Elf on the Shelf hits RCI Insurance

I hope everyone was safe in the winter weather that has covered most of the U.S. this past week! Everyone here weathered the storm just fine, until they came back to work on Monday.

I’m not sure Santa just thought that there was not production coming out of the office, or maybe not enough holiday cheer going on, but he sent in the “Elf on the Shelf.”  This was the scene we walked into Monday morning.

Elf Day 1

According to the note we found his name is Auto (how fitting) and he will be keeping an eye on things through the Holiday season.  On Tuesday the Elf was no longer dangling from the garland, but from the tape dispenser on Julie’s desk.  The jury is still out on what exactly he was trying to tape.

Elf Day 2

Not everyone in the office had heard about the Elf until Wednesday when Chet came into work to this.

photo 3                             elf day 3

And Chet was clearly confused over our Elfs behavior. Chet Elf

I guess Auto was worried he may have taken it a little to far with Chet, so the next few days he took it easy on us. I am pretty sure Karen helped him clean up this mess. This morning I do believe he was just trying to help us get some work done!

skittles                          elf day 5

It is debatable if he actually sold any insurance, but we will give him an A for effort!

 

 

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It’s the Apocalypse, wait its just Snow.

Sitting here today as Oklahoma weather shows it’s ugly face, and everyone preps as if the zombie apocalypse is about to occur, you know rushing to the grocery store fighting over bread and milk.  Nevertheless I thought since everyone else was stocking their cabinets with food and supplies I would prep you all with some winter driving tips!

RCI Snowy Vehicle

Winter Weather Driving Tips from The Weather Channel:

1. Make sure both you and your vehicle are properly equipped to handle the roads and the weather. My husband laughs at me because when the weather rolls around I put snacks & blankets in my car. I don’t want to starve or freeze to death! I think the amusing part here is that we do not live in Montana where you go MILES without seeing anything or anyone. Bottom line here, dress accordingly and be prepared for anything.

2. Slow down & drive smoothly. Speeding to get out of the weather is not going to help anyone. Patience is a virtue (I am not saying I have much of one myself), but driving slower and being more cautious is going to be your saving grace.  Keep your lane changes to a minimum, and do not lay on your brakes.

3. Do Not Tailgate. Obvious as it may be tailgating provides a ton of accidents and claims.  I also know that driving on a busy road makes tailgating hard to avoid.  If you leave too much space between you and the car in front of you other drivers jump right in. Stop and go traffic is the worst. A fender bender in the freezing rain and snow is not the way you want to spend your time. These fender benders are so frequent when roads wet or icy some cities run programs like Tulsa’s “Operation Slick Streets” which means that officers will not respond to non-injury accidents. They suggest you exchange insurance information and if you are close to a Quick Trip you can pick up a collision report to fill out.

4. Do Not use Cruise Control. Hopefully this will keep your speed down as well as keep you more aware of your surroundings.

5. Pull over or stay home. Of course if you are able to stay home and out of the weather that would be your best bet. If you do have to get out then remember that there is no shame in pulling over or waiting till the weather lightens up before heading on your way.

http://www.weather.com/life/safety/autosafety/article/five-winter-driving-tips_2011-10-30

While working on this I have read on cityoftulsa.org that Tulsa has in fact enacted the “Operation Slick Streets” this means it is getting rough out there. Hopefully everyone has their milk and eggs because as of this morning there was not a lot left. Everyone remember these driving tips and be safe as you head home!

Affordable Health Care Update

As you are aware, the marketplace website designed to enroll consumers in “affordable health care” has not been functioning properly – if at all. The Washington Post reports that the testing of the website that should have been carried out months prior to the rollout was started only two weeks prior to the rollout.

Although we have heard many rumors, the latest update we were given says the website is expected to be up and running by the end of November. The deadline for enrolling without a penalty has been extended to March 31, 2014. For more details, visit http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/10/23/heres-how-the-white-house-just-tweaked-obamacare/

Many clients have also asked about submitting a paper application or applying by phone. This is an option that is supposed to be available to consumers. However, if you choose to submit a paper or telephone application, you will not have the option to choose an agent. This means that we would be unable to assist you now or in the future if you have any questions, concerns, or issues.

Please know that we are doing everything we can to keep you informed of the situation and we are experiencing the same frustrations that you are.

If you have talked to us and are on our waiting list, an agent will be in touch with you to schedule an appointment when the website is back up. If you would like to be put on our waiting list, just give the office a call or send an email to amber@rci-insurance.com.

Sized

Two Area Families Devastated by Sudden Tragic Accident When Car Kills Child on Bicycle

Joe is a great guy. Beautiful family. Owned his own home. Good job. Boy scout leader. Little league coach. Church trustee. He lived the American dream.
One afternoon in May 2011 Joe left work early. He got in his car and was on his way home. He would be coaching his son’s little league game that night. He was euphoric. They had practiced for weeks and he knew this would be the best season yet. Bats. Balls, Homeruns. A few strikes. His mind was not behind the wheel.
THUD! SCREECH! OH MY G… The last thing he remembers was the little girl’s bike flying over his windshield. He pulled the car over and got out. He trembled as he saw her lifeless body laying in the road. He prayed for her. The paramedics came. He was dazed. His heart ached for her parents because he knew how much he loved his own three kids.
About a month later he got a certified letter from a lawyer in Tulsa. He was getting sued for $2,000,000. Several months later in court, the jury awarded the little girl’s family $1,250,000. Joe’s auto insurance company quickly paid the full policy limit of $300,000 and walked away. He still owed $950,000. Well, they took his savings, and even the little bit of money he had set aside for his own kids’ educations. Those things came to about $175,000. He still owed them $775,000 and would have his wages garnished for the rest of his life.
Nothing would ever bring the darling little girl back. Her parents would be heartbroken forever. Joe would always have a place in his heart for her.

Joe’s legal nightmare will never be over. The whole mess could have been avoided for as little as $150.00/year, by purchasing an umbrella policy.

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You maybe asking yourself what is an umbrella policy, basically it is excess liability for when you exhaust the liability on your auto or home policy.
To learn more about umbrella insurance please visit our website: http://www.rci-ins.com/insurance-solutions/personal-insurance/umbrella-insurance/

Come Join Our Team

Group1
Commercial Lines Customer Service Representative

RCI Insurance Group, a rapidly expanding independent insurance agency in Claremore Oklahoma has an immediate opening for an experienced Commercial Lines Customer Service Representative.

This person will assist Account Managers and Producers in handling commercial insurance accounts. The position is responsible for a wide variety of duties, and will report to the Commercial Team Leader.

Characteristics of the ideal candidate:
• Enthusiastic and upbeat (Yes, even in the negative insurance environment).
• Must have excellent communication skills
• Must have ability to maintain confidentiality
• Will be licensed and have at least 1 years’ experience as a CL CSR
• Must be a team player and willing to follow procedures
• Must have excellent computer skills and willing to learn. We operate in a “paperless” environment.
• Applied Management System experience is a plus

Sample duties: (Not all inclusive)
• Assist Account Managers and Producers with Client & Prospective Clients Accounts
o Application completion and submission to various companies
o Computer rating of risks
o Prepare and issue Binders & Certificates
o Update management system and prospect system
o Other duties as assigned and are normal in an insurance agency environment.

If you feel you meet these qualifications, please send a resume and brief cover letter to:
Karen@rci-insurance.com or fax to Karen @ 918-341-6088

How Good is Your Insurance Company?

Working for an Independent Agent means we have the ability to represent many different insurance companies, not just one. This is great for our clients because it gives them options and it allows us to find the best possible coverage for them. When new potential clients come into our office in small town Claremore, Oklahoma, we get asked the same questions over and over. One of those questions is about claims. How does this company handle their claims? This is a very valid question and one that should concern every Oklahoma Insurance policy holder. If the company has a cheap premium but handles your claim poorly, is the cheap premium worth it? The old saying, “You pay for what you get” is true in insurance as well.

With Storm Sandy, I’m sure there are people that are realizing that their insurance is not covering what they thought it would cover or that their insurance company is not handling their claim with the promptness they need and deserve. But, there is a company that is going above and beyond to help their clients, Safeco Insurance. Claim personnel that would normally handle a claim over the phone are traveling to the East Coast to help their agents and clients. They’ve added additional supplementing staff, such as SERVPRO, Innovation Property, and other local restoration companies to help with the vast amount of claims. Also, due to the shortage of gas or at least access to gasoline, Safeco’s parent company, Liberty Mutual, has provided a gasoline tanker so the claim adjustors can stay on the road and out in the field helping their clients. I don’t know about you, but that is exceptional claim service. That would be something I would want from my insurance company.  A good company can be considered great if they take care of their clients in time of crisis and need. Safeco Insurance and Liberty Mutual have done just that for their clients dealing with Storm Sandy.

As I mentioned before, RCI Insurance Group is an independent agent. We offer Safeco Insurance for our Oklahoma clients. Isn’t it a relief to know that there are insurance companies out there that can handle a claim crisis with that kind of response? Wouldn’t you want that kind of an insurance company for all your insurance needs? I know I would!

 

If you’d like to read more about how Safeco Insurance and Liberty Mutual took care of their agents and clients on the East Coast, click here.

Warnings for Flood Damaged Vehicles

As Storm Sandy makes its way across the Midwest states, I’m in awe of the devastation left in its wake. This storm has left many East coast states buried in several feet of water. It’s crazy how much water came from that storm alone.  The pictures show buildings with severe flooding and too many vehicles almost completely covered in water.

People with water damaged vehicles will begin trying to sell their vehicles. If you’re going to be buying a new car or potentially buying a new vehicle, please be sure to check vehicle for water damage. It’s more than just spotting a waterline. According to an article for MSN Autos, Jim Jacobson, a 30-year veteran of the car sales business and owner of Jacobson Auto Sales, “…Instead of declaring the car totaled by flooding, the insurance companies just paid to have it cleaned out, or the owner never made a claim. But if there’s been floodwater inside the car, it’s almost certain that there will be problems down the road, from corrosion on electrical connections and ABS and airbag sensors to failed transmissions. Or it will just smell bad.”

If a vehicle has been totaled for flood damage, there is a marked title given to that vehicle. Most insurance companies will be very hesitant, if not totally against, writing an Auto Insurance Policy for a marked titled vehicle. At RCI Insurance, most of our companies will not want to write an Oklahoma Auto Policy for vehicles that have either a salvaged title or a flood damaged vehicle. However, people have found that if they move their vehicle from state to state and retitle their car in several different states, the marked title gets removed and a new title is given to the vehicle (also depends on the state’s laws about titling a vehicle and marked titles).

Since you can’t always trust the title of the vehicle to be truthful, here are a few ways to check and see if a vehicle has had water damage. If it has, walk away and don’t purchase it. Many experts say there will almost ways be problems later on with a vehicle that has had water damage. Even if you’re buying from a Car Dealership or a private owner, check these areas in the car.

  1. Buy a title history. The Justice Department database has made these reports a little easier to read. You still want to look them over carefully, especially if the vehicle has been titled in other states.
  2. When you sit inside the car, smell it. Does it smell moldy or rusty or musty? Sniff the upholstery. The only way a moldy smelly can be taken completely out of upholstery is if the cleaners use bleach. Since bleach can’t be used on the upholstery without damaging it, chances are if there’s been water damage, you’ll smell it.
  3. Most auto carpet has plastic backing. Check it out. If it’s damp, smells wet, or muddy, or even has an odd odor chances are it’s had water damage.
  4. Check the bolts of the seats, if they’re rusty or loosened that could be a sign of flood damage. The seats have to be removed for the carpet to be cleaned.
  5. Look for a scum line or silt in out-of-the-way locations. Be sure to check the glove box and under the dashboard. These areas can be easily overlooked when the car is being detailed. And be sure to check the trunk as well. Look for waterlines, moisture, check under the spare tire, and the floor mat. You want to find any signs of flooding.
  6. Check out the turn signals and headlights. These are expensive to replace and many times aren’t when there’s been flooding. See if there is any mud, silt, or water in the lights.
  7. Look for rust or corrosion. If you can’t or don’t know how, have the vehicle inspected by a mechanic. You want to know if there is any rust on the chassis and suspension.

These are just a few suggestions when car shopping after flooding has taken place recently. Remember that some dealerships are obligated by law to inform potential buyers of a flooded or salvaged vehicle. You can’t guarantee that they will tell you everything about the car. So be prepared and find out everything you can about a vehicle before you buy it.

 

If you’d like to read more information about this, visit the website, MSN Autos, here.