Tropical Storm Isaias: Reporting Property Damage

Today, many of you were hit by Tropical Storm Isaias, and some of you have been left without power and potential property damage.

If you’ve experienced property damage, we want to provide you with what to do next. See below:

  • Contact your carrier
  • Document everything with pictures and video
  • Make necessary repairs to reduce further damage

While you are doing this, please make sure you are doing so safely. If you have minor damages, are not sure if you should call your carrier or still have questions, you can always contact us by:

We are here to help, so please stay safe and take care!


a white male landscaper trimming grass

Landscaper Insurance: Lawn Care, Tree Service and Designers

If you’re in the landscaping business, you want to make sure you protect every aspect of your livelihood, from your equipment and materials, to your employees, and naturally, yourself.

That’s true whether you’re running a small two-man operation out of your garage, or own a large-scale landscaping business with a team of employees and a fleet of equipment.

Protecting your business is so very important. That’s why you need a good insurance policy that protects you every step of the way, with affordable premiums and all the benefits you require.

Why Landscaper Insurance Is Important

One reason having landscaping insurance is so important is that landscaping is a job that poses some risks. Damaged equipment, injuries on the job and weather-related issues are all problems that landscapers face on the regular.

Repairing and replacing damaged equipment isn’t cheap, and neither are medical bills. Having an insurance policy helps protect you and your finances from the unexpected.

Many landscaper insurance plans are custom-designed to meet the needs of the business.

The drafting of your plan will take into consideration details such as the size of your business, your coverage area, the materials and equipment you use, the services you provide, the size of your staff, and what your individual coverage needs are, based on all of this information.

Other factors they may consider include the location of your business, your annual income/revenue, payroll costs, property value of your business, the types of vehicles you use, the value of said vehicles and materials/equipment, and more. It sounds like a lot, but all of these details give them a larger idea of what type of coverage you need.

For instance, a larger scale company that provides a whole host of services will have a much different coverage plan than a smaller company that only does mowing and light gardening. An agent will go over the details of coverage with you to help you get the best insurance plan for you.

They will also take into consideration your claims history. So if you’ve had issues before, whether legal or otherwise, the insurance agent will take that into consideration when planning your coverage.

What types of landscaping businesses need insurance? In short, all of them.

But if you’re on the fence about whether or not your business really needs a policy, call an agent to chat and find out more information. Many types of landscaping/yard/lawn businesses utilize landscaper insurance.

Types of Landscapers

The following are common types of landscapers:

  • Lawn Care Services/Maintenance - Mowers, landscapers, weeding and some gardening;
  • Tree Pruning/Removal Services - Branch and stump removal, tree removal, pruning, limb maintenance, and more. This is a job that contains a high risk of injury, so having insurance in place is very important;
  • Excavation/Grading - Excavation and ground grading to create level ground, digging, creating a drainage system, etc;
  • Hardscape Design - This includes landscaping that works with rocks, boulders and other types of heavy outdoor items using heavy-duty equipment.

All of these business types fall under the category of “landscaping” and should have a basic landscaping insurance policy in place to help protect against the unexpected.

These plans not only take care of expenses in the case of injury or damage to equipment, but can pay legal fees in the event of a lawsuit or legal issue with a client, will handle lost wages/expenses in the event of a natural disaster, and more, depending on the type of coverage you choose.

While every plan differs, there are a few basic types of landscaping insurance. Your policy will likely fall into one of these categories, based on your needs.

General Liability

The most common form of landscaper insurance, it includes basic coverages such as bodily injury, property damage and other types of liability.

This is the most basic type and the one that you should always have (some clients may even require you do so). If you have general liability in place, you can then expand upon it with more detailed coverage.

Commercial Umbrella Liability

This type of insurance is an “add-on” to general liability insurance. Many companies use this to add on a bit of extra coverage to an existing liability policy.

These are helpful in the case of legal issues or injury as they can pay the extra money needed to cover a settlement or pay medical bills.

Adding this extra bit of coverage to a policy is a very good backup protection to have, and often they aren’t that expensive.

Commercial Property Insurance

This insurance protects your actual physical business (so the warehouse/office/building you work out of), as well as the materials, tools, equipment and vehicles housed within.

This is a good idea for any business regardless of industry, as it protects against natural disasters and accidents such as fire, flooding and in most cases, even theft.

Bear to mind though, it only covers damages at the physical property, so if something is damaged elsewhere, or equipment is stolen off the truck, you may or may not receive coverage.

Commercial Auto

Vehicles that are used for landscaping purposes, to transport equipment such as mowers, clippers, tractors; to drive to and from client’s homes, etc, can be covered under a commercial auto policy.

Vehicles commonly covered under these policies include work vans/service vans, dump trucks, trucks and utility vehicles/trailers.

Business Owners’ Insurance

This policy is a hybrid between general liability coverage and a basic commercial buildings and personal property plan.

Workers' Compensation

Having a workers' compensation package in your insurance coverage is very smart, especially if you have employees.

In the event that they become injured on the job, workers comp will pay for their medical bills, treatment and expenses, as well as lost wages.

For professions where the risk of injury is higher, due to dangerous equipment and materials (landscaping definitely falls into this category), having a workers comp plan in place is a must.

Surety Bonds

Most landscaping businesses, as with many service companies, must be bonded and licensed in order to operate. While surety bonds are different than insurance, often they are discussed and agreed upon when you apply for your insurance policy.

If you’re unsure about these types of bonds, speak to a reputable agent, who can help walk you through the process.

You will purchase the surety bond through your insurance agent. The protection offered by a surety bond can range from $10,000 to $100,000, depending on the type of coverage.

What Else?

You may be wondering about the other costs associated with landscaper insurance. Luckily, most basic landscaping insurance plans are generally pretty affordable.

Most of the lower-priced plans run around $400 per year for a smaller landscaping business, but policies can go upwards of several thousands of dollars for the more comprehensive coverages/large scale businesses.

Of course, the size of your business and how many you have on staff will contribute to your premium. This is something you’ll discuss with your agent.

If you have budgetary concerns, or want to ensure that the coverage meets all your needs, you should give them detailed information about your expectations.

How We Can Help

Luckily, there are many insurance companies and agents out there who offer affordable landscaping insurance coverage, and it is a good idea to compare quotes and policies from all of them.

You can easily obtain this information online or over the phone if you’re willing to provide a little bit of information about your business. If you’re looking for a reputable insurance company in New Jersey, Keller Insurance is a great choice.

Insurance agents can also speak to you about group health insurance plans for your employees. Many business owners choose to provide health insurance coverage for their staff and themselves via a group health insurance plan.

These are often a great idea and can provide coverage for people who normally wouldn’t be able to afford the best coverage.

Talk to your agent about group plans for business owners and find affordable coverage for you and your staff that include the benefits you find important, whether that’s a dental and vision plan, disability insurance, or something else.

You value your employees, so of course, you want to help them be protected, too. After all, taking care of your employees' needs is a proven way to increase productivity and morale on the job.

Whether you are the owner of a small landscaping business, or have a large chain of companies, having a great landscaper insurance policy in place is so important.

Protecting your business - including its employees, equipment, merchandise, materials, and of course, yourself - is a key part of running a successful company.

If you’re looking for landscaping insurance in the New Jersey area, you’ve got plenty of reputable insurance agencies vying for your business.

Take the time to compare quotes and find the best type of insurance policy for your landscaping company, through a reliable, knowledgeable agent today. Protect your landscaping business every step of the way. You’ll be so glad you did.


a husband carrying his daughter on his shoulders

A Guide to Buying the Best Home Insurance in NJ

If you are looking for home insurance in NJ, then you might be looking for some advice about how you can get the best.

It can feel like quite a challenge to locate and get the best home insurance possible, but luckily for you, we’ve got some advice.

Down below, we will look at how you can get the best home insurance, so keep reading to find out more!

Get A Quote From Multiple Companies

The first thing that you should do is to get a quote from several companies. To do this, using a broker like Keller will enhance your chances of finding something incredible.

Sometimes brokers can locate deals that you might not have been able to find on your own, so it’s a good idea to use one to give yourself the best possible chance.

You can also do this on your own though, and all you have to do is go online or get in touch with an insurance provider, input your details, and they will generate a quote for you.

It will not be possible to know whether or not a price is good if you only have one quote.

Keep a note of all the quotes you have, and then you can figure out which will be the best option by comparing prices and what’s included in the policy.

Find The Right Policies

The right policy is that which covers everything you need at the best price. There are several areas that home insurance in NJ covers, and one is damage to the interior and exterior of your home.

If something such as a hurricane, fire, vandalism or other disasters damage your home, then your policy likely covers it.

However, when it comes to disasters such as floods, poor home maintenance or floods, this is where you’re not going to be covered.

It’s important that you look through everything that is and isn’t covered before you choose a policy or you could find yourself trying to make a claim down the line, only to find your insurance isn’t what you thought it was.

You’ve also got to consider the cost. Once you’ve read through what’s included, look at the cost and then compare this to the other quotes that you have.

Work out what offers you the most for the best price, and then you can decide what the right policy for you is.

Include Add Ons

If you want your home to be covered for extras that aren’t covered in the general home insurance, then you’re going to need add ons.

Some of the add ons that you can purchase are things like accidental damage cover, which covers you if you’re quite clumsy.

Say you spill something on your lovely white sofa, accidental damage will be your best friend. Also, if you have children, this is certainly something you may want to consider.

Another add on that you can consider is the home emergency add on. This will be helpful if your home is particularly susceptible to cold snaps.

If your boiler breaks down, this cover will pay for the emergency call-out and repair. Some even cover other costs associated with this but check your policy just to make sure.

There are several other add ons that you can consider, and if you want to get the best insurance then you need to look through them thoroughly.

If you think you will need an add-on, it’s best to have it just in case something goes wrong. It’s always better to have it and not need it than the other way around.

Increase Deductibles To Lower Premiums

If you’re worried about those monthly payments, then one thing you can do is increase your deductible. By doing this, your premium will be lowered, and you’ll be able to afford the payments more easily.

Keep in mind though that by doing this, you’re offering to pay more money in case of a claim before the insurance will pay anything.

Considering you might never need to make a claim, this can be quite helpful when paying in the long run. However, if you do have to make a claim, you need to be able to afford your deductible.

Limit The Number Of Claims That You Submit

Something that you should know is that the more claims that you submit, the less likely you are to get the best insurance. Companies use risk assessors to determine how much of a risk you are to insure.

If a company thinks you’re going to be claiming numerous times, your insurance rate will be higher than if you don’t make claims often.

As such, when you have an issue, you want to think carefully about whether it is worth making a claim. If you’ve already made a claim recently, then you don’t want to do this unless you absolutely have to.

When you experience some kind of damage, if it’s minimal, then it will be worth sorting the repairs yourself.

It makes little sense to claim for a repair that you could easily take care of yourself, especially seeing as this goes against you when it comes time to renew the policy.

The longer you can go without a claim, the better it looks to your insurance.

You want to be as low risk as possible if you’re looking to get the best policy on the market, which means keeping your number of claims as close to zero as possible.

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now see how you can go about buying the best home insurance in NJ!

Follow these steps, and you will come out of this with the best policy and cover possible. If you have questions, feel free to reach out for assistance.


COVID-19 Back To Work Resources Bundle

As states begin to loosen restrictions and many businesses and individuals are getting back to work, or are at least planning to do so in the coming weeks, we wanted to make sure everyone is prepared as possible.

With that in mind, we compiled a bundle of re-opening information to benefit general workplaces, as well as several industry-specific resources for businesses in retail, hospitality, manufacturing, healthcare and more.

For information on each individual resource, continue reading below.

General Workplace Guidance

Fisher Phillips LLP: 5 Steps to Reopen Your Workplace

Fisher Phillips, LLP, has compiled a list of five steps to reopen your workplace, according to the CDC's latest guidance.

OSHA: Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19

This detailed packet from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), contains recommendations as well as descriptions of mandatory workplace safety and health standards.

CDC: Guidance for Cleaning & Disinfecting

An overview from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on general guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools and homes.

CDC: Devising a Cleaning & Disinfecting Plan

A more thorough version of the above CDC guidelines, with details on developing, implementing, maintaining and revising your plan.

CDC: Reopening Workplaces During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Questions to ask yourself as an employer when deciding if you should return to work and to help protect workers, especially those at high risk of illness.

Vehicle Cleanliness

Wheels, Inc.: Vehicle Cleanliness Tips

Vehicle cleanliness tips from Wheels, Inc., a large, privately-held automotive fleet leasing and management company.

Industry-Specific Resources

Along with the general business resources above, we've compiled several industry-specific resources and guides. Check them out at the links below.

Retail Stores

OSHA: COVID-19 Guidance for Retail Workers

In this OSHA alert, retail employers can find tips can help reduce their employees’ risk of exposure to the coronavirus.

Hospitality & Hotels

American Hotel & Lodging Association: Hotel Cleaning Standards

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) has published a guide with the latest enhanced industry-wise hotel cleaning standards in response to COVID-19 to keep employees and guests safe.

Manufacturing & Factories

OSHA: COVID-19 Guidance for the Manufacturing Industry Workforce

For employers and workers in the manufacturing industry, the following tips from OSHA can help reduce the risk of exposure and illness.

Construction & Contractors

JE Dunn Construction: Safety Slide Deck

This template from JE Dunn Construction Group highlights what their own personnel will be doing in their general approach to COVID safety and preparedness.

OSHA: COVID-19 Guidance for the Construction Workforce

When working in the construction industry, these tips can help reduce the risk of exposure to Coronavirus.

NFPA: Construction Site Safety During Emergencies

Buildings under construction, alteration or demolition are facing new challenges. Here's how owners can safely prepare, execute efforts and minimize risk.

Healthcare & Medical

CDC: Get Your Clinic Ready for COVID-19

Here are 10 precautions you can take before, during and after seeing patients in a medical practice.

NJ Office of the Attorney General: COVID-19 Advisory for Dental Professionals

The New Jersey Office of the Attorney General Division of Consumer Affairs (State Board of Dentistry) published a COVID-19 advisory for NJ dental professionals.

Golf Courses

We Are Golf - Back2Golf

To return the game of golf responsibly, allied organizations have established “Back2Golf,” a plan outlining operational guidelines for the golf’s 16,000-plus golf facilities that adhere to nationally established protocols and best practices.

USGA: COVID-19 Golf Course Care

The United States Golf Association (USGA) has created this resource page to provide useful information for everyone within the golf community on how to play and manage the game safely.


Essential Considerations for Returning to Work - Video & PDF

Webinar Summary:

Recently, Governor Murphy sketched out the benchmarks New Jersey will have to reach before the COVID-19 lockdown can be lifted. The stay at home order will remain in place until further notice, but the Governor said he expects the timeline for reopening to be measured in weeks, not months.

Returning to work will bring new legal and practical challenges for employers in all industries. The New Jersey Agents Alliance and its Member Agencies are pleased to invite you to a complimentary webinar by Clark Hill and HR/Advantage Advisory Services and hope that you will join us for an engaging discussion on the following topics:

  • Safely returning your employees to the workforce
  • Relevant federal and state guidance
  • Best practices for dealing with vulnerable workers, refusal/reluctance to work, and employee anxiety
  • COVID-19 positive workers and claims of workplace exposure
  • Why it’s important to formulate your workplace policies now
  • How we can help

Please share any questions that you may have about your returning workforce when you register.


young male small business owner

What is a Business Owner's Policy & Why Do I Need One?

There are so many things to consider when it comes to running a business. If you’re running a small business then you may think that you are priced out of the market due to high premiums or eligibility.

That’s where Business Owner’s Policies come in. They’re designed to cover the business-critical elements of your business while also being affordable.

Let’s look at why this type of policy could be right for your business.

What is a Business Owners’ Policy?

In simple terms, a Business Owner Policy is an overarching insurance policy that rolls all essential coverage into one single policy.

A standard Business Owner's Policy incorporates a declaration, form, common conditions statement, and any relevant endorsements.

As the policy is not bespoke and designed to offer a package of support to a pre-defined target market, it is a lot simpler to set up than other insurance policies.

The cost of the policy is generally a lot less of a financial outlay than if buying each individual insurance separately.

Perhaps now, more than ever, businesses are keen to protect themselves from unexpected events and conditions.

What is covered under the policy?

A standard policy typically included protections against:

Property damage - more commonly described as ‘named-peril coverage’.  This covers the costs for damage caused by specifically named events including fire, flood, vandalism, and explosion.

If you are looking for a Business Owner's Policy that covers all eventualities for property damage, you will need to find a company that offers this level of coverage.

Property covered can be owned or rented and you are also covered for items owned by a third party but stored in your property.

Liability - if your company is found legally responsible for inflicting damages on others through defective products,  faulty installations. injury, and property damage.

Business interruption - reclaim and business income lost through disaster, fire, or another catastrophic event.

Some insurers allow businesses to take out additional coverage as part of their Business Owner's Policy for a low premium.  These can typically include:

  • Cybersecurity and electronic data
  • Civil Authority
  • Business Income
  • Interruption of computer operations
  • Accounts receivable

Figures from Statista show that between 2013 - 2018 24% of all insurance claims were due to damage and losses from fire or explosion.

What is not covered by a business owner’s policy?

There are several areas that are not typically included in a Business Owner's Policy for which businesses will need to take out separate policies. These include:

  • Health and disability
  • Professional liability
  • Worker’s compensation
  • Automobile insurance

Does my business need it?

Pros - SMEs benefit from being able to obtain a high level of coverage for a low-level premium. The cost of buying all the insurance policies separately could be prohibitive for some businesses.

You’ll also save time and money on research and admin by rolling everything up into one policy with the same insurer. In SME’s, money and budgets need to stretch a long way and this helps with that cash flow situation.

Unlike a Business Owner's Policy, standard policies do not include business income as part of their property section.

Cons - as Business Owners Policies are packaged to offer broad support to a certain type/size of the business, it is not as flexible in its terms or modifications as standard policies are.

Features such as professional liability are often used as a ‘perk’ to employees in certain sectors. Seeking this out separately can be a costly outlay for a small business.

The named-peril clause within the property portion of the policy can be restrictive. You are only covered in the event of a few, specifically named, incidents. You may want to consider your risks before signing an agreement.

It is strongly recommended that before taking out any kind of insurance policy, you perform a thorough risk assessment on your business. This will allow you to choose the right level of coverage for your particular set of circumstances.

A risk assessment will prevent you from taking out overly expensive policies that you don’t need or underinsuring your business with potentially devastating consequences.

Is your business eligible?

Business Owner's Policies are not available to every business. They are targeted at SMEs who need to meet certain eligibility criteria to be accepted for a policy.

These criteria can differ slightly between insurers but often include the geographic location, annual revenue, size of the property, and business sector.

Businesses from many sectors are eligible, including:

  • Fast food restaurants/cafes (minimal cooking)
  • Retail stores
  • Hotels
  • Salons and barbershops
  • Small residential contractors
  • Landscape gardeners

For the property portion of the Business Owner's Policy, there are certain restrictions on the type and size of property that is covered under the policy.

Office buildings cannot be taller than 6 stories or exceed 100,000 square feet. Buildings used for retail, wholesale, or services cannot exceed 35,000 square feet.

As a Business Owner's Policy is packaged together to offer insurance services to companies with a similar level of risk, this excludes certain sectors including:

  • Cinemas and theatres
  • Banks
  • Factories
  • Garages and mechanics

These types of businesses have a higher risk profile and need a more specialized range of policies to cover their specific needs.

Business Owner’s Policies from Keller Insurance Services

Our experienced team can help you find the right Business Owner's Policy for your business at an affordable premium.  As an independent agency, we look to find you the best coverage at the right price from our network of insurance providers.

If you’re unsure whether or not your business is eligible, we can help you

We offer a range of additional coverages to complement your Business Owner's Policy for true peace of mind. Start protecting your business today.


COVID-19 Updates: Personal & Auto Insurance

As the Coronavirus pandemic continues, we wanted to give you some updates on what insurance carriers are doing to help customers out.

Many are allowing customers to defer payments or pay in smaller installments. Some personal auto providers are even giving back credits on insurance premiums and are offering additional benefits.

If you have questions or concerns about your insurance policy, we're here to help.

Keep reading below for the latest information on what carriers are offering. This information is taken directly from them.

We’ll be adding more updates to this page as we receive them.

Chubb

Updated 4/13/20:

We are bringing to your attention the Auto Premium Credit announcement that has just been released. This is another step Chubb has taken to properly service clients during this pandemic.

We will communicate in greater detail the effective dates for your clients as we work through operationalizing this program and complying with any state regulatory requirements. Thank you for your patience and for all that you're doing to serve clients during these rapidly changing times.

Please stay safe and healthy.

Official News Release:

Chubb Announces Premium Credit for U.S. Auto Policyholders to Reflect Changing Driving Habits Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic - Savings for U.S. personal auto clients to average $110 per vehicle

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. April 13, 2020- Chubb is providing its personal auto insurance clients in the U.S. with a credit on annual renewal premiums as a result of reduced driving activity.

Upon renewal, clients will receive a credit reflecting a 35% premium reduction for the months of April and May, with additional discounts for subsequent months, as the situation warrants. Across Chubb's portfolio, the average credit is expected to be $110 per vehicle. Clients will not have to request the credit, it will be applied automatically at renewal. All premium and rate adjustments are subject to regulatory approval. 

"In these rapidly changing times, we have been thinking about our clients and the challenges they are facing. We recognize that there has been a reduction in our clients' driving activity as a result of this pandemic," said Fran O'Brien, Division President, North America Personal Risk Services. "This credit reflects our commitment to providing a fair premium adjustment to our clients, while ensuring they continue to receive Chubb's best-in-class auto coverage."

Updated 4/9/20:

Chubb PRS: Examining the impact of lower auto usage.

Recently we have received questions regarding carriers who have made the decision to provide their clients with refunds based on their changing driving behaviors in this unprecedented environment.

As a matter of course, changes in loss frequency would be included in our annual rate reviews and reflected in our pricing.

We recognize that the current situation may have a long timeline with a prolonged dip in frequency depending on the speed of economic recovery.

We are currently evaluating the situation to determine an appropriate course of action for our clients. In the meantime, please be assured that our top priority is servicing you and our clients.

We are proud of the way in which our industry has responded in this crisis. At Chubb, just as you have, we have fully transitioned to working from home.

Our team has implemented virtual risk consulting visits and claims adjustments while staying very engaged with our mutual clients.

Your clients who suffer a claim or need billing assistance will be glad that your firms are there to advise them and have recommended broad coverages from a company known for high levels of service.

We are also proud of Chubb's $10 million pledge for pandemic relief and our commitment to our employees that there will be no layoffs during this time.

We remain committed to helping you and your clients through this crisis. Please stay safe and healthy.

Encompass

Updated 5/27/2020:

Great news: the Shelter-in-Place Payback is being extended through June 30, 2020, for personal auto customers. There are a few differences from previous paybacks – read on to learn more.

We led the industry by providing customers with a payback program, and have returned more than $600 million in April and May (May and June in New York), along with our Special Payment Plan and commercial auto endorsement. As our data shows customers continue to be driving less and getting in fewer accidents during the pandemic, we are extending the Shelter-in-Place Payback through June 30, 2020, for personal auto insurance customers. And more great news – motorcycle customers are included in the June payout as well!

And it should be noted that over the three-month period, Encompass is returning approximately $1 billion to our customers, without impacting agency commissions.

Important details about the June payback:

  • Motorcycle insurance customers are included.
  • Customers will receive an automatic credit to their accounts, with most receiving 15% of their monthly premiums.
  • The amount reflects Encompass’ disciplined analysis of available data. The average cost per accident has increased, partially offsetting cost savings.
  • You will be kept informed of the final amount as filings are submitted and approved.
  • We are applying the June payback to the customer’s Encompass account. Certain customers, like those who paid in full, will have their June paybacks applied to a bank account, credit card or via check – see the FAQs linked below for the details.
  • In New York, the paybacks will be one month later. Eligible customers with an active policy in force as of April 30, 2020 should have received the May payback in mid-May and those with policies in force as of May 31, 2020 can expect the June payback in mid-June. We also expect to issue a third payment in July for policies in force as of June 30. The 15% payback will be based on the monthly premium as of those dates. Other than the payback dates, there are no changes to the program for New York.
  • Communications about the June payback will occur at the end of May. Keep an eye on Encompass Express.
  • The sign-up period for free identity protection for all U.S. residents will also be extended to June 30, 2020.

The Shelter-in-Place Payback can be a great opportunity to reach out to customers and prospects and increase retention, uncover cross sell opportunities and grow your book of business.

Please visit Encompass Express for more information and FAQs.

Updated April 2020:

Eligible auto customers will get an average payback of about 15% based on their monthly insurance costs during April and May.

Payment Relief

Encompass customers experiencing financial challenges can call Encompass to learn how to delay payments without penalty.

The Special Payment Plan gives auto and homeowner insurance customers the choice to delay two consecutive premium payments.

Customers also can choose to pay what they can afford

Mercury Insurance

Recognizing that many customers are driving their vehicles less as a result of shelter-in-place actions, Mercury plans to give back 15% of monthly premiums for April and May 2020.

This applies to all Mercury Private Passenger Automobile policyholders. Customers will receive their Givebacks in the same manner their premiums were paid.

As soon as we receive guidance and approval from the Department of Insurance, we expect to begin processing the payments.

Metlife

Recognizing the economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, MetLife is taking action to help its customers during this challenging time.

The company’s property and casualty business, MetLife Auto & Home®, is providing financial relief, preserving coverage in the event of missed payments, and processing claims remotely to ensure social distancing.

“Being there for our customers when they need us the most is the promise MetLife delivers on every day,” notes Darla Finchum, president, MetLife Auto & Home®. “People are struggling, through no fault of their own, and we can help.”

MetLife Auto & Home® is offering the following to its customers nationwide:

Payment & Billing Leniency

Effective immediately, MetLife Auto & Home® will not cancel policies due to non-payment through July 1, 2020.

Customers experiencing difficulties with payments can contact MetLife Auto & Home® directly for assistance.

MetLife Auto Premium Relief

Active MetLife Auto customers who are paid to date will receive a 15% credit for April and May based on their monthly premiums.

No action is required by customers to receive the credit. MetLife Auto & Home® will apply a future credit to the customer’s account.

Extension for Personal Auto Delivery Coverage

Many of MetLife Auto & Home® auto insurance policies already provide coverage for people using their personal vehicles for delivering medicine or food.

MetLife Auto & Home® is extending coverage under all personal auto insurance programs at no additional charge while customers are making deliveries in response to the crisis, effective March 20, 2020, through May 1, 2020.

Expanded Identity Protection

With increased usage and exposure online for virtual school, work, banking and e-commerce, MetLife Auto & Home® recognizes the increased risk of cyberattacks. To help, MetLife Auto & Home® is extending its existing cyber security services through CyberScout to immediate family members of current customers through August 2020*.

Claims

MetLife Auto & Home® is available 24/7 to respond to customers’ claims needs. As the health of our customers and associates remains our highest priority, MetLife Auto & Home® claim adjusters will only conduct contactless reviews to reduce person-to-person contact during these times. Customers can file claims by contacting MetLife Auto & Home® at 1-800-854-6011.

Nationwide

We realize that not all of our customers can make the pivot to usage-based insurance right now, yet many customers are currently experiencing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To get relief in the hands of our customers quickly and simply, we are offering a one-time premium refund of $50 per policy for personal auto policies active as of March 31, 2020.

Customers don’t need to do anything. Refunds will automatically be credited to the customers’ most recent method of payment (automatic withdrawal, credit card, personal check) within the next 30 days.

We are offering this rapid relief at a time when drivers are making the right choice to stay off the road and remain home to help “flatten the curve.”

The refund applies to all personal auto policies including Private Client. The premium refund and timing are subject to individual state Departments of Insurance approval.

Here are additional important pieces of information and tips to support you and your customers and your business:

  • PL livery coverage extension: For losses occurring on and after March 23 through April 30, Nationwide will waive application of the delivery exclusion and extend coverage to some restaurant and pharmacy employees delivering food or medicine/essential needs on behalf of the restaurant or pharmacy. This coverage extension demonstrates the extraordinary care that Nationwide is providing customers during this COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 60-day policy hold: If a personal lines customer or their immediate family member has been impacted medically or financially by COVID-19 and they are unable to pay their bill on time, we are able to place the impacted billing account on a 60-day hold. To have an impacted account placed on hold, please email PLService@nationwide.com.
  • 24-hour claims hotline: Nationwide has taken steps to ensure we are there for customers. If customers need to start a claim for their business, they can call our 24-hour claims hotline at 1-800-421-3535 or visit nationwide.com.
  • Free resources for small businesses: Digital ad credits, videoconferencing services, cybersecurity tools and more — check out the free resources collected in this article for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Via Inc.
  • Improve your social selling skills: It’s not too late to register for the free webinar on Apr. 17 to learn how to leverage Nationwide’s agent social media program, featuring Hearsay, and its free social media content to attract and retain customers, deepen relationships and grow your business.
  • Rapid relief for personal auto customers: To get relief in the hands of our customers quickly and simply, we are offering a one-time premium refund of $50 per policy for personal auto policies active as of March 31, 2020. Customers don’t need to do anything. Refunds will automatically be credited to the customers’ most recent method of payment (automatic withdrawal, credit card, personal check) within the next 30 days. The premium refund and timing are subject to individual state Departments of Insurance approval. Agency commissions won’t be impacted by this refund. Read the communication.

Penn National

Penn National is returning premiums to assist our Personal Auto policyholders during the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant disruptions to our normal routines and unimaginable losses to some of our friends, family members and local communities. Social distancing policies have required restaurants, offices, small businesses and schools to close.

These closures along with government-mandated stay-at-home orders for non-essential travel have resulted in a decline in vehicle use and miles driven. It is estimated that there will be significantly fewer miles driven during the months of March and April nationwide.

Pending regulatory approval, a credit of 15% will be applied to two months of premiums for those policies in force as of April 30 in recognition of the temporary reduction in vehicle miles driven.

The credit will automatically be applied to the policyholder’s next premium balance or refunded if paid in full. Premium returned benefits our 165,000 Personal Auto customers.

While the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic remains uncertain, we know customers are driving less and the fewer accidents are reflected in our return premium.

Helping support our policyholders and our community

In addition to providing refunds and premium credits to policyholders, we continue to support our customers and the greater community in a number of ways.

  • Flexible billing – We are providing an extended 30-day premium grace period to allow customers more time to pay before cancellation notices are sent. We are waiving late fees and reinstatement fees. Our Customer Contact Center representatives also have the authority switch a policyholder to a more convenient payment plan.
  • Uninterrupted customer support – Thanks to our technology and business continuity preparations, we continue to be available during normal business hours. Also, our customers can report claims 24/7.
  • Support for front-line healthcare workers – We recently donated over 19,000 respirator masks to Geisinger Holy Spirit Healthcare. We appreciate the tireless work of all healthcare professionals and will continue to look for ways to support them.

We will continue to keep you informed of new developments.

Plymouth Rock

Plymouth Rock was founded on the principle of doing the right thing for our customers and agents. That means going above and beyond to provide more than just insurance – most importantly during difficult times like the one we’re living in now.

We understand that nearly everyone has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic in some way, and many are experiencing serious financial hardship. We want to do everything we can to help our customers, particularly those who are most in need.

We have issued a press release detailing our planned relief efforts for customers. As a part of the announcement, we will introduce our “pay it forward” option, which gives anyone who wishes the ability to donate their auto insurance premium credit to a non-profit that is providing relief for those hit hardest by COVID‑19. It’s a simple way to help those most in need.

Additionally, Plymouth Rock plans to offer the following relief to its customers, subject to regulatory approval:

  • A 25% premium credit on Liability and Personal Injury Protection Coverages
  • The option to “pay it forward” by donating auto insurance premium credit to a non-profit organization
  • The waiver of comprehensive and collision deductibles for any health care worker involved in an accident while driving to and from work, or in the line of duty
  • Application of the home insurance Additional Living Expense Coverage to any health care worker required by illness or job requirements caused by COVID-19 to temporarily reside somewhere other than their primary residence when payment for these expenses is not provided by the health worker’s employer or another source
  • Continuation of our payment flexibility, including waiving of late fees and a 60-day grace period (longer in some states), holds on cancellations and non-renewals for non-payment, per state guidelines
  • Extension of our food and legal medicine delivery accommodation
  • All relief will be available to current policies and new business, effective April 1 and extended until each state’s individual stay-at-home orders are lifted.

You can read our press release in detail on the Plymouth Rock website. And for all of our COVID-19 related information, please visit the COVID-19 Independent Agent Message Center.

Progressive

Progressive returns $1 billion in premium to customers.

Today we announced that we’re providing credits of approximately $1 billion in premium to Progressive personal auto customers as a result of fewer claims that come with less frequent driving.

Subject to approval by state regulators, Progressive personal auto customers who have a policy in force as of April 30 will be credited 20% of their April premiums in May and personal auto customers with a policy in force as of May 31 will be credited 20% of their May premiums in June.

We estimate that the sum of these two credits will total approximately $1 billion. We may offer additional credits in the upcoming months.

Customers will not need to take any actions to receive the benefits. The credits will be applied automatically to the customer’s policy and those customers who have paid in full will receive a payment of the credited amounts.

If they have a balance on the policy, we’ll apply the credit directly to the remaining balance. And if they’ve already paid in full, we’ll return the money to the payment account we have on file— please make sure your customers’ payment details are up to date.

Selective

In efforts to provide relief to insureds during these uncertain times, customers with personal and business auto insurance policies will receive a 15% premium credit for April and May related to the various COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders.

Please see attached press release and Q&A document for further details. We've included some of the more pressing questions below.

Who will qualify for a COVID-19-premium credit? 

The COVID-19 premium credit is only for customers with personal and business auto insurance policies in force as of April 30, 2020 and May 31, 2020.

How will the COVID-19 premium credit be applied?

15% of the monthly premium for the months of April and May will be applied as a credit to the account of each customer who has an in-force personal and/or business auto policy as of April 30, 2020 and May 31, 2020.

How can a customer find out exactly how much of a COVID-19 credit they’ll receive?

Customers who use our self-service portal and have shared their email address will receive a personalized email with their calculated COVID-19 premium credit, and any applicable credit will appear on a customer’s bill.

When will customers receive their COVID-19 premium credit?

We are currently working with state regulators on our planned premium credit, but we expect to apply the 15% credit for customers with an inforce auto policy as of April 30 in early May and as of May 31 in early June.

Travelers

We know that many of you are doing your part to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home.

That means many of you are driving fewer miles, resulting in a decrease in auto claims.

With that in mind, we have launched the Stay-at-Home Auto Premium Credit Program, which will automatically give you a 15% credit on your April and May premiums.

It’s our way of supporting you, and we hope it helps ease some of the financial burden many are experiencing.

And the best part: You don’t need to do anything. If you pay by monthly installments, you will receive the automatic credit on future bills. If you have already paid in full, you will receive a direct payment.


Man at desk drinking coffee with a tablet that says

Time for Your Insurance Renewal? What You Need to Know

Taking out insurance policies and ensuring that you have the correct insurance cover is crucial to protecting the important things in your life.

Insurance is available to protect all the valuable things in life, including your health, your business, your automobile, and your home.

Insurance offers the reassurance that when things go wrong, you are covered.

Without insurance, if something goes wrong, all the most important parts of your life could be at risk.

This includes your health and livelihood, and material possessions such as your car, and the contents of your home.

Not having any insurance coverage, or having inadequate insurance coverage can have a devastating impact on your life.

When your insurance renewal is due to come along, it is vital to take the time to give your renewal some attention.

With so much at stake, it is more than worth spending a little time ensuring that you have the right level of coverage and at the most affordable price.

Policy Renewals

Insurance renewals typically happen annually, in most cases, 12 months after you first took out the insurance policy.

One year is the standard duration of an insurance policy for most types of insurance, including automobile insurance, home insurance, medical insurance, and business insurance.

When you take out an insurance policy, your policy documents will state a start date on them.

The start date is the day from which your insurance policy is valid.

The document will also specify a date that your current policy expires, and your insurance renewal is due.

It is crucial to be aware of these dates and to know when to expect your insurance renewal so you can make sure that you, your business, and your belongings have the appropriate level of insurance cover at all times.

If your policy lapsed, and you haven’t renewed it, you would be unable to make a claim to recover costs.

During the 12 month duration of your policy, your insurance policy usually remains unchanged.

It is rare for a policy to change over the policy term unless you have changes to your circumstances.

This means that throughout the terms of the plan, the amount you pay shouldn’t change, and your level of cover should remain the same as agreed when the policy was first taken out.

Typically, you shouldn’t need to think too much about your policy at all unless you need to make a claim, or your circumstances change.

What to Do When Your Insurance Renewal is Due

Around four to six weeks before your insurance is due for renewal, you should receive a reminder either through the mail or via email.

The reminder will let you know the exact date that your current policy is due to expire.

A declaration page will also be included with your renewal documents.

You will need to read through the declaration page thoroughly for two reasons.

First, to make sure that all the personal information contained within it relating to yourself, your circumstances, and your level of cover remains correct.

Second, your declaration page can be used for comparing insurance policies when you are shopping around for a quote.

Comparing policies will help you choose the policy most suited to your needs and at the most affordable cost.

Renewal time is your opportunity to adjust your policy to suit your needs, and it is also the best time to shop around for the most competitive deals.

It is advisable to shop around for quotes before your insurance renewal is due, as you don’t want to leave any gaps where you are not covered.

Speaking to an independent insurance agency is one of the best ways to find a policy that provides the right level of cover and at the best possible price.

Unlike going direct to an insurance company, an insurance agent will be able to offer you a personal service and a range of policies so that you can select the option that best suits your requirements.

Insurance Renewals and Price Changes

When your insurance renewal shows up in your mailbox, you may be surprised to find that the cost of your policy has changed from the previous year.

Noticing a rate increase on your renewal quote is frustrating, especially if you feel that it isn’t justified.

There are many reasons that can impact the cost of your insurance. For example, your auto insurance renewal costs may increase if you were involved in an at-fault accident during the previous year of your cover, or even if you have added an extra driver to your policy.

For businesses, insurance costs may increase if you take on more employees, or you stock higher value goods or equipment.

External factors can also influence price hikes on insurance renewals.

For example, if your home insurance costs increase, this may be because there has been a rise in the number of claims made for burglaries in your area.

In this situation, your insurance company may increase the perceived level of risk of insuring a home in your neighborhood, and the price of your insurance renewal would reflect this.

Using an insurance agent to shop around for your quote can help you lower your insurance rates, and you may be able to save money on your automatic renewal quote.

Changes Your Insurer Needs to Know About

There may be times during the duration of your insurance policy that you need to make changes to it.

It is crucial that you inform your insurer right away about changes that affect your policy.

Otherwise, your policy may be invalidated.

It is vital to let your insurer know about changes to your personal information such as a change of name through marriage, or a new address.

Informing your insurer of changes in your circumstance is also crucial to keep your policy valid.

Let your insurer know right away if you change jobs, your medical history changes, or you have children, as these can all affect your policy.

If it's time for your insurance renewal and you want to chat with us about your policy, contact us here.


doctor with a notepad and a family in the back

Group Health Insurance in NJ: 5 Primary Coverages

Your business is known for a lot.

It’s known for the products you sell and/or make.

It’s known for the branding that resonates with your target audience.

It’s known for the standard of service your customers expect.

...But all of that means nothing without the people who make your business great.

Your employees’ hard work and endeavors make your business what it is.

Protecting them at work can help to show them how much you value them while helping them to remain productive.

This starts with the right group health insurance policy.

Here we’ll discuss all things group health insurance, why you need it, its primary coverages and how to get the most cost-efficacy out of your policy year-on-year.

What is Group Health Insurance?

Group health insurance is coverage that workplaces can put in place to make healthcare more affordable for their employees.

This is because risk is spread across a group of employees, and insurance providers have a better idea of whom they are covering, allowing them to provide better rates than they could offer for individual policies.

However, group policies need at least 70% participation in the plan for the coverage to be valid.

Group health insurance has been around since the Great Depression when healthcare costs were exceeding most patients’ ability to pay.

Employer-sponsored group health insurance plans came about in the 1940s when wartime legislation demanded flat wages yet employers needed attractive benefits to offer their workforces to make themselves more appealing to new candidates.

What Does it Cover?

Group health insurance covers a range of healthcare needs, including pre-existing or chronic health conditions such as heart disease, arthritis, diabetes and cancer, although coverage may vary depending on the individual policy and provider.

Some policies may also cover the healthcare needs of employees’ spouses.

Not everyone is covered under a group health insurance plan and the Affordable Care Act is designed to provide healthcare for those who are unable to take advantage of group coverage.

There are several different plan types including;

  • Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO) - These use a primary care doctor as a main point of contact who refers the patients to specialists within the insurance company’s care network as needed.
  • Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO) - These plans do not require policyholders to pick a primary care doctor and allow them to choose healthcare providers outside of the insurer’s network (usually at extra cost).
  • Exclusive Provider Organizations (EPO) - These plans are a combination of HMO and PPO plans.
  • Other Options - There is a huge range of other plan types that are often eligible to use alongside Health Savings Accounts. Point of Service (POS) plans are a good example of this and also combine elements of PPO and HMO plans.

Levels of Coverage

Within each plan, there are different levels of coverage that dictate the proportion of healthcare costs that are subsumed by the insurer.

  • Platinum - Covers 90% of projected healthcare expenses for the average enrollee. You pay the remaining 10%.
  • Gold - Coverage drops to 80% of projected healthcare expenses for gold policies. You pay the remaining 20%.
  • Silver - 70% of projected healthcare expenses. You pay the other 30%.
  • Bronze - 60% of projected healthcare expenses. You pay the other 40%.

More comprehensive policies will come at a higher premium, but out-of-pocket expenses will be significantly reduced.

It’s up to businesses to decide which level of coverage strikes the right balance between meeting the needs of the workforce and maintaining healthy cash flow.

Remember that the portion of the coverage that you bear can be supplemented by your employees.

Why Your Business Benefits from Group Health Coverage?

Believe it or not, small businesses (those with 50 employees or fewer) have no legal requirement to offer group health insurance.

The law requires very little from you, aside from allowing your employees time off for military service, voting or carrying out jury duty.

Still, just because you aren’t legally required to provide group health insurance doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t.

Companies who provide group health insurance are more attractive to top-tier candidates, and if you don’t offer it, you may lose a promising candidate to a competitor who does.

You’ll also save money because you’ll retain employees for longer and won’t have to pay out the expenses associated with recruiting and onboarding new team members when employees leave you for companies with better healthcare coverage.

Group healthcare insurance shouldn’t be viewed as just another overhead.

It has the potential to increase employee productivity, reduce turnaround and improve your bottom line in the long term.

Additional Benefits

With the right partners, you can also gain access to a range of other employee benefits that are not covered under group health insurance policies.

These include dental, disability, life and vision insurance.

You can offer your workforce and their dependants assurances in every aspect of their health and wellbeing!

Why Work With a Broker?

Businesses face a daily battle to stay cost-effective and keep their overheads manageable.

Insurance companies know this, and will rarely reward businesses for turning over and renewing their policies.

An insurance broker can keep your business cost-effective in ways that don’t come at the expense of the coverage your employees need and value.

A broker can get access to the best deals on the market, including deals that may not be available to you without them.

They work with a wide range of carriers to get you the best deal year on year.

Protecting your workforce without impinging on your profitability.

Who Are We?

We are Keller Insurance Services, and we strive to bring clients the best value for money on their group health insurance policies in and around West Deptford, NJ.

We have great relationships with a wide range of carriers to ensure that you get a great deal that’s suited to the needs of your workforce.

Give Your Workforce the Gift of Benefits

We also work with a trusted partner, Alliance Benefit Solutions to provide even greater value for employers.

With assistance for everything from disability insurance to retirement planning their portfolio of services combined with our own ensures that your employees always get the best deal and your business gets the most attractive portfolio of employee benefits at manageable costs.


two businessmen shaking hands and exchanging money

The Difference Between Being Bonded vs. Insured

Being bonded vs. insured are both forms of financial guarantee.

They are designed to protect a person or a business in the event of something going wrong.

However, they are not the same thing.

Being bonded is not insurance.

It can be a little confusing when the terms bond insurance, surety bond insurance are being used, but being bonded is still not the same as being insured.

Being bonded is more like credit, where the risk with the bond lies with the principle, meaning the person buying the bond, not with the insurance company.

Let’s break down being bonded vs. insured a little more:

First off, what is insurance?

There are various forms of insurance.

However, in a nutshell, it is a policy you take you with an insurance company, insurer, underwriter, which will protect you financially in the event of something unforeseen happening.

This can come in the form of a car accident, lawsuit, personal injury, life, etc.

It is a way a person or a business can mitigate risk.

What is bond insurance?

Bond insurance is like an extra level of coverage.

The bond issuer purchases a bond.

By doing this they guarantee that they will repay the principal the sum owed, and any, and all related interest payments in the event of a default, or if some or all of the conditions of a contract are or aren’t met.

A bond may cover additional damages or claims, for example.

Bonds are also used to enhance credit ratings.

What does being bonded mean?

There are many different ways they can bond you, as there are many bonds for you to choose from.

So, let's have a look at a few:

Surety bond

This form of bond has the effect of protecting you against certain claims of unlawfulness, or breach of contract.

These include claims of unsatisfactory work being done or an uncompleted project.

It can also protect against a claim saying that you failed to work within the law and the regulations of the business.

It also protects against claims of theft and fraud.

A surety bond is a contract between three different parties:

  • The principal is the business who purchases the bond
  • The obligee is the customer who has asked for the bond.
  • The surety  is the company used to underwrite the bond

Basically, you are paying a guarantor to take out a bond.

Bonds are used to cover you against professional negligence claims.

The surety, however, unlike an insurance company, will be reimbursed after it has paid the claim.

License and permit bonds

These are the bonds required by a government body so you can license your business.

These can be in the form of municipal, state or federal level.

Every profession has its own type of licensing bond, and the bond can be valid for a term of one to five years.

The bond is a guarantee that your business will operate in coherence with all the laws and regulations in place to protect citizens of the state.

This bond falls under the wider category of a surety bond and can be called a contractor or construction bond.

Contract bonds

This is also another form of surety bond.

It is a bond that acts as a guarantee that you will fulfill all the terms of a contract.

This bond is sometimes called a performance bond and ensures that an expected standard agreed between the customer and contractor is met.

Since it's based upon performance, they can agree on timescales, materials used, etc.

The bond is usually given out by the bank or an insurer and the contractor purchases the bond per contact as part of negotiations between the customer and contractor.

It is used to protect the customer and is used to build trust.

It can also help in the event of the contractor goes broke.

Fidelity bond

This bond protects the bondholder against fraudulent acts.

The IT sector uses these types of bonds a lot as it means that their businesses are protected against accusations of theft, fraud, and things such as the accusation of unlawful data transfer, etc.

There are two types of fidelity bond:

  • First-party will protect you if an employee is corrupt and defrauds you or steals from you. It will cover the cost to the business in terms of the theft itself, but it will not protect any damage caused to the client.
  • Third-party protects your clients for the same thing. Some clients will ask you to get a third-party fidelity bond, so they are protected. For your interests, you need a first-party fidelity bond.

Janitorial bonds

These are used by professional cleaning companies.

These bonds reimburse clients in the event of the work being seen as incomplete or unsatisfactory.

They also cover them against any accusation of theft.

How insurance and bonds benefit your business

If you want financial protection and the peace of mind that offers then you need insurance policies and bonds.

Insurance policies all have the same purpose, to protect you from financial loss and damage.

If you do not have insurance and bonds, you will know all about it when things go wrong as the costs mount up.

Lawsuits, for example, can be expensive.

Is it worth the risk?

Bonds offer the client peace of mind too, so it is a way of building trust with them, and may be the difference between you getting a job or one of your competitors.

Does my business need to be bonded vs. insured or both?

Most businesses will already have general liability insurance or professional liability insurance.

However, a bond is generally used to cover additional damages or claims.

There are several factors to think about with getting additional bond coverage depending on the clients, the industry you work for, if you employ staff, if you drive a lot for work or if your company deals in handling sensitive data.

If you have additional questions about being bonded vs. insured, contact us at Keller Insurance Services.


Person holding car keys

What New Car Owners Should Know about Auto Insurance

Obtaining a driver’s license and the car is a step towards greater independence. Before you take off with your newfound freedom, however, don’t forget to purchase auto insurance. Auto insurance will protect you, your vehicle and others against accidents on the road. At Keller Insurance Services in West Deptford, NJ, we can help you select auto coverage suited to your budget and lifestyle.

Car Insurance Requirements for New Jersey

New Jersey is a “no-fault” state, meaning car owners are required to obtain Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. If you (or your passengers) are injured in an accident, this insurance will help cover your medical costs, regardless of who’s at fault.

You’re also required to have a minimum of $5,000 property damage liability coverage to cover the cost of damage to someone else’s vehicle if you’re responsible for an accident.

As a new car owner and driver, you may want to obtain more than the bare minimum PIP and liability coverage to protect yourself against serious accidents.

Collision Coverage

Collision coverage is optional in New Jersey. It covers the cost of repairing your vehicle in the event of an accident. If you’ve taken out a loan for your vehicle, your lender may require that you obtain collision coverage to protect his interests.

Ideally, this coverage should be enough to repair or replace your vehicle in the event of a total loss. If you choose a high deductible for this coverage, you’ll pay less for your premium.

Comprehensive

Comprehensive insurance protects your car against theft, vandalism, and damage caused by adverse weather. If you’re into road trips or travel long distances for work or pleasure, this coverage can come in handy to protect you on the road.

For greater insight into car insurance options and costs, contact Keller Insurance Services in West Deptford, NJ.


Mom hugging baby feet

Protect your family with life insurance

As you start your family, there can be a lot of exciting moments and times when you can maybe feel a little bit overwhelmed. When you have adequate life insurance in place you can rest easier knowing your family will be cared for in case anything should happen to you. At Keller Insurance Services we understand how vitally important it is for you to protect your family, and we’re proud to provide life insurance to the greater West Deptford, NJ community.

Protect your family with life insurance

A growing family requires a lot of care and attention, and securing the right life insurance now can help smooth the road later. It is difficult to consider, but it’s important to plan in case something happens to you or your spouse while your children are still young. With the right policy, your family can continue to live in the family home and not have to experience any further disruption after your death. There are different types of life insurance from term policies to whole life coverage. Depending on your needs, you can find the policy type that is right for your family. With the exception of term life, you can even utilize your policy to pay for major life expenses such as college tuition. There are many options available, and the most important thing is that you have something in place that protects your family, no matter the circumstances.

Is it time for you to find out more about the ways that life insurance can protect your family? If you are a resident in West Deptford, NJ or the surrounding area, contact Keller Insurance Services today to schedule a consultation. We want you to have the peace of mind that comes with knowing your family is protected.


Woman sick on couch

What West Deptford, NJ Residents Should Know About Preventative Healthcare

Many residents in New Jersey are under the impression that if they do not feel sick and appear healthy, health insurance is not necessary. However, they do not understand the benefits of preventative healthcare and how it can improve your life quality. Below are reasons why preventative healthcare is essential and why you should consider a health insurance policy from Keller Insurance Services today.

Regular Doctor Visits

While you may feel well and believe that the common headache you are receiving daily is not anything major, seeing a regular doctor who is making a note of these changes can catch a major issue before it happens. When you have a regular doctor, you are able to build a medical history that gives them insight into changes in your body and potential dangers that could be lurking. You are also able to maintain immunizations with regular doctor visits and fight against potential illnesses obtained in the public.

Lower Healthcare Costs

Due to consistent healthcare visits with your general physician and catching any long-term dangers before they happen, you are able to save yourself a financial burden in the coming years due to a healthcare scare. Also, using emergency rooms for all of your healthcare needs as opposed to obtaining health insurance and visiting a regular doctor can be more costly over time, as well.

Is It Time To Get Covered?

If you would like to have maintenance care for your health and save money over the course of your lifetime, then it is time to purchase a health insurance policy. At Keller Insurance Services, our agency proudly serves West Deptford, NJ and surrounding areas, providing health insurance. Give us a call or visit our office today to quote a policy that fits your health needs.


Riding motorcycle

The Basics of Motorcycle Insurance

In  New Jersey, almost any wheeled device used for transportation, with an engine attached, has to be licensed and any licensed vehicle as to have insurance.  In most cases, it is obvious what a motorcycle is, but even a bicycle or tricycle with a motor attached is considered a motorized cycle in the state. The state definition says it must have a motor and seat to require licensing. At Keller Insurance Services in West Deptford, NJ, you can get all your motorcycle insurance questions answered and then get the insurance you need.

The insurance is similar to that of automobiles. Basic liability insurance is required. In New Jersey. There is "basic" insurance which meets legal requirements but does not offer much protection. "Standard" insurance is what most people get and that is more like car insurance. There is liability coverage that is required, bodily injury coverage, and you have the option of adding more coverage as well.

Similar to auto insurance, you may add collision and comprehensive to your coverage. Collision covers your bike if you have an accident and comprehensive covers everything else. You may also raise the amount of coverage above the minimums that are required.

You must have proof of insurance with you at all times while driving your motorcycle. It is also required to wear a helmet while riding. Having proof of insurance is called "establishing financial responsibility," which is what the state law requires.

You can visit Keller Insurance Services in West Deptford, NJ in person, or online, and get expert advice on the best coverage for your motorcycle.  New customers can find out what is required and find the best policy for their situation. If you have automobiles and motorcycles you could consider a package deal. Current customers should stop by to update their policy if they get a new motorcycle. You will have to have insurance before you can register the motorcycle in New Jersey.


Keys home money

What Can My Beneficiary Use the Life Insurance For?

How often have you watched an ad on TV talk about using life insurance for final expenses? The folks at Keller Insurance Services want to remind their neighbors in the West Deptford, NJ area that life insurance isn’t just about paying for a fancy funeral. Let’s check out what else that policy can do for your spouse, children, and loved ones.

  • Pay Off the Mortgage: This is especially important for families where one parent is lost. Make sure your children have a roof over their head for the next twenty years.
  • Keep the Kids in College: Help them build a brighter future even without that second income providing a source of monthly savings while they grow up.
  • Cover Health Care Costs: Relieve the burden of facing broken legs, ear infections, and even coughs and colds by making sure health care premiums are covered and there is still a savings account for the bigger challenges.
  • Take Care of the Monthly Bills: Provides a helping hand with heat, electricity, telephone, TV, and internet.
  • Cover Transportation Costs: That car is going to need replacing in a few years. There should be enough for a monthly lease or loan payment.
  • Guarantee there will always be something Under the Tree: With the right life insurance policy and installment payments, you can make sure that the holidays are times of joy in the future, instead of economic uncertainty.
  • Little League, 4H, Science Club, and Trumpet Lessons: If you want your family to continue to experience the same standard of living, a life insurance policy can help them have enough in the kitty to spare some cash for the fun times in life.

For more tips and information on term life policies in the West Deptford, NJ area and what size policy you wish to purchase, talk to your Keller Insurance Services representative today.


Shaking hands auto insurance

Building a Good Relationship With Your Auto Insurance Provider

Auto insurance should be much more than a financial transaction with an auto insurance provider. Finding an insurance agent willing to go the extra mile for you and your family can be an extremely valuable asset, especially when it comes to filing a claim. Many times, it is when clients go through a crisis with their insurance provider that trust is built, breeding confidence for a long lasting business relationship. Here at Keller Insurance Services serving West Deptford, NJ, we are all about building trust with our clients. Here’s a look at two tips for building a good relationship with your auto insurance provider.

It Takes Time

It is possible to build a trusting relationship with your auto insurance provider over time. It’s not likely to happen overnight. This starts by getting to know them and allowing them to know you on a first name basis, as well as your spouse and children. In order for a provider to meet your needs, they must know personal and private information, so an agent should be someone you feel comfortable talking to.

They Should Be Fully Accessible

There may be times when you have questions about your coverage or you need answers regarding a certain aspect of a claim. Your agent can provide you with the right answers and protect your best interest. Communication is key to any good relationship and in order for your insurance provider to know your specific needs, you have to communicate them. This provides the agent with an understanding of your personal situation in the event of an accident or a change in your situation. This means your agent should be fully accessible at all times.

Contact Keller Insurance Services serving West Deptford, NJ to learn more about building good relationships with your insurance company and your agent.


Understanding spelled out

Understanding Term and Whole Life Insurance

You’ve been told again and again that you should invest in some type of life insurance policy. Now that you’ve started shopping for a policy, though, you are feeling a bit overwhelmed because you don’t understand all of the life insurance lingo. That’s okay because here at Keller Insurance Services, we are here to simplify finding a policy that can best meet your needs. For now, let’s take a look at what it means to buy a whole or term life policy in West Deptford, NJ.

What does it mean to buy a term life policy?

When a person invests in a term life policy, this means the policy itself is only good for a specific number of years. A lot of term policies are good for 30 years or less. If the policyholder does not pass away during this period of time, then the policy ceases to exist and there is no cash value for the policyholder to take advantage of. And while this is a downside to a term life policy, it does have an upside — term life insurance is incredibly inexpensive when compared to most whole life insurance policies.

What does it mean to buy a whole life policy?

When you invest in a whole life policy, this means you are buying a policy that does not cease to exist until you (the policyholder) passes away. And when you do pass away, the payout is passed down to your beneficiaries. Also, with a whole life policy, a cash value will build up throughout the life of the plan, meaning if you want to tap into the premiums you have invested, you can. Since a whole life policy is guaranteed to pay out, it tends to be quite expensive.

If you would like to learn more about whole and term life insurance, please contact Keller Insurance Services serving the West Deptford, NJ area today.


Stamping paperwork auto

How to Get Your Teenager On Your Auto Insurance Policy

All drivers in New Jersey must have car insurance, regardless of how old they are. This means that if you’re a parent with a teenager who is just learning how to drive or recently got their license, it’s time to get them insured. Getting a teenager their own auto insurance policy is far more expensive than an adult’s, however, so you should consider putting them on your already existing policy. Those who are still on instructional permits in New Jersey cannot have their own separate insurance policies anyway. Serving the West Deptford, NJ area, Keller Insurance Services is here to help you get the information you need.

The Basics

Teen drivers on your insurance policy still are subject to the same legal requirements as other drivers in New Jersey, and therefore you need to make sure that your policy has enough coverage for both of you (for example, $40,000 per person per crash for Personal Injury Protection). All you need to do next is to talk with your insurer about adding your teen as a driver under your policy. If you are starting a new auto insurance policy, be sure to include them from the beginning but make sure you are the primary policy holder.

How to Keep Costs Low

There are actually a variety of ways to keep your insurance premiums from going up too much after you add your teen driver. For example, it is a good idea to not get them their own car right off the bat, at least not until they have another year or two of experience under their belt. After all, you will see a significant difference in cost if you classify your teen as only an occasional driver of your own vehicle vs. making them the primary driver of another. Likewise, if you have more than one car in your possession, limit them to driving the one that is lower in value and/or already has lower insurance costs. Last but not least, studies show that the more involved parents are when their teen is learning how to drive, the better a driver the teenager tends to be. Do whatever you can to help them avoid getting into an accident– once they do, insurance costs could skyrocket.

If you live in the West Deptford, NJ area and want to learn more, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Keller Insurance Services today.


Motorcycle putting helmet on

Four motorcycle safety tips that could make your insurance cheaper

Motorcycle insurance is a necessity if you want to enjoy taking your bike out on the roads. However, there are a lot of things you can do to minimize the costs of motorcycle insurance while also making it safer for you to the rider.

The following are four motorcycle safety tips that could make your insurance cheaper:

Take an educational rider training course

You may be able to enroll in a training course run by an area organization or your DMV to take advantage of safe driver discounts. This is an especially good idea if you’re a rookie rider.

Buy a bike that’s appropriate for your skills and experience

A lot of riders go overboard when they purchase their bikes. Your insurer is going to look at the bike model you purchase when evaluating how much your insurance premiums are going to cost. It’s generally going to cost more to ensure more expensive motorcycles and motorcycles that offer more power.

These days, motorcycles with smaller displacement engines are often just as fast and powerful as older models with larger engines. Purchase an efficient model rather than an excessively heavy and powerful model to keep insurance costs down.

Have antilock brakes

Motorcycle models are often built with antilock brakes these days. Many motorcycle insurance providers will offer discounts on premiums to riders who have bikes with antilock brakes. Consider getting such a model to take advantage of the discount.

Make sure you maintain a "preferred operator" status

A preferred operator is a biker who has a clean driving history. Over time, you can build up to preferred operator status to minimize your premium costs.

Those residing in the West Deptford, NJ area can contact Keller Insurance Services to learn more about motorcycle insurance policies.


Flood warning

Should You Purchase Flood Insurance, and Is It Necessary?

When it comes to flood insurance, there can be a lot of questions and misconceptions. Among those is the idea that this type of insurance is automatically included in standard home insurance policies. These policies include a lot of different types of coverage, but flood coverage isn’t one of those types. Instead, if you need or want flood insurance to protect your West Deptford, NJ home you’ll want to work with Keller Insurance Services to get the specific coverage you need. Some homes will require a flood policy if they are in a flood plain and there is a mortgage.

For houses that aren’t in a floodplain, or those that are paid for and there is no mortgage present, flood insurance isn’t required. However, some homeowners still want to have this coverage. Anywhere it can rain, it can flood, so homeowners who want strong protection for their home will often keep a flood insurance policy on that home. That’s especially important if they have a house in the floodplain and less of a concern for homes on higher ground. By working with a good agent, it’s easier to make a decision as to whether a flood insurance policy is really needed for your home.

Keller Insurance Services can help with your West Deptford, NJ flood insurance needs. Whether you want to get a policy, make changes to an existing one, or just ask questions, knowledgeable agents can advise you on the types of options you have for your situation. That way you can decide what type and level of coverage you want, and can focus on the peace of mind that having the right insurance will bring you. It’s an excellent way to have your home financially protected and to ensure that you have a trusted company behind you.