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What to know BEFORE you shop for a car

Confused about what is and isn’t required when buying or leasing a vehicle? What are you legally required to buy? Ohio law requires drivers to meet financial responsibility requirements, which can be done by purchasing liability insurance. In addition, when leasing or financing a vehicle, those contracts require you to have physical damage insurance coverage.  Beyond that, here are answers to common questions asked about dealer options.*  

Is my car automatically covered by my current auto insurance policy?

Usually yes, but the length of time coverage is provided on a newly acquired auto (typically 4 to 14 days**) varies based on the types of coverage and whether the vehicle is a replacement or additional vehicle. To be safe, contact us about your policy. A newly acquired auto will receive the broadest coverage provided for vehicles already on the policy. However, if your current policy does not have Collision or Other Than Collision coverage, the automatic extension of these coverages to the new auto is usually limited to 4 days.** Though not legally required, you may want to take your insurance policy or ID card with you.

What about loan/lease GAP insurance?

In an accident, your auto policy pays you the current market value of the car, but you could still owe much more to the finance company. That gap, or amount you still owe, is covered by loan lease Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP) insurance. Though not legally required, some new car leases have GAP coverage built into the contract. Ask the dealer if you have the option of deleting the coverage from the lease and purchasing it as an endorsement to your existing auto insurance. Doing so could save you a few dollars to a couple hundred dollars. We can get you estimates now.

Is an extended warranty mandatory?

No, and you don’t have to buy an extended warranty before you leave the dealer. A warranty may not be necessary for you, so contact us. But if you are intent on getting a warranty, know that purchasing from the dealer is not your only option.   

What about credit life and disability?

Credit life and disability policies sold by auto dealers are not required. They protect the lender if you cannot make monthly payments due to death or disability. You are insuring the unpaid balance of the loan. If that is all you need, the dealer policy will suffice. However, it may be wiser to use that money to increase coverage on your own life or disability policy instead of tying it to the lease or purchase of a vehicle.

Our advice? Before you car shop, contact us. We’ll help you get prepared and informed so you don’t end up paying extra for something you neither want nor need.

Know your rights!

Joe’s family was excited to leave the auto dealer with a new car. But there was a problem. The salesman said the dealer wouldn’t allow any vehicle to leave the lot without proof that it was insured. What was Joe to do?

The salesman said Joe could buy coverage from a licensed insurance agent at the dealer and take the car home that night. Joe signed up right there, despite higher rates. He thought he had no choice.

Did he? After taking the car home, Joe called his independent insurance agent and found out he was covered by his current policy. It covered the newly purchased car for 14 days, so he did not need to purchase the dealer’s insurance policy. Joe also has a right to cancel that new policy at any time.  

The moral of the story is to talk to your agent and know your rights.

If you’re thinking of car shopping, contact us to get the facts and estimates on coverage. Whether you are financing or paying cash, we can help.

Roby Foster Earick Miller Insurance is proud to be a part of the Professional Independent Agents Association of Ohio, Inc.

* Many of these same principles apply for purchasing a boat, RV, travel trailer or motorcycle.
** Information from Insurance Services Office, Personal Auto Policy, 2005 edition.

The positive difference our independence makes for you

If you’ve followed our page for any amount of time, you’ll notice that we’re proud to be an independent insurance agency. 

Unless you’ve had some familiarity with Roby  Foster Miller Earick Insurance or a similar business, those words might seem vague or might not mean much to you. So we thought we’d take today’s blog and outline what having an “independent insurance agent” means to you.

Here are five points of difference that we can offer right away:

It Actually Is All About You

For you the consumer buying insurance is not as easy as a trip to the grocery store – despite what some national ad campaigns would have you believe. Your entire policy centers around the needs of either one person, you or one unit: your family. That means your policy ought to be adequate to cover all the things you and/or your family need to protect and be priced at a level that is worth every penny.

For our agents to earn your business, they have to not only offer something better than the competition but they have to build an effective policy that you clearly understand. 

The Best of the Market:

The Ohio Insurance Agents estimates that an independent agent represents an average of eight insurance providers. To do this, they have to be deeply versed in a wide range of options that those insurance providers offer; not just the confines of a singular brand or their specific products. 

Additionally, our agents undergo extensive training that not only meets but exceeds industry standards. This makes them not only excellent within their industry but it makes them extremely effective in attaining you the best coverage the market has to offer.

We Do The Research for You

Most consumers, and you might be one of them, start their search with a smartphone or computer.

While the internet offers great access to information, the floodgates of excess information can be quickly overwhelming. As great as technology is, it still cannot always answer the questions we actually answered. Just ask Siri.

From the first meeting, our insurance professionals sit down and build your policy from the best of a wide range of options the insurance market has to offer.  We have a large bank of information and knowledge to draw from. This can save you time and headaches immediately. 

Excellence in Service

We take great pride in actually answering the phone when you need us. In fact, we answer the phones 24/7.

We know life doesn’t stop and disaster doesn’t wait until business hours. We’re a local company who cares about this community. That means we’re committed to knowing you by your name and treating you like you are one of us.

Give It A Try?

If this sounds even slightly like the difference you’ve been looking for, we’ll let you give it a try for free. Just click out the quote button at the top of our website. One of our team members will get back with you promptly for a free quote on the difference RFME can make for you.

Don’t just take our word for it, this video from Ohio Insurance Agents talks about the difference provider independence makes: 


Entrepreneurs Are Ohio’s Most Selfless Group of Professionals

What would you say if I told you that there were people in Ohio that were spending hours upon hours studying you?  They want to know what you eat, what you drive, where you work, what your hobbies are, how large your family is, and even what kind of underwear you have.  Sound creepy yet?  I’m not talking about some crazy stalker who waits in the bushes or somebody wishing your harm.  On the contrary, these people are spending hours upon hours each week and risking their finances to contribute to your happiness.  They are the brave and few souls known as entrepreneurs. 

Entrepreneurs make it their business, literally, to determine how best to serve you, your family, your friends, and your employer.  An entrepreneur is a creature that can only survive by caring about what you want.  Think about it. Pretend that I am an entrepreneur who owns a pizza shop.  I personally hate pepperoni so I decide not to serve it to my customers.  How long will I be in business if I continue this way?  Not very long because all my potential clients will go to other pizza places that will serve pepperoni.  As an entrepreneur, I must identify what you want and I must provide it.  Entrepreneurs spend enormous amounts of money to find out more about what the preferences of their consumers are so that they can provide them with those preferences.  

You may be thinking to yourself that an entrepreneur is only in business to make money though.  Therefore, they are not selfless in their supposed quest for my happiness or comfort.  First, I would say that we are all in need of money to some extent in order to survive.  I don’t think that it is too unreasonable for a person providing a good or service to ask for money in exchange and I think you would agree with that and expect the same for yourself.  Second, I would point out the fact that money is simply the byproduct of an entrepreneur’s selflessness.  They make money only because they sell products or services.  They only sell products and services because people are willing to buy them.  People are only willing to buy something that meets their needs, specifications, or requirements.  Thus, the money an entrepreneur makes is only due to their willingness and efforts to identify and provide what consumers want.

So why am I talking about these entrepreneurs?  Why do you care?  Good for them that they are selfless but so what, right?  You may care because small businesses are responsible for 99.6% of all businesses in Ohio for 2017.  This number is actually up slightly from 97.9% in 2016.  Small business is defined by the Small Business Association as a private business employing no more than 500 employees.  The latest statistics show that Ohio small businesses account for 46% of its private work force which is over 2 million people.  Over half of those employed by small businesses are employed by small businesses that are composed of fewer than 100 employees which accounts for approximately 1.5 million employees.  

The definition of an entrepreneur is a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.  In the latest statistics of 2014 small businesses took out loans from banking institutions in Ohio for the combined amount of $2.3 billion.  This means that not only are entrepreneurs creating jobs but they are investing in Ohio.  This is money for expansions which create secondary effects by calling for contractors to build and service the expansion.  This money is used for buying out other competitors which often times allows the employees of the acquired business to remain employed.  This money may go for buying equipment, company vehicles, real estate, and the list goes on with the purchase of goods or services that in turn allow other people to have jobs. 

This breed of businessmen in Ohio is not just some small town, low key, meek and mild creature, I might add.  They operate internationally as well as globally. 

Entrepreneurs owning small businesses were responsible for 23.7% of Ohio’s $46.7 billion in total known exports according to the International Trade Association.  They think large and they are able to execute their ideas.  Keep in mind that an entrepreneur may often times learn as they go because they don’t know of anybody to ask their questions or concerns to once they get to a certain level.  Meaning, somebody might be able to give them sound advice when they are working out of their basement at home.  Fewer people, however, would be capable of advising them on how to ship their product globally, market to those countries, and account for the embargo or import/export taxes as well as the currency rate exchange.  These are brave souls who risk a lot to provide other people with what they want most.                                

Lastly, you may think to yourself that you know or work for an entrepreneur who is most certainly not selfless.  He or she treats their employees badly and seems to think it is always the customer’s fault.  There will always be these people in any community of people.  In the community of Ohio entrepreneurs I would call these selfish folks the outliers.  The beauty of capitalism and free market for entrepreneurs in America is that it cares about the market even if you don’t.  The one thing it cares about is money and if you don’t have enough of it then you will go out of business.  In the second quarter of 2015 there were 5,299 small businesses started which created 23,315 new jobs in Ohio. These startups are counted when at least one employee is hired for the first time. In that same period of time 5,223 exited the market resulting in 18,195 jobs lost in Ohio and an exit occurs when businesses go from having at least one employee to having none and remain closed for at least one year.  That is not to say that all of these who went out of business were selfish people or failures.  These numbers could compose of successful mergers or buyouts, retirements, shifts in the market, shifts in the economy, and other factors.  Undoubtedly though there were some bad apples in this bunch.  The kind that couldn’t keep employees because they paid too little or offered fewer benefits and had to do so due to lack of concern for their customer’s needs. 

In the end it is important that we support our small businesses.  If you are a small business owner yourself try to do business with other small businesses.  They say that the average sphere of influence that an individual person has is approximately 350 people.  That means that if you interact with one person your actions could potentially be echoing to 350 more.  So it may cost you $20 more to do business with a small business rather than a larger business but how much will it cost you in possible referral business?  I doubt that Staples or Wal-Mart will introduce you to potential clients like Gary, John, or whoever else may own a similar business in your area would.  If you are a consumer try to buy local.  I know that Amazon is great because they bring it to your door.  I get the fact that larger companies order in larger quantities and therefore can give you a product at a lower cost.  That cost, however, is often negligent and puts money into pockets of people you will likely never meet.  Instead, put your money in to the pockets of people from your community so they will reinvest it right back in to your community.  Who are these entrepreneurs?  They are the person you go to church with.  They are the person you see at the gym.  They are the person setting next to you at the bar.  They are the selfless few who rely on the deserving many for their success and existence.

Getting married? It is time to look at your insurance

Marriage is one of those major life events that triggers a number of changes to your finances and responsibilities. It also changes how insurance companies consider covering you.

Historical data and statistics show married couples take on lower risk and file fewer claims. In the context of insurance, that can mean a number of immediate changes to be considered upon receipt of your marriage license.

Under One Roof

There’s strength in numbers and that’s often the case with possessions when two individuals become one legal entity. The amount of items owned increases. You might begin by reviewing your current dwelling policy. In this review, you want to make sure that your policy would adequately replace your household and/or the items within it.

Typical additions to a newly married couple’s household include new jewelry, new tools, household items, appliances and other new possessions from wedding showers and wedding receptions. Together, the value adds up quickly. Those wedding gifts and purchases might be significant enough to raise the level of insurance you need.

If you are renting, that could be a matter of making sure your renter’s insurance covers the loss of items. For homeowners, that means reviewing your homeowner’s policy to make certain it will cover the cost of repairing/rebuilding the home and replacing items within.

A look in the garage

As you move under one roof, that includes taking a look at what’s in your garage, i.e. your auto insurance. A number of items must be considered when determining your auto rate, but married couples – especially those with good driving records – might find it advantageous to combine auto coverage.

Some questions we always recommend considering:
What exactly does our policy entail? 
Should an accident happen, will our policy cover other people’s injuries? 
What about our injuries? 
What if we’re hit by an uninsured vehicle?

Accounting for tragedy

As your new life together begins, this topic is certainly not one that is pleasant to think about; but as with any risk management, the worst-case scenario is an important consideration.

Life insurance policies are all unique, like the people they protect.

Will your funeral expenses be paid for?
Will your spouse be provided for?
Will your children’s future be secure?

Putting benefits in place to bring comfort to surviving family members is a proactive and rewarding step. You can fully enjoy the best day or your life knowing the worst day is already accounted for.

The RFME Difference

Even in the midst of the joy surrounding your wedding, we know the number of changes and new things coming your way can be complex and overwhelming.

With each couple who comes through our door, we work to eliminate confusion because we believe you deserve the most secure coverage possible. After meeting with us, we ensure that you leave with a clear understanding of your new policy and peace of mind that accompanies it.

Give us a call and let your RFME agent find the perfect plan for your new life together.

Roby Foster Miller Earick Insurance

(419) 524-8411
44 Sturges Avenue
Mansfield, OH 44902

(By Appt Only)
(740) 362-2334
30 Northwoods Blvd.
Suite 300

Columbus, OH 43235

Benchmark Insurance Solutions

(614) 662-1010
80 South Columbus Street
Sunbury, Ohio 43074

Langhurst Insurance Solutions

121 S Myrtle Ave
Willard, OH 44890

Integrity Benefit Solutions

44 Sturges Ave
Mansfield, Ohio 44902

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