Unfortunately this is a subject far too many of us are currently facing. The insurance companies use a service to determine Replacement Cost. The largest is Marshall and Swift (MSB). They survey the country and establish an inflation index on the cost of construction by zip code. This index is then applied to the expiring limit to establish the amount of coverage necessary to reconstruct your home in the event of a total loss.

It is important to keep in mind that your insurance policy provides for replacement cost of the dwelling, not the market value of the dwelling. It is important to maintain adequate coverage on your residence in order to retain all of the coverages included in the policy.

We do routinely accomplish the Replacement Cost Evaluations for our policyholders, and we do adjust those limits whenever we find them to be inaccurate. We will notify you of any proposed changes before we make any changes to your policy.

Again unfortunately, you are correct, Homeowners premiums have increased over the last several years. The primary reason is the number and the severity of the claims that have been presented under the Homeowners policies. The two most frequent causes of loss have been backup of Sewer and Sump Coverage, and Wind and Hail. The weather patterns we have experienced in Illinois have been unusually severe. As a result the insurance industry has suffered large losses in the Homeowners policy area.

Insurance is based upon the Law of Large Numbers. Stated simply, we all pay a fixed sum into the “Insurance Pool”, and the losses incurred by those unfortunate policyholders are paid from that pool. Premiums are based upon losses however, so if do fall into the class of unfortunate policyholder who submitted a claim or claims, your premium probably increased even more.

A few of the best ways to keep your premiums reasonable are to:

– Maintain the highest deductible that makes economic sense.

– Don’t turn in small claims.

– Maintain your residence so as to avoid damage.

– Take small scheduled items off of the schedule and “self insure” them.

– Make sure you’re getting all of the discounts available such as newer roof, multi policy, group discounts, alarm systems, and others. We can review those discounts with you.

We require limits that significantly exceed the state minimum limits for several reasons. We do not want our policyholders exposed to personal financial loss due to an accident. Even the allegation of a claim exceeding the policy limits requires the policyholder to obtain an attorney to represent their interests. We feel this representation is more properly addressed by the insurance policy.

One of the coverages that come with the higher limit is the Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage. It is estimated that up to 30% of Chicago drivers are uninsured. That means the policyholder would be on their own to pursue the uninsured or underinsured motorist for damages caused by the accident.

We do not believe that it is socially responsible to carry low limits of liability. Again, we feel that the insurance industry is designed to handle the losses caused by auto claims.

As a final point, the cost of the increased limits is very reasonable. In fact, an Umbrella Liability policy is one of the biggest bargains in the insurance industry. We recommend every policyholder have an umbrella.

Independent Insurance Agents have the expertise to advise you on the coverages you need to protect the assets you have accumulated, plus your future assets. We represent you directly, we don’t work for an insurance company. We work with several companies.

Our agency has been located in Lake Zurich since 1986, working with very carefully selected insurance carriers. We have selected carriers for their superior level of service, competitive premiums, coverage packages, and their consistency in this territory. When you call our office, you speak to the same person each time, not a phone bank in some far away location.

We can bundle your coverages to achieve the most cost effective premium level. In fact, we can review your policies for possible Life Multi Policy Discounts. I doubt those internet companies have that available.

We have the ability to advise you on situations and the impact of different options available. For example, we can review your coverages and deductibles to find the most cost effective yet comprehensive plan available. As your life changes, certain coverage issues also change. We can advise you of the options you have to address those new challenges.

We represent more than one carrier, so if there is reason to remarket your insurance portfolio, we do that for you.

Many of those other carriers require you to use their body shop or their contractor. We believe you have the right to use the shop or contractor of your choice. We can make recommendations if you’d like, as we have dealt with many of the local businesses over our 26 years in town.

We can assist in making sure payment and claim information is handled on a timely basis, and on occasion can intervene to resolve issues regarding your policy.

Yes, in fact, our agency is unique in that we have a dedicated Life and Health producer on staff. Chris is an RHU (Registered Health Underwriter- an advanced designation requiring study and expertise in the health insurance field). We represent several highly rated life and health carriers for both Individual and Group Health Plans, including HSAs, Life Insurance, Disability Insurance, Long Term Care, Medicare Supplements, and Annuities. Our website even has direct link to apply for temporary and permanent health plans with our carriers.

In putting together your overall insurance portfolio, we can make sure you are receiving all possible discounts. As I stated earlier, some of our carriers even offer multi policy discounts on your Homeowners and Auto and BusinessOwners policies in recognition of a qualifying Life Insurance product.

We can review your needs for life and health coverage and design a plan specifically for you. Remember you don’t necessarily invest in Life Insurance for yourself, you do it for those you love.

Most definitely. We can upload your premiums directly into the company’s system for immediate credit to your account. This eliminates mailing time, or the need to enroll and accomplish these items on your own. Of course, our carriers have the capability to accept various payments online as well.

We can also issue I D Cards, Certificates of Insurance, and Bonds right here. We try to be as much of a value added agency as possible. We love to have our policyholders visit.