What is Distracted Driving?

Stay safe and keep your insurance rates low by avoiding distracted driving.

We live in a connected world these days. With a few taps of your phone you can book a flight, buy a car or even order a pizza for friends in another state. All these options for entertainment and information can be great, but not for drivers behind the wheel.

Distracted driving is an increasingly dangerous phenomenon with drivers across the United States. According to the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration, when a driver is behind the wheel and using their smartphone to text, call or use an app, they are 23% more likely to cause a crash. In fact, 2016 took 40,200 people in general traffic accidents, a 14% increase from 2014 overall.

Does Distracted Driving affect Insurance?

It’s not hard to believe that taking your eyes off the road is dangerous. A survey from Allstate insurance shows that the average driver is aware of the risks as well. Of the 7,500 drivers Allstate surveyed between 2013 and 2016, nearly half of them acknowledge that they text and drive. Of those who admitted to texting and driving, 70% confessed that they were worse at texting as well as driving. This isn’t surprising; the same survey showed that texting is also the biggest cause of distracted driving compared to phone calls, passengers, eating and adjusting music.

The best way to combat distracted driving is to put your phone away or remind anyone you drive with to avoid distraction. Overall, younger drivers are the main suspect behind this issue. The NHTSA reports that 10% of drivers aged 15 to 19 in fatal crashes were distracted. With this high rate of dangerous teenage drivers, cars are coming out with more sophisticated safety features to take the phone out of your hand or make your driving safer. However, devices like backup cameras make vehicles more expensive to maintain or repair, increasing premiums. Overall, insurance companies have responded by raising premiums to make up for expensive features, lawsuits and medical bills caused by distracted drivers.

Contact Insurance Quotes Salt Lake

If you’re shopping for insurance for a teenager, keep all these factors in mind and don’t let them drive distracted. Not only is the habit dangerous to them and other drivers, it can result in expensive rates and even criminal charges. Get an accurate look at insurance rates across Salt Lake City and Utah with Insurance Quotes Salt Lake.

Why Your Startup Needs Business Insurance

Get business insurance for your startup from Insurance Quotes Salt Lake

If you’re running a business startup, you need business insurance to protect your assets. As a new business owner, you probably want to be frugal and the policies you choose will depend on the type of business you run. Here are some of the reasons why you absolutely need business insurance:

Some aspects of business insurance are required by law

As soon as your startup employs a new staff member, you are required to insure and provide protection to that individual and all employees. A business is required by law to have either employers’ liability or workers’ compensation insurance, as all employers are responsible for the health and safety of employees. This ensures that employees are financially cared for when they suffer any accident, injury or illness related to work. If you fail to carry these types of business insurance, it can lead to fines and criminal penalties.

Protecting your employees

Employees are the greatest asset to your business. They help you stay in business and allow the company to offer products or services. When you protect them in the event of an accident or illness, you protect your interests and fulfill your duty as an employer.

Guards human assets

Especially in a small startup, you may have key personnel with specific skills who generate large profits for your company. Therefore, you should consider insuring these individuals with “key person” insurance. This is also known as key man insurance and is essentially a life insurance policy that safeguards your business in the event of death or critical illness.

Litigation costs can cripple your business

In the event of a liability claim against your business, without any insurance, the cost of a claim can be devastating. If there is an accident or a broken contract, you could be sued and have to deal with high legal costs. Liability insurance can give you peace of mind because you know that you’re covered for such unexpected events so you can go on with day-to-day business.

Keeps your business open after a disaster

If your business suffers from a flood, earthquake, fire or theft, business interruption insurance can cover any lost revenue or expenses while you get yourself back on track. This is an additional feature of business insurance and something that isn’t legally required. Without business interruption insurance, many businesses are unable to re-open after a disaster due to extreme costs and loss of income while waiting for property or assets to be rebuilt or repaired.

Credibility

Simply having insurance makes your business more credible to potential customers. It shows prospective clients that if anything goes wrong you are able to provide compensation. This builds trust and assurance.

Home Changes that Change your Insurance

Being a homeowner can be an exciting experience. Once you finally have authority over where you live, the possibility for home improvement is limitless. While it’s great to paint your home any color you want or even add rooms to your home, there are a few practical improvements you can make to lower your insurance costs on your home.

A New Roof

It’s easy to take your roof for granted, but a healthy roof can save you a lot of money. In some areas, a new roof can cut home insurance premiums by 10 to 20 percent. This huge cut comes from the expense and time needed to install a new roof, but it’s worth the work. While hurricanes and tornadoes don’t affect Utah as much as they do in other states, we have wind and snow to worry about. These problems make roof damage a common cause of insurance claims, so preventing problems in the future is worth your time now.

Home Security System

It’s always a good idea to take safety precautions with your home. Theft and fires can be serious threats to homeowners and require a lengthy insurance process. When you add smoke detectors, burglar alarms or dead-bolt locks, you can expect a discount of at least 5 percent. Some insurance companies offer 15 to 20 percent for adding a sprinkler system. That said, be sure to get recommendations from your insurance provider before installing a system. Some companies only apply their discount to certain systems.

Remove Old Structures

The age of your home can affect insurance rates in a serious way. Of course, old Victorian houses are charming and regal, but if the plumbing or electricity is faulty, it could be a recipe for disaster. If you have an older home or a house with older structures on the property, they can pose a risk to you, your family or houseguests. Replacing the wiring and old plumbing or removing an old shed on your property makes your home safer and less likely to cause problems for you and your family.

Keep Trees in Check

Utah and the Salt Lake City area is famous for wind and snow. The trees and landscaping on your property can become a liability when bad weather strikes. Every year fallen limbs and branches are the sources of hundreds of insurance claims. That’s why keeping landscaping clean and tidy reduces the risk to your home and your rates low.

Why Renters’ Insurance?

Why Get Renters' Insurance? | Insurance Quotes Salt Lake

For a service that often costs under $20 a month, you would think more than 40 percent of tenants would have renters’ insurance. While some might think of renters’ insurance as an extra bill to worry about, it is actually a cheap way to protect your belongings and family from expensive unforeseen circumstances.

Most insurance policies protect you from a number of natural threats such as fires, storms, hail, and non-natural threats like explosions, riots, vandalism and theft. Without it, a disaster can become incredibly expensive for both parties.

In cases such as fire or theft in your rental, your landlord is not obligated to pay for your personal losses, leaving you to pick up the slack after a disaster. Renters’ insurance is a great way to cover the gaps in your landlord’s policy and your own.

Liability

Renters’ insurance is a great way to protect your possessions, visitors and family who live in your rental. In cases of disasters like fires, floods, storms or theft, renters’ insurance provides you with a reimbursement to replace what you’ve lost. Additionally, these policies keep visitors to your property safe. For example, if a delivery person injures themselves or a pet bites a guest on your rental property your policy can cover their medical expenses and protect you in the case of a lawsuit. Without it, you’re paying out of pocket for potentially expensive situations.

Get Renters’ Insurance Today

There’s a lot to like about renting a home. You don’t have to pay for repairs and it makes moving much easier. Whether you’re new to renting or just moved to the area, Insurance Quotes Salt Lake can connect you to the perfect renters’ insurance policy for you.

Insurance Mistakes Small Business Owners Should Avoid

Insurance Mistakes Small Business Owners Should Avoid - Insurance Quotes Salt Lake

After you’ve worked hard to build a successful small business, you want to protect it with a good business insurance policy. Business insurance will protect you from unforeseen events that could destroy everything you’ve built. However, there are some insurance mistakes you should avoid.

Don’t rely only on your homeowner’s policy

This is most important for people who run part of their business from home. Homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover property that is used for business. This includes structures and most business equipment. If someone visits your home office and hurts themselves, your homeowner’s policy won’t cover you. Talk to your business insurance agent about business personal property insurance, on-premise liability and off-premise liability or errors and omissions coverage.

Loss-of-income coverage

Also known as business interruption insurance, this coverage kicks in if the business experiences a disaster. Never make the mistake of thinking that property insurance is all you need. Property insurance only pays for the physical damage done. You need a loss-of-income policy to take care of the damage done to your income as a result of the business being shut down. Fortunately, you don’t have to buy a separate policy to put this coverage in place. Instead, you can add it on to your business property insurance policy or business owner’s policy. You need to understand how covered losses are defined, so confirm that your basic policy covers disasters like water damage, fire, smoke and other problems.

Life insurance

People who own small businesses often are the business. Ask yourself what would happen to your business if you passed away? Would it survive without you? If it wouldn’t, what would your family use for income? If you think your absence would become a financial catastrophe for the business or your family, think about using life insurance to replace the income your business won’t provide. Consider whether or not you need to buy life insurance for your key employees. If your business depends on certain individuals, you need to insure their lives as well.

Disability

More people are more financially devastated by disability than they are by death. In fact, disability is the number one reason people lose their home. You need disability policies if you want to protect your family and your business. Buying disability coverage can be difficult, unfortunately, but if you need it, get a policy in place as soon as possible. When you buy a disability policy, try to get one that will pay you if you are disabled and can’t work in your own profession and another that will pay you until you reach 65 or older. If you can get a disability policy, make sure you fully understand how much of your income is covered. If most of your income comes from commissions and bonuses, make sure that the policy includes that or shift your income to salary to protect yourself.

Paying too much

Many small business owners pay too much for the coverage they buy. Owners often buy their coverage from the agent who provides personal coverage. Sometimes this works out, but it often backfires. Shop the coverage being offered to make sure you’re getting the best deal and don’t become complacent. Re-visit your insurance coverage each year so you are educated in each policy you own, why you need them, what they cover and what they don’t.

What to Know About Life Insurance

Learn why you need life insurance.

Life insurance is an essential part of personal finance, which should be considered by every single household. However, there is still a lot of confusion and even cynicism surrounding life insurance. When you have the right information about life insurance, it simplifies the decision-making process and helps you choose the best policy for you and your family.
Here is some of the most vital information you should know about life insurance:

You need life insurance if anyone financially relies on you

Life insurance is essentially obligatory if you are a spouse or parent of dependent children. You might also require life insurance if you’re someone’s spouse, life partner, a child of dependent parents, the sibling of a dependent adult, an employee, an employer or a business partner. If you’re securely retired or financially independent, no one would suffer financially if you passed away, so you don’t need life insurance.

Life insurance adds more than monetary value

Life insurance also compensates for inevitable financial consequences that accompany death. It will help your family and friends cover the costs of your final expenses, outstanding debts and mortgages, planned educational expenses and lost income. After an unexpected death, life insurance lessens financial burdens when surviving family members are grieving their loved one. It will also provide valuable peace of mind for the policyholder.

There are four primary roles in life insurance policies

These roles belong to the insurer, owner, the insured and the beneficiary. The insurer is the insurance company, responsible for paying claims in case of a death. The owner is responsible for premium payments to the insurance company. The insured is the person upon whose life the policy is based. The beneficiary is the person, trust or other entity due to receive the life insurance claim or death benefit.

It’s a risk management tool

Some life insurance policies have an investment feature that offers a degree of tax privilege, but insurance is rarely an optimal investment. You don’t need life insurance with an investment component if you haven’t filled up emergency cash reserves, paid off all non-mortgage debt, maxed out your 401(k) or Roth IRA, contributed to a savings plan or set money aside for large purchases.

There are two varieties of life insurance

Term life is the simplest, cheapest and most applicable. With term life, a life insurance company bases the policy premium on the probability that you’ll die within a stated term, which is typically 10, 20 or 30 years. The premiums are guaranteed for the length of the term, after which the policy is cost-prohibitive to maintain. Permanent life insurance includes the same probability-of-death calculation while also including a savings element. This is designed to help the policy exist forever. Permanent life insurance gives you the ability to accumulate cash value on a tax-deferred basis and unlike term insurance, a permanent insurance policy is in play for as long as you can pay your premiums.

Tips for Getting the Most out of Your Home Insurance Policy

Salt Lake City home insurance tips

Buying home insurance feels like a necessary evil sometimes, but when an emergency happens, you’ll be thankful you have it. Home insurance protects your biggest, most valuable asset. You’ve worked hard for your home and put time and effort into it, so protecting it with insurance is essential. If you want to make sure you get the best insurance for your money, follow these tips.

Know how much insurance you need

The first thing you need to know is how much insurance you’ll need. Find out the actual value of your home because if it’s destroyed or damaged, you need to know what it will cost to replace the entire structure or the damaged portion of the structure. A home builder or home appraisal company can give you the truest value. This is not a time for guesswork, as you cannot properly figure out your home’s value by yourself.

Learn the risk factors your premium will be based on

It’s important that you realize that your premium is based on risk. The higher risk that something will happen to your house, the higher the premium will be. Factors like crime rate in your neighborhood, living habits, where on the block your home is located, how close you are to highways and trees around your home all create potential risks.

Use things that can save you money on your premium

There are many risk factors that can drive up the cost of your home insurance premium, but there ways you can save money on your policy as well. Things that earn a discount include:

  • Home burglary alarm system
  • Dead bolt locks
  • Fire alarms and sprinklers
  • Updated heating systems
  • Updated wiring and electrical system for the home
  • A home near a fire hydrant or fire department
  • A home located near a police department
  • A home located near a police department
  • Well-structured and maintained stairs, sidewalks, driveways and entrances

Anything that makes your house safer and less likely to catch fire or injure someone else will give you a discount on your premium.

Take inventory of possessions

Your homeowners insurance covers your home’s structure and dwelling, along with your possessions. You could have up to $20,000 worth of personal possessions in your home at any given time, so make a list of all your belongings and value them based on receipts and purchase dates. This way if you ever need it, you’ll have a concrete list of your valuable items.

Know what you need coverage for

Many people don’t understand their coverage. It’s crucial that you know what you’re covered for so that you’re prepared when you have to file a claim. You will probably not be covered for floods and earthquakes, so you’ll have to decide whether or not to get extra insurance. Talk to an expert from Insurance Quotes Salt Lake if you are confused about your policy. They can look over it and explain it to you.

Top Reasons to Get Renters Insurance

Are you renting an apartment or home without renters insurance? While your landlord’s property insurance policy covers losses to the building itself, your personal property and certain liabilities will only be covered through renters insurance. However, very few renters actually have insurance because they are covered by the landlord’s policy. People also underestimate the value of their belongings, which can add up to thousands. It’s also important to have renters insurance for liability reasons, for example, if someone is injured in your house and wants to sue you. Here are some solid reasons why you need a renters insurance policy.

Affordability

Renters insurance costs pennies per day and there are more ways to get even less expensive insurance. Considering that average families own thousands of dollars in personal property, this minor expense is quite a deal. Usually, you can pay for renters insurance for many years without a claim. If you experience a home invasion or house fire without renters insurance, you’ll have to replace everything out of pocket.

Renters insurance covers theft

If your rental home or apartment is robbed, renters insurance will pay to repair or replace everything that was lost. Without this policy, you have to replace the personal property with your own money and this expense can be financially devastating.

Renters insurance covers various perils

If your property catches fire or is destroyed by heavy wind, the renters insurance policy will pay to repair or replace personal property. Number and types of perils covered vary from state to state, but renters insurance covers most common damages.

Bodily injury liability is included

When someone other than an immediate family member is injured in your home or as a result of your personal property, medical costs will be covered by renters insurance. Injuries to yourself or immediate family aren’t covered and need to be taken care of through health insurance.

It covers damage liability

If you or your personal property causes damage to the property of someone else, even the landlord, renters insurance pays for the damages. This could include accidentally backing into a mailbox, denting a wall or breaking a window.

It’s versatile

Renters insurance policies can be tailored to specific needs. It can often be modified to travel with you if you move before the policy expires. As personal property changes, the policy can be updated to reflect new items. This is the most versatile and portable form of property insurance on the market.