"Ask first" is a fundamental principle – it's something we were all taught as children. Ask first before you take the last cookie, before you go out to play, and before you volunteer your dad to build a bird feeder for the class (that would have been me in the 2nd grade). Simply …ask first.
This principle is the "holy grail" of advice that all insurance agents wish their clients would take advantage of before the following occurs.
Before You Build
Building that dream home - in the middle of the woods, isolated from view, away from fire protection, jointly owned with in-laws, and rented out when not in use? Ask first. Your insurance agent is there to be a part of the planning process. We can suggest which construction materials affect your premium; how positioning the home on the property can lend to a better insurance rate. What needs to be considered when building from new or refurbishing a vintage home? What characteristics of an older home make affordable home insurance rates nearly impossible? How does renting out the home occasionally change the home insurance rate? Just ask.
Before Buying a Vehicle
Ask your agent about auto insurance pricing when considering the purchase of a different vehicle. It's easy for us to quote various auto policy purchase options when you are in the shopping phase of your purchase. Consumers often spend a great deal of time studying safety features, trade-in values, and gas mileage; why not include auto insurance rate differentials in all that research? Better to know how it will affect your monthly budget before you sign the dotted line.
Before Starting a Side Business
Honestly, most people would stop and ask before taking on this liability, but this summer, I've heard a new idea for quick cash multiple times. Why not rent out a backyard swimming pool for parties and gatherings on the weekends you are out of town? NO! STOP! There are way too many issues to list in this short rant. Remember, just because everyone else might be doing it doesn't mean you should. What about those piano lessons in your home or that side job selling cookies, cakes, and treats during the holiday season? It all sounds sweet – and it is – but what's the personal cost of liability if someone gets hurt or sick due to these activities? Ask us!
Before a Life Event
Got a life event coming up? A wedding? A new baby? A move? A child going off to college? A move to a retirement community? Ask how this may affect your life insurance program. We want to be your trusted advisor in planning for these changes.
Bottom line - ask first. This sound advice is as valuable as the other advice we got as children - share, be kind, put things back where you found them, if you make a mess, clean it up, and yes - Ask first!