Mount Prospect Insurance Blog

Keep up to date with our news, tips & tricks, and latest information!

Question: How much life insurance should an individual own?

Answer: "Rule of thumb" suggests an amount of life insurance equal to 6 to 8 times annual earnings. However, many factors should be taken into account when determining the right amount of life insurance for you and your family.

Important factors include:

  • Income sources and amounts other than salary earnings
  • Whether or not you are married and, if so, what is your spouse’s earning capacity
  • The number of individuals who are financially dependent upon you
  • The amount of...

If you’re like most people in Illinois, there are certain items you own that you can’t imagine ever losing—possessions you deeply cherish or those that would be impossible to replace due to the cost of re-purchasing them or simply because they’re irreplaceable.

While your homeowners insurance is invaluable for covering the loss or destruction of many of your belongings (as well as damage to your home’s structure), your policy might provide only partial coverage for your most cherished items.

The good news is that you can still...


Do You Need Winter Tires?

You know it’s coming. Snow and slush. Freezing rain. Maybe even black ice.

But do you know if your tires are ready for all of that?

When driving in Mount Prospect or anywhere in Illinois in the wintertime, your tires just might be the most important safety feature on your car. The right ones can get you to your destination safely. The wrong ones? Well, just look over in the ditch during the next storm.

So how do you figure out what’s best for your vehicle? Here are five...


Question: What are some practical things I can do to lower the cost of my home insurance?

Answer: There are several things you can do to lower the cost of your homeowners insurance. The easiest thing to do is request a comprehensive review of your policy and your needs from the Held Insurance Agency.

It’s not surprising to find quotes on homeowners insurance that vary by hundreds of dollars for the same coverage on the same home. When you shop, be careful to make sure each insurer is offering the same coverage...


Question: Why would I want to buy renters insurance?

Answer: If you live in an apartment or a rented house, renters insurance provides important coverage for you and your possessions in Mount Prospect or anywhere else in Illinois. A standard renters insurance policy protects your personal property in many cases of theft or damage and may pay for temporary living expenses if your rental is damaged. It can also shield you from personal liability. Anyone who leases a house or apartment should consider this type of...


Do You Have Enough Coverage to Rebuild Your Home?

Imagine how devastating it would be to lose your home in a fire. Now imagine not being able to rebuild it completely because you didn’t have the correct amount of insurance.

Selecting the proper amount of coverage is the single most important decision you can make with your Homeowners policy. Without it, you may not have enough coverage to rebuild after a total loss. This is called “insurance to value” (or "estimated reconstruction cost"). Below are some explanations and tips to help you make the right choices...


5 Tips for Deep Frying a Turkey This Thanksgiving

Those in Mount Prospect and throughout Illinois who have tasted deep-fried turkey usually say there’s simply no comparison to an oven-roasted bird — turkey out of the fryer is moist, with crispy skin and beautiful color.

And, it cooks much more quickly than a turkey in the oven, which means you don’t have to wait for hours on end to get your fix.

But, if you’re not careful, frying a turkey can ruin your Thanksgiving, too. You’ve no doubt seen videos of people accidentally starting fires with their...


Things to keep in mind when buying a car

Buying a new car is an exciting time — but it can also be stressful. After all, you’re trying to get the best deal on price, while also deciding on the make, model, and features you need.

Here at Held Insurance Agency, we can’t really help you become a master negotiator when it comes to buying a car. But we can give you some things to consider when you’re looking around the lot — and when you’re trying to answer the age-old question of “new, or used?” Read on with an open mind, and you might just come to a different...


Question: I have an older car whose current market value is very low – do I really need to purchase car insurance?

Answer: Most states such as Illinois have insurance laws that require drivers to have at least some auto liability insurance. These laws were enacted to ensure that victims of car accidents receive compensation when their losses are caused by the actions of a negligent individual.

Often the cost of repairing the damages to an older car is greater than its value. In these cases, your insurer will usually just...


I’m borrowing my friend’s car … am I covered?

Most people have an idea of what’s covered and not covered under their various insurance policies. But at Held Insurance Agency, we get a lot of questions about borrowing or loaning a car.

Anytime of the year you might be looking to borrow your neighbor’s truck for a home-improvement project or borrow a friends SUV for a road trip, we thought it was a great time to provide a little more information.

Generally, insurance coverage in Illinois follows the vehicle rather than the driver. So in most instances, as...


Home insurance protects what's inside the house just as much as protects the physical structure of your home. Your house, condo, townhome, and even apartment becomes your “home sweet home” when you move all your belongings into it. Your belongings sometimes are more cherished than the physical structure of the building.

Some of the things you bring into the home such as furniture, electronics, sports equipment, and clothing are all your belongings, referred to as personal property in insurance terms. And you need to make sure that these items are properly...


No, we are not implying you fancy yourself the next Washington or Lincoln. But are you the proud owner or founder of one of the estimated 59% of established businesses in the United States that operate from a home? Then, even if your face doesn’t appear on Mount Rushmore, for your business you are still the top dog, head cheese, or grand high poobah. So welcome to your month, Ms. or Mr. President!

But just as you realize that there are similarities to all businesses, wherever located, you also know there are often concerns, considerations, and risks unique to a home-based...


A little extra caution can go a long way while driving at night in Illinois

Summer has ended, and while fall and winter have their own pleasures — including weekend trips to Wisconsin — longer nights mean increased danger on the roads.

You might think you drive just as well at night, but consider this: Even though nighttime driving accounts for just 23% of vehicle miles traveled, more than 50% of fatalities for vehicle occupants 16 and older occur between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., according to the National Safety Commission (NSC).

Because we’re big advocates...


Storing a classic car through the winter

If you’re a classic car owner, surely you are committed to ensuring it stays in tip-top shape throughout all the seasons, especially the winter when it most likely will be unused for a while. Any period of inactivity requires some preparatory steps to prevent damage. The most critical actions are what to look for in a storage location, what to do before storage, and how to cover your beloved beauty.

Choose a storage location with care. Where you store your car might be the most important factor in its...


Having car insurance in Illinois is required by state law. It's frustrating that the cost can sometimes be unreasonable. You're in the driver's seat when it comes to lowering auto insurance rates.

Here are a few simple ideas to help you make premiums reasonable:

  1. Shop your insurance - Get multiple quotes. The easiest way to do this is to work with an independent insurance agency like the Held Insurance Agency who has access to multiple insurance carriers.

  2. Raise your deductible - This will help lower your insurance premiums. Make sure you have some funds...


Flooding can happen at any time, and as your local Independent Insurance Agent, I want to make sure you are / your family is / your business is prepared for hidden flood risks in your area.

In towns and cities like Mount Prospect and DesPlaines, there’s more development and fewer places for water to go. Heavy rain can become a flash flood in minutes, causing serious damage to your home and possessions/business.

FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) are encouraging all Mount Prospect and DesPlaines residents and business owners to...


Clients often think they don’t need renters insurance — “Nothing I have is worth that much,” they’ll say, or “I don’t have a lot of stuff.”

That’s how most people think of renter’s coverage: protection for stuff, and nothing more. After all, it’s inexpensive and it doesn’t even cover the structure itself. So how important can it be, especially if you don’t think you have anything valuable to protect?

Plenty important, because you have more to protect than you realize. You just have to stop thinking only about “stuff.” Here are three key financial protections a renters policy...


Household safety tips change with the season

As days get shorter and nights get longer, our habits begin to change. Most of us typically spend more time hunkering down at home and less time frolicking at the beach. That usually means resuming favorite fall pastimes like huddling through Chicago Bears games on Sunday and drinking hot cocoa on the sidelines of our little ones’ soccer games.

Arriving along with autumn is a host of safety hazards we didn’t have to think about over the summer, creating the need for a little extra vigilance....


A ring from a loved one. A bracelet handed down through generations. A watch or necklace marking a special occasion.

Every reason why you treasure a piece of fine jewelry is a reason why it should be insured.

However, calling it “jewelry insurance” may be a stretch. You don’t need a separate policy to insure your jewelry. You just need to ensure you have the right personal property coverage from your homeowners, condo, or renters insurance.

Jewelry coverage helps protect the investment you’ve made in your favorite pieces by helping you replace them if you experience a...


The threat of a lawsuit is all too real in today’s society. You conceivably could be subject to allegations of liability for bodily injury — for example, as a result of an auto accident that hurts another person. You could even be sued for poor judgment — for example, if you were to post defamatory comments online that caused damage to someone else’s reputation.

If you find yourself named in a lawsuit and have homeowner’s insurance, your policy will offer personal liability coverage that is generally considered broad in scope — but it doesn’t cover everything. Also, the limits...


Maybe you’ve been here before. You’ve just come off the plane, picked up your baggage, and gone to the rental car counter. You’re tired from the flight, about to begin an ambitious vacation or a challenging business project. And, this is the point at which you’re asked, “Do you want insurance with that?”

Most travelers, facing that question from the rental representative, have the vague notion that they don’t really need to buy rental car insurance – which somehow is covered already. With just enough doubt in their minds, and the need to make a quick decision, perhaps they buy it...


Many individuals set up their Illinois auto insurance simply because the State of Illinois requires you to have it to drive in Illinois. They never understand the coverage and how it can help protect their vehicle and financial security.

Auto insurance basics, what's required in Illinois:

Illinois law requires that auto have the minimum liability protection of $25,000 bodily injury per person, $50,000 bodily injury per accident, and $20,000 property damage. This is commonly referred to as “state minimum coverage.” This Is the amount you legally need to drive in Illinois....


Risks increase while temperatures decrease. Make sure your home and roof are prepared and protected in the snowy months with these top tips:

Is your roof protected? Apply coating to help your roof endure poor weather conditions. Do this early, well before winter and bad weather hits.

Got a snow plan? Snow on your roof can be heavy and is a major hazard. Secure a plan for removing it.

Prevent Frozen Pipes - As winter months near, make sure to routinely drain your pipes to prevent frozen pipes and cracks. Shut off water...


As an Insurance Agent in Illinois, I have seen the claims that most people say “It will never happen to me”. Many times those claims are lawsuits. One of the best ways to protect yourself and your family is having an umbrella liability insurance policy.

An umbrella liability policy in Illinois provides additional liability coverage beyond your home, auto, or other policy liability limits. On occasion, it can be the only option to provide liability coverage.

Ask yourself a simple question: If I were injured in any way, I would sue some for $____?

A. $10,000 B....


Many individuals set up their home insurance but never really understand their coverages. We want to provide you with some basic understanding of your Illinois homeowners insurance and some of the main coverage for a single-family homeowners policy. Please keep in mind policies have optional coverage that can be important to consider.

Dwelling this coverage is designed for the physical structure of the main building. It's calculated based on the construction values of similar homes in your area. Market value can also be used if the market value of the home is less than the...


One of the main questions I've been getting asked over the past few weeks is: What is an Independent Insurance Agent? The question was asked because of my recent move from being a captive insurance agent to becoming an independent insurance agent. Many people didn't realize that agents can handle multiple insurance companies and only believed that an insurance agent only represents one company. I wanted to give you a few thoughts on what it is to be an independent insurance agent versus a captive agent.

An independent insurance agent has access to multiple insurance carriers. They...