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Insurance Tips

Driving While Distracted

As smart phone use expands and the number of mobile apps grows, the problem of distracted driving becomes even more evident across America.  Texting, talking, taking pictures, adjusting music, checking emails, social media, and Snapchat take our attention away from the road, even if it’s just for a few seconds. But a lot can happen in that short time. If you remember from driver’s education, drivers should be 2-3 seconds behind the vehicle in front of them to give themselves a chance to avoid the other driver braking suddenly. Unfortunately, the “two second rule” won’t do a driver much good if he/she is distracted by his phone.


 The following statistics from the Official U.S. Government Website for Distracted Driving, www.distraction.gov, shed light on the huge problem we’re facing.

  • 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver in 2012. This was a 9% increase from the 387,000 people injured in 2011.
  • 10% of drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.
  • Drivers in their 20s make up 27 percent of the distracted drivers in fatal crashes.
  • 20 percent of teens and 10 percent of parents admit that they have extended, multi-message text conversations while driving.
  • 5 seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55 mph, that's enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded.

How to fix the problem: 

  • Put your phone on silent when you enter your car.
  • Resist the urge to check your phone for text or social media notifications. Place it screen down if necessary.
  • If you must answer your phone or respond to a text, carefully pull over to the side of the road before doing so.
  • Download a safe-driving app to block texting while driving.
  • If you receive a text or Snapchat from someone you know is driving, don’t respond immediately. When you’re confident they’re no longer driving, reply with a message discouraging distracted driving. Use subtle or forceful means as necessary!

For more information, tips, and materials to promote safer driving within your community, visit www.distraction.gov


Renter’s Insurance

One of the most overlooked types of policies in the insurance world is actually one of the cheapest—renter’s insurance.  If you live in a home, apartment, or duplex that you do not own, renter’s insurance (also known as tenant homeowner’s insurance) should be purchased to protect your personal property.  Despite typical monthly payments of around $15, many people make the mistake of thinking they don’t need renter’s insurance because they don’t have much personal property to cover.  While the personal property aspect is certainly important, liability coverage that is included in renter’s policies is even more crucial in protecting your assets.

Personal liability coverage protects the insured against bodily injury and property damage suits in which the insured is found to be responsible.  This coverage shields the tenant from covered losses that damage the house, including kitchen fires and frozen pipes caused by turning off the furnace during cold weather.  Personal liability also includes bodily injury occurring to houseguests due to negligence of the tenant.  With the propensity to file lawsuits in this day and age, these claims could cost thousands of dollars to the uninsured, so most policies have personal liability limits of $300,000 to $500,000.  Medical payments to others in which the insured is not at fault are also covered and are typically subject to a limit of $5,000 to $10,000.

In addition to liability coverage, renter’s insurance protects your personal property from several perils, including fire, smoke, lightning, wind, hail, vandalism, and theft.  The insured can pick any level of contents coverage desired with a minimum of $20,000.  While $20,000 may initially seem like a lot, once you add up the value of your clothes, furniture, appliances, dishes, and other personal items, you’ll realize how much you really own.  In the event of a claim, an insured will be given the amount it costs to replace each damaged, destroyed, or stolen item (less the deductible).

Renter's insurance is one of the most affordable and practical forms of insurance, with typical policies costing only $15 to $20 per month.  The peace of mind that comes with knowing your personal assets are protected makes renter's insurance well worth the money.  Also, by having a renter's policy with Allied Insurance you will qualify for a multi-policy discount that will save you 5% on your Allied auto policy.  To get a renter's insurance quote, adjust your coverage, or find out more, contact Gramann Insurance at 402-988-2255.



Roadside Assistance with Allied Insurance

If you have Allied auto insurance through Gramann Insurance Agency, there’s a strong possibility that your policy includes Roadside Assistance.  This coverage is a cheap but essential endorsement that could prevent you or your family members from being stranded in the middle of nowhere. Two different Roadside Assistance options are available. 


Basic--$20 per year for most policies (only $10 for a single driver)

     -Towing up to 15 miles

     -Delivery of supplies, including fuel, oil, water, and other fluids

     -Lockout service

     -Jump starts

     -Changing or inflating of flat tires

     -Membership discounts


Plus--$40 per year for most policies (only $20 for a single driver)

     -All services included in the Basic package

     -Towing up to 100 miles

     -Trip interruption coverage

     -Turn-by-turn directions, pre-trip map routing, and emergency messages


Roadside Assistance services cover all insured members of the household, even if they are passengers in someone else’s vehicle.  Reporting a claim is easy.  Simply call Allied Customer Service at 1-800-282-1446, and help will be on the way!


To see if you already have Roadside Assistance coverage or to request an upgrade, call us at 402-998-2255.  



Allied Insurance Mobile App Now Available

The Allied Insurance Mobile App is now available for free on the Google Play and Apple App stores!  With the app, you can view policy info, pay bills, access insurance cards, and start a claim with your Android or Apple devices.


To download the free Allied Mobile Application, simply search for Allied Insurance within your mobile device's app store (Google Play for Android systems or the App Store for Apple devices).  After downloading and opening the Allied Mobile App, you will have to enter your username and password.  If you already have online access to your Allied Insurance policies on www.AlliedInsurance.com, you will use the same username and password for the Allied Mobile App.  If you've never accessed your Allied accounts online, you will have to go to www.AlliedInsurance.com to sign up before using the app.


Uses of the Allied Insurance Mobile App

     -Start a claim

     -Pay bills

     -View current balances for each policy

     -Review payment history

     -Access and save insurance ID card info for your auto policy

     -See coverage, limits, and deductibles on your policies

     -View contact info for Gramann Insurance Agency and Allied Customer Service

If you're having trouble downloading or using the Allied Mobile App, please call us for help at (402) 988-2255.



Do I Need to Purchase Rental Insurance When I Rent a Car?

With summer here, many of us will be renting a car while on vacation.  As part of their rental package, most rental car companies offer insurance for a few extra dollars per day.  Is this insurance coverage really necessary or simply a waste of money?


The answer lies in the type of coverage you have through your normal auto insurance policy.  If you have full coverage (comprehensive, collision, and liability) on at least one of your vehicles, this same coverage will apply to your rental car, therefore making insurance through the rental company mostly unnecessary.*


However, if you do not have a vehicle with comprehensive and collision coverage, you will not be covered for damage you may do to a rental car unless you purchase the insurance offered by the rental company.  (Vehicles over ten or fifteen years old typically do not have full coverage.)


If you're still not sure whether or not you need the rental car insurance or if you have any questions about your current auto policy, please give us a call at (402) 988-2255.

*Your normal auto insurance policy does not cover loss of use of any rental cars you may damage.



Nationwide Life Insurance and Allied Auto Financial Discount

We now offer term and whole life insurance policies through Nationwide Insurance. By signing up for a Nationwide life insurance product, you will receive a discount of up to 4% on your Allied Insurance auto policy. In many cases, the money saved through the auto insurance discount can pay for most of your life insurance premium.


Benefits of Nationwide Life Insurance

     -Peace of mind for the financial future of you and your family

     -Term and whole life options at several coverage levels

     -Simple medical exams for quick and easy underwriting

     -Up to a 4% discount on your Allied auto insurance

     -Term life policies that can be converted to whole life without further medical checks

For more information or to receive a quote, please call Max at (402) 988-2255.



Equipment Breakdown Coverage from Allied Insurance

One of the new and unique coverages Allied Insurance has begun offering only recently is an Equipment Breakdown endorsement for homeowner’s policies. This endorsement protects homeowners against costly appliance repairs and replacements for only $29.00 a year.


What is covered?

- Heating & AC Systems
- Flat Screen TV
- Computer
- Deep Well Pump
- Washer/Dryer
- Water Heater
- Range/Oven
- Refrigerator
- Dishwasher
- Electrical Panel
- Water Heater
- Lawn Mower

How does it work? If you have a home appliance breakdown due to equipment failure, Allied will either fix or replace that appliance with only a $500 deductible. For example, if the refrigerator compressor fails and has to be repaired, Allied would pay for the repair, along with any spoiled food, over and above your $500 deductible.


Under another scenario, imagine the operating control on the water heater fails, creating excessive pressure that caused the tank to rupture and leak. If replacement is necessary, Allied would pay for a new water heater. Instead of tackling this unexpected cost on your own, you would only have to pay the $500 deductible, therefore saving you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.


Although we’ve only offered this coverage for a short time, a few of our customers have already benefited from Equipment Breakdown Coverage, with the biggest claim resulting in almost $1,900 for a new kitchen appliance. To learn more about Equipment Breakdown Coverage from Allied Insurance, call us at (402) 988-2255. You can also click here for an interactive tutorial detailing the aspects of the coverage, potential loss scenarios, and tips to prevent appliance breakdown.