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?

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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.

How to Save Money on Car Insurance

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Insurance can be tricky. For example, you want to get the best rates, but you also want to be properly covered if something were to happen. How do you know if you have the right policy? As an independent insurance agency we have options to shop our different insurance companies for you in order to find the best coverage at the best rates. Since we’ve been in the insurance business for over 30 years, we know insurance. Therefore, we thought we would round up a few tips and tricks on ways to save money on your car insurance.

Car insurance cost saving tips and tricks

1. Multi-policy discounts – insurance companies offer multi-policy discounts if you bundle different types of insurance like home and auto with the same company

2. Multi-car discount – have more than one car that needs to be insured? There are discounts if you have multiple cars with a single provider.

3. Payment – there are potential discounts if you automate payments or go paperless

4. Good-driving discounts – Do you have a good driving record? There could be discounts if you have a certain amount of accident-free or claim-free years.

5. Car type – the type of car you drive will affect your car insurance cost. New cars and hybrid cars typically have lower car insurance premiums and if your car has safe driving technology that could also help you save.

6. Good-student discounts – potential good-student discounts based on the students GPA and other factors.

Talk to a professional about your insurance

At Colonial Insurance Agency in Menomonee Falls, it is our goal to simplify insurance for you. We want to protect you and your family while also helping you get the best rates on your car insurance and other insurance needs like home, life, and business. Learn more on our website or contact us today and we would be happy to help.

It’s important to remember that insurance can be complicated. Sometimes the least expensive policy is not the best for your situation and would be detrimental to you if you find yourself in a claims situation. Make sure you have the proper coverage in place.