Watch Attendees Hear of Insurance Coverages
Umbrella Good for More Than Staying Dry


Neighborhood watch

By Dianne Alward-Biery
Cleaver Staff Writer

HARRISON – Local State Farm Insurance agent Dan Durga came out to the October Neighborhood Watch meeting to provide some information and perspective on the need for, and benefits of, having both property and person adequately insured.

Being a community-minded, Durga said he has a heart for people – something he feels is necessary to become “a pretty good agent.” He also said he likes seeing all the good things that are happening in the area, particularly the work being done to upgrade the schools because a good school means more people coming into the town and that will lead to a more thriving community. Durga said such improvement also needs to extend to property owners and pride of place.

“It takes time and it takes dedication,” Durga said. “There is a lot of negativity in the world, but if your attitude is positive … we have to find a way to instill pride in our property. Some physically can’t – some just don’t.”

Hayes Township Supervisor Terry Acton was in attendance, and he noted that blight is a public expression of what is going on behind closed doors.

“We don’t have a ton of pride our neighborhoods,” he said.

Durga made available literature which warned that “Life is an unpredictable journey with many twists and turns,” and that one never knows what’s around the next bend. It also listed the many types of insurance coverage available to protect against loss. There is coverage for auto, recreational vehicle, boats, homes, condominiums, renters, manufactured homes, personal articles, personal liability umbrella, rental dwellings and rental condominiums. There also is life insurance, both term and permanent [whole] life. There area also annuity plans for helping plan for retirement. Insurance is also available for small businesses and medical coverage.

Durga said that 3 of 10 people, or more, don’t have insurance. He also pointed out that there is a difference between being insured and properly insured.

“Michigan has the best insurance in the country,” Durga said, referring to the virtually uncapped benefits available to those who suffer ongoing medical issues as the result of an auto accident.

The literature also spoke to what property owners can do to protect their homes from fire and avert burglars by making the home appear to be occupied at all times.

Cooking is the leading cause of home fires [one in every two fires], followed by heating, intentional fires, and electrical systems/lighting equipment. Although smoking is the fifth-highest cause of fires, it is the leading cause of home fire deaths. Candles also are significant and responsible for about 25 home fires being reported every day. The information also spoke to how to prevent or handle a cooking fire, as well as guides to preventing the other major causes of home fires.

Equally important is the information on planning fire escape routes, maintaining smoke alarms/carbon monoxide alarms, and home monitoring systems.

One of the aspects of insurance which Durga said he feels is most important is the “umbrella” policy which picks up where initial policies end, ensuring the policyholder doesn’t get saddled with unmanageable burdens, and potential financial ruin.

“That’s what insurance coverage is for,” Durga said. “Insurance is for big stuff.”

It is important to understand the need for insurance and to get that needed coverage, but it can be equally important to deal with an agent with whom the client can build a trusting rapport.

“There are some not good insurance agents, who just don’t care,” Durga said. “I’m one of the few who will still come and sit down with you at your kitchen table.”

Durga said his goal is to maintain a solid book of business with people who trust him. He also said that a client’s protecting their personal income is the most important aspect of insurance.

“If you don’t protect your assets, you run the risk of being in big trouble,” he said.

Basically, the gist of the evening’s presentation was that loss can happen to anyone, and that it is essential ensure that an unexpected event doesn’t wipe out a person or family’s lifetime of work or its financial future.