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Valhalla, NY 10595

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What is inflation and how does it affect the insurance industry and your premiums?

Inflation is a term that is thrown around a lot in the news, but what does it actually mean? In short, inflation is when prices for goods and services increase. In the world of insurance, this can have a big impact on premiums. In this blog post, we will discuss how inflation affects premiums and why it’s important to keep track of changes in the rate of inflation.

There are a few different ways to measure inflation, but the most common is the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The CPI measures changes in the prices of a basket of goods and services that are commonly consumed by households. In the United States, the CPI is released on a monthly basis by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

When the CPI goes up, it means that prices are rising and the purchasing power of your dollar is decreasing. In other words, it takes more money to buy the same amount of goods or services. Inflation can have a major impact on your insurance premiums because insurance companies use something called the “cost of living adjustment” (COLA) to account for changes in the CPI.

The COLA is a percentage increase or decrease that is applied to your insurance premiums to keep them in line with the rising cost of living. For example, if the CPI goes up by two percent, your insurance company may raise your premiums by two percent as well. Inflation can also affect the insurance industry in other ways. Another example would be, that if the cost of medical care goes up, it would be likely that you would see an increase in your health insurance premiums. In addition, inflation can erode the value of investments that insurance companies hold, which can impact their financial stability and ability to pay claims.

While there are a number of factors that can affect your insurance premiums, inflation is one of the most important to keep in mind. While this may seem like a disadvantage for consumers, it’s important to remember that insurance is designed to protect you from financial loss in the event of an unforeseen circumstance. In other words, while your premiums may go up in response to inflation, so will the payouts you receive if you need to make a claim. In the end, this ensures that insurance remains an effective way to protect yourself and your family from financial hardship.

If you have any questions about how inflation affects your insurance premiums, or if you would like to learn more about how insurance works, we encourage you to speak with one of our experienced agents. We would be happy to help! In the meantime, please check out our blog for more informative articles like this one.

Thank you for reading!!!

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

Does My Landlord’s Insurance Cover My Apartment?

While landlords in Westchester, NY are legally required to obtain dwelling insurance for their rental properties, this does not necessarily mean tenants are fully protected. Let ASZ International Inc. explain more about the risks tenants face and how you can protect yourself.

What Your Landlord is Required to Insure

The law says landlords must obtain dwelling coverage. But what does that mean? A landlord’s dwelling coverage is a policy that protects the structure of the building. In the event of a covered peril, such as fire, the policy will pay for the cost of repairing the damage to the structure.

This does not mean your personal property is covered.

What Your Landlord is NOT Required to Insure

Tenants are not protected against losses to their personal property. That means if your property is damaged, even in the same event, you will not be able to recover the value of your belongings. At least not without your own insurance.

Renter’s insurance is not required by law, but getting it is a good idea. It covers you and your property from perils such as:

  • Personal Property Loss (due to natural disaster or theft)
  • Loss of Use
  • Personal Liability & Medical

Some of these risks can even be covered when you are not home. For example, if your bike is stolen off the rack at the park, your renter’s insurance policy would cover that loss.

How Much Renter’s Insurance Do You Need?

The amount of renter’s insurance you need will depend on several factors, such as your income and the value of your personal property. ASZ International Inc. can help you determine the right amount of coverage for you. We will also help you understand how to compare multiple policies to find the best deal.

If you’re a tenant or about to become one in Westchester, NY, contact us today to get started!

Spring Cleaning Tips for Homeowners

As warm weather approaches, the urge to start spring cleaning around our homes and property arises. It is important to remember that spring cleaning is not just about fixing up the appearance of your home but also cleaning and fixing damages for a safer living area. Here are some helpful tips for spring cleaning and avoiding homeowners claims:

Clean Out Gutters and Remove Drain Build Up

Fall leaves and winter weather tend to leave behind lots of debris in your gutters and drains outside your home. Make sure to clean out the gutters and drains to prevent damage to the foundation of your home, rotting wood, leaks in your roof, water spots, and basement leaks.

Check Driveway and Sidewalks

The drastic change in weather and temperature from season to season can lead to ground movement creating uneven walking areas that can cause hazards on your property. By checking your driveway and sidewalks for cracks and holes and patching them, you can prevent claims that arise from injury.

Check Roof, Siding, Porch, and Deck

Wind, rain, snow, and other weather conditions can lead to damage to the roof, siding, porch, and/or deck of your home. It is important to assess the outside of your home to find areas of sagging, missing shingles/siding, rotting or loose material, loose nails, and unfastened railings. These hazards can affect your home’s safety and increase the likelihood of a homeowner’s claim.

Check Caulking in Your Bathroom and Kitchen

Over time, the caulk in your bathroom and kitchen can deteriorate and create cracks that lead to water damage in your home. Staying on top of the conditions of the caulking in your showers, sinks, bathtubs, and other plumbing areas in your home can help reduce the likelihood of claims and losses due to water damage.

Clean Out Dryer Vents

Lint buildup in your dryer can cause major problems in the effectiveness of your machine and can also cause dryer fires. It is important to not only clean the lint trap after each use but also to inspect the dryer hose and wipe out extra lint in your machine periodically as lint is extremely flammable.

Change Smoke Detector Batteries

It is important to change the batteries in your smoke detectors at least twice a year. Adding it to your spring-cleaning checklist can help protect you, your family, and your home in the event of a fire.

3 Benefits of Renters Insurance

When you are looking for an apartment or condo to rent in Westchester, NY, renters insurance may not be at the back of your mind. However, you should, because renters insurance from ASZ International Inc. offers numerous benefits. Here are some benefits you accrue when you invest in renters insurance.

Property protection

Renters insurance protects your assets, including clothing, furniture, electronics, and other assets in your dwelling. And the beauty of renters insurance is that it protects your assets even when stolen outside your apartment. For instance, if someone breaks into your car and steals your laptop, renters insurance should compensate you.

If you are a tenant and don’t have renters insurance, you better purchase coverage today. Since your landlord’s policy doesn’t cover your belongings, renters insurance ensures that you don’t have to start from scratch when your assets are lost or damaged. 

Personal liability coverage

Nobody wants to cause bodily injury or property damage to their neighbors. Unfortunately, these things happen — and either you or a member of your family could be liable. Fortunately, if you have liability coverage, you don’t have to worry much about third-party costs that may arise for damages you cause to other people.

Loss of use coverage

When disasters strike, you have little time to prepare. If a covered peril makes your rented dwelling uninhabitable, your renter’s insurance covers additional living expenses like hotel food and accommodation. This way, you don’t have to ask for favors from your friends as you wait for your apartment to be fixed.

The bottom line

As you can see, renters’ insurance benefits far outweigh the costs. Instead of tossing the coin and hoping that nothing wrong will happen to your valuables, it’s pivotal to purchase renters insurance. This way, you will have peace of mind knowing that you and your assets are cared for. 

If you are in Westchester, NY, looking for renters insurance, you can’t go wrong with ASZ International Inc. Contact us today to start a stress-free renting journey. 

What does renters insurance cover

As a renter in the Tri-State area, you are not alone. 38% of all housing units are rentals, which is a lot less than New York City, where 68% are rentals. You may wonder if you should have rental insurance and whether or not your landlord has insurance which will protect you. If you have lots of stuff, and most people do, you should probably consider getting renters insurance since your personal property is not covered under any insurance your landlord might have. At ASZ International, Inc., a team of local agents in Westchester, NY are waiting to make your insurance experience more efficient and enjoyable. 

Personal property

Like home insurance, renters insurance covers your personal property. If you have expensive electronics or jewelry, be sure to make sure that the limits on your policy reflect your needs. Your personal property is covered even if it is with you away from home in your car or suitcase. Things happen, and you want to make sure that what you own is protected. 

Liability

You never want to imagine that someone might sue you for an injury they receive at your rental, but bad things do happen. Legal representation and judgments can be costly, and knowing that you have protection brings peace of mind. 

Loss of Use

If something happens to your rental that makes it uninhabitable, you will need to have another place to stay. Your renter’s insurance will help with this additional expense as long as the reasons it is uninhabitable is covered by your renter’s insurance.  

When you are ready to discuss your renter’s insurance needs, the experienced team at ASZ International, Inc. in Westchester, NY will be there to answer any question you have and offer you a great selection of products to choose from. Stop by our office or give us a call for a no-obligation quote. 


  • AIG
  • AM Trust
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  • CNA
  • CV Star
  • Employers
  • Erie
  • Great American
  • Guard
  • Hagerty
  • Hanover
  • Hiscox
  • Lemonade
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Metlife
  • Nationwide
  • NYSIF
  • Prime Insurance Company
  • Progressive
  • Pure Insurance
  • RLI
  • Safeco
  • Selective Insurance
  • The Hartford
  • Travelers
  • USLI
  • V3ins.com
  • Zurich

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