Schwarz Insurance Blog

November 24, 2014 @ 12:00am

Here’s some bad news: according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, November is the peak month for deer-vehicle collisions. Even scarier is the startling statistic that one in every 100 drivers will hit a deer at some point in his or her life. In 2013 there were almost 120,000 deer collisions, 75% of which caused damage to a vehicle and about 25% of which injured the driver or passengers.

Don’t worry though – there’s good news, too. The first is that practicing safe driving techniques, such as driving at an appropriate speed, paying attention to road signs, being observant of your surroundings and being extra careful at night can greatly reduce the odds of a deer collision. The second is that there are two types of insurance that could cover the cost of your vehicle’s damage should you be unlucky enough to encounter a deer on the road.

However, as frightening and unpleasant as it seems, the safest option in the event of a deer in the road may actually be to just hit it. This is because swerving to avoid the animal often leads to loss of vehicle control, which could result in serious injuries. Should you collide with the deer, any damage to your car would fall under the comprehensive coverage, which applies to repairs made necessary by contact with a bird or an animal.

If you should hit something else avoiding the deer you would activate collision coverage. Collision coverage applies when your car hits another

November 07, 2014 @ 12:00am

As you age, your needs change. You probably aren’t still driving the first car you ever owned, and we certainly hope you aren’t still eating like you did in your twenties. So why would you keep the same home insurance policies you had when you rented or first bought your home? Today you probably own a larger home and have far more furnishings and items of value than you had even a few years ago. It may be time to reevaluate your homeowners insurance policy to see if you’re getting the best coverage for your current situation. You could be inadequately protected or have policies that don’t reflect your needs.

“What’s new and improved in your home?”

If you’ve acquired valuable jewelry, remodeled, bought new furniture or made other improvements to your home, you might need more coverage. To determine which items of jewelry could be insured, get the value of each piece appraised by a jewelry appraiser. Any remodeling or improvements, such as a major kitchen remodel or a sunroom addition, are investments that have made your home more valuable. It’s a good idea to discuss home changes with your insurance agent so you can arrange to have the appropriate coverage to protect your home and its belongings.

“Replacement value or actual cost value?”

There are two options when insuring your valuable belongings: replacement value reimbursement or actual cash value reimbursement. Although

August 06, 2014 @ 12:00am

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

While every responsible driver takes care to provide for the proper amount of automobile insurance coverage, there is a large and growing community who choose to ignore this responsibility.

Having an accident with one of these people can be an expensive headache. The other driver may not even have the means to repay you for his or her mistake. That's where “uninsured motorist” insurance can play a vital role. Here's what you need to know:

What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

An estimated one in eight motorists are either completely uninsured or under-insured. In either case, the negligent driver can’t pay for the damages and you end up stuck with the bill. In general, uninsured motorist coverage will pay any medical bills associated with the accident that exceed your own coverage.

This coverage applies to uninsured drivers apprehended at the scene, “hit and run” drivers never caught and even drivers who have an accident with you in a stolen car. An important point to remember is that, in most states, the damage to your car is not covered if they don’t have insurance and you would have to file a claim with your insurance company to get it fixed.

What Should You do if involved in an Accident with an Uninsured Driver?

The first step that anyone should take in an accident is to determine if anyone i

July 08, 2014 @ 12:00am

Schwarz Insurance was the featured article in the Wisconsin State Journal's Longevity in Business column on July 8, 2014.  The article highlights how the agency was started in Ray Schwarz's home and is now in its third generation of family ownership with the fourth generation beginning to work with the agency.

June 30, 2014 @ 12:00am

Severe Weather Safety

Do you know the difference between a severe thunderstorm watch and a warning? A severe thunderstorm watch means there are possible severe thunderstorms in your area.  A severe thunderstorm warning means severe weather has been reported and indicates imminent danger.  A thunderstorm is considered severe if it produces hail at least 1 inch in diameter or has wind gusts of at least 58 miles per hour.

Being prepared before severe weather strikes is essential to weather the storm.  Make sure you know how your local community warns for severe thunderstorms or tornadoes.  Have a safe place to gather in your home during storms, away from windows and glass.  Keep trees and shrubs trimmed and remove damaged branches.  Secure all out buildings and outside furniture.  Put together an emergency preparedness kit.

During a storm make sure you take shelter.  In your home take retreat in the basement away from windows and doors.  If you don’t have a basement go to an interior room away from windows and doors, most of the time this is a hallway or a bathroom.  Do not take a bath or shower during a thunderstorm.  Avoid electrical equipment, battery-powered TV and radios are better options.  If you are driving, safety exit the road, park and put your flasher on.  Stay in the vehicle and avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity.  If you are outside,

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