What Happens If You Drive Without Auto Insurance?

While it is technically possible to drive your car without insurance for years, it is never a wise decision. We, at Centennial State Insurance Agency, have helped residents of Bailey, CO, and the surrounding area avoid this danger by providing them with fair and high-quality insurance. If you or someone you love is somehow driving without insurance, they are likely putting themselves at risk for nothing.

Penalties Will Vary

Driving in any state without insurance is a major mistake because you will experience some pretty stiff penalties. The exact penalty will vary depending on where you live. You can expect to get at least two tickets (one for the lack of insurance and one for the reason you were pulled over) and you may even lose your license or vehicle registration.

In this situation, you’ll not be able to drive and nobody else will be able to drive your vehicle as well. While you can obviously get both of these items back after your suspension is over, it will be a major challenge to get through your day-to-day life without them.

And if you cause an accident or injure somebody, you are going to be sued and may lose some of your assets, such as a car or even a house. Beyond that, you’ll have to get an SR-22, which is a paper saying that you can get insurance. Qualifying for one of these is a difficult and strenuous process. 

Your Insurance Rises

Even worse, insurance companies will usually have no choice but to increase your premiums as a result. Therefore, it is critical for you or anyone else who lives in Bailey, CO or the surrounding area to just buckle down and buy auto insurance. It just isn’t worth the risk you take every time you get behind the wheel.

Contact the offices of Centennial State Insurance Agency for more information and a quote.

Auto Insurance Premiums-How to Save Money

Below are some suggestions from Centennial State Insurance Agency.

There are ways for you to lower your insurance premium without lowering limits and protection.
First, what are your deductibles? Do you have an older vehicle where the deductible you are carrying is equal to greater than the value of the vehicle? If this is the case, you may not get anything from the insurance company if the vehicle is damaged or totaled. Can you raise your deductible? Can you afford more out of pocket if the vehicle is damaged? If so raising your deductible will lower your premium.
Policy discounts:
Are you getting all the discounts that you qualify for? Some of the more common ones that can impact your rate:
Good Student discount: Your teen driver will need a GPA of 3.0 or better but an important discount.
Defensive Driving discount: Most companies will offer this to teens drivers that have completed a certified class, and some will offer it to older drivers.
Multi Policy discount: Companies will offer a discount to both the home and auto for placing both lines of business with them You can a discount from 10% to 20% on both your home and auto by doing this.
Telematics: This is a new program being offered by insurance companies. You plug a device into your car for 90 days and they track your driving habits (speed, braking, time of day driving to name a few). At the end of the 90 days they evaluate the date and offer an additional discount. We have seen these range between 5% and 20%.
Annual miles driven: It is important to give the accurate miles you drive a vehicle. Companies will offer lower rates for fewer miles driven. They will often verify the miles each year so be accurate.
Pay plans: Companies will give you a discount for paying your premium in full. They will also give discounts on monthly pay plans if you set it up on EFT or credit cards with some companies
Give us a call at Centennial State Insurance to review your insurance policies and coverages. We will make sure you have the right coverages for the right premium.
303-838-0554 or on the web at centennialstateins.com.

How Commercial Liability Insurance Can Protect Your Contracting or Service-Related Business

If you own a contracting business or conduct services at homes and businesses in Bailey, CO, you need commercial liability insurance to protect your business in case of work-related damages. What would happen if one of your contractors damaged a client’s property or if a customer slipped on a wet floor in your restaurant? In today’s litigious society, people are likely to sue first and ask questions later. If you carry commercial liability insurance, you’re covered and can concentrate on running your business. Ask Centennial State Insurance Agency what coverage might work best for your business. In the meantime, here is some information to get you started.

What is Commercial Liability Insurance?

Liability insurance, also called commercial liability or business insurance, protects your business assets and covers costs that come up if someone is hurt in your business. It also covers injuries and damages caused by employees while they’re on the job. Purchasing liability insurance is typically required if you have outstanding loans or mortgages associated with your business. However, even if you don’t, there are many reasons to get it anyway.

What Does it Cover?

Commercial liability insurance pays for your legal defense plus any settlement against you in a lawsuit (up to the insured amount). The policy pays for compensatory damages, punitive damages, and other costs. If you own a transportation, construction, or retail business, commercial liability protects your assets for these and other unexpected losses, as written in your policy. Finally, if you work in real estate, medicine or other high-visibility industries, you may need protection against claims of libel, misleading advertising, or copyright infringement.

Contact Us

Call 303-838-0554 today to ask your agent at Centennial State Insurance Agency how commercial liability insurance can protect your business assets. Feel free to make an appointment for a quote on your business-related insurance needs.

Colorado Auto Insurance rates

Colorado insureds have seen their auto insurance rates increase significantly over the last 3 years and unfortunately, we are going to see it for at least the next 2 to 3 years.

What are the main reasons behind these rate increases? First, it has been the 5-year long cycle of catastrophic hail storms. Colorado saw the largest storm in state history in 2017, estimated at $2.3 billion. In addition to this storm, there has been several others that are in the top ten in dollar amounts of damage. Not only have these storms been in the Denver front range but we have seen damaging hail storms in Woodland Park, Jefferson, Bailey and Conifer. As result of these storms, Colorado is now the second leading filer of hail related claims in the country, behind Texas.

Second, is the increasing cost in bodily injury claims. These are claims that result from an injury in an auto accident. The one area we can all relate to that impacts these claims is the rapidly increasing cost of health care in the United States. In addition to this, the increase in litigation and legal expenses that come with these types of claims. These expenses are passed on to all of us.

Third, the increase in the population and the total miles driven in Colorado has led to an increase in the number of accidents. We have also seen an increase in the number of new vehicles being purchased. These vehicles come with all the innovative technology and the fancy bells and whistles we all love. Unfortunately, with this comes an increase in repair cost for these vehicles. Bumpers repaired on a 2006 for $500 – $1000 is going to be $1000 – $2000 for a 2017 vehicle. We are also seeing windshields in the $1000’s that were $200 – $500 to replace in the past. This is a result of the innovative technology in these windshields.

What can you do to help keep your increases down?

Make sure you are getting all the discounts you qualify for: Multi car, multi policy ( auto-home),and good student, if you have a teen driver. Companies such as Safeco, Travelers and Progressive are offering telematics programs. This is where you plug a device into your vehicle for 90 days. At the end of this time they can increase the discount based on the tracked driving habits. Companies also offer discounts for different pay plans, pay in full, EFT or credit card.

What can Centennial State Insurance do for you.

We will first make sure that you are properly insured in the event of a catastrophic hail storm or if you or a family member are involved in an accident. We want to make sure that you have the coverages to take care of your auto or home and that you have liability coverage to help protect your assets.
After reviewing your coverages and deciding on what is needed we will shop you with several different companies to make sure the rate matches the coverages. As an independent agency we have choices on the companies we can place you with.

Give us a call at Centennial State Insurance Agency to have us review your insurance needs and coverages. 303-838-0554, centennialstateins.com

How Does Having Some Breeds of Dogs Affect My Homeowners Insurance?

Shopping for home insurance anywhere in the United States can be a significant challenge if you have a dog. The task may be even harder if your dog breed is considered dangerous by the insurance providers. At least 65% of US households have a dog as a pet according to a survey that was conducted by the American Products Association in various cities and states including Bailey, CO.

This statistic means that American households keep at least 78 million dogs as pets. Although this figure may seem impressive, it is also alarming since these dogs injure a lot of people every year. This is what has made some home insurance providers turn a wary eye towards your “best friend.”

Which Dog Breeds Are Considered Dangerous?

While most insurance providers, such as Centennial State insurance Agency, don’t have an official list of the various dog breeds that they classify as dangerous, a significant number of these insurers have an unofficial list that is usually termed as a vicious/aggressive dog breed list. You should expect to pay a high rate of premiums if your dog breed is on this list.

These lists usually include most of the breeds that are renowned for having a bite history. This implies that statistically, these dogs have a greater chance of causing harm to other people, so the chances of you filing a claim are high.

In fact, a significant number of home insurance providers in Bailey, CO will not even write insurance for homeowners with these dogs while those that will offer you a home insurance policy will exclude animal liability. This means that if you own this type of a dog and it bites someone, the insurance company will not cover the damage.

Which Dog Breeds Are Considered Vicious?

It is always good to know the dog breeds that are mostly discriminated against so that you can take precautionary measures early. The breeds most often discriminated include:

  • Rottweilers
  • German Shepherds
  • Pitbull and Staffordshire terriers
  • Akitas
  • Chow Chow
  • Doberman
  • Huskies
  • Wolf Hybrids
  • Great Danes

Are you a homeowner in Bailey, CO? Contact Centennial State Insurance Agency today for your homeowners’ insurance policy.

Does Auto Insurance Cover Cracked Or Damaged Windshields?

Having automobile insurance not only protects from financial losses as a result of accidents, but it also offers coverage for a variety of other potential issues. One of the most common problems associated with automobiles is a cracked or damaged windshield. Having the right type of insurance allows you to repair or replace the glass either completely or for a reduced amount.

Windshield Repairs And Replacements

If there is damage to the windshield, it may be repairable. If there is a small hole or a chip in the windshield, most insurance companies will pay to have it repaired if the policy owner has comprehensive coverage.  If the automobile owner had liability only, they would not be covered. If the damage to the windshield is larger than a dollar bill, it will have to be replaced rather than repaired.

Comprehensive Coverage

Having comprehensive coverage protects automobile owners from a variety of issues such as theft, storm damage, and even damaged windshields. It is required for vehicles that are financed and should be kept for any vehicle that is under ten years old or has a higher value. Selecting the right amount of coverage is the key to protecting the vehicle. Consult a reputable insurance agency to find out what type of coverage works for your needs. Centennial State Insurance Agency serves the residents in and around the Bailey, CO area. They can help you get the coverage you need.

Don’t leave your vehicle unprotected from damage and other serious threats. Learn more about comprehensive coverage for residents in and around the Bailey, CO area by contacting Centennial State Insurance Agency. Call or stop by today to get the answers to your questions and to get a quote.

Preparing for Wildfire Evacuation

Preparing for Wildfire Evacuation

Last week we talked about some things you can do long before the danger of wildfire hits your area. This week we have some tips for preparing for a potential evacuation and what to do after a wildfire. It is very important to make sure your insurance is at the correct coverage amounts before a wildfire hits your area. Once an area has an active wildfire you can not make any changes to your coverages or issue a new policy.

Evacuation Prep

Being evacuated from your home is scary and is often comes with little notice. The best thing you can do, is prepare for fire season, which will help an evacuation go as smooth as possible.

Start by preparing an evacuation bag

In the bag you want to include:

  • Irreplaceable items, such as family heirlooms, one of a kind items, and family pictures. An alternative to packing up framed pictures is to keep digital copies of all your pictures on a flash drive and packing the flash drive (don’t forget to update the flash drive every year).
  • ID’s, licenses, passports, social security cards and other valuable documents.
  • Keep a backup sets of keys in the bag so you aren’t floundering to find them.
  • Have a list of important phone numbers, such as your bank, insurance company, doctor and emergency contacts. Some people prefer to pack copies of their insurance or other policies but having the policy numbers would be enough information.
  • Important logins and passwords will allow you to access any accounts on the fly.

Prepare a list of items you use on a daily basis

Having a list of items that can’t be prepacked will help you grab these important items faster and reduce the number of forgotten items. The list should include things like:

  • Laptop or tablet and phone or computer chargers
  • Medicine, glasses/contact and toiletries
  • A few days of clothes
  • Water and snacks
  • Money and credit cards
  • Keep the evacuation bag in a secure, but easily accessible area of your home

Have a plan for your pets.

There are window stickers you can purchase that will notify firefighters of how many animals you have in your home if you are not able to take them with you, or if you are not home at the time of the fire.

  • Place crates and carriers where they are easy to grab, and practice loading your pets into the carriers, so they are comfortable with the process.
  • Know how much room you have in your vehicle for your evacuation bag and pet carriers and plan accordingly.
  • If you have livestock and horses, you may not have time to load them in trailers and evacuate them with you. Have a plan for these animals. There are organizations that help with animal evacuation, contact them and see how they can help.

Other things you can do to prepare include:

  • Make your home accessible to firefighters. Clear extra cars, ATVs, boats, campers and any other large objects from your driveway and around your house so that fire trucks can get close and turn around.
  • Move flammable objects like paint cans and ammunition to a shed or detached garage.
  • Take the extra measure of moving high value jewelry, paintings, heirlooms or other irreplaceable items to off site storage units or safety deposit boxes during fire season so you don’t have to worry about these investments.
  • Speak with neighbors, good friends and family members about your evacuation plans. Where do you plan to go if evacuated for a few days? What if it turns into a few weeks? Do they have your phone numbers to contact you if needed?
  • Sign up for your county’s Code Red program so that you will be contacted in the case of an evacuation, and make sure you have other county services phone numbers for emergencies.

It is a great idea to practice an evacuation, especially if you have children and pets. Set a time to pretend that the call comes in and that you have 15 minutes to vacate the premises. Grab your evacuation bag, children and pets. Set a rendezvous point if you have multiple drivers and vehicles. This is a great exercise to realize how fast an evacuation can happen and to see what areas you may need additional preparation for.

After the Danger has Passed

The fire danger is gone, and because of your preparation your family was safe. You can now return to your home. Upon returning home it is important to walk around your property. Depending on how close the fire came to your home, there may be areas that smolder for days. Be diligent and watch for any signs of fire. Check your home inside and out for signs of fire or smoke damage. You should also check for signs of theft or missing items from the home. If you have any doubts about damage or theft, call your insurance agent to discuss a course of action.

After a wildfire, there is an increased chance of mud slides, earth movement and water damage. Because the vegetation has burned off, the ground becomes unstable. Most insurance policies exclude coverage for flood and earth movement. It is important to be aware of these restrictions and mitigate the possibility of damage to your property.

Written by: Centennial State Insurance Agency, Bailey

Prepare for wildfire

Many across the state of Colorado are concerned with fire danger, and with good cause. This year’s fire season is already in full swing with several fires across the state. Being prepared for these life changing events can help make the process smoother.

Prepare your property

There are many measures you can take before a fire. Mitigating trees on your property can reduce the risk of your home being a total loss. Remove trees close to the home, and thin trees on the property. Make sure that trees are trimmed and remove dead trees. Widen your driveway and create a turnaround area for fire trucks. The best steps you can take is to contact a mitigation company or your local fire department and have them come out to the home to make suggestions.

You need to also clear brush 30 feet around your home. Rake pine needles, keep grass and weeds cut short to lower their fuel potential, remove any dead brush from under decks and take steps to close of the holes that allow dead brush to get under decks. Move any other fuel sources (gas cans, propane tanks, etc) away from the home. If you have a wood pile, make sure the pile is stored a safe distance from your home. Keep your gutters, chimney and roof clear of needles and leaves.

There are steps to make your home more fire resistant. Metal, clay or a non-combustible roofing material lowers your risk of the home catching fire from wind-blown embers, or crowning tree fires. You can also look into a less combustible siding material like brick, masonry, stone or hardboard. Next time you replace your deck, look into trek or composite decking material. Upgrade your windows to double or triple pane, limit the number of windows and size of the windows that open to your largest area of vegetation.

Update your insurance

It is a great idea to contact your insurance agent to talk about your individual risks and if you are insured adequately. Our lives change over time, and we don’t always remember to tell our insurance agents about the new floor we put in the home. It is best to do this before a fire starts. Once there is an active wildfire you can not change or issue an insurance policy, until the fire is over.

The first thing you want to go over with your insurance agent will be your dwelling value. Make sure that your agent knows about any upgrades you have made to the home. Have you added an addition, or renovated the kitchen? Did you replace the roof or siding on the home? The details of your home may have changed since you originally bought the house. You need to make sure your insurance policy reflects these changes, and that your dwelling coverage will adequately replace the current condition of the home. Most insurance agents will use a replacement cost guide to input the information about your home and get an estimate of the cost to rebuild. Also, make sure you have enough coverage for detached structures such as sheds, barns or garages. Most policies have some coverage for detached structures built into the policy, but it is important to ensure that you have enough.

With today’s technology it is a great idea to use your smart phone and take photos or videos of your personal property. Walk around your house, shed and garage. Document what is on your shelves, dressers, safes, drawers, closets and jewelry boxes. This not only helps to prove the type of item you had, but will also help you remember what you had in the junk drawer.

Most insurance companies have a built in limit for jewelry, fine arts, guns and collectibles. Consider the value of these items and talk to your agent about the built in limits and is scheduling these items would benefit you. When you schedule these items they are covered for the appraised value.

Many people are not aware that motorized vehicles are not covered on a homeowners policy. If you have a classic car, motorcycle, ATV, snowmobile, trailer, or motorized boat in your garage or barn, they will not be covered by the homeowners policy. Make sure that you have them covered under their own policy with at least comprehensive coverage on them.

Next week, we will have some tips on preparation for evacuation, and what to do during and after a fire.

Written by: Centennial State Insurance Agency, Bailey

Does Commercial Insurance Protect A Business Against Visitor Injuries?

Many business owners, or potential business owners, are not clear on whether or not their commercial insurance covers them against liability if a visitor to the business is injured. Knowing what your insurance covers is the best way to protect yourself against costly gaps in coverage.

If A Visitor Is Injured, Am I Covered?

In most cases, your commercial insurance will cover injuries that a visitor sustains on your property or location of your business. Ask your insurance provider to explain how much coverage your policy offers, and whether or not you may need additional coverage such as umbrella insurance. Commercial Insurance includes liability, but make sure you are aware of the limits of coverage before agreeing to make a purchase. Each business has its own special needs, and that needs to be a point to consider when shopping for a policy.

Get A Professional Opinion

If you want to get the right amount of coverage, you should work with a professional insurance provider that can sit down with you one on one to discuss your coverage options. They can help point out potential pitfalls and benefits of available coverage. This will help you get the coverage you need to secure the future of your business. Business owners in and around the Bailey, CO area can rely on Centennial State Insurance Agency to give them the information they need to make an informed decision.

Business owners located in and around Bailey, CO know they can count on Centennial State Insurance Agency to provide them with insurance products that fit their needs. If you are shopping for commercial insurance, call or stop by to speak with a knowledgeable insurance representative today.