What is water backup insurance coverage?  What does water backup insurance cover?  Does homeowners insurance cover water backup?  Do you need it?  How does it work?

Find the answers to all your questions about water backup coverage here:

Please contact us if you have any questions about Water Backup Insurance or any other type of insurance, we are here to help!

What is the Smart Ride Program?

SmartRide, a usage-based insurance program, gives you personalized feedback to help you make even safer driving decisions. There is a device program where you plug it into your car and a mobile app as well. Device programs are specific to the vehicle whereas the Mobile App program stretches across all vehicle on your policy.


How much of a discount do you get for participating?

The Base participation discount you get for signing up is always 10% and at the end of your monitoring period you receive your final discount which can be up to 40%. When your final discount is applied it replaces the participation discount.

Example: Your client gets the 10% participation discount and when they are done with the program Nationwide calculates they earned a 30% driving discount so when its all said and done they would actually only get a 20% discount. Once the Smartride final discount is earned it stays on the policy for the life of the policy.  If the mobile version was completed it applies to all vehicles, even future added vehicles, once on the policy.  If the device program was completed, the Smartride discount stays with which vehicles that have completed the program and will transferred to any vehicle added to the policy to replace a vehicle that has already completed the program.  Any new vehicles that are not replacement vehicles would need to enroll and participate to receive the Smartride discount.


To learn more, click here:




What is umbrella insurance? Do you need it? How does it work? How much does it cost? This readable, in-depth article covers answers to all these questions and more.

Understanding Umbrella Insurance:

Understanding Umbrella Insurance

Please contact us if you have any questions about Umbrella Insurance or any other type of insurance, we are here to help!

Susan, a current client of The Olson Insurance Agency, was in immediate need of a homeowner’s policy for her new purchase in Maryland. After speaking with her lenders, they were pushing on the homeowner’s insurance to be concluded within a day’s time frame. Susan called into the agency and spoke with Lee. Shortly after her initial conversation, Susan had a homeowner’s policy in force and all required documents were sent to the lender in less than a day. All Susan had to do was simply provide her signature, and she was on her way to closing with adequate coverage and a price you can’t beat!



It’s important to keep up to date with rules and regulations for business insurance to make sure businesses are properly covered and credits for reducing premiums are properly applied.

Below is a great article that we found that will help our clients in some cases save thousands of dollars on workers’ compensation.

NCCI has made an unprecedented change to its rating rules for workers’ compensation due to these unprecedented times.

“NCCI recognizes that circumstances around COVID 19 are extraordinary and warrant an expedited rule change to address the question of payroll for employees who are being paid but are not working as it relates to the basis of premium. If approved, this rule change will be distinct from “idle time” under our current Basic Manual rules (Rule 2-F-1), and a corresponding statistical code 0012 will be created for reporting this payroll. This payroll will not be used in the calculation of premium.” – Andrew G. Sampson, Insurance Journal

This allows businesses to use a different code for paying employees while they are not working but are still being paid.
For more information, check out Insurance Journal’s article on the topic or contact us.


I’m pretty confident that if you asked anyone who has ever owned a rental property you would get an overwhelming response that it’s not as lucrative or easy as they thought it would be. In fact, owning a rental property can be a major pain, and end up costing you a ton of money!

I certainly don’t mean to be a “Debbie Downer”, and I know that if it’s done right it can be lucrative, but from an insurance agent’s perspective, I don’t see a lot of people doing it right.

So you’re probably thinking, “Well Chris, you are an insurance agent. What do you know about real estate or rental properties? Why should I take advice from you?”

I’m not a real estate agent, and I don’t own a rental property. However, several of my friends/family/clients/co-workers own rentals, and because I insure a bunch of their properties, I’ve had a first hand account of the process, and I’ve learned what to do, and what not to do.

Continue reading →

I was recently asked this question by one of our Olson Insurance Agency clients, and thought I would share the answer here for our readers.

There are a lot of things that go into homeowners and auto insurance rates, one of them being credit. I’ve heard a lot of complaints from people who don’t like the fact that insurance companies use credit in their underwriting.

Some people have absolutely no idea that it’s used in the rate at all.

At the end of the day, there’s not much we can do about it though. Insurance companies have been using credit in their rates for decades, and that’s not likely to change.

By the way, insurance companies don’t pull your credit like a mortgage company or credit card company does. There is no negative impact on your credit as a result of an insurance company looking at it.

When I say “pull” what I mean is that the insurance company is doing what’s called a soft inquiry, which is not the same thing as having your credit pulled (hard inquiry).

When does credit play a role in insurance rates?
It’s important to understand that insurance companies don’t continuously check or monitor your credit. Usually, they only check it when you first get a quote and/or sign up with them in the very beginning.

This means that if your credit score increases (or decreases) your insurance company does not automatically know about it.

So, to my customers question of whether or not his increased credit score will lower his rates, the answer is not automatically.

What has to be done on our side as the agent is contact the carrier the insurance and ask them to do what’s commonly referred to as a “re-score”. This is when the insurance company can re-run the person’s credit (soft inquiry) to see if there is any positive bearing on the rate.

This isn’t something that the insurance company is going to let the agency do every single year, so it’s not worth even asking unless there has been a significant change in your credit score, and only you as the customer would know if that was the case.

If you’d like to get a better handle on your credit rating, it could be helpful to setup credit monitoring. We hope this was helpful! As always, leave us comment below if you have any questions.

Why do my auto insurance rates keep going up even though my car is getting older?  At Olson Insurance Agency, many of our clients ask this question so I would like to address it from a couple of angles.

First things first, even though it’s called car/auto insurance, it covers more than just your car. It should technically be called “auto-owners” insurance, similarly to how home insurance is actually called “home owners insurance”.

It’s important to understand that there are a lot of variables that go into insurance premiums, and with auto insurance, it’s no different.

The insurance company is much more concerned with you crashing into someone and causing them (or yourself) bodily harm, or death, than they are about your car. A car is a material possession which can be replaced.

A human life is not.

When is the last time you looked at your auto insurance policy?
If you look at it you’ll notice there are a lot of different coverages on your auto policy.

Bodily injury
Property damage
Un-insured motorist
Under-insured motorist
Medical Payments
Loss of Income
Funeral Expense
Loss of use
Rental Reimbursement

These are all things that you are covered for on your auto policy. How many of them have to do with your car?


How many of them have a price next to them on your policy?

All of them.

Your car isn’t the only thing you’re being charged for on your policy
That’s because auto insurance covers far more important things than your car as mentioned above.

Let me re-phrase that: your car insurance rate isn’t just based on your car.

You’re not the only one…
It’s also important to understand that you are not the only person your insurance company insures. You are one fish in an ocean of other fish, sharks, and sea creatures, all who have different characteristics and risk profiles.

Insurance is all about spreading costs over a large number (risk pool) of people, which each person paying their fare share. That risk pool is constantly changing, and is impacted by a ton of different things, including the overall economic climate.

This means that you are sharing in the cost of millions of other people, many of whom may have poor loss history and/or credit.

That’s what insurance is though — sharing in the cost.

The next time your auto insurance rates go up, take a look at the big picture. Make sure you’re looking at ALL of the coverages, and corresponding rates.

Hope this helps!  If you would like to know more about Car Insurance be sure to visit our page dedicated to it.