February, 2023 | Boizelle Insurance Partnership

So, You Think You Don’t Need Life Insurance? Think Again.

When you’re young, you feel untouchable. You feel as if nothing can stop you. You feel invincible. Because you feel this way, you’re far less likely to be thinking about life insurance. I mean, it makes sense. The problem isn’t that you don’t have life insurance while you’re young. The problem is that you’re not taking advantage of an enormous opportunity that will surely disappear by the time you’re old, gray, and wrinkly. Life insurance is much cheaper when you’re young because insurance companies know that you are far more healthy. So, they are far more willing to give you a cheaper rate to pay.

Everyone has a life story. Everyone faces different challenges at different times in their lives. Some people may face incredible physical challenges early in life, others later in life. The point is we all face them at some point or another. Insurance companies know this and anticipate them. You need to be in the know as to how insurance companies work and think.

We don’t know what life will bring us in the future. We really don’t even know what is going to happen on a day-to-day basis. All we can do is anticipate, prepare, and act accordingly. No one can know if they are going to crash head-on with an 18-wheeler, leaving them paralyzed from the waist down. And no one can know with 100% certainty that they will not develop some form of cancer during their lifetime. The point of bringing this up is not to scare you. It’s to educate you on why it’s important to get life insurance while you’re young.

If you are elderly and develop some form of cancer, it’s too late. Insurance companies may agree to give you a life insurance policy. But, don’t be surprised if the cost is astronomical. If you have children, don’t you want to be able to protect them? Life insurance can help with that. Life insurance can help pay for your child’s college education.

If you have a mortgage on your home, have kids, and you die unexpectedly, guess what? Your kids are going to have to pick up and carry that heavy burden. A life insurance policy can help in that case. When you die, your family is already faced with a terrible loss and tragedy. Why would you want to compound the loss by burdening them with the financial stress of a home mortgage?

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Vlogging: Is It Dangerous?

Texting while driving is a big “no-no”. It requires you to take your eyes away from the road in front of you. Any task that requires you to do this is not something you should be considering while operating a vehicle. The same goes for vlogging. What’s that, you ask? A vlog is a blog in video form. It usually involves mounting a camera to your dashboard to record videos. While doing this still affords you the ability to be hands-free, you should be weary.

The truth of the matter is that it’s not your hands not being free that’s the problem. It’s your brain. While you may not be touching your phone, your brain is still engaged in a phone call, thus still taking your direct attention away from the road and surrounding traffic.

Different Types of Distractions

Manual – Manual distraction is taking your hands off the steering wheel.

Visual – Visual is looking at the camera instead of the road.

Cognitive – Cognitive distraction is “performing” for the camera instead of focusing your attention on driving.

Avoid Getting Distracted

Here are a few tips to prevent yourself from becoming distracted while you’re behind the wheel.

Put your phone in a safe driving mode to reduce distractions. For instance, turn off notifications and set up GPS prior to leaving your house. This way, you’ll get turn-by-turn directions, so you can keep your hands on the steering wheel and avoid having to look down at your phone.

Listen to a radio show or a podcast. You will be able to start alert and your brain will tune it out when it needs to.

Consider carpooling with another driver so you can share the driving duties and have a second pair of eyes that can spot things you may otherwise miss.

Play verbal road games. Such games as “I Spy” will force you to keep your eyes on what’s in front of you, preventing you from moving your eyes away from the road.


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What You Should Consider When Downsizing

As we navigate through life, the choices we make can have a profound effect on how our life plays out. While we do the best we can to anticipate the future, we cannot possibly know everything about what the future holds. We can be doing everything right our whole lives—eating healthy, exercising, enriching our hearts and minds with positive messaging through books or meditation. Then, one day, while we’re driving along, we don’t see another car speeding through a traffic light that slams directly into our driver’s side door, leaving us paralyzed from the waist down. That’s a pretty grim circumstance to talk about, but it does happen to people.

What is downsizing?

Downsizing is essentially moving into a smaller home than you had previously lived in. One major implication of downsizing is that you now have less space to store your belongings that you’ve accumulated, perhaps, over the past few decades. This can be extremely challenging and stressful.

When is the right time to downsize?

Not everyone is going to have the same reasons for downsizing their home. Perhaps all of your children are fully grown, have families of their own, and have their own places that they call home. If this situation applies to you, it would make sense for you to downsize your home because you may not need the empty space that your loved ones once used.

Another circumstance people sometimes find themselves in is their financial circumstances have changed. Maybe they’ve lost their job and can longer afford to live in the same home. So, to make matters more manageable for themselves, they downsize to a more affordable place.

If you find that your mobility has decreased over the years, homes with stairs, narrow hallways, or small bathrooms may present certain challenges that you’d much rather avoid if you could. Downsizing your home could present an opportunity to live in a home with a single floor.

If you’ve retired and have grandkids that you’d like to see more often, but they live in a different state, you may be presented with another opportunity to downsize your home.

What are some advantages to downsizing?

Access to equity – Given the situation that real estate prices are currently at an all-time high, you may have an opportunity to use the situation to your advantage. If you are a homeowner, you could cash out all of the home equity when you decide to sell. And, since you’re buying a smaller home, you may end up with no mortgage whatsoever.

Lower bills – Smaller homes tend to use less energy. This means lower gas, water, and electric bills. Who doesn’t appreciate paying less?

Less maintenance – Smaller homes have less square footage which means less space. You won’t need to spend as much time cleaning and maintaining your home. If you move to a condo or an apartment, your condo association or HOA will handle outside maintenance for you.

More accessibility – When you downsize, you may have the option to choose a home that is handicap accessible. It may come in handy in the years to come.

What are the disadvantages to downsizing?

If you’re an older adult, downsizing may be a good decision for you. However, before you make that decision, consider these cons:

Home availability – If it’s a seller’s market, this means that the inventory of available homes is lower. This means that those choosing to sell their homes during this time can list their homes at much higher prices. Additionally, since there are less homes available, those that are available may sell quickly.

Adjusting to small spaces – As is the case whenever you make a change in your life, there tends to be an adjustment period. Moving to a smaller space is no exception.

Leaving memories behind – No matter the size of your home, you will always have memories of significant events throughout your life. Maybe you’re moving out of the home in which you first decided to start a family. That undoubtedly is going to take an emotional toll.

Moving costs – Moving oftentimes requires a lot of upfront costs. Hiring movers, paying for storage space, or transportation costs should be considered, so make sure you have some money in savings to cover those costs.

How to Prepare for Downsizing

If you’re ready to downsize your home, follow these steps to make the transition into a smaller living space run more smoothly.

Fix up your home – Before selling your home, you’ll want to fix any blemishes. That means fixing leaky faucets, cracks in ceilings or walls, removing stains from carpets, etc. You’ll have a better chance at selling your home if you do these things and you may even be able to boost the selling price a bit.

Declutter – Go through your possessions and discard of anything you won’t be needing in your new living space. Keep anything you use frequently and donate, sell, or give away everything else.

Limit legacy gifts – While holding on to old family heirlooms has great sentimental value, you have to ask yourself whether or not your children value these items as much as you do. If you have old photo albums, consider converting digitizing them.

Measure your furniture – One of the worst scenarios you can have when moving into a new space is having your furniture not fit. Make sure you take measurements of your furniture pieces as well as measurements of your new living spaces to ensure that everything will fit nicely.

Call us! – There are several factors that go into the process of determining how much your homeowners insurance will cost. Just because you’re moving to a smaller home doesn’t necessarily mean that your insurance for your new home will cost less. Give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you through the process!

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Ignoring This Could Spell Disaster for You as a Homeowner!

As a homeowner, underground service and utility lines on your property are your responsibility. Any damage to said lines is your responsibility. The alarming truth about this is the cost of these repairs can be substantial.

A typical homeowners insurance policy does not cover damages made to underground service and utility lines. If you want to be protected from a potentially serious financial hit, you’ll want to add this coverage to your homeowners insurance policy as an endorsement.

What service lines might run under my property?

Service and utility lines on the outside of your home include:

  • Water and sewer pipes
  • Cable, internet and electric wiring
  • Natural gas pipes
  • Propane pipes

How service lines become damaged

Damage to service lines can be caused by a number of different things. Some of the common causes include: tree roots, animals, an artificial electric current, the weight of vehicles pressing down or lines, rust, and wear and tear.

In addition to having to repair the service lines, the process of doing so could bring about additional costs. For example, a homeowner may be required to dig up landscaping, driveways, and sidewalks in order to gain access to these lines. Any outdoor property such as trees, shrubs, or even walkways may need repair after this process is completed.

Good news: Help for homeowners

If you have your homeowners insurance with ERIE, something called an ErieSecure Home insurance policy will grant you the opportunity to purchase additional protection that covers the cost of repairing service lines as well as related excavation costs, outdoor property damage and even loss of use.

Remember what we said earlier about having to foot the bill of costly damage to your underground service lines? Even if you didn’t physically cause the damage yourself, you would still be legally responsible for repairing these lines. This added coverage will pay that bill for you.

What’s covered?

Service line coverage is available when you add either the Plus or Select bundle to an ErieSecure Home policy. Coverage will be applied for physical damage to service lines i.e. cables, internet and electrical wiring, and damaged natural gas, propane and sewer pipes.

We’re here to help you, so give us a call at 301-948-2010 with any questions about this amazing coverage!

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