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ASZ International, Inc.

200 Summit Lake Drive
Suite 220
Valhalla, NY 10595

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Catastrophic Events

We are officially in hurricane season, and along with hurricanes also come disasters like flooding, severe storms, and even wildfires. Informing our clients on how to be prepared for events like this, through purchasing the right coverage, is something we strive to do. Though it may not seem like something that could happen to you and your home, you never know when a storm may blow through. According to Asta (2022), in 2021 there were 18 weather and climate disasters in which damages were around $1 billion or more.


Something important that all homeowners should know is that your homeowner’s policy might cover many natural disasters such as hail, windstorms, and lightning, but what it likely does not cover is floods, earthquakes, and/or tsunamis (Asta, 2022). Flood insurance is coverage we always suggest to our customers, as we feel it is very beneficial. We’re also able to provide standalone wind coverage. For our clients who live in coastal areas, this policy provides coverage for damage from hail and wind, regardless of whether the damage is from a named storm or an everyday storm (Orchid).


Now, although flood and wind coverage is something all homeowners should look into purchasing, it’s also an important thing for business owners to consider as well. Catastrophic events don’t just affect homes, they destroy anything in their path. As a business owner, you want to make sure you plan in advance by making educated choices on what insurance coverage you really need (Asta, 2022).


One final way you can help protect your home, business, family, and employees from catastrophic events is to have a plan of action. If a disaster does strike, your family members and employees should know the procedure. For example, where to take shelter in the event of a tornado, where the fire extinguisher and emergency exits are located, or where to meet if everyone must evacuate the premises (Asta, 2022).


If you don’t already have flood or wind coverage, give us a call today so we can get you a fast and easy quote!

References:
Asta, Donna (March 1, 2022) Planning for the Future with Catastrophic Insurance. Big I Independent Agent. https://www.iamagazine.com/magazine/issues/2022/march/planning-for-the-future-with-catastrophic-insurance
Orchid. www.orchidinsurance.com. Accessed July 5, 2022.

Getting a Personal Insurance Quote

So, now that you have a little background knowledge on insurance, such as why it’s important to have, and which type of agent you should work with, it’s time to start thinking about getting insurance quotes. Before you start calling around to different agencies, you should first know what types of insurance you’re looking for. If you own a house, apartment, or condo, you will need homeowners’ insurance. If you rent a house, apartment, or condo you’ll need renters’/tenants’ insurance. If you own a vehicle or motorcycle, you’ll need car or motorcycle insurance. The list goes on…so take a minute to stop and think about the major things you own, rent or lease. If you’re still unsure of what coverage you need, plan to have a conversation with the agent you speak with, they can help guide you.

Next, do some research about agencies near you. Google and social media can be a good place to start. Once you find an agency, you may want to review their website and look over reviews. Once you’re ready to call, you may want to start by asking which specific carriers the agency works with. The more carriers, the more opportunity the agent will have to find you the best quote for your needs.

Many agencies will ask you questions like your first and last name, your date of birth, driver’s license number (if you’re looking for auto insurance), your marital status, and who your current carrier is. Here at ASZ International, we ask that you provide us with your declaration pages. This simply outlines the coverage you have in place right now, so we can make sure that when we look into a new policy for you, we are not giving you anything less. If you don’t want us to know how much your current premium is, we totally understand that, feel free to cross it out on your paperwork.


Now the tedious part is over. Your agent will begin to look into quotes for you. Again, if you work through an independent agent, they will plug your information into a comparative rater which will populate many different options. This is beneficial to you as it will allow you to compare coverage apples to apples with more than one carrier.

If you’re ready to start looking into quotes, download our app by clicking here and then following the on-screen instructions. We would be more than happy to assist you in finding the right coverage for you and your family!

Independent Agents vs Captive Agents

When looking for insurance, it can be incredibly stressful trying to decide which provider is right for you and your family. The entire process can be overwhelming, from narrowing down a provider, to getting the right coverage you need, and of course trying to stay within an affordable budget. Many people do not even know where to begin, and if that’s how you feel, don’t worry, you’re not alone.

This is where insurance agents come into play. First, let’s go over the difference between a captive insurance agent versus an independent insurance agent. A captive insurance agent is contracted to work for one insurance company and can only sell that one specific company’s policy (West Bend, n.d.). For example, if you reach out to a Nationwide insurance agent, they would only be able to get you quotes with Nationwide. Whereas an independent insurance agent is contracted to work with a variety of insurance companies and can sell policies from multiple providers (West Bend, n.d.). For example, if you reach out to us here at ASZ International, Inc., we can get you quotes from many different carriers like Nationwide, Lemonade, Erie, Travelers, and more, and then we compare them, apples to apples for you. This way you know exactly what each company has to offer, and it allows you to make a more educated decision on which policy is absolutely right for you.

Working with an independent insurance agent, in our opinion, is much more beneficial. Not only does your agent have the ability to go to different carriers who sometimes vary in the coverage they provide, but they can also shop around for you to see where they can get you the right coverage at the most affordable price. Another benefit is that when it comes time for your renewal, your agent will keep an eye out to see if they can get you a cheaper rate with another carrier. If they can, they’ll switch your coverage over and continue to be your assigned rep. Which leads me to another benefit of working with an independent insurance agency, not having to wait on hold or talk to a 1-800 representative. Instead, you get to call a real person, who is there to support, educate, and guide you throughout the whole process.

Here at ASZ International, that is exactly the kind of people we strive to be. We are here to work with you and for you. We don’t work for any specific insurance company, that’s not our job. Our job is to help you, the policy holder.



Reference:
West Bend. (n.d.) Does Your Insurance Agent Have Your Best Interests At Heart? The Silver Lining. https://www.thesilverlining.com/common-topics/independent-agents-versus-captive-agents

The Basics and Benefits of Insurance

Let’s talk about insurance, and why it’s so important. Do you own a home, apartment, vehicle, or any type of personal belongings? If you do, then you want to make sure those things are protected in case of a loss. When you buy insurance, you’re transferring the cost of a potential loss or accident to the insurance company in exchange for a fee. You’re buying yourself protection at a fraction of the price of what it would cost to get back those belongings. If you suffer a loss that is covered by your policy and you file a claim, insurance is there to help you pay for that loss based on the terms of your policy (Grange Insurance, n.d.).

Insurance not only provides protection against theft and damage from perils like fire and water, but it also protects you from the financial responsibility that could result from a visitor or guest being accidentally injured on your property. In a nutshell, insurance is very important. Though it is something you hope you never have to use, because nobody wants something bad to happen to them, it is something that you don’t want to be without if you end up suffering a loss.

So how does insurance work? When you purchase insurance, you are known as the policyholder. When multiple policyholders purchase insurance with the same insurance company/carrier, the insurance company uses the money collected from the policyholders and other investments, to pay for its operations and claims made by its policyholders (Grange Insurance, n.d.). So when you buy insurance, the payments you make are in exchange for being covered from certain risks (Araujo, 2021).

Next, we’ll dive into how to choose the right insurance provider for you and your family.


References:
Araujo, Mila. (2021, July 12). Get the Basics to Learn How Insurance Works. The Balance. https://www.thebalance.com/basics-to-help-you-understand-how-insurance-works-4783595


Grange Insurance. (n.d.). What is insurance and why is it important? The Grange Guide to Insurance. https://www.grangeinsurance.com/tips/what-is-insurance-why-is-it-important

Flood preparation tips for Westchester, NY residents

Floods are the costliest and most destructive natural disasters in Westchester, NY, and other parts of America. They are also the most common and pose a tremendous threat to property and human life.  However, the damages don’t have to be severe if you take your time to put the necessary measures to prevent water from entering your home. 

ASZ International Inc recommends buying flood insurance to protect your financial security. In this article, you will learn four flood preparations tips to help you protect your Westchester home or commercial property.

Develop an evacuation plan

Your priority during any disaster is to protect yourself and your family. Before making other plans, you want to ensure that you have an evacuation plan. If you live in a high-risk flood area, plan to evacuate immediately after you receive a flood warning.  Even if the storm is expected to be less severe, you might still want to have an emergency evacuation plan if the situation worsens.

Create diversion

If you have lived in the same house for several years, the chances are that you already know the direction of the water flow. To prevent this water from entering your home, you can create a diversion by digging the water path and using cement bags to create a wall between the water path and your home.

Prepare an emergency supply kit

Once you have an evacuation plan in place, your next step is to prepare an emergency supply kit and keep it in different parts of the house in case you need to get out of the house quickly. Your kit should include enough water, flashlight, food, change of clothes, phone, cash, batteries, and a first aid kit.

Stay connected

It’s essential to keep in touch with your family members and friends. Always have a phone with you for communication in case you need help. Let your Westchester, NY family know the weather condition and stay tuned for emergency weather updates and warnings.

If you haven’t bought flood insurance yet, this is the best chance to get the policy and protect yourself, your family, and your property. ASZ International Inc can help you find a policy that fits your flood insurance needs and budget. Call us for more information.

Why you should not wait till the rainy season to buy flood insurance

Worries and uncertainty mar the onset of a rainy season in Westchester, NY. From icy cold weather to destructive floods, homeowners have a lot on their plate and have to find ways to prepare and stay comfortable throughout the season. Flood insurance may be what stands between you and the devastating financial losses caused by floodwater when it comes to floods. So, why should you buy your policy early enough? Here are a few critical reasons.

Flood insurance comes with a waiting period.

Unlike most policies that take effect immediately, flood insurance has a waiting period of 30 days. Despite covering an emergency, flood insurance can be unreliable if you don’t buy on time. For instance, if your home and valuables are damaged in a flooding event within the 30 days waiting period, you will not be compensated.  At ASZ International, Inc, we recommend buying flood insurance on time, especially if you live in a high-risk flood area.

Floods are destructive; it might just be too late.

A lot may happen between the time you buy your policy and the time it takes effect. Many flooding events come unannounced, and it only takes a few minutes for flood water to destroy everything you worked hard to get. In such a case, you may be at the losing end, particularly if you are rendered homeless by floods. Remember your insurance policy may not provide any payout until the policy matures.

Damage done during the waiting period is not covered.

By now, you understand how essential timing is. While many insurance companies in Westchester, NY allow you to buy insurance during the rainy season, the waiting period remains, and it will only be effective after the waiting period.

Don’t be a last-minute policy buyer. Let ASZ International, Inc help protect your property and loved ones from floods. Contact us for a good deal.

What Every New York Resident Should Know about Flood Insurance

The weather in Westchester, NY keeps changing and getting worse by the day. Tropical storms, Nor’easters, and severe thunderstorms have deluged the county with higher intensity and frequency.

At ASZ International, Inc., we recommend checking your area to find out if it is in a flood zone and taking the necessary safety and precautionary measures to lessen the effects caused by floods on residential homes and business premises. Here is what to do if you find out that you live in a flood-prone area.

  • If you are under a flood warning, evacuate and find shelter immediately. 
  • Do not try to drive or walk through flooded waters and keep off bridges with fast-moving waters.
  • Determine how you can stay safe based on the type of flooding. You can evacuate, move to higher grounds, or stay where you are till help comes.
  • If flash floods are a risk in your area, monitor potential signs like heavy rains and stay up to date with the weather forecast.
  • Gather supplies in case you need to leave the house immediately while keeping in mind the unique needs for every occupant in that house, like medication and pet food. Have external phone batteries and other critical equipment.
  • Keep relevant and essential documents in a safe, waterproof container and create a password for digital copies.
  • If you have enough time, move your property, including valuables, to safer areas. Declutter all gutters and drains.
  • Depending on where you are and the effects and warnings provided by the government, determine a safe area to go or prepare an emergency exit plan for floods.
  • If you have been told to evacuate, don’t hesitate or waste too much time packing. Do so immediately. 
  • If your vehicle is trapped in moving water, stay inside, but if the water is rising inside, seek refuge through the roof.

Another important thing on your things-to-do before flooding begins is to purchase flood insurance. Floods are not covered under homeowners’ insurance; therefore, it’s prudent that you have this separate.

In case you feel stranded or need further clarification on how to stay safe from floods, speak to ASZ International, Inc., and we will answer all your questions.


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