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R&R Insurance Blog

Dan Wolfgram

Recent Posts

Most Common, and Preventable, Home Claim | Tree Damage

Posted by Dan Wolfgram

Tree damage claim


One of the most common, and usually preventable claims, we see year round is tree damage to homes and cars.  Occasionally, poorly maintained trees can cause injury to people or pets. And lets not forget when a poorly maintained tree on your property falls onto your neighbors house ... it makes those neighborhood block parties a little “interesting”! 

These claims can be not only dangerous, but also costly.  Preventative tree care should be part of your overall home maintenance program. 

  1. Landscape care in the Fall
    • Prune unruly branches (leave the larger ones to the professionals!)
    • Inspect trees for dying limbs, insect damage, or signs of disease
    • Nourish trees with water and mulch
    • Plant new trees in the Fall
  2. Do not build new structures near or around a tree - it can damage tree roots and growth space
  3. Monitor and observe trees over time
    • Get a guide for identifying types of trees and potential disease 
    • Have an ISA-Certified arborist visit your property for an assessment on the health of your trees
  4. Choose the right trees for your property
    • How tall and wide will the tree become?
    • How fast will the tree grow?
    • Does it lose leaves in the winter?

In Fall, it is also important watch for leaves that fall on your driveway or street - wet leaves become a slip and/or driving hazard.

Enjoy the beauty that nature offers with a well landscaped yard.  It also keeps you, and your neighbors, safe!

Topics: Personal Insurance

R&R Partners with West Bend Mutual to Create Personal Lines Service Center

Posted by Dan Wolfgram

West Bend Mutual.pngLast year was a pivotal year for our customers and our associates here at R&R Insurance.  In 2017, we partnered with one of our carriers, West Bend Mutual, to utilize their in-house Service Team for all of our West Bend Mutual Personal Lines clients.

This added service comes at no additional cost to our insureds and provides customers with immediate answers to billing questions, making changes to policies, expanded hours of transactional service and reporting of claims. In addition, this change allows R&R more time to take on the role of advisor, counselor and claim advocate on our clients' behalf. Below is just one of the many examples of how the Service Center approach is benefiting our customers. 

Service Center Benefits

Konnie has been a licensed agent in Personal Lines with R&R Insurance since 2002. One of Konnie’s clients added a vehicle to his policy several years ago - something he didn't do frequently.  Konnie reviewed the change after it was processed and called the client to confirm. In doing so, she noticed there was a relatively new and important coverage (Car Damage Replacement Cost) missing from the policy. The endorsement provides insureds a new car (with some limitations) should the car be totaled out without any depreciation. The coverage was added to the policy after Konnie’s review for approximately $6 per month.

Fast forward 4 years and about 68,000 miles, when our client was involved in a pretty serious accident. Fortunately, our client walked away with only minor bumps and bruises.  However, his 2015 Lexus was not so lucky - a total loss. The claim was submitted and his insurance carrier promptly paid the claim for his vehicle. However, because of a human error on their part, they only paid out on the depreciated value of the car.  Konnie, who followed-up to make sure the claim was moving along promptly and fairly, caught this error.  Our insured was happy to find out he would be receiving a supplemental check from his insurance carrier that next day for over $14,000!  While we obviously do our best to insure these errors don't occur in the first place, we are fortunate to have dedicated time for our Service Agents to act as advocates, advisors, and counselors for our customers. 

R&R Insurance will continue to be here for you and will always remember that our job is to make sure that we place you with only the best insurance companies. This change is just one example of how R&R is able to better serve our customers. Thank all of for allowing us to be your insurance agency, your advocate and your advisor.

How to Recognize a Water Damaged Vehicle

Posted by Dan Wolfgram

iStock-660678650.jpgToday's modern vehicles have electronics throughout; in the doors, under the seats, behind the dashboard, in the engine and even in the trunk. With so many electronics susceptible to flood-related failure, most cars that take on water cannot be be repaired.
Leaders Edge Magazine describes the steps you should take to ensure a used vehicle does not have a history of water damage. While there is no sure way to know if a vehicle has been damaged by a flood, the National Automobile Dealers Association offers these tips to prospective buyers to spot flood-damaged vehicles:
  • Check a vehicle’s title history using the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s VinCheck, the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System or a commercially available vehicle history report service, such as Experian or Carfax, etc. Reports may state whether a vehicle has been flood damaged.
  • Examine the interior and the engine compartment for evidence of water and grit from suspected submersion.
  • Check for recently shampooed carpeting.
  • Look under the carpeting for water residue or stain marks from evaporated water not related to air-conditioning pan leaks.
  • Inspect for interior rust and under the carpeting, and inspect upholstery and door panels for evidence of fading.
  • Check under the dash for dried mud and residue, and note any mold or a musty odor in the upholstery, carpet or trunk.
  • Check for rust on screws in the console and in other areas water would normally not reach unless the vehicle was submerged.
  • Look for mud or grit in alternator crevices, behind wiring harnesses and around the small recesses of starter motors, power steering pumps and relays.
  • Inspect electrical wiring for rusted components, water residue or suspicious corrosion.
  • Inspect other components for rust or flaking metal not normally found in late-model vehicles.

Contact a KnowledgeBroker for additional information.

Top Takeaway from the FPA of Wisconsin Symposium

Posted by Dan Wolfgram

After attending last week’s FPA of Wisconsin Symposium the resounding message still ringing in our ears is “team.” Despite how cliché it may sound, we left those few days reminded of how valuable R&R’s partnership with the FPA truly is.

Our Private Client Division is excited to be a part of your team. We understand how important your clients are to you and value your goal of growing their wealth. We take it upon ourselves to properly protect those assets with the very best coverage. We’ve been there before - and will continue to provide unparalleled service.

Below is a quick preview of the fun we had last week!

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Topics: Private Client Group

Making Big Changes? Don't Forget to Contact Your Insurance Agent

Posted by Dan Wolfgram

iStock-539841066.jpgWe recently had a Personal Insurance client report an auto claim to us. After we made sure the client was not injured, we took a deep breath and started the process of submitting a claim. The submission process typically includes gathering details of the accident and getting the appropriate insurance carrier involved.

While submitting the information to the insurance company, we realized that the client’s car involved in the accident was not on their auto insurance policy. Our client was under the impression the car dealership would contact us to add the new car and take off the car they had traded in. Unfortunately, R&R was never contacted.

This is a friendly reminder to you, our valued customer.  If something happens in your life (i.e., you buy something, you sell something, you are considering buying a certain breed of dog, or if you just want to talk about the Packers, Brewers or Bucks), contact R&R and we can talk you through the process. We are not here to sell you coverages you don’t need or want, but we will only provide knowledge to you so you can make great decisions.  That’s just another reason why we are known as The Knowledge Brokers.

Topics: Personal Insurance

How To Prevent Ice Dams

Posted by Dan Wolfgram

iStock-539106517The freeze-thaw combination we experience during winter creates ice dams that will send water down interior walls of your home when it melts. An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow from draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation etc. A key indication that there is an ice dam problem is the appearance of large icicles hanging from the roof's edge.


Preventing Ice Dams

Ice dams can be prevented by controlling the heat loss from the home.

Immediate action:

  • Remove snow from the roof. You will need a "roof rake" to remove the snow. (View video for demonstration) A push broom can be used as well, but may damage the roofing materials.

Long-term action:

  • Seal up any air leakage between the house and attic space
  • Increase the ceiling/roof insulation

Interior damage should not be repaired until ceilings and walls are dry. In addition, interior repair should be done together with correcting the heat loss problem that created the ice dam or the damage will occur again.

Wisconsin residents, watch the video below or contact knowledgebroker, Dan Wolfgram for more information and more ways to prevent ice dams!

Topics: Personal Insurance, melting snow, water creates ice dam, prevent ice dams, large icicles hanging from roof, preventing ice dams, freeze-thaw combination, ice dams, roof rake

Proudly Sponsoring the FPA of Wisconsin Symposium

Posted by Dan Wolfgram

young-professionals(small).jpgWe’re proud to be supporting the Financial Planning Association of Wisconsin at their upcoming Symposium!

As the largest independently owned insurance agency in the Midwest, R&R Insurance is more than just an agent. We understand that as a Financial Planner your objective is to grow your clients’ wealth – which is why we make it our priority to help protect those assets.

Our experienced team of professionals will work with you to provide a comprehensive review of your clients’ unique exposures, evaluate their current insurance, and then recommend a program to increase protection, ease administrative burden and manage cost. The insurance plans we provide are custom-tailored and hand-selected from a variety of carriers and products, which are unmatched by most mass market insurance companies.  

If you’ll be attending the upcoming Financial Planning Association of Wisconsin Symposium, we invite you to stop by, shake some dice, win great prizes (including cash!), and learn more about the strong partnership we can provide. We promise to be a resource you can count on. We’ll also be sponsoring Trivia Night on Monday, October 9 and would love to have you join us.

Have questions? Contact a member of our Private Client Division!

Find a Private Client Knowledge Broker

Topics: Private Client Group

Warming Up Your Car On a Cold Day: Myths vs. Facts

Posted by Dan Wolfgram

Car-WinterWe've all heard it before, "Make sure you let you car warm up in cold weather." But is there truth to that statement? Or is it just a convenience to hop into an already defrosted vehicle? Does letting your car idle prevent wear and tear on your engine, or simply waste gas?


Our partners at West Bend Mutual shared an article about the common myths and facts of warming up your car on a cold day. Here's an example of their findings:


Myth – It’s a good practice to let my car idle (warm) on cold days.


Fact – The only reason to idle a car is to circulate the engine oil. Experts recommend letting your car idle 10 – 30 seconds; there are no benefits to letting your engine idle any longer. The best way to bring your engine up to operating temperature is to gently drive your car. By simply driving your car, the engine and its components (brakes, transmission, etc.) will warm up faster which allows your car to run more efficiently.


Dan's Reality – Despite the benefits it may or may not provide, there's nothing better than getting into a car with defrosted windows, warm seats, and hot air blowing through the vents. A remote starter has been one of the best decisions I've made to get through Wisconsin winters. (Note: Don't forget to keep your car locked while you're letting it warm up!)


Click here to read to read the full list of myths vs. facts from West Bend Mutual.

Topics: Personal Insurance

5 Tips for Your Next Home Improvement Project

Posted by Dan Wolfgram

Kitchen-RemodelWith summer coming to an end and fall creeping in, most of us are planning to hunker in for the cold weather. For many, this becomes the perfect time to start a home renovation or home improvement project. According to Statistic Brain, in the next two years 26% of homeowners plan a bathroom renovation or addition and 22% plan a kitchen renovation or addition.


If you are planning to be a part of that percentage, we highly recommend keeping these tips in mind:


  1. Consider how the renovation will impact the value of your home. Do you need to update your property insurance? With large increases to the value of your home, it’s important to be sure your insurance agent is aware.
  1. When working with a contractor, be sure to get referrals from family and friends. Do you trust the person you’ll be inviting into your home day after day? Do they have a clean track record?
  1. Check out the Better Business Bureau for additional contractor and subcontractor references. This is a great way to avoid surprises and ensure you’re happy with the quality of work at the end of the project.
  1. Make sure your contractor provides proof of insurance. Ask to see their certificates and be sure that coverage will be in effect the entire time the work is being done. This will cover any damages, injuries, etc. that may occur.
  1. Contact your knowledge broker at R&R prior to signing any contracts. Not keeping your insurance agent informed may leave you with claims that are not covered. At R&R, we are more than happy to walk you through contracts and answer any questions you may have before signing the dotted line.


Home improvements and renovations are an exciting time for any homeowner! Be sure to keep these tips in mind, or contact a knowledge broker for more information.

Topics: Personal Insurance, Business Insurance, home renovation, home improvement, home insurance

Are You Covered? Test Your Personal Insurance Knowledge

Posted by Dan Wolfgram

Insurance-Knowledge-TestSummer in Wisconsin calls for countless family celebrations, parties with friends, and neighborhood barbecues. Along with that comes the responsibility of what happens if an accident occurs at your home. To test your knowledge of your own insurance coverage, see if you can accurately answer the questions below.


Are the following incidents covered by your home insurance policy?

1. The neighbor’s son, Little Timmy, taunts your nine year old Golden Retriever and she snaps back with a bite. Timmy is left with a gash on his leg and a trip to the walk-in clinic. Covered?

2. Little Timmy’s older brother teaches the kids how to play backyard baseball and one goes right through the brand new front window. Covered?

3. Your family sticks around much longer than expected and the mayo filled pasta salad doesn’t get put away. They all call the next morning to tell you about their awful food poisoning and midnight trip to the emergency room. Covered?

4. Grandpa Joe, Uncle Don and Uncle Bob don’t listen to your direction and all sit on the same side of the 20 year old porch. All three are left sitting on the concrete when it collapses. Covered?

5. Your best friends bring a bucket filled with water balloons to your son’s birthday party. After an all-day battle, unlucky Little Timmy takes one right to his eye and winds up back at the walk-in clinic. Covered?


If you answered yes to all five questions above you are an expert insurance policy holder! All of the incidents above would be covered under your homeowners’ policy.


However, more often than not we recommend an Umbrella Policy to make sure you are adequately covered. Whether you own a home or car, are married, or have kids, an Umbrella Policy can save you from possible lawsuits down the road. Click here to learn more about the importance of having an Umbrella Policy.

Topics: Personal Insurance