Does Everyone Need a Will??
Wed Jul 19 13:07:31 2017
What Is a Will?
The most basic estate planning tool, a will is a legal document that states the actions a person wishes to be taken after their death in regards to
1).the disposition of property
2).the guardianship of minor children
3).the administration of estate.

Do You Need a Will?
If you have a spouse, child, and/or property, the answer is definitely YES!!
The alternative is to allow the state in which you reside to determine:
1).how your property will be distributed among your heirs, including who those heirs are
2).the guardianship of any minor children, including who will serve as guardian
3).how your estate will be administered.

Who Can Make a Will?
State statute determines who can make a will. Generally, you must be “of age” as defined by state law, and of sound mind. In addition, state law generally requires that wills be written, signed and witnessed by a required number of witnesses.

While you can draw your own will, the preparation and execution of this important legal document is generally best left to an attorney.



Recreational Fire Regulations
Wed May 31 11:34:07 2017
With the warm weather comes recreational fires. Sitting around the campfire in the evening is becoming more popular. Make sure that your fire is legal with the following regulations from the MN Department of Public Safety:

Recreational fire – the outdoor burning of materials other than rubbish, having a total fuel area of 3 feet or less in diameter, and 2 feet or less in height.

Minimal requirements (applicable even if a local jurisdiction doesn’t have an ordinance):
1. Be at least 25 feet from all buildings or combustible materials (wood, paper, or plastics)
2. Conditions that cause a fire to spread within 25 feet of a structure should be eliminated before it is lit.
3. Be at least 10 feet from permanent LP gas containers.
4. Be constantly added until extinguished.
5. At least 1 fire extinguisher with a minimum of 4A rating needs to be available at all times.
6. Materials permitted to burn – wood from trees, small branches, brush, or charcoal. Materials NOT permitted to be burned – treated lumber, construction debris, garbage, plastic, or waste materials.
7. Must be immediately extinguished if there is a fire safety risk, when not in compliance, or directed to do so by a fire code official (officer or fire fighter).
8. The state has no specific regulations on extinguishing if smoke becomes a nuisance to a neighbor and there is a complaint. Check with your local city or fire official.

Portable outdoor fireplaces – solid fuel burning fireplace may be open in design or equipped with a small hearth opening and a short chimney opening in the top.

1. Used in accordance to the manufacturer’s instructions.
2. Not operated within 15 feet of a structure or combustible material.
3. Also follow #3-7 of recreational fires.

Many cities choose to adopt ordinances that are more stringent. Check with your city before having a recreational fire or purchasing a portable outdoor fire place.

From the Minnesota Department of Public Safety State Fire Marshal Division.



Is Accident Forgiveness Really Free??
Wed Apr 26 12:15:03 2017
Lately there have been a lot of commercials on TV auto insurance and how you are purchasing the wrong coverage or choosing the wrong insurance company. These commercials can be deceiving because they don’t tell about the “fine detail”
  • Accident forgiveness coverage does cost money!
  • If you purchase accident forgiveness coverage and your first accident is forgiven and you have another accident within 3 years the company will charge you for both accidents.
  • “Replacement Coverage” on your vehicle cost money AND has limitations. Your car has to be 3 years old or newer, any older than that and you can’t have this coverage.
Now, we are not trying to steer you away from purchasing these coverages because they are good to have. We just want you to be aware these are not “free” and there are limitations.

Also, having an agent that can explain these coverages to you and help you figure out what type of coverage you need is very beneficial. So, if you are looking for an agent or have questions please give us a call – 507-674-3802.

Questions About Personal Auto Insurance
Tue Apr 11 13:04:21 2017
Auto insurance is the most common insurance that people buy because most states require the owner to have auto insurance. Deciding who needs to be covered can be tricky.

Here are 5 things to review when buying auto insurance:

1). What is a private passenger auto? Private passenger autos having four wheels, either owned or leased for 6 months or more. This includes SUVs. (cars rented to others or used for livery aren’t eligible). Pickups and vans – if not used for delivery, unless for farming or ranching. (check for rating on vehicles over 10,000 pounds)

2). Who is a “family member”? A person related to the named insured (or resident spouse) by blood, marriage or adoption, and must reside in the named insured’s household. A ward or foster child in the household is considered a family member.

3). Where does the child actually reside? Check with your company or agent to know for sure. General rule of thumb – if you have primary or joint custody, they should be listed on your policy. Check with your insurer if your ex has primary custody.

4). Who owns the vehicle? Eligible vehicles may be owned by an individual or a husband and wife who reside in the same household.

5). How are non-owned vehicles covered? Generally an endorsement needs to be added to a personal auto policy to cover things like company vehicles. The endorsement with extend the liability from the personal auto policy to the non-owned vehicle you may be driving.

If you don’t own a car, you may still have auto exposures, such as renting or borrowing someone else’s vehicle. You can purchase an auto policy with a non-owner coverage endorsement.

Insurance Tips for College-Bound Kids
June 8th, 2016

College is [IMAGE]expensive enough without the added cost of unexpected accidents or theft, not covered by your insurance policy. If you have a student heading away to school, below are a few tips to help you get the most out of you coverage.





Homeowners (varies by state)


Personal Property:

      Most homeowners policies will cover personal property for up to 10% of your total policy while your child is residing at school (a $100,000 policy equals $10,000 in coverage). Not all types of damage are covered, so be sure to talk to your agent about your specific coverages.

      Some items such as jewelry or expensive electronics, require special coverage. Renters Insurance is strongly recommended for students that are headed to college. Renters insurance is not only for those living in an apartment, it is also recommended for those living in dormitories.

Liability Coverage:

     General damage to a dorm room or apartment is not usually covered under a homeowners policy. BUT, a renters policy would provide liability coverage for a dorm room or apartment.

Documentation:

     Creating an inventory of the items your child is taking to school is a good idea. This may seem like a big project but it can be as easy as: taking a video camera and recording your entire apartment including cupboards & drawers.

Auto (varies by state)

Car Stays Home: Keep your child listed on your auto policy if they will still driver your car while at home on school breaks.

Car at School: Make sure to notify your agent if your child will be taking a car away to school. In most cases, if the car is registered to you and listed on your policy, it will be covered.

Discounts: A full-time student meeting certain academic requirements can qualify for a good student discount. Distant student discounts may also be available.

Before your child leaves for school, call Marketing Link Insurance at 800-944-3264. We can walk you through the steps to ensure you have the right coverage for yourself and student. We're here to help!



Renters Insurance Myths Busted - You Do Need Coverage
May 9th, 2016

[IMAGE]
More than likely we have all said "it won't happen to me" or "I don't need renters insurance". But, in reality, whether we are a renter or a homeowner we all need insurance to cover our personal property and to provide us with liability coverage.

In this post we are going to cover 4 of the most common myths for Renters Insurance.

1. I don't have enough stuff to need insurance coverage
If you do a quick room-by-room inventory of everything you own, from dishtowels to dinning room chairs, your total total gets pretty big pretty fast. The average renter in a two-bedroom apartment has about $30,000 worth of belongings. Even if you are a college student renting an apartment you still have more than you think.

2. Since I am a renter, my landlord will cover property damage
Occasionally, that may be true, but it's more likely that your landlord's policy only covers the structure, not the contents of your apartment. A renters policy is not all about personal property, it also gives you liability coverage.

NOTE: If your landlord has a policy covering your personal property, ask for a certificate of insurance so you have proof!

3. Renter's insurance only covers my belongings
Typically you will be living over or under another tenant, and if something in your apartment damages something in theirs, your renters insurance will cover the damage up to your liability limit. So, the renters policy is much more than just coverage for your personal property.

4. Renters insurance is too expensive
Compared to car insurance or homeowners insurance, renter's insurance is a bargain. You can expect to pay about 50 cents a day for a policy. Renter's policies offer a lot of coverage for a small amount.

Why risk the chance of having something to happen when you can pay a small amount of premium and have a little peace of mind knowing your stuff is covered.

Want a quote or more information?? Call Marketing Link Insurance at 800-944-3264


Why Do I Need An Insurance Agent?
April 28, 2016

[IMAGE]We live in a do-it-yourself world, thanks to the internet we can do almost everything ourselves without the help of someone else. So, why do you need an insurance agent when you can purchase insurance on the internet?

If all insurance policies were alike and if everyone had the same insurance needs you would be able to purchase insurance without the help of an agent. But, everyone has different needs therefore everyone needs insurance specifically designed for them.

To determine if you need an agent, it's important to understand an agents role.

Identify You Needs

This is one of the most important roles of an insurance agent. They help identify your needs to be sure there are no gaps in your insurance coverage. For example, the insurance needs of a young adult renting an apartment with an older car are far different than a married couple with a family and a house.

An insurance agent is going to look at each situation and determine the best coverage to be sure there are no gaps. Agents offer the knowledge skills to help you purchase the insurance coverage that fits you best. A service that internet insurance can't offer.

Knowing the Insurance Company

Not only is it important to know your options and what you are buying, it's also important to know the company you are buying insurance from. Insurance agents know the companies they work for and they trust the companies.

Agents know the ins and outs of each company they work for and will be able to find the right company for you. Agents also know the reputation of each company and whether the company has a reputation for paying claims fairly and in a timely manner.

Once you and the agent have decided the right coverage and which companies meet your needs, they will obtain quotes from each of the selected companies. These quotes will be competitive to ensure you receive the best rate while still receiving proper coverage.

After Buying Your Insurance

Agents are there for you from the beginning to the end. Just because you have purchased the insurance that is best for you doesn't mean the services of the agent are done. Agents help with any changes you may have, contacting you to review your insurance every year to be sure your insurance still fits your needs, and much more.

Insurance agents are also there for you in the event of a claim. They help you take the first steps to get the claim submitted to the insurance company and they are there for you throughout the entire claim process. Most importantly, if there is an issue during the claim your agent is there to "go to bat" for you.

Also, in the event your premium increases, your agent will be able to help you determine why and to re-rate your insurance with there other companies to ensure you continue to receive the best rate while keeping the coverage that suits you best.

Purchasing insurance from the internet might be a easy solution at the time until something happens and you don't have proper coverage.

If you want to find an insurance agent to help you find the best coverage for your needs give Marketing Link Insurance a call 800-944-3264 also find us at    Marketing Link Insurance

8 TIPS TO LOWER YOUR AUTO INSURANCE
April 20, 2016

Insurance has a lot of "ins and outs" that can be complicated but ways to try and save money on your auto insurance are not complicated. Follow these simple tips to help maximize your auto insurance savings.

1). All vehicles on the same policy

Most auto insurance companies offer a "Multi-Vehicle"; Discount when customers insure all of their vehicles one one policy. This discount is most times offered on ATV and Motorcycle policies.

2). Car and Home insurance with the same company

Insuring both your home and auto insurance with the same company will allow you to receive a "Multi-Policy" discount. Most companies offer this discount as a "perk" to get your property insurance, this is perfectly legal, and a great way for the customer to save extra money.

3). Ask about discounts

Discounts are a great way to save money on your insurance. Ask your agent/insurer for a list of discounts offered because you never know how the details of your life could save you money. Have kid(s) that do well in school (B average or higher)? There's a discount available for Good Students, all the company will need is a copy of the students most recent transcript for proof. Students in college still listed on their parents policy are also eligible for this discount.

4). Increase your deductibles

Basically, the higher your deductible the lower you insurance premium. Increasing your deductible from $500 to $1,000 could potentially save five to ten percent. Since the deductible is the portion you have to pay in the event of a loss, you want to be sure the deductible is still affordable.

5). Drop collision coverage

Is your car getting up there in age? You may want to think about dropping collision coverage on your older car. This decision is not always clear-cut. You need to weigh the cost of collision coverage with the value of your car and the deductible you have chosen. For example: if you have a car the is 15 years old worth a $1,000 and you have a $1,000 collision deductible, the collision coverage won't be worth anything.

6). Pay your premium in full

Many companies charge a processing fee if the customer pays monthly versus all at once. So, if you can afford paying your premium in full you will pay less in the end.

7). Drive carefully

Your driving record is the most influential factors when your car insurance rate is determined. So, driving carefully can really help your check book in the long run. Tickets stay on your record for a minimum of 3 years and accidents stay for at least 5!

Related Read: https: True Cost of a Minnesota Speeding Ticket

8). Check your rates as your life changes

Changes in your life can affect your insurance rates. Events like getting married, moving, adding a teen driver, changing jobs (or retiring) or getting higher education. These are all key times to call your agent to see if you insurance is affected and if your current company is still giving you the best rate.

Also find us at: Marketing Link Insurance

Smarten-Up the Car = Dumb-Down the Driver
April 5, 2016

[IMAGE]
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving is the 3rd leading cause of car crashes. The biggest distraction for drivers is the use of cellphones and other mobile devices. Drivers who type a text message while the car is in motion are six times more likely to be involved in a crash. Drivers are three times more likely if they reach for their phone, look up a contact or browse the internet.

The new safety features that are now available in vehicles are actually making drivers less attentive by offer features such as technology to monitor the distance between vehicles and alert drivers if they drift. "We are replacing one set of risks and creating a whole new set of risks" says University of South Carolina law professor Bryant Walker Smith. Automakers have also increased the opportunities for distraction by making vehicles more Internet-connected.

In an effort to make distracted drivers in safer cars better drivers, automakers are testing new monitoring systems that will determine if a driver is too tired or too distracted.These artificial intelligence systems will watch drivers and evaluate their fitness behind the wheel. Some of these systems utilize "eye-tracking" sensors that may monitor physical characteristics related to the face and head to analyze inattention, such as rotation of the head, blinkrate and speed, width/height ratio of pupils and orientation of the eyeball. In the event of inattention, the driver would be alerted with a vibration or other signal.

Early versions of these systems could be available as soon as 2017.

Self-managed web sites powered by iEditWeb, Inc.