Guest Blog: Shannon Dupper

Guest Blog: Shannon Dupper

I am excited and proud to feature our colleague, friend, and fellow networker Shannon Dupper with Realty Executives. She has graciously given us a short post introducing herself and giving a few tips to people considering buying or selling a home. I couldn’t imagine a better person to kick off our inaugural guest feature — we provide the insurance, she gets them in their homes.

I’ve had the privilege of watching Shannon move into real estate. She has set herself up for success by expeditiously building an incredible client base and pairing with a remarkable team.

dupper

The Symbiosis of a Home Transaction

Hi! I am Shannon “Super” Dupper from Realty Executives as an Independent Agent. In my previous years, I happily was a Property Manager who helped renters find a home that fit their needs. Now with the suggestion of my previous tenants, I assist those in need of buying and selling their homes all over the Nation. As a licensed Realtor, I love being able to uphold the highest standards with Integrity, Honesty, and I am proud to provide my Fiduciary duty to my clients.

Each person is unique! I assist by identifying their needs and wants quickly and efficiently by listening to what is important to them, I enjoy improving negotiations to get them the best they deserve and I do my best to alleviate the stress by setting the expectations upfront while mapping out the process with ease.

For buyers

Some tips for a renter considering to purchasing a home is to buy right now. Many mortgage companies have informed me that the rates are going to start increasing. What does that mean for next year’s outlook? That means it could be positive for the general economy as a whole, but that might mean that some people may have more trouble qualifying without a down payment. Although, no one really knows for sure what future may hold. What we do know is that buyers may have the great advantage to purchase more home at a lower price with the potential to get fixed into a low rate.

For sellers

Tips for sellers.. Pricing your home to sell would be the largest piece of advice I can suggest! In addition, consider an incentive (such as including a home warranty) since thirty-seven percent of Sellers offered an incentive in 2015 (from the official magazine for the National Association of Realtors). Those sellers who are open to negotiate in addition to the price find more success in obtaining the buyer.

For questions about finding a home or to list your home on the market, please contact Shannon Dupper at (520) 336-4917 or shannondupper@gmail.com

Shannon goes above and beyond for her clients and has an amazing set of resources and knowledge at her fingertips. Her real estate website with Realty Executives be found here.

Are you driving naked?

Driving without enough liability insurance is a lot like driving naked.

Yes, really. Naked. Exposed. Without clothes.

But why?

Exposure

We cover up because we don’t want people to see our vulnerabilities without our consent. We literally cover up what we only want select few people to be able to observe, view, or even touch. Insurance covers up one meaning of the term “assets”, while clothes covers up the second.

Not only are the outwardly desirable parts of our bodies covered up with clothes, but our flaws, insecurities, and weaknesses are hidden. We show them only to those we trust, only to those people we deem worthy. For someone to come in and take that knowledge without our consent is unforgivable.

Liability is protection for the desirable parts of your life: your home, your jewelry, your acquisitions, your possessions. Things you’ve worked for, things you put behind a locked door. If you didn’t care about them, you wouldn’t lock that front door.  It also protects your bank accounts, your income, and your retirement. If you didn’t care about those you wouldn’t be afraid of having personal information like credit card numbers or Social Security numbers out on the internet, you wouldn’t have your investments and bank accounts under password protection.

The exposure of liability comes from when an accident happens.

Auto insurance is there to pay whomever is hit money to help get things back to normal. Insurance exists for the person who hits another by accident to pay the person they hurt. Insurance’s main role is to fix the one who was hurt.

I can’t rephrase it enough: insurance pays the other person first.

But why is it important?

If someone hit you, you would want them to pay for everything you needed to get better: medical bills, rehabilitation, lost wages, pain and suffering, further therapy, damages to property, and so on. There are myriad things that need to be covered if you are hurt. If they didn’t have enough coverage to get you back to normal and compensate you for your lost time, wouldn’t you go after them in a court of law?

I would. I would.

Do you think someone would do the same to you?

What’s covered up?

The state of Arizona makes certain possessions available to be seized, or taken, if someone doesn’t have enough insurance and/or enough money to bring someone back to where they were before. What’s at risk?

  • Musical instruments valued over $250
  • Apparel worth more than $500
  • Vehicles worth more than $5,000
  • Pets worth more than $500
  • Wedding and engagement rings worth more than $1,000 (so, you know, most of them)
  • Books and book collections worth more than $250
  • Anything in your bank account over $150
  • IRA and 401(k) accounts
  • 25% of future wages

What’s safe from a lawsuit or settlement?

  • Cash value life insurance
  • Wheelchairs and prostheses

Can I be your tailor?

I don’t want you going into a black tie gala wearing an itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini.

I want you going in with a fitting, flattering, perfectly draped little black dress or a perfectly fitted single breasted tuxedo with unblemished satin lapels, black shirt button inserts, shined cufflinks, and a hand tied bow tie.

I don’t want you wearing that dress or that suit into a pool, I want you to jump into that pool with the proper attire (I don’t know if you’re going to be splashing around or swimming laps).

Your insurance is there, yes, to help replace your car and your stuff if something happens. But the biggest part of it is there to protect you from lawsuits if something happens. Let us be your tailor so you don’t have to drive naked.

Click here to start the quote process or give us a call at 520.867.4705.

Major Announcement: New York Life (April Fools post)

One of the hardest things to do, for an independent agency, is to keep the wind at your back. Maintaining momentum with high quality products, a crew (or team, or advocacy group) to consult with, and industry leading continuing education is extraordinarily difficult. Basically, it’s just too many balls to juggle at once.

New York Life approached us late last year. They have dividend paying whole life insurance, excellent term products, and supported movement forward for securities. They’re truly a company that represents the values worthy of displaying the Bow Tie.

After much hemming and hawing, we saw that it was time to rescind our written “No New York Life” policy and realize that the policy was written from fear. Fear that they were right the entire time. Fear that they could get us to the agency we could be. Fear that we were mistaken.

Words aren’t a great meal, but when it’s time to eat your words, you must.

So we have eaten our words and signed with New York Life. We’re so proud to be a part of Big Blue with so much greatness backing us up.

In the next two weeks we’ll be getting our securities license and offering mutual funds, variable life insurance, 401k, and various other retirement and investment products. Immediately, though, we are able to offer dividend paying whole life and their excellent term products.

No longer offering Indexed Universal Life will be sad, as we have seen much good come from those, but we’ll be better positioned for future growth with mutual funds.

Just kidding.

We’ll never be captive, again! ¡Viva independence!

IULs, when built and funded properly will almost always outlast mutual funds. Dividend paying life is still not worth the money back, and we could never offer only one company for any kind of insurance — it’s not right for our clients. Heck, we can currently offer many New York Life products as it is, they just don’t perform as well as most of our other companies (Assurity, Principal, Nationwide, etc.).

April fools!

7 surprising things about final expenses

I lost my grandmother in late June and, while my work has helped prepare me for many things associated with final expenses, I was still surprised by much.

1. The fees

First are the fees. All the fees. Fees to get the death certificate, fees to open the plot, fees to fill the grave, fees fees fees. Fees if you want to cremate, fees if you want a burial, fees if you want an urn, fees if you want a basic casket, fees if you want something extravagant.

My family was lucky in that we had a wonderful funeral arranger and liaison with the cemetery. They were so absolutely respectful, which I understand is not necessarily the norm for this industry.

What you need to realize is that you may have an idea of what the funeral will cost, but there are myriad tasks that need to be ironed out during the planning process.

2. Funeral and internment costs are separate

Yes, there’s a strong chance you’re having the funeral service next to the gravesite or, maybe you’ll have it at the chapel on the premises. Perhaps the service will travel from the chapel to gravesite. Maybe you’ll have the service in a house of worship (church, synagogue, mosque, etc.) and then a processional to the burial.

Regardless, you will be billed for two things: the funeral and the internment.

If your services are held offsite, that makes sense. But if they’re all under the same house, it can be a surprise. It makes sense, though: the funeral is purchasing a service, the internment or burial is purchasing a product and/or piece of land.

3. Health department release to bury

I know: reading it gives you a reaction of “Really?!” at first, but as soon as you ponder it, it makes sense. You’re taking a body and putting it in the ground, where, G-d forbid, it could flood or other things could happen. The government needs to make sure that, worst case scenario, there are no infectious diseases or toxic problems that could contaminate the area.

4. Death certificate may not be needed

Life insurance, one of the most important things you can purchase, often needs a death certificate to get the full payout on a large policy.

For small policies like “burial policies” or just to get a small advance on a larger policy, the companies will often only need confirmation of the obituary or other public record.

The great thing is, if you have only a small policy to claim on, it’s one less fee because you have one fewer death certificate to order. The terrible thing is you have to make that claim in the first place.

But what’s a burial policy or a larger policy?

Burial policies are whole life insurance policies that are for significantly smaller amounts, amounts that are usually only enough for a dignified burial (hence their name) or final expenses. Larger policies are good for covering mortgages or college expenses in the case of the family’s breadwinner’s death, or covering childcare costs in the case of the death of a stay and home parent. Other policies can be structured in a way to help supplement income during your golden years.

5. How quickly costs add up

We’ve all had the craving for a burger late at night. And we go to our favorite burger spot thinking oh, you know what, $5 for a burger and I’ll be great. But it never works out that way. We drop a Lincoln on the burger, but another $1 on the cheese, $2 more for fries, and heck, we’re already here, let’s get another patty for $2. Oh, and a drink. Before you know it, you’re at $15 for what was supposed to be a quick burger run.

I hate to compare a funeral to food, but it’s extraordinarily similar and, I feel, something my grandma, may she rest in peace, would enjoy (my last meal with her was a burger).

I’ve already spoken about the internment costs, the burial costs, fees, and other costs. They seem like things that come in slowly, but it’s less of a trickle of fees and more of an order that builds up within hours to, at most, days. You’re looking at a couple thousand dollars here, a few thousand there, hundreds of dollars for each of a few necessary services, and before you know it, you’re staring at a bill for $12,000 that needs to get paid before you can move forward. That is only a conservative estimate for only the bare essentials. You also want to make donations in their memory, get booklets for the funeral, get a headstone, and various other things that send their memory off in dignity and warmth.

6. The immediate financial shift

Let’s take, for example, the “standard” family of television. A working father, stay at home mother, and 2-6 kids. I understand this is no longer the standard layout and delegation of a family, but I have faith that you can identify the individual tasks and roles that one might take in this day and age.

What if the father dies?

Their family loses their main source of income and the mother will have to go to work, hire a babysitter or nanny or send youngest off to daycare. On top of that, she will likely have to organize or coordinate rides for the children from school (assuming they’re not home schooled, which, if they are, they’ll have to go to public or private schools so the mother can work).

What if the mother dies?

Their family loses the anchor at home. They lose the person who does the majority of cleaning,  food preparation, and child care. The person who runs around and takes the burden of time and attention off the one who has the traditional job is gone and suddenly the breadwinner’s attention has to be focused on both home and work. Workdays become choppy and less efficient as they take days off and leave early to help the kids out.

What if, G-d forbid, a child dies?

Their family has gone through something no family should ever have to. The natural order of raising kids, seeing your parents die, having grandkids, and dying before your children is hard wired into us. Losing a child has a special place in the religious tradition I was raised in, and knowing from a number of friends who have lost children, it’s a very appropriate place.

But that heartbreak comes at a very real price — and money won’t help it. But what money will do is give those parents and children time off to mourn and take care of themselves. It will help them seek much-needed therapy. It will help build memorials and bastions of good influence for the family.

Eddie, that’s all well and good for the typical family, or even other families. What if we’re retired or getting ready to retire?

That’s an excellent question. And if you’re retired, or aiming for it, things are different. Your kids are gone, your liabilities are less (less of a mortgage, probably fewer car payments, no children to support, etc.). Maybe you’re fully retired and are living off investments, cash value life insurance withdrawals, a well crafted annuity, and/or social security or a government pension. Maybe you only have social security.

If you don’t have that government pension, cash value life insurance, strong investment, or annuity, you might be in trouble. See, if you’re on social security, once your spouse dies, what you get from their fund is generally cut in half. Studies show the vast majority of senior citizens live paycheck to paycheck. Cutting one of the checks they receive in half would be devastating.

Any of these scenarios presents an immediate and massive financial change in the family. And, to be honest, it terrifies me every single time I talk about it.

7. Religious differences

Did you know that Jews and Christians are generally buried facing different directions? Jews are buried with their feet toward the East, Christians with theirs toward the West. Muslims are usually buried with a bit of a more intricate calculation: they’re feet are pointed toward Mecca, Eastward in the US, but aligned more precisely than simply East.

Headstones are culturally different for each religion, as well. The symbols and markings on each vary based not only on their religion, but on the more minute social customs of their particular group. Even down to the burial, a simple casket which is required to touch the ground for more observant Jewish burials to more ornate caskets that can be stacked for other religions.

The differences in religious customs, or even just the personal desires of the deceased, are absolutely fascinating. Some people want to be organ donors, others don’t. Some want their bodies donated for science and study, others are terrified of that notion. Some want ornate caskets, some want cremation, others want to be buried in a shroud and have a tree planted on them.

I find what people want for their body once they no longer occupy it to be utterly fascinating.

 

If you’re not ready for final expenses or just want to see what you may or may not have, please call us today.

Friday Insurance Tip: The Return

When I started my agency in 2012, I had no idea the massive transformations it would go through. I had no idea about the myriad nuances in the industry. All I knew is that I wanted to help people make sense of an overly complicated industry to empower them to help their loved ones.

The introduction of the Friday Insurance Tip was somewhat for marketing, but more so for making information accessible to clients, prospects, and the layperson. It was fun to think of new topics and expand on them, but eventually it fizzled out. There were more pressing things to take care of than quick blog posts.

I am excited to reintroduce these tips in a new format. That format: Periscope.

Periscope is a social media platform that live-streams video. It’s completely free, and if you miss the live broadcast, you can see it reposted on our Twitter and right here on our blog. The advantage of seeing it live is that you can submit questions to be answered.

The format will be our standard insurance tip, expanding and explaining old ones, giving new ones, and an AMA — ask me anything — period. The first one will be this Friday, August 21, at 11am Arizona (Pacific) time. It is on the same handle as our Twitter: @insuranceeddie.

We hope to see you watching and look forward to your questions. Thank you for being a part of the Eddie Arriola Insurance Agency tribe!

Note: I’ll update this shortly with our Periscope link.

Shopping for Quotes: to Redact or Not to Redact

We’ve received many declarations pages over the years with the premiums blanked out. Clients are afraid, for one reason or another, to show us how much they’re paying for what they’re receiving. Oddly, this has only happened with auto insurance quotes.

Generally, people who blank this out are trying to get us, the agent, to show them the lowest price we can offer. They’re afraid that if we see they’re paying three times our lowest price, we’ll split the difference and pocket the commission. When this happens, we’re being seen as a salesperson, not as a consultant.

There are a few things to consider.

First, the agent has no say over pricing. Pricing is based on an algorithm unique to each insurer based on things including, but not exclusive to, client’s loss and violations history, model of car, size of car, price of car (for comprehensive and collision), and a number of other factors. Even more, premiums have to be approved by each state’s insurance board.

Secondly, as an agent, we are going to have a range of companies to offer, all with different claims satisfaction ratings and insurance package features. If company B is a better fit, but $50 more each year than company A, it will complicate our process in explaining our recommendation to you. As soon as you show that you don’t want us to know your current premiums, you have told us that price is the most important consideration for you.

Our job is to find not necessarily the best price, but the best policy for your budget. If we have all the information in front of us, we are much more empowered to give you the best options available.

Apples to apples only works when you’re getting the right apples in the first place. If you’re paying for honeycrisp but only getting Granny Smiths, let us know. Remember, while we try to save you money, we’re really in the business of saving your money.

As always, if you have any questions, comment, call, or email us.

Tucson Model Magazine

Tucson Model Magazine

We are super excited to be a featured businessperson in Tucson Model Magazine.

They are a Tucson based bi-monthly publication which highlights local artists, causes, and businesses. From their website:

Mission:
Tucson Model Magazine celebrates the hallmarks of local everyday business. Our goal is to showcase the talented leaders, role models and entrepreneurship of our community in Fashion, Beauty, Business, Music, Nightlife, Arts and so much more. Our admiration of personal triumph, fascination with success, desire to be inspired, and universal optimism will ensure a strong publication. In an effort to move Tucson and bring all of our blossoming industries together as one, this magazine will feature Tucson’s best. The launch party for each issue will be a great source of networking and will always benefit a local Tucson Charity.

Here are the two images from our spread. Once full sized versions are available, this post will be updated with them. 1466136_10207310261142972_6864236182313909095_n11407248_10207310263383028_5296914252312955389_n

 

Thanksgiving Safety Tips

Thanksgiving is almost here, and we at the Eddie Arriola Insurance Agency would like to give you a few quick tips for a safe Thanksgiving!

1. Make sure your turkey is completely thawed, especially if you’re frying it.

A thawed turkey will cook more evenly, decreasing the chances of undercooked parts. Also, when it comes to frying, a turkey with frozen portions will actually create a massive grease fire.

2. Cut that turkey with a sharp, sharp knife!

A sharp knife is a safe knife; it’s less likely to jump out of what you’re cutting or glance off it and cut you. Also, if a sharp knife does cut you, it’s a lot easier of a wound to treat than one made by a dull knife.

2. Make sure that turkey is cooked!

Turkey should be considered done when a meat thermometer inserted into the deepest part of the breast reads a temperature of 165ºF.

We hope you have a wonderful, fulfilling, and safe Thanksgiving!

Grand opening and ribbon cutting!

Grand opening and ribbon cutting!

We are so excited and pleased to announce that, after years of work, we are finally having the official grand opening of our office!

The event will start Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 6 pm.

Our address is 5995 E Grant Road, Suite 125, Tucson, Arizona 85712.

Please do swing by and say hi! If you’re able, please rsvp here.

Below is the event flyer.

ribbon-web

Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween will be here in less than a week and, despite it’s fun nature, there are many unique hazards associated with this unique holiday.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have a list of excellent health safety tips here. Also, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has an exhaustive list of safety and health tips here.

Beyond that, here are a few reminders on the property and casualty side of safety.

  • Make sure any driving done is completely sober and your lights are on.
  • Keep jack-o-lanterns at least 5 feet away from any flammable materials.
  • Make sure decorations don’t impede walkways.
  • Make sure decorations are not near open flames.
  • Check all wiring on lights and electronics, immediately discard any which have exposed wires.
  • Remember that “inflammable” and “flammable” mean the same thing: it will burn quickly. Treat those materials accordingly.

We here at the Eddie Arriola Insurance Agency hope you have a healthy, safe, and awesome Halloween!

Pin It on Pinterest