Long Insurance Services of Kernersville, NC


  Contact : 336-992-5664

All posts by Duane Long

ERIE broadens relief package to Customers

Erie Insurance CompanyDear ERIE Customer,

This pandemic has significantly impacted all of our lives. At Erie Insurance, we continue to consider what we can do to make a difference for our Customers and communities. Most of you aren’t driving; you’re staying at home doing the right thing to protect yourselves and your neighbors.

That’s why we’re announcing that we will provide $200 million in dividends directly to personal and commercial auto insurance Customers in our 12 states and the District of Columbia. This immediate relief represents about 30 percent of your monthly auto insurance premium for a two-month period or 5 percent of your annual premium.

You can calculate your dividend using this simple equation: Annual premium as of April 1, 2020, multiplied by .30 / divided by 6. You can find your annual premium on your most recent auto insurance declarations page. For personal auto insurance Customers, you can access your declarations page through your Online Account at View Policy Details.

Pending regulatory approval, you should receive a check from us in mid-May 2020. There is no need for you to call ERIE or your Agent to request the payment. Checks will be mailed directly to Customers with auto insurance policies in force as of April 1, 2020.

This announcement is in addition to the $200 million in rate reductions we announced earlier this month, pending regulatory approval. Together these efforts provide a combined $400 million in immediate relief and longer-term rate reductions for ERIE auto insurance Customers.

We recognize that many of our Agents and Employees have been doing great charitable works in their local communities. They’re feeding first responders and healthcare workers, purchasing gift cards from restaurants and retailers to thank those on the front lines and so much more. In support of their efforts, ERIE is also giving nearly $2.5 million to our Agents and branch offices to help further their generosity. Among many other initiatives, we’re also funding the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund that supports critical non-profits right here in our hometown of Erie, Pennsylvania.

For 95 years, we’ve been doing the right thing by our Customers. During these unprecedented and uncertain times, please know you can call us and your Agent to help with issues related to payment, billing and changes in coverage. We stand by our Customers in times of hardship and catastrophe. It’s who we’ve been since 1925 — a company that’s always there for you — always aiming to be Above All in Service®.

If you have questions about ERIE’s Customer relief package, visit erieinsurance.com/support-center/COVID-19.

Sincerely,

Tim NeCastro
Chief Executive Officer
Erie Insurance

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Duane Long - Monte Long

Erie – Customer Pandemic Relief

Erie Business Insurance

Erie Business Insurance

Dear Valued Customer,

After careful consideration, ERIE has decided to lower personal and commercial auto rates in order to provide additional relief to our Customers. We estimate the total rate reduction impact to be approximately $200 million throughout the 12 states and District of Columbia where ERIE operates.

While ERIE’s pricing philosophy has always centered on providing exceptional protection and service at the lowest possible cost, lowering rates during this challenging time is simply the right thing to do. Pending regulatory approval, rate changes will vary by state and will be based on individually purchased policies and coverage options. Once approved, premium adjustments will take effect at the time of renewal.

The rate reductions announced today are in addition to the relief ERIE is already providing to thousands of Customers, including individualized payment flexibility, paramedical exam waivers for life insurance applicants and philanthropic support to COVID-19 rapid response funds across our communities.

Flexible Payment and Billing Options
ERIE understands that each Customer’s situation is unique, and we continue to offer flexibility to Customers facing hardship.

ERIE Agents can help Customers with updating coverages. Agents and ERIE’s Customer Care teams can also assist with delaying payment dates, adjusting installments, changing pay plans and waiving penalties and fees. Customer Care can be reached at (800) 458-0811 with questions or to discuss these options.

Customers can also access their personal lines and life policies, view current and previous invoices, pay their bill and monitor a claim through Online Account.

Making Life Insurance Attainable
For a limited time, Erie Family Life is offering applicants a path to life insurance coverage without the requirement of a paramedical exam. The option to waive the exam is aligned with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance to maintain social distancing and prevent the spread of COVID-19. The waiver provides Erie Insurance Customers the ability to obtain life insurance without in-person interaction. The offer is available for Customers up to age 55 and policy face amounts up to $500,000.

Gift Card and Gift Certificate Reimbursement Coverage
Pending regulatory approval in several states, Erie Insurance is adding gift card and gift certificate reimbursement coverage to the company’s ErieSecure Home® policies. The additional feature, included at no additional cost, would reimburse Customers for remaining balances on gift cards that can no longer be used at independently owned and operated local businesses due to business closures. There is no requirement that the business be insured by ERIE. While the additional protection was introduced to help promote buying new gift cards to help small businesses with their cash flows while they are closed, it is not a temporary addition and will become part of ERIE’s base ErieSecure Home policies.

Support for Community COVID-19 Relief Efforts
Erie Insurance provided a lead gift to support a new COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund recently established in Erie, Pennsylvania. The COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund will directly support 501(c)(3) organizations in Erie County, Pennsylvania—the location of our headquarters—that are providing support to those in need, administering care for children, serving elderly populations who are most vulnerable and helping those suffering hardships and job loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ERIE is also supporting our Agents in their philanthropic efforts across our footprint.

During these unprecedented times, we stand ready to provide the best service possible for you and all our Customers. Thank you for putting your trust in us.

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Life Insurance Beneficiary

How to Choose a Life Insurance Beneficiary

Life Insurance BeneficiaryLife insurance is important to protect your family’s financial future.  Who you name as a beneficiary can be just as important as your initial decision to purchase life insurance. It’s a big job, which is why it’s important to choose the right person – someone who’s trustworthy and knows what matters most to you.

Your local ERIE agent is here to help you determine the right beneficiary (or beneficiaries) for your unique situation. For general answers to common questions, keep reading.

WHAT IS A BENEFICIARY?

A beneficiary is a person or entity designated to receive the funds from your life insurance policy in the event of your death. A beneficiary can be a person, business, trust, charity, church or even a school. And an insurance policy can have more than one beneficiary, as well.

When selecting a beneficiary, a policy owner should select someone with “insurable interest” in the life of the insured. Insurable interest generally means that the beneficiary will incur some type of loss should the life insured pass away.  Those with insurable interest often include, but are not limited to:

  • Spouses, domestic partners, fiancés or common law spouses
  • Divorced spouses (if there is a financial dependency, such as children or a property settlement specified in a divorce decree)
  • Parents
  • Legal guardians with permanent custody
  • Grandparents
  • Children
  • Siblings
  • Business partners (Learn more about key person life insurance and business continuation)

WHY DO I NEED A BENEFICIARY?

Naming a beneficiary lets your insurance company know who should receive the policy benefit upon your passing. At Erie Family Life, we require our policyholders to name a beneficiary when purchasing life insurance.

If a beneficiary is not named, your family could have to go through probate court before receiving any insurance funds. This process delays the benefit payment, while subjecting your loved ones to a complicated and costly legal process as they grieve.

HOW TO CHOOSE A BENEFICIARY


Choosing a beneficiary depends largely on how you’d like your life insurance to be used upon your death. If you have young children, naming a spouse or close family member you trust as your beneficiary and memorializing your wishes may be one way to provide for your children’s care in your absence. Grown children could use the insurance benefit to help pay for college. And if you choose a charity, the funds will go toward a cause close to your heart.

In short, who you choose as a beneficiary is dependent on your values and lifestyle. Here are some answers to common questions about beneficiaries to help you make your decision:

  • What if my beneficiary dies?
    In the event you outlive your beneficiary, you should always call your insurance agent to update your policy. And ideally, you should always name a primary and contingent or secondary, beneficiary. Naming a contingent beneficiary makes it clear who should receive your insurance benefit if a primary beneficiary is deceased.
  • What if my beneficiary is a minor?
    If you name a minor as a beneficiary, you should also name a guardian – someone who can manage the insurance funds until they turn 18. If you don’t want to name a guardian, you can always name your estate or living trust as the beneficiary, then include instructions on how the insurance money should be used. But when it comes to estate planning and wills and trusts, you should consult a legal and or tax professional.
  • What if I don’t have any children?
    Your life insurance beneficiary should be a person or entity that you are comfortable naming as the beneficiary of your life insurance proceeds. If your beneficiary is a person, that individual should have an insurable interest in your life. An important part of choosing a beneficiary is making sure the funds are used in a way that honors your wishes.
  • What if I want to leave money to a charity, school, or church?
    Your local ERIE agent can help you determine a way to honor your charitable wishes while making sure your family is protected, too. If you decide to name a charity as a beneficiary, it’s recommended that the amount should be consistent with an established pattern of giving or support.
  • Can you choose a pet as a beneficiary?
    This isn’t as far-fetched as it may sound. Some people have left small fortunes behind to their pets. However, most insurance companies, including ERIE, won’t let you name a pet as a beneficiary. If you’re concerned about protecting your furry friends, name a trustee that will care for them after you’re gone.

WHAT DO I DO AFTER SELECTING A BENEFICIARY?

After you find the right fit, you can inform your beneficiary of their new role.. Here’s how to put them in the best position possible:

  • Discuss your policy. No one likes talking about death. But it’s important to have a conversation with your beneficiary. You may want to discuss who your insurance company is and where they can find your policies when you pass. You can advise your beneficiary of why you chose them and what your final wishes are. Be prepared if they suggest an alternative or need more information.
  • Update your information. When your funds are being distributed, any inaccuracy in policy documents can slow down the payment process. List your beneficiary with up-to-date contact information including an address, phone number and his or her relationship to you. This goes for organizations, too.
  • Review your policy frequently. As your priorities change, so will your policy. Review your policy at least once a year and after significant events like the birth of a child, death of a beneficiary, marriage or divorce. Update your beneficiaries as needed and make sure your funds are in the right hands based on your current situation.

PROTECT THE ONES YOU LOVE

Your life insurance policy should reflect what you value most. Choosing the right beneficiary is as personal as choosing the right coverage. That’s why we’re here to help you do both.

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Keeping Costs in Check

Keeping Costs in Check? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Cut Corners on Business Insurance

Keeping Costs in CheckOwning a small business can be one of life’s greatest balancing acts. Every day there’s the stress of managing employees, finding (and retaining) customers and monitoring cash flow. And on top of that, you’ll always feel the pressure to keep costs down — and productivity up.

For business owners looking to boost their bottom line, cutting back on insurance expenses can be a real temptation. After all, insurance premiums are usually a fixed cost. Especially if you’ve never had to file a claim, those monthly payments can feel like just another bill to pay.

But without adequate protection, an accident of any kind could be detrimental to the business you’ve worked so hard to build. Here’s why cutting corners on business insurance doesn’t pay off.

WHY IS BUSINESS INSURANCE IMPORTANT?

Like your personal home and auto policies, business insurance is meant to help business get back to normal after an accident, which can include lawsuits, property damage, injuries and more.

As a result, business insurance is a necessary expense. But that doesn’t mean it’s without return. Here are some benefits to having the right commercial insurance.

  • Stay legal. Depending on the state you operate in, certain policies may be required by law, regardless of your business’ size. For example, many states require a business owner to purchase workers’ compensation insurance, even if you only have a single employee. Your local Erie Insurance agent can help you understand  which policies are intended to comply with legal requirements and recommend the right policies for your industry and size.
  • Care for employees. As a small business owner, your employees are like members of the family. And you depend on them to help run your business. Workers’ compensation can cover medical care and lost wages if they’re injured on the job.  ERIE also offers risk control services to help policyholders identify and reduce risks.
  • Protect your business from the unexpected. Sometimes, accidents happen. The right insurance coverage can protect your business after something unexpected happens, such as if you become legally liable for injuries suffered by a customer after something like a slip-and-fall accident at your business.
  • Boost your reputation. Solid protection can instill confidence from employees and clients alike. Having coverage that’s in everyone’s best interest shows others that you’re willing to invest in their safety and well-being.
  • Qualify for contracts. Securing a new business contract often requires you to have minimum limits of certain business insurance coverages, especially if loans are involved.
  • Recover from natural disasters. Mother Nature can level businesses and make recovery seem impossible. The right coverage can help put your mind at ease and get you back to work. (Talk to a local ERIE agent about the specifics, since some coverage – such as flood or earthquake – is sold separately. Read more about protecting your business from natural disasters.)
  • Cover legal costs. Lawsuits are notorious for taking up time and racking up bills. Business insurance can help you prepare for interruptions and keep legal costs from emptying your bank account.

HOW TO CHOOSE BUSINESS INSURANCE

Finding the right coverage starts with assessing your needs and identifying the risks associated with your business. Insurance isn’t one-size-fits-all. That’s why ERIE offers a variety of business insurance policies tailored to meet your specific needs. Whether you own a restaurant, an apartment building or a construction business, our custom solutions are crafted from years of experience protecting businesses like yours.

Here are some of the most common business insurance policies, and why you shouldn’t overlook them:

  • Commercial auto insurance: Whether you rely on a single car or a large fleet of vehicles, commercial auto insurance is something many businesses need. This coverage can protect your business against claims for bodily injury and property damage caused by a covered accident arising out of the use of a company vehicle.
  • Commercial property insurance: Commercial property insurance helps protect the building or physical location you work in, whether it’s owned with property coverage or leased with liability coverage for damage that’s your fault. It could also replace damaged or stolen assets like equipment and product inventory. Some policies, like business interruption coverage, can even help recover any income you lost while your doors were closed due to a covered loss.
  • General liability insurance: While specific liabilities may vary from business to business, a general liability policy protects you against covered claims alleging bodily injury or property damage.
  • Employment practices liability: Legal issues stemming from alleged discrimination, wrongful termination and harassment are growing concerns for today’s small business owner. With Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPL) coverage from ERIE, you can choose the protection that best fits your needs to help cover the costs of a lawsuit — even if the charges aren’t true.
  • Business data breach coverage: Tech companies aren’t the only ones vulnerable to hacking and data breaches. Whether someone steals your customers’ credit card numbers or your employees’ tax information, it can wreak havoc on your business. If you’re a business owner data breach coverage is a worthwhile addition.
  • Workers’ compensation insurance: Often referred to as workers’ comp, this policy is legally required in most states if you hire employees. It helps cover medical care and lost wages for an employee who is hurt at work and cannot return.
  • Business umbrella insurance: No matter how careful you or your employees are, mistakes and accidents unfortunately do happen. That’s why many business owners make the smart decision to protect themselves with extra business liability insurance. Known as Business Catastrophe Liability at ERIE, this additional layer of coverage gives you extra protection and peace of mind above and beyond your commercial general liability, professional liability, business auto liability and employers liability insurance. (Check with your local ERIE agent about any sublimits that might apply.)

HOW TO SAVE ON BUSINESS INSURANCE

Many times, cutting back on your business insurance coverage can expose you to far more risk than the premiums you’ll save are worth. If you’re looking for savings, here are some tips to help keep costs in check without sacrificing protection:

  • Review your policy annually. Meet with your local ERIE agent to review your policy each year and make sure your coverage is up to date. A policy review can help ensure every asset is accounted for, and that every opportunity for savings is taken advantage of.
  • Maintain proper employee classifications. Employee class codes have implications, especially in dangerous work environments. Make sure that you and your team are accurately classified to save money and protect your workers.
  • Keep coverage during every season. During slow seasons, you might be tempted to let your coverage lapse. However, lapsed coverage leaves your business vulnerable and could lead to fees and higher rates. Every business’s circumstances are different, but generally speaking, it’s wise to consider year-round coverage.
  • Bundle your coverages. Many insurance providers offer savings when you purchase multiple policies with them. Take advantage of multi-policy discounts, get more comprehensive protection and ease the claims process by bundling business insurance with one provider.
  • Create a safer environment. Train and educate employees on workplace safety to help reduce rates and liabilities. (Bonus: ERIE even offers risk control services to help advise businesses like yours on ways to improve processes and safety protocols.)
  • Upgrade your security. Find weaknesses in your physical and digital security systems. Decreasing the chances of a break-in or data breach could help reduce payments and stop an incident from happening in the first place.
  • Pay annually. If you can afford the upfront cost, consider paying your insurance premiums annually. You’ll skip fees that might be associated with monthly payments, and you can relax knowing you have year-round coverage and one less bill to worry about.
  • Add endorsements. Endorsements can help address coverage gaps for sometimes pennies on the dollar. Ask your insurance agent which endorsements would benefit you the most or bundle well with your current policy.

PROTECT WHAT YOU’VE BUILT

You’ve worked hard to make your business what it is today, and you deserve someone who understands how to help you protect it. Your local ERIE agent is there when you need them most and can build a customized package tailored just for your business.Contact your local ERIE agent to find the coverage you need with nothing you don’t, all at a great price.

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New Year Resolution

7 Tips to Help Your New Year’s Resolution Stick

New Year ResolutionAs the year winds down, people will be making New Year’s resolutions—and lots of them. This year, many Americans will make a New Year’s resolution to get fit, stop smoking, learn French, stress less and onward and so on.

And yet…

Anyone who has witnessed a crowded January gym slow to a trickle by February knows that many resolutions just don’t stick. Some studies have reported that as few as 8 percent of people actually succeed in keeping their resolution.

So, how can you be among the few who see their promise through? Here are a few ideas to make it go right.

TIPS FOR KEEPING YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION

  • Make a mini resolution. Who says you have to run a marathon or model your home after Martha Stewart’s? There’s nothing wrong with making less ambitious, but more achievable, goals like running a 5K or organizing your most out-of-control closet.
  • Be specific. Lots of people fail because they make resolutions that are too general or too difficult to measure. Examples include “get healthy” or “spend more time with my spouse.” Instead, vow to “Walk an extra 20 minutes every day” or “Schedule a weekly date night with my spouse.”

    Related: 5 Quick Ways to Make Your Home Safer This Year 

  • Plan, plan, plan. Maybe you have a big goal like “start a business.” If so, you’ll have more success if you plot out the many steps it takes to make it a reality. Buy a goal-setting journal or download an app to break down your plan by month, week and day. (And if you do want to start that business this year, learn more about business insurance – it’s essential for protecting your investment of time and money.)

    Related: A Simple Guide to Business Insurance for Startups and New Businesses

  • Take it public. Some people feel that they’re more likely to keep a New Year’s resolution when they tell others. Still, others prefer to keep it private – and that’s OK! If you’ve been keeping your resolution to yourself the past few years but haven’t seen results… consider giving this strategy a try.
  • Find a buddy. A friend who shares your New Year’s resolutions can provide a massive dose of motivation.

MORE ADVICE FOR THE NEW YEAR

Want to take a different approach? Then you might consider some unconventional methods to your resolution.

  • Consider a disincentive. On Stickk.com, you can have your credit card charged each time you fall short of your goal. You can direct the money to go anywhere — but you might consider sending it to an organization you detest. (Two ideas include a political party you’d never support or a university that’s the arch rival of the one you attended.)
  • Make a resolution to enjoy and protect what you already have. Perhaps you recently invested in something big, like a new home or a renovation project. If so, take the time to enjoy what you already have before thinking ahead to the next thing you need or want.

That’s where it helps to have the right insurance. After all, insurance is designed to protect the things you’ve worked hard to achieve and that matter most to you.

At Erie Insurance, we have a genuine enthusiasm for our customer’s successes. Whether you’re renovating your home, starting a family or changing direction in life, we’re eager to offer our encouragement and expertise.

See what makes our home insurance different
 or find a local ERIE agent in your neighborhood who can give you a customized quote.

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Parking Lot Accidents

How Does Insurance Cover Parking Lot Accidents?

Parking Lot AccidentsParking lots can be crazy places. Whether you’re at the mall, the grocery store or even just grabbing a quick coffee… all those cars coming and going can up anyone’s chances of being in a parking lot accident.

Which may lead you wonder: How does insurance cover parking lot accidents? Let’s walk through a few common scenarios.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I HIT SOMEONE ELSE’S CAR IN A PARKING LOT?

Accidents happen. That’s why having the right auto insurance can give you peace of mind.

If you do hit a car in a parking lot, here’s what to do next:

  • Don’t leave the scene. If you drive away without telling anyone, that’s considered a hit-and-run. You could face a whole other set of legal issues if a security camera or witness spots you in the act. So do the honest thing and stick around.
  • Get out of harm’s way. Even a simple fender-bender can block traffic or scatter broken glass. Make sure you’re a safe distance from anything dangerous and be mindful of the flow of traffic. If needed, put your hazard lights on to alert nearby drivers.
  • Try to locate the car’s owner. Ask a store employee to page the owner of the car over the loudspeaker.
  • Leave a note. It’s the right thing to do… and potentially even the law. Not leaving a note is considered a hit-and-run in the vast majority of states, even if the damage was just a small scratch. Keep it simple and polite. Include your name, contact information, and a brief explanation of what happened. Leave it in a secure spot where it won’t blow away.
  • Consider calling the police. If the damage is serious, they can help you file an incident report and track down the car’s owner.
  • Call your insurance agent. When you’re with ERIE, you don’t have to go it alone. Your local ERIE agent is there to answer questions and help you understand what’s covered.

Remember, policy conditions might require you to tell ERIE or your agent about the incident – even if you decide not to file a claim. Learn more about what to do when accidents happen.

SOMEONE HIT MY PARKED CAR. NOW WHAT?

An at-fault driver’s auto insurance should cover the property damage they caused to the other vehicle. Hopefully, they left a note and you can get in touch without too much fuss. Unfortunately, some people won’t do the right thing. If you return to a dented or dinged car with no indication of who did it, you can ask around to see if there were any witnesses. If there aren’t any, ask the store if they have security cameras.

If the incident is a hit-and-run—or if the at-fault driver has no auto insurance or not enough insurance—you’ll have to rely on your own auto insurance to cover the damage. That’s assuming you purchased optional collision coverage on your own vehicle.

Also, uninsured motorist property damage coverage that is available in some states protects your car if it’s struck by a hit-and-run driver. (A deductible may apply.)

Just keep in mind that you’ll likely need uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage. This insurance coverage is optional in some states and mandatory in others. It covers you and your passengers’ damages if you’re injured by a hit-and-run driver, an uninsured driver or a driver who doesn’t have enough coverage to pay for your medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.

Whether it’s a simple fender-bender or something more serious, remember – your local ERIE agent is there to help answer questions and provide advice.

WHAT HAPPENS IF TWO CARS HIT EACH OTHER AT THE SAME TIME?

There is usually an at-fault driver when there’s a parking lot accident. But there are some cases where an accident is two drivers’ fault—for instance, two people may back out at the same time and hit each other. What typically happens in these cases is that each driver files a claim with their own insurance company.

HOW TO PREVENT PARKING LOT ACCIDENTS

Luckily, there are steps you can take to keep you, your car and others safe. Get our list of tips for how to avoid a parking lot accident.

Unfortunately, accidents do happen. But when you’re with ERIE, you have your own personal insurance advisor – your local ERIE agent – when they do. Learn more about auto insurance or find a local ERIE agent in your area.

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