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From the moment we realized this year’s flu was different, Tri-Cities businesses took a series of hits. It started with an initial slowdown, and for some proceeded very quickly to a complete shutdown. Local business owners have struggled incrementally with each new barrier to delivering their goods and services just to survive. Now we all must adjust to what is being called “the new normal.”

As your insurance agent, JPI has been at the epicenter of all this. Our hearts go out to each and every one of you. And we mean, EVERY business owner… not just our clients.

We are proud of our own Jon Patterson, who has worked tirelessly since the onset of this outbreak to help assure the survival of local businesses. He’s been working with Nathan Robertson of Spotted Fox, and together they cooked up this idea to bring relief to the business community hurting from the shutdown.

It’s simple. Just go to Spend $25, and get a $50 certificate to use in July or later! And Spotted Fox Deals gives ALL profits to our local businesses! In addition, there’s a limited edition “Save The Tri-Cities” T-Shirt for $25. Again, all profits go to member businesses to help offset the discounted coupons!

Jon Patterson says, “I’m sure many of you spend more than $100 in a month at our retail businesses, so I challenge you to support 4 different businesses today if you can afford it!” It’s a win-win-win program! Business owners get a quick influx of cash, you get a great deal. And it’s all done safely, from the comfort of your own home!

This effort raised over $5000 in the first day and continues into April.

Protect yourself and your assets with an umbrella policy.


Do YOU have enough liability coverage? By Tina Hernandez

You don’t have to be rich to be sued! The importance of having enough Liability insurance is essential.

We all want to save money on our auto insurance but are we really saving when we don’t have sufficient coverage? Not knowing the risks can be devastating and cost you way more in the long run.

So, what happens if your teenager is out driving on a rainy evening & pulls out in front of a brand new Mercedes totaling it and injuring the driver and their passenger? You purchased the minimum liability limits 25/50/25.
25,000 per person, 25,000 for property damage and a total of 50,000 per claim. That brand new Mercedes alone is well worth over 25,000, the injuries, loss of work, attorney fees ect. Where is the balance owed coming from?

It will have to come from you. Savings account, garnished wages, have to sell your home, cars and any other personal belongings that have value. Bankruptcy? This will become very stressful and financially exhausting.

I urge you to have this discussion with your Insurance Agent/Advisor when you purchase the policy and annually after, things change. Assets, drivers etc.

How much is enough? Do I need an Umbrella policy? What is an Umbrella policy?

An Umbrella policy is an additional policy/extra protection and peace of mind is how I like to think about it. It pays out after the limits of your liability has been exhausted. You can choose different amounts. The most common amount that I see is 1 million but I have also seen some out there for 5 million. The amount depends on your unique needs. Have that discussion with your advisor to avoid gaps in coverage and very expensive law suits.

1. America Ferrera insures her smile for $10,000,000!
If “any reasonable and necessary dental treatment costs or expenses that result from accidental injury” the policy will cover her smile, teeth & gums! Lloyd’s of London is the insurance company that will write the check should something go wrong!

2. Taco Bell purchased insurance to cover their Taco giveaway!
Taco Bell promised everyone in America a taco if the Mir Space Station crashed at a specific location in the Pacific Ocean. The policy was worth about $280 Million, enough to cover 1 taco for every American!

3. Hole-In-One Insurance
At the next golf tournament that promises a new car or a bundle of cash from a hole sponsor, it’s extremely likely they won’t have to foot the bill! Most sponsors buy an insurance policy, that if there is a hole-in-one, will pay out the value of the prize! So, don’t feel bad for the hole sponsor next time you ace your shot!

4. Your credit score can significantly impact the cost of your insurance.
Nearly all insurance companies have credit-based “insurance scores” where the higher the score, the better the rate. The lower the score, the more expensive it gets! If you have zero traffic accidents and claims but pay a lot for your insurance, chances are, your spending habits are what’s costing you the most!

5. Think twice before buying that cute puppy!
Home insurance policies often prohibit certain dog breeds! There were over $600 Million in dog liability claims in 2017 – it’s a serious matter. So, before you fall in love with that puppy, call your agent to make sure you will have coverage for the breed you love!

6. Insurance is sexist!
Two teenagers with zero claims or tickets – but the teenage male is charged more than a teenage female for auto insurance? It’s true! Why? Statistically, teenage males cause more damage than teenage females.

7. No insurance for you!
No insurance company is willing to offer Jackie Chan’s movie company coverage due to the activities in the films. Jackie Chan offers to cover all medical bills of his stuntmen, having to self-insure his films!

8. Steven Spielberg has the most expensive life insurance policy at $1.2 Billion!

The holidays are over and like lots of people, you’ve probably got a few new toys… Or maybe a luxury item you received as a Christmas gift. Did you know homeowner insurance policies have limitations on coverage for certain valuables? For example, did you receive any of the following for Christmas?

Firearms or Other Sporting Goods
Camera Equipment

If so, they may be subject to coverage limitations. And the worst time to learn about coverage limitations is AFTER something has already happened to your gift! Do you know what your homeowners policy covers? If not, now is a good time to review it with an insurance agent. You want to be sure your new items are covered in the event of a claim. There are a couple ways to do this:

• Increase internal limits – Your home deductible would still apply in the event of a loss.
• Individually schedule valuable articles – This allows you to insure the valuable article for the appraisal/purchase price and there is no deductible (the insurance carrier may require an appraisal or a receipt).

Home coverage can also include special policy endorsements for personal property and/or mysterious disappearance. Some policies include this endorsement, while other companies allow you to add them to your home policy.

What is mysterious disappearance? Imagine you take your wedding ring off to clean that wonderful turkey, but when you go back to the kitchen to get it… “OMG where is my ring?!” Did it go down the drain? Did one of the kids move it? Did your pet eat it? That is what the insurance industry calls mysterious disappearance.

Bonus: If you schedule the ring, there’s no deductible if it mysteriously disappears!

At JPI, it’s our job to help you understand your insurance coverage. We’d love to review your homeowners policy with you to be sure you have adequate coverage for all the special things in your home.

I’m pretty confident that if you asked anyone who has ever owned a rental property you would get an overwhelming response that it’s not as lucrative or easy as they thought it would be. In fact, owning a rental property can be a major pain, and end up costing you a ton of money!

I certainly don’t mean to be a “Debbie Downer”, and I know that if it’s done right it can be lucrative, but from an insurance agent’s perspective, I don’t see a lot of people doing it right.

So you’re probably thinking, “Well Chris, you are an insurance agent. What do you know about real estate or rental properties? Why should I take advice from you?”

I’m not a real estate agent, and I don’t own a rental property. However, several of my friends/family/clients/co-workers own rentals, and because I insure a bunch of their properties, I’ve had a first hand account of the process, and I’ve learned what to do, and what not to do.

Continue reading →

I was recently asked this question by one of our JPI Insurance Solutions clients, and thought I would share the answer here for our readers.

There are a lot of things that go into homeowners and auto insurance rates, one of them being credit. I’ve heard a lot of complaints from people who don’t like the fact that insurance companies use credit in their underwriting.

Some people have absolutely no idea that it’s used in the rate at all.

At the end of the day, there’s not much we can do about it though. Insurance companies have been using credit in their rates for decades, and that’s not likely to change.

By the way, insurance companies don’t pull your credit like a mortgage company or credit card company does. There is no negative impact on your credit as a result of an insurance company looking at it.

When I say “pull” what I mean is that the insurance company is doing what’s called a soft inquiry, which is not the same thing as having your credit pulled (hard inquiry).

When does credit play a role in insurance rates?
It’s important to understand that insurance companies don’t continuously check or monitor your credit. Usually, they only check it when you first get a quote and/or sign up with them in the very beginning.

This means that if your credit score increases (or decreases) your insurance company does not automatically know about it.

So, to my customers question of whether or not his increased credit score will lower his rates, the answer is not automatically.

What has to be done on our side as the agent is contact the carrier the insurance and ask them to do what’s commonly referred to as a “re-score”. This is when the insurance company can re-run the person’s credit (soft inquiry) to see if there is any positive bearing on the rate.

This isn’t something that the insurance company is going to let the agency do every single year, so it’s not worth even asking unless there has been a significant change in your credit score, and only you as the customer would know if that was the case.

If you’d like to get a better handle on your credit rating, it could be helpful to setup credit monitoring. We hope this was helpful! As always, leave us comment below if you have any questions.

Why do my auto insurance rates keep going up even though my car is getting older?  At JPI Insurance Solutions, many of our clients ask this question so I would like to address it from a couple of angles.

First things first, even though it’s called car/auto insurance, it covers more than just your car. It should technically be called “auto-owners” insurance, similarly to how home insurance is actually called “home owners insurance”.

It’s important to understand that there are a lot of variables that go into insurance premiums, and with auto insurance, it’s no different.

The insurance company is much more concerned with you crashing into someone and causing them (or yourself) bodily harm, or death, than they are about your car. A car is a material possession which can be replaced.

A human life is not.

When is the last time you looked at your auto insurance policy?
If you look at it you’ll notice there are a lot of different coverages on your auto policy.

Bodily injury
Property damage
Un-insured motorist
Under-insured motorist
Medical Payments
Loss of Income
Funeral Expense
Loss of use
Rental Reimbursement

These are all things that you are covered for on your auto policy. How many of them have to do with your car?


How many of them have a price next to them on your policy?

All of them.

Your car isn’t the only thing you’re being charged for on your policy
That’s because auto insurance covers far more important things than your car as mentioned above.

Let me re-phrase that: your car insurance rate isn’t just based on your car.

You’re not the only one…
It’s also important to understand that you are not the only person your insurance company insures. You are one fish in an ocean of other fish, sharks, and sea creatures, all who have different characteristics and risk profiles.

Insurance is all about spreading costs over a large number (risk pool) of people, which each person paying their fare share. That risk pool is constantly changing, and is impacted by a ton of different things, including the overall economic climate.

This means that you are sharing in the cost of millions of other people, many of whom may have poor loss history and/or credit.

That’s what insurance is though — sharing in the cost.

The next time your auto insurance rates go up, take a look at the big picture. Make sure you’re looking at ALL of the coverages, and corresponding rates.

Hope this helps!  If you would like to know more about Car Insurance be sure to visit our page dedicated to it.