What Is Assignment of Benefits?

Roofers Working

How Assignment Of Benefits May Impact Homeowners

There have been an increasing number of homeowners who have unknowingly signed contracts or forms that include Assignment of Benefits (AOB) agreements. These forms are sometimes provided by contractors, often for water damage restoration, and must be read carefully. The end result is that the contractor is assigned your rights under the insurance policy. This can be a problem in that there are some contractors and attorneys that use this as a scam to sue insurers. This has resulted in homeowners losing control of the claim process and it could mean having to pay amounts beyond what is covered in their policy. The contractor could place a lien on the home.

How To Protect Yourself

  • Call your agent or insurer first
  • Do not sign anything without reviewing it with our office
  • Most insurers have 24/7 claim hotlines
  • Read all documents before you sign them

While there may be some good reasons to use AOB, there can be abuses, and it is always good idea to call our office first.

The assignment of benefits scourge in the homeowners’ market has been mostly concentrated in South Florida but is quickly spreading to Tampa Bay. We’re already the No. 1 hot spot for auto glass lawsuits, according to Tampa Bay Times staff writer Malena Carollo, and the numbers keep growing. Hillsborough County alone accounted for 35 percent of cases statewide in 2016. That’s not a list the region should want to be atop, and the only current remedy is for drivers to be informed and careful. If you have a cracked windshield, contact your insurance company directly to start the claim process, then follow the claim to conclusion. If you do allow a repair company to negotiate with insurance on your behalf, understand that a lawsuit could eventually be filed in your name.

Amberg Insurance Center, Inc. was established in 1974 to serve the growing insurance needs of the many businesses and individuals located in the Charlotte and surrounding counties. We take pride in the quality service provided to our customers, our community concern, and our commitment to the overall development of our employees.

Amberg Insurance has been voted First Place for Best Insurance Agency and Best Agent by the Charlotte Sun Newspaper and First Place for ‘Harbor’s Hottest’ Insurance Agency by Harbor Style Magazine.

Please Call our office for more information.

I Just Got a Ticket…Will My Auto Rates Go UP?

car-1531277_640 (1)Have you recently had the bad luck of receiving a speeding citation? A ticket for speeding or other moving violation may increase your auto premiums. Some of this depends on the timing of your ticket and your renewal date. If you have had several traffic violations in a three year period, your carrier may decide to drop you. We will always search the market for the best alternative for all our clients.

Your auto insurance rates are determined based on how risky the insurance company considers you to be. Insurance carriers will have different methods for calculating risk, and thus different methods for determining rates.

Violations that relate to unsafe driving that will cause your premiums to increase include:

  • Drunk driving
  • Texting while driving
  • Failure to stop or yield right of way
  • Speeding
  • Reckless driving
  • Failure to stop at a light
  • Speeding in a construction zone

One leading industry research company studied 500,000 drivers and found that auto premiums went up by 20% after one of the violations listed above. Remember these are national averages and your individual circumstance will apply to what the carrier may or may not do.

Driving safely may be enough for you to avoid any spikes in your premiums. Of course, if your rates go up, they can also go down. By being a safe driver, you may see the price you pay for auto insurance decrease over the years.

Amberg Insurance Center, Inc. was established in 1974 to serve the growing insurance needs of the many businesses and individuals located in the Charlotte and surrounding counties. We take pride in the quality service provided to our customers, our community concern, and our commitment to the overall development of our employees.

Amberg Insurance has been voted First Place for Best Insurance Agency and Best Agent by the Charlotte Sun Newspaper and First Place for ‘Harbor’s Hottest’ Insurance Agency by Harbor Style Magazine.

 

Why You Need A Carbon Monoxide Detector

Protect your home and family

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, invisible gas that is created when certain fuels do not burn completely. Many homes can have exposure to carbon monoxide and may not even know it. That’s why it is important to know how to prevent it, detect it, and protect yourself and your family from its effects. In the home, carbon monoxide is most commonly formed by flames and heaters, as well as vehicles or generators that are running in an attached garage.

Detection and Safety Tips

  • Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarms should be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area, on every level of the home, and in other locations where required by applicable laws, codes or standards. For the best protection, interconnect all CO alarms throughout the home; when one sounds, they all sound.
  • Never use a gas range or oven for heating.
  • Have your home heating systems (including chimneys and vents) inspected and serviced annually by a trained service technician.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement and mounting height.
  • If the audible trouble signal sounds, check for low batteries. If the battery is low, replace it. If it still sounds, call the fire department.
  • If the CO alarm sounds, immediately move to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for. Call for help from a fresh air location and stay there until emergency personnel arrives.
  • If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Do not run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if the garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not covered with snow.
  • During and after a snowstorm, make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow build-up.
  • A generator should be used in a well-ventilated location outdoors and away from windows, doors and vent openings.
  • Gas or charcoal grills can produce CO — only use outside.

Amberg Insurance Center, Inc. was established in 1974 to serve the growing insurance needs of the many businesses and individuals located in the Charlotte and surrounding counties. We take pride in the quality service provided to our customers, our community concern, and our commitment to the overall development of our employees.

Amberg Insurance has been voted First Place for Best Insurance Agency and Best Agent by the Charlotte Sun Newspaper and First Place for ‘Harbor’s Hottest’ Insurance Agency by Harbor Style Magazine.

 

Does Your Business Need Management Liability?

We live in world where lawsuits are common. Private firms are no longer immune from litigation from employees, competitors and even the government.  Management or professional liability insurance is not just good business; it is as necessary as heat and lighting for your office. Statutes, federal and state laws change on a regular basis, so it is vital that your company protect its assets with management or professional liability insurance.

Issues to Consider

  • General Liability Insurance does not cover the risks of Employment Liability, Professional Liability, and Directors and Officers Liability. You need a separate insurance policy to cover these risks.
  • Defense costs are going up at a rapid rate. Insurance can provide needed defense coverage, even if you are not liable.
  • Company owners can be held personally liable for their actions as well as the actions of other managers or executives.
  • The cost of the average Directors and Officers lawsuit is over $600,000 according to Chubb Insurance Company. 38% of these claims involve employment issues.
  • 25% of private firms had some sort of employment issue that could not be resolved without legal counsel involvement. The average defense costs are $250 per hour.
  • Many firms fail to purchase Cyber Insurance. However, the average cost of each compromised record is around $175.00. Most states have laws requiring notification if you have had an incident.

The best thing you can do is call our office and have us provide you with a risk review including coverage options. Once you have had a chance to review coverage and pricing, then you can make an informed decision.

As an Independent Insurance Agency, we represent many of the top insurance companies in the country. This means better coverage, and at a competitive price, including life and health insurance.

Amberg Insurance has been voted First Place for Best Insurance Agency and Best Agent by the Charlotte Sun Newspaper and First Place for ‘Harbor’s Hottest’ Insurance Agency by Harbor Style Magazine.

 

 

Are You A High Risk Driver In Florida?

tree light 113A “high-risk” driver is generally defined by the auto insurance companies as someone who has a higher risk of having an auto accident. Auto insurance companies often see high-risk drivers as undesirable, as they may end up costing a great deal in claims.

Why you may be defined as a high risk driver?

  • You have multiple accidents or tickets during a specific period of time.
  • You have a DUI.
  • You have a serious violation.
  • Any accident that results in a fatality.
  • Driving without a license.
  • Driving without insurance.
  • You drive an exotic car.
  • For whatever reason, your auto insurance has lapsed.

How to get auto insurance if you are considered high risk

  • You may need non-standard insurance.
  • SR-22 insurance for specific situations.
  • Allow your agent to shop auto insurance for you.
  • Determine what auto insurance discounts you may be eligible for.
  • Improve your driving skills.
  • Consider a lower risk car.

Amberg Insurance Center, Inc. was established in 1974 to serve the growing insurance needs of the many businesses and individuals located in the Charlotte and surrounding counties. We take pride in the quality service provided to our customers, our community concern, and our commitment to the overall development of our employees.

Amberg Insurance has been voted First Place for Best Insurance Agency and Best Agent by the Charlotte Sun Newspaper and First Place for ‘Harbor’s Hottest’ Insurance Agency by Harbor Style Magazine.

Remember, Criminals Are Also Looking For Deals This Holiday

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The Most Common Holiday Theft Losses

We are in the middle of the holiday season.  While you are out shopping for that perfect gift, criminals are also out looking for ways to enhance their holiday take. While your personal insurance will most likely cover losses from theft, we thought it might be good to identify the most common holiday theft losses.

Now might be a good time to have us review your personal insurance. Stop in and have some coffee while we review your homeowner’s insurance coverage.

Theft From Vehicles

While you are in the store, criminals are in the parking lot looking for easy ways to get into your vehicle.  Keep all packages in the trunk; always lock your car, park close to the store, and in a well-lit area.

Home Burglaries

Home burglaries increase in December, due to people traveling and an increased number of easy targets.  When you leave your home, keep lights on, close your drapes, and never leave packages on your front porch.  Thieves will follow delivery trucks waiting for an opportunity to strike. Most online retailers send emails and text messages so purchasers know almost immediately when a package has been delivered.

Stolen Purses

When you are shopping, never leave your purse in the shopping cart, keep your purse closed, only take the credit cards you need, and leave other cards and documents at home.  Don’t carry a lot of cash and wait until asked to produce your credit card so a nearby thief can’t get your account information.

Identity Theft

Online shopping has become as big as direct shopping. Make sure to use secure websites and log off when completing any purchases.

As an Independent Insurance Agency, we represent many of the top insurance companies in the country. This means better coverage, and at a competitive price, including life and health insurance.

Amberg Insurance has been voted First Place for Best Insurance Agency and Best Agent by the Charlotte Sun Newspaper and First Place for ‘Harbor’s Hottest’ Insurance Agency by Harbor Style Magazine.

 

Make Halloween Safe for Everyone

halloween-959006_1920Safety Update From Amberg Insurance

In the next few days, we will be watching children scramble from house to house in search of the elusive Halloween treat.  However, keeping our kids safe as they are out Halloween night is always a concern.  In 2015, there were an estimated 6,900 pedestrian deaths and 165,000 medically consulted nonfatal injuries among pedestrians in motor vehicle incidents, according to Injury Facts 2015, the statistical report on unintentional injuries created by the National Safety Council.

A little pre-planning can prevent unfortunate accidents that could turn out to be tragic.  Remember, your homeowner’s insurance will cover you in most cases should someone trip and fall on your premises.

Here are some pointers for ensuring your house is a safe place for trick-or-treaters on Oct. 31.

  • Provide healthier treats for trick-or-treaters such as low-calorie treats and drinks. For your guests, offer a variety of fruits and vegetables.
  • Be sure walking areas and stairs are well-lit and free of obstacles that could cause someone to fall.
  • Keep candle-lit jack o’lanterns and luminaries away from doorsteps, walkways, landings, and curtains. Place them on sturdy tables, keep them out of the reach of pets and small children, and never leave them unattended.
  • Remind drivers to watch out for trick-or-treaters and to drive safely.

 Safety tips for kids

  • Never, ever, go into a house.
  • Costumes should be short enough to prevent children from tripping and falling
  • An adult or an older responsible child should always accompany young children. Even older children should go trick-or-treating with an adult, or with friends.  Never go out alone.
  • Only go to homes with a porch light on.
  • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective.
  • Do not eat homemade food.
  • Examine all candy.  If it has been opened, toss it out.
  • Use a flashlight.  

Safety Tips for Motorists

  • Watch for children walking on roadways, medians, and curbs.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
  • Turn your lights on.
  • At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.

Sources: http://www.nsc.org/, https://www.aap.org, https://www.cdc.gov

As an Independent Insurance Agency, we represent many of the top insurance companies in the country. This means better coverage, and at a competitive price, including life and health insurance.

Amberg Insurance has been voted First Place for Best Insurance Agency and Best Agent by the Charlotte Sun Newspaper and First Place for ‘Harbor’s Hottest’ Insurance Agency by Harbor Style Magazine.