5 Questions to Ask Before Buying Auto Insurance

Whether you’re a new driver or someone who has been behind the wheel for years, it’s always important to have adequate auto insurance. However, with so many different policies available, knowing which one is right for you can be challenging. Here are five questions to ask before buying auto insurance.

1. What Am I Required to Have?

Every state has different requirements for auto insurance, so you’ll need to find out what yours are. Typically, you’ll need liability insurance at a minimum, but that does not cover everything. You may also want to consider collision and comprehensive coverage, especially if you have a newer car.

2. What Is My Budget?

Once you know what coverages you need, you’ll need to set a budget. How much can you afford to pay each month? How much can you afford to pay out of pocket if you have an accident? Remember that the cheapest policy may not always be the best.

3. What Are Add-ons, and Do I Need Them?

Auto insurance policies typically come with various add-ons, or options, that you can purchase. Some of these may be required in your state, while others are additional coverage that can provide extra protection. You’ll need to decide which ones you need and which you can live without.

4. What’s the Claims Process Like?

If you have an accident, you’ll want to know what the claims process is like. How easy is it to file a claim? How long does it usually take to get reimbursed? Make sure you understand the process before you purchase a policy.

5. Am I Getting the Best Rate?

Finally, you’ll want to ensure you get the best rate possible. Get quotes from several different companies and compare them. Make sure you’re comparing apples to apples, though. Some policies may have different coverages than others, so read the fine print before deciding.

Get Auto Insurance in Kingwood, WV

Now that you know what to look for in an auto insurance policy, it’s time to start shopping around. Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia offers a variety of different options to choose from. Call us today for a free quote.

Is Home Insurance Tax Deductible?

As with any insurance policy, the amount you spend annually on your home insurance policy is not tax-deductible. However, if you claim on your home insurance policy and receive a reimbursement, that amount is tax-deductible. Keep excellent records to ensure you have all the necessary documentation for your home insurance claim. Contact Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia for questions in Kingwood, WV. 

Know About the Tax Deductibles 

Though the IRS does not currently offer a deduction for home insurance, it may be possible for you to deduct other expenses related to your homes, such as property taxes, mortgage interest, or utility bills. To claim these deductions, you must meet specific requirements, such as the amount of your income versus your expenses. To learn more about these requirements, visit the IRS website at irs.gov. 

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires home insurance policies to be bona fide and tax-deductible. To be bona fide, the insurance must be for something that has financial value and be covered by the policy. Common examples of non-deductible home insurance may include earthquake or flood insurance, certain types of liability insurance like workers’ compensation, car insurance, and life insurance. 

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) specifies that only certain types of home insurance are tax-deductible. The most common types of home insurance tax-deductible include: Mortgage interest — Interest paid on your home loan is usually tax-deductible. 

Most policies have an annual premium, and it is best to keep track of these expenses throughout the year to ensure you don’t miss out on a tax deduction. You may also have to fill out a form (Form 1040) to deduct certain expenses that exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income. 

Contact Us

To be eligible to deduct home insurance premiums on your taxes, you need to have a valid reason for buying it – like a significant risk to your property if you don’t have insurance. You can’t deduct the cost of a policy that only covers your health care expenses or a policy that covers a liability you might have if someone is hurt on your property. For help, call Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia if living in Kingwood, WV.

As a renter do I need an inventory?

About 36% of households are renters. Only about 40% of those households feel the need to have renters’ insurance. That is both optimistic and scary. Being sure that nothing bad will ever happen to you is unrealistic. Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia in Kingwood, WV has a team of insurance experts who can provide you with the information you need about what renters’ insurance can do for you. 

If you ever need to file an insurance claim for the loss of your personal property, how will you prove that you did have a 60-inch smart TV? It will be easy if you have done a good inventory of your rental with backup photos and receipts. 

An inventory is a detailed listing of all the things that you own. It is usually done one room at a time with photos and as many sales receipts as possible. It is much simpler to do this before a catastrophe hits than after. This document is then stored away in a safe place, usually away from your rental, so that if you ever need it, you can easily access it. If you must store it at the rental, store it in a waterproof, fire-resistant box or bag. Placing a copy of it on the cloud or emailing it to yourself and placing it in a file where you can get to it when needed is important. 

Beyond just personal property coverage, renters insurance also provides you with liability coverage and loss of use insurance. If your rental is damaged and you can’t live in it, you will be able to afford another place to live. 

Contact Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia in Kingwood, WV if you are ready to consider the benefits of renters’ insurance. 

Benefits of umbrella policies for West Virginia businesses

Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia is here to meet all of the insurance needs of the business owners in the greater Kingwood, WV area. If you own or operate a business in the area, give us a call today to learn more about the benefits of umbrella insurance. 

Why umbrella insurance might be right for you

If your company operates in an industry where there is a lot of liability risk or common lawsuits, it makes sense to have a sufficient amount of liability protection. This can help to protect your firm’s assets and the assets of any principals who have risk exposure. There are several different ways to keep your company protected, and an umbrella policy should be one of them. 

Your primary commercial policy has policy limits and may also have carve-outs of specific claims that it will not cover. And, if you are involved in a lawsuit, you will need to have enhanced protection. Many umbrella policies provide coverage for lawsuit liability and have protection that could help you pay some legal expenses. This type of coverage is critical because, unfortunately, we live in a litigious society that is not always fair.

To protect yourself from such risks, you must build a more robust layer of protection around your company. This is achieved by putting an umbrella policy to supplement your current primary commercial insurance policy.

Let’s work together!

Businesses in the greater Kingwood, WV area can rely on the Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia. We are here to help you protect your local business and continue to increase its success. Give our office a call today to find out more about the benefits of umbrella insurance.

Why Flood Insurance Is A Must Even If You Don’t Live In A Flood Zone

With flood zones constantly changing due to evolving weather patterns and other factors, it is possible not to live in a flood-prone area one day and be in one the next. While it may be tempting to believe that your homeowner’s insurance will cover flood-related damage, it is often one commonly excluded peril. Consequently, you can be on the hook for thousands of dollars in repair costs – for even minimal damage – if you do not have flood insurance. If you live in a Special Flood Hazard Area, as defined by FEMA, you’ll likely be required to purchase flood insurance if you have a federally backed mortgage. FEMA defines flood zones as places with a significantly higher statistical probability of a flood occurring. 

Flood insurance will cover the replacement cost of your home or the actual cash value of damages to your policy maximum, making it important to choose coverage amounts that accurately reflect the value of your home and personal belongings. Flood insurance can be purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program if you are in a high-risk zone or through private insurers like the Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia. With most policies taking 30 days from the point of purchase to be effective, you’ll want to purchase flood insurance now to avoid costly repair bills in the future.

For further information on flood insurance, give our Kingwood, WV office a call to schedule a complimentary consultation with a knowledgeable insurance professional that can answer your questions and help with selecting the best policy for your needs.

Commercial Insurance Options for Online-based Businesses

The rise of the internet has made operations of online businesses easier than ever. You just set up a website and start selling. In theory, this sounds so easy compared to setting up a physical business that involves payment of rent and other amenities that come with office ownership.

Commercial insurance options for online businesses

While you don’t need a physical location to set up an online business, it doesn’t mean that these businesses are free of risks. Like any other business, online businesses are faced with risks and need commercial insurance. If you don’t know the insurance options for your e-business, Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia has taken time to guide you on the insurance coverages required.

  • General liability: This coverage covers you when accused of property damage, advertising, and bodily injury by third parties. For instance, if you get complaints about the product you sell online, this coverage protects you even when sued.
  • Professional liability: Do you offer professional advice online? Things can turn ugly quickly when accused of negligence that results in losses for another business. For instance, assume that you are a website designer. You are to design a website for a customer whose product will be launched in six months. For whatever reason, the website may delay, and the customer can sue you for lost sales due to the missed deadline.
  • Property insurance: Yes, you may not have a physical office, but you may have IT infrastructure, inventory, storage facilities, and other assets that support your online business. Commercial property compensates you for damages and losses for your business assets.
  • Cyber insurance: This coverage covers you against malicious online activities, including hacking.
  • Worker’s comp insurance: If you have employees, you must invest in this insurance to protect your workers against injuries and illnesses.

Need commercial insurance in Kingwood, WV? Look no further than Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia. We design customized commercial insurance coverages for small businesses to ensure you don’t pay for anything you don’t need.

3 Common Reasons Auto Collisions Occur

Were you aware that the bulk majority of human error-caused auto accidents can be completely avoided? While it is true that all accidents don’t occur as a result of human error, there are numerous precautions that can be taken to reduce your risk of being involved in an accident in Kingwood, WV. Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia shares a few of the most common reasons car accidents occur.


Speeding can result in a very dangerous auto collision that causes damage to vehicles and injuries to drivers and passengers. Speeding is the cause for more than one-quarter of traffic fatalities.

While you may think it is cool or fun to drive above the speed limit, those speed limits are posted to keep you and everyone else on the road safe.


Each year, there are over one million auto accidents that involve a driver texting, talking, or otherwise using their cell phone. It only takes three seconds to become fully distracted by a text or phone call. When you take your eyes off the road for only a moment, anything can happen, such as the driver in front of you slamming on their breaks. It is best to put your phone to the side while driving and check it when you stop. One text or call isn’t worth your life or someone else’s.


Weather-related factors play a role in many car collisions each year. Slippery road surfaces due to rain, ice, and snow can reduce your visibility and increase your stopping distance.

The best thing you can do to protect yourself while on the road is to invest in proper auto insurance. Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia can help Kingwood, WV drivers ensure they have the proper coverage.

West Virginia Home Insurance – What You Need To Know About Home Insurance

When you think of your home, you think of your family and your place to call your own.  You also think of the time and investment that you’ve made in purchasing your home.  A home purchase is the biggest investment that you typically make in your life, so why would you leave your home unprotected against liability or damages?  Home Insurance is a requirement when you have a mortgage on the property, but once the mortgage is paid off, insuring your home merely becomes an option.  It is a wise option to exercise, and we’ll outline the reasons why below.  Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia in Kingwood, WV offers home insurance and other services to better serve your insurance needs.

Property Damage

Home Insurance protects the home during catastrophic events such as fires, floods, and storm damage.  Flood Insurance may not be included within your home insurance policy and may be offered as an add-on or rider policy, you should consult with your insurance agent to see which of these apply to you.


Suppose you take the family on a vacation for a couple of weeks and when you come back, you find that your home has been burglarized.  Your home insurance policy will cover everything in the home and either replace the items or pay you for the amount of the item to replace it.  This is good peace of mind to have while you’re out of town with your family.

Personal Liability

Suppose someone slips and falls on your property or gets injured while on your property?  It could be a friend or a neighbor, but personal liability is a serious concern.  Your home insurance policy’s personal liability coverage will protect you in these situations.

To Learn More

These are just a few reasons (of many) that home insurance is a good idea to have for your home.  To learn more about home insurance, please contact Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia in Kingwood, WV today!

Protect your belongings and your peace of mind with renter’s insurance!

Are you a renter in the greater Kingwood, WV area? The team here at Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia is ready to help you with all of your insurance needs. Did you know that a comprehensive renter’s insurance policy can protect your belongings and offer peace of mind? Our team is here to review the options that are available to renters in our community and we would welcome the opportunity to work with you too.

Let’s talk about renter’s insurance

There are few things more important than our homes and our personal possessions. Whether your rental abode is an apartment, condo, or house, it’s important to carry an appropriate insurance policy. A comprehensive insurance policy can help you overcome many catastrophes with a lot less stress and a light financial impact.

Our team can help you review the available policies and help you determine the right type of policy and coverage level for your individual needs. Don’t delay when it comes to renter’s insurance! Your peace of mind is just the start of the many benefits that you will realize from your renter’s insurance policy. 

Like many other types of insurance, renter’s policies are something that we don’t really think about until we need it. Be ready for the different situations that life can throw at you by having the right policy in place before you need it. 

Ready to find out which policy is right for your needs?

Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia is here to help Kingwood, WV residents find the right insurance policies for their needs. Renter’s policies aren’t "one size fits all" and our experienced agents are here to help. Call or stop by today to find out more!

What Is Umbrella Insurance And What Does It Cover?

If you have already auto insurance, home insurance, and life insurance, you may find it hard to believe that there could be yet another type of insurance that you need. 

What Is Umbrella Insurance?

Umbrella insurance is an extra type of insurance that provides coverage beyond the limits of other existing policies. Umbrella insurance can provide coverage for property damage, injuries, personal liability situations, and lawsuits. 

What Does Umbrella Insurance Cover?

When there is an incident on your property or a serious car accident with high medical bills, you may be responsible for damages exceeding the limits of your auto or home insurance policies. That is when umbrella insurance kicks in by providing extra coverage that goes beyond the limits of your existing standard policies. 

Here is what umbrella insurance usually covers:

  • Liability in excess of car and home insurance policies
  • Libel and slander
  • Mental anguish and psychological harm
  • Legal defense costs for covered losses
  • Liabilities when you travel overseas
  • Malicious prosecution
  • Other things that are not covered by auto or home insurance policies
  • False arrest

The main advantage of umbrella insurance is that it applies to more situations than standard home and auto insurance policies. It becomes especially useful when you are facing a serious financial loss because of the claim. 

Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia in Kingwood WV – We Help Make Your Bad Days Less Stressful

If you live in Kingwood, WV or any other nearby town in West Virginia and you consider getting umbrella insurance, Smith Insurance Agency of West Virginia will be glad to help you find a policy you need. We specialize in all types of insurance, including umbrella insurance.