Our expertise on demand
What is the difference between an independent and captive agent?
A captive agent is someone who works specifically for the insurance company they are representing. The larger names include Farmers, State Farm, American Family associated policy, Allstate, USAA and Shelter. The easy way to describe this is if you go to an American Family associated policy agent to get insurance, you are going to get an American Family associated policy. These agents only have the underwriting guidelines and premiums that their specific companies offer, that’s it. An independent agent is not married to one carrier, but has a portfolio of carriers to offer our clients. We don’t specifically work for one insurance company and we choose the carriers that we represent. Colorado Insurance has 15 carriers to offer our clients which gives us the most flexibility with underwriting guidelines and premiums in the industry. This allows us to consistently stay competitive in both of these categories while always striving to insure you better.
How are we different from other independent agents?
Colorado Insurance is much different in the way we do business as compared to other insurance brokerages in the state of Colorado. Most insurance agencies sell a plethora of different products including home, auto, umbrella, toys, life, health, financial products and commercial insurance policies. It is very hard to be good and become an “expert” in all of these different specialties. Colorado Insurance has a primary focus of being industry leaders in simply home, auto, umbrella and toys. Another thing that separates Colorado Insurance from other brokerages is we employ a local, full-time service team in-house. This is a rare thing for an insurance brokerage to do. All of the carrier that we represent have their own 1800 service department for our clients to utilize, and most brokers rely solely on that. We feel it is important to handle our client’s customer service needs locally and provide a friendly service rep that knows the Colorado market. This also includes offering personal, annual reviews of your family’s policies to ensure you are always being offered the very best coverage and premium that we have available.
Why bundle all of your policies?
Bundling all of your insurance policies together is always going to make the most sense. You are going to received substantial multi policy discounts for having these policies together, and the more policies you have with one carrier, the more saving you will see. Another big reason why you should always keep your policies together is for the direct correlation on liability that your insured items have (house, cars, toys etc…). For example, if your home were to burn to the ground, also burning your car that is parked in the garage, and you have your home and auto insured with two totally different companies, this could pose a real problem. Your homeowner’s insurance company could try and pass the liability of your car being damaged to your auto insurance company saying that this is a comprehensive claim and needs to be paid out by them. Then your auto insurance company could try and pass that liability right back to your homeowner’s insurance company saying that the peril happened as a result of a covered homeowner’s claims and refuse to pay. This is just one of the many reasons why keeping you policies bundled together if at all possible is always a good idea!
How do I save money on my policies without sacrificing coverage?
Everybody wonders how it is possible that different insurance companies can come back with so many different insurance rates for the exact same person and risk. How do you find the company that is going to deliver the best rate and why are they delivering the best rate, is it cheap coverage? Well, there are two different answers to these questions. The first one is yes, it could be that the agent or company that quoted your policy is giving you watered-down, cheap coverage which is resulting in a lower premium. The other answer is this, every insurance company has a profile that they have built for the exact customer that they are looking for. This is based on client’s age, insurance score, married or single, homeowner or renter, type of vehicles, age of home etc…The farther away that you come from hitting their exact profile, the more expensive the rates are going to be. So the key here is having Colorado Insurance to do the shopping for you and find which company you match up with best, thus bringing back the best rates. This allows us to deliver a great rate without sacrificing coverage!
Should I file a home claim?
Home claims are absolutely something you should discuss with your Colorado Insurance service team before filing with the insurance carrier. The correct procedure for a home claim is to have a licensed contractor come out, look at the damage and give an estimate. This will provide the information needed for you and the Colorado Insurance team to discuss the actual claim amount, your specific home deductible and previous claims history. Then from there you can make a decision on whether submitting a claim is the right decision for you. The number of home claims that you submit within 3-5 years can affect both pricing on your home policy as well as acceptability with insurance carriers moving forward.
How do comprehensive claims affect me?
A comprehensive claim on your auto policy is a peril that happens when you are not physically driving the vehicle. This could include hail damage, theft, hit and run etc… A comprehensive claim on your auto policy is not chargeable and should not affect your premium.
How do collision claims affect me?
A collision claim on your auto policy is a peril that happens when you are driving the vehicle. This can include hitting another vehicle, personal property, an animal etc… A collision claim on your auto policy is considered an at-fault-accident regardless of the payout amount and is chargeable with any insurance company. This will affect your rates for either 3-5 years depending on the specific carrier.
There are two parts to glass coverage on an auto policy. If you have comprehensive coverage, then you have free chip repair when needed on your windshield. Taking it a step further, a lot of carriers are now offering specific glass coverage on your auto policy. This allows you to set a separate deductible (usually $50 or $0 which is referred to as full) to cover the specific replacement of the glass for your vehicle. If you don’t have this specific glass coverage on your policy, then the glass on your vehicle is subject to your normal comprehensive deductible. The nice thing about either chip repair or glass replacement is this is not a chargeable claim.
Prepare yourself for a potential auto accident
An auto accident can certainly be a stressful situation, and preparing yourself with the following tips can make the experience much more manageable
- Pack a safety kit
- Have your important document readily available
- Driver’s license
- Insurance ID card
- Vehicle registration
- Roadside assistance information
- Have a car charger to make sure your phone is on and charged
When is a good time to shop my insurance?
Now is a great time to shop with Colorado Insurance. The nice thing about your existing policies are that you are not locked into any sort of contract. Once you do switch your policies over to Colorado Insurance and cancel your current, you are going to receive a pro-rated refund back on your policies up to the day should not have a cancellation penalty.
Should I be concerned if I don’t see one insurance company advertise as much as another?
Just because one insurance carrier doesn’t advertise as much as others on TV, radio and internet does not mean they are any better or worse. A lot of insurance carriers advertise to the individual agents themselves and not so much to the general public because the agents are the ones that are selling their products. Also, companies that tend to spend a lot of money on advertising could then turn around and pass those advertising costs onto their clients resulting in higher home and auto insurance rates.
Where can I research ratings of insurance carriers?
AM Best is the best resource for researching insurance carriers. They rate the financial stability of insurance carriers on a yearly basis which is the most important factor when trusting an insurance carrier with your most valuable assets. The link to the AM Best website is below. You must be very careful when “Googling” insurance companies because people tend to only review insurance carriers when they are upset or have a bad experience. Also, we can’t tell from Google reviews how the specific agents write policies or recommend coverages. This could cause gaps in policy coverages leaving clients exposed and therefore upset. http://www.ambest.com/