On The Open Road: Don’t Be Closed Minded About Your Need For Comprehensive Auto Insurance

Some  People Love To Drive On The Open Road 

We want you to keep an open mind As you drive the highways and byways of your world. The agents at Walker-Winter Insurance in Columbia, MO can tell who the driving enthusiasts are as soon as they walk into the office. It is just important that you keep an open mind about whether or not comprehensive auto insurance will be of benefit to you. 

Comprehensive auto insurance includes insurance of your vehicle when you have not been involved in a collision. Many cars are damaged while they are still parked. Cars are damaged when they are in storage. Just like any item that finds itself on the open road things can happen that were not accounted for. If you love your car and you love the ability you have to drive it to make that experience worry-free.

Impactful occurrences can happen to your vehicle that was not considered when your basic policy was underwritten. 

Many Americans are of the mindset that the least amount of insurance is the best amount of insurance. That line of thinking is completely out of line with what insurance is, to begin with. Insurance protects us from financial liability however it also gives us peace of mind. 

If you want a more comprehensive reassurance about your protection then comprehensive auto insurance is something you should consider.

Auto insurance should be uniquely tailored to the individual who owns and drives the vehicle. At Walker-Winter Insurance we serve the Columbia, MO and surrounding areas with a plethora of insurance products delivered by a professional knowledgeable staff. Call our office today to learn how a comprehensive auto insurance policy can be just the ticket for a peaceful ride.

 

Are Umbrella Insurance Benefits Taxable?

Understanding how umbrella insurance actually works as a secondary safety net if a primary insurance policy is not enough, it’s rare for an umbrella coverage to actually be used in Columbia, MO. However, it does happen, and either a policy holder or a party whose damage is addressed can both be in the situation of actually receiving a benefit. When this happens, the issue of tax exposure comes up.

Generally, the Internal Revenue Service, better known to folks as the IRS, treats insurance benefits as non-taxable. That’s because the primary nature of an insurance benefit is to restore a person for their loss versus make a profit. However, not every insurance benefit is exempt. For example, damage to a primary home that exceeds an original homeowner’s insurance plan and then gets covered by an umbrella plan is not taxable. Both meet the definition of restoration for a loss, per Walker-Winter Insurance. However, where the property is an investment second home, things start to get a bit murky. In another example, a party sues for damages due to a slip and fall that includes both medical cost damages as well as pain and suffering and punitive damages. The homeowner’s umbrella insurance plan then provides a settlement for all three. The portion beyond medical expenses and dealing with the ambiguity of mental suffering could be taxable.

Where the policyholder is the one receiving the insurance benefit for losses covered, generally these are not taxable as the recovery is replacing an expense the policyholder has suffered. The financial math is considered a wash by the IRS versus a gain, which would otherwise make the payment taxable from what Walker-Winter Insurance has seen. And keep in mind too that just because the IRS doesn’t consider a benefit taxable, it doesn’t mean a given state agrees. State laws for Columbia, MO can vary a bit from Federal tax law.

Benefits of Health Insurance

Health insurance is a type of insurance coverage that offers reimbursement in case an insured party is hospitalized. Generally, health insurance policies are categorized into two main forms: fixed benefit-based and indemnity-based. But, does health insurance offer other benefits? This brief post will outline other benefits that you will enjoy when you take a health insurance from a trustworthy insurer in Columbia, MO like Walker-Winter Insurance.

Healthcare insurance policies offer essential health benefits that vary from one plan to the next. So, the following services should be covered by your health plan.

  • Emergency services
  • Ambulatory patient services – this is the outpatient care you get when you aren’t admitted to a hospital.
  • Pregnancy, maternity, as well as newborn care
  • Hospitalization – includes overnight stays and surgery
  • Prescription drugs
  • Laboratory services
  • Substance use and mental health disorder services and behavioral health treatment. This includes psychotherapy and counseling.
  • Facilitative and rehabilitative devices and services – the devices and services assist people with disabilities, chronic conditions, and injuries to recover or gain physical and mental skills.
  • Chronic disease management and preventative/ wellness services
  • Pediatric services, including vision and oral care. Note that adult vision and dental coverage are also vital but not mandatory.

Other benefits

Health insurance plans also need to include birth control and breastfeeding coverages. These health benefits are the standard minimum requirements for all health insurance plans, though the services covered in each category may vary depending on your Columbia MO insurer. Some policies even provide other additional benefits like:

  • Vision coverage
  • Dental coverage
  • Medical management programs designed for certain needs like back pain, weight management, and diabetes.

These are the benefits you’ll enjoy when you get your health insurance policy. At Walker-Winter Insurance, we offer health insurance to Columbia, MO residents and provide all the details you need on health insurance.  Contact us today for more details.

Tips for Finding the Right Life Insurance Policy

Life Insurance can be very tricky, especially for people who have never purchased it before in their life. You not only want to make sure that you get the right amount of coverage to meet your needs but you also want to make sure that you have the right kind of policy in place. It can get tricky because there are different types of life insurance policies and not a single one that is all-inclusive. Use these guide from Walker-Winter Insurance, serving Columbia MO, to make sure you are getting the right policy to meet your needs.

Whole Life

Whole life insurance is a type of insurance that will last for your whole life. You pay for a lot up front and then after about 10 years or so, depending on the policy, you don’t have to pay for anything more and you still have life insurance. Because of this, it tends to be more expensive.

Term Life

Term life insurance is a type of insurance that only lasts for a set term. You pay a smaller amount in premiums for a set term, whether that be 10, 15, 20, or even 30 years. Once the term is up, you stop paying and no longer have life insurance.

As you can see, there are two main types of life insurance policies and within those umbrellas are other types of insurance that you can get for your coverage. It is always best to take a look at the two available and then work your way down from there. Once you know which main type you want to purchase, be sure to give us a call here at Walker-Winter Insurance, serving Columbia MO. We can help you find the right policy from there and will even get you a free quote to make sure it fits your budget needs as well.

Why Commercial Insurance is Necessary for Your Start-Up

A commercial insurance is certainly the best investment strategy for any business. Such insurance often provides coverage for you in the event of tremendous financial losses. It enables you to remain entirely afloat in the business world despite whatever vicissitudes of marketing that might decide to come your way. These could be in the form of unprecedented damages or legal issues such lawsuits.

What is a Commercial Insurance?

Commercial insurance can be entirely termed as a risk management strategy that covers offers a financial cover for you. Companies offering commercial insurance cover actually work for you in the docket of a risk manager such as the Walker-Winter Insurance in Columbia, MO.

Types of Commercial Insurance

Usually, there are three main types of insurance        

  • Liability Insurance

Just as the name suggests, this insurance cover protects you form any damages caused by your company to other external people or companies. They include lawsuits, customer complaints and any other damage directed to a third party.

  • Property Insurance

This type of insurance covers damages caused to your companies by external factors such as fire, floods and theft.

  • Workers Compensation Insurance

This type of insurance protects you against your own employees. They can file lawsuits against you or can get injured on the job.

These are the main categories of insurance covers. However, there are some other sub categories under each of the above mentioned classes.

Here is Why You Need an Insurance Cover

  • Important for Small Business

Are you contemplating on starting a business? Commercial insurance cover is very appropriate for small or start-up businesses.

  • All Your losses Are Covered

 With insurance cover, you can comfortably focus on core business issues without worrying about the loss.

There are several insurance companies available and each can help you appropriately with risk management for your company. However, when you are in Columbia, MO, you can consider visiting Walker-Winter Insurance for help in case you have any questions pertaining to matters insurance.

 

Home Insurance and Common Coverage Exclusions to Be Aware Of

Homeowner insurance policies are standard regarding the coverages they provide. The most common homeowner insurance policy will cover your home for the most basic of incidents.  If a tree falls on your home, for example, damage coverage is present. There are other instances, though, which are not covered. Serving the Columbia, MO area, Walker-Winter Insurance helps to educate insurance buyers on common exclusions.

Common Policy Exclusions

There are a few common homeowners insurance policy exclusions to be aware of. They include ordinance or law, earth movement, as well as water damage.

Ordinance or Law

Ordinance or law is a common policy exclusion that many homeowners are not aware of. The exclusion would prevent you from filing a claim if the home had to be demolished, or construction was required, to bring the home up to code.  

Earth Movement

Earth movement would prevent you from filing a claim due to a loss as a result of earthquakes. Sinkholes, landslides, as well as mudflows, would also be excluded here. Any damages caused by earth movement are typically excluded.

Water Damage

If you live in a flood zone, you need flood insurance to bridge the gap on your homeowner’s insurance policy. Floods, as well as back-ups from the sewer, are all excluded with a traditional homeowners insurance policy. If water seeps through the foundation, that would also fall under the water damage space.

Being well aware of typical homeowners insurance policy exclusions is essential. Awareness of these exclusions can help you ensure you are adequately covered.  You may be able to purchase a supplemental piece of insurance coverage to bridge the gap the exclusion presents. Walker-Winter Insurance, serving the Columbia, MO area, can assist in education and supplemental homeowners insurance.

Am I Required to Have Renters Insurance in Columbia, MO

Renters insurance is not required for either tenants or landlords in the state of Missouri, but it is still a cost-effective way of protecting one’s assets. Unfortunately, many renters will not bother with this type of insurance since there is the assumption that the landlord will have their own insurance policy. Landlords will rarely take out renters insurance for their tenants unless it is disclosed beforehand. If you are interested in some affordable renters insurance policies in the Columbia MO area, consult with Walker-Winter Insurance.

Why Should a Renter get Insurance?

Since renters are responsible for their own personal items in the event of theft of destruction, renters insurance is a worthy investment. Coverage amounts can reach the tens of thousands while the monthly bill will be less than one’s internet bill. In fact, the monthly premium can be lowered if the renter takes care of the house by installing security systems, fire sprinkler systems, and other deterrents.

Keep in mind that damage caused by sewer backups, floods, or earthquakes are typically not covered. There may only be conditional coverage for expensive jewelry or collectibles. Liability coverage if someone is injured due to the tenant’s fault is also covered.

As a landlord, should I cover the tenant?

Even though the landlord is not responsible, advertising the fact that you include renters insurance can help you seal the deal to get long-term leases. It can also help to avoid potential legal disputes during disasters, even if you are in the right.

The investment for renters insurance is well worth it for both parties, especially considering it is an affordable type of insurance. If you are considering a renters insurance policy in the Columbia, MO area, give Walker-Winter Insurance a call.

Additional coverage available for your RV in Columbia, MO

Besides liability insurance, there are additional coverage types to protect you and your RV from uninsured motorists, off-road damage, and even roadside assistance. How can you determine what additional policies are right for you? Keep reading to learn about the types of coverage available in Columbia, MO. Also, if you have any questions, contact your Walker-Winter Insurance agent today for more information.

What is RV Insurance?

RV insurance includes multiple types of policies designed to protect your RV from different types of risks. Some coverage is optional, but important in order to fully cover your RV, not just when it’s on the road. Luckily, your Walker-Winter Insurance agent can help you customize your coverage according to your needs.

Types of Coverage

RV coverage covers the same things auto insurance does and also has additional policy options. 

Liability insurance protects you from the cost associated with bodily injury and property damages that result from an accident you caused. Most states require it for all vehicles on the road.

Comprehensive pays for damage to your RV due to a non-collision event. It includes fire and theft.

Collision pays for repairs or replacement if your RV is damaged in a collision.

Additional RV Insurance Options

Vacation liability covers costs when another person is injured or suffers property damage. It only includes damaged or injury resulting from your RV being used for vacation purposes. 

Roadside assistance has you covered if your RV breaks down and you have to pay for a tow and associated expenses.

Contact Us

Put your mind at rest regarding insurance coverage before your next vacation begins. Contact your Walker-Winter Insurance agent today for more information or to set up a quote for RV insurance in Columbia, MO.

 

What is Included in My Minimum Missouri Motorcycle Insurance?

When you bought your bike and earned the motorcycle operators endorsement on your Columbia, MO driver’s license, you had to show proof of financial responsibility or an approved motorcycle insurance policy from a reputable company like Walker-Winter Insurance. If you signed up for the cheapest policy, it probably only met the minimum coverage required. Let’s check out what those are and how they protect you.

Liability Minimums as Required by Law

Your minimum motorcycle insurance policy simply covers damage to other people’s property and any injuries they might receive in an accident that you caused. These minimums are:

  • $50,000 per accident for bodily injury
  • $25,000 per person for bodily injury
  • $10,000 per accident for property/vehicle damage

If their medical bills are higher or their car suffered more damage, you may be left on the hook for the balance.  This doesn’t cover any damage done to your vehicle or to help pay for your medical expenses.  You know how much you paid for your bike, just how much money do you think it will take to fix their car?  It is likely to be higher than $10,000.

Fortunately, you have options.

Opt for Collision and Comprehensive for Greater Protection

It is possible to raise your minimums for liability to help protect your savings account.  You can also extend your Walker-Winter Insurance policy to include comprehensive and collision which will make sure that your bike will get fixed no matter who is at fault in an accident, or even if you were wrecked out by a deer running across the road.

When shopping for motorcycle insurance in Columbia, MO, have an in-depth conversation with your agent to make sure that you are really protecting your ride, your health, and your savings accounts when you encounter trouble on the road.

 

 

Who Needs Health Insurance?

Due to the significantly rising cost of Medical Care, having access to health insurance is extremely important. For those that are in the Columbia, MO area, one of the best options would be to get a health insurance policy.  There are several reasons why all people need to have health insurance.  

Better Care

The first reason why you should have health insurance is that you will receive better overall care. Those that have health insurance tend to be more regular with their visitations with their physicians. This can help to ensure that health issues are caught in there earlier stages. Furthermore, those that have health insurance will also be approved to see specialists and other care providers that require you to have insurance.

Reduced Costs

Another reason why you should have health insurance is that it can lead to reduced costs. If you frequently go to the doctor, have prescriptions, or need another type of care, health insurance will get you a subsidized rate. This could end up saving you thousands of dollars per year. 

Legal Requirements

Over the past few years, the health insurance laws have changed significantly and today all adults are required by law to carry health insurance. Those that do not have access to it through an employer, are able to get it through one of the public markets, sometimes at subsidized rates. Those that do not carry health insurance could potentially be hit with a fine of more than $600.

Due to the complexity of health insurance policies today, those that are in the Columbia, MO area should consider meeting with an insurance agent before getting into any plan. The Walker-Winter Insurance Company is a great place to start when you are looking for guidance.  The Walker-Winter Insurance Company can help anyone better understand their insurance needs and help them get a good policy.