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distracted driving leading to higher premiums

Posted on June 27, 2017 in insurance 101 - 0 comments -

stop texting and drivingDistracted Driving is now leading to higher premiums in Auto Insurance

 

Distracted driving, we’ve all seen it.  Sitting at a stop light or driving down the highway people cannot stand to be out of the loop for  even a minute.  Distracted driving isnt a new phenomenon but it has increased with the emergence of smartphones.  Messing with the radio or eating and drinking while driving have been problems for years.  We could blame drive-thrus or musicians but we could probably just use common sense and avoid the whole problem entirely.

The Law

Wisconsin Law is clear when it comes to distracted driving.  Texting is always prohibited for any wisconsin driver.  Using a hand-held device while driving through a work zone is prohibited for any wisconsin driver.  Using any hand-held device is prohibited for ALL probationary licensed driver.  The penalties for violating these laws are very steep!  It could lead to large fines or loss of license.  Is sending that text really worth the risk?  Not just the risk of fine but loss of life or injury to you or others?  We would all say no but we need to remind ourselves more often because the accidents keep occuring and the tickets keep going out.

The Stats

According to the Zero in Wisconsin website,  “If a driver is going 55 miles per hour and gets distracted for less than 5 seconds, they’ve traveled the length of an entire football field without paying attention.”  How long does it take Aaron Rodgers to drive the entire field?  Longer.  According to available statistics, In 2015, there were 24,089 car crashes related to distracted driving in Wisconsin.  That is one in five crashes!

Helpful Tips

Simply Turn off your phone or run silent while driving.  You may even think about doing this as a passenger.  Distractions come from all around the vehicle.  We have so many more obsticles on Wisconsin roadways like Deer and Other Drivers, lets take phones out of that equation!  Pull over and stop in a safe area if you must use your cell phone.  Its actually pretty easy to do this, if the message is that important give your recipient you full and undivided attention from a rest stop or parkinglot and let them know you did this, they will appreciate it!

Insurance Carriers and Claims Personelle see these horrible situations far to often which is why many of them are not even answering their phone wierelessly as they drive.  They even have vopicemail indicating why they did not answer.  Its a great concept.  Lets all keep our eyes on the road and keep each other safe!

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Moving to Shawano a handy guide

Posted on June 26, 2017 in Shawano, Wisconsin - 0 comments -

Beautiful Wolf RiverAre you moving to shawano soon?

Congratulations on a great decision in moving to Shawano in the first place.  Shawano is a great place to raise a family.  With our numerous recreation options and low crime Shawano has been a prime city to live in for Wisconsinites looking to get away from the city.  We would love to make the transition to shawano that much easier.  Below are some resources to get you started.  Whether you are buying or renting in Shawano there are so many options right in the city.  We have downtown, rural, wooded and waterfront properties in both categories.

As a transplant to Shawano myself I can tell you that I have not second guessed my decision once to relocate.  Moving from a different state or even anywhere nearby can be a daunting task if you have no idea where to go.  Of course, the internet has made that a bit easier but I will try to give you some tips.

First lets work on proper pronunciation!

Shaw-no

Great!  That’s the hardest part.  Now you’re ready to surf!

Realtors

We have some amazing local realtors who are knowledgeable in both buying and renting.  I would suggest checking Hilgenberg Realty or Hometown Realty.  If you like to check more than two places for properties you can go to the realtor section on our chamber page or sites like Zillow or Realtor.com.

Insurance

We can help you there and you can get most of that started right online.  It will only take you ten minutes and you will get real numbers right away.  Of course this wouldn’t be a very good moving to Shawano guide if I only offered you one choice so here is the link to the chamber listing for Insurance in Shawano.

Hotels

You’ll want to visit here and unless you know someone personally you will need a place to stay.  Shawano can oblige happily.  Check out the beautifully redesigned Four Seasons Hotel or if you want to stay on the highway Boarders Inn is a great spot.  Pro tip: There are numerous eateries near the Four Seasons.  Of course you can also check out the chambers hotel listing.  I do not work for the Chamber, really.

Let’s pause and work on pronouncing Shawano correctly again.  It’s fun!

Shaw-no.

That was amazing.  Have you lived here all your life??

Here are some final tips.  Drive around the lake.  It will take you about a half hour but is beautiful.  There are some great places to eat as well.  The Chamber, which I do not work at, is right on Main Street if you need some brochures.  Their info Center is open 24 hours.  Make sure to check out our annual Sundrop Dayz or the Sundrop museum if you have some time.  Pro tip: Sundrop is available pretty much anywhere here.  I was from Illinois and let’s just say I was stuck with lesser options until i moved to Shawano.   That reminds me stop by and see me if you are in town.  I can personally answer any questions you may have.  We also have a Sundrop machine right in the insurance agency.

The Wallrich Agency Sundrop MachineI can’t wait for you to move here.  It really is a great town.  See you soon!  I will provide some more category Links below for your convenience.

Shawano Fitness Centers

Shawano Storage Centers

Shawano Landscape Companies

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Shawano Wisconsin Storm Warning System for Severe Weather

Posted on May 19, 2017 in insurance 101, Shawano - 0 comments -

Shawano Wisconsin Storm Warning System

For Severe Weather

Photo By: Lee Pulaski

Spring Storms and Severe Weather are upon us in the Shawano area.  The bad news is that property damage will occur.  The good news is that we have technology to help us be prepared as ever.  With apps on our phones and 24/7 media we can get ahead of storms and take measures to secure our property while staying safe.

Shawano County has implimented the CodeRED Weather Warning system.  As outlines by the Shawano Leader you can sign up on this website to get alerts about Severe weather.  This could give you and your family extra time to protect your property and get to safety.

If you have any questions as to how your home is covered in the event severe weather damages your property you can read about it here or give us a call locally at 715-526-2156.  We insure property all over the state and around Shawano County so we see more storm damage than most.  Wind has been a major contributing factor to some home rates increasing.  Over the last five years we generally have more wind losses than neighboring states.

We would be happy to help put your mind at ease so you can enjoy your Spring when the sun is out.

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What factors go into an auto insurance premium

Posted on June 19, 2015 in insurance 101 - 0 comments -

The main factors in an auto insurance premium

One of the most misunderstood facets of insurance are how an auto policy is rated.  There are many insurance mysteries but not everyone needs to take out a Workmans Comp policy or get a personal disability policy – everyone who drives is required to carry auto insurance.  I get questions all the time like, “if my car is a year older why did its premium increase?” or, “why did my insurance premium go way up just because I moved to Milwaukee?”.  These are all great questions and stem from the fact that Vehicle make and model are only a tiny part of how your auto insurance premium is determined.

There was a time when an insurance agent took out a slide rule to rate your policy and it had vehicle type and date of birth.  Then we added sex, zip code, coverage options, claim experience, driving record and even credit to the equation.  It gets complicated which is why commercials flat out telling you you “COULD” save 15% is just purely a slogan – there is no way to know.  One great reason to have an indie-agent like us is that we inherently understand all these factors as they apply to your situation and have several companies that we can shop in order to get you the best rate.  We also understand that some insurance companies prefer younger drivers, some prefer older drivers and some specialize in classic cars.  Its in our heads already, why not put that to work for you.

Your garaging location

Your garaging location is one of the main base factors in how your auto insurance premium is determined.  This is where the insurance company adds in all their claim experience data.  If there are more theft claims in a specific city you will see your comprehensive rate increase.  But, if you live in the city you may also drive less, so you may also see your liability rate is less then if you live in a suburb like Howard or Grand Chute.  In our county, Shawano, we see more deer claims than any other county so we pay more for comprehensive coverage.  Garaging location is a big factor in auto insurance.

Your driving record

Your driving record is an obvious factor.  Why should someone with no tickets pay the same for insurance as a person who has three speeding tickets.  Insurance companies typically charge for accident and violations for three years.  We also have companies that are offering accident and violation forgiveness.  This is a coverage you pay a premium for, up front, and if you are involved in an incident it will be overlooked.  I typically recommend this coverage for someone about to add a new driver to their policy.

Your Vehicle Type

Your vehicle type is another big rating factor for auto insurance.  Items like horsepower and vehicle type as well as statistics like how many Dodge Caravans get into accidents all play into this rate.  Safety features, speed and the ability to easily buy repair parts are also things insurance companies consider when rating your car.  They also know how likely a medical bill will creep up if you are involved in an accident.  If you are in a large pickup truck you might be less likely to sustain certain injuries than if you were driving say a tiny sports car.

Your credit level (insurance score)

Insurance companies call it an insurance score but lets be real, its your credit rating.  While a few states have banned this rating factor insurance companies are convinced year after year that they can better determine what type of driver you are based on that credit score.  When you look at your policy you will likely see a discount for “good credit”.  Some companies offer a 0-50% discount based on your credit score.  You can always check your credit score online but its important to understand that this doesn’t easily correlate to your insurance rate.  Your score gets matched to a discount or credit level and usually the agent or company employee has no clue what your actual FICO score is.  This enhances privacy but often further mystifies the credit factor in your Insurance Premium.

Your age

Your age is a large rating factor.  Younger people often pay more for auto insurance then around your mid twenties rates level out.  What people don’t anticipate is that rate creeping back up after the age of 50 or 60.  This isn’t because the company feels older individuals drive horribly – or younger individuals for that matter…  It is all based on the company’s statistics with how many claim they see from drivers in that age group.  They adjust the rate accordingly.

New Factors

With all of the above factors you may be asking yourself – why isn’t my actual driving the main factor.  The answer is, up until recently we haven’t been able to plop an agent or company rep in your vehicle for enough time to understand how you operate your conveyance.  Now we have telematic devices that determine how you drive and give you a discount (or surcharge) accordingly.  Wish granted =) Of course, this too adds complexity and further mystifies your auto insurance rate.

I hope we have described some of the biggest rating factors.  We encourage you to give us a call or stop in.  Let us explain all this and put our knowledge to work for you.

Demystify Car Insurance

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Boat insurance to keep you above water

Posted on April 9, 2015 in Products - 0 comments -

Stay afloat with Boat Insurance from the Wallrich Agency

The Wallrich Agency provides affordable boat insurance coverage options for recreational boaters in Wisconsin. Low-cost policies, available for most boat types, are available through our top national carriers like Progressive and Nationwide insurance. Find the right policy for your boating lifestyle.

Stand Alone policies for your boat

Many agents will slap your beautiful watercraft right on a homeowners policy.  There are two problems with this.  The first, if you have a boat claim it is technically classified as a “home claim” which can cause your homeowners rate to go up and lock you out of many preferred programs.  The second reason is your coverage will not be adequate for the modern boater.  Our stand-alone policies come with plenty of options for specialized coverage, such as Roadside Assistance, Towing, Total Replacement, and more.

Coverages you may not know about:

Don’t wait until you have a claim to learn about special coverages.  On-Water Towing is a popular coverage which will help you in case you’re stranded on the water.  You may also want to have Uninsured Boaters coverage because not everyone zooming past you will have insurance. You can also choose Fuel Spill Liability and Wreckage Removal coverage. Without these watercraft insurance coverages, you may end up getting stuck with the bill for cleanups and removals. Personal Effects and Fishing Equipment coverages are also available with our carriers.

No matter what propels your watercraft be it wind, inboard, outboard or jet we can cover it at the Wallrich Agency.  Contact us today.

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hit the highway with motorcycle insurance

Posted on April 9, 2015 in Products - 0 comments -

Hit the Highway with Motorcycle Insurance from the Wallrich Agency

Count on the Wallrich Agency for quality motorcycle insurance coverage from top insurers like Nationwide, Dairyland and Progressive with great, low insurance rates.

Low Motorcycle Insurance Rates

The Wallrich Agency covers a wide range of motorcycles including standard bikes, cruisers, sport / high performance motorcycles, off-road vehicles and more.

The Wallrich Agency also offers motorcycle insurance packages, and the best motorcycle insurance discounts including OEM Parts and Multi-Policy discounts to your auto and home insurance policies. We also didnt forget scooters and mopeds, ATVs, UTVs & Off-road vehicles, and off-road motorcycles & dirt bikes.

Custom Parts – covered properly

Some policies require you to add coverage for your custom parts and equipment.  The bike you carefully choose and outfit needs to be protected fully – this includes all your accessories.  All the policies we sell come with two to three thousand dollars of custom parts coverage.  Many agents will fail to explain this but it can become a huge problem if you bike is stolen for instance.  Coverage over the minimum amount is very inexpensive.

Year-round coverage

We live in Wisconsin so we understand you only get half a year to enjoy your motorcycle.  Many riders will take out policies to cover their bikes during the riding season then remove the coverage in the Winter to reduce their costs.  There are two problems with this: The first, You may get excited to get that motorcycle out of the garage on the first day of Spring and not have insurance coverage in place.  What’s worse, you don’t have coverage for your bike while it is in storage.  The second problem, insurance carriers will sometimes rate you higher if you do not have continuous coverage.  Our solution is simple, we only sell policies from companies that understand our climate.  They have tweaked their rates to account for those months you do not ride.  Some build it into the rates and some give you a seasonal discount.  The best part about having a flexible annual policy is when the sun comes out you can hit the road worry-free.

 

With hassle-free service and great low rates for motorcycle insurance, you’ll have no worries about having the right insurance coverage for your motorcycle or ATV/Off-Road vehicle.  Contact us today for a quote or to get coverage started!

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hometown insurance expert

Posted on February 18, 2015 in insurance 101 - 0 comments -

Hometown of Shawano WI

We Love our hometown of Shawano Wisconsin

From our main street festivals like Holiday Stroll and Octoberfest to our Shawano County Fair we feel very lucky to have a business in Shawano.

As your Hometown insurance leader we are always searching for better products to bring you.  With the vast amount of insurance products on TV and, well, everywhere – you might ask yourself why buying insurance in shawano is the best option.  The answer is simple.  Because we live here we understand which companies will value your business and which companies are simply targeting our area.  We dont want to sell you a car insurance policy for instance and have the rate double in the course of 2 or 3 years.  That doesnt make sense to us.  We also don’t want to sell you a homeowners insurance policy just to watch the company leave the state.  We chose stable companies who will value your business.

Many times you will see a car with an insurance company logo painted on it.  They do this because you see their presence in your hometown.  That doesn’t mean they have invested anything in the community or are sponsoring any local events – theyre just driving through.  We are here with you and so we want to represent companies that are here too, that is why we represent some great Wisconsin insurance companies like Secura and Germantown.

From the Wolf River to Shawano lake we understand our hometown insurance market and strive to protect it with great insurance.

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The hidden benefits of Renters Insurance

Posted on September 16, 2014 in insurance 101, Uncategorized - 0 comments -

For RentersFor some, insurance is required.  Whether your state requires you to carry auto insurance, like Wisconsin, or your landlord requires you to have renters insurance in your lease it may seem like just a hassle.  You may even think that your landlord carries fire insurance for you but if the unthinkable happens you may be let down.

Common Coverages in a Renters Insurance Policy

Unlike a landlord’s policy YOUR renters policy covers your personal belongings in the case of a loss.  If your possessions are stolen during a break-in or damaged by a fire or severe weather your renters insurance policy can help you recover their value.  Your renters policy also covers your liability in the event someone is hurt in your home and you are found liable for their injury.  Another coverage that is more common in Wisconsin and other Northern states is frozen pipes.  Sometimes pipes are located in a non heated area.  If water suddenly finds itself in your apartment or rented home you may be a phone call away from getting them replaced for their replacement value.

Common Myths about Renters Insurance

You may think it is just another extra expense but a renters insurance policy can be taken out for 10-20 dollars per month on average.  You may think you don’t own very much but if you sit down and really itemize what you own including your clothes, appliances and furniture you may be surprised how high that number gets.

The Hidden Benefits of Renters Insurance

You see all the ads talking about bundling right?  Chances are if you bundle your Auto Insurance with your Renters Insurance this discount alone may pay for the Renters Insurance Premium. You also hear about Identity Theft all the times these days. You may even know someone who had their identity stolen. In many cases you could add ID Theft coverage on your Renters Insurance policy.  Give your agent or us a call and we can give you a quote in less than 5 minutes.  You’ll be glad you did.

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