Brew City Insurance Agency

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Do you live in an Apartment? Then why don't you care about your stuff?

At Brew City Insurance it is our mission to offer customers a truly exceptional insurance buying experience. We provide our customers with the knowledge to choose the best possible insurance products that fulfill their wants and needs. Our friendly, knowledgeable and professional staff will help inspire, problem-solve, and best of all EDUCATE our customers so they can choose the coverage that best fits at a reasonable price. 



In the US  - more than 43 million people rent instead of own their home. The number of renters in the is near an all-time record high. Sadly - according to the Insurance Information Institute poll, only 41 percent of renters carry renters insurance. This is a substantial difference from homeowners of whom 95 percent carry a homeowners insurance policies.

People often underestimate how much it would cost to replace ALL of their belongings. Think of it this way - Take your house and dump it up-side-down (I know IMPOSSIBLE) and shake it. Now take everything that falls out, from dishes, to towels, food, appliances, clothing, furniture, etc. etc. and add up the cost if you had to replace each and every single item!! Most people have between $10,000 and $50,000 dollars in personal property in an apartment.

Renters insurance is both a good value and very affordable. It provides coverage for your belongings should those items be stolen, destroyed or damaged and can also extend to personal items keep inside your vehicle or away from home. Also, it has liability coverage that helps pay for accidental property damage or injuries to any guests you may have over. For example, let's say that a friend trips down your stairs and takes a tumble ending up in the hospital. Your liability coverage could cover this.

Here are some common misconceptions:

#1 - My landlord's insurance policy will cover my personal belongings in the event of fire or theft.
Truth: Your landlord's insurance policy will cover the building you live in, but that coverage rarely  extends to the possessions owned by the renter.

#2 -  Renters insurance is expensive.
Truth: Renters insurance costs typically between $10 and $20 per month.

#3 - Renters insurance coverage is very limited.
Truth: Most renters insurance policies provide coverage for:
  • Theft 
  • Fire
  • Lightning, Windstorm, and Hail
  • Frozen plumbing system damage
  • Vandalism
  • A renter forced to temporarily move out of their home due to a fire, for example.
  • A person injured in the your apartment or home that requires medical attention.
  • Items kept inside your vehicle if they are damaged or stolen.
Bottom line - If you have to replace all of your stuff it can be very very expensive should they be suddenly lost due to a fire or other tragic event. Renters insurance provides peace of mind allowing renters to keep their lives on track should a major setback occur.

Would you like to protest your stuff? Save some money? 
And have a great agency???
Brew City Insurance is a great place to start.

Come in to Brew City Insurance for a no-obligation insurance review. 
We will make sure you and all your family are safe all year long.

Brew City Insurance Agency Inc. is located at 2937 S Chicago Ave. in South Milwaukee between Pick N Save and Walgreens.

Stop in today and see what we can do for you! Or call 414-762-6600 and we can quote you right over the phone. 

Visit our web page to find out more! http://www.brewcityinsurance.com

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

5 easy ways to keep insurance costs down for your teen driver

SO - Why are teens so expensive? 

(This picture says it all)

Statistics. Insurance companies calculate premiums based on the probability of an accident happening. The greater the probability, the greater the chance of a claim, and teens are by far the riskiest drivers in the world. And it is no surprise that car accidents are the number 1 cause of death for teens ages 16 to 19. They are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than people ages 20 and older. Boys are riskier than girls for a number of reasons, including not recognizing hazardous situations, speeding, not using seat belts and driving while intoxicated. Although the use of phones while driving is beginning to even out the risks for both, but we'll talk more about this later. 


If you’re trying to keep insurance costs down here are a few tips.


Sign them up for a driving class (well you HAVE to...).

Wisconsin requires teen driver’s education for those under 18 to be licensed for good reason; students who take driver’s ed are better prepared for the road and are less likely to have an accident. However, this helps keep the rates in our state down for everyone.

Consider Delaying the license (I know this may be tough).

By delaying, your insurance rate decreases slightly. Hopefully your teen is slightly more mature when they hit the road. However, you need to balance this with gaining experience. This also affects your rates. So this may or may not help.

Companies prefer students with decent grades.
 

Often times insurance carriers offer a pretty good discount for both high school and college students earning a GPA of 3.0 and above. Again, statistically speaking, good students tend to be less risky. You could save as much as 15-20 percent each year.

This is the BIG one - Shop around for insurance!


Some insurance companies just don't want young drivers. Seems wrong, but they get to choose who their target customers are. Shopping around is the most effective tool for saving money. Ask about good student discounts, distant student discounts (for when a teen goes away to college without a car), low mileage discounts, insuring just one car for a teen (some policies allow this), higher deductibles (usually a big break) and bundling with homeowners insurance.

This ALSO is a big one - Either share a vehicle or buy 'em a junker.

Honestly - Do you want to give your teen a car like the one above?
For most families, sharing a car is a no-brainer because buying a third car cost money. The upside of sharing your car is that you can control how often the car is shared and insight into their activities while they use it. 
Buying a "junker" (don't actually buy junk please) for cash* has an advantages. You may be decide to buy liability only coverage, a much cheaper coverage. This ONLY covers damage to others property in an "at-fault" accident and nothing for your junker car. It is cheaper because insurance companies would rather not pay for both cars in an accident should it be your teens fault. Remember - performance cars for teens cost a FORTUNE to insure.

*Note - All cars with loans are required to have "full coverage" by the lien holder. 

Bottom line

Teen drivers are more expensive to insure. It will be necessary to do your homework to save money. Hopefully some of these tips will help.

One very important note - if you are like some folks that decide to send you kid out into the world to buy insurance on their own - I will tell your that 1) they very likely will NOT be able to afford it and 2) will most likely not keep up on payments once they start due to cost. If you add a driver to your current policy you could possibly give that driver your multi-car discount, or home discount, good credit discount, or many other discounts you already may be getting. and 3) They probably have no idea what "insurance" actually is and does.

You've been responsible for them this long - you might want to help them through one of the most difficult transition periods of their lives to this point. 


Is there a teen driver in your house?

Brew City Insurance can help
Come in to Brew City Insurance to see who has the lowest teen driver rates.
2937 S Chicago Ave. in South Milwaukee between Pick N Save and Walgreens.
Stop in today and see what we can do for you!
Or call 414-762-6600 and we can quote you right over the phone.
We have several companies to choose from.
We can also cover you if you do decide to open a business.
Visit our web page at - http://www.brewcityinsurance.com

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Is It Time to Give Your Insurance Policies a Checkup?

At Brew City Insurance it is our mission to offer customers a truly exceptional insurance buying experience. We provide our customers with the knowledge to choose the best possible insurance products that fulfill their wants and needs. Our friendly, knowledgeable and professional staff will help inspire, problem-solve, and best of all EDUCATE our customers so they can choose the coverage that best fits at a reasonable price.




The insurance industry often urges customers to review their policies every once in a while to make sure everything is up to date. The biggest issue is that insurance policies are written by lawyers and can be somewhat confusing.

The No. 1 reason people need to be reviewing all insurance policies is because circumstances change, and you do not want to be left underinsured or paying too much for insurance you no longer need.

So if you'd might rather do anything but comb through your insurance policies, remember there are some strong arguments for buckling down for a review. One issue that comes up during a review is that insurance policies are written by lawyers and can be somewhat confusing. Meeting with an independent insurance agent can help you decipher what is actually covered and for how much. 

You may catch mistakes ~
You probably have a lot of insurance policies -- health insurance, life insurance, auto insurance, homeowners insurance. There may be an error or two or three in one or more of those policies. For instance, Aflac, which provides supplemental health insurance, found in its annual employee benefits study, which surveyed 5,209 employed adults and 1,856 benefits decision-makers at companies, that 42 percent of workers waste up to $750 each year on insurance benefit mistakes.

You might find a better rate ~
Ken Davidson, co-founder of Dallas-based Eagle Independent Insurance, points out that you may lower your premium if you regularly compare insurance quotes.

"Insurance premiums can frequently change for several reasons," Davidson says, citing homeowners insurance as a type you'd want to look at fairly often. The crime rate, for example, could go up or down, changing your rates. You may have purchased your homeowners insurance policy after recent storms that could have inflated the rates, and perhaps your insurance company's rates haven't come down but competitors' rates have. "So only by comparing different policies at every renewal period -- or even more frequently -- can consumers ensure they're getting the best deal at that time," Davidson says. Independent insurance agents can offer several companies to compare, guaranteeing you get the most competitive prices. 

You have more assets ~
Your life doesn't just change. What you cover does. Here is an example of how assets can change: a client had a diamond ring stolen in a home burglary. Fortunately, she scheduled* the ring and it was insured, and the client was sent a $6,000 check. So the client went to the jeweler to replace the diamond ring.
*things like jewelry are only typically covered up to $2,500 per item. Policies will pay for the replacement if the item is reported (scheduled) with the insurance company for a very small fee. 

But the client wasn't able to replace the diamond ring -- because if she did, she would have to kick in a lot of her own money. When the jeweler was given the check to replace the diamond ring, he advised [her] that the ring had appreciated to over $18,000 and the $6,000 was not nearly enough. She could have had the item appraised and updated the insurance company to its current value.

Besides jewelry ~ you've likely been around a while and you have probably collected some stuff over the years. And perhaps a lot of it is expensive. You should always consider a major purchase for insurance purposes.

According to a study released March 31 by Liberty Mutual Insurance surveyed 1,936 American adults from January 28 to February 5 -- 
  • fewer than 1 in 5 Americans adjust their insurance policy after making a major purchase,
  • only 18 percent have formal documentation of their belongings, meaning that everyone just makes an estimated guess or stores all the information in their heads,
  • one-third of Americans don't know the value of their household possessions, and
  • almost 10 percent are unaware that they should check to make sure they have enough coverage to protect their belongings from theft or damage.
Don't forget the small things ~
How much do you have in personal property besides the big things? The best way to determine how much personal property insurance you should carry ~ do this mental exercise. Take your entire house and flip it upside-down and shake it. Everything that falls out is personal property. Sure TVs and collectibles can be expensive ~ but image replacing every piece of clothing, sheet, towel, tool, dish, sporting good, etc... those things are going to add up very quickly.

You may decide it's time to bundle ~
If you have four different policies with four different carriers, you might want to bundle a few. That is, have your homeowners and car insurance with one company, for example. You can often get discounts of at least 10 percent when you start bundling.

You may get some other discounts ~ 
Homeowners can earn credits on premiums by installing safety devices like burglar alarms, water leak detection systems, battery backups for sump pumps and automatic standby generators. When combined, these credits can reduce homeowners' premiums by 30 percent or more. Think about that. If you bought a security system months ago, or years ago, and you didn't tell your homeowners insurance agent, you have probably been overpaying on your homeowners insurance for some time.

Your life has probably changed ~
If you bought life insurance when you were single and now you're married or after your first child was born, and you're now on baby No. 2, you're probably long overdue for an upgrade. Or maybe you bought a new boat, finished your degree, remodeled your basement, or one of a million things that have changed ~ you are probably in need of a good review.

Bottom Line ~
Fran├žois de la Rochefoucauld said it best ~ “The only thing constant in life is change”. It's time to document your assets, gather your policies, and meet with an independent insurance agent to have an expert review your policies with you to see if they actually cover what you have and the changes in your life.



Would you like to do a review of your life? Save some money? 
And have a great agency???
Brew City Insurance is a great place to start.

Come in to Brew City Insurance for a no-obligation insurance review. 
We will make sure you and all your family are safe all year long.

Brew City Insurance Agency Inc. is located at 2937 S Chicago Ave. in South Milwaukee between Pick N Save and Walgreens.

Stop in today and see what we can do for you! Or call 414-762-6600 and we can quote you right over the phone. 

Visit our web page to find out more! http://www.brewcityinsurance.com

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Distracted Drivers Made Driving More Dangerous - And Now YOU Will Pay More Because of It.

At Brew City Insurance it is our mission to offer customers a truly exceptional insurance buying experience. We provide our customers with the knowledge to choose the best possible insurance products that fulfill their wants and needs. Our friendly, knowledgeable and professional staff will help inspire, problem-solve, and best of all EDUCATE our customers so they can choose the coverage that best fits at a reasonable price. 


Today's mobile phones are EVIL. I know that is harsh. But the phone that hung on my parents wall was a marvel, a life saver, a simplistic way to communicate with people world wide. We would call friends and neighbors and talk for hours. 

Now our smartphones bear very little resemblance to the phones of old. They are used less and less for actual conversations - instead they are connected to the internet of things and a myriad of "social apps" (a misnomer in my opinion) and have hypnotized an entire generation that can't even walk down a sidewalk without staring at it. Even worse, they can't seem to put them away while they are driving a 3,500 lb. missile down the road at 65 MPH.  

Everyone has seen a driver distracted by a cell phone - but when YOU are on the phone - you often don't realize that distracted driver is you. Here is the statistic that scares me most;


  • When polled, 77% of adults and 55% of teenage drivers say that they can easily manage texting while driving.

Let's get the horrifying numbers out of the way. I only included about 1/1000th of what is out there. And the results of the statistics are staggering really.


  • Over 2.5 million people in the U.S. are involved in road accidents each year. Of these, 1.6 million have a cell phone involved in them in some way.
  • 10% of adults and 20% of teenagers have admitted that they have entire conversations over text message platforms while driving.
  • Texting and driving is 6 times more likely to get you in an accident than drunk driving. 
  • Every day, 11 teenagers die because they were texting while driving.
  • 94% of teenagers understand the consequences of texting and driving, but 35% of them admitted that they do it anyway.
But there is another effect from all of this carelessness - and this one is going to hit you in your wallet this time.  A great example? State Farm, the nation’s largest auto insurer, just reported a staggering
$7 BILLION dollar loss 

from their auto insurance division. Let that sink in for a minute. The result is that they are being forced to raise costs on EVERYONE'S auto policies as smartphones distract drivers and repair costs and injuries climb. On average State Farm customers will see at LEAST a 6% in 2017 and much more as more loss numbers come. 

State Farm is one example - Travelers along with Allstate Corp. and Geico also announced rate increases. These are just the tip of the iceberg in companies that are raising auto insurance premiums across the board. Forbes Magazine says that the increase in the accident rate has resulted in auto insurance companies “bleeding money.” Almost all major companies raised their premiums for 2016 and are expected to raise them again for 2017.


So - What can you do??
The best thing to do is to find a local independent insurance agency. While insurance is likely to continue to rise - some companies will take smaller increases than others based on their loses. Prefered carriers offer better rates to better drivers and thus attract better drivers to their company saving everyone money. Independent agents can shop you to several companies and ensure the best rates.


Did your rates go up this year?

Brew City Insurance can help
Come in to Brew City Insurance for a no-obligation insurance review.
2937 S Chicago Ave. in South Milwaukee between Pick N Save and Walgreens.
Stop in today and see what we can do for you!
Or call 414-762-6600 and we can quote you right over the phone.
We have several companies to choose from.
We can also cover you if you do decide to open a business.
Visit our web page at - http://www.brewcityinsurance.com

Monday, March 6, 2017

Auto Insurance Quiz: What do BI, PD, UIM, or UMPD mean?

At Brew City Insurance it is our mission to offer customers a truly exceptional insurance buying experience. We provide our customers with the knowledge to choose the best possible insurance products that fulfill their wants and needs. Our friendly, knowledgeable and professional staff will help inspire, problem-solve, and best of all EDUCATE our customers so they can choose the coverage that best fits at a reasonable price. 
So you go to buy insurance and you get a piece of paper in the mail with numbers and letters that look a bit like a math equation from high school.
Solve the equation below...
BI 100/300 PD 50 Coll ded 500 Comp ded 500 UIM 100/300 UM 100/300 MP 10
....wait WHAT?
These numbers can be a bit confusing. ​
Do you know what each of these numbers mean?

Lets take a look at each of them.

*IMPORTANT NOTE ~ the numbers are always in "hundreds of thousands". ​​It is very important to pay attention to all of the number​s in your insurance papers. Anything over any of the limits of your insurance YOU ARE 100% FINANCIALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR! Injured parties can sue you for anything you have of value. Your home, savings, possessions, and even future wages can be seized.​ Be sure to check your specific limits!
The first set of numbers is BI 100/300. This is the the Bodily Injury coverage
Bodily Injury Liability – is damage you've done to other people such as: Medical expenses, Long-term nursing care, Lost income from time off work, Pain and suffering, and Medical expenses. In this case it is $100,000 per person and $300,000 Maximum per accident.
The next coverage is PD 50 = Property Damage.
Property Damage – Damage to vehicles or other people's property, such as a house, a fence, or a lamppost.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Bodily Injury and Property damage liability coverages do not pay for damages to you or your own vehicle or personal property. They are known as "liability only" coverage. They cover if you make a mistake and are "liable" for an accident. But this does not cover any of your property damage or your injuries.

So What Do I Do If My Car Gets Damaged and it was my fault?

For a price you can add collision and comprehensive insurance (often called "full coverage")
  • Coll ded 500 = Collision - coverage to pay for damages to your vehicle in the event of an accident.
  • Comp ded 500 = Comprehensive coverage - covers vandalism, theft, hitting an animal, and other damages that are not the result of an accident.
  • Both of these come with a deductible (ded 500) amount. That means that amount of money YOU are responsible to pay if the accident is your fault. In this case $500.

Optional Insurance coverages.

UMBI 100/300 = Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage is for injuries to you and your passengers after being involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver (not for property. See - BI coverages)
UIMIB 100/300 = Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage is for injuries to you and your passengers after being involved in a car accident with an  driver that does not have enough insurance to cover the injuries they are liable for. (not for property. See - BI coverages)
MP 10 = Medical Payments
What it covers:
  • medical costs after you are hurt in a car accident, regardless of who is  found at fault for the accident
  • Funeral expenses.
  • Injuries sustained by your passengers.
  • Injuries you sustain as a pedestrian or bicyclist after a car hits you.
  • Necessary dental care as a result of a car accident.
I bet some of these coverages surprised you. Most people don't know, for example, that their medical payments coverage on their auto insurance can cover your injuries while you are out on your bicycle!
So maybe next time you read your policy you'll have a better idea of what you are paying for. Sadly most people don't even know what is actually in their policy until they need it - and sometimes that's to too late.

Need more information about exactly what you have or need?
Brew City Insurance can help
Come in to Brew City Insurance for a no-obligation insurance review.
2937 S Chicago Ave. in South Milwaukee between Pick N Save and Walgreens.
Stop in today and see what we can do for you!
Or call 414-762-6600 and we can quote you right over the phone.
We have several companies to choose from.
We can also cover you if you do decide to open a business.
Visit our web page at - http://www.brewcityinsurance.com

    Wednesday, February 8, 2017

    Changes Everyone Needs to Know for the Current Tax Year

    It’s officially tax season and here are a few changes from last tax season that you should know about.

    • Tax Day is April 18 (not the 15th)

    April 18 is the official IRS deadline for 2017. Since the IRS can’t schedule the filing deadline to take place on a holiday or weekend, everyone will have 3 extra days to file.

    • Standard Deduction Change
    The standard deduction for Heads of Household is up and additional $50 moving to $9,300. The remaining standard deductions will stay the same as they were for 2015. 

    • $6,300 for singles and married couples filing separate returns
    • $12,600 for married couples filing jointly. 
    • Certain Early filers may see a slight delay in receiving their tax refund.

    The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act mandates the IRS must hold refunds on tax returns only on those claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit.
    This year the IRS will begin to release refunds on 02/15/2017, which means your money won’t arrive in until the week of Feb. 27 at the earliest. Remember ~ financial institutions don't process payments on weekends or holidays. While the delay might seem inconvenient, it gives the IRS more time to detect and prevent tax fraud that was rampant the last few years.

    • Implementation of W-2 verification codes will increase

    The IRS is extending its fraud detection program to verify information on W-2 forms to combat identity theft. To aid this effort, the tax agency has increased number of W-2 verification codes from 2 million last year to nearly 50 million. This helps the IRS validate that the prepared tax submission is real.


    This code is a 16-digit code that will appear in a separately labeled box stating:
    “Verification Code: If this field is populated, enter this code when it is requested by your tax return preparation software. It is possible your software or preparer will not request the code. The code is not entered on paper-filed returns.”
    Note - The IRS assures that tax returns with omitted or incorrect W-2 Verification Codes will not delay the processing of a tax return.

    • Increase in the ACA health insurance penalty

    The Affordable Care Act mandates that individuals without insurance are required by law to have insurance unless you qualify for an exemption. Anyone who goes three or more consecutive months without coverage must pay a penalty when they file their taxes.
    This tax season the penalty for not having healthcare is 2.5% of total household adjusted gross income or $695 per adult —whichever is more. If you have children under 18, there is an additional penalty of $347.50/child with maximum of $2,085 per family. 
    Here are a few of the exemptions that will keep you from having to pay the penalty. Some of the most common include if you:

    1. lived abroad for more than a year
    2. are exempt from filing a tax return because your income is too low
    3. have religious objections to the use of insurance
    4. qualify for a hardship exemption due to an issue such as homelessness, bankruptcy, eviction or a similarly dire circumstance.
    5. are in prison (you get it for free there)
    You can claim an exemption when you file your tax return, or apply on the Healthcare.gov website. 
    If you have any other questions click here for the OFFICIAL IRS web site. 
    Bottom Line ~ taking care of your finances is a very important part of the path to success. Brew City Insurance can also help you on that path by saving you money and making sure you are properly covered.
    Come in to Brew City Insurance for a no-obligation insurance review.
    2937 S Chicago Ave. in South Milwaukee between Pick N Save and Walgreens.
    Stop in today and see what we can do for you!
    Or call 414-762-6600 and we can quote you right over the phone.
    We have several companies to choose from.
    We can also cover you if you do decide to open a business.