5 Practical Tips to Get Started with Life Insurance

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Life insurance is an essential financial investment. There are numerous kinds of life insurance policies that you can choose from. Each one offers specific benefits that will help you to protect your family. Life insurance is designed to be a safety net for your family if the unthinkable happens, and they no longer have access to your income. Discussed here are some critical tips for buying life insurance.

Protect Your Family

Buying a whole life policy will ensure that your family’s financial needs are met if something should happen to you. This type of policy will provide enough financial support for your family to be able to live comfortably. Investing in this policy will help your dependents manage their expenses and lifestyle as they would if you were still earning a paycheck because of the substantial payouts.

Cover Your Final Expenses

Term life insurance is a policy purchased for a specific period and a particular amount of insurance coverage. Term life insurance is much cheaper and often has many other benefits than other types of policies. With most term life policies, owners have the option to borrow against the equity of the policy if an emergency arises. Such policies are generally used to cover someone’s final expenses and burial. You can also use it to protect needs that you anticipate, e.g., children’s education and mortgages.

Know The Coverage Amount You Need

Before buying life insurance, you must determine how much you will need. If you are covering your final expenses, this is fairly easy to decide. If you are purchasing a whole life policy, you will need to foresee your family’s future expenses. This includes paying off debt, covering living expenses, paying for college, and any other financial necessities they will need. It’s important to consider long-term financial goals when you buy an insurance policy.

Understand The Difference Between Term And Life

It is also essential that you understand the difference between whole life and term insurance. Each has a specific purpose and is designed to work in a particular manner. While term life insurance provides more coverage for a lesser amount of money for a short duration, life insurance is more flexible and can be used to meet several important goals. These include providing an additional source of retirement income and much more. Knowing what type of policy you need will help you make the best choice possible and provide for your family in the process. If you are having difficulties determining which kind of policy is best, talk to your agent and get the answers you need.

It’s Never Too Late To Buy Life Insurance

You are never too old to buy a suitable life insurance policy. While the premiums may start to increase as you get older, the benefits a life insurance policy will offer to your family are well worth the cost. Before giving up on the possibility of purchasing a quality life insurance policy, talk to a reputable agent who has several years of experience. They can help you make an informed choice.

Buying life insurance does not have to be a complex process. With the right insurance agent, you will have the information you need to make the best possible decision for you and your family. Contact our agents at Colonial Insurance Agency today for all of your life insurance needs. Once you have the answers to all of your life insurance questions, making the right decision will be easy.

10 Things to do to Prepare Your Home for Fall

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Fall is a wonderful time — if your home is ready for it. So enjoy the last few weeks of warmer weather, but do a little preventative maintenance while you’re at it. You’ll fix small problems before they become big, and big ones before they become catastrophes. Here are 10 tips to help:

  1. Look up. Examine your roof closely. Moss should be removed and debris cleared from gutters and downspouts. Repairing damage is crucial before fall weather is in full swing.
  2. Look down. Check for signs of animals and insects around your home and garage, including the basement and crawlspace. If you need help getting unwanted guests out, don’t hesitate to bring in a professional.
  3. Keep things warm. Heat escapes through leaks around windows and doors, so seal up any drafty areas. Outside, put covers over faucets before temperatures drop.
  4. Keep things dry. Drain outdoor hoses, faucets and irrigation systems. Look in the basement and crawlspace for wet spots. And make sure your water heater or boiler aren’t leaking.
  5. Clear the air (or vents and filters, at least). When’s the last time you checked your dryer vent? You should take a look at attic vents and exhaust ducts as well. And change that furnace filter, too!
  6. Take a walk. Cracks in your driveway or walkways will only get bigger, so get them fixed soon. If your deck has signs of wear, make repairs while the weather is still good.
  7. Get a tune-up. You or a professional should clean and tune your furnace, boiler and/or water heater, as well as your oven and range.
  8. Don’t play with fire. Before building your first fire of the season, check for soot or creosote build-up.
  9. Don’t play with fire extinguishers, either. But check them to ensure they still have pressure. Don’t have fire extinguishers? Put them on your shopping list, ideally one for each floor.
  10. Don’t forget those smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors. Replace batteries when needed, and test regularly that alarms are working.

Colonial Insurance Agency wants to make sure your home brings you as much joy as possible.  Save this list as a yearly fall checklist and remember to call your Colonial Insurance Agent when updating your home 262-255-3770.

The Benefits of Buying Your Insurance Through a Local Agent Vs. Online

Best-Insurance-Menomonee-Falls

There are many ways these days to buying an insurance policy. Some people may feel the easiest way is to simply go online and purchase it yourself. You could even shop many carriers yourself to find the best rate for the coverage you need. However, there are many more additional benefits you could gain by going through a local insurance agency.

Save Yourself Time

As we mentioned above, yes you could shop for insurance yourself through several of the top insurance carriers. But, what is your time worth? By shopping with a local insurance agent, we can do the shopping for you. Get 10 quotes or more at once! We’ll provide you many choices by shopping our top insurance carriers to find you the best coverage at an affordable price. In fact, many of our companies are likely the big ones you’ve heard of. If for any reason you want to change insurance carriers down the road, we can do that for you – you don’t need to change agents.

Get Professional Advice

Instead of guessing what coverage you might need, you can get professional advice by working with a local insurance agency. Since we specialize in this field, we can listen to your needs and find the right coverage that matches. We can also ensure you don’t have any gaps in coverage in the event you have an insurance claim.

Truly Understand The Coverage You Are Buying & Additional Coverage Options Available

Insurance can be complicated. We try to simplify the process. Not only do we want to help you understand your current insurance policy, but help if you are interested in different coverage options. Feel confident knowing you’re informed about exactly the coverages you have and what you might want to consider.

Score a Discount

Our licensed agents are discount detectives. Let them search for all the hidden discounts so you get the best rates and coverage for your money. We understand it is important you have affordable insurance coverage. That’s why we are constantly looking for ways to get you to qualify for a discount. If you are unhappy with your insurance plan at renewal, we can look at coverage options through other carriers to find the best fit for you.

Have a Relationship With Your Agent Vs. Calling an 800 number

We are a phone call or email away. By working with the same agency time and time again, we can help you with anything. From claims, to policy updates or questions, we strive to be a partner you trust and can rely on.

If you are in need of an insurance policy, call Colonial Insurance Agency. We can help you find affordable coverage for your autohome or business. Get a free insurance quote today.

8 Ways to Protect Your Classic Car Investment

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Whether you own a souped-up Toyota Land Cruiser, restored Aston Martin, or a collection of classic muscle cars, a passion for unique and historic cars is something that never goes away – and often grows with the number of cars you own. Make sure you protect your classic cars from damage or additional wear and tear, so you can proudly show them off for years to come.

Here are a few tips to help you protect your car, truck, or other classic vehicle:

  1. Find the right storage facility.
    The best location is a clean garage with room for your car – and no hazards close by, like lawn equipment, power tools, or kids’ toys. You may want a power source, so you can hook up a battery trickle charger. And, if your garage is linked to your home’s fire detection system and is climate controlled to maintain stable temperature and humidity levels, you’ll be all set.
  2. Keep all important documents.
    The original manuals and historic photos, as well as your car’s repair history, will help you appreciate your investment and might even increase its value.
  3. Research the history of your marque and model.
    Find catalogs, books, vintage magazines, parts catalogs, and other memorabilia that include your car. Doing the research can be fun, but also can help you verify the originality of parts and confirm proper installation of everything from gauges to engine components and bumper guards.
  4. Take photos.
    Do you treat your car like a member of the family? Many of us do. Taking pictures of your “baby” each year can help you notice small deteriorations in condition and can be important to future owners.
  5. Do the maintenance.
    Find a reliable mechanic who specializes in your marque and address any problems promptly. Keeping up on maintenance will speak volumes to prospective future owners.
  6. Take her out for a ride.
    Drive your car at least every few weeks, so you can maintain proper lubrication and identify any maintenance needs. Even if you want to keep the mileage down, a couple dozen miles each month won’t hurt the car’s value.
  7. Prepare for extended storage periods.
    If you have no choice but to keep your car in storage for long periods of time, drain or treat the fuel and take steps to prevent rodent infestations. Contact your local car club for other ideas.
  8. Properly insure your classic.
    Not all insurers are alike. Find one that doesn’t limit your mileage, offers Agreed Value, and allows you to choose the most qualified repair shop. If your car is damaged, you’ll want it to be repaired to its original specifications with the highest quality parts, so you can protect your investment.

5 Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips

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Every year, unintentional carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning (not linked to fires) sends 20,000 people to the emergency room and causes more than 4,000 hospitalizations. And, you might consider them the fortunate ones. CO also is responsible for more than 400 deaths in America each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The truly frightening thing? Most of those victims likely had no idea they were in danger.

CO often is called “the invisible killer” because it’s odorless and colorless, and, when it builds up in an enclosed space, it’s deadly. Everyone is at risk, too, because CO is produced by a number of things we use every day, such as cars and trucks, stoves, grills, gas ranges, furnaces and more.

So, how do you protect yourself? Especially in winter, when it’s cold outside and you’re using heat sources inside your home?

Here are some basic actions you can take to help limit your exposure:

  1. Install — and test — CO detectors
    Most states (37 in all) now have some sort of requirement regarding installation of carbon monoxide detectors in private homes. These should be placed outside of each sleeping area and on every level of the home. Because you won’t smell or otherwise notice CO building up, having detectors that will sound an alarm is crucial. Don’t forget to test them once a month.
  2. Don’t create additional risk in your home
    You should never use devices that generate large amounts of CO inside your home. Never operate a gas or charcoal grill inside (even in a garage), and make sure generators are used in a well-ventilated outside location away from windows, doors and vents. Make sure to have your furnace and chimney checked annually, too.
  3. Be careful in your car
    Carbon monoxide can build up quickly when a vehicle is running, so, if you need to warm up your car, move it out of the garage after you start it.
  4. Watch out for snow — at home and on your vehicle
    Snow and ice can block vents for your dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace. They also can obstruct the exhaust of your car. Either can be very dangerous.
  5. Know the symptoms of CO poisoning
    People can be harmed by a small amount of carbon monoxide over a long period, or a large amount over a short period. Because you might not be able to identify when you’re in a dangerous situation, it pays to know what symptoms to look for:

    • Low to moderate CO poisoning: headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness.
    • High-level CO poisoning: mental confusion, vomiting, loss of coordination, loss of consciousness.

    If you suspect CO poisoning, move the person (and yourself) outside immediately and call 911.

Remember, the important thing to know about carbon monoxide is this: Without CO detectors (and other common-sense measures), you won’t know when you’re at risk. So, take steps to protect yourself and your family today. Colonial Insurance Agency values your safety!

What Should I Know About Dog Bite Insurance Claims?

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According to the Insurance Information Institute, homeowner insures paid over $796.8 million as a result of 17,802 dog bite claims in 2019. We would like to briefly go over what happens if your dog were to bite someone and of course, how to prevent a dog bite claim.

What Would Happen If My Dog Bit Someone?

Homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy includes liability coverage which will likely cover you for the damages. Keep in mind, some insurance carriers do not offer liability coverage for specific dog breeds. They also may offer some, but limit the amount of coverage available. Talk to your agent about what breeds may not be covered. If you are not covered, you would have to pay out of pocket for the damages caused by your dog. If your insurance provides coverage it is likely your insurance premium will increase at renewal or you could even be dropped from your insurance carrier.

How to Lower Your Risk for a Dog Bite Claim

Don’t ever assume your dog won’t bite someone.

You can have the sweetest dog on the planet, but you still can’t make the assumption that your dog won’t bite. Watching your dog’s behavior around strangers or even family and friends is crucial. Never leave your dog alone with children who might cause the dog to nip if harassed or injured.

If you adopt a pet, do your research

What should you know about your breed’s common behavior? Ask several questions with the adoption agency. Have they noticed specific behaviors you should be aware of? Understanding what triggers your dog’s aggression or what makes them uncomfortable can save you from a dog bite claim down the road.

Know The Signs Your Dog May Be Uncomfortable, Anxious or Aggressive

Dog bites are common in these scenarios. Dogs may react to such things as taking away their food or a toy or even touching them while eating.

  1. Aggressive
  • Stiff tail, intense stare, growling, hair up on back.
  1. Uncomfortable/anxious
  • Pulled back ears, tucked tail, no eye contact, lowered head or body

Get some training

Whether you are a dog owner or someone who doesn’t own a dog, being around a dog with good behavior is ideal. Obedience training can benefit any dog.

Socialize Your Dog

When your dog is around other dogs and people, it can help them work through any anxieties they may feel.

Be Extra Aware Around Children

This goes back to our number one answer, don’t assume your dog will never bite. If your dog is around children they aren’t familiar with, watch for signs of your dog being uncomfortable.

Get Your Pet Spayed or Neutered

This can help with a dog’s aggression.

Being a dog owner can bring so much happiness into your life. Use these tips to worry less about your dog biting a loved one or a stranger. For questions about your homeowner’s insurance policy and what coverages are available for dogs, contact us! We can go over your current policy or even find you a different insurance carrier who may be a more ideal fit for pet ownership.

Everything You Should Know About Motorcycle Insurance

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Spring is here, which means motorcycle season has arrived. Whether you enjoy going on long road trips or simply just like taking your motorcycle for a ride around your town, it’s important you have the right insurance coverage in the event you have to file a claim.

What You Should Know About Your Insurance & How Your Rate Can Be Calculated

Where You Live Matters

If you can ride your motorcycle year round, there is a chance you may pay more than an individual who can only ride during warmer months. Why? With your shortened window for riding, individuals who have a “motorcycle season” lower their risk for an accident.

Your Experience & Age Matter

This shouldn’t be too shocking to read. If you are an experienced motorcycle rider, you may have a lower rate vs. someone who just bought their first motorcycle. Your age factors in with your experience. Like car insurance, young drivers usually pay higher rates. However, if you are 50 years old and have no experience, you may pay more for insurance compared to a 30 year old who has 10 years of experience.

Your Riding History Matters

Just like car insurance, your riding history matters. Accidents, claims and tickets all play a role in your motorcycle insurance rate.

What Type of Bike You Own Matters

High performance bikes may be more to insure. If your bike has a big engine, that too can cost more to insure.

What Type of Motorcycle Insurance Coverage Should I Have?

Talk to one of our licensed agents about this. We can explain all coverage options. Some of these coverages are mandatory, but others are optional.  Here are a few to consider below.

Comprehensive insurance – covers you in the event your bike is damaged due to vandalism, falling trees/debris, storms, hitting an animal, theft, windshield damage, etc.

Liability – this covers you if you are responsible for causing damage or injuring someone else.

Collision – covers your motorcycle if you collide with a vehicle or object regardless if you are at fault or not.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage – if your bike is damaged by someone who isn’t carrying insurance or is underinsured. This coverage provides coverage up to your policy limits. Bonus – it can cover your injuries too.

Have custom parts for your bike? Get it covered. Some carriers automatically include some coverage in a policy, but not all.  Talk to your agent about this.

How Can I Save Money On My Motorcycle Insurance Coverage?

  • Establish good credit.
  • Bundle your insurance policy with other policies such as your car or home insurance.
  • If you’re a member of the Harley-Davidson Owners Group (applies in 42 states).
  • Some insurance carriers give a discount for having a motorcycle endorsement.
  • Take a motorcycle safety course (this is great for all riders! Experienced or beginner).

Almost every state in the United States requires some form of motorcycle insurance. Contact our office for a motorcycle insurance quote! We will help you determine what coverage options fit your lifestyle the best.

Steps to Take if in a Car Accident

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Car accidents are scary and stressful. Safe driving is important and helps prevent accidents, but unfortunately accidents happen and are not always preventable. It is important to be prepared and take the necessary steps to ensure you are covered if you are involved in a car accident.

What Should I do if I’m in a Car Accident?

  • First, make sure you are ok and check to make sure everyone involved is not hurt. If someone is, call 911 immediately.
  • Move your vehicle safely off the road if you can. If you can’t, or the damage is too severe, do not try to move your vehicle.
  • Call the Police. It is better to call them to be safe even if it is not a big accident. This helps with the insurance claims process.
  • Locate your insurance ID cards and ask the other person involved to get theirs as well.
  • Take pictures of the other persons insurance cards, license plate and photo ID cards so you have all information.
  • Take pictures of any damage to vehicles.
  • Call your insurance agent to report the incident and start the claims process.

It is easy to be distracted or flustered and forget to take the necessary steps if you are in a car accident. If you are not at fault, do not assume the other person has insurance. Always ask for identification and insurance information. In addition, don’t give someone the benefit of the doubt. It is better to be safe than sorry and have more information than you need than not enough.

What Type of Car Insurance Should I Have?

There are many different types of car insurance options and as a result, there are choices and decisions to make. Check out our website for more information or contact us anytime. We are here to assess your situation and determine what fits your needs. Some auto insurance policies simply meet the state’s legal requirements, but ultimately may not have enough coverage if you are in an extremely damaging accident or if your vehicle is stolen, for example. You do not want to put yourself, your family and others at risk. Most importantly, discuss with a professional to ensure you have the right policies in place.

An Independent Agency

In conclusion, as an independent insurance agency in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, Colonial Insurance Agency is here for you when you need it. We work with you through the claims process and make sure the details are taken care of. Most importantly, it is our job to help protect you and your family.

A Guide to Your Small Business Insurance Needs

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Running a small business is not an easy task. In other words, it can be time consuming and stressful. Being a business owner means you are responsible for a lot of things and a lot of people. Therefore, it is important you have the right business insurance policies in place to protect what you have worked hard to create. Find below a guide to understanding different types of business insurance and why they are important.

Types of Business Insurance

  1. Business property insurance – this type of insurance protects your business in the case of natural disaster, theft, fire and certain types of water damage.
  2. General liability insurance – coverage for claims involving bodily injuries including legal fees, medical fees, and property damage.
  3. Professional liability insurance – this will kick in if a customer sues you for financial harm in the case of errors and mistakes, undelivered services or substandard services.
  4. Commercial auto insurance – if your operations include using trucks, delivery vehicles, private passenger vehicles, etc then you should have a commercial auto insurance policy for your business.
  5. Life insurance – life insurance provides financial security to your loved ones if you were to pass away. As a business owner, consider what would happen to your business and your family if something were to happen to you.
  6. Equipment breakdown coverage – if you rely on major pieces of equipment to run your business and serve your clients then this type of insurance is important.
  7. Business owners package (BOP) – this is a package deal that can save you money. It combines liability and property insurance.

Specialized Agents at Colonial Insurance Agency

By working with an independent agent at Colonial Insurance Agency, you have the peace of mind that you are working with a specialist in this area. Above all, your best interest is our top priority. There is not a once size fits all policy and therefore it’s important to have someone who is evaluating your specific business’ needs. For example, finding yourself in a claims situation without the correct coverage can be detrimental to your company.

Colonial Insurance Agency has agents who specialize in commercial insurance, among other things. We know how important it is to protect your business and we will help make sure you have the right coverage in place.

Do I Need To Maintain Insurance On My Boat, Motorcycle Or RV During Winter?

Boat-Insurance-Menomonee-Falls-Wisconsin

With fewer boat, motorcycle or road trips in the RV happening in the fall and winter months, many wonder if they need to maintain insurance on these vehicles when they aren’t being driven. There are many different scenarios that warrant keeping these vehicles insured year-round so let’s take a closer look at these.

Weather Related Damages: Weather is especially nasty in the winter months so keeping your boat protected from covered weather-related damages is important. Even when stored, lightning, wind and hail can occur.

Physical Damages: It seems strange that you may be subjected to a property claim when your vehicle is not being used. However, take this simple example: You have a house party and someone wants to sit on your bike. During which, they accidentally knock it over denting your custom painted tank and scratching the paint. Your home insurance will not cover this.

Theft & Vandalism: If someone decides to steal your boat, motorcycle or RV in the winter months, you need coverage to cover the loss. Thefts occur everywhere, so even if in a secured area, vandalism can occur. Unfortunately, thieves don’t mind bad weather.

Fire: If your boat, motorcycle or RV is stored in your home or garage and there is a fire, your home insurance will not pay for damages to your vehicle. Instead, you will need a comprehensive insurance policy to cover these damages.

Financing: If you finance your boat, motorcycle or RV, your lienholder will require you to maintain insurance to protect the investment.

Multi-policy discounts: If you insure your boat, motorcycle or RV with your home or auto insurance company, you may be eligible for multi-policy discounts. By removing your insurance on your vehicle, you will raise the cost of your other policies.

Owning a boat, motorcycle or RV is a great experience for most. Don’t turn the joy of boat, motorcycle or RV ownership into a nightmare by trying to cut your insurance costs in the off-season. Protect your vehicle year-round and enjoy greater discounts on your other insurance products by bundling them together. For a quote on your insurance, contact us. We represent the best insurance companies and can quote you different coverages, rates and apply for special discounts.