HOW CAN WE HELP YOU?

mobile callClick to Call
The Blackstone Agency

4731 NW Hunters Ridge Circle
Suite C
Topeka, KS 66618

mobile mapGet Directions

The Most Important Aspects of Term Life Insurance

Once you have taken on the responsibility of the head of household, you should consider a term life insurance policy. Even if you do not have direct responsibility for dependents, a term life insurance policy can protect your loved ones from suffering should there be a need for a death benefit.

What are the most important aspects of term life insurance? Let’s take a look at the characteristics of a great policy in Topeka, KS.

  • Low cost – Because term life insurance is only for a specified amount of time, it is much less expensive than whole life insurance. If you’re looking for protection in a cost-effective package, term life insurance is the way to go.
  • Flat premium – A term life insurance policy should not have premiums that increase as the insured person gets older. Although the renewal rate may go up, the contracted rate will remain the same over the entirety of the term.
  • Yearly renewable term options – YRT policies do not have a specific term, but they can be renewed each year without having to go through a new medical exam or other evidence of insurability.
  • Benefits – The benefits of a term life insurance policy should cover the lifetime day to day expenses of a spouse or children should the death benefits be invoked.

The Blackstone Agency specializes in providing term life insurance for people in and around the area of Topeka, KS. When you are ready to protect your loved ones from an unexpected death, give one of the dedicated term life insurance experts at The Blackstone Agency a call or an email.

Will Your Auto Insurance Cover an Accident if Somebody Else Drives Your Car?

Most people in Topeka, KS have probably let somebody else drive their car at some point and were likely worried about that person crashing their vehicle. This understandable concern is one that can be complex to understand from an insurance perspective, which is why we, at The Blackstone Agency, are here to explain what your insurance will and won’t do.

Policies Follow The Car, Not The Driver

A lot of people believe that insurance does not follow the car but the driver. That is completely untrue. Just think about what your policy is doing – it covers the car not the person driving the vehicle. As a result, most types of damage should be covered when your friend crashes your car.

That said, your insurance may not cover another driver if you have an exclusionary clause in which you explicitly do not cover a specific person. In most cases, these types of clauses are rare and only go into effect if you set them up with your provider. If you haven’t, you’re likely fine.

The Driver’s Insurance May Also Kick In

There are several circumstances in which the driver’s, and not your own, insurance is likely to go into effect in a crash in your car. First of all, you should have them make a claim on theirs if more than one vehicle was in the crash.

Their liability policy will cover your car and the other person’s and avoid causing damage to your insurance rate. You should also use their insurance to cover any lapses in coverage that may occur with yours, such as heating peak rates for your coverage.

So if you are in a tough situation and aren’t sure where to turn, contact us at The Blackstone Agency. We serve Topeka, KS, and many nearby communities, and will work hard to ensure that your car has the insurance that it needs to keep you safe.

Do You Need Commercial Insurance for Legal Defense

Legal defense and judgments can cost you everything in the blink of an eye. That’s why it’s important to understand what coverage needs to be included in your commercial insurance. Don’t let punitive damages or accusations of false advertising destroy the life you’ve built for your family. Ask your representative at The Blackstone Agency for more information about the best commercial insurance policy to protect your family in Topeka, KS. In the meantime, here is some more information to get you started.

Commercial Insurance

When you own a restaurant or transportation-related business,  you are required to have separate commercial auto liability insurance. Commercial auto liability insurance pays for injury or property damage from an accident you or an employee cause while conducting business.

You can also purchase commercial legal insurance if you’re in a practice or business that makes a lawsuit likely. Whether you’re a doctor, lawyer or CPA, make sure that you have the coverage you need to protect your family from loss. 

In today’s society, more and more people are taking their grievances to court, so make sure you’re prepared to go the distance.

Commercial Liability Insurance is Not Mandatory

Commercial Liability Insurance is not required for Kansas businesses. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t need it. Don’t let one frivolous lawsuit threaten your business, your livelihood, and all your assets. If you aren’t sure what coverage applies to your industry, reach out to The Blackstone Agency so that a qualified agent can invite you in for a free consultation and quote. Protect your small business in Topeka, KS with the appropriate coverage levels and limits.

 

 

 

 

What Does a Home Insurance Policy Cover?

Home insurance is a coverage that offers financial protection for your home and your personal properties. This policy also protects the homeowner and the family from the responsibility or liability for damages caused to other people’s properties or injuries to others on their property. At The Blackstone Agency, we can help you get a suitable homeowners insurance plan if you live in Topeka, KS.

What will homeowner insurance cover?

Typically, a home insurance policy will cover your dwelling, other structures in your premises, liability, and personal property. However, you can buy additional coverage options if you need greater protection. A standard homeowner’s insurance offers coverage for damages caused by windstorms, fires, hail, and lightning. However, home insurance doesn’t cover all natural disasters. For instance, damages caused by floods and earthquakes aren’t covered by home insurance. You may have to buy separate insurance plans to protect your belongings and home against such risks.

Dwelling protection –The policy covers your home’s structure, including other structures that may be attached to it, like a deck or garage, against certain risks. These risks may vary from one insurer to the other.

Other structures protection –This policy can also cover other structures on your property that are separate from your house. This may include your detached garage, fence, or tool shed.

Personal possession protection – Other than covering your damages to your home, this insurance plan can protect your personal belongings against risks like fire damage or theft. Mostly, this plan protects your furniture and electronics; you may need to buy an extended coverage for your valuable possessions like jewelry, watches, as well as furs that have values above the set personal property coverage limit.

Liability protection – This plan also offers coverage when someone who doesn’t live in your house gets injured while at your home. It may also cover damages to their properties.

When you want to protect your home, quality coverage is everything. Be sure to contact us at The Blackstone Agency in Topeka, KS for more insights.

 

 

Trailer Insurance – One of the Most Misunderstood Coverages

• Many trailer owners assume that their auto policy or truck insurance covers the trailer and the contents
that they are pulling. It’s only after a claim they discover this is not the case. The coverage you need
depends on several factors.
• The coverage you need may depend on the type of trailer you are towing. A small utility trailer is likely to
be covered under your auto policy. Some insurance companies require the trailer to be listed on the
declarations page of your auto policy.
• If you use your trailer for business, you will need to cover the trailer as part of your commercial policy.
Examples of this include auto haulers, flatbed trailers, gooseneck trailers, livestock trailers, dump trailers,
and any type of trailer you would use for business.
• RVs and boats typically need to have their own policies.

ARE THE CONTENTS IN MY TRAILER COVERED?
• If your trailer is covered by your personal auto insurance policy, you need to make sure the contents of the
trailer are covered. Most carriers require an insurance endorsement for this type of coverage or require
you to get a separate policy.

WHAT ABOUT LIABILITY INSURANCE?
• Liability insurance is often overlooked because a trailer does not have its own engine. Imagine if your
trailer becomes unhitched or blows a tire, jackknifes, and hits another vehicle. Your auto policy does not
cover this damage.

WHAT IF I RENT A TRAILER FROM UHAUL OR HOME DEPOT?
• Auto insurance policies will not typically cover a rented trailer and you’ll need to buy special insurance
through the rental company

TWO MORE THINGS TO REMEMBER
• Even if your trailer is covered while attached to your vehicle, as soon as it becomes unattached, it’s not
insured. It may fall under a homeowners claim, but most homeowner’s policies limit coverage on trailers to
$1500.
• If you make a claim on your homeowners insurance, it will affect your rates for 3 years and can affect your
insurability. If you decide you want to change companies due to rate increases or you feel they treated you
unfairly, a claim may affect your insurability.

Life Insurance Myths and Truths

SOME TRUTH TO LIFE INSURANCE MYTHS

I don’t have any children, so I don’t need life insurance
Funeral costs continue to rise. Who will get stuck with the bill when you’re gone?

You may become uninsurable

There are many things that can affect your ability to get life insurance: Cancer,
Significant Injury (such as from your job or an auto accident), Medical Problems, Excessive
Driving, DUI, or Medication. It is much better to have it and not need it, then to have a problem
come out of nowhere and not be eligible anymore.

Living Benefits
Benefits can be available if you suffer from chronic, critical, or terminal illness.

I Can’t Afford Life Insurance.
Start with a policy that fits your budget, there are many to choose from and we can help select
the right plan for your particular situation.

I’m a Stay-At-Home Parent; I draw no income, why should I get insurance?
You are a valuable asset that provides services to your family. The services you provide would cost
ten of thousands of dollars a year to replace. If something were to happen to you, your duties and
responsibilities will need to be replaced

I have Life Insurance through my job, isn’t that enough?
Perhaps, but if you leave your job, you can’t take it with you. Retirement, being laid-off, a
change of career, illness, or injury can all lead to your policy being dropped. We can help you
determine if your policy fits your need.
Few work-place policies have enough coverage and your “Salary” doesn’t include commissions,
bonuses, or a second income (investments).

I don’t need life insurance once my children are gone
You may have debt to pay off funeral expenses
you may come down with critical, chronic, or terminal Illness

I’ll Self-Insure.
What happens if your investments lose Money? Remember the stock market crash of 1929, 1987, and
2008. When will the next one occur? Life Insurance can have guaranteed returns.

Home Owners 101

FLOOD COVERAGE/WATER DAMAGE
Only some forms of water damage MAY be covered by your homes insurance policy. Usually what is
covered is “Sudden and accidental discharge of water” such as damages caused by a BURSTED pipe.

SEWER BACKUP
America’s sewer lines are aging rapidly. Pipelines that handle both storm-water and sewer lines can
become overwhelmed during rainstorms. Floods can occur from a number of causes, such as RAIN,
BURSTED PIPES, or SEWER BACKUP. Flood insurance is a separate policy.

MOLD
Home insurance doesn’t pay to fix mold damage. MOLD COVERAGE can be added to your policy.

MYTH – If my home is destroyed, my insurance will pay what it costs to rebuild.
FALSE!!!-Your insurance will only pay up to its limits. This is due in part to “DEMAND SURGE,”
your limits may not always be enough. When your home is damaged because of a MAJOR DISASTER, the
cost of building supplies and labor tend to skyrocket.

BUILDING CODE COVERAGE
As time passes, stricter building codes become more common, especially with roofs and electrical.
Without this coverage, your policy will not pay those added costs involved with upgrading to the
stricter codes.

MYTH – Home Insurance covers ALL Valuables
FALSE!!! Home insurance has limits on high-valued items such as jewelry, trailers, electronics,
art, and collectibles. If your possessions are worth more than that amount, additional coverage
should be purchased for those items.

MYTH – My Home business is covered under Home Insurance
FALSE!!! Many people assume the equipment they use for their home based business are covered as
part of their personal property. However, business liability and business equipment needs a
separate policy. Remember, IF IT’S USED FOR BUSINESS, IT NEEDS A BUSINESS POLICY, or an
endorsement, such as home office coverage.

SHOULD I FILE A CLAIM???
As advisors, you can call us and ask our opinion, even if you’re not
our client. When you call your insurance company, even to innocently make inquiries,
most companies will open a claim file against you. Claims stay on your insurance report for
5 years.

Most companies wont take you as a client if you’ve had 2 claims in 3 years. This means if you want
to leave your carrier because they are raising rates or you want a new agent, you may be stuck. We
can help you decide if it makes sense financially for you to make a claim, based on your
deductible, the claim amount, and potential of rate increase. Every policy is a little different.
Call us today and we will review your policy with you so you understand what you’re paying for.

When a Home Policy May Not Be Appropriate and a Farm Policy is

Why a home policy may not be appropriate and a Farm Policy is
If you have any combination of the following, a regular home policy may not cover you
• Equipment, supplies and products of farming or ranching operations, including, but not limited to feed, seed, fertilizer,
‘livestock,’ other animals, ‘poultry,’ grain, bees, fish, worms, produce, and agricultural machinery, vehicles, and
equipment
• More than $1,000 or more of agricultural products being produced or sold
• Multiple locations
• UTV/ATV used in Farming/Ranch activities
• Fuel tanks on your property
• A breakdown of equipment will end or slow down your income
• Feed racks and Corrals
• Hay, Straw, and/or Fodder
• Multiple outbuildings/silos- Some Coverage has Limitations on Commercial Structures

Homeowner policies generally limit coverage on structures used to produce income, while hobby farming
policies and farm owner’s policies do not. For example, if a building is being used in a manner to produce
income, the building is then considered a commercial building and may not be covered under a homeowner’s
policy.

A common misconception about farm insurance is that a policy is one big bundle of predetermined
coverages. In reality, farm insurance policies have so many different aspects that there is no standard
policy.

Each farm operation is unique, and a policy should be custom built for the needs of your operation. Your
insurance needs depend on a number of factors, including, but not limited to, the size of your property, your anticipated
profits and where those profits come from, types of animals, types of crops, and the type of equipment used.
A rule of thumb for farm Insurance: If it’s not listed on your declaration page, it’s probably not covered.

Why risk your livelihood to an agent that doesn’t understand the needs of your business?
• Livestock cause accidents. Likewise, food causes illnesses, horses cause injuries, and farm chemicals cause water issues.
• You may need a specific endorsement written into your policy that addresses a chemical spraying event
• Equipment Breakdown Coverage
• Hobby farming for a profit requires different coverage than your basic homeowner’s policy
• Livestock Coverage
o Individual Coverage: Scheduling animals individually may be the right option if you have high-valued animals
o Blanket Coverage: With a blanket policy, all of your farm property (livestock, equipment, structures, etc.) is
insured in one lump sum. You must maintain proof of all property and make sure to insure adequate values.

The Complicated Aspects of Farm Insurance

I spent most of my childhood in Goff, KS and on my great-grandparent’s farm north of Holton, KS.
The small town values I learned as a kid are what makes me passionate about helping those in rural
America.

Building relationships and educating the public is at the heart of how I run my business. To
further my dedication to rural America, I’m obtaining the Agribusiness and Farm Insurance
Specialist(AFIS ®) certification and crop insurance certification. AFIS gives specialized expertise
in agribusiness and farm insurance risk management.

“I believe everyone should get a second opinion on all matters involving insurance and their
financial well-being.

I see a lot of policies that do not provide adequate coverage for all aspects of the individual
farm operations. The main reasons for this are because of lack of knowledge on the part
of the agent and not spending enough time with the client to understand all of the
individual client’s needs.

There are few agents that understand the world of farm insurance or understand the
work you’ve put into your legacy. The AFIS and crop certifications allow me to have the
knowledge necessary to properly insure you.

You pay good money for insurance and expect it to take care of you when you need it. How can your
insurance take care of you if you don’t have the correct insurance?

Farm Insurance and Business Insurance is more complicated than your home and auto
insurance. They need to be customized by someone experienced that will spend time with you to
find out what your insurance needs are and who has the knowledge and passion to do it correctly.
I will start towards my estate planning certification later this year. My ultimate goal
is to not only help you protect your assets, but also to help you create new assets
and to transfer your legacy to those you love the most.

Your farm is your life and your legacy. If something happens, and your policy doesn’t
cover your claim, a lot of time, money, and sleep will be lost. A claim that is not covered, or an
estate plan that is not written correctly, can cost you and your family your land, your business,
and the legacy you’ve spent your life building. I want to help you avoid that loss.”

-Andrew Keehn

Why Would I need Critical Illness Insurance Benefits?

CHRONIC ILLNESS
You can use life insurance while you’re still alive through LIVING BENEFITS.

Living Benefits are an acceleration of the death benefits of your life insurance policy. They
allow you to get money if you suffer from terminal, chronic or critical illness.

Critical Illness: Conditions that may qualify for the critical illness benefit include:
• Cancer -Approximately 1.7 million people ae diagnosed each year and 600,000 die per
year.(1)
• Heart Disease -Approximately 720,000 people have a heart attack each year.(2)
• Stroke -Approximately 140,000 die each year from a stroke. Approximately 600,000 people
suffer from a stroke each year.(3)

• Other conditions include – Kidney failure, Alzheimer’s disease, Major Head Trauma, Chronic
lung or Liver Disease, and Major Organ Transplants.

Chronic Illness: You’re considered chronically ill if you are unable to perform, for at least 90
consecutive days without substantial assistance from another person, at least two activities of
Daily Living (bathing, continence, dressing, eating, toileting, and transferring) or requires
supervision by another person to protect against threats to health and safety due to cognitive
impairment.

Terminal Illness: One is considered terminally ill when a physician has diagnosed them with a
medical condition that gives the person a lifespan of 24 months or less.

WHY WOULD I NEED CRITICAL ILLNESS INSURANCE BENEFITS?
• Cash to pay for medical treatments not covered by your health plan.
• Cash to pay your mortgage while you are recovering.
• Cash to pay bills.
• Cash so you can travel for treatments not available locally.
• Cash to pay for experimental treatments (not covered).
• Cash to replace a spouse’s income while caring for the insured.

(l)https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/understanding/statistics
2)https://theheartfoundation.org/heart-disease-facts/heart-disease-statistics/
3)https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/understanding/statistics