Back to School: Children and Insurance

Getting children prepped and off to school is often a hectic time. 

The last thing you want to think about is insurance. 
So, don’t.  That’s right, don’t think about insurance!

You’ve got too much on your plate, between clothing decisions, book-buying, book-bag purchases and packing. So, no, there’s no time for insurance.

What you can do, on the other hand, as your crazy, zany, busy early school days proceed is be mindful of things happening that could become an insurance event.  Putting your insurance into a “zen-like” part of your busy day can only help you avoid the dreaded-of-all-insurance-situations:
a claim!

Let’s start with young drivers.  They grow up so fast. When they pass their driver’s test, it’s a bittersweet. You have more freedom and they have more independence with getting from point A to point B.

You forgot to remember that she’d be asking to use the car to hang out with friends, attend school events, go shopping. Back to school time is a great time to be mindful, thinking of your young new-driver’s desires, and prepare yourself, and them, for that driving experience. 

It’s important to carefully remind them about safe driving techniques in order to avoid accidents and claims!

Rushing out the door on those first insane days of school can lead to other potentially dangerous situations, the kind that lead to insurance claims.

How about discussing safety measures before they even leave the house to get on the road? Such as, the coffee machine?  Does it have an Auto-Off feature? 

Too many household fires are caused by coffee machines burning through empty coffee carafes for hours on end.

There are other potentially dangerous events you can avoid when you add a small dose of “insurance mindfulness” into your crazy Back-To-School Days. 

Call your Independent Insurance Agent and ask her to help you become a Zen-Master of avoiding calamitous insurance claim events.  We promise that it’ll be better to enjoy watching your children run off to school in the mornings while you sip your coffee in peace.

Call us for a no-obligation, FREE insurance quote to help you determine that you, your family and your business are protected! You can reach us by calling 617-298-0655 or text us at 617-409-0329 for a free, no-obligation annual review. Click here to Visit our Contact Us page.

Monday Morning Motivation Week of August 12

I LOVE starting the week (really everyday) with words of wisdom.
Todays are: 

“When you speak to everyone, you speak to no one.”
~ Meredith Hill

For the last few weeks, we have been talking about niches and niche marketing.

There are so many choices and options today when people are looking to solve a challenge or problem. 

How do they make that choice?

One way is that they find a trusted expert or authority who has built a relationship with them and has proven their expertise on their topic.

When your community needs someone that offers YOUR products or services, will you be TOP OF MIND and  the authority they turn to for assistance?

Here are some strategies to become “the authority” on your topic:

1. Focus on a niche

Don’t be the proverbial “ jack-of-all-trades and master of none”.  If you want people to see you as an authority, specialize in something.  Pick a niche that narrowly focuses on your ideal Customer. With this level of specialization, you can focus on what they need and/or want. You will be better able to personalize your message to speak directly to your ideal client(s) and connect with them emotionally. This is vital to your success in becoming an authority.

Don’t be afraid to experiment until you find the right niche for your business and community.

 2.  Choose the right channels. 

Once you have chosen your niche, you must also select the right channels to share your knowledge and expertise.  You don’t want to waste your time sharing your knowledge in place where your community is not spending their time.

Do you know if they spend their time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, or somewhere else?

Knowing this will increase your engagement with your future clients based on your relevant, focused  content.

Next week, stay tuned for item #3: Adding real value by knowing your audience.

Please review ALL OF MY Monday Morning Motivation blogs. Visit us anytime online for tips and training on how to build your business. Click on the link: https://www.vargasinsurance.com/blog/category/monday-motivation

Christmas In August?

I hope you’re enjoying an amazing Summer!  The weather has been mostly wonderful: perfect for picnics, beach days, barbecues on the back deck with family and friends. 

Let’s talk about Christmas.  Wait, Christmas?

but, But BUT, it’s August!

Yes, but who doesn’t love Jingle Bells, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, wrapping paper, lights, ornaments and trees!

Talking about Christmas reminds us that we often take time at the end of the year to reflect on the year coming to an end, and to prepare for the New Year.

Why wait until the end of the year?  Let’s feel the way we do during the holiday season now, in August! 

Why not take a few minutes in the next few weeks, maybe 20 minutes here, another 30 minutes there, 10 minutes and so on…and review and plan for our better financial health.  Let’s think about insurance and the effect that your monthly insurance premiums have on your monthly budget.

Budgeting is certainly something we think about before and during the holiday season, right?

Take 10 minutes to consider your monthly budget, the time to assess your monthly insurance costs, is all it takes to know your numbers. 

Take 20 minutes gathering your insurance policies, whether on paper or in electronic format is what you need to prepare for the phone call, the phone call you won’t have to make later in the year…you know, around Christmas time!

Set aside 30 minutes to call your Independent Insurance Agent, review those policies you gathered in front of you, and discuss your monthly premiums as they exist, and how you can both lower those premiums and improve the quality of your insurance coverage.

Give yourself a Christmas present in August! 
Make your budget healthier, improve your quality of insurance coverage and, best of all, eliminate one item from your end of the year “To-Do” list so you can better enjoy your holidays.

And who knows, you may save enough money to get that treasured gift you’ve been thinking about for your loved one.

Our gift to you is the no-obligation FREE insurance quote to help you determine that you, your family and your business are protected!

You can reach us by calling 617-298-0655 or text us at 617-409-0329 for a free, no-obligation annual review. Click here to Visit our Contact Us page.

Monday Morning Motivation Week of August 5

I start each week with words of wisdom, and today’s are:

“Attitude is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than what people do or say. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill.”
~ Charles Swindoll

After I gave notice to my “9 to 5” employer, I started working at Prudential with #TheMan as my manager.  Through his teaching, I learned the debit system; but more importantly how to collect, review insurance policies and uncover a new need for life insurance.  I was fairly successful. Though, anyone would have been successful with the training #theMan gave me. 

What’s “fairly successful”? Remember how I quit my “9 to 5” job to join Prudential? Well, I didn’t quit my 9pm to 12am midnight job nor my Saturday and Sunday taxi cab driving job since I didn’t know if I would make it selling life insurance.  But, after a year, I did quit the weekend taxi job. Why? Because I started making more money that both of my parents combined. That’s a quantifiable result right there.

I quickly learned that my “niche” was being present before someone purchased their home. 

You see, I figured out that if I could manage my homeowner insurance clients, there was high probability  that they would buy life insurance to cover their new financial need. I made more money selling life insurance than I did selling home or automobile insurance.

Here’s a book recommendation on how to narrow your niche to increase your responsiveness: 
“Badass Your Brand: The Impatient Entrepreneur’s Guide to Turning Expertise into Profit” BY Pia Silva

Niche selling gets great results! Without creating a niche, you can sell anything to anyone, but that doesn’t mean you should, right?

If you go to the general marketplace with the ”Hey I can help anyone with anything” speech, you’ve got about as much credibility as someone who says, “Hey I can mow lawns and i’ve got this hair re-growth tonic and I’m also a NASA astrophysicist.

No one takes you seriously when you try to be everything to anyone.
Consider this:

  1. Forget about the “anyone” and the “anything”. 
  2. Pick a “someone” and a “something”.
  3. Find the people with the problem.
  4. Pick one person with one problem and make them one clear promise.

This shifts your beige, general, bland message. Instead of the prospect thinking, “He/she ’s not really talking to me.” to “Hey, this person is talking about people just like me about the sort of problems I’ve got.”

Then, they pay attention and listen. 

Stop being broad, pick a micro-niche for the next 60 days, target it and get better results.

Stay tuned for why I stopped selling life insurance. 

Please review ALL OF MY Monday Morning Motivation blogs. Visit us anytime online for tips and training on how to build your business. Click on the link: https://www.vargasinsurance.com/blog/category/monday-motivation

Back to School: Finance 101 – Your Children Money

It’s never too early to talk to your children about money and finances.

Specifically, when was the last time you reviewed your life insurance? 
Life insurance is the safest and most secure way to protect your family and dependents against financial ruin should the family breadwinners die.

Helping Your Children Reach Their Dreams

When was the last time you spoke to your children about money?
About financial planning?

Many families believe that talking about money is taboo. However, if children are raised to fear certain discussions, they may not have the confidence to think and focus clearly on fundamentals to achieve their dreams when the time comes for them to make responsible financial decisions.

Whole life insurance can help give your children a financial head start.
It provides a guaranteed amount of life insurance that also accumulates cash value.

Securing life insurance on your children is a sound strategy to kick start the financial planning your children will appreciate as they enter adulthood. Entering adulthood means having to make tough financial decisions. It’s a right of passage in its own right.

As adults, your children could have the benefit of accessing their policy’s cash value for any reason, including but not limited to:

  • College tuition and expenses
  • Funding a wedding
  • A down payment on a house
  • Starting a business

Never Too Young to Start

Life insurance premiums are based on a number of factors, including a person’s age and health. Premiums are generally lower for children because they are young and healthy. This is one of the basic reasons why this makes sense to help your children structure their own life insurance portfolio.

A Gift They Can’t Outgrow

Children outgrow clothes, toys and other gifts. A whole life policy is different. You can give your children a fully-funded life insurance policy that will provide:

  • Permanent life insurance to one day protect their families.
  • Cash value that can be used to help fund life’s big events.
  • The option to increase their protection as their families grow.

Remember, if you are afraid to discuss money, that will transcend to your children’s belief system too. Give them the gift of financial freedom by way of planning and knowledge.

If you would like to discuss a comprehensive insurance review and any advice that pertains to your kids financial future, please call Jack Carrigg at 617-298-0655 ext 104 or email Jack at jcarrigg@vargasinsurance.com.

5 Ways to Reduce Your Insurance Costs. #3 Will Blow You Away!

Saving money isn’t a responsibility you should hand off to someone else, especially if that someone else is the insurance company. 

Knowledge is power.  With these 5 tips, you’ll have the power you need to negotiate lower premiums with your insurance carrier.  Take back the responsibility and own your power!

  1. Take a defensive driving class. Providing proof of your renewed defensive driving class will save money. In some states for 3 years.
  2. Shop for other carriers.  You should speak with your Independent Agent at least annually to see if your current carrier and other insurance carriers can offer lower premiums on the same (or higher) coverages when available.
  3. Reduce your coverage as your car gets older. Because you’re reviewing your policies annually, you can discuss updating your policy based on the advancing age of your vehicle. Collision can be expensive and may not be required.
  4. Increase your deductible.  Look for the perfect equilibrium between the affordability of a larger deductible and lower premiums.
  5. Bundle your auto coverage with your Homeowners and Umbrella Liability policy.  Can you say “Multi-Line Discount?” 

These five simple steps can help you save hundreds of dollars in a given period of time.  All it takes is a few minutes to own your power and make the call!

Speaking of calling…call us today to learn about saving money on your insurance portfolio. Your piggy bank will thank you and so will we!

You can reach us by calling 617-298-0655 or text us at 617-409-0329 for a free, no-obligation annual review. Click here to Visit our Contact Us page.

Monday Morning Motivation Week of July 29

I’m always eager to start each week with words of wisdom, and today’s are:

If everybody is doing it one way, there’s a good chance you can find your niche by going exactly in the opposite direction. ~ Sam Walton

Have you ever heard the saying, the riches are in the niches?

I started my insurance career 40 years ago working for Prudential Insurance on their debit system.

Are you asking yourself, “what’s a debit system?” Good!

The debit system was when you purchased life insurance from Prudential (Hancock, Metropolitan and all of the other mutual insurance companies).  It used to be that the life insurance agent who sold you the policy would come by once a month to pick up your premium. Gasoline was very cheap and that’s the way the life insurance business had been done since the beginning of time.

What you should also know about me is that I was a longhaired, motorcycle driving, cigarette smoking, 20 year old working 2 full-time jobs.

My interview went like this: On the urging of #TheMan, he told me to go to the local Prudential life insurance office for the interview. He thought the manager would be impressed with my work ethic as a 20 year old.  

Spoiler Alert: The manager was not impressed. He seemed more bothered that I did not get a haircut nor did I shave. I also wore a leather jacket and carried my helmet into the interview.

I was told I would be contacted after the interview. The home phone (landline was our only form of phone communication) rang about a week later. #TheMan told me that if I was willing to shave, get a haircut and buy a suit, I had a job. He also said that if I didn’t have a car, one would be provided. My salary for the first 13 weeks would be more than what I was making working the other two jobs combined.

He asked if I wanted the position. I told him that I did.

More next week!

Please review ALL OF MY Monday Morning Motivation blogs. Visit us anytime online for tips and training on how to build your business. Click on the link: https://www.vargasinsurance.com/blog/category/monday-motivation

Walk Through Your House Like a Claims Adjustor

Hopefully you will never need this advice to come to fruition. 
Hopefully you’ll never have a claim. 

But this is what insurance is all about: preparation.  When you prepare for a catastrophe, an accident, a fire or a theft when you buy the right insurance coverage, you’re creating an opportunity to recover.  The money your insurance pays out in the event of a claim is paramount to that recovery. 

There’s one other step to take in your preparation. When you make a claim, often the insurance company sends out a representative to review the damage or the loss and to assess the amount of coverage that should be paid out.  This person is the claims adjustor. 

Never assume the adjustor is looking to provide you with an equitable settlement on your loss or damage.  The best way to get the best financial recovery is to prepare in advance. 

Let’s look at your homeowner’s insurance to prepare for a claim that, hopefully, will never happen.  Walk through your house like a Claims Adjustor would.  Pretend you’re the claims adjuster but with the interest in protecting YOU, the homeowner.

In the event of a theft, you want to show the adjustor the precautions you’ve taken to prevent break-ins to your home.  Is your alarm system properly installed?  Does it have independent power backup?  Are all locks, including those on windows, secure and adequate? 

For the lost valuables, did you prepare with a high-quality inventory of your precious items?  Of all your items that would need to be replaced in the event of a fire?

Do you have photographic evidence to show to a Claims Adjustor?  For very valuable items, did you get a professional appraisal and is that appraisal recent and current?

For damage to the home due to weather including flood*, can you clearly demonstrate that you, the homeowner, took all necessary precautions to protect your home? 

For example, have you diligently cleared large trees or tree limbs that could easily fall on your home?  Have you created storage solutions in the basement of your home to minimize damage to belongings in the event of a water-intrusion event?

Take an hour and do a complete walk-through of your home.  If you ever have to file a claim, you’ll dramatically improve your payout.  That will go a long way to the peace of mind you need to recover.

Call us today to learn about your homeowners insurance and how to protect yourself in the event of an unforeseen claim. Now is the time: before you need your policy to go to work for you.

Your health and financial health depend on it. Call us at 617-298-0655 or text us at 617-409-0329 for a free, no-obligation annual review.
Click here to Visit our Contact Us page.

*Flood insurance is always specifically excluded from homeowners. Please consult with your agent if you are interested in flood insurance.

Monday Morning Motivation Week of July 22nd

I LOVE starting my week with positive words of wisdom. This week’s are:

We have to get back to the beauty of just being alive in this present moment. ~ Mary McDonnell

Last week I started talking about being present, I talked about my trip out to Phoenix and how I was not being present with my wife, Kathy.

My second thought to paying attention is to remember that our time together is limited.

If there are changes you want to make in your personal or business life, start now. There will never be a better day to begin making improvements than today.

Don’t keep putting off the things that you want to do or should be doing. For example:

  • if you want to start eating more healthy foods, go to the grocery store and buy healthy food, buy supplies to start your own garden
  • If you need to exercise more, go for a walk tonight or find a buddy and work out
  • Is your relationship with your spouse wavering? Spend alone time talking tonight
  • Do you want a new job? Start sending out resumes. Tomorrow is promised to no one

You cannot continue to waste time thinking that you’ll take care of your issues at some later date.

Your family, your career, and your whole life are happening right now. If you don’t take any action to maintain or increase your happiness, life will pass you by. It’s okay to plan for the future, and big decisions should not be taken lightly, but you have to live your life daily without creating regrets.

3 Things To Do NOW For Your Car Insurance. Number Two Will Shock You!

You’re driving around with the comfort and knowledge that you’re insured in the event of an accident that damages your car, you, or another person or their property. 

Your car needs occasional maintenance and fine tuning; so does your car insurance.  Here are 3 things you can do right now to fine tune, I mean review, with your Independent Insurance Mechanic, I mean Agent.

Improve the quality of your coverage and possibly lower your premiums NOW! 

  1. Uninsured and UNDER insured motorist coverage. 
    The two “Uns” will get you every time when involved in a motor vehicle accident. You’ll want to add this additional protection to your overall insurance policy.  The additional coverage will give you perfect peace of mind and protection against the incidents involving an uninsured motorist or a motorist with insufficient coverage to compensate you for damage to your vehicle or injury to you.

  2. Your collision deductible based on the year of the vehicle. 
    As your car gets older the value decreases.  Too often you’re carrying insurance coverage based on the original value of the car when you first insured it. When you discuss your insurance with your Independent Agent during your annual insurance review, be sure he reconfigures the  current coverage to reflect the current value of the car.

  3. Personal injury protection, also known as PIP coverage.
    This is a component of auto insurance that covers medical expenses regardless of who’s at fault, and often includes lost wages. Depending on the state in which you live, PIP is either an available option or a required policy add-on. It is often called “no-fault” coverage because its inherent comprehensiveness pays out claims regardless of who is at fault in the accident. Don’t get caught without this insurance because you didn’t know it was OPTIONAL vs. MANDATED by state.

Call us today to learn about these coverages and more. Now is the time: before you need your policy to work for you the most. Your health and financial health depend on it. Call us at 617-298-0655 or text us at 617-409-0329 for a free, no-obligation annual review.

Click here to Visit our Contact Us page.