Month: August 2019

A Stone To The Windshield, A Deer, A Tree, A Pole, Another Car! Yikes!

Who hasn’t experienced having windshield chip or crack due to a stone being thrown, a deer that you didn’t see coming, a patch of ice or slick roads that resulted in your car meeting a tree or utility pole, not to mention the possibility of you or another driver not paying attention on the road and resulting in an accident? Most of us probably have, so what happens after these incidents occur? You call your insurance company to find out what is covered and what isn’t right? That’s right, but two out of the five examples given will be filed differently when making the claim. So here lies the question: What is the difference between Comprehensive and Collision Coverage? Search no further for the answer! We have the basics that you need to know when it comes to knowing the difference:

Collision and comprehensive coverages provide financial safety nets in the event that your vehicle is physically damaged and needs to be repaired or replaced. Although these coverages are generally not required by state laws, they can reduce your financial hardship during a loss.

Also, if you are financing a loan for a car, your lender will most likely require both collision and comprehensive coverage as part of your car insurance policy.

Collision Coverage (The Tree, Pole or Another Car)

Collision coverage pays for the cost to repair damages to a vehicle due to an accident, either with another vehicle or an object. Typically, you will collect only the actual cash value of your car versus the replacement cost value. Gap insurance protects you in the event you owe more than your vehicle is worth.

  • Collision coverage is generally the most expensive portion of a car insurance policy.
  • Premiums are based on a number of factors, including your deductible, driving record and the type of car you drive. If your driving record is fairly clean (no or very few tickets or accidents), your premiums will be lower because you are less likely to have a collision.

Comprehensive Coverage (The Stone or Deer)

Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your vehicle that is caused by theft, vandalism, fire, natural disasters or hitting an animal.

  • Comprehensive coverage comes with a deductible and the insurer will only pay as much as the vehicle is worth at the time of the incident.
  • To calculate how much your car is worth, look up the Kelley Blue Book value or the National Automobile Dealers Association’s Official Used Car Guide value. If your car is low in value, the yearly premiums for comprehensive coverage may not be a sound investment.
  • Comprehensive coverage has many limitations, so it’s best to review your policy carefully to make sure you are properly covered

We are always ready to answer any other questions that you may have and encourage you to contact us to learn more about collision and comprehensive coverage, and how we can protect you against losses.

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Stapleton Insurance Group Merges with Benefit Plan Alternatives

Byrne Stapleton, CEO of the Stapleton Insurance Group is pleased to announce the merger of Benefit Plan Alternatives a leading employee benefits and property and casualty firm in the Sylvania area.

Stapleton Insurance is a family owned company, founded by Rudy E. Stapleton in 1927.   Stapleton Insurance Group is offering Personal, Commercial, and Life & Health insurance packages throughout Northwest Ohio.

Stapleton states “Our Company is passionate about our clients – Joining forces with this agency, only strengthens the passion we have towards our clients, their needs and this makes the next chapter in our story easy and exciting.  We are confident that this merger will better position us to serve our customers effectively and increase our value to our clients.”

This agency has adopted the Stapleton Insurance name and has moved to the Stapleton Headquarters at the Sylvania location.

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Water… Water Everywhere!

Ahoy, Matey! Is all this water in your yard and basement from the abnormally large amounts of rain we have been having this year or is there a bigger problem? Maybe it’s a water back-up issue? Let’s see if we can figure out the difference, provide some prevention tips, and see how you can be covered through insurance in both cases.

Here is what you should know about Flooding:

The primary reason your basement and home can flood during a rainstorm is due to poor or blocked drainage. To help you keep water from seeping into places it’s not wanted, use the following precautionary measures you can take to protect your home and its belongings from flooding due to surface water.

Use these simple prevention tips to avoid flooding in your home:

  • Make sure that the ground area within 10 feet of your home slopes away from your home’s foundation.
  • Extend downspouts at least 10 feet from your home.
  • Direct water flow from downspouts away from your home, being careful not to discharge the water too close to adjacent property.
  • Preventive landscaping can also help reduce the chance of a mudslide or flooding.
  • Clean the gutters and the drainage downspouts attached to your roof at least twice a year.
  • Have your roof carefully inspected at least once a year by a capable person to check the roof thoroughly.
  • If your house or commercial lot is at risk of flooding from a higher neighboring property, consider building a solid wall masonry fence on the water-vulnerable boundaries of your property.
  • Be vigilant for warning signs of an impending water flood problem.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), flooding is the nation’s most common natural disaster. Twenty percent of flood claims are filed by people living in moderate- or low-risk areas. Floodwaters have the power to damage not only your home and sense of security, but also your financial future. How can you protect your most important investment? What are your flood options?

Option #1: FEMA

Many people wrongly believe that the U.S. government will take care of all of their financial needs if they suffer damage due to flooding. The truth is that federal disaster assistance is only available if the president formally declares a disaster. Even if you do get disaster assistance, it’s often a loan you have to repay with interest, in addition to any mortgage loans that you still owe on the damaged property.

Most importantly, you must consider the fact that if your home is flooded and disaster assistance isn’t offered, you’ll have to shoulder the massive damage costs alone.

The bottom line? If you’re looking for secure protection from financial loss due to flood damage, federal disaster assistance is not the answer.

Option #2: Buy Flood Insurance

When disaster strikes, flood insurance policyholder claims are paid even if a disaster is not federally declared. Flood insurance means you’ll be reimbursed for all of your covered losses. Plus, unlike federal aid, it never has to be repaid.

As long as your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), you’re eligible to purchase flood insurance. Stapleton Insurance Group can assist you in determining if your community participates in the NFIP.

As a homeowner, you can insure your home up to $250,000 and its contents up to $100,000. If you’re a renter, you can cover your belongings up to $100,000. As a non-residential property owner, you can insure your building and its contents up to $500,000.

In general, a policy does not take effect until 30 days after you purchase flood insurance. So, if the weather forecast announces a flood alert for your area and you want to purchase coverage, it’s already too late. You will not be insured if you buy a policy a few days before a flood. However, if your lender requires flood insurance in connection with the making, increasing, extending or renewing of your loan, there is no waiting period.

Here is what you should know about Water Back-Up:

One of the most common homeowners insurance claims is completely preventable. It’s not fires or theft; it’s water damage. This is not damage due to flooding, heavy rainstorms or snow on the roof – rather, it’s due to simple maintenance tasks that are often ignored or go unnoticed.

Use these tips to help prevent water damage:

  • Check hoses for kinks and cracks when you do laundry, and replace your washing machine hose every five years with a high-pressure hose. At a cost of less than $10, it’s an inexpensive way to ward off costly problems.
  • Check for signs of leakage by inspecting the floor near your water heater and other appliances. Hire a licensed technician to periodically inspect appliances, and replace a water heater that is more than 10 years old.
  • Inspect the refrigerator, dishwasher and outdoor faucets for leaks and crimps.
  • Place a tub under your kitchen sink to catch leaks before they start.
  • If you move your refrigerator to clean the floor, do not overextend the icemaker line. Call a licensed technician if you see signs of moisture or brittleness.

How does water damage occur? It’s simple: homeowners fail to check the connection between the water line and their washing machine or other similar appliances. Eventually, the connection fails, and water leaks into the home until someone discovers the mess. Do a quick check of all your water lines from time to time, especially in low-traffic areas of the home. If you notice anything suspicious, contact a licensed professional to come take a look immediately.

Water Back-Up Coverage can added by an endorsement to your homeowners. This coverage is for the cleanup, repair, and replacement of any personal items damaged from water or sewage in your home.

If you are still confused on whether or not you are protected contact us! We are here to help guide you through your coverage options.

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Loneliness In The Workplace

Hello, is anyone out there? There has got to be more to work life than just a paycheck, right? Do you ever feel alone at work? Even though you are surrounded by co-workers, you still feel alone? Well cheer up because we have some great tips on how to kick loneliness to the curb when you are spending the day at your home away from home!

It’s easy to feel left out of the loop. For many adults, loneliness is a daily struggle, but while some people might think that loneliness only applies to someone’s social life, it can also affect their work life, and even their co-workers and company as a whole.

What Is Loneliness?

While the words may sound alike, loneliness and being alone are not the same thing. Loneliness is a subject that has been studied for a long time in psychological literature.

Loneliness can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and dementia. According to the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, loneliness and social isolation can be as damaging as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, lonely employees are observed by colleagues as more distant and less approachable. Those suffering from loneliness may have increased stress levels and tend to feel less committed to their organization as a whole.

So how do you go about knowing if you’re suffering from loneliness, and how can you start to overcome it?

Recognizing Loneliness

One of the first steps to solving a problem is realizing that it exists. Signs you may be struggling with loneliness include:

  • Isolating yourself and feeling disconnected from your organization
  • Heavily scrutinizing others, or becoming very sensitive to others’ responses toward you
  • Forming negatively biased perceptions of how you’re viewed by others
  • Having difficulty trusting people

Getting Out There

The hardest step to take when overcoming loneliness can often be the first one, but the rewards of reaching out to your co-workers can be invaluable.

  • Examine your environment—First of all, don’t be hard on yourself. Many work environments simply don’t have a culture or atmosphere that encourages co-workers to socialize or speak with one another.
  • Start simple—One way to take the first step is by simply greeting fellow employees every day. This opens up the possibility for co-workers to reciprocate and can even start to change your workplace’s culture as a
  • Join a club—Does your company have any social clubs? Or perhaps a softball or volleyball team? Getting together with colleagues in an environment that isn’t work-related can help everyone relax and be more open. If there isn’t a club or team to join, see if your superiors will let you create one.

Look Past Technology

According to industry experts, the rising problem of loneliness may be due, in part, to our increased use of technology.

  • Instead of sending an email to a fellow employee, step away from your desk and pay them a visit.
  • If you’re working on a project with others, schedule a meeting in an office or conference room instead of hosting a conference call.
  • Offer to host periodic meetings or workshops with co-workers so that everyone can share ideas and catch up on company news. These types of gatherings can help make everyone in the workplace, including yourself, feel more in the loop.

Expand Your Network

Experts believe that loneliness has less to do with how many relationships you have and more to do with the strength of your relationships. But why not have it both ways? A strong relationship or two can help you network within your company and create more bonds.

Try to start by forming a relationship with someone who has been with your organization for a while or seems to be outgoing and social.

  • This doesn’t have to be someone within your department or who sits near you. For example, people involved in sales are often friendly and outgoing.
  • As your relationship with this colleague grows, they can introduce you to more people around the company and may even be able to give you some tips on interacting with them.

If you’re not sure where to start with this process, you can use LinkedIn to find people within your organization and possibly discover some shared hobbies or interests to break the ice.


This is all easier said than done of course, but overcoming loneliness is very much about escaping your bubble and reaching out in new directions. Take small steps and try not to get discouraged if your initial efforts aren’t reciprocated.

The odds are that you are not the only person in your department, or your company, suffering from loneliness. By greeting your colleagues in the morning, stopping by their desks or forming a club, you can help yourself stop feeling lonely while also helping others.

The old expression says that misery loves company. But, instead of trying to deal with loneliness on your own, wouldn’t it be best if you could all escape it together?

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My Auto Insurance Rates Are How Much?!

What did my insurance agent just say? Why are my rates increasing? Nothing has changed, why should I have to pay more?

Inflation will cause the price of all insurance policies to rise slowly, but you may have noticed that your auto insurance has risen more than normal lately. Most lines of insurance cycle between soft and hard markets over a number of years, which has a direct impact on the price you pay. Now, the auto insurance market is currently hardening after many years of a soft market, which has resulted in higher prices for personal auto policies.

Between 2011 and 2016, competition between insurance carriers created a soft, buyer-friendly market. Since then, however, a number of factors have caused carriers to exit the auto market or increase their prices in order to make a profit.

More Drivers Lead to More Accidents

Thanks to low gasoline prices and rising employment rates, more Americans can afford to drive. However, more vehicles on the road have led to more accidents that must be paid for by insurance carriers, and many carriers have transferred this cost to policyholders by raising premiums.

The number of accidents has also risen because of an increase in unsafe driving practices. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, about 87% of drivers admitted to engaging in at least one risky behavior while behind the wheel, including using their phones and not wearing seat belts.

Claim Severity

The number of accidents isn’t the only factor affecting auto insurance claims. The size of the average insurance claim—also known as claim severity—has increased as well. The three largest drivers of claim severity include the increase in the costs of medical care, auto repairs and auto parts. According to a recent study by CarMD, the largest repair cost comes from replacing the expensive technology that’s common in newer vehicles, as body shops struggle to afford the special equipment and training required to perform the repairs.

Uninsured Motorists

Auto insurance is required in most states as a way to cover your own liability and provide compensation to others in the event that you’re responsible for an accident. Despite this, approximately 13% of drivers drive uninsured.

Unfortunately, it’s the drivers who follow required insurance laws who end up paying the price in the form of uninsured motorist coverage. According to the Insurance Research Council, uninsured claim payments have risen by 75% over the past 10 years, resulting in a $14 premium increase for every insured individual.

Autonomous Vehicles

Although autonomous vehicles that can drive themselves have the potential to save lives and reduce injuries, they could also decrease the personal automobile insurance sector to less than 40% of its current size. While this change should be gradual, many insurance carriers have been slowly increasing their rates in anticipation of the shrinking market.

Insurance Fraud

Insurance is meant to protect you in the event of an accident, but many criminals try to illegally use insurance policies for their personal gain. Most fraud schemes involve a policyholder faking an injury and blaming a third party, or conspiring to cause an accident that can be blamed on someone else.

Although insurance carriers attempt to uncover the truth during all insurance claims, the Insurance Information Institute estimates that insurance fraud costs the United States $32 billion per year. Unfortunately, much of this cost is transferred to law-abiding policyholders.

Price Optimization

Insurers commonly use applicants’ credit history as a factor in determining car insurance rates. However, they also use a practice called price optimization to see how much they can raise their customers’ rates before they decide to choose another company. For example, customers who tolerate small, regular increases to their internet or cable bills are more likely to stay loyal to their insurance carriers when premiums increase.

How Can You Save During a Hard Market?

With auto insurance premiums on the rise for the foreseeable future, it’s more important than ever to be aware of the steps you can take to save on your premiums. Contact us at 419-720-6446 to discuss your options for saving on your auto policy, even during a hard market.

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