Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Have a Safe New Year's Eve

Being the insurance geeks that we are we want to wish you a SAFE New Year's Eve celebration and a Happy New Years! Be sure to make good decisions as you celebrate from one year to the next.

As for the Fey Insurance Services office we will be closing at noon on Dec 31st and will also be closed all of New Year's Day. As always, you can reach us by email or interact with us via our website

Lights On Ohio Drivers!

On Friday, January 1, 2010 a new law goes into effect in Ohio requiring that you turn on your lights when your wipers are on in rain, snow or fog. Failure to do so could result in a ticket and a $100 fine. A new state of Ohio law, which took effect this year, included the mandatory lights-on provision, but it allowed law enforcement to issue only warnings for six months. On Friday, the 1st of January 2010, the warnings will be replaced by tickets. The law requires drivers to turn on their headlights anytime the windshield wipers of the vehicle are in use because of precipitation.

To be safe, turn on your lights anytime there is precipitation of any sort of the windshield.

The violation is a secondary offense meaning a motorists cannot be stopped or cited only for failing to turn on their lights, but it can be tacked on to another violation such as a speeding violation in the new year.

There are two other motor vehicle laws included. One requires drivers to change lanes or slow down when there is a tow truck along the side of the road. Failure will be a third-degree misdemeanor with up to $300 fine plus court costs. The second change is to increase the speed limit for trucks from 55 mph to 65 mph on most Ohio interstates.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays from The Fey's!

Christmas Day is only a couple of days away. We at Fey Insurance Services hope you have a safe and wonderful Holiday with your family and friends. Our office will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. However, you can always reach us via email. Another way to get a hold of us is through our website at Our revamped website allows you to request policy changes, pay bills and report claims 24 hours a day.

Again, from our family here at Fey Insurance Services to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Traveling Over the Holiday?

Many of you will be leaving home and travelling for the Holidays. Typically people will turn back their heat to conserve energy and save money. But turning your thermostat lower than the mid 60's could be like turning the heat off if we get a real cold spell. Low or no heat could cause your water pipes to freeze and that could be real problems for your house and personal property. So, if you are planning on being away from home for a period of time consider the following: (1) keep adequate heat in your home by leaving your thermostat in the mid 60's, (2) consider turning your water off at the main water valve and draining your pipes by then turning on facets and flushing toilets, (3) have a neighbor check on your house while you are way, and (4) if the service is offered, notify your local police department to keep an eye on your home as they patrol your town. Have a wonderful Holiday Season!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

2010 Fey Calendars

The 2010 calendars should be waiting for you in your mailbox over the next couple of days. If you wish to have a second, third or fourth please let us know. We have a few extra in stock. We also have our wall calendars still available so please feel free to call or just stop by and pick some extra ones up. We always like to have a reason to have you stop by the office and chat.

Friday, December 11, 2009

24/7 Access to Fey Insurance Services

With the help of our IT department we have stepped up the capabilities of our website. If you are a Fey Insurance Services customer you can now go into our website and click on "Customer Tools" and have 24/7 access to our agency. From the "Customer Tools" link you are able to either make policy change requests, pay your insurance premiums or report a claim. So often nowadays people remember that they needed to call us late in the evening. Now they can go to and either make that policy change request that they forgot to call in or submit a payment that is due that day.

Visit our new site today!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

GPS Devices Help Burglars

GPS systems have made life much easier for drivers to find where they are going. Unfortunately it has also made life much easier for burglars to track down your house. Recently a 23 year old was caught burglarizing homes in northwest Ohio and Michigan. He would break into vehicles that had GPS devices in them while they were parked at restaurants and cinemas. He would then steal the GPS device along with the garage door remote. Later he would use the GPS device to locate the home and then gain entry in the home by using the garage door remote. The young man had struck ten home prior to being caught.

Fey Insurance's recommendation for individuals that own detachable GPS devices is to never leave the device out in the open when you are not in the car. Even if you are just going in for dinner at a restaurant or for grocery shopping, we suggest you hide the device in your glove compartment or take it with you when you leave the car. A second suggestion is to use a nearby location as your "home" and not your actual home address. This way the burglar would not be able to track down your exact house if they did happen to steal your GPS device and garage door remote.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Home Security Systems

On a daily basis you see ads on TV for home security systems. We at Fey Insurance highly recommend the installation of a Home Security System to add additional protection for you and your family. Insurance will work to put your property back in place after a fire or burglary, but a Home Security System will work to prevent or minimize the effects of that fire or burglary. If you are interested in such a Home Security System, please call us and we will tell you our opinion of the various manufacturers and what features to consider. For example battery backups are usually included in Home Security Systems, but we would also recommend cellular backups for your system in the event your normal phone service goes down or even disabled by a potential burglar. We would include carbon monoxide detectors in your system especially if you have a natural gas furnace or hot water heater. Central station monitoring is preferable to systems that go directly into a police or fire dispatch. Both are considered superior to a system that only sounds a local alarm in your home. There are discounts on your Homeowner policy for the installation of a Home Security System. Please call us to review those discounts. But the most important reason, in our opinion, to install such a system is for additional security for your family and peace of mind that you are doing everything to protect your family and your property.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


We at Fey Insurance Services want to wish you and your families a Happy Thanksgiving. May you use this time of year to count your many blessings and be thankful for all that you have.

We will be closing at noon today and will reopen on Monday November 30th. You can still reach us via our website ( From our website you can go to "Customer Tools" and submit any policy changes you need or under the"Our Staff" link you can find one of our Fey Insurance Services representative's email address and email them directly. We check email several times a day even when the office is closed.

Again, from us here at Fey Insurance Services to all of you, Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Flood Insurance Facts

Flood insurance had its fifteen minutes of fame after the Hurricane Katrina disaster in 2005. During this time period the media was making everyone well aware that flood insurance is not part of your typical homeowner policy. Today that is still the case and with this post I would like to point out a few more facts about flood insurance.

Flood insurance is run through a government program called FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). You can purchase it through insurance agency such as Fey Insurance Services but the backing is from FEMA. Typically it takes 30 days for a new flood insurance policy to go into effect. The one exception would be for a mortgage closing where flood insurance is required. So you need to plan ahead. Hearing about a big rain on the nightly news and calling your agent the next day will not work. Many people think of flood insurance when they think about what is stored in their basement. Flood insurance will only cover things such as furnaces, water heaters, washers, dryers, air conditioners, freezers, pumps and utility connections. Everything else you store down there (old cloths, furniture, carpet, TV, etc) is not covered unless those items are on the first floor of your house and the flood reaches that level.

In some cases flood insurance is required in order to get a loan. If your home or a home you are about to purchase is in a 100 year flood plain (meaning at least once every 100 years your location is under several feet of water) you will be required to purchase a flood insurance policy to close on your loan.

Feel free to get in touch with a Fey Insurance Services representative to learn more facts about flood insurance or to get a quote today.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Worker's Compensation issues for Ohio Business Doing Business in States Other Than Ohio

If you own or operate a business in Ohio, you are most likely carrying Ohio Worker's Compensation Insurance through the State of Ohio's Bureau of Worker's Compensation. If you pay an employee more than $160/quarter, you are required by law to do this. If your business takes you or your employees to other states, you need to be aware of the specific state's Worker's Compensation requirements. Depending on the circumstances, your Ohio Worker's Compensation may protect you and your workers in other states under the terms of Ohio's Worker's Compensation laws. There may be a problem, however, in Kentucky, for example where their Worker's Compensation governing bodies and laws do not recognize Ohio's Worker's Compensation Policies. In that case you may need to buy Worker's Compensation in the state where you or your employees are temporarily working. Many of these new issues are evolving as states scramble for revenue because of the current recession, so before going into other states on business, please check with that state's Worker's Compensation authorities to see if you need state-specific Worker's Compensation in addition to your coverage in Ohio or any other state.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Specialty Items Coverage

We are only a few weeks away from the Friday after Thanksgiving. This means that soon people will be flooding the malls trying to take advantage of the big Holiday sales. It is during this time of year that we like to always remind people that there is limited insurance coverage in all homeowner policies for things such as jewelry, guns, furs, coin/stamp/baseball card collections and silverware. No matter who your homeowner insurance company is they will only pay out a max of $1000 to $2500 for the items I just listed. The reason they do this is they feel these types of items are best covered under a scheduled personal articles policy. A scheduled personal articles policy allows you to specifically schedule items like rings, silverware, hunting rifles, coin collections, etc, for a certain value (based on a certified appraisal or sales receipt). If you currently have or are getting ready to purchase items such as these please call or email your Fey Insurance Services representative. They will help make sure these valuable items are best covered.

Friday, November 13, 2009

What to do Following a Car Accident

Car accidents are always a scary thing, even low impact accidents. Sometimes it can be difficult to stay focused on what you need to do right after an accident occurs, especially if you are injured. Obviously the most important thing to do after an accident is to move yourself and if possible the vehicles out of harm's way. Once you have done that make sure to exchange names and contact information. This is key. Now a days the police tell you to just give them the contact information and then wait for the police report to get the other party's information. This approach can causes a major delay for you and the other parties involved. Police reports, depending on the location of the accident, can take up to 10 days. That means that you will have zero information on the other party until that time. If you were not at fault in the accident it is going to be their insurance that takes care of you and your damages. Their insurance company won't be able to get a hold of you for up to 10 days because they won't know how to contact you until they get your information from the police report. If, however, you had exchanged information at the scene of the accident then you or your insurance agent would be able to call the other party and give them your information which would greatly expedite the whole process. So, even if the police officer tells you not to worry about the other parties information be sure to try and get at least a name and phone number.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Cincinnati Insurance Company Billing Options

For our clients that have Cincinnati Insurance Company policies they have some new billing options. To help with budgeting they have a pay plan called "Electronic Funds Transfer" (EFT). This is where Cincinnati Insurance Company will automatically withdraw your premium directly out of your checking account each month. Call a friendly Fey Insurance Services representative today to setup this option.

Also, Cincinnati Insurance Company has online billing. You can go to and setup a login. This is found in the top right of the webpage. Once you have done this you can pay bills online at your convenience. Note that you should talk with your Fey Insurance Services representative prior to setting this up. They may need to activate this option for you.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mind the GAP

Every time you step off the Tube in London's Underground you hear a women's voice in her perfect British accent reminding you to "Mind the gap". It is a good thing too. At some stops on the Underground there is a pretty big gap waiting for you as you exit and if you got caught in one of those monsters you could be in some trouble. The same is true for the gap that occurs in leases and loans on cars. Normally over time a vehicle's value depreciates faster than the loan or lease can be paid off. This is commonly referred to as being "upside down" on your loan or lease. If during this "upside down" period you total a vehicle in an accident there is going to be a gap between what the insurance company will pay you (actual cash value of the car) and what you still owe on your loan or lease. The good news though is there is insurance that covers this gap and it is appropriately named GAP insurance.

GAP insurance coverage helps pay for the difference between actual cash value of the car and what is owed on the loan or lease. One thing to keep in mind though, GAP insurance from personal auto insurance companies does not cover the cost of warranties or other add on charges that might have been included in the loan or lease.

So for an example, you totaled your vehicle and the insurance company is going to value your car at $5000 but your loan was still $7000. Let’s also say that of the $7000, $500 of it is because of the warranty that you had purchased. Therefore, the insurance company (if GAP insurance was on your policy) would give you $6500 ($7000 due on the loan minus the $500 warranty cost) instead of $5000.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Use of Credit Score in Insurance

Here is a message from Dan Kelso of the Ohio Insurance Institute in Columbus:

There's no need to create a "fear factor" when it comes to the use of insurance scores. The Ohio Department of Insurance regulates it, having established a credit insurance rule in 2003. This rule provides consumer protection as it pertains to insurer use of credit and prohibits insurers from using insurance scores as the sole determinant in underwriting or rating decisions.

Before calling for an overhaul to Ohio's process of determining insurance premiums, consumers should weigh The Blade's Oct. 28 guest editorial against their pocketbooks. Ohio has some of the lowest premiums in the country. Our average homeowners insurance expenditure is tied for fifth lowest at $530. The U.S. average is $804. Ohio's $654 average auto premium is 13th lowest, well below the U.S. average.

The Dallas Morning News editorial cited California and Maryland as states to emulate. Consumers are worse off in these states. California's average auto insurance premium is $843 and Maryland's is worse: $949. California's homeowners insurance averages $937 and Maryland's is $721.

States envy Ohio's affordable and competitive market. Consumers benefit from the fact that we have more auto and homeowners insurance carriers than in all but two states.

While the use of insurance scores is greatly misunderstood, the majority of insurance consumers pay less for auto and homeowners insurance with its use.

This isn't on the minds of Ohioans. ODI complaint data shows only 47 related to homeowners insurance costs in 2008. Complaints on auto insurance rates have been declining since 2002 with only 43 last year.

Ohioans aren't penalized by the use of insurance scoring models. In fact, comparing our premiums to states highlighted in the editorial, we should leave well enough alone.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Identity Theft: A Fast Growing Crime

Identity theft is becoming a major concern as it has become one of the fastest growing crimes in America. Victims face the task of notifying and communicating with creditors, debt collectors, law enforcement agencies, financial institutions, national credit bureaus and others in an attempt to restore their good credit standing. The cost of all of this can mount up.
You can add Identity Theft coverage to your Homeowner Policy to provide protection for these costs in the event you are forced to reclaim your identity and financial status. The additional premium is minimal.
One of our fine insurance companies is even providing Advocacy Services which gives you access to a qualified personal advocate to provide you with useful information and guidance to address the theft of your identity quickly.
What is identity theft? Identity theft is the unlawful use of another person’s identifying information, such as name, address, phone number or Social Security number to obtain credit fraudently from banks or retailers, steal money from existing accounts or open new accounts
for financial gain, apply for loans or other similar fraudulent activities.
Reclaiming your identity and restoring a damaged credit record following identity theft can take a considerable amount of time and expense.
The advocate that one of our leading insurance companies uses, provides easy access to a qualified person to assist you with the paperwork, telephone calls and other tasks required to address your situation quickly.
In addition, identity theft insurance will pay up to an amount ($25,000 with some companies subject to a $250 deductible) for expenses such as notarized fraud affidavits, certified mail and long distance telephone calls to law enforcement and credit rating agencies, loan application fees when required to reapply for a loan denied due to identity theft, reasonable attorney fees to defend against lawsuits, to remove wrongly entered criminal or civil judgments or to challenge the accuracy or completeness of information in your consumer credit report. It will also cover lost wages at $250 per day up to $10,000 when you take off work to meet with law enforcement agencies, legal counsel or similar related activities (included within the $25,000 limit of insurance).
Please contact us about this additional protection to your Homeowner Policy now.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Fact vs. Fiction: Uncovering auto insurance myths

Like a teenager eager to try a new video game, playing before reading the rules, many drivers buy insurance without really understanding what they’re buying.
In the rush to feel “covered,” they can skip the details. That can lead to frustration.
Following are five insurance myths heard by some of the more than 13,000 claims people at Progressive, one of the country’s largest auto insurance companies:

Myth: I bought “full coverage” so everything’s paid for.
Reality: There is no such thing as “full coverage.” In most states, only liability insurance is mandatory. There are a lot of other coverage options out there, so select what you need and can afford based on your personal situation.

Myth: I need three estimates before my wrecked vehicle can be repaired.
Reality: Not necessarily. Very few insurers actually require this, although some might. If you decide to use a shop that’s in an insurance company’s “network” of pre-approved shops you may just have to get an estimate from that shop.

Myth: My insurance premium always increases if I’m involved in an accident.
Reality: It depends. Your rate can increase, decrease or stay the same. The information about your accident is combined with other information about you, your car and your driving history to determine your rate.

Myth: If I lend my car to someone and he/she crashes it, I’m covered.
Reality: Not so fast. If you or your friend don’t have optional physical damage coverages, damage to your vehicle generally won’t be covered.

Myth: If I buy a new car, my auto insurance company automatically knows; and my new car is covered.
Reality: No. Most insurance companies require that you notify them or your agent within a specified number of days. Generally, you have 30 days to add the new vehicle to your policy.

To learn more, contact a friendly Fey Insurance representative.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

This ad is to remind people we can also help them with Progressive Insurance products. Also, we have found more often than not going through an agency is a cheaper way to buy Progressive Insurance products. Give us a call.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ohio Workers' Compensation for Your Home or Business

If you are in the State of Ohio and employ at least one employee to whom you pay $160 or more in a three month period, you are required to carry Ohio Workers’ Compensation. Your employee could be with your business or simply a babysitter or person you hire to mow your grass.
In Ohio you buy Workers’ Compensation from the State’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. Their website address is or you can call them at 1-800-OHIO-BWC.

Unfortunately your Homeowner Policy Personal Liability cannot help you in situations where you are paying the employee more than $160 in a quarter, so we highly recommend that you purchase an Ohio Workers’ Compensation policy if you are in this situation.
Workers’ Compensation pays for injuries to your workers and includes not only medical expenses but loss of income benefits, too.

The website at is actually very helpful. If you decided you need to buy a policy, you can do it all on-line including paying for the coverage and printing out a temporary policy to show you have the protection.

Please feel free to contact one of our friendly agents if you wish to learn more about workers’ compensation.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Catastrophe Liability Protection

How much liability protection do I need to carry to protect me and my family? Unfortunately there is no simple formula which you can use to calculate how much liability insurance you really need. With your home or a commercial property, there are computer programs which will help determine the construction replacement cost of the building, but there is no such program in the area of third party liability claims. Some insurance companies claim they make you “legal” for less, but in Ohio, for example, that means bodily injury limits of $12,500 per person/$25,000 per accident and property damage limits of $7,500. Any kind of serious accident will wipe out those limits in a heartbeat. As a bare minimum, we recommend no less than $500,000 in Personal Liability and $250,000/500,000/100,000 in Automobile Liability, but higher limits are available and recommended. This is where the Umbrella Liability Policy comes into play. These policies are written in increments of $1,000,000 with $1,000,000 being the lowest limit you can purchase. Limits of $1,000,000 to $5,000,000 are usually available, and higher limits are also available depending on the circumstances. Please contact us, and we will prepare a quotation for your review on this very important catastrophe liability protection.

Monday, October 26, 2009

As a proud representative of Progressive we want to make sure our Progressive personal auto clients are up to date with the discounts that are available to them. Below are a few ways to capitalize on the discounts that Progressive is offering:

  1. Paid in Full: This discount is given if you pay the full six month premium upon renewal. The discount is based on your premium so it differs per client.

  2. Electronic Funds Transfer: This is where Progressive withdraws your monthly premium directly out of your checking account. This method of paying is cheaper in fees than paying by check each month.

  3. Paperless Option: Progressive offers clients the option of receiving their policy and bills via email instead of through the US Postal Service. A discount will be applied to the client's personal auto policy if they choose this method.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Travelers TV Ad

This is our agencies favorite Travelers TV Ad. It makes us proud to have them as part of our agency. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cost Savings Ideas

There is constant talk today about cutting costs. Here are two options that might help you save a few dollars on your insurance in this rough economy.

1)Raise your deductibles:

A typical homeowner policy has a deductible of $500 and a typical auto insurance policy has $100 for comprehensive and $250 for collision deductibles. One way to help save a few dollars on your annual insurance bill is to increase your homeowner deductible to $1000 and your comprehensive and collision deductibles on your auto to $500 each. Note that when you do this you bring a little bit of the financial risk back on yourself. A good rule of thumb to help figure out if the deductible change is worth the risk is to take the savings you will get for increasing your deductible and multiply it by three. If that number is larger than the difference between your old deductible and your new deductible in my opinion you are taking on an appropriate amount of risk for the savings.

2) Drop physical damage on your old vehicles.

If a car is 10 years or older it is probably worth researching whether you should have comprehensive and collision coverage on your car (many people know this as "full coverage"). Two ways to help you decide if dropping comprehensive and or collision from your car is worth it are:
1. The Insurance Information Institute says that if your car is worth less than 10 times the amount you pay annually for comprehensive and collision coverage it isn't worth keeping the coverage.
2. Another way to analyze if it is worth keeping the coverage is to take the premium you pay for collision and add it to your deductible amount. That is the total amount that it costs you to insure your car. (i.e. Your annual collision premium is $250 and your collision deductible is $500. If you total your car you will have paid $750 ($250 in premium and $500 in deductible) before you received any money from your insurance company) If in your mind it isn't worth spending that kind of money to save your vehicle if it was totaled than you might want to consider dropping that coverage.

Friday, October 23, 2009

My Tree, Their Vehicle... Whose Insurance?

About a year ago I received a call from my neighbor. He sounded as if something was wrong; “Where are you” he asked? I informed him that I was away from home at the moment but was there something I could help him with. “Yeah, you can come get your huge tree limb off my SUV!” I immediately turned around and headed home. Once I got there I saw what is pictured here in this blog post. Because of heavy winds my huge front yard tree had dropped a limb and totally smashed the top of my neighbor’s vehicle. He and I spent the whole next day cutting away at the tree limb so that we could eventually tow his car to a body shop.

Now my neighbor lives next door to an insurance man so he was already well versed in whose insurance takes care of the damages to his SUV but for those of you that are not as privileged to live next to an insurance man I thought I would explain. Even though it was my tree that caused the damage my homeowner policy would not be involved in paying for the damages. In order for me to be responsible I would have to be negligent in some way but since it was an “act of God” (wind) negligence could not be pointed at me. Therefore, the coverage for the damage to his vehicle would fall under his personal auto policy. More specifically it would be his comprehensive or “other than collision” coverage. Since this coverage usually has a deductible (the amount the policy holder has to pay out of pocket before the insurance company takes care of the rest) I offered to help pay the amount he would have to pay out of pocket. I was not required to do this but since I like my neighbor and it was my tree, I felt it was the right thing to do.

There is, however, one situation that could have made the tree limb fall my fault. If for some reason my neighbor felt that my tree was unhealthy and dangerous he could compose a letter and “send receipt” a letter to me (meaning upon delivery I would have to sign a document stating I had received the letter). In the letter he would have to state that he felt my tree was in danger of falling and causing damage to his property. If that had been the case and my neighbor had sent me the letter he could have had grounds that I was negligent. This in turn would cause my homeowner policy to pay out for his damages and not his personal auto policy.

By the way, my tree is very healthy so there is no need for my neighbor to write a letter.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fey Insurance Announces New Blog

The ways of communication are constantly changing. Mail has been largely replaced by email and in some cases email has been pushed aside by tweets or Facebook postings. Since we here at Fey Insurance Services are dedicated to communicating with our customers in the fashion they most prefer we have decided to step into the blogging world. We hope to use this blog as a way to broadcast insurance information and advice to our customers and to the public as a whole. In our firm's mission statement we state that "Fey Insurance Services is an independent insurance agency dedicated to consulting, protecting and servicing our clients...". This blog will assist us in the "consulting" side of our mission statement.

Our posts will consist of: insurance news that individuals and businesses would find useful, news about the insurance companies that we represent, insurance coverage advice, insurance trends and hopefully a few fun facts or thoughts.

We hope you all find this blog of use and please come back and visit often.