Archive for the 'Buying Insurance from a Local Agent' Category

NY Flood 2014 Insurance update

FLOOD 2014 Update                          

By Peter Wallin, Insurance Agent
Elmira NY

These past few years have seen many changes to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that has affected residents of Chemung County, NY.  I have studied these federal program updates and am concerned that the rates may be going up, elevation certificates may be required and delays may occur when trying to buy or sell a home.

In October 2013 the NFIP released new requirements for  Elevation Certificates be completed prior to buying a home in a designated flood zone.  These certificates are completed by land surveyors and generally costs $400-500.  The purpose is to show exactly where the home is positioned in relation to the flood level.  The home may be a few feet above the flood level, or a few feet below, which will then determine the price for flood insurance.    As an insurance agent I must also inspect the property and submit photos to the insurance company

With these new changes – prices for flood insurance may rise dramatically over the next few years – upwards of 25% increase each year.  And because this is a National program administered by the government, the prices are the same no matter where you buy the insurance.  I suggest you work with a knowledgeable insurance agent who understands this process and can assist with deductible option and coverage issues on contents.

Banks require flood insurance – usually in the amount of the loan, or 80% of the replacement cost of the home.  It’s important to check your bank or mortgage company to understand your situation and what is required.

Please read your insurance policies carefully so you fully understand what is covered and what is not.  As always, we are available to answer your questions.

Peter Wallin
WallinInsurance Agency Inc
1364 College Ave
Elmira, NY 14901


College Students and Insurance

College Student in Your Household? Check Your Insurance Coverage

Peter Wallin, Insurance Agent Elmira NY

If you’re helping one of your children go off to college for the first time, or return to college, we may be able to help you save some money and gain some extra protection.

Here are four things to consider about insurance when a child enters college.

1. You could get a discount on your auto insurance. Because you’ll have one less driver living at home when your son or daughter goes off to school, your household might get a discount — as long as they don’t take a car along. If he or she does take a set of wheels, contact our agency. We can review your coverage to make sure your child is properly insured.

2. Your homeowners insurance might extend to his or her belongings. Usually, the belongings of your child-turned-college-student will be covered by your homeowners insurance, but it’s best to be sure. If for some reason the coverage doesn’t extend, consider purchasing renters insurance. Students who live off campus may not be covered by their parents’ homeowners policy and may need to purchase their own renters insurance.

3. Student loans might call for extra protection. If student loans are involved, you might want to consider life insurance* for your son or daughter. It can help financially in the case of an unexpected tragedy (although no one wants to think about that). If a tragedy never occurs (thankfully), your son or daughter can also opt to carry the life insurance to the next stage of life – making it a wise investment.

4. Insurance can help in the most unexpected cases. Accidents happen — sometimes tragically. Extra liability coverage through a Personal Catastrophe Liability policy, commonly called an umbrella policy, can help protect you should a lawsuit ensue from a big mistake.

Most importantly, let your insurance agent know of the changes happening in your household so we can double check your specific situation and coverage needs.

Elmira NY Insurance Agent gives Insurance Maintenance Tips

Insurance Tips

An Ounce of Prevention
– By Peter Wallin, Insurance Agent
Elmira, New York

Turns out, your mom was right when she always said “an ounce
of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Whether you’re maintaining your home
or your car, a few easy preventative steps can keep your home in tip-top shape,
and your car purring like a kitten.


  • Clean up any water spills immediately to prevent mold growth. Exhaust fans can help draw out excess moisture as well.
  • Even if you think you live in a safe town, lock your doors and windows at night and when you leave. It’s a tiny step that can keep you safe just in case someone with sticky fingers slides into town.
  • Only you can prevent house fires. All right, it’s not exactly how the saying goes, but by making sure that your smoke alarms are in working order, and that you have fire extinguishers strategically located, you can greatly reduce your chance of serious house fires.



  • Change your oil regularly.
    Oil keeps your engine lubricated, reduces friction and reduces nasty sludge from building up in your engine. Regular oil changes can keep your car running better for longer.
  • Replace your windshield wipers every six months. If you see streaks on your windshield or hear strange squeaking sounds, it’s time for a new set of windshield wipers. A new set of wipers can significantly improve your vision during bad weather, which might make all the difference in the world.
  • Rotate your tires.
    Your front and rear tires wear differently, and rotating them can help increase their lifespan and prevent blowouts. Every car is different, but many tire manufacturers recommend rotating your tires every 6,000-8,000 miles.

By following these simple steps, you can reduce your chances
of car and home trouble, and save yourself time, hassle and money. Want another
way to save those things? Bundle your insurance with ERIE Insurance. By covering your home and car both
through us, you’ll pay less, and have the peace of mind of having just one
insurance Agent to turn to whenever the need strikes. Contact me at to learn more

Erie Insurance gets perfect score from NY Insurance Department


Buying Auto Insurance from Erie Insurance                                                                                                      
From NY Insurance Department
by Peter Wallin,  Elmira,  NY Insurance Agent 

Sixty-two of the state’s 179 auto insurers, led by Erie Insurance Co., had no consumer complaints
upheld against them by state regulators in 2009 and 2010, according to a report released by the
former state Department of Insurance.

The Annual Ranking of Automobile Insurance Complaints is designed to help consumers evaluate the performance of their own carrier or another company they may be considering. 

Erie was the largest of the 62 carriers with a perfect record, with an average of $64.1 million in written premiums for auto insurance over the two-year period. It had 18 complaints filed against it, but 15 of them were either rejected or withdrawn, while the other three had “questions of fact” that could not be resolved.

Our agency has represented ERIE since our very beginning – in 1998.  Erie first started selling insurance in NY in 1995.  Our agency is located at

Among other major carriers:

— GEICO, the state’s biggest carrier with $1.28 billion in premiums, was ranked 66th.

Allstate Insurance Co., the state’s second-largest carrier with $1.19 billion in premiums, had 170 complaints upheld out of a total of 1,350. It ranked 130th on the list.

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., the No. 3 carrier with just over $1 billion in premiums, ranked 80th, with 37 complaints upheld out of 426.

Liberty Mutual, the fourth-biggest carrier with $475 million in premiums, came in 98th. It had 26 complaints out of 192 upheld.

These statistics were obtained from an article in the Buffalo News, October 10, 2011.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors now Required in Homes

By Peter Wallin
Elmira, NY Insurance Agent                            


Amanda Hansen was a teenager whose life was tragically ended by a carbon monoxide leak from a defective boiler while she was sleeping at a friend’s house in a Buffalo Suburb in January 2009.  When I heard about it I was heartbroken.  I used to live in this neighborhood.

Amanda’s Law, passed in the 2009 Session of the New York State Legislature, established a new requirement for installation of carbon monoxide detectors in ALL homes.

Under the law, one-family homes, two-family homes, dwellings located in condominiums or cooperatives, and multiple dwellings must have a carbon monoxide detector installed regardless of the date of construction or sale.

The new law requires that the carbon monoxide detector be a device meeting New York State standards, and that it be installed in an operable condition in dwellings where there are appliances or systems that may emit carbon monoxide or have an attached garage.

Prior to Amanda’s Law, carbon monoxide detectors were required in one-family dwellings, two-family dwellings, and dwellings located in condominiums or cooperatives only if they were constructed or offered for sale after July 30, 2002. For multiple dwellings (such as a tenement, hotel, and dormitories) carbon monoxide detectors were required if they were constructed or offered for sale after August 9, 2005.

As a result of Amanda’s Law, a carbon monoxide detector will be found in nearly all residential structures in the state. This creates a safer living environment for New York residents and creates a greater awareness of home safety issues that are intensified by seasonal heating issues prevalent in the Northeast.

Amanda’s Law took effect on February 22, 2010.  For more information please visit me at or

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