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By: Ann E.
Bill Herridge - State Farm Insurance Agent
Our family trust has a liability policy issued by State Farm through Bill Herridge. When the mailing address was changed State Farm mistakenly cancelled the policy because someone thought that there were multiple locations and that the ownership of the property had changed. The letter from State Farm was unclear about why the action was taken. Bill called State Farm, determined the problem, went to the tax office and found that the assessor had wrongly changed the name of the property owner from the trust to the trustee, went to the clerk's office and got a copy of the trust, took it back to the assessor and got the ownership corrected and then got the policy reinstated. All of this was done on a policy that has a premium of less than $100 and generates a miniscule commission. Great service and way beyond what would be expected. I'm especially grateful since I live in California and all of this would have been difficult for me to do long distance.
Tips & Advices
Insurance agents will often try to "upsell" on various extra products that may be useful for certain people, but are generally excessive for the average consumer. Stick with basic plans that cover as much as you need without any additional costs. For example, if the annual cost of your auto insurance is 10 percent or more of the total value of your car, drop all but the most essential coverage. This is especially applicable if the car you drive is older and could be replaced with savings. Otherwise, you are paying for insurance that will never actually benefit you in the event of a serious crash.
Yes. Even after you've chosen a plan and started paying into it, consider looking around again when it comes time to renew the policy. Consider using an independent agent when searching for a new insurance policy. While traditional agents can still find a good deal, independent agents can choose from a variety of providers and tailor your coverage to your specific needs. The Internet has also made comparison shopping easy. Potential customers can often get free quotes online very quickly.
Send your insurer a claim form for each beneficiary in the plan, as well as a certified copy of the policyholder's death certificate. With the proper information, life insurance claims are generally straightforward. Problems may arise if the policyholder has died within two years of opening the policy. In this case, an attorney may be needed to settle the claim.
In the case of damage, take pictures of the affected area as soon as any safety or health emergencies are resolved. Take note of what happened and all the relevant circumstances and report to your insurer as soon as possible. If any of your possessions were damaged, use an inventory of your important assets and make note of this in the claim. Once an adjuster has made their own report, review it for accuracy.
If you're involved in an accident, you need to call the police right away and have them document the situation. You can file a claim upon obtaining the police report. It's also a good idea, if possible, to take your own notes to record: what happened before the accident, the date and time, traffic signs in the area and road conditions. Also get the other driver's name, address, license plate number, and insurance information. Even photos taken with a cell phone camera can help the claims process. Once you have this documentation, call your insurance company right away.

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