walking path well before dusk falls this Halloween.

Are all your lights working? Make sure you offer a well-lit path.

Candles. Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table.

Turn it off. When you’re done for the night, make it obvious by turning any and all inviting lights off.

Decorations. Don’t go overboard with decorations, they can cause fires and injuries.

Safety tips for kids

  • Never, ever go into a house
  • Go with friends
  • Costumes should be short enough to prevent children from tripping and falling
  • Young children should always be accompanied by an adult or an older, responsible child
  • Only go to homes with a porch light on
  • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective
  • Don’t eat homemade food
  • Look at all wrapped candy, if it has been opened toss it out
  • Use a flashlight
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Posted by & filed under Homeowner’s Insurance, News and Announcements, Safety.

It is college football season, time to shop for new ski’s, and it is also time to consider how to protect your home from the winter conditions that are fast approaching. This is also a good time to review your home and auto insurance. With temperatures falling and meteorologists predicting a colder than normal winter, the easiest and most cost efficient way to keep your home’s heat inside, while keeping your heating bill respectable, is to add fresh insulation to your attic, ceilings, basement, and walls.  Mark Wolf (of the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association) states that, “these do-it-yourself home upgrades could cause instant energy savings between 10 and 20%”.

Winter storm damage can cause thousands of dollars in damage. Let PlatinumOne Insurance Agency provide you with an insurance check-up to make sure you have the best possible coverage. Inspecting your home now can save you thousands down the road.

Here are a few home inspection tips to help prevent property damage, and help keep your Kansas home insurance costs down:

  • Check and clean your heating system to make sure it is in good working condition for the winter months.
  • Clean the clothes dryer exhaust duct and space under the dryer. This prevents lint from accumulating and reduces the risk of fire
  • Keep gutters clean and roof drains open. Inspect washing machine hoses periodically, and replace hoses that show signs of wear or leakage.
  • Make sure attic insulation doesn’t cover ventilation vents in the eaves. This helps prevent winter ice dams.
  • Replace cracked glass in windows and, if you end up replacing the entire window, prime and paint the exposed wood.
  • Make sure attic insulation is at least R30.
  • Make sure all stairwell drains are clear of debris. Consider building a permanent roof over an exterior stairwell to prevent debris and rain from getting into the stairwell.
  • Inspect the home exterior for crevice cracks and exposed entry points around pipes and seal them.
  • Insulate pipes that pass through unheated areas. Your home’s crawlspace and attic are two such areas.
  • Use weather stripping around doors to prevent cold air from entering the home and caulk windows.
  • If the chimney hasn’t been cleaned for a while, call a chimney sweep to remove soot and creosote.
  • Inspect the fireplace damper for proper opening and closing.
  • Vacuum under and behind the freezer and refrigerator to greatly improve efficiency of the units.
  • Check the mortar between bricks.
  • Check the condition of the putty around the windowpanes. If chunks are falling off, it’s time to have fresh putty installed.
  • Make sure all smoke detectors are working and have fresh batteries.
  • Install a carbon monoxide alarm near the furnace and any fireplaces that get used.
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Posted by & filed under Commercial Insurance, News and Announcements, Safety.

Business Insurance coverage is available for almost every conceivable risk your business might face. Cost, amount of coverage, and policies vary among insurers. PlatinumOne Insurance can advise you on the exact types of business insurance you should consider purchasing. The right business insurance policies will go a long way toward helping you safeguard your earning power and your future. If you are a business owner here are a few insurance products you need to consider:

Business Income or Loss of Rents

What you do with your building may determine the specific kind of insurance you need. If you own a building and have tenants you will want to consider loss of rents coverage. Typically the coverage includes reimbursement for loss of rent, or rental value, in the case of fire or other serious incident covered by insurance. Business Income coverage increases a business’s ability to survive a substantial loss. For example, if your business suffers a fire that stops all operations for three months, your business will need to continue to pay salaries, utilities, rent, and other fixed costs necessary for operations. In order for the business to become whole, the business is entitled to reimbursement for net income and operating expenses paid during the recovery period.

Data Breach or Cyber Liability

If your business stores sensitive or non-public information about employees or clients on your computers, servers, or in paper files, you are responsible for protecting that information.  If a breach occurs either electronically or from a paper file, a data breach policy will provide protection against the loss.

Umbrella

Standard business liability coverage will take care of you in most situations, but when serious situations arise, commercial umbrella insurance will help ensure that your business is protected. Examples of the need for umbrella coverage:

  • You have a serious fire and are involved in multiple lawsuits that exhaust your primary limits.
  • Your delivery truck is involved in an accident with multiple deaths or injuries.

Contact PlatinumOne Insurance for more information.

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Posted by & filed under Commercial Insurance, Homeowner’s Insurance, Safety.

Ah, travel is bliss; or we’d like to think so!   We want our vacations to be perfect, and ticket mishaps, delays, and schedule changes are all problems none of us like to have happen. We want you to have a great vacation and return home safe. Whether you are planning a trip across the state, or across the world, we have some tips to keep you safe:

  • Create an itinerary and give it to a family member or close friend.
  • Put all emergency numbers in everyone’s cell phone.
  • Don’t carry a lot of cash.
  • Advise your credit card companies of your travel. They will see purchases outside your normal area and may place a hold on the cards.
  • To avoid problems when passing through security, keep medicines in their original, labeled containers.
  • Put your name, address, and telephone numbers outside, and inside, of each piece of luggage.
  • You don’t need all your credit cards and ID; leave those you will not be using at home.
  • Never wear anything that projects affluence; no gold chains, expensive watches, rings, luggage, or other paraphernalia.  It is best to leave your expensive jewelry at home.
  • Do not wear name tags in public.
  • At the hotel discuss basic emergency procedures with your children, such as what to do in case of a fire.
  • Park only in well-lit and well-traveled areas.
  • Let your neighbors know your plans.
  • If your plans include travel out of the country, check your health insurance, as there may be some limitations. Call the PlatinumOne Insurance for a review.
  • Purchase timers for lights in your home and place them in two or three rooms.

Enjoy your vacation and be safe!

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Posted by & filed under Auto Insurance, Homeowner’s Insurance.

Many travelers operate under the misconception that car Rental Car Insurance rates are all about the same, and that shopping is a waste of time. But rates do vary, sometimes by quite a bit, between companies and destinations. PlatinumOne Insurance has a few tips for you.

  1. Book on-line: The web often offers the best deals.
  2. Try renting mid-week, if your travel plans allow.
  3. Avoiding unnecessary insurance: Car rental companies try to sell Rental Car Insurance to accompany your rental, but many homeowners or home automobile insurance policies and some premium credit cards already cover car Rental Car Insurance, so it always pays to check before accepting this option. Contact PlatinumOne Insurance to make sure you have the necessary insurance.
  4. Always buy your gas away from the airport; it can be as much as .25 per gallon less.
  5. Join reward programs: Many car rental agencies, hotels and airlines offer discounts if you are a member of a travel program.
  6. Look into renting the car for longer than you need, some agencies give you better daily rates for a week, and don’t charge you for early returns.
  7. Supply your own car seat if possible, they really upcharge you for this.
  8. Many rental car companies will try to up-sell you to a bigger vehicle or ask you add other features like GPS. Don’t do it. Remember your smart phone can be your GPS.
  9. Double check all fees.

Before you drive away from the pickup station, inspect the car carefully for damage. Be sure the lights and turn signals are working properly, and check the mileage odometer. Report any defects at once. You can always contact PlatinumOne Insurance for a review of your coverage and how it might apply when you rent a car.

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Posted by & filed under Auto Insurance, Homeowner’s Insurance, Safety.

PlatinumOne Insurance is always searching for ways to help our clients save money on their auto insurance. Saving money on auto insurance is a relatively quick way to lower the cost of operating your vehicle, and can be accomplished with a quick phone call to our office. There are many ways to lower your auto insurance costs without eliminating needed coverage. PlatinumOne Insurance has access to many competitive insurance markets giving you the advantage of shopping the market with just one call.

  • Use an independent agent to provide a quote. Call us today.
  • Many insurers offer discounts if you have some of the following features on your car; Anti-lock brakes, Airbags (driver/passenger, driver/passenger/rear seat, side impact, etc.) ,Automatic seat belts, Anti-theft device (active or passive), Daytime running lights.
  • Multi-vehicle discount (if you have more than one vehicle on the policy).
  • You can receive discounts if you combine your home and auto with the same carrier.
  • Good student discount.
  • Good driver discounts.
  • Consider raising your collision and comprehensive deductibles if your vehicles are older.
  • Customer loyalty- if you stay with a company for a period of time, you can receive discounts each year.
  • Maintain good credit. Credit scores have an impact on your premiums.
  • Drive safely and don’t get tickets.
  • Consider insurance when making your car purchase. Some vehicles are more expensive to insure.

PlatinumOne Insurance has access to many competitive insurance markets giving you the advantage of shopping the market with just one call.

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Posted by & filed under Auto Insurance, Benefits of Being Independent, Commercial Insurance, Homeowner’s Insurance, Life Insurance, News and Announcements.

There are many insurance myths floating around, and most of them have been around for years. We want to respond to these myths with clear information, so that you can make educated decisions about your insurance purchases. At PlatinumOne Insurance we hope dispel these myths and help you make smart insurance decisions.

Myth One

Having two agents is better because they keep each other competitive.

Having two agents duplicates effort and can create coverage gaps and/or duplications. For example, there are certain coverage’s that can be included under a liability policy as well as under an auto policy. If you have two agents, who coordinates coverage? One agent is better able to manage your entire insurance program.

Myth Two

The lowest premium is the best option.

Premiums are determined by a combination of exposures and coverage. If you select the lowest premium you may be missing needed coverage.  For example, the lower premium may not include replacement cost coverage on buildings and equipment.

Myth Three

Buying from a national company is always better.

Don’t be mislead by entertaining advertising. Most national agents only represent one insurance company. They can’t shop your account to determine the best combination of price and coverage.

Myth Four

The internet is a great place to get good insurance deals.

Low cost internet insurance may allow you to select the coverage and limits you think you need, but in most cases you end up with a limited and inadequate program.  Typically, you may only realize these limitations after you have an uninsured claim.

Myth Five

Umbrella insurance is only for high net worth companies or individuals.

A small electrical contractor was at fault for the total loss of a historic property; a loss that exceeded his general liability policy. The contractor’s umbrella policy paid the loss in excess of $7,000,000. Umbrella or excess coverage is some of the least costly insurance you can buy. Don’t risk a big loss for a small expense.

Myth Six

The Medical Payment portion of my homeowners insurance will cover injuries to me and my family.

Medical Payments, is a feature of most standard home insurance policies. It is there to protect you in the event that someone other than you or your family (a neighbor, friend, etc) gets hurt on your property.

Myth Seven

All my guns and jewelry are atomically covered in my homeowner’s policy.

There are limits on the amount of coverage you can receive for valuables such as jewelry, guns, furs, etc. For example, most companies put a cap of $1,500 on total jewelry lost during a burglary of your home. If you find that your jewelry is valued over $1,500, you will have to schedule it separately.

Myth Eight

Flood insurance is only for people who live in a high risk area.

The only people who may not need flood insurance are those who live on top of a mountain. Flood and rising water can affect almost everyone.

Myth Nine

I don’t need disability insurance because I can get Social Security.

Don’t count on Social Security to take care of all your needs if you become disabled. If you are able to get Social Security benefits for your disability (not all get approved to receive disability benefits so don’t assume you will) then you will still have to wait months before you receive benefits.  Also, your disability needs to be long-term to qualify for these benefits.

Myth Ten

There isn’t anything I can do to manage my insurance costs except shop price.

There are many things you can do to reduce your premiums; here are a few:

  • Consider increasing your deductibles
  • Maintain good credit
  • Consider the vehicle when make a purchase, some are more expensive to insure
  • Add smoke and security alarms to your home or office
  • Ask us about the many different discounts offered by our insurers
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Posted by & filed under Benefits of Being Independent, Homeowner’s Insurance, Safety.

Ah, travel is bliss; or we’d like to think so! We want our vacations to be perfect, and ticket mishaps, delays, and schedule changes are all problems none of us like to have happen. We want you to have a great vacation and return home safe. Whether you are planning a trip across the state, or across the world, we have some tips to keep you safe:

  • Create an itinerary and give it to a family member or close friend.
  • Put all emergency numbers in everyone’s cell phone.
  • Don’t carry a lot of cash.
  • Advise your credit card companies of your travel. They will see purchases outside your normal area and may place a hold on the cards.
  • To avoid problems when passing through security, keep medicines in their original, labeled containers.
  • Put your name, address, and telephone numbers outside, and inside, of each piece of luggage.
  • You don’t need all your credit cards and ID; leave those you will not be using at home.
  • Never wear anything that projects affluence; no gold chains, expensive watches, rings, luggage, or other paraphernalia.  It is best to leave your expensive jewelry at home.
  • Do not wear name tags in public.
  • At the hotel discuss basic emergency procedures with your children, such as what to do in case of a fire.
  • Park only in well-lit and well-traveled areas.
  • Let your neighbors know your plans.
  • If your plans include travel out of the country, check your health insurance, as there may be some limitations.
  • Purchase timers for lights in your home and place them in two or three rooms.
  • Have a family member or friend stop in to check your home out.

Enjoy your vacation and be safe!

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Posted by & filed under Auto Insurance, Commercial Insurance, Homeowner’s Insurance, News and Announcements.

The more your earning power and assets increase, the more you have at risk, and therefore, the more you need to protect. Kansas homeowners and automobile insurance provides a minimum limit of liability coverage.  An Umbrella policy from PlatinumOne Insurance Agency provides coverage above the limits of your “primary” home and auto policies.

Many people are unsure what an Umbrella policy is or what it covers. When you are outside and there is a light rain or breeze you generally don’t need or want an Umbrella. However, if it is pouring down rain with high winds, you need your umbrella. An Umbrella Insurance policy works much the same way. Umbrella Insurance provides extra protection or limits above the liability insurance you currently have. Just as an Umbrella protects you from heavy rain, an Umbrella Insurance policy protects you from losing the entirety of your wealth and assets in the event of a claim. A clear advantage of an Umbrella policy for Kansas residents is the coverage’s ability to “drop down” and fill in the gaps in underlying policies.

Here is an example; John Doe falls asleep while driving and hits a van with a family inside. The accident results in $600,000 of medical bills. John Doe had a policy with only a $500,000 limit, so now John Doe will have to come up with an additional $100,000 to satisfy the claim. If there had been an Umbrella policy in place, that policy would have paid the additional $100,000, not John Doe.

Certain lifestyle pursuits such as volunteering for nonprofits can increase your risk of being sued, necessitating the need for higher personal liability limits. Also if you own a boat, RV, motorcycle, or have a pool, you may way to consider higher limits. If you have a high net worth it is advisable to protect your assets with a personal Umbrella policy. The cost for a $1,000,000 or $5,000,000 is reasonable and well worth it.

Kansas Umbrella insurance policies provide broad coverage beyond traditional home and auto. They provide additional liability coverage above the limits of your Kansas homeowner’s, Kansas auto, and Kansas RV, or boat insurance policies.

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Posted by & filed under Homeowner’s Insurance, Personal Insurance, Safety.

Warm weather sends many of us to the water to enjoy our watercraft, which brings us to the important topic of boating/watercraft safety.  According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 88 percent of reported fatalities in 2012 happened on boats where the driver had not received boating safety training. Here are some things to think about before you take your watercraft out:

Trip Pre Planning

  • Have a first aid kit and fire extinguisher on board.
  • Make sure your gas tanks are vented and bilges are free of vapors, oil, waste, and grease.
  • Carry Coast Guard approved life jackets.
  • Check your motor at least once per year.
  • View the hull for damage.
  • Consider taking a safety course.
  • We know you have a million things to do, but learning CPR should be on the top of the list. It will give you tremendous peace of mind.

 Watercraft Safety

  • Follow all safety rules.
  • Be aware of weather conditions.
  • Have operable boat lights – Always test boat lights before the boat leaves the dock and carry extra batteries.
  • Never allow passengers to ride on gunwales, seatbacks or outside of protective railings, including the front of a pontoon boat.  A sudden turn, stop or start could cause a fall overboard.
  • Follow speed laws around house boats and docks.
  • Know your boat’s capacity and how to properly load it. An overloaded or improperly loaded boat can cause safety problems.
  • Have a working marine radio on board at all times and know how to use it.
  • Ventilate after fueling. Open hatches, run the blower, and check for fuel fumes before starting the engine.
  • Infants and young children are at a higher risk for hypothermia, so if you are taking a baby on a boat, just take a few extra precautions to keep your baby warm.

PlatinumOne Insurance can provide you with competitive rates on all your watercraft needs, call us today.

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