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Affordable legal protection for any budget

Posted on by AshleyOAdmin in Legalshield Comments Off on Affordable legal protection for any budget

If you could pick up the phone, talk to an attorney, ask a legal question and not receive a bill, would you?  

For less than $20/month, you would be able to! Read more

Do I really need Renters Insurance?

Posted on by AshleyOAdmin in Insurance Comments Off on Do I really need Renters Insurance?

Renters Insurance: Why It’s Worth It


It took years for you to assemble that collection of beautiful antique china beautiful displayed in your dining room, but it takes a thief only minutes to steal them from your first floor apartment. Luckily, you can compare renters insurance quotes even more quickly than that with an Independent Insurance Agency.????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Theft isn’t the only thing a renter needs to be concerned about when purchasing a policy. Renters policies also cover the following:

1. Damage to your personal belongings (Also called: Personal Property or Coverage “C”) due to the following:

    • Fire, smoke, lightning, explosion
    • Wind (Tornado, etc.)
    • Water (Roof leaks, toilet/sink overflow, pipe bursts, etc)
    • Theft/vandalism (Covers belongings in your home, a storage unit and on the road as long as you own it)
    • Any other perils listed in your policy

2. Personal Liability (Bodily Injury & Property Damage):

    • If someone were to get hurt or injured in your rented unit
    • Animal bites by a pet you own
    • If your unit causes damage to the landlord’s building or another tenants unit or personal belongings.
      • Example: you accidentally leave a candle burning and a fire starts in your unit and progresses to another unit damaging part of the building, setting the sprinklers off and damaging your neighbors belongings. You are liable for all clean up, restoration and possibly your neighbors belongings.
      • Example: your toilet is clogged and overflows. You are gone for the weekend and the water starts seeping into the ceiling of your neighbor below you. You are liable for restoration and possibly your neighbors belongings.

3. Medical Payments:

    • Medical payments are a way to offer a hurt or injured person a small payout without dipping into the liability portion of the insurance policy. This would of course only be used if the injury were on a smaller scale as medical payments typically only go up to $5,000 or $10,000 per person.

4. Loss of Use:

    • If the complex has a covered peril claim such as a fire or tornado and all tenants must vacate while the units are under construction, there is a coverage called “loss of use” which provides reimbursement if the renter needs to find alternative accommodations for a period of time and covers Additional Living Expenses, such as hotel bills, transportation, restaurant meals or groceries, etc.

5. Scheduled Items:

    • Renters are able to schedule more valuable items on their insurance policies, to ensure the full value is paid out and the deductible is waived. If some of these items are not schedule, there could be little to no coverage for them in the “Personal Property” section on  the policy. Some examples of items regularly scheduled include:???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
      • Valuable jewelry
      • furs
      • antiques/collectibles
      • silver/gold/rare coins
      • guns/rifles
      • computers/electronics/cameras
      • Fine art
      • other valuable collections

Renter’s Insurance, as you can see, is extremely valuable and always necessary for any tenant regardless of how valuable or invaluable they feel their personal belongings are. Purchasing renters insurance is much more than providing peace of mind that if there were a fire, you would be able to replace all of your possession’s brand new. It is reassurance that you are covered if your dog bites the pizza delivery person, you fall asleep in your zen haven but that sneaky candle didn’t get blown out, you are out of town and a pipe bursts because you forgot to follow the landlord’s “slow drip” request during extreme cold temperatures, and if you are required to vacate the building, you have a “safety net” to cover additional living expenses.


Not only is renters Insurance a necessary and great investment, but it is usually inexpensive too! For some, it can cost as little as a few cups of coffee a month!

How much will your Renters Insurance Policy cost? Find out here: Quote Request


Blog post written by: Ashley Ostrowski, Agency Producer of family owned Independent agency: Ostrowski Insurance Agency.

Ashley has been in the Insurance Industry for over 4 years and specializes in Personal Lines, Life, Health, Disability, Critical Illness and Long Term Care policies. She is extremely passionate about insurance and educating her customers on the policies they need in place. She resides in Stillwater, MN and in her spare time she spends time with her Fiancé and dogs, immerses herself in gardening and holistic approaches, works on her bridal accessory fashion line and loves staying active!

The best advice I’ve picked up from the principal agent John, also my father by working in the family business: People often ask us…what is the best type of Life Insurance Policy for me? The policy that is in force and active when you pass away. It needs to be affordable for the consumer so it stays in place when they need it.”  -Ashley Ostrowski

Ostrowski,Ashley 2015 Headshot




What is an Independent Insurance Agency?

Posted on by AshleyOAdmin in Uncategorized Leave a comment

Independent…Captive…Direct Writer? What’s the difference?

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? There are three ways to purchase insurance in the industry: independent agents, captive agents and direct writers. Captive means the agent can only write policies with one company, and are restricted if the rates increase and the customer wants to shop around, or if they can’t meet the customers’ needs with other various products. Independent means that the agent has many different contracts in place with different insurance companies so they are able to shop around and have the freedom to offer different products with different companies to the customer for the best overall fit. Direct Writers work out of a customer service office directly for the company and are who you speak to when you call the company’s 800 number direct.

Independent agents have been around since 1896! Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America or the Big “I” is the association that helps build the structure of independent agencies. More than 7100 independent agencies are selling on behalf of 43 different insurance carriers across the U.S.

Independent agents represent multiple insurance companies. They serve as your trusted advisor, sifting through the vast amounts of products from leading insurance companies. They’ll have a conversation with you to understand your needs before recommending the best coverage or package for your unique situation.

What value can an Independent Agent offer you?  

  • Independent agents are a one-stop-shop for all of your insurance needs. One stop = Convenience! Independent agents don’t just sell auto and homeowners insurance. In our agency, we offer a multitude of product categories including:
    • Auto/Home
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • Umbrella
    • Flood
    • Motorcycle
    • RV/Motorhome
    • Boat
    • Business
    • Landlord/Rentals
    • Life/Health/Dental/Vision
    • Long Term Care/Disability
    • Critical Illness/Cancer/Accident policies
    • Annuities/ IRA’s
    • Special Event Coverage
    • Legal Shield/Identity Theft


  • Agents have at their disposal the ability to shop the market of many insurance companies at one time. Because rates vary widely and are constantly changing, it is very likely and independent agent can help find a better deal than you could find yourself in a much quicker period of time. If you are already being serviced by an independent agent and are in the market to look for a different company based on rates or an unpleasant experience with a particular company, your agent can help you find a solution, and they can remain your trusted advocate.


  • Insurance is a complicated subject.  Not only do Independent Agents understand the nature of the insurance industry, but they are writing for many companies which means that they are versed with understanding numerous underwriting regulations that each company has in place. This is helpful when they are carefully considering where to place your policies to ensure the insurance company is the best fit for your particular situation.


  • Independent agents provide personalized customer service. Personalized customer service is high priority in independent agencies. Since an independent agent works for you, they are your advocate to assist you with your policy from start to finish. Instead of calling an 800 number and getting a different representative each time, you have a trusted agent that knows you by name to help answer questions, file claims, advise you on the pros and cons of filing certain claims and determine if your insurance needs need to be re-evaluated as life events change.


  • Independent agents offer a protection layer. Some of the insurance companies that independent agents sell through also allow consumers to purchase directly from them as well. Don’t get us wrong-there is nothing wrong with direct writer insurance companies. However, many of the representatives working in the customer service depts. are not actual licensed agents and simply cannot provide some of the services or advice necessary that customers need. When you are being serviced by an agent, you have a regulated, licensed and insured agent acting on your behalf and creating a safety net to ensure you have proper coverage’s in place, and more importantly, taking the TIME to explain what those coverage’s mean.


If you are looking for an Independent agent in MN or WI, contact us HERE to get the process started for a quote.