Insurance Verification Procedure for Illinois Drivers
Effective 12/1/2020, the Illinois Secretary of State has begun verifying insurance coverage on all registered vehicles. Verification is being completed by a third party (Motor Vehicle Solutions). They are assigned with the task of matching vehicle registrations to the insurance policy information submitted by insurance companies. If a match cannot be made, a letter from the Illinois Secretary of State will be sent to the owner of the vehicle. Illinois residents who do not provide proof of insurance can be fined by the Illinois Secretary of State and vehicle registrations can be suspended.
If you receive a letter from the ILSOS, be sure to submit the requested insurance information. Gower Insurance Agency can assist you in providing this information if needed.
Home Improvements that you should tell your agent about…
We have so much time on our hands with the current social restrictions, those “honey do” lists are becoming realities. Many of these improvements, additions, and destructions need to be reported to your insurance agents so that your policies are up to date with proper coverage.
Any improvements to your home or property can make your value increase. Your agent needs to know if your home value has gone up so they may increase your coverage amount. They would hate for all your hard work not to be accounted for in case of a loss.
The addition of a swimming pool is extremely popular right now with all the public waterparks being closed. Your agent needs to know if you have installed an above or inground pool and what safety measures you have put in place, ex: locking gate or a new fence. This is especially important for your liability coverage.
Got a new roof? This is great, your agent would love to hear about this. This could change your coverage availability and possibly save on premium.
Did you tear down an old barn or shed on your property? Your agent needs to know that as well. They can decrease coverage you may have had on your policy for this building, this could save you some premium!
Everyone has made themselves busy lately around their homes doing this and that. Be sure to give your agent a call at Gower Insurance Agency and let us know what you have been up to lately! If you are unsure of how a project may affect your rates give us a call to go over how your policy may change! We are here to assist you will all your insurance needs!
Kentucky is a No Fault State – What does that really mean?
There seems to be confusion surrounding this topic so I thought we would help clarify and simplify what this really means. Kentucky is a no fault state. However, the no fault only applies to the MEDICAL expense portion of your automobile insurance policy. When two parties are involved in an accident and injuries occur, each party’s own insurance pays for their medical expenses. However, the property damage (vehicle repairs) will come from the responsible party’s policy.
No matter what state you live in, you must abide by the laws of the state where the accident occurs. Some general rules apply to all states when an accident happens.
It is always best to contact the police to make a report no matter the size of the accident. Some police jurisdictions will not respond to private property such as parking lots, ect. If that is the case, take the information yourself. You should get the driver’s name, address and phone number. You need as much information about the vehicle (year, make, model) as possible. Of course, try to get their insurance information too. The more information you get at the scene, the faster your claim can be handled by your company.
We are always here to discuss any questions that you have regarding your policy. Call us
How does ‘back to school’ affect your insurance?
This is a busy time of year and there is a lot to do! Before the kids head off to college, let us educate you about what changes to your policy may be needed to protect you and your belongings. I have highlighted a few common areas below, but circumstance can vary. Call us for a personal review of you assets and how to protect them.
College campuses are notorious for crime. According to the FBI’s Crime in the US report, there were over 78,000 property crime incidents reported on college campuses. Bikes, cars, laptops/notebooks, and other electronics are commonly stolen items. With the proper insurance coverage you will not have to worry about it. Policies to protect these types of items are very affordable.
On or Off Campus?
Are they living in a dorm or off campus in an apartment? This determines if coverage will extend from the parents’ homeowners policy. Coverage from parent’s policies will be limited to a specific amount unless the items are specifically added through an endorsement. A personal article floater policy can better cover valuable items for a multitude of perils.
Was your college student able to take their vehicle to school? If they did not and school is over 100 miles from ‘home’, some companies offer a discounted rate on the parent’s policy. Each company has specific rules and everyone’s situation can be different.
Most companies offer a good student discount for students with B average or better. Besides the obvious benefits of studying hard and earning good grades, insurance companies reward good grades as well. We will need a current report card on file to send to the insurance company.
High school and college are the most exciting and fun times of their lives. Let us help transition them into adulthood. Having the proper insurance in place can smooth out some of the bumps in the road.
ISO Ratings – What it means to the average community member.
Unbeknownst to some consumers, the quality and performance of your local fire department can play an important role in how much you pay for home insurance.
“ISO, an organization that tracks property and casualty insurance risk, evaluates and rates a community’s ability to handle fires. Many insurers factor that information into the formulas they use to come up with your home insurance premium. The thinking behind using ISO ratings is this: The better equipped a community is to fight fires, the less likely it is that homes and businesses in your area will sustain major fire damage.”
Fire departments can score between 1 and 10, with Class 1 being the best and Class 10 the worst. To determine the ratings, ISO evaluates the fire department’s staffing, training, equipment and location, the community’s water supply and also the communiciation of the emergency departments.
ISO requests updated information from communities at least every two years and in some cases at least once a year. ISO also invites communities to let it know about substantial changes have happened since the last evaluation.
All of the insurance companies that Gower Insurance Agency, Inc. represents use the ISO ratings in the calculation of premiums. It is not the only factor by any means, but it does make a difference in a homeowner’s premium.
ISO will have their systems updated soon. The next renewal of your homeowner’s policy should reflect the new rating. Since this is not the only factor insurance companies use to rate, it is hard to say how much of a savings City of Metropolis residents will see, however, we are sure you agree that any savings is helpful.
Thanks again to all involved with the efforts to upgrade our City, our Fire Department and our ISO ratings.