Is motorcycle insurance mandatory?

Utah is a beautiful state. From mountains to pine forests, there’s a wonderful spectacle of natural features to explore. If you are an adventurous motorcyclist, you’ll fall in love with the Beehive State. But before you hop on your motorcycle to explore the beautiful landscape, there are a few things you need to sort out. For instance, you need to get motorcycle insurance before you hit the road. 

Liability Coverage

Just like auto insurance, motorcycle insurance is mandatory in Utah. You are required to take financial responsibility for any injuries or damages your motorcycle may cause to other motorists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians. It’s known as liability. Any vehicle or motorcycle operated on public spaces in the state must meet the minimum liability requirements. If you are looking for motorcycle insurance in the state, look no further than The Smith Insurance Group, Inc. in Sandy, UT. 

You need to establish financial responsibility to operate a motorcycle in the state. This is a legal obligation for every driver or rider in Utah. Establishing financial responsibility helps keep roads safe and fair for all drivers. If an accident you caused results in bodily injuries or inflicts damage to other people’s property, you will be required to cover the cost. Motorcycle insurance is a great way to meet such financial responsibilities. 

Financial Responsibility Requirements

In other words, the mandatory motorcycle insurance requirements in the state are meant to protect the rider from financial loss in the event of an accident. There are minimum state requirements for all motorcyclists per accident. However, it is always wise to get extra coverage to protect yourself from any eventuality effectively.

Get reliable motorcycle insurance coverage from The Smith Insurance Group, Inc. in Sandy, UT. Give us a call for more information on our motorcycle insurance coverage offerings in Utah, Idaho, Arizona, Nevada, and Montana.

Does Boat Insurance Cover Damage as a Result of Freezing Water?

A boat is a large ticket item that requires the proper coverage to ensure that it doesn’t receive damages that are going to inflict a financial toll on the owner. There are many factors to consider when purchasing your boat insurance. One of the many concerns that boat owners have is damage that results from freezing temperatures and ice. Will your boat insurance cover damages as a result of the cold weather?

Freeze Insurance

Most boat insurance policies have limits regarding what it will cover under what circumstances. Sure, your boat insurance will cover damage on the water under normal conditions, but it might not cover your boat or motor if it is damaged as a result of freezing weather. There is good news, however. There is freeze insurance that can be added to your policy that is designed to offer protection from freezing temperatures. In most cases, this insurance is primarily covering the engine, but may also offer protection for the body of the craft. Ask your insurance agent what type of additional freeze coverage they offer and learn what the terms of the coverage area before making your decision. 

Protect Your Investment

In order to prevent losses from freezing temperatures, you should consult a reputable insurance agency that can assist you with getting the right type and amount of coverage. Boat owners living in or around Sandy, UT can count on The Smith Insurance Group, Inc. to provide them with the insurance products and information they need to protect their boat from the harsh conditions of the cold weather months. 

Protect your boat with the right insurance products by consulting The Smith Insurance Group, Inc. They are ready to help the residents of Sandy, UT get the coverage they need to have peace of mind. Call or stop by the office for more details. 

How to Choose a Health Insurance Plan

Having health insurance is required in Sandy, UT if you do not want to pay a tax penalty, and with so many options, choosing a plan can be overwhelming.

Your first step is that you will want to compare different types of health insurance plans with your agent at The Smith Insurance Group, Inc., so you know what the best fit for you is. You will find different acronyms for plans, so you need to know what those mean as well.

  • HMO (Health Maintenance Organization): These plans are good if you want a lower out-of-pocket cost and are okay with having a primary care doctor who will give you referrals to see specialists.
  • PPO (Preferred Provider Organization): If you want more doctor options and don’t want to be required to see a primary care doctor for a referral, this plan allows for that.
  • POS (Point of Service Plan): This is similar to an HMO, but you have more provider options.

Looking at your family’s medical needs can help you decide which plan is right. If you need to see specialists often, you should choose a PPO.

Next, you will want to compare health plan networks. You want to be able to go to an in-network doctor so that your costs remain lower. If you notice that a plan doesn’t have a lot of doctors that are close by, this might not be the right plan for you. When comparing each option, you want to compare out-of-pocket costs. Plans will have these laid out so you know how much it’s going to be if you visit your primary care doctor, a specialist, or want to know what prescriptions could cost. Compare benefits on each plan, so you are covered for your specific medical needs, whether that’s a particular medication or getting sick abroad for frequent travelers.

Contact The Smith Insurance Group, Inc., serving Sandy, UT, to get a quote on health insurance and to discuss a plan.

Buying Life Insurance as You Start Out in Life

When you’ve graduated from school and are starting that first job, the last thing you may be thinking of is getting a life insurance policy. After all, you are young, unattached, and are not likely to die anytime soon. The Smith Insurance Group, Inc., serving Sandy, UT, would like to explain why getting life insurance is a good idea early in life.

Having a life insurance policy when young is a good idea on the rare possibility you do die to have a way to pay your final expenses. However, a little-known secret about life insurance is that it makes a pretty good financial investment that should be part of anyone’s portfolio.

If you keep reinvesting the interest and dividends that your life insurance pays out as well as pay your premium, the cash value will grow over time. You will be able to access that cash value if you need it to help pay for big-ticket expenses such as a new home or student debt through policy loans and partial surrenders.

Once you retire, and the need for a death benefit has decreased, with your children having become adults, the cash value of your insurance policy can be accessed to supplement your retirement income. You should keep enough of a death benefit to pay for final expenses.

The main advantage of starting a life insurance policy when young is that the premiums are low and cannot increase so long as you maintain it. Getting life insurance when you’re older can be difficult, especially if you develop health problems.

For any questions you might have about life insurance, contact the Smith Insurance Group, Inc. serving Sandy, UT.

How Long Do I Have To File An Insurance Claim After An Accident?

If you are involved in an auto accident in Sandy, UT, you may be curious about how long you have, after the incident, to file an insurance claim. While it is always best to contact The Smith Insurance Group, Inc. immediately after the incident, there may be reasons you decide to file an insurance claim at a later date. Here is what you need to know about the time frame you have to file an insurance claim. 

Vehicle And Personal Property Damage 

After an accident, one of the first things you should do is contact your insurance company. To file an insurance claim for any possible damages, you will have the option to either file with your own insurance company, called a “first-party” claim, or against the other driver’s insurance, called a “third-party” claim. 

According to Utah Code section 78B-2-305, if your vehicle or other Sandy, UT personal property was damaged as a result of a vehicular accident, any lawsuit regarding that claimed damage must be filed within three years of the date of the incident.  

Bodily Injury 

According to Utah State Law, any person in your vehicle who suffers a bodily injury is required to submit their claim to your insurance company. For each person incurring an injury, the first $3,000 in medical expenses will be covered by your The Smith Insurance Group, Inc. policy under Personal Injury Protection before they can file a claim with the other party’s responsible insurer. 

Is There A Time Frame For Concluding My Claim? 

If you fail to file a suit or accept a final settlement before the statute of limitations is up, you can jeopardize your right to receive any settlement. You are required to either file a lawsuit or accept a final settlement offer within the time frame required by specific statutes of limitations: 

  • For property damage claims – The time frame is three years from the date of the accident. 

  • For bodily injury claims – The time frame is four years from the date of the accident. 

Reach out to The Smith Insurance Group, Inc. for an auto insurance policy and a quote. Our agents are ready to help walk you through the insurance process.

Who Requires Me to Have Commercial Insurance?

Business owners today have to make a lot of different crucial decisions. One important decision that they have to make is the decision to get the right type of commercial insurance. There are a variety of different regulators and entities that will require a business owner to obtain commercial insurance.

State Regulators

For those that are in the Sandy, UT area, state regulators will require that you carry some form of commercial insurance. All business owners today are required to carry workers compensation insurance if they have more than one employees. This will provide insurance protection if someone is injured during the course of the workday. Those that are sole proprietors will not be required to carry workers compensation coverage. 

Lenders

If you take out a loan to finance any part of your business, having adequate commercial insurance will likely be a requirement. Commercial lenders will normally require that you have liability insurance protection. This type of protection will provide you with coverage in the event you are deemed to be liable for a wide variety of accidents. Even if it is not required by a lender, the valuable protection it provides could be worthwhile.

Landlord or Mortgage Holder

Almost all businesses today also need to carry property insurance. If you own your place of business, it will be required under your commercial mortgage. If you are a lessor, you may be required to carry a full property insurance policy in your lease.

For Sandy, UT business owners, discussing their commercial insurance needs with The Smith Insurance Group, Inc. would be a great first step to getting the right type of policy. The Smith Insurance Group, Inc. will be able to explain all of your commercial insurance options to make sure you know what type of coverage to get. Reach out to our agents for more information on commercial insurance.

How Much Motorcycle Insurance Should I Get?

The Smith Insurance Group, Inc. in Sandy, UT can help you to find the right insurance for you and your motorcycle.

Besides state-wide motorist requirements, (like limiting cell phone usage, the law against texting and driving, or the requirement to wear an approved helmet,) the Smith Insurance Group, Inc. can help you to ensure you are insured properly in Utah.

Motorcycle insurance requirements

Most states have a legal requirement for motorcyclists to carry liability insurance, which pays out for other’s injuries or damages in the event you cause an accident. Even no-fault states, like Utah, require motorcycle liability insurance.

You are required in Utah to carry certain minimum coverage limits for an accident, which include:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person.

  • $65,000 for total bodily injury when multiple people are hurt in the accident.

  • $15,000 for property damage.

While those limits are the minimum requirements, remember – you may need more than that. Speak with your insurance agent to understand if you’re protected, and get a quote today.

Additionally, Utah is a no-fault state, and automobile drivers are legally required to carry PIP, or personal injury protection coverage. PIP is not required to be a part of a motorcycle insurance policy, but many insurers still include PIP.

What If I Need More?

No one likes to think of being sued, but it is a real possibility if you cause an accident and someone brings a suit against you. Just buying the minimum limits from the state may not be enough to pay for legal bills, medical bills, and replacement or repairs to your motorcycle in the event of an injury-causing accident.

If you have passengers, remember – many motorcycle insurance policies do not cover passengers. Check with your insurance agent to confirm that your policy has passenger liability coverage.

In the event you need uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, your policy should have limits set that will protect you. UIM insurance protects you should someone who is driving without insurance (or with inadequate insurance) gets into an accident with you – if you’re not properly insured, you could be on the hook for the difference between their policy limits and medical or legal bills resulting from the insurance.

Other Motorcycle Insurance Considerations

Other insurance coverages you should consider when purchasing motorcycle insurance include:

  • Collision coverage

  • Comprehensive

  • Umbrella or Gap insurance

  • Personal injury protect (or PIP)

  • Trip interruption coverage

  • Transport trailer coverage/Towing

  • Roadside assistance

  • Motorcycle lay-up protection (or during winter, when motorcycles are traditionally put away. This insurance covers you from theft and other perils)

Potential Motorcycle Insurance Discounts
Speak with your insurance agent today to see if one of the following discounts can help you save on your motorcycle insurance needs:

  • Bundle and save

  • Maintain a clean driving record

  • Pass a rider training course

  • Motorcycle riders organization membership

  • Mature ride discount for longtime riders

Types of Settlements If Your Bike Is Destroyed or Stolen

  • Actual Cash Value: Get reimbursed for what your bike is currently worth, not including deductible and depreciation.
  • Stated Worth: Pays out only the amount you chose when you purchased your insurance policy.
  • Agreed Value: Pays out a fixed amount you and your insurance agency settled on when you purchased your policy.

See how an insurance agent serving Sandy, UT can help you. Speak with a qualified agent today!

Do I Need to Have Boat Insurance?

One of the best ways to spend a nice warm day is to be out on the water on your boat. While owning a boat is a lot of fun and gives you a lot of great things to do, there are also a lot of responsibilities that come with owning a boat. Since it is such a significant asset, getting insurance in place could be very beneficial. There are several reasons why you may need to have boat insurance in place whenever you are out on the open water. 

State Requirements

For those that are in the Sandy, UT area, and the rest of the state of Utah, having the minimum boat insurance levels in place is a necessity. The state of Utah will require that you have minimum levels of liability insurance in place including $15,000 in property damage coverage and minimum bodily injury liability coverage of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident. These basic requirements will only provide you with liability coverage and will not cover any of your assets. 

Lender Requirements

Many boat buyers today end up financing a portfolio of the purchase through the use of a boat loan. If you have a loan that has a lien on it, you will be required by law to carry the proper insurance required under the loan. This will normally include having collision and comprehensive coverage that will protect your boat in the event it is stolen, damaged in an accident, or vandalized.  

If you have decided to buy a boat and would like to learn more about your insurance needs, The Smith Insurance Group, Inc. can help you get started with a quote and a policy. The Smith Insurance Group, Inc. can help Sandy, UT area residents by answering their questions and helping them get started on a policy.

The Balance of Premiums and Deductibles with Health Insurance Policies

Shopping for health insurance is a balancing act in trying to find that ideal value for you and your family. Do you have a firm grasp of exactly what your needs are when it comes to health insurance? Knowing the history of your medical bills is a high starting point. Work with us at The Smith Insurance Group, Inc. in Sandy, UT, and we can help you balance deductibles and your health insurance.

Balancing the Deductible and Premium

You need to balance the deductible and the premium when it comes to health insurance. The deductible is the amount of money you can expect to pay out of pocket in any given year. If you have a $1,000 deductible on your policy, you will pay all of your medical bills up to that $1,000 over the effective policy period. Once that is hit, it is then that coinsurance will likely kick in.

If you have a deductible that is as low as $1,000, chances are you will have a higher premium or price you will pay for the health insurance policy.

The Value Point

The idea is to find the value point, and that may be different from one person to the next. You may like the idea of paying more out of pocket in premiums, knowing you will have a lower deductible, and less to pay out later. Vice versa, you may like the idea of paying lower premiums, but more of the medical bills on your own. The value point will differ from one person to the next.

The process of shopping for and buying health insurance should always have the value be top of mind. You need to be sure you are paying premiums and getting coverage that meets your exact needs. You may be buying coverage that is too extensive, for no reason at all. Work with us at The Smith Insurance Group, Inc. in Sandy, UT to find that ideal balance point to give you exactly what you need for health insurance coverage.

When Should You Get Life Insurance?

Life insurance is not always a type of insurance that people think about getting. However, there are a few times when it does make sense to get life insurance. If you are not sure whether you should have it or not, you can use this guide from The Smith Insurance Group Inc., serving Sandy, UT, to help you make the best decision for you and your family. 

When You Need Life Insurance

  • When you are married – If you have a spouse, they may not be able to support themselves on one income if they are used to two. You want to make sure that they are well taken care of financially if anything were to happen to you which is why life insurance is a great option. 
  • When you have kids – The same is true if you have children. They rely on your income, and if you were no longer around, you would want them to be taken care of. Of course, this depends on the age of your children because if they are adults and live on their own, it is not as much of a concern. 
  • When you have debts – If you have some large debts, you want to be able to take care of them if you are gone instead of leaving them to your family to take care of. 

If you think that life insurance is the right option for you and your family but are not sure how much you need or what kind, be sure to reach out to The Smith Insurance Group Inc., serving Sandy, UT, today. We can help you find the right type of life insurance, the right amount, and we will even make sure that what you choose fits your budget.

We also provide insurance for those in Idaho, Arizona, Nevada, and Montana if you are located in another state. Reach out to our agents for more information.