Dear Insurance Agent...
HomeAbout UsContact UsCommunity ConnectBLOG: Dear Insurance Agent

A.G. Insurance Solutions
Contractors Insurance
Small Business
AGM Insurance Group LLC

Dear Insurance Agent...

The Story of Your Insurance Matrix Life

by A. Montalbano on 06/06/18

The auto insurance industry is driven by statistics and personal factors about YOU.  Insurance premium is made up of a matrix of factors. So buckle up, as we count down to the behind the scenes of your insurance matrix:

10.  Married vs Single:  Its fact, two heads are better than one with the insurance industry.  Most SMART married couples tend to pave the road to longevity.   Couples not only combine their resources, they combine policies, guard credit better, budget household funds better and file less claims.  They have legal and economic benefits that make for a champion of stability, investment and family growth(the backbone of a thriving society).  George Clooney, a lifelong bachelor knows tying the knot has its perks.

9.  Sedan vs Sports:  Your car represents you...well, at least, this is the idea the auto industry wants you to buy.  A sedan is much less costly when it comes to repair after a loss and a much safer way to get around.  If you don't believe it, check out your collision coverage and compare it.  Your driving pattern impacts your finances.  So the better the driving pattern, the better the finances(get it?) which can lead to increasing that deductible and lowering that rate.  

8.  Keep your insurance history in CHECK.   Prior insurance with lapses or cancellations is a huge impact on you and a driving history report.  The insurance companies are surcharging you and adding penalties when you teeter with coverage in Texas.  Too many can bump you to non-standard rates(higher than standard, again more money to the insurance companies and less in your pocketbook) until you prove a positive insurance history. 

7.  If you sold your car a month ago or don't own a car, but hold a license, you still must carry liability coverage in the state of Texas.  Its the law.  Its fact, got a license, and the insurance industry knows you will likely get behind the wheel of someone's car.  A non-owners policy is inexpensive and once you own again, this policy will help you transition smoothly to a standard auto insurance policy...without the surcharges.
6. Your zip code:  Before you buy that dream house, check out your zip code.  This is a major factor of how high or low you'll pay for insurance.  The heavier the population, the more against your pocketbook. More people means more cars, means more accidents, means more claims, and so on.

5.  Lending out your car: Cousin Eddie wants to borrow your car but has a reckless life.  He has no insurance coverage, is risking a claim and tarnishing your no-claims history. Think about it! He walk away from an accident with no accountability and claim against your coverage.  companies, stays on your record for 5 years.  Require Cousin Eddie to purchase a simple non-owners policy which is cheap and guards your no-claims history.
4. Using your personal car for a side business: Expect a denial in claims if you should have an at-fault accident while using your pickup for weekend landscaping projects. Instead, go for a commercial auto policy that will help guard your personal assets and your business.
3. Unnecessary Coverage:  Don't purchase unnecessary coverages like glass believing you can use it over and over again.  Those FREE glass chip repairs and not free at all.  First, road-side chip repairers are not connected to insurance like they have you believe.  But immediately, they are selling their service by requesting a copy of your insurance card.  What you don't know is they file your bill with your insurance CLAIMS office.  An accumulation of these small claims will certainly get you bumped off at renewal.  Why?  These are unnecessary claims that cost roughly $50-$80 a pop.  The insurance industry sees it as all around costly, especially on their administrative end. You become the problematic RISK no longer a claims-free customer.
2. Type of Education Level and Job:  Yes, these two factors are part of your make-up and affect your ability to be and stay steady in your personal finances.  Insurance companies rely on these two affects as security and responsibility.
1.  Credit: The #1 factor is still credit.  Credit represents the story of your financial life.  Insurance is a financial institution.  Who/what else will lend you $110,000(Texas required liability 30/60/25) right off the start when you purchase basic liability insurance?

10 Things You Should Never Keep From Your Agent

by A. Montalbano on 05/20/18

Even though memory loss may be the #1 reason why some issues don't get reported, it is important to keep your agent abreast of possible issues that may escalate later.  

10.  Business Coverage: You never admitted a claim within in the past 5 years. When the underwriter discovers it, your coverage is declined.  

9.  As a homeowners policyholder, your sign a contract of insurance coverage.  You are held responsible to keep your property in good condition and report any updates.  One day you completed a remodel project and added 2000 square feet to your home.  A year later, a fire damages the majority of the house.  Since you never reported the addition, the adjuster only allows for the previous square feet.  

8.  After 2 non-weather related claims within a 5 year period, your homeowners carrier has canceled your insurance coverage.  

7.  Rushing the agent for coverage. 

6.  Hidden factors such as current knowledge of a possible claim.

5.  Starting a homeowners policy and then changing your primary resident to rental property but never informing your agent of the change.

4.  Moving your insurance coverage over to another agent because you "didn't get along with the previous one".

3.  Obtaining quotes with other agencies without giving your current the opportunity.  

2.  Recklessness.  Reckless habits means recklessness in everything.  

1.  A genuine relationship...

An Agent vs Do-It-Yourself

by A. Montalbano on 05/16/18

In recent years, the headlines spark wonder if the insurance outlook for consumers will shake many small insurance agencies.  Buying auto insurance direct for instance,  has worked out well online for a number of years.  However, when it comes to homeowners and commercial coverage, the agent is still the best beat.  Why you might wonder?  Online is the craze for purchasing everything and anything.  Well, almost.  

1.  At any level, homeowners insurance and commercial insurance still require technical assistance. It is a question of financially protecting larger assets. Details are left to the agent and so is the relationship.  Rarely do phone operators at large insurance call centers  spend much needed time with the phone caller.  This job scope is to process your credit card and move on.  Corporations believe customer service is wasted money, its the reason why so many large companies "outsource" to other countries and so many agents, like myself, look forward to hearing from customers. 
2.  Another reason why an agent works better in the insurance equation is we speak the insurance lingo.  Underwriters don't have the time to hang around on the phone to answer all concerns and usually don't have the ability to give the customer service most of us desire when we have an issue.  It is not that they are unkind or could care less about your matter, but they are trained to focus only on accepting or declining coverage to help keep the loss ratio low and make the company money at the same time.  they represent the company.
3.  Agents can advocate when an issue arise.  In 14 years of insurance, I've seen good agents advocate with great skill. (ask me how I have gone to bat). I take care and concern to heart when my customer is not given choices. 
4.  Variety of companies is what an agent can offer.  If you ever bought direct online, its one choice, and basic; why auto insurance works well in this manner.

My recommendation to the universe: don't sell yourself short! In the long stretch, agents, like myself, are interested in getting the word out about the do's and the don't shared with you on a one-on-one basis.  We get to see the reality of insurance and balance the satisfaction between the insurance company and the customer.  Trust is a two-way street.  Our efforts are based on commission and if you purchased a policy of $1000/yr, remember 10% is usually what we make on most policies.  So when you cancel, we got to pay back the commission.  
Connection is important to us because that is how we build business.  However, it is the agent who cannot accept the forward motion of technology who will get left behind. Our agency offers tech-enabled services to cut alot of the insurance hassle.  And while most agents are bound to making a direct appointment(carrier) required volume, our agency runs on a consumer-choice method, not the insurance company-choice method.  And we never stop scouting for better markets offering great rates.

American Entrepreneural Spirit: Ideas to Independence

by A. Montalbano on 06/14/17

Trailblazers of American business happened to stumble upon ideas to make life better.  Innovative thinkers never stop pushing forward.
But rarely do we find great reads about women contributors throughout the generations.  It so happens that they develop ideas far better when adversity is at its fullest.
In the heart of our nation were the founding fathers. But as far back as colonial America, women contributed to the development of business establishments. 

In 1718, while women were required to give up their property and rights to their husbands upon marriage, Pennsylvania legislation enacted a bill granting women to serve as feme sole trader.  This act allowed women to make sound business decisions in place of their husbands while at sea.  The legal authority to help a woman support herself and her children would keep her "from becoming a burden to the public".

Hannah H.T. Elliot, petitioned the court for sole feme trader after reporting her husband for abandonment and unable to support her household including children. Leaving her destitute and frequently borrowing from friends and relative, she was forced to open a trimming shop.  She was granted feme sole trader status whereby allowing her sole business operator along with retaining the profits.
Betsy Ross, along with her 1st husband, co-owned an upholstery business. Upon his death, having to raise children on her own for a while, she acquired his property and worked diligently making flags for Pennsylvania.  Marrying a third time, didn't stop her from continuing her skills of needlework.  The tale of the first American flag belongs to Betsy Ross.

Elizabeth Blackwell was ridiculed in medical school and ostracized when attempting a career in medicine.  In the midst of her struggle as a physician, she held strong.  In the mid 1800s, after watching a friend struggle with sickness due to embarrassment of visiting a male physician, co-founded a clinic for indigent women and children that would last over a century.

Josephine Cochrane couldn't help but wonder how to develop a better way to wash dishes. After finding much damaged china over the carelessness of her kitchen help, she discovered how water jets could blast powerful streams onto dishes if aligned in racks.  Her husband died while her design was formed and almost left her penniless.  She worked tirelessly pushing her invention but it changed the world forever. Her company evolved and changed hands after her death, to become better known today as Kitchen Aid. 

The inventor of a new fiber developed as Kevlar, known for bullet proof vests, building materials, tires, and fiber optic cable was awarded the National Medal of Technology and inducted in the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1994. Stephanie Kwolek, a chemist at DuPont passionate and persistent, “I discovered over the years that I seem to see things that other people did not see. If things don’t work out I don’t just throw them out, I struggle over them, to try and see if there’s something there.”

Party plan marketing is owed to Brownie Wise, a single mother, who had a charm and a knack for a product sales model.  She took TupperWare not selling well in department store shelves and made into a household name. Earl Tupper hired her to head his company but later fired her after she received recognition for the TupperWare invention.

Throughout centuries, women have faced unpredictable challenges.  Whether from despair, pressure, or simply a solution to a persistent burden, the human mind is capable of innovative ideas.  How we get from idea to service or product starts with inspiration.   

For all those women who defied the status quo, we salute your independence!

Read more women and men entrepreneurial trailblazers...

U.S. Open for Business

by A. Montalbano on 02/15/17

During WW2, unemployment became scarce as millions took jobs at war production plants.  Rationing was the selfless act of the American effort as every vital resource was conserved.  Coupons were purchased by consumers limiting the used of ingredients such as coffee and sugar.  Driving was limited as rubber was required for military production and recycling.   Upon the end of the war, the U.S. aided the greatly suffered Western European sector but included its own reconstruction back home. (WW2 Museum).

Economic growth was triggered by pent-up consumer demand. A housing boom stimulated by affordable mortgage lending for returning servicemen helped fuel the need for community development.  Spurts in other industries such as the automobile, increased consumer choices.  A new middle class of consumers rose as a jump in post-war births, better known as "baby-boomers", climbed in record numbers. The service sector outranked the product sector.  More Americans could afford college and therefore a greater number of workers held jobs in the white collar sector rather than the blue collar sector.

In 1952, President Eisenhower created the Small Business Administration in place of the Small War Plants Corporation to help the small entrepreneur compete with big business. He believed guidance was a better model for success.  Today, the SBA is federally funded to provide an array of programs to help assist small enterprises.  This includes contract procurement,management assistance, and business outreach services to women, minorities and veterans.
This includes contract procurement, management assistance, and business outreach services to women, minorities, and veterans.

In the wake of economic growth, business, no matter how big or small, makes the world go 'round. 

AGIS | PO BOX 448 | MAGNOLIA, TX 77353
Dear Insurance Agent... started out as an ask-the-specialist session for consumers needing clarification without the jargon.  Get the secrets, how-to's, and what-nots in insurance, home-owning, and small business topics. 
06/06/18 The Story of Your Insurance Matrix Life

05/20/18  10 Things You Should Never Keep From Your Agent

05/16/18 Agent vs Do-It-Yourself

03/01/18  How Your Website and/or Social Media Can Kill Your Chances of Business Insurance Coverage.

06/25/17  American Entrepreneural Spirit: Ideas to Independence  

U.S. Open for Business 

And the Self-Made Shall Inherit 
the Earth 

Gotta Love A Tool: 5 Tips from an Equipment Thief 

Small Business Still the Fabric of American Society 

10/20/16Safety is Key When Prepping Home for the Holidays 

10/06/16About Hurricanes and Storms For Texas Newcomers 

08/02/16Vicious Dog List 

07/01/16How Insurance Helped the U.S. Prosper: Colonial America and Benjamin... 

03/22/16Gotta Love A Tool: 2016 Cool Gadgets 

01/07/16Steps to Take When You Are Involved In An Auto Accident Occurs

12/28/1510 Things to Look for When Searching for An Apartment.

10/22/15Prepping Your Home for Fall Season Is Claims Deterrent 

09/2015  Personal Liability Affects Everyone.

08/2015  Does My Car Have Flood Coverage?

08/2015  High Risk Drivers...

08/2015  Preventing Small Business Claims.

08/2015  Myths and Facts: Business Liability...

04/2015  7 Car Shopping Strategies. 

12/2014 A 1970s Christmas Flashback

11/2014  Not-So-Bright Mishaps...

10/2014 10 Sure Dumb Ways to Increase Your Insurance Rates.

09/2014  How the USA Prospered: Ships Sailed to the New World

08/2014 The Rise of Lloyds of London

08/2014 Why Every Size Business Needs General Liability

08/2014  How to Make Your Home Ineligible for Coverage...

08/2014 10 Famous Hollywood Cool Cars...

08/2014  Gotta Love A Tool: History of Tools: 2 Great Empires

08/2014 Gotta Love A Tool: 10 Important Tool Wonders

07/2014  What I Learned About Business and TV Reality

02/2014  What the Stars Insure.

11/2013  How Fried Turkey Won...