5 New Year’s Resolutions for a Stronger Financial Future

Written By Charlotte Insurance on December 28, 2015. It has 0 comments.

Forget the “lose 30 pounds by February” resolution. This New Year, make resolutions that will keep you healthier and financially stronger in the years ahead. With just a few tweaks or additions to your current insurance policies, you’ll be in a more secure position when you tackle the sky-diving, marathoning, or mountain climbing resolutions.


Depending on your age when you purchase your policy, the cost for life insurance can be very reasonable. Individuals who are healthy will get even better rates. You’ll know that your family is protected financially in the event of an untimely tragedy. Give yourself and your loved ones peace of mind this year.


Maybe you bought a new television in April or received a high-end computer for Christmas. Maybe you received some art or jewelry as a gift. Either way, your possessions have changed all year long. Taking a home inventory will give you an accurate list if you ever need to file a claim. It also allows you to determine if you have any expensive valuables that should have their own individual coverage. If you don’t feel like writing down and keeping a list, just take a video showing what you have in your home.


Healthy living isn’t just for a longer life and cheaper life insurance. Get your weight under control, get off medications, and stop smoking for better health insurance rates, too. If you can show that you’ve been tobacco-free for 12 months, your insurance premiums can be lowered. For anyone who needs help to stop smoking, check out SmokeFree.gov.


Got a shorter commute than you had last year? Spending less time on the road now that you work from home? Make sure to update that information on your auto insurance policyand you’ll save on your premiums.


Living anywhere near a body of water puts you at risk of flooding, even if you’re not in a flood zone. One big storm or one broken levee or dam, and you could be wading through your living room. Don’t count on federal aid, either. If you’re not in the declared disaster zone, you’ll be out of luck. Even if your mortgage company doesn’t require flood insurance for your Charlotte home, it’s something to consider.

An annual insurance review will make sure you have the insurance you need and the right amount of coverage. It pays to look over your existing insurance policies with your insurance agent and discuss any changes in your life – from new jobs to old cars. Keeping your insurance current and up-to-date can save you money in the long-run and keep you and your family protected.

When you’re ready to review your current policies or purchase new policies to keep your future financially strong, Charlotte Insurance is here to help. Contact us today, and let’s take a look at your policies.

Start the New Year Off Right with an Account Review

Written By Charlotte Insurance on December 21, 2015. It has 0 comments.

The new year is a time to set new goals, make new plans, and dream new dreams. It’s also a time to get yourself on the right track for the year ahead. Having the right insurance policies in place is an excellent way to make sure that, when life happens (and it will), you’re covered.


A yearly review is best for your homeowner’s insurance policy but if it’s been a long time since you last thought about your insurance – like when you first bought your home and moved in – you’ll have a few things to think about:

How long have you owned your home? Assuming you’ve owned your home for more than a year or two, you’ll want to make sure your home is insured for the right amount if you ever need to rebuild. You may have insured it for $250,000 five years ago, but today, the cost to rebuild may be $300,000. One catastrophic event, and you’ll have to pay the difference out of pocket.

Have you added new features or remodeled? A new pool, a finished basement, and other renovations and add-ons can change your insurance needs. You don’t want to wait until there’s an accident to learn whether you have the right amount of insurance.

Do you have valuables such as art or jewelry? The ten-year anniversary diamond ring or the collector’s piece you bought at an auction – they may seem priceless for sentimental reasons, but they have a definite value. Get them insured so that you and your valuables will be protected.

Do you qualify for new discounts? Bundle your auto insurance and home insurance together and you may save some money. Tell your insurance agent about your security system or new smoke alarms and you could save there, too. One conversation with your agent may help you decrease your costs.


The big question for Charlotte business insurance policy holders is this: do you have enough coverage, and is it the right kind? An annual account review with your insurance agent can help keep you on track so your business is protected, without paying any more than necessary.

Check your worker’s compensation policy. Make sure your employees are classified correctly. An error like this can make a big difference in cost.

Look at current agreements and contracts. You may have had a bank requirement to carry a certain amount of liability insurance. Maybe an old government contract required higher limits. If those agreements are no longer in place, you may be able to decrease your coverage. Our insurance agents can help you recommend the right insurance limits for your business.

Consider how your business has grown or changed in the past year. A year ago all you needed was general liability and worker’s compensation. Today, you’ve added a few cars, an extra building, and more inventory. Your insurance needs have changed, too.

When you’re ready to review your current insurance policies or if you’ve got questions about the right type of insurance for you, contact us at Charlotte Insurance. We can answer your questions and make sure you’ve got the best coverage for your personal and business needs.

Happy Holidays!

Written By Charlotte Insurance on December 20, 2015. It has 0 comments.

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From all of us at Charlotte Insurance, we hope that you and your family have a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year!

9 Common Insurance Myths

Written By Charlotte Insurance on December 15, 2015. It has 0 comments.

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Insurance – everyone needs it, most people have it, but many don’t understand it. Plenty of misinformation and myths are out there about autohomeowner’s, and health insurance, and bad information can cost you money. Let’s clear some of the more common insurance myths for you.


Your homeowner’s insurance should use the real estate market value of your home to determine coverage limits. Truth: Your coverage total should be based on the total actual cost to rebuild your home including materials and labor.


A standard homeowner’s insurance policy covers mold damage. Truth: Mold damage isn’t covered at all, although if water floods your home due to broken pipes and other problems (not caused by natural disasters), the water damage may be covered (before it becomes a mold problem).


Personal items stolen from your car can’t be claimed under your homeowner’s insurance. Truth: Report the theft to the police and then talk to your insurance agent about filing a claim. Think about the value of the items. Inexpensive items may not be worth it.


Cars painted in certain colors, like red, cost more to insure. Truth: Color doesn’t determine your auto insurance rate.


Insurance for small, economy cars are the least expensive policies. Truth: Minivans and small to mid-size SUVs are often the least expensive to insure.


When you have comprehensive coverage, your car is completely covered from any type of damage. Truth: Comprehensive coverage only protects you in very specific situations like collisions with animals, vandalism, storm damage, and car theft.


Your insurance company can and will cancel your policy immediately if you get into a big enough accident. Truth: An insurance company cannot cancel your existing policy until the end of the policy period.


If someone else drives your car and wrecks it, their insurance will cover the damage. Truth: It’s your car so your insurance will handle the claim. The insurance follows the vehicle, not the driver.


Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, you’re required by law to use your employer’s health insurance plan. Truth: The law doesn’t specify where your insurance comes from, only that you have health insurance.

Misinformation about your insurance policies can cost you time and money. The cost for mold remediation alone can run into the tens of thousands of dollars. Learn more about your insurance and save yourself the hassle of finding out the hard way that something isn’t covered or costs more to insure.

If you’ve got questions about what your current policy covers – and what it doesn’t, or if you’d like a new quote for a new insurance policy, contact us here at Charlotte Insurance. We’re here to help you understand your coverage!

Holiday Parties and Umbrella Insurance

Written By Charlotte Insurance on December 10, 2015. It has 0 comments.

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You spent weeks planning for this night. The house was decorated perfectly. The food tasted amazing. Your friends and family all said they had a wonderful time. Those new drink recipes you found online were a complete hit.

No one was feeling any pain when they left after your holiday party. In fact, it could have lasted a few more hours if you were still in your 20s. Sure, a couple of people were wobbly when they left, but they’ve always been fine before. You felt great at the end of the night. Best party ever.

The next morning, you get the news. One of your party-goers had too much to drink, and they got into an accident. The other driver was injured. Your friend will be fine – once he deals with the fall-out of causing an accident and driving under the influence. You, however, may be at the beginning of a major nightmare unless you have umbrella insurance.


Most people think of liquor liability as something for a restaurant or bar where they serve alcohol to just about everyone. As the host of a private party though, you can be held liable for what happens when your guests consume alcohol, too – even after they leave the party. There are a few things you can do to protect yourself.

  • Hold your party at a restaurant or bar. This will put the liability on the location.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you serve.
  • Make sure you don’t serve minors.
  • Stop offering alcohol an hour or so before the party is scheduled to end.
  • Offer food the entire time.
  • Arrange alternate transportation for any guests who consume alcohol.
  • Talk to your insurance agent about umbrella insurance.


As a homeowner, you have a certain amount of liability insurance which protects you in the event someone is injured or has property damage at your home. In the case of a holiday party, it covers you when an intoxicated guest leaves your home and injures someone else. For the average slip and fall at home, your coverage may be fine. Consider the costs of a car accident with injury, though. Now include an angry accident victim who decides to sue. As the one who provided the alcohol, you could easily be named in a lawsuit.

An umbrella insurance policy will cover you when you reach the policy limit of your homeowner’s insurance policy or if your claim isn’t covered by your homeowner’s insurance at all. For example, if your policy limit is $100,000, and your umbrella policy limit is $500,000, once your homeowner’s insurance limit is reached, the umbrella policy will kick in and cover you up to the coverage limit.

Umbrella policies aren’t just for holiday parties and can be very useful throughout the year. Before you set the date, send out the invites, and start buying the liquor, check with your insurance agent about an umbrella policy and make sure you’re covered in the event of an accident.

Want to know your liability limits or discuss the cost of adding umbrella insurance? Contact us. We’ll help you keep this holiday season merry and bright!

Hosting a Company Holiday Party? Limit your Liability

Written By Charlotte Insurance on December 7, 2015. It has 0 comments.

The end of the year company holiday party may be one of the most anticipated events of the year for your company. Secret Santa traditions, ugly holiday sweaters, or simply unwinding and celebrating the end of a busy year – everyone has their reasons to enjoy the company party, but as the business owner, you should know it’s not without its risks, either.

By all means, have a party – they’re great for morale. Make sure to keep your company’s liability in mind when you set it up, though. Take a look at these 8 tips to protect your business and keep your employees safe during this year’s holiday party.

  1. Consider the venue. A restaurant or other off-site location with professional servers and bartenders may be best. They’ll carry their own liquor liability coverage and a professional bartender knows when to turn off the tap for someone who’s had too much.
  2. Check your own liability insurance. Some states allow the host of a party to be held liable when liquor is served even if you’re at a restaurant or bar. For many businesses, your general liability may cover you, but check with your insurance agent first.
  3. Make sure you have an Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) policy and that it includes third party coverage. An EPLI policy covers you for discrimination, sexual harassment, and other work-related claims and issues with your employees. With the inclusion of third parties, if someone has too much to drink and says something inappropriate to a client or another non-employee, you’ll still be covered.
  4. Encourage your employees to be responsible and urge management to lead by example. The company party is a time to relax and let loose, but within reason. Drinking too much and acting foolish or, worse, getting behind the wheel will turn a fun night sour very quickly.
  5. Always offer non-alcoholic drink options. Give people a choice not to drink with options like soda, water, tea, and coffee. When people eat while they drink, they tend to drink less, too.
  6. Limit the amount of alcohol you purchase for your employees. People tend to consume less when they have to buy their own drinks.
  7. Arrange with the venue to stop offering alcoholic beverages before the evening ends. The unlimited bottles of wine should disappear and the bar should close. Switch to non-alcoholic options.
  8. Make alternate transportation available for anyone who’s had too much to drink.Let people know about it before the party and encourage them to use it at the end of the night.

The fun of a great holiday party can turn into a nightmare when just one employee has a little too much to drink. Even after they leave for the night, you can still be held liable for an employee’s drunken actions if your party contributed to their inebriation. Take precautions before and during the party so everyone has a good time and the everyone remains safe.

“Cheap” Insurance won’t Always Save you Money

Written By Charlotte Insurance on December 4, 2015. It has 0 comments.

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Ever heard the expression, “You get what you pay for?” No one wants to pay more than they have to for anything, including auto insurance, but cheap insurance can cost you in the long run. Saving money on your monthly premiums by being underinsured won’t help you if you’re involved in an accident. The money you saved will be gone in a flash while you’re forced to pay out-of-pocket for big expenses.

Getting the cheapest Charlotte auto insurance policy possible may save you money on your monthly premiums, but you may also be putting yourself at risk.


Long-term, your cheap auto insurance is only going to cost you money.

  • Purchasing less than the minimum level of insurance required by law could result in legal penalties – as well as the major expense of an accident. Even the legal minimum levels aren’t enough to cover you in most accidents. Choosing a lower level just makes the problem worse when you get into a fender bender.
  • Consider the cost of an accident or damage to your vehicle. Maybe you saved $40 a month by removing comprehensive or collision from your auto policy after you paid off your car loan. Now your vehicle is damaged and the bill is a few thousand dollars – or worse, your car is totaled and you have to buy a new one.
  • One in seven drivers are uninsured. Removing the uninsured motorist clause from your policy means you’re losing out on added protection when you have a run-in with someone who doesn’t have any insurance at all.


When you purchase auto insurance, consider the value you’re getting:

  • Peace of mind that you’ll be covered in any accident.
  • Knowing your vehicle will be repaired or replaced with only a small cost to you.
  • Fewer hassles when an uninsured driver causes an accident.

You don’t need to overpay for great protection, though. There are some things you can do to save on your auto insurance without losing the coverage you really need.

  • Bundle your policies for discounts.
  • Drive safely – many companies offer good driver discounts.
  • Keep your information updated. When you move or change driving habits, update your policy immediately. Shorter commutes and safer communities add up to savings.
  • Work with your insurance agent to make sure you have the right coverage for your vehicle.

The immediate savings you feel won’t matter if your car is totaled in an accident and you can’t afford to cover the cost of repairs or to buy a new vehicle – never mind the potential medical costs. Purchase the right auto insurance for your situation and avoid the hassles and costs of “cheap insurance.”

When you’re ready to update your auto insurance or if you want to make sure you’ve got the best coverage at the best price, contact us here at Charlotte Insurance. We’ll help you get the coverage you need.