Frequently Asked Questions
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Why do I need insurance?
People buy insurance for three simple reasons:
- To protect themselves, their families, and their businesses from financial loss.
- To help them recover from a financial loss.
- Because, in some cases, the law requires it.
With so much bad publicity, how do I know which companies to trust?
If you do your homework you can find a good insurance company. There are some suggestions here for determining whether an insurance company deserves your trust. It takes some effort, but it can be worth it.
But if you feel like you have to become an expert in insurance just to figure out which insurance companies you can trust, there is an easier way: Find an independent insurance agent you can trust. A good independent insurance agent can be the expert instead of you. And, because independent agents are not tied to any one insurance company, they are better equipped to help you compare different companies and recommend the plans that will work best for you. Here are some tips for finding a good independent insurance agent.
Can I get good insurance if I have a bad credit rating?
Yes. Most insurance companies regard bad credit and other financial issues risk factors. But, if you are a good insurance risk, Affordable Family Insurance can probably offer you a policy at a good price, even if your credit is less than perfect.
Can I get good auto insurance if I have a bad driving record?
Insurance companies offer the lowest rates to the best drivers. But you can still get a good policy through Affordable Family Insurance. And, Affordable Family Insurance can add a rider to your policy that will forgive accidents you might have in the future, to keep your record from worsening.
Can I get good insurance if I’ve made claims in the past with other insurance companies?
Losses are only one of many factors in determining whether you are a good insurance risk. When you meet with your Affordable Family Insurance agent, tell us about your losses. We will personally talk to the underwriters at the insurance companies we represent to find out which ones consider you an acceptable risk. The benefit of working with an independent agency like Affordable Family Insurance is that we work with several insurance companies and can find the coverage that is best for you.
How much does insurance cost?
How much insurance costs depends on many things.
- The insurance company – Companies can vary widely in the rates they charge. Often different insurance companies charge different rates for identical policies. This is why it is important for you to shop carefully. If you work with an independent agency like Affordable Family Insurance, you can easily compare the rates of different insurance companies. Click here for tips on how to choose an insurance company.
- Your coverage – The more protection you want, the more expensive your insurance policy will be. You can reduce your cost of insurance by taking on more of your risk yourself, rather than asking the insurance company to take it all on for you. There are two ways to take on more of your own risk: (1) Buy less insurance protection or (2) Request a larger deductible. See How insurance works.)
- Your riskiness – When you buy an insurance policy, the insurance company is taking the risk that you will never use it. Companies charge policy holders enough to be able to pay out claims and have some money left over to stay in business. So, the more likely you are to make a claim, the more the company will charge you for taking the risk of insuring you. See How insurance works.)
What discounts are available?
Insurance companies will offer discounts for two reasons:
- To encourage people to buy insurance from their company. Some insurance companies will offer discounts to people who belong to certain associations or alumni groups. Some offer discounts to people who buy multiple policies.
- To reward people who have taken steps to reduce their riskiness. For example, maintaining a good driving record, having airbags and automatic seat belts in your car, and installing anti-theft devices are some examples of the things you can do to earn discounts from auto insurance companies. Being a non-smoker and installing a home security system can earn you discounts for homeowner’s insurance. (See How insurance works.)
- To reward people who can help the insurance company save money. So, you will find some companies that will give you a discount for agreeing to manage your payments over the internet, rather than receiving statements in the mail, or for paying your annual premium all at once, rather than stretching it out to several payments.
Not all insurance companies offer the same discounts. So it is a good idea to work with an independent agent who works with an number of insurance companies and can compare discounts in the same way that he can compare pricing and coverage.
What payment options are available?
Most insurance companies will accept credit cards, automatic withdrawals from your bank account, or payments through the mail. Affordable Family Insurance encourages its clients to pay electronically to reduce the amount they spend on postage.
How do I make a claim?
Whenever someone or something covered by your insurance policy is injured or damaged, your first question should be not how to make a claim but whether you even should make a claim. Every claim that you make increases your riskiness in the eyes of your insurance company. (Learn more about risk here.) When you call your insurance company with a question about whether or not you should file a claim, your inquiry becomes a part of your insurance record, even if you end up not filing a claim. Keeping your insurance record clean is an important way to protect yourself from rising rates.
That’s why your first call should be, not to your insurance company, but to your Affordable Family Insurance agent, even if the incident wasn’t your fault. He will help you decide whether you should make a claim. If you do decide to make a claim, he will tell you what information needs to be collected, prepare you for your conversation with the insurance company’s adjuster, and alert you to any bumps you might encounter during the claims process.
How can I be confident that my claims will be paid?
Most people don’t ask how well insurance companies pay their claims, but they should. The companies represented by Affordable Family Insurance have a solid reputation for paying claims.
Whether a company pays its claims well depends upon its commitment to customer service and its financial stability. If an insurance company is not financially healthy, it will not be able to pay the claims its policies promise to pay. Even the healthiest company can find itself overwhelmed when a large-scale disaster, such as an earthquake or tornado produces severe damage and lots of claims. All of the insurance companies Affordable Family Insurance represents are A+ rated, which means that they are financially strong enough to withstand many claim requests.
Why should I buy insurance through Affordable Family Insurance?
One good reason to call Affordable Family Insurance is that we are an independent insurance agency. This means that we are more likely to be able to find the best insurance policy for you because we sell policies for more than one insurance company. When you buy insurance through an independent agency like ours, you can easily compare policies from different companies, and you can change insurance companies without changing insurance agents. You can find more information on independent insurance agencies here.
But why, of all of the independent insurance agencies out there, should you call Affordable Family Insurance? Quite simply: Affordable Family Insurance speaks your language.
- We know how to listen – Affordable Family Insurance knows that the only way we can find the best policy for you is to understand what is important to you. So we listen to you. We find out what you worry about, what you care about, where you place the value in your life, how you want to protect your family.
- We won’t confuse you – You shouldn’t have to have be an expert in insurance to be able to have an intelligent conversation with a good insurance agent. Your insurance agent ought to be able to speak to you plainly without confusing you with insurance jargon. The insurance agent should be the expert, and you ought to be able to trust his expertise, so that you can make smart decisions.
- We get you – Affordable Family Insurance agents are your neighbors. We are tuned in to the matters of your daily life.
The best reason to call Affordable Family Insurance is that there are few insurance professionals in Wisconsin who know more about insurance than our senior independent agent (and company president) Dennis Bertz. Dennis has worked in this industry for over forty years, and is committed to the ongoing education and training of every person in his office – including himself. That means that the information you get from your Affordable Family Insurance agent is current, and the recommendations you get are smart.
What types of insurance policies does Affordable Family Insurance offer?
Affordable Family Insurance offers property, liability, life, and disability policies.
- Property insurance protects policy holders from financial loss when something they own is damaged or destroyed. For automobiles, property protection is called collision protection.
- Liability insurance protects policy holders from financial loss when something they own does accidental damage to someone else.
- Life and disability insurance provides financial relief when a member of the family dies or is no longer able to work because of illness or injury. For businesses, key person insurance protects the company in the event that an essential person dies.
Affordable Family Insurance helps individuals, families, and businesses find the protection they need for:
- Motorized vehicles — Protection if your vehicle is damaged; or if someone is hurt in an accident involving your vehicle
- Automobiles, trucks, motorcycles
- Boats, snowmobiles, jet skis
- Commercial fleets, business-owned cars and trucks
- Homes — Protection if your home or possessions are damaged or destroyed by fire, flood, sewer backup, theft, or vandalism; or if someone is hurt on your property.
- Houses, condominiums, townhouses, apartments
- Vacation homes
- Garages, storage sheds, fences, patios, sidewalks, retaining walls, driveways
- Personal property such as jewlery, artwork, firearms, credit cards, collectibles, electronics
- Businesses — Property and liability protection
- Business property, possessions, and vehicles
- Employee bonds
- Retirement funds, annuities, investments
- Key person
This is only a partial list. If you are interested in insurance for something not listed here, please contact us.
How did Affordable Family Insurance choose which insurance companies to represent?
Affordable Family Insurance represents insurance companies that we believe will serve our policy holders the best. They are all highly rated and financially stable.
We make sure that the companies we represent offer a broad variety of options to choose from, so that we can find the best coverage and rates for each customer’s situation and needs.
How knowledgeable are the agents at Affordable Family Insurance?
There are few insurance professionals in Wisconsin who know more about insurance than Dennis Bertz, the founder and president of Affordable Family Insurance.
Dennis is committed to the ongoing education and training of every person in his office – including himself. He insists on working only with companies that provide excellent education and training for the independent agents that represent them, so that they can make the best possible recommendations to our customers. Agents are supported by ongoing training by our insurance companies’ field agents. And Dennis works closely with all Affordable Family Insurance agents to ensure that they are up-to-date with changes in the law, in the industry, in the companies they represent, and in the companies that are competing for your business.