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Entering the season of giving.

 

As I sit drinking my coffee this morning, I heard the geese flying overhead, I love that sound. It brings back memories of when I was young, and summer would be coming to an end, we would see the geese fly over, and my mother would say, “fall is coming soon”.   Fall has always been my favorite season. It brings changes to the trees, with the many fall colors, the crispness in the air, and the beginning of the holiday seasons.

 

Each year as the holidays approach, I always start the season saying, I want to give back, or serve in some capacity, whether it be feeding the homeless, or helping a family in need. Each year flies by and before you know it, the season is over, and I didn’t find the time.   Last year our company decided to give back to our community, by picking two families during Thanksgiving and Christmas, to bless. We provided full meals and presents. Our whole office enjoyed the act of giving, and it gave us such joy to bless someone.

 

As the new holiday season approaches, and we start compiling a list of wants for Christmas, I encourage or shall I say, challenge you to take time this holiday season to do something special, volunteer to serve, or pick a family that is having a hard time and bless them. I promise you it will bless you, to be apart of something special, it gives the holidays new meaning. Incorporate your children into this act as well; it helps children to think of ways to help others.   Kids love participating in ways to help people, what better way to teach our children how to be selfless and to think of others. It teaches them kindness, love, and acceptance.

 

This is my challenge for you this holiday season!

 

Cheers,

Jenny

Today while listening to the news, they were covering the story of the death of yet, another famous person, who died by suicide. This story saddened me, the pain his family will go through, not just the loss of their father, but a husband and a son, but the pain of not able to help him through his own pain. This story, made me think of the many suicides that we have experience in our own community over the past year.

As a chaplain, I see the suffering that this kind of deaths leaves behind, so many unanswered questions for these families. Over this past year, I have come to appreciate the value of a small community, one that rallies around those who suffer great loss. I’m blessed to be in a ministry that allows me the opportunity, to help families navigate through their sorrow, and find a new normal.

Sky Financial understands the value of community, we love being a part of a community such as ours. We continue to seek ways to give back, and the Chaplaincy is one of those ways, Sky has two Chaplains on our team, and are so blessed that we can provide support to our community in such difficult times. Sky Financial is always seeking ways to give back.

If I could leave you with one thing today, it would be, find ways to bless someone that crosses your path today. Whether it be a smile, a positive word of encouragement or helping someone out with a need, take the time to extend yourself. You never know what someone is secretly going through, and that small act of kindness just may be the one thing that changes their path. Take the time to look up from your mobile devices and our busy lives, and experience the little miracles that happen around you on a daily basis, and reconnect with people, you won’t be sorry.

 

Written by: Jenny Ebinger

I’m pretty confident that if you asked anyone who has ever owned a rental property you would get an overwhelming response that it’s not as lucrative or easy as they thought it would be. In fact, owning a rental property can be a major pain, and end up costing you a ton of money!

I certainly don’t mean to be a “Debbie Downer”, and I know that if it’s done right it can be lucrative, but from an insurance agent’s perspective, I don’t see a lot of people doing it right.

So you’re probably thinking, “Well Chris, you are an insurance agent. What do you know about real estate or rental properties? Why should I take advice from you?”

I’m not a real estate agent, and I don’t own a rental property. However, several of my friends/family/clients/co-workers own rentals, and because I insure a bunch of their properties, I’ve had a first hand account of the process, and I’ve learned what to do, and what not to do.

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I was recently asked this question by one of our Sky Insurance Brokers clients, and thought I would share the answer here for our readers.

There are a lot of things that go into homeowners and auto insurance rates, one of them being credit. I’ve heard a lot of complaints from people who don’t like the fact that insurance companies use credit in their underwriting.

Some people have absolutely no idea that it’s used in the rate at all.

At the end of the day, there’s not much we can do about it though. Insurance companies have been using credit in their rates for decades, and that’s not likely to change.

By the way, insurance companies don’t pull your credit like a mortgage company or credit card company does. There is no negative impact on your credit as a result of an insurance company looking at it.

When I say “pull” what I mean is that the insurance company is doing what’s called a soft inquiry, which is not the same thing as having your credit pulled (hard inquiry).

When does credit play a role in insurance rates?
It’s important to understand that insurance companies don’t continuously check or monitor your credit. Usually, they only check it when you first get a quote and/or sign up with them in the very beginning.

This means that if your credit score increases (or decreases) your insurance company does not automatically know about it.

So, to my customers question of whether or not his increased credit score will lower his rates, the answer is not automatically.

What has to be done on our side as the agent is contact the carrier the insurance and ask them to do what’s commonly referred to as a “re-score”. This is when the insurance company can re-run the person’s credit (soft inquiry) to see if there is any positive bearing on the rate.

This isn’t something that the insurance company is going to let the agency do every single year, so it’s not worth even asking unless there has been a significant change in your credit score, and only you as the customer would know if that was the case.

If you’d like to get a better handle on your credit rating, it could be helpful to setup credit monitoring. We hope this was helpful! As always, leave us comment below if you have any questions.

Why do my auto insurance rates keep going up even though my car is getting older?  At Sky Insurance Brokers, many of our clients ask this question so I would like to address it from a couple of angles.

First things first, even though it’s called car/auto insurance, it covers more than just your car. It should technically be called “auto-owners” insurance, similarly to how home insurance is actually called “home owners insurance”.

It’s important to understand that there are a lot of variables that go into insurance premiums, and with auto insurance, it’s no different.

The insurance company is much more concerned with you crashing into someone and causing them (or yourself) bodily harm, or death, than they are about your car. A car is a material possession which can be replaced.

A human life is not.

When is the last time you looked at your auto insurance policy?
If you look at it you’ll notice there are a lot of different coverages on your auto policy.

Bodily injury
Property damage
Un-insured motorist
Under-insured motorist
Medical Payments
Loss of Income
Funeral Expense
Loss of use
Rental Reimbursement

These are all things that you are covered for on your auto policy. How many of them have to do with your car?

None.

How many of them have a price next to them on your policy?

All of them.

Your car isn’t the only thing you’re being charged for on your policy
That’s because auto insurance covers far more important things than your car as mentioned above.

Let me re-phrase that: your car insurance rate isn’t just based on your car.

You’re not the only one…
It’s also important to understand that you are not the only person your insurance company insures. You are one fish in an ocean of other fish, sharks, and sea creatures, all who have different characteristics and risk profiles.

Insurance is all about spreading costs over a large number (risk pool) of people, which each person paying their fare share. That risk pool is constantly changing, and is impacted by a ton of different things, including the overall economic climate.

This means that you are sharing in the cost of millions of other people, many of whom may have poor loss history and/or credit.

That’s what insurance is though — sharing in the cost.

The next time your auto insurance rates go up, take a look at the big picture. Make sure you’re looking at ALL of the coverages, and corresponding rates.

Hope this helps!  If you would like to know more about Car Insurance be sure to visit our page dedicated to it.