How Traffic Violations Affect Your Auto Insurance

Let’s face it, getting a ticket stinks. Whether it’s for driving over the speed limit, following another vehicle too closely, or failing to come to a complete stop at a stop sign, traffic violations in Gainesville, GA can prove costly, but the effects they could have on your auto insurance rates can linger for years to come.

How much you can expect your auto insurance rates to increase depends on the type of traffic violation you receive. Minor traffic violations, including seat belt violations and fix-it tickets for faulty equipment, generally aren’t counted by insurers. Speeding, texting while driving, improper passing, and other major traffic violations can show up on your driving record, resulting in a significant increase in auto insurance premiums.  

Getting a speeding ticket for the first time won’t automatically raise your auto insurance rates. However, multiple violations can make it significantly harder to get affordable coverage. Speaking to an agent at Chastain Agency Inc. can help you weigh your auto insurance options, especially if you have multiple traffic violations on record and need coverage with sensible rates.

Some traffic violations, including aggressive driving and traveling 15 mph or more over the speed limit, can also add points to your driver’s license. Accruing too many points within a short period not only puts you in danger of having your driver’s license suspended, but it can also impact your auto insurance rates.

Serious charges such as Driving Under the Influence can have a major impact on your auto coverage. Having a DUI conviction on your driving record can cause your existing auto insurance rates to skyrocket. Some insurers may even refuse to cover such high-risk drivers. Not only do you risk losing your current coverage, but any future coverage you get will cost significantly more.

Maintaining a clean driving record is the key to keeping your Gainesville, GA auto insurance rates low. To learn about other ways of lowering your auto coverage costs, contact the experts at Chastain Agency Inc. today.

Commercial Insurance Tips for High Turnover Fleets

Business owners in Gainesville, GA, have plenty to keep them busy. If you are in a business with a fleet of vehicles, the last thing you want is to waste time and effort keeping up with changing insurance needs. Yet, many fleets need to replace those vehicles on a regular basis. Understanding this, Chastain Agency Inc. has gathered a few tips to help those of you with high vehicle turnover.

Boost Security

Having high vehicle turnover means that the average value of each vehicle in the fleet will remain high. When you reduce the risk of theft, it often empowers your insurer to cut premiums despite the fact that your vehicles are worth more. Secure parking is the first step in that process. Ironically, fleet vehicles are often at highest risk when they aren’t in use. If you can demonstrate secure parking, it goes a long way to slash the risk of theft.

Similarly, investing in GPS tracking gives your insurer a lot more confidence that they won’t be replacing stolen vehicles. This is especially important when vehicles are not assigned to dedicated drivers (such as with car rental companies). While these are the big two security issues, anything you can do that protects your vehicles can help keep insurance costs down. But, as always, the details of potential savings will depend on your exact policy.

Get Close to Your Agent

Obviously, you don’t want to be paying for insurance on vehicles that are no longer in the fleet. The best way to keep your insurer informed about changes to the size and content of the fleet is to maintain close contact with your representative. You can trust that your insurer will want to facilitate this relationship, and you can make things even easier by helping them anticipate turnover schedules and planned changes. This empowers them to help your policy adapt freely, and it is your best bet for keeping insurance costs from rising unnecessarily.

As always, if you have additional questions or concerns, you can always contact your Chastain Agency Inc. representative serving Gainesville, GA.

 

Why Renter’s Insurance Is Important for Singles and Young Couples in Georgia

You’re single and, at this stage of your life, you’re likely to be a renter. Renter’s insurance helps you protect your belongings against loss. Before you buy renter’s insurance, make sure you understand what’s covered and what isn’t in your policy. As an independent person, it’s time you get the coverage needed to repair or replace your belongings in the event of an emergency. Chastain Agency Inc. agents are here to help you protect your personal belongings in Gainesville, GA. In the meantime, here is some additional information to get you started.

What Else Does Renter’s Insurance Cover?

Renter’s insurance also protects you against liability. If you have a party and someone drives home drunk, you can be held responsible. A comprehensive insurance policy can protect you against this contingency. Renter’s insurance covers you in the case of theft, fire, and other incidents in your policy. Your landlord’s home insurance doesn’t cover your personal items in the case of damages. Let’s say there’s a fire in your building or home. If your clothes and furniture are damaged by smoke or water related to the fire, you won’t be covered under the building’s insurance policy. That’s why it’s important to get your own renter’s insurance policy.

What if You Have a Roommate?

If you share an apartment with roommates, renter’s insurance can be complicated. It’s designed to protect single individuals or families living together. Make sure you get your own policy for your personal possessions. If your situation changes and you move in with your significant other, ask them to get their own plan to make sure you’re both covered.

Contact Us

Contact your Chastain Agency Inc. representative today in Gainesville, GA to find out more about renter’s insurance and what yours should include. Make an appointment today for a free quote for renters insurance and your other policy needs.

Self-Employed? What You Need To Know About Health Insurance

Whether you are a part-time worker, self-employed, an entrepreneur or freelancer, you need health insurance that works well for your independent career and lifestyle. Due to today’s tough job market, it is more and more common for Americans to start their own business, become an independent contractor, or become an “accidental entrepreneur. If you are new to freelancing or self-employment, or even if you have a small business in Gainesville, GA, chances are that purchasing health insurance isn’t high on your priority list. But, it should be! The last thing a self-employed person needs are unexpected medical costs that inhibit the progress of your new independent venture. 

Why Do I Need Self-Employed Health Insurance? 

Health insurance doesn’t just provide access to medical care, it can also allow you (and your employees, if you have any) to benefit from discounted rates and perks that insurance companies often negotiate with medical providers. Additionally, having health insurance limits your financial liability for injuries and accidents that might result in you and your business contemplating bankruptcy.

If you are an uninsured entrepreneur looking for health insurance options, here are a few self-employed health insurance tips:   

Comparison Shop 

In order to ensure you are getting the best health insurance plan for your budget and needs, you need a broad view of what’s available in the Gainesville, GA area. When shopping for insurance with your Chastain Agency Inc. agent, you can compare insurance plans from local carriers to assess rates and benefits.   

Lock in Your Rate 

When you purchase private health insurance for yourself, your family, or your employees, remember that your insurance company can increase your monthly premiums periodically. To temporarily protect yourself against rate increases, when shopping for coverage, ask for a “rate guarantee.” Your Chastain Agency Inc. insurance agent will help you look for and understand which companies offer a rate guarantee. Some insurance carriers lock in your rate automatically for your first year, while others may lock in your rate for an added monthly fee.   

Don’t Forget To Deduct Your Health Insurance Premiums  

As a self-employed person, you may be able to deduct the health insurance premiums you pay for yourself and your dependents on your federal tax return. Talk to your tax professional to learn more about what type of self-employed status you have, and the tax benefits purchasing health insurance may bring.

Contact the Chastain Agency Inc. to speak to an insurance agent about the options for health insurance. We can help you get a quote and get started on a plan.

How Do I Pick Between Whole and Term Life Insurance?

For people in the Cornelia or Gainesville, GA area, making sure that you have adequate insurance coverage is critical. One important type of insurance to consider is your life insurance needs. When picking a policy, choosing between whole and term life insurance can seem like a complicated process. Fortunately, there are several tips that can help you to pick the right policy.

Coverage Amount

When you are trying to pick between two insurance options, the first factor to consider is how much coverage that you need. Someone that is looking for the most amount of coverage possible should consider getting a term life insurance policy. These policies typically provide you with a lot more coverage than a whole life insurance policy would.

Length of Coverage

You should also consider how long you want your policy outstanding. If you want to have a policy for only a specific amount of time, then choosing a term life policy could be right for you. However, if you want to have an insurance policy that is outstanding for your entire life, taking out a whole life policy could be a better option.

Investment Potential

While life insurance primarily should be used as a form of coverage, it can also provide a good conservative investment option. A whole life insurance policy can provide you with a conservative return on investment. Each month, a portion of your premium payment will go into an account that will slowly grow in cash value. 

If you would like to learn more about your life insurance options, contacting Chastain Agency Inc. is the best option. Chastain Agency Inc. can help Gainesville, GA area residents better understand their life insurance options and help them to pick the right policy for their situation.

How to Avoid Gaps in Your Auto Insurance Coverage

Gaps in your auto insurance could cause problems in getting coverage in the future. Whether you forget to make a payment and your policy is canceled, or you decide to drive temporarily without insurance, you risk paying higher premiums for car insurance in the future. Your best bet is to avoid gaps in your auto coverage whenever possible. Here are a few ways to prevent gaps from occurring.

Establish Automatic Payment

If you’re paying on a monthly basis, it is possible to forget making a car insurance payment, especially if you are juggling quite a few end-of-the-month expenses. Setting up automatic car insurance payments to Chastain Agency Inc. in Gainesville, GA can eliminate this risk, so there are no gaps in your coverage.

Trim Rather than Cancel Coverage

It’s not uncommon for people to sell their vehicle with plans to buy a new one a few months down the line. Rather than cancel your insurance policy altogether, consider trimming it back. You pay bare minimum for coverage and can upgrade your policy with no hassles once you get your new car. Students can apply this same principle when studying abroad for a semester or military personnel when being deployed temporarily overseas. Trimming your policy eliminates gaps in your coverage without hurting your budget.

Put a New Policy in Place before Canceling Old One

If you plan to switch insurers or policies, you should make sure your new policy is in place before canceling your old one. Otherwise, you risk having a gap in your coverage. A gap of a few days may sound harmless enough but could be disastrous if you were to have an accident during that time.

To learn more about the benefits of continuous auto insurance coverage, talk to an agent from Chastain Agency Inc. in Gainesville, GA. We can get you covered whether you’re in the cabbage patch land of Cleveland, GA or near the big apple of Cornelia.

What Needs to be Included in My Commercial Insurance Policy?

Owning a business is a dream for many people in the Gainesville, GA area. While owning a business can be an excellent career for those that are natural entrepreneurs, it also requires you to make a lot of important decisions. One very important decision that you need to make is determining what type of commercial insurance you need to get. When looking for a new insurance policy for your business, several types of insurance need to be included.

Liability

One of the most important parts of any commercial insurance policy is the liability insurance component. If you sell a product or service, you will be taking on some risk whenever a customer uses it. If a customer is injured or becomes sick from use, you could be found liable.  A commercial insurance policy will provide you with protection from these types of liability.  

Workers Compensation

Another vital part of any commercial insurance policy is the worker’s compensation component of it. If you have more than three employees, part-time or full-time, you will be required by state law to carry workers compensation insurance. This type of coverage will provide you and your employees with protection in the event an employee is injured while working on the job.  

Negligence

Finally, depending on the type of work that you do, having a negligence coverage policy would be a smart idea. If you happen to make a mistake that causes harm, you could be found negligent. Fortunately, your commercial insurance policy will provide coverage for this.

For business owners in the Gainesville, GA area, speaking with Chastain Agency Inc. about your insurance needs would be beneficial. The agents at the Chastain Agency Inc. will be able to help you better understand the benefits of commercial insurance and what should be included in your policy.  

Most Important Features Your Renter’s Insurance Should Include

You get renter’s insurance when you are renting your house and want insurance that covers an unexpected event, such as a hurricane or fire, from damaging your belongings. Choose your renter’s insurance wisely, and make sure it has the most important features that you need.

Here are some tips, courtesy of Chastain Agency Inc. in Gainesville, GA.

Specific Coverage

Consider what belongings you have and how much they’re worth when determining what policy to get. Make sure your policy covers whatever you own. So for example, if you have expensive antiques, jewelry, tons of electronic equipment, or valuable artwork, get a policy that covers all that. Also, inform your agent of higher priced items.

Ease of Claims

You get renter’s insurance hoping you will never have to use it, but you get it because you don’t know if you will ever have to use it. Make sure that the policy you get is simple and easy to use. Make sure that if you ever have a claim, dealing with it will not be stressful, time-consuming, or complicated. Verify the dollar amount or compensation you will receive is reasonable and fair if you ever have a claim.

Affordable Cost

You might desire a super-deluxe renter’s insurance policy with tons of bells and whistles, but if it’s way out of your price range, it’s not going to be do-able for you anyway. Stick with a policy that provides you with the coverage you need at a price you can afford.

There are many other aspects that your renter’s insurance policy should include, but those will vary from person to person based on specific and unique needs. Consider your own requirements when deciding which renter’s insurance policy will work for you. And to help you weigh all your options, Chastain Agency Inc., serving the Gainesville, GA area, is only as far as a phone call away. Please get in touch when you are ready to discuss and explore renter’s insurance options and features.

My Ex-Husband Dropped Our Kids From His Health Insurance

There is a lot of misinformation and uncertainty out there about health insurance. At Chastain Agency Inc., serving the greater Gainesville, GA area, we love to clear up these questions whenever we receive them. One of the questions we were recently asked was how a parent can get their children covered if the other parent drops them from their personal or work health insurance.

How do I get my children covered?

If children are dropped from a health insurance plan, the other parent can enroll them in either a private insurance plan or an insurance plan through the health marketplace. This is because this would be considered a life-changing event that allows you to enroll your children in the marketplace outside of the normal enrollment period. 

In order to enroll your children in either type of health insurance plan, you may need to bring in proof that they are no longer covered by your ex-spouses health insurance plan and the reasons why. You may also need to provide proof as to when they were dropped. In most cases, you only have 60 days to enroll them in a new plan within the health marketplace. If you wait longer than this, you may not be able to enroll them outside of the normal enrollment period. This timeline does not apply if you are looking to enroll them in a private insurance plan, as you can enroll in a private insurance plan at any point in time. 

If you are looking for health insurance for your children or for yourself in the greater Gainesville, GA area, let Chastain Agency Inc. assist you. Contact us today to get started.

5 Factors Parents Should Consider About Life Insurance

For most parents, life insurance may not cross your mind until a child comes knocking on the door. You start preparing for your child and worry about the future. Well, the best way to secure the future of your loved one is merely getting covered. Chastain Agency Inc., serving Gainesville, GA, is committed to walking the path with you. To start the journey, here are five factors you need to consider:

Life Insurance Working Mechanism

Life insurance pays a sum of money to a named beneficiary who can be a spouse or your child in case the insured dies. The payment is commonly referred to as a death benefit. When taking the policy, you will be required to list the name of your beneficiary(s).

Types of Life Insurance

There are two major types of life insurance: 

  • Term life insurance
  • Whole life insurance

Term life insurance covers a specified period, for instance, 10, 15, or 30 years. If you die during this period of coverage, the insurer pays the beneficiary. On the other hand, whole life insurance covers you throughout your lifetime. You will be obliged to pay a certain amount of premiums to your insurer. The whole life policy has more uses than term life because it comes with cash value and you can borrow against it. 

Both Parents Require Life Insurance

Studies have indicated that it is beneficial for both parents to have life insurance even if one is stay-at-home. While you may be working, your spouse provides essential child care services. Moreover, in case of demise, your spouse can comfortably take some time off to grieve, adjust, and regain footing with the coverage. 

Amount of Life Insurance 

To decide on how much coverage to buy, you need to base it on your family’s financial need when you are away. Chastain Agency Inc. will guide you through the process. 

Beneficiary to List

When you take a life insurance policy, naming a beneficiary can be difficult, especially when your children are young. You can choose your spouse or appoint a trustee.

Chastain Agency Inc. takes pride in providing Gainesville, GA parents with life insurance. Contact us today for more information!