What to Do After a Car Accident

Your world has just flipped upside down, possibly literally, and you’re walking out of the haze of a car accident. What do you do next? Hopefully, you’re reading this before you actually get in an accident so you’ll know what to do.

Unfortunately, car accidents happen all too often in Columbia, SC, but Michael Taylor Agency is here to help every step of the way. Obviously, the very first order of business is to check and make sure everyone is okay and call 911 if needed. Safety is the number one concern, so after you have checked on everyone, move your vehicle out of the roadway and into a safe place if possible.

Once the scene is safe and emergency personnel are on the scene, then it’s time to start thinking about insurance. No matter who is at fault, you need to make it your responsibility to gather all the information needed- don’t rely on someone else to get everything. You’ll need to get some information from the other driver, including their name, their insurance information, their license plate number, the make and model of their car, and their vehicle identification number (VIN). You should also make sure you get the names of any responding officers at the scene.

It’s also really important to take note of what the scene looks like and take some pictures. Make sure you know where exactly the accident took place and take pictures of the cars involved, the damage, and the surrounding area.

Once you’ve done all that and gathered information, you’ll be ready to file an insurance claim. Contact Michael Insurance Agency, serving Columbia, SC, once you’re ready to make your insurance claim and we will take care of you from there.

Does Your Home Insurance Policy Have the Liability Coverage You Need?

Many of our clients aren’t aware of the benefits of liability coverage as part of their homeowner’s policy. Liability insurance, as part of your overall homeowner’s policy, can protect you in the event of injury or accident to a visitor to your home. This coverage is an important part of complete coverage that includes protection for your possessions, your home structure, and any additional buildings on your property such as a shed, unattached garage, or workshop. The team at the Michael Taylor Agency is here to provide you with any guidance that you may want or need during the process of obtaining the proper insurance for your greater Columbia, SC area home.

The Important Protection that Liability Coverage Provides for Your Home

If a friend falls and is injured while visiting your home, you can be held responsible for their medical care and other damages. With the proper level of liability coverage, you can be protected should such a mishap occur. South Carolina home insurance offers a full spectrum of protection for you and your family. Do not risk the loss of your hard earned savings by choosing a policy that does not provide adequate coverage for all eventualities. If you entertain a lot, or your kids are always having their friends over, you owe to yourself and your family to have adequate liability coverage. Now is a great time to review your policy and ensure that it has the comprehensive coverage that you need.

Does your homeowner policy provide the level of liability protection that you need? The professional team at Michael Taylor Agency is proud to serve the insurance needs of our friends and neighbors in the greater Columbia, SC area. Call or stop by today to learn more!

Is there an Insurance Policy to Protect Your Retirement?

If you are getting ready to retire in the Columbia, SC area, you probably have a nice nest egg designed to provide a steady income for the next twenty years. But what happens if you are faced with huge hospital bills or are involved in a major auto accident? It can all be gone in an instant. Your retirement specialist at Michael Taylor Agency encourages you to discuss insurance products designed to keep the cost of living affordable and predictable.

Umbrella Insurance Leaves Your Savings in the Bank

When your net worth climbs to a half million or more, you become a target. You could be faced with a costly lawsuit if somebody suffers from an accident you may have caused. Instead of emptying your retirement fund or having to sell your home, umbrella insurance could cover the added expense and only cost you a few dollars a month.

Supplemental Insurance for Medicare Keeps Health Affordable

You are beginning to collect your benefits from the government, including having Medicare cover many of your health costs. But prescriptions and a large portion of costs remain your responsibility. A supplemental health insurance policy helps to keep those costs down, and you will know how much to budget for each month.

Talk about Long-Term Disability and Nursing Home Costs

Finally, should you or your spouse’s health suddenly decline, you may require nursing home support. If you leave your estate unprotected, you could blow through your nest egg in just a few months. A long-term disability policy can provide the help you need without stripping you of your house and standard of living. 

Look forward to a retirement free from financial worries when you work with your agent at Michael Taylor Agency and enjoy your years taking advantage of everything Columbia, SC has to offer. 

What Life Insurance is Right for Me?

One of the most important types of insurance coverage that many people need to consider is life insurance. When you get a life insurance policy, you are helping to ensure that your loved ones are cared for if you happen to pass away. When looking for life insurance, the two main options to consider are a term or whole life insurance policy. There are several features of both types of insurance that you need to understand when determining which type of insurance is right for you. 

Whole Life

One type of insurance you should consider is whole life insurance. This type of insurance policy will provide you with coverage of a defined amount for the rest of your life. When making payments to the insurance company, a portion will also build up into an account that can be liquidated at any time. This can also make it a good investment. However, payments tend to be much higher than other insurance options.

Term Life

For those looking for the best short-term solution with life insurance in the Columbia, SC area, one of the best types of insurance is term life coverage. With this type of coverage, you will receive a specific amount of coverage for a certain amount of time. This is ideal for people looking for the most coverage with the lowest payment.

Since life insurance is so important, you need to make sure that you get the right policy to match your needs. For those that are in the Columbia, SC area, going to meet with the Michael Taylor Agency is a great option. When you meet with the Michael Taylor Agency, you will receive far more insight into all of your life insurance options and the agency can prepare a quote for your policy. Contact our agents for more information.

Can Traffic Tickets Affect Your Insurance Premiums?

Drivers who live in or near the Columbia, SC area should always be aware of their driving record. Many people don’t realize that an accident isn’t the only thing that will affect your insurance premiums. The agents at Michael Taylor Agency understand the frustration when a driver gets a ticket. They can help you, as a driver, understand what happens with your driving record when you get a ticket or citation.

Maintaining a Good Driving Record

Maintaining a good driving record involves obeying traffic laws, driving the posted speed, and trying not to receive a citation or be involved in an accident. OnStar offers a safe driving app that will allow you to see how well you score against other drivers regarding hard braking, speeding, and using your turn signals. This app can be downloaded onto your phone if you have OnStar in your vehicle. It’s a great way to find out if there are any areas where you need a little improvement.

Tickets vs. Accidents

Just like accidents, tickets can also have an impact on your insurance premiums. One ticket may not make a huge difference, and in some cases may be overlooked. Receiving several tickets for the same type of offense, however, starts to identify a pattern that could eventually be costly. 

At the Michael Taylor Agency, the agents are always available to discuss your insurance options. If you live in Rock Hill, Columbia, SC, or any of the surrounding communities, call and schedule an appointment. They will help you understand the legal ramifications of receiving multiple tickets as well as how it can affect your eligibility when it comes to applying or renewing an insurance policy.

 

 

Home Insurance for First Time Buyers: What You Need to Know

Like the rest of the country, the housing market around Columbia, SC is booming. The insurance experts at the Michael Taylor Agency want to make sure you’re ready to take the big step into home ownership. This information will help first time home buyers get the most out of their home insurance policies.

  • Go for full coverage right from the start. After the downpayment, relocating fees, and other expenses associated with a new home purchase, many buyers think they can save a few dollars each month by purchasing bare-minimum home insurance coverage. But what happens if someone is hurt on your property or a natural disaster ruins your home before you’ve had the chance to build equity or replenish your savings? Buy as much coverage as you can to protect your investment from the unknown.
  • Look before you buy. The condition of your home is the biggest factor in your premium payments. Thoroughly inspect the grounds before making an offer. Scrutinize the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems. Check the foundation and general structural integrity of the buildings. If you aren’t confident in your construction knowledge, hire an independent construction contractor to walk the property with you.
  • Consider additional coverages. If you plan to use a portion of your residence to run a home business, you may benefit from a commercial policy. Hobby farms, day care centers, and consultant’s offices should consider adding liability insurance to their portfolio.

Get all of your insurance needs filled in one place. Insurance agencies often give discounts to subscribers with multiple policies. Combine your home, auto, and business policies to realize noticeable savings on monthly premiums. The Michael Taylor Agency serves the insurance needs of those who live or work in the Columbia, SC area. Contact us today to discuss your unique insurance needs.

Retirement insurance: How it works

In the U.S., "Retirement insurance" refers specifically to the payments made by the Social Security Administration for those who have reached the age of sixty-two. This is where you collect on your benefits after a lifetime of paying into social security. The payments are generally modest but enough for most retirees to get by, or to help them with some supplemental income each month. However, this shouldn’t be the entirety of your retirement insurance plan. Michael Taylor Agency can help Columbia, SC retirees to live a much more secure life post-retirement.

So the question is, then, what other insurance is important in your retirement years?

Different people will, of course, have different priorities, but for most, retirement insurance will come down to life insurance, property insurance, auto insurance, and possibly an umbrella policy. Life insurance is especially important if you have dependents or want to be able to help your family out when you’re no longer around. Making sure that you have enough coming to your family for funeral expenses and other arrangements can be a very big help. An umbrella policy can also be very helpful as it offers an extra reserve of coverage to dip into when your other policies reach their limit.

It has been shown that while retirees often take in less income than they did at a younger age, they are better at saving and spending money than ever before. A lifetime of experience goes a long way in financial planning. Michael Taylor Agency can help you to devise the plan you need to make sure that your family in Columbia, SC are taken care of.

When Should You Choose Term Life Insurance?

At the Michael Taylor Agency, residents who live in or around the Rock Hill and Columbia, SC area can have all of their questions concerning life insurance answered quickly and efficiently. There are several types of life insurance which can make a person unsure of which type they need. Whole life and term life are two of the most common and are the easiest to understand.

Term Life Gives You More Options

Term life gives you the most options. You can choose the length of time you want the policy to be in effect. Some people may only want their policy for 10 or 15 years, while others may want a 30 or 40-year policy. Your needs are specific to your circumstances so you will want to have the coverage that protects your interests. You also have the option to borrow against your policy or cash it out once it reaches maturity. If you want to leave it in place, you can convert it to a whole life or permanent policy.

Term Life Is More Affordable

Because of the different options you have when it comes to the term of your policy, your premiums are often much more affordable than with a whole life policy. People who have children and are concerned about making sure their needs are met if an emergency occurs are often the ones who opt for a term life insurance policy. Simply put, it doesn’t take valuable resources away from the family, and it offers financial support when they need it the most.

In Columbia, SC, the residents of the Michael Taylor Agency can answer all of your life insurance questions and make sure you have the right type of policy that best suits your family’s individual needs. Reach out to our offices for more information.

What Can Happen If You Don’t Have Auto Insurance?

When you own a vehicle in Columbia, SC, you also need to have an auto insurance policy in place. It is illegal to drive without the state minimum amounts of coverage on your vehicle. Whether you just got a vehicle and you need to get coverage or your current policy is about to end, you need to make sure you get coverage as soon as possible. If you do not, here at Michael Taylor Agency, we know that the penalties can really cause a problem for you. 

South Carolina is a state that uses AILR which stands for Automobile Insurance Liability Reporting System. With this system, if you were to cancel or let a policy lapse, the insurance provider will immediately notify the DMV of the cancelation. With this new system in place, there is no hiding from the government. The DMV will send a letter, and you will have 20 days to prove that you do have sufficient coverage. If you fail to do so, you face having your license and vehicle registration suspended, and you may lose your right to operate any vehicle. You will also have to pay at least $200 in reinstatement fees to bring all of these things current when you do get adequate insurance coverage. 

As you can see, you want to make sure that you have at least the minimum about of coverage through an auto insurance policy. This is not something that you want to leave to chance. If you do not currently have a policy in place, are not sure if your current policy meets the minimum requirements, or if you are simply looking for a new policy, make sure you contact us at Michael Taylor Agency, serving Columbia, SC, today. We can provide you with a free quote for coverage and can make sure that you have the minimum amount of coverage as soon as possible. 

3 Home Insurance Myths: What is the Truth?

Do you know what your home insurance policy will protect you from?

Owning a home is perhaps the most significant investment you will have to make in your entire lifetime. However, being a homeowner comes with both pride and security. In this article, we debunk the top three common myths about home insurance

Myth #1: Your Home Insurance Covers Earthquakes and Floods

There is a common myth that standard homeowners insurance protects you against earthquakes and floods, which is false. The truth is that many natural disasters are not covered under your standard policy. This is the reason why specialty earthquake and flood insurance policies are sold differently. These are unique insurance policies that are usually underwritten by a private insurer, such as Michael Taylor Agency in Columbia, SC, and will protect your home and belongings against damages due to floods or earthquakes.

Myth #2: Home Insurance Policies Fully Cover All Injuries that occur in Your Home

This is another misconception on standard home insurance policies. While the truth is that most visitors who come to your home are typically covered by the policy in the event of an accident inside your house, all family members and those who live in the home are not covered by this home insurance policy. Injuries to family members can be covered by separate health insurance policies from Michael Taylor Agency in Columbia, SC.

Myth #3: You May Not Need Home Insurance

Most people tend to believe that home insurance is unnecessary unless it comes from a bank or mortgage holder. However, this is not the case considering both the financial and emotional investment you have put in your home. You never know what might happen hence the need to protect your home. The homeowners’ insurance doesn’t only protect your home, but it also covers your belongings and possessions.

For more questions on what home insurance can and can’t cover, please reach out to our agents in Columbia, SC. We are looking forward to hearing from you!