We have an APP for that!

Have you heard about our Leland Smith Insurance app, and are wondering what you can do with it? Well look no further! Our user-friendly app can do multiple things, and we’ve compiled a list right here:

  1. Start a claim either by phone, through a quick online form, or with accident services
  2. Request a quote on commercial, home, auto, life, or health insurance
  3. Make your insurance payment
  4. Securely store your auto ID cards and account information
  5. Dial accident support
  6. Refer a friend
  7. Request policy and certificate information
  8. Get directions to our office
  9. Plug in your favorite repair shop
  10. Add your roadside assistance company
  11. Lookup nearby hotels, gas stations, towing services and taxis
  12. Keep a running inventory of your household items
  13. Add accident history
  14. Hold a contact list of all LSI agents and supporting insurance companies
  15. Direct links to our Facebook, website, and blog
  16. Lookup your medical provider

As you can see, this app is able to be personalized to your unique policies making insurance much more convenient for everyone. So what are you waiting for? Search “Leland Smith Services” in the App store or Google Play and download to your iPhone or Android for FREE. Seriously. It’s free and user-friendly. Give it a try! IMG_1754.PNG

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Higher Liability Limits: Why Too Little Liability Coverage is a Big Problem

I’m not a millionaire, therefore there’s no point for me to have an umbrella policy.

It’s against the law to drive without car insurance of some sort, so there can’t be that  many uninsured drivers with a car.  

Why should I have to pay the extra price if I am in fact hit by someone with state minimum/no insurance? It’s not my fault they don’t follow the law.

Sound familiar to you? Perhaps these thoughts have crossed your mind (or are even said!) whenever your insurance agent has suggested higher liability limits, or an umbrella policy be added to your home and auto coverage. Many carry the dangerous mentality of “this won’t happen to me.” The unfortunate truth is catastrophic accidents do happen, whether vehicular or otherwise. Moreover, there is a 1 in 7 chance you can be involved in a car accident with a person who has little to no insurance. Probably a much higher possibility than you thought, right?

Devastatingly, these types of accidents have occurred in our own small community (some of which result in tragic deaths), too often to the point where we thought it was time to explain the benefits of an umbrella policy. So what’s a person to do if you are caught in a run-in with an uninsured/underinsured driver? More importantly, why can having higher liability limits be the element that has your insurance company paying the high costs (instead of your wallet)?

Personal Catastrophe Liability (otherwise known as an Umbrella Policy)

What exactly is an umbrella policy, and how does it come into play if involved in an accident with an uninsured driver? According to Erie insurance blogger Amanda Prischak, “An umbrella policy provides an extra layer of liability protection over and above both your auto and homeowners policies. It covers you if you’re sued because of an accident.” For the purposes of this article, however, it is important to note that an umbrella policy can also provide protection if you are ever hit by an uninsured/underinsured driver. When you have an umbrella policy, you have the ability to add two things: underinsured/uninsured motorist bodily injury protection and property damage protection. According to Erie blogger Abby Badach, underinsured/uninsured motorist bodily injury protection “covers damages that you and the passengers in your vehicle sustain when an uninsured (or a hit-and-run) driver is at fault.” Underinsured/uninsured property damage protection “pays for your vehicle repairs or a replacement car if you’re hit by someone without any or enough insurance coverage.”

Let’s take a look at a hypothetical scenario:

What if you were involved in an accident with someone who only had state minimum or no insurance, and you were left with $18,000 in car damages and $50,000 in medical bills? The underinsured driver at fault certainly would not have enough insurance deductibles to cover you in the event of an accident. Consequently, your regular auto policy deductibles would only be able to pay so much of those expenses before you would be asked to pay the rest of the hefty bills. That’s where your uninsured/underinsured bodily injury protection and property damage protection come into play. With that extra protection, you wouldn’t have to worry about being stuck with a huge stack of bills for an accident that was not your fault to begin with.

Don’t think that this extra protection means the law breaker gets off the hook.

Though your umbrella policy is the one to pay whatever damages remain, these uninsured/underinsured drivers certainly don’t get away with what they’ve done. They can face penalties such as the suspension of their license, points on their license, traffic tickets, and large fines. Trust us; they will feel the backlash from their careless decision of having little to no insurance.

Aren’t sure how much coverage you do need to be properly protected in the event of a terrible event such as this?

Not to worry! Leland Smith insurance agents are happy to take a look at your overall assets and already existing coverage to make sure you get proper protection that is both affordable and crucial if something like this were to ever happen to you. Also, here is a very short video explaining this type of coverage:

 

 

Meet Kyle Strawn: Agent Spotlight

Next up on our agent spotlight is Kyle Strawn, insurance agent in our Delphos branch at Hickey-Morris. We hope you enjoy getting to know him!

Tell us a little about yourself, family and hobbies

KS: I am originally from Van Wert. My parents, myself and two siblings moved to Lima when I was in 7th grade, which then led to me graduating from Shawnee High School. From there, I went onto go to college at Adrian College, where I received my degree in business management and played baseball for four years. In August 2017 I married my now wife, Lindsay Wicker, who is also from Van Wert. We are expecting a little baby girl summer of 2018! Most of my hobbies include involvement in sports. I grew up with sports in my life and I love being around them. Whether it’s coaching youth/high school baseball, or it’s a pick-up basketball game, sports are one of my favorite things to do.  My wife and I are very family oriented. We spend a lot of our free time with our families.

How long have you been in the insurance business?

KS: I have been in the insurance industry for five and a half years. I started right out of college in 2012 with Auto-Owners insurance. I started in commercial lines underwriting and then took a transfer to the home office in Lansing MI, and then took a job as a marketing rep in Toledo. I joined Hickey-Morris Insurance and the Leland Smith group in September of 2016, and have been here ever since.At Hickey Morris Ins. I handle personal lines, commercial lines, life, and flood insurance.

What is the most rewarding aspect of working in this field?

KS: The thing I enjoy the most in this business is helping people become whole again. Insurance is something that everybody pays for, in hopes that we never have to use it. In the event that we do have to use it, I like the fact, that we as agents, with the backing of the companies, are able to put people back together in a time they need it the most. In the time of a loss, agents are the first phone call that is made. Whether it’s an auto accident, house fire, etc., we are going to be the ones to get the call for help. When someone needs us most, we are there to help.

Is there one thing you wish others could understand about insurance?

KS: I wish that people would understand the true value of using an independent agent. In a quickly changing world, there are a lot of avenues to receive your insurance. Many think the best option is to jump online, find the cheapest policy out there, and go with that. The cheapest option is not always the best. As an independent agent, we can offer expertise in the field. We can make sure you have the correct coverage at the right price. In the event of a loss, we are able to understand what should be covered and what shouldn’t, and also intervene when needed. That service is not provided through some of the other sources.

What do you enjoy most about working at LSI?

KS: The thing I like the most about being a part of this agency is the family atmosphere. It’s a small town, family-run agency that treats its employees like family. I love the involvement in the community. It’s great to walk around town and see how much our agency is able to give back.

Thanks for all you do for us at LSI, Kyle. We are so glad to have you on our team!

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Safely Getting Home after Ringing in the New Year

With the holiday season upon us, it is also the time of the year with a number of parties to attend. In fact, New Year’s Eve is just around the corner. Sometimes you end up drinking more than you normally would at these events—it is the time known for being merry and bright, after all! While it may be okay to consume more alcohol than you intended, it is NEVER okay to drive after doing so. With many options quite literally at your fingertips, there is no excuse for drunk driving. We’ve compiled a list of options to consider as you prepare to celebrate (and arrive home afterward) safely:

  1. Schedule an Uber or a Lyft ride. Seriously, it can’t get any easier than this. All you have to do is download the app before heading out, and with the touch of your finger, your ride for the evening is paid for.
  2. Hail (or in our case, call) a cab. Yes, those yellow cars still do exist. Van Wert also has a local taxi available. Be sure to give them a call!
  3. Ask a friend or family member to serve as DD for the evening. Not everyone is interested in drinking to ring in the New Year. All you have to do is ask a pal to be on hand when you are ready to call it a night. You can always return the favor and offer to be DD next time!
  4. If celebrating at a family or friend’s house, ask to stay! If you are celebrating in the home of a family or friend, you can always ask to stay over. Even if not ideal, your family or friend would much rather you crash at their place than risk being a danger to others and yourself while driving drunk.
  5. Check National Directory of Designated Drivers. Not sure who to contact or what resources are available in your area? Check out this website and also AAA for a list of information.

There truly is no excuse to drive under the influence of alcohol. Though this is a time of year to celebrate, there are easy ways to do so safely, not recklessly.

For more, check out Erie Insurance’s blog: “5 Ways to Get a Designated Driver on New Year’s Eve,” December 21st, 2017, https://www.erieinsurance.com/blog/designated-driver-for-new-years.