Thursday, November 19, 2009

What's new with Ardent Ins Inc - a Nevada Corp.

In the past I have used this blog to relay general information about the industry that may help the general public and clients alike. Today I am going to write about some products that we sell on an accommodation basis to our existing clients.

The first is term life insurance. We have the ability to find the lowest rates in the country for term life insurance and because we generally have additional lines of business, we can offer a level of service that online life insurance brokerages just cannot match.

We also offer financial related products for niche situations. We are NOT a stock brokers or financial planners. Their job is to make you rich. At Ardent Insurance we offer products that protect your assets, preserve your estate, and/or provide an income stream (guaranteed).

In addition we have a full line of permanent life products that have generous loan provisions (so you can borrow money from you policy) and we have permanent life products with long term care riders. The life with long term care riders allows you to protect income, create wealth, and protect against long term care expenses at a deep discount (compared to standalone long term care policies, which we also offer).

If you would like more information, please call 775-284-8200 or write kevin@ardentinsurance.com.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Trusted Choice Reprint: Am I overpaying?

Insurance: The One Question Everyone Asks

“Am I overpaying?”

That’s a question that every consumer asks from time to time. Everyone is curious and concerned as to whether he or she is getting a good value for the money, whether it’s for a candy bar, a car or an airline ticket.

It’s a good question to ask about insurance, too. After all, Americans spend a lot of money on insurance for homes, autos and businesses. In 2008, American drivers spent $161 billion for personal automobile insurance, reported the A.M. Best Co., an insurance research and ratings firm.

This large market for auto insurance is highly competitive. Consumers play a large part in keeping insurance rates competitive by virtue of shopping—whether online, by telephone or on the World Wide Web. More than one of four (about 28 percent) of auto insurance buyers shopped around for car insurance in 2009, reported J.D. Power & Associates in its 2009 national auto insurance study.

But consumers aren’t the only ones shopping around for auto insurance. So too do independent insurance agents, including Trusted Choice® insurance professionals.

On average, Trusted Choice® agents provide consumers with property/casualty insurance options from eight different insurance carriers, reported the 2008 agency universe study conducted by Future One, a collaboration of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America (the Big “I”) and leading independent agency companies. For automobile insurance, those agents may compare rates and coverages at even more insurance companies, through their use of software that allows them to compare multiple policies and multiple carriers.

For auto insurance buyers, research showed that independent agents rank most highly on the most important element of customer satisfaction. The J.D. Power study measures customer satisfaction with auto insurance companies across five factors (in order of importance): interaction, policy offerings, billing and payment, price and claims. Insurers who sell their auto insurance products through agents performed “stronger in the interaction factor than do direct insurers,” reported J.D. Power.

Overall, customer satisfaction with auto insurance companies reached a five-year high in 2009, reported the J.D. Power study. The biggest improvement in satisfaction among the five factors has been in price. Interestingly, 42 percent of customers in 2009 reported that their auto insurance premiums declined without switching insurers.

Are you overpaying for auto insurance? Thanks to a competitive market that includes Trusted Choice® independent insurance agents, the answer probably is no. If you’re not sure, ask a Trusted Choice® agency to review your options.

source: TrustedChoice.com, October 2009

Reprint: Concerned About Uninsured Drivers?

Concerned About Uninsured Drivers? There Are Ways to Protect Yourself
October 19, 2009
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage Is Optional In Most U.S. States

INSURANCE INFORMATION INSTITUTE
New York Press Office: (212) 346-5500; media@iii.org
Washington Press Office: (202) 833-1580


NEW YORK, October 19, 2009 — One driver out of every seven in the U.S. is believed to have no auto insurance and that has broad repercussions for the 86 percent of drivers who do, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.)

“Most people don’t think about the uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage portion of their auto insurance policy until they are the victim of a hit and run accident, or are involved in a crash with a driver who either does not have auto insurance or has very minimal insurance,” said Jeanne M. Salvatore, senior vice president and consumer spokesperson for the I.I.I.

Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage will reimburse you, a member of your family, or a designated driver for bodily injuries caused by a hit-and-run driver or an uninsured motorist. Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage comes into play when an at-fault driver has insufficient insurance to pay for your total loss. UIM coverage will also protect you if you are hit by a car as a pedestrian.

In a January 2009 study, the Insurance Research Council estimated that 14 percent of all drivers in the U.S. were uninsured in 2007, but found substantial variation among the states. The states with the highest percentage of uninsured motorists were New Mexico (29 percent), Mississippi (28 percent) and Alabama (24 percent). The states with the lowest percentage of uninsured drivers in 2007 were Massachusetts (1 percent), Maine (4 percent) and New York and North Dakota (5 percent each).

While auto insurance policies with both UM and UIM coverage are available nationwide, these are optional coverages in a majority of states.

Carrying UM coverage is required by law in 20 states and the District of Columbia. The states are: Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia. The price of uninsured motorist coverage varies considerably from state to state, depending in part on the percentage of drivers who are uninsured.

Only five of the states that insist their drivers carry UM coverage also mandate the purchase of UIM coverage; they are: Connecticut, Maine, Minnesota, North Carolina and Vermont.

There are some other ways drivers can receive protection. No-fault insurance laws, which are in effect in 12 states and Puerto Rico, provide some relief from uninsured motorists because accident victims are generally able to collect benefits from their own insurance companies, regardless of whether the other party has insurance coverage. Nevertheless, even if you live in a no-fault state, UM/UIM coverage is a cost-effective purchase because the policy provision provides an additional layer of financial protection.

Moreover, if you are in an accident caused by an uninsured motorist and you do not have UM coverage, your health insurance policy will usually pay medical bills related to that car accident. However, your health insurance will not pay for lost wages if you miss work, nor will a health insurance company seek redress for pain and suffering resulting from the crash. Lost wages and pain and suffering are paid for by the liability portion of the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy. But, if the at-fault driver has no or little coverage, the victim’s UM or UIM policy provisions are accessed.

Every state, with the exception of New Hampshire and Wisconsin, requires its licensed drivers to purchase an auto insurance policy; Wisconsin has enacted a law that will mandate the purchase of an auto insurance policy in June 2010.

The IRC found the states with the highest percentage of uninsured motorists two years ago were New Mexico (29 percent), Mississippi (28 percent) and Alabama (24 percent). The states with the lowest percentage of uninsured drivers in 2007 were Massachusetts (1 percent), Maine (4 percent) and New York and North Dakota (5 percent).

For additional information, go to Facts and Statistics: Uninsured Motorists.

For a related audio file, go to Drivers Should Obtain Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage to Protect Themselves Financially.



HE I.I.I. IS A NONPROFIT, COMMUNICATIONS ORGANIZATION SUPPORTED BY THE PROPERTY/CASUALTY INSURANCE INDUSTRY.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Gibbs: Obama misspoke about AARP

FOX NEWS WHITE HOUSE VIEW - RE POST
August 12, 2009
Gibbs: Obama misspoke about AARP

During the White House briefing today, Major Garrett asked Robert Gibbs about the comments President Obama made yesterday in regards to the AARP endorsing the health care plan - for the record - they have NOT!

QUESTION: OK. Yesterday, the president said the AARP endorsed a plan. As you're aware yesterday, the AARP said it hasn't addressed a plan. Where on the information or disinformation scale would the president's remark fall?

GIBBS: Well, the president said -- well, AARP has said they are certainly supportive and have been for years on comprehensive health reform. I don't think the president meant to imply anything untoward. I think he discussed the notion that AARP is supportive of legislation -- or, I'm sorry, an agreement that would -- that would fund filling the doughnut hole for seniors as part of Medicare Part D, as well as additional savings for comprehensive health care reform.

QUESTION: The president is doubtless aware AARP hasn't even endorsed the House pending committee legislation...

GIBBS: Which is what I just said.

QUESTION: ... or the Senate legislation. Right. So he's aware of that. So he wasn't trying to mislead anyone?

GIBBS: No. No.

QUESTION: He just misspoke?

GIBBS: Right.

QUESTION: Is that something that can happen in this debate?

GIBBS: That people can misspeak?

QUESTION: Right, without intentionally meaning to mislead.

GIBBS: Sure. I don't know if it's happened on certain subjects, but yes.

QUESTION: OK. So it's within the range of this whole discussion something can be wrong, but not necessarily intentional misinformation, is what I'm getting at?

GIBBS: Yes. I think most of -- I think most of what the president has addressed, though, has been in many ways intentional misinformation.

QUESTION: That he's been trying to correct...

(CROSSTALK)

GIBBS: Right.

Repost: John Stossel : Big Business Goes Big for Health Care Reform - Townhall.com

John Stossel : Big Business Goes Big for Health Care Reform - Townhall.com

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Wall Street Journal Article Link: "ObamaCare's Real Price Tag"

Interesting article about ObamaCare (please cut and paste link):

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203609204574314622075560890.html#printMode

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Why do I need an agent?

It has never been more confusing to explain why you need an agent. With all the TV/Radio ads urging you to buy direct, plus the confusion that many direct companies also utilize the independent agency force (this includes our agency - Ardent Insurance Inc).

Hopefully, this brief story will help shed some light on the subject.

One of the companies we represent was contacted directly by one of our insureds. Our client made multiple changes on her account. The insurance company in question usually has excellent customer service, however, this time the changes incorrectly changed our clients status (raising her insurance premium). Luckily our agency noticed the rate increase and contacted our client immediately. She explained what had happened and we worked with the company to fix the problem. Now her rates are accurate and everyone was satisfied with the outcome.

The bottom line is, you can go it alone, or you can hire an independent insurance agent like Ardent Insurance to help. Just because your buying insurance direct (either by phone or online), does NOT mean you are paying less. An independent agent has the ability to ensure you are receiving ALL the discounts available to you, thus lowering your insurance costs.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Auto Ins.: Difference between CSL & Split Limits

What is the difference between combined single limits (CSL) and split limit insurance coverage amounts? CSL is designed to allow you a lump sum amount coverage, which may be used to effectively cover an automobile loss up to a specified amount. For instance, if your CSL automobile liability limit is $300,000, that amount can be used to cover bodily injury to one person (per person) or all the people in the vehicle injured (per occurrence). In addition any property damage would also be included within the $300,000 insurance amount. The key benefit of CSL automobile liability protection is flexibility.

With split limit coverage there are fixed amounts of coverage for each automobile loss. For instance, if your split limit liability amount is $100,000/300,000/100,000 (or 100/300/100) the coverages are broken down into three categories. The first is bodily injury (per person), the second is bodily injury (per occurrence), and third is property damage. For example, if you collide with a vehicle with an actual cash value of $125,000, your insurance carrier is contracted to pay only $100,000 (split limits). If you have CSL your insurance carrier would cover the $125,000 because this amount is below the $300,000 CSL limit.

What’s the catch? CSL coverage amounts are generally more expensive. However, in some cases the cost differences are minimal and the increased flexibility can provide extra dollars to settle unique claim situations. The additional benefit is the simplicity of working with one auto liability amount. Most insurance providers offer up to $500,000 CSL (in Nevada) and if you need more coverage you can purchase an excess (umbrella) liability policy.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

2,000,000 or More Single Limit Business Coverage

Many times we are asked; how can our business satisfy a certificate holders request for more than 2 million (or more) singe (each) occurrence coverage. The simple answer, is that in most cases, you probably have to shop for an additional business insurance policy called an business umbrella policy (excess liability).

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Pros and Cons of Annuities

Pros:

Lifetime Income: Immediate lifetime annuity contracts guarantee periodic payments for as long as you live. Thus, in this instance the risk of you living a long life is borne by the insurance company providing the annuity contact.

Inflation Protection: Annuities can be customized to ensure that your monthly payout will keep pace with the cost of living. This protection is critical but the downside is this add-on will cost more.

Principal Protection: One of the best features of a fixed and equity indexed annuities is that the face value of the annuity can be guaranteed to be equal to or above the amount you invested. You can guarantee that you (or your heirs) will receive back at least as much money as you invested.

Tax Efficient: You can purchase an annuity with qualified retirement savings, which can save you money on taxes over taking a lump sum payment. You can also rollover qualified funds into a qualified annuity without any tax penalties. You pay taxes only on the income the annuity provides.

Cons:

Annuities are Different: Like all insurance related products annuities are contracts and they are not the same. Because they are many differences it can be confusing for the consumer, but this is why it is important that you work with an independent insurance agency (like us), so we can find the right annuity contract with the appropriated benefits to meet your financial goals.

Lower returns: Annuities are for conservative investors that want stable returns, thus you would be missing out on possible gains (and losses) of riskier investments.

Inflexible: Annuity contracts are less flexible than other investments, which is why the decision process should be slow and deliberate to ensure that you are purchasing the annuity for the right reasons.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Insurance Price Versus Insurance Value

I have noticed a tendency in some insurance consumers to focus on price. My suggestion is to focus on value. Price implies that all insurance coverages and companies are the same. The facts do not back this assumption.

Some companies pay claims fairly and in a timely manner. Others do not. Some people need basic liability protection others because of their wealth require more liability protection.

My best advice is to hire a professional independent insurance broker by delegating your insurance purchasing to him/her. For most people this is a better use of their time, and in most cases they will be happier with the claims process.

About Me

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6119 Ridgeview CT #500, Reno, NV 89519, 775-284-8200 or kevin@ardentinsurance.com., United States
http://www.ardentinsurance.com College BS in Business Administration (University of Nevada, Reno) 1987. Independent Farmers Insurance Agent 1987-1997; Part time financial sales positions 1997-1999; Co-founder and President of ClientFlex Corporation 1999-2004; Lucini/Parish Insurance 2004-2005; Co-founded (with Tammy Brunson) Ardent Insurance LLC (2005-2007); Changed entity to Ardent Insurance Inc (2006-present). Insurance Designations: LUTCF. Insurance Affiliations: Big I (Independent Insurance Agents of America); Trusted Choice Approved Agency; Professional Insurance Associates, Inc. (Affiliate); Local Business Associations: Northern Nevada Insurance Agents - Member; Community Associations: Northern Nevada Endurance Training - Active Member.