Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Road Trip

My wife and I just drove to Myrtle Beach and back - about 2,200 miles round trip. Here is a summary of what we saw:

A guy with a folded newspaper in his steering wheel - reading doing about 70 MPH; too many people to count on their cell phone; could tell MANY people were texting (looking down at their lap - repeatedly); drivers do NOT slow down in construction zones; too many white crosses to count in the medians and side of the roads (2 of them with construction hats on top of the crosses); 2 people pulled over by police after they went past us doing at least 90 MPH; weavers - these are people who with either 2 or 3 lanes available - weaving through traffic going way too fast; too many speeders to count - every hour; tailgaters; 1 very bad accident (3 cars) in the mountains - I'm sure the cause was too fast in HEAVY rain; 1 guy eating a sub sandwich & talking on a cell phone driving very eratically - probably trying to steer with his knees.

A great trip but a little scary when you consider a LOT of people do not have much respect for driving and the damage and injury a car going 70 MPH can cause.

When will people learn???????????????

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Driving and Texting

Here is a great article about DRIVING AND TEXTING. It is not illegal in Wisconsin yet. Talk to your state legislature representatives if you feel strongly about this issue. Most people who text look away from the road an average of 5 seconds at a time. At 55 miles per hour that is roughly the length of a football field.

Driving and texting DO NOT MIX..............


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Water Backup & Sump Overflow claims

The City of Whitewater has experienced a couple of Sewer Backup claims this summer. The City's insurance company has denied the claims because "there is no negligence on the part of the City." A homeowner's policy has many option available to add to the policy. They include but are not limited to: 1. Scheduled Jewelry 2. Identity Theft 3. Replacement Cost on the Dwelling 4. Replacement Cost on Contents 5. Inflation Guard coverage 6. Scheduled list of collectibles 7. Earthquake Coverage 8. Water Backup and Sump Pump overflow 9. etc

There are no set standard rules for Water Backup and Sump Pump Overflow. Every company has developed their own set of rules, limits, and premiums. WE RECOMMEND EVERY HOMEOWNER CONTACT THEIR INSURANCE AGENT AND ASK ABOUT THEIR SPECIFIC COVERAGE. Questions like the following would be helpful: 1. Do I have Water Sewer Backup and Sump Pump Overflow? 2. What is the coverage limit? 3. Are there optional higher limits of coverage and what are they? 4. What is the premium I am now paying for this coverage? 5. What are the premium options for the higher coverage limits 6. What is the current deductible for this coverage.

The largest claim our agency has paid for this coverage was $25,440.83 and the loss date was 6-24-2008. As in all insurance claims, this issue needs to be addressed BEFORE you have the claim. Feel free to call us at 262-473-3930 with any of your questions. We would be more than happy to help.

Friday, August 28, 2009


MORE CHANGES TO WISCONSIN INSURANCE LAW: At the same time as the Wisconsin Auto Insurance Law changes (11-1-09), PERSONAL UMBRELLA POLICIES will also change.

If you have a Personal Umbrella, your Umbrella Policy will now automatically include Uninsured (UM) and Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage. With this increase in coverage, your Umbrella premium will also increase.

You have the option to sign off if you wish. Remember - your auto policy already has UM & UIM coverage on that policy.

Here are your choices:
1. Keep the extra coverage on the umbrella and pay the extra premium.
2. SIGN the "rejection letter" that will be enclosed with your Umbrella Renewal and send back to EMC Insurance.

Any questions feel free to call us at 262-473-3930
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Friday, August 14, 2009

Wisconsin Auto Ins Law eff 11-1-2009

Maybe you missed this in the news: Important changes to the Wisconsin Auto Insurance LAW:

The Governor inserted NEW Insurance Statutory Provisions into the 2009-2010 State Budget. Some provisions become effective 11-1-2009, others on 1-1-2010, and the MANDATORY INSURANCE PROVISION becomes effective 6-1-2010.

These changes become effective for you at your renewal!!!!!!!!!

Here is a summary of the AUTOMOBILE changes:

The minimum Bodily Injury (BI) limits are increased to $50,000 for each person and $100,000 for each accident. The minimum limits for Property Damage (PD) are increased to $15,000. Policies with a Combined Single Limit are increased to $115,000.
The minimum Medical Payments limit is increased to $10,000. You may reject this coverage via a signed authorization form. WE DO NOT RECOMMEND REJECTING THIS COVERAGE.
The minimum Uninsured Motorist (UM) limits are increased to $100,000 for each person and $300,000 for each accident. Policies with a Combined Single Limit are increased to $300,00.
Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage is now mandatory, at limits of $100,000 for each person and $300,000 for each accident or $300,000 Combined Limit.

If you have a Personal Umbrella policy, new Wisconsin laws require you are offered Uninsured Motorist (UM) and Uninsured Motorist (UIM) coverages on your Personal Umbrella policy. You do have the option to reject UM & UIM coverages on your Personal Umbrella policy via a signed authorization form.

EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 2010, every person who operates a motor vehicle MUST have an Auto Liability Insurance policy and MUST be able to show proof of the insurance when requested.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Health Insurance and the Cost of Smoking

Binning & Dickens sells Health Insurance and smoking is a leading cause of individual health issues.

Costs of Smoking
May 12, 2009
We have known for a long time that smoking is unhealthy. Tobacco imposes a physical and financial cost to smokers, but there is also a physical cost for those exposed to secondhand smoke. We must work together to help people overcome tobacco addiction.

In Wisconsin, 7,300 people die yearly from smoking-related causes. Cigarettes kill more people in the United States than alcohol, car accidents, suicide, AIDS, homicide, and illegal drugs combined. Smoking is responsible for nearly 1-in-5 deaths in the U.S. and if this continues, 128,000 children alive today will die from smoking-related illnesses.

Smoking accounts for at least 30 percent of all cancer deaths. It is a major cause of lung, throat, mouth, esophagus, and bladder cancers; it also contributes to the development of cancers of the pancreas, cervix, kidney, stomach, and also some leukemias.

Only about half of smoking-related deaths are from cancer. Smoking is also a major cause of heart disease, aneurysms, bronchitis, emphysema, and stroke, and it makes pneumonia and asthma worse. It has been linked to low birth weight, increased likelihood of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and diseases of nearly every organ system.

Giving up smoking is difficult. Nicotine is additive but it is important to "kick the habit" so you can live a long, healthy life.

Call Binning & Dickens with all of your health insurance questions. 262-473-3930

Monday, July 20, 2009

Insurance in WI changed by the State Budget

DID you know the WI legislature passed budget bill AB75 on 6-29-09. It contains many changes to the States AUTO Insurance law! Effective 1-1-2010: Allows "stacking" of limits for Uninsured Motorist (UM), Underinsured Motorist (UIM), and Medical Payments coverage up to 3 vehicles; UM & UIM coverage will be MANDATORY with minimum limits of 100/300 limits; minimum limits will rise to 50/100/15.

MANDATORY INSURANCE will start June 2010. Fines from $50 to $500 can be imposed if no insurance.

MEDICAL PAYMENTS coverage will change to $10,000 minimum.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Safe Teen Driving
The risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among 16- to 19-year-olds than among any other age group. In fact, per mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are four times more likely than older drivers to crash.
Among teen drivers, those at especially high risk for motor vehicle crashes are:
• Males: It has been reported that the motor vehicle death rate for male drivers and passengers ages 16 to 19 was more than one and a half times that of their female counterparts.
• Teens driving with teen passengers: The presence of teen passengers increases the crash risk of unsupervised teen drivers. This risk increases with the number of teen passengers.
• Newly licensed teens: Crash risk is particularly high during the first year that teenagers are eligible to drive.
What are the major risk factors?
• Teens are more likely than older drivers to underestimate dangerous situations or not be able to recognize hazardous situations.
• Teens are more likely than older drivers to speed and allow shorter headways (the distance from the front of one vehicle to the front of the next). The presence of male teenage passengers increases the likelihood of this risky driving behavior.
• Among male drivers between 15 and 20 years of age, who were involved in fatal crashes, 38% were speeding at the time of the crash and 24% had been drinking.
• Compared with other age groups, teens have the lowest rate of seat belt use. 10% of high school students reported they rarely or never wear seat belts when riding with someone else. In a national survey of seat belt use among high school students:
• Male high school students (12.5%) were more likely than female students (7.8%) to rarely or never wear seat belts.

• African-American students (13.4%) and Hispanic students (10.6%) were more likely than white students (9.4%) to rarely or never wear seat belts.
• At all levels of blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the risk of involvement in a motor vehicle crash is greater for teens than for older drivers.
• 23% of drivers ages 15 to 20 who died in motor vehicle crashes had a BAC of 0.08 g/dl or higher.
• In a recent national survey, nearly three out of ten teens reported that, within the previous month, they had ridden with a driver who had been drinking alcohol. One in ten reported having driven after drinking alcohol within the same one-month period.
• Three out of four teen drivers killed in motor vehicle crashes after drinking and driving were not wearing a seat belt.
• Half of teen deaths from motor vehicle crashes occurred between 3 p.m. and midnight and 54% occurred on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

This article has been reprinted courtesy of Centers for Disease and Prevention.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Flood Insurance

Wisconsin emergency officials want homeowners to get flood insurance. It is as simple as that.

Flooding in August 2007 caused $112.4 million in damage to property and crops. Another round of floods in June 2008 caused more than $765 million in damage. Wisconsin Emergency Management says those floods were the costliest natural disaster in state history.

The water table in most of Southern Wisconsin is still above normal after last spring's floods and heavy snow in December.

Typical HOMEOWNER policies do not cover flood damage. You may contact the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) direct at this web site: http://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/

You can also contact our office directly (262-473-3930) and ask for either Duane or Ron and they can secure quotes and issue policies for you. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO LIVE IN A FLOOD PLAIN TO BUY FLOOD INSURANCE. Call us today and we can discuss your options.

Ron Binning - President, Binning & Dickens Insurance Services