Prep Your Insurance as the Kids Go Back to School

The start of a new school year is a busy time for families across the country. Whether your little ones dreaded a new year or were excited to return, it’s not just a big change for them – it’s a big change for you, too! This year, take the opportunity to review three key areas of your insurance policy, so you’re protected for another year of learning.

Updating Your Health Insurance

We all know that kids, schools, and the start of the colder months, are a perfect recipe for colds, flu, and all the infections children are prone to. With this in mind, it’s a sensible idea to make sure you have a good health insurance policy, so that if illness strikes, you won’t be paying over the odds for medical bills.

If your older kids are making the move to college, you have a number of options to consider to make sure they’re still covered, too. One option is to keep them on your health insurance policy, but bear in mind that if they’re travelling away from home, finding an in-network provider where they are could be difficult.

It’s also important to remember that many colleges and universities have their own on-campus health care and insurance for students enrolled with them – and sometimes it’s even free! If that’s the case then it’s a simple matter of completing the relevant steps to enroll, but if neither of these options work for you, your teen might have to apply for individual health insurance.

Home Insurance for Students

With technology nowadays being a big part of most students’ lives, we’re sure your teen will be bringing a few expensive items to their college dorms. Protecting electronics like laptops, TVs, and sound systems should be a priority, and it’s important to know whether or not they’re covered in the event of damage or theft.

If they’re moving into college dorms, it’s likely they’ll be covered by the university’s insurance, but if they’re staying off-campus, it’s a smart idea to explore additional coverage like renter’s insurance. That way, while your future-grad completes their studies, you can rest easy knowing that they’re as financially protected as they would be at home with you.

Car Insurance for New Drivers

This year, it might be time for your teen to get his or her driver’s license, which means that new coverage options for your car insurance will be important. If your child is taking their own car to college, then student discounts on insurance might be beneficial, but if they move more than 100 miles away, your premiums might change.

If you’ve already insured your teen on your own car, but they aren’t taking it to college with them, this could be good news for you though, as your premiums could decrease and you’ll be in line to save a lot of cash.

No matter what stage your kids are at in their lives, the start of the school year is the perfect time to evaluate home, car, and health insurance policies, to make sure your family is as protected as it can be for another year.

If you need advice, our family-run business is here to help! Visit our website to request a free insurance quote today, and make sure you’re ready for a brand new year, filled with brand new possibilities.

Update Your Home Insurance and Maintenance This Summer

Summer is a time for long days, warm nights, and visiting with old friends, but it’s also the time you should review your home insurance policy, and make sure your house is protected from damage while you travel.

This year, while you plan your summer break and enjoy a long vacation, make sure you’re able to fully relax, safe in the knowledge that your home is protected.

What Your Home Insurance Should Cover

There are a number of things to look out for on your home insurance policy. The most important types of home insurance include:

  • Dwelling Coverage: This pays to repair or rebuild your home if it’s damaged by a covered cause of loss. You’ll need enough dwelling coverage to cover the cost of the repair or rebuild, should disaster strike.
  • Other Structures Coverage: This can help pay for damages to buildings like garages, sheds, or fences surrounding your home.
  • Personal Property Coverage: This makes sure your most valuable possessions and personal items, like furniture, clothes, sporting goods, and electronics, will be covered if they are damaged by a covered cause of loss.
  • Loss of Use Coverage: Loss of Use coverage can pay for any additional living expenses you need, if you’re forced to move out of your home while repairs are being completed.
  • Personal Liability Coverage: If a member of your household is responsible for causing injury or damage to others, liability coverage can protect you and provide a defence in the event of a lawsuit.

There are also options for extra coverage, which you should consider if you’re planning to be away from your home for a significant period of time:

  • Special Personal Property Coverage
  • Contents Replacement Cost
  • Additional Replacement Cost Protection Coverage
  • Jewellery and Valuable Items
  • Water Back-up and Sump Pump Discharge or Overflow

Home Maintenance Tips

Even with home insurance, though, before you leave on vacation, it’s important to make sure you’ve given your home some TLC. A well-looked after home is one that’s most likely to avoid damage, and limit your chances of having to make an insurance claim.

Follow these simple steps to ensure you avoid damage to your home:

  • Check the locks on your doors, and make sure your window locks are all in good working order before you go away.
  • Check electrical outlets and cords for fire hazards, including frayed wires or loose-fitting plugs. Remember, don’t overload electrical outlets, fuse boxes, or extension cords.
  • Inspect your toilet and washing machine for leaks, and thoroughly check all pipe connections.
  • Replace any rotten wood or damaged stairs, and make sure any recreation equipment in your garden, such as swing sets, are free from rust and general wear and tear.

Finding the Right Policy

No matter how much coverage you need for your home this summer, at Brandt Insurance, we have many years of experience in providing outstanding home insurance, and we are here to help you!

Visit our website to request a free home insurance quote today, and make sure your home is protected.

How to Improve Your Business Policy and Retain the Best Employees

At Brandt Insurance, we know it can be tough finding the best candidates to help your business grow. With the current rate of unemployment so low, and competition between businesses high, it’s important to offer your best employees a comprehensive benefits package, so that they have a reason to stay, and your company can keep on succeeding.

With our range of insurance policies, we can help you create inexpensive but competitive benefits packages for your employees, so you can be sure you’ll always retain the best of the best, and remain viable in a burgeoning marketplace.

What Do We Offer?

Thanks to our generations of experience in crafting benefits packages, we are able to help you package the kind of benefits offers your employees will value most. Our dedicated staff are on hand to help you create the most ideal insurance policy for your workers, and your business, and we can offer unique programmes of benefits, including:

  • Health Care Insurance
  • Disability Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Flexible Compensation
  • Paid Leave
  • Retirement/Pension Plans
  • And Much More!

What Makes Us Different?

We don’t believe that ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to business insurance, and we certainly don’t think every employee benefits package should be the same. That’s why our dedicated staff are here to help you craft a one-of-a-kind insurance plan, that can make use of some, all, or a mixture of many of the policies listed above, so you can find the one that’s right for you and your employees.

We also keep our ear to the ground, so we know exactly what makes most employees tick. In a study of benefits, which was conducted by the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM), they found that the top 3 benefits employees wished they had were Pension Plans, Savings Plans, and Employee Healthcare Benefits.

With this in mind, we can help you choose the kind of benefits plans that will help you attract and keep hold of your very best workers, so you can create the kind of company where work is valued, and the business can keep growing.

To learn more about our range of packages, visit our Employee Benefits Insurance page, or get in touch via our contact page, so our business family can help your business family, towards even greater success.

Insuring your Growing Wine Business

Insuring your business well is one of the key ways you can ensure long-term success. At Brandt Insurance, we have a proven track record of creating bespoke policies tailored to the specific needs of the wine industry, so you can rest assured you’re only paying for what you need.

Whether you’re a fledgling vineyard or a well-established winery, we can work with you to create a unique package of cost-effective coverage that works for your business. At Brandt, we have 55 years of experience in the insurance needs of wineries, vineyards, farms, and ranches.

Read on to discover some of the exclusive features we offer as part of our insurance plans.

All Risk Coverage

At any and all points in the supply chain, you will be insured for “All Risk” coverage, including earthquakes, earthquake sprinkler leakage and flood, and specific protection in the event of loss of income, since we can promise your stock will be valued at its selling price, should you need to claim.

Our All Risk Coverage offers customized proprietary features that are specifically tailored to the wine industry. The risk management additions allow our clients to maintain high quality standards throughout, and by providing a claims handling process that uses one of the largest wine and grape brokers in the country, we are well placed to give assistance on exceptional wine replacement valuations.

Our coverage includes, but isn’t limited to:

• Contamination from external sources

• Transportation of grapes to winery

• Wine leakage

• Third party errors & omissions

• Spoilage to grapes in the process to delivery

• Spoilage of wine due to temperature changes

• Previously undetected organisms natural to the wine-making process from external sources

• Wine ready for shipment or during shipment

With over half a century’s experience in insurance, the offer of tailored risk management, and the option of a one-page form to include a Statement of Wine Stock Values, you can rest assured that with Brandt Insurance, your business is in capable hands.

To find out more about how we can help protect your wine business, visit our website today, and discover how to protect your future earnings.

Brandt Insurance: How Our Business Changes with the Times

As an established and trusted company, we know there are certain things our customers expect when they choose to renew their insurance policies with us. Our proven track record of excellent coverage and world-class customer service is an important part of our business model, but to remain competitive in the markets, we also take great pride in adapting and changing with the times.

Personal Insurance

Below, we discuss the ways in which we adapt our business to change, and how this benefits our customers long-term.

  1. We Communicate Well

    Our lines of communication are important to us, which is why we have established channels for employees to contact managers, managers to access customers, and customers to learn more about us. This allows us to constantly learn from the experiences of those we work with, so we’re able to consistently improve our business model year after year.

  2. We Accept Praise and Criticism

    If our customers are happy, then we’re happy, and we want to hear that our service has been good. But that doesn’t mean we shy away from criticism, either. Criticism is what helps us to grow and learn, which is why we’re just as grateful to receive negative feedback as positive, and you can be sure that we’ll act on all complaints to make our service the best it can be.

  3. We Plan, But We Are Flexible

    We set long-term goals for our business, which allows us to stay on track and ensure continuous growth. However, if we spot a great way to improve our service, we will take it, and find a way to incorporate it into our business plan. It’s this constant desire to improve that sets us apart from other companies in our area.

  4. We Embrace Technology

    In a multi-media world, we are always looking for ways to incorporate technology into our day-to-day operations. For years now, we’ve combined our old-fashioned commitment to personal service with the latest innovations in the industry, which means we can make the process simple for our clients.

  5. We Are Customer-Focused

    No matter how much our business grows, we know it’s our customers that make this business a success. That’s why we pride ourselves on being a small-town insurance agency, with an outstanding national reputation.

Change might be scary to some people, but for us, it’s a welcome challenge. We work change into our business model, and we are here to help you. So, if you’re looking for close personal customer service, with competitive national level savings, then look no further than Brandt Insurance.

Smart Ways You Can Invest Your Income Tax Refund

It’s that time of year again, when some of us can look forward to a very welcome tax rebate, and start thinking of ways to spend it! Even though you might already have picked out several things you want to spend your money on, it’s important to remember that this isn’t simply bonus money, but money that’s already yours and is now being given back to you.

With this in mind, it’s best not to get too carried away with spur-of-the-moment purchases. This is your money: so give it a purpose, and start thinking about how to spend it wisely. Below, we’ve detailed just a few practical ways you can look after your money, and do something long-lasting with your tax rebate this year.

Increase Your Emergency Fund

We should all have a little extra cash put aside, ready for those unexpected disasters we sometimes encounter in life. Whether you’re only just starting your emergency fund, or adding to an existing account, be aware that ideally you should have 6 – 8 months’ worth of savings in an easily accessible, interest-bearing account. Instead of taking a little bit out of every pay check and adding to it that way, your tax rebate can be a lucrative addition to your rainy-days account.

Pay Off High-Interest Debt

After setting up an emergency fund, the next most sensible plan you should have in place is to get rid of any high-interest debt that’s hanging over your head. Make your refund work for you, by paying off payday loans, putting in place a debt elimination programme, and taking the edge off car loans or any credit card debt. Your future self will thank you!

Donate to Charity

When you’re keeping an eye on your savings, it can be easy to forget to give something back to your community. But with the unexpected windfall of your tax rebate, you could make a real difference to the area you live in by donating a portion of it to a cause close to your heart. And it’s a financially savvy expenditure as well, because you’ll be able to claim your donation as a future tax deduction, too!

Insure Your Home and Family

Insurance might be low down your priority list at most times of the year, but with the return of your tax, you could increase the insurance protection for your home and family for another year, giving you future peace of mind! What could be better?

Spend it On Something You Want

Finally, you can of course spend it on something you want. Treat your family to a much-needed vacation, make those home improvements you’ve been putting off, or simply take the pressure off budgeting for another month. No matter what you do, just try not to get too carried away, and make sure you’re making the smart choice, for you and your loved ones.

What do you plan on doing with your refund this year?

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