Do You Need to Update Your Homeowners’ Insurance Policy?

Homeowners should always look at their insurance policies as a work in progress. With every major change in life — you need to update your coverage. Should you fail to make these critical changes, you could be left without the right level of protection. Learn about some of the life events that require an update.

Performing Home Renovations

A significant renovation adds to the overall value of a home. Whether it’s a new bathroom addition or a kitchen update, the fact remains the same. Whenever the value of your home increases, the coverage limit of your policy should also increase. If you’re unsure if your property update requires a policy change, a professional at Kale Insurance can help you determine if it’s necessary.

Making Big Ticket Purchases

Homeowners’ insurance policies offer two-fold coverage in that they protect the structure of your home, as well as your personal belongings. To ensure the coverage limits of your household goods, you should consider increasing the policy whenever you buy big-ticket items, such as new appliances, expensive furniture, or high-value electronics.

Having Children

Lincoln, NC is a great place to raise a family. When you add to your family, you want to contact an insurance agent to update your coverage to ensure your child’s name is listed on the policy. Additionally, should you add a pet to the family, you may need to update your coverage to ensure you have ample liability coverage. 

Follow these tips to ensure your home is protected, no matter what changes life brings. Contact Kale Insurance for all your policy needs. We’re happy to assist Lincoln, NC homeowners like you. 

Commercial Insurance for Small Business Owners: Workers Compensation

Many employers in the Lincolnton, NC area are required to carry workers compensation coverage. The experts at Kale Insurance want to ensure that all neighboring businesses are in full compliance with the law.

  • Under North Carolina law, employers must fulfill certain duties when confronted with an injured employee. This includes promptly reporting the injury to their insurance carrier. If the injury causes the employee to miss more than one day of work or incurs more than $2000 in medical fees, the employer must file a form with the Industrial Commission within five days of the occurrence.
  • Employees have responsibilities under the law as well. They are required to seek medical attention immediately and report the accident to their supervisor promptly. It is also suggested that injured workers present employers with a written notice of the event. This can be a simple, handwritten note that details the time, place, and circumstances surrounding the injury. 
  • Workers compensation provides funds for medical payments and living expenses to injured employees. However, these policies benefit employers too. A generous workers compensation package can help lure highly-skilled candidates to your company. It may also be possible to package your employee health insurance plan with your workers’ compensation coverage. This can significantly lower your out-of-pocket insurance costs. Your policy also provides funds for legal defense if an employee sues over a workplace injury.
  • A lot of the paperwork, scheduling, and reporting for workers compensation cases in North Carolina can be done online. This makes the entire process easier, faster, and more accurate.

The experts at Kale Insurance can help you understand how your Lincolnton, NC area business is affected by workers compensation laws. Contact us today for a personalized review of your coverage needs.

When Can a Life Insurance Claim Be Denied?

When you purchase a life insurance plan, there is no guarantee that the insurer will pay your beneficiaries the claim – and it is vital to know how this can happen. Usually, insurance companies have to study the terms of the policy carefully before they can pay claims. This helps them ensure that the policyholder has fulfilled their obligation. In case the carrier realizes some policy terms were violated, your beneficiaries may get nothing.

Are you wondering how your life insurance claim can get denied? Kale Insurance serving the Lincolnton, NC area will help you understand the terms of your life insurance policy to avoid such eventualities. Here are some top reasons why your insurer can reject a claim:

Misrepresentation of material on the policy

If the insured passes on during the first two years after the life insurance plan became effective, the insurer can contest the policy. They will check if information like income, age, weight, criminal history, hobbies, and so forth are reflected in the application while reviewing the plan. If there is any misrepresentation of information, the company may deny the claim.

Nonpayment or lapse of premiums

A life insurance plan can only be active when the premiums are paid. The policy may lapse or be terminated when premiums aren’t made when due. Denied claims caused by policy lapses are common, and insurers often use this reason as an excuse to deny paying a claim even when they need to pay it. Being a beneficiary, you need to know whether the insurer sent the insured premium-due notices to the right address and if the policyholder was clearly warned of the impending lapse.

Failure to name a beneficiary

If no beneficiary is named in the policy document, the insurer can deny paying a life insurance claim. Each policy has certain provisions regarding the person who should get the payment in case there isn’t a designated beneficiary. Such claims result in denial of lengthy delays since the insurer will be trying to find the right person to pay the benefits to.

There are many reasons insurance companies can deny a claim. Kale Insurance, serving the Lincolnton, NC area, is here to answer any questions you may have concerning life insurance coverage and the claim process. A denied claim doesn’t mean you are out of options provided you get accurate information from the professionals.

How Umbrella Home Insurance Can Protect Your Dependents in Lincoln NC

If you have a spouse or children living at home who are dependent on your income, umbrella insurance for your home can protect them if you experience a catastrophic loss. Ask your Kale Insurance agent how umbrella insurance can enhance your estate planning efforts in Lincolnton, NC and throughout the state.

What is Umbrella Insurance?

Umbrella insurance is supplemental coverage that sits on top of existing policies. It’s not a substitute for home, auto, or other policies. However, if you experience damages that exceed those policy limits, umbrella insurance helps you avoid financial devastation due to major claims, lawsuits filed against you, and other risks.

If you need additional liability insurance on your estate, this protection takes over once your regular insurance has maxed out. It can also cover you for any events specified in the policy, including libel, slander, false arrest, and liability on rental units.

When Does Umbrella Insurance Kick In?

When your home sustains damage that exceeds the limit on your homeowner’s policy, umbrella insurance kicks in to protect you and those who depend on you. If you have large assets, including your home, umbrella insurance is highly recommended. This insurance helps safeguard you and your dependents against major claims and lawsuits. If you want to protect your wealth fully, umbrella insurance is useful for the following assets:

  • home
  • auto
  • boat and other recreational assets

What Does Umbrella Insurance Cover?

Here are just a few incidents that can be written into your personalized umbrella policy:

  • Injuries that occur on your property
  • Damage sustained to your property
  • Damages awarded against you in certain laws suits
  • Personal liability

If you think your homeowner’s policy won’t cover reasonable risks to your home, it’s time to think about an umbrella policy.

Ask your Kale Insurance agent what umbrella policies could best fit your family’s needs. Call today to schedule an appointment for a quote to protect your Lincolnton, NC home.

Commercial Insurance Offers a Financial Shield Against Attacks On Your Digital Assets

North Carolina business owners enjoy the benefits of a diversified economy that includes significant operations in financial services, energy, information technology, furniture retail, and textiles. In fact, North Carolina is home to the third-largest financial center in the nation. Carolina businesses that operate in financial services and retail are particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks, which aren’t usually covered under standard commercial insurance policies. At Kale Insurance, we provide all types of insurance products to North Carolina businesses. We also generate policies in South Carolina.  

While businesses within North Carolina’s burgeoning tech industry strive to stay ahead of hackers to protect computer systems against data breaches, the cybercriminals sometimes get through. They damage your brand by exposing your customers to identity theft and fraud. A call to our agents at Kale Insurance in Lincoln, NC can help to mitigate the risks that are associated with these types of attacks on your digital assets.

The Rise of Cyber Theft

Data breaches that are caused by hackers are more than just cute pranks. According to a recent study, cyber attacks cost companies millions on average each year. Some recent examples of well-known companies that have experienced costly data breaches include Equifax, Dun and Bradstreet, and UNC Health Care.

Recent Cyber Attacks

The credit agency giant Equifax was the target of one of the most significant hacking incidents to date. Cybercriminals exposed Equifax’s customer records, which included full names, email addresses, dates of birth, addresses, credit card numbers, driver’s license numbers, and social security numbers. The Dun and Bradstreet data breach exposed corporate customers’ records to anyone with internet access; CVS Pharmacy and Walmart were among the companies that had exposed data. While healthcare is a relatively second-tier sector in the Carolinas’ economies, the data breach at UNC Health Care that exposed patients’ personal contact and healthcare information was significant.  

Final Thoughts

Data breaches like the ones that are described here can result in disrupted operations, costly lawsuits and identity theft on a large scale. At Kale Insurance, we provide all types of commercial insurance products to Vale and Lincoln, NC businesses as well as those in the surrounding areas. Call us today about insurance that specifically protects digital as well as physical commercial assets.

Why Should You Increase Your Life Insurance Amount After Each Child You Have?

Here at Kale Insurance, serving the greater Lincoln, NC area, we recommend increasing the amount of your life insurance policy after the birth of each new child in your home. This is a standard recommendation made by most insurance companies. However, many people wonder why it is recommended that they increase their life insurance policy amount after the birth of each new child. Here are a few of the reasons why. 

Your Household Expenses Increase With Every New Child

One of the reasons why your life insurance policy should increase after the birth of a new child is because your household expenses increase when a new child is added to your family. Another person living in your home causes your water and power bills to increase. You also have to feed and clothe this new child. As such, your household expenses increase. If you were to pass away, these expenses would be passed on to your spouse. If your life insurance policy didn’t increase after the birth, there might not be enough money to provide for all of the members of your household comfortably. 

Your Future Expenses Increase With the Birth of a New Child

The second reason why your life insurance policy should increase after the birth of a child is that your future expenses may now be higher thanks to the new child. Do you plan on sending your children to college or paying for their weddings? If you haven’t increased your policy limits after each birth, there may not be enough money to provide for these events in the future if you pass away. As such, increasing the limits is important, so your kids have everything you dream of providing for them, even if you pass away. 

If you have recently added a new child to your household, but have yet to increase your life insurance amount, now is the perfect time to do so. Contact Kale Insurance, serving the greater Lincoln, NC area today and let us help you determine what amount of insurance you need. Reach out to our agents for more information.

Do I Have to Buy Home Insurance?

While there is no law or regulation on the books in Lincoln, NC that requires you to purchase home insurance, when you take into consideration all the risks of home ownership, your agent at Kale Insurance recommends that you consider it essential when buying a home for your family.

Your Mortgage Company will Probably Require Insurance

If you financed the purchase of your home, it is likely that your bank will require you to buy a home insurance policy.  They want to ensure, if you should ever default on the loan, that the property maintained its value and the bank would be able to recoup their loss.

Home Insurance also offers Protection Against Liability

However, your insurance policy doesn’t just pay for a new roof when a hurricane blows through town; it also protects your wallet when somebody is injured on your property. Even a broken ankle can be expensive when somebody falls down the icy front steps of your home after a seasonal storm. Your home insurance policy can take care of those medical bills without tapping into your savings accounts.

It’s Your Biggest Investment

Just like your bank, you sank a big chunk of your wealth into the house. While paying a relatively low bill each year, if your home suffers significant damage due to fire, vandalism, or other natural catastrophes, you will be able to afford to fix it. While it is called home insurance, it helps you make sure that you can continue to save for retirement and the kids’ college even when disaster strikes.

So, while there is no law on the books, it is still a smart idea to get a home insurance policy for your Lincoln, NC property from Kale Insurance. Give our friendly agents a call today and try our online rating tool for a quote.

How to Use Commercial Insurance

Owning a business is something of a real pleasure and privilege. That being said, it can also be a terrible burden that leaves you very stressed and hoping for answers. For those that do own a business, it is important to have the right insurance to help protect you and your business so that you can make the most of the work that you put in. For those that live in the Lincoln, NC area, the agents with Kale Insurance can help you find the right policy to protect all aspects of your business.

Uses of Commercial Insurance

So how do you use a commercial insurance policy? For starters, you want to make sure you evaluate the entire value of your business, the building, the inventory, how much liability insurance you want to take out, and how much coverage you want for your employees. Getting a commercial policy together should not take forever but it should certainly take longer than filling out an online form for car insurance.

You want to be as specific as possible with commercial insurance so that you are not caught in any loopholes that leave you lacking coverage. In most cases, your business is going to be a great deal of your income and a large investment, and you want to make sure it is covered as fully as possible. Take the time to talk with an agent and to really delve into the specifics of your business so that you can be sure you are fully covered.

Your business is a huge part of your life and protecting it is essential. For those in the Lincoln, NC area, the agents with Kale Insurance can help you create the perfect policy. Work with our agents to plan out your commercial insurance and find out what benefits it can bring to your business.

Can I still get life insurance if I have health problems?

When you are searching for a health insurance policy in Vale, Denver, or Lincoln, NC, you probably have a lot of questions about how much it will cost and what kind of protection will be provided through Kale Insurance. If you don’t qualify for a government subsidy, you will need to purchase outright a policy which provides full coverage.

Health Risks

In the past, health insurance providers were allowed to charge more or even deny coverage altogether if people had health problems. Pre-existing conditions like high blood pressure, asthma, or even cancer could be a bar to someone receiving health insurance.

Starting in 2014, anyone with a pre-existing condition must be treated the same way as someone who has no known health problems. This means that people cannot be discriminated against because of their health, so they will be able to afford medical care.

Many insurance companies do offer incentives to both healthy people and people who have health problems. With all this said, an insurer is unlikely to deny you life insurance because of your health. There may be stricter rules to the policies, but you can still obtain term, whole, or universal insurance. Speaking with an agent about your problems while looking for a policy can benefit you in many ways and allow the agents to help find you a policy to fit your needs.

For high-quality insurance, call Kale Insurance in Lincoln, NC today and talk to one of our friendly representatives. We can work with you to provide a life insurance policy to protect you and your loved ones from the financial struggles that come with an untimely passing.

5 Tips for Winterizing Your Home

While your Vale or Lincolnton, NC home will likely not have to face the brunt of a blizzard, winter weather will bring blustery storms, pelting rain, and icing situations. Kale Insurance, a provider of reliable home insurance, recommends taking a few simple steps to ensure your most valuable investment can outlast everything that mother nature has up her sleeve. 

1. Trim Your Trees: Cracked and dangling limbs can become airborne during high winds, knocking down fences and denting your car. Remove dying branches also helps the living tree survive through the cold months.

2. Check Your Shingles: While snow and ice aren’t common in your neighborhood, a heavy rain followed by a freeze can lift up loose roof shingles and open a path into your home. A small bag of nails will help your roof last another year while preventing water from entering your home.

3. Replace Broken Glass: Cracked windows offer no insulation from winter’s cold or even next summer’s heat. They are also a welcome sign to vandals and thieves. Fix up those broken panes to create a more secure home that is also more energy efficient.

4. Fix the Garage Door: There is no better place to protect your car from hail, ice, and snow than a cozy garage. But you probably won’t use yours if the door is stuck or dangling from a broken track. For a small amount of money and some hard work, you can protect your daily transportation and avoid the headache of replacing it after severe weather damages the roof and windshield.

5. Replace Your Lightbulbs: Let your neighbors know you are home by replacing the blown bulbs on your front door, over the garage, and by the kitchen entrance.

For more tips on keeping your budget on track and updates on your Vale or Lincolnton, NC home insurance policy, give us a call at Kale Insurance and make an appointment with your friendly agent today. Also, try our online rating tool for quotes on home insurance.