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4 Step Credit Building Plan for Business Owners

Almost every business owner (who is still in business) has experienced the opportunity to grow… alongside the need to borrow. This is the point our credit comes into play. Here are a few ideas for a business owner to build up their personal credit, in order to create then grow your business’ credit. 

Your Credit can communicate Your Worth in today’s business world

For any legal advice, please consult your attorney. For any tax advice, please consult your tax professional. This article is about your credit, and if you’re not already working to improve it, and own a business, you probably clicked on this blog for a reason. 

1. Pay your bills on time, every month, without fail. 

If you are not able pay your bills every month, that is probably because you have too many bills. One of the great lessons a small business marketing consultant once said was that the trick to enjoying being an entrepreneur is having low monthly bills. That is not a universal truth, but over 1/3 of your FICO score is based on whether you pay your bills late or not. Besides, this is one of the main reasons they’re checking your credit… to see if you are creditable in that when you say you will pay for something… will you do it? A solid first step at building your credit is to pay your bills on time. 

2. Shop Smart

While shopping smart could apply to the thoughts in the last paragraph, the act of shopping smart in building your credit has to do with knowing and selecting the credit partners who are best for you at this point. 

The internet is full of options of entities who are willing to loan money. Some of them loan money using good business practices, and other are what we call predatory lenders. They are identified as predatory, because they are out there in their own interest, and if they find you — they will eat you. They will take all they can and leave you as little as legally possible (and sometimes beyond what is legally allowed). 

Shop the partners you choose to do business with, when it comes to building your credit. 

3. Know your score

You are able to get a free credit check from a number of websites like: , mint or even . When you get your credit report, you can read it and see every company who says you have made a borrowing/credit business agreement. There are timelines and stipulations, but we are insurance brokers, and these are just ideas we think could help our business owner clients and friends. 

A credit score is not a static description you check once, and know for the next decade… or year… or month. Tracking your credit score is a part of building your credit. Some may say that it could hurt your credit to check your own credit, but that is not true. This is called a soft inquiry, and shouldn’t affect your credit score at all. 

4. Be Patient

After you start tracking your score, you will see that it feels like you’re running on freshly waxed linoleum with new socks… like you’re giving a lot of effort and not going anywhere. Don’t start closing old accounts. It’s a false tale which states that closing your unused credit will help your credit score. If you have old cards which are being properly managed, it will actually help your credit. As long as you keep the balance lower than 30% of your credit limit, you will be on your way to better rates, more options on rent or a mortgage, better phone plans and people will even start letting you take stuff for free, because they have a pretty good idea you will pay them back on time — because you credit says so by its score. 

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Business Owner Mary

Like you, Mary struggles with questioning if her business is safe. And it frustrates her at work, because of questions like, “What do I need to do to protect against?… How can I know my business is safe?… and Who can I call to get help?

Oh No!

That’s before Mary… asks a professional. Professional Advice answers all those problems for Mary. 

  • Legal Questions = Ask an Attorney
  • Financial Questions = Ask a CPA
  • Insurance Questions = Ask your agent

If you don’t know your agent personally, Mary goes to Insurance Town & Country. See how happy Mary is!

Call you agent: 


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Be Smart About Homeowner Expenses

Be Smart About Homeowner Expenses

It’s a moment that many adults look forward to: securing the keys to your very first home. Owning your dream house (or at least your very own starter house) can quickly turn into a nightmare if you haven’t done the proper research in advance. In addition to the bottom-line cost of the house itself, there can be several unplanned expenses that will add on to your initial homeowner’s debt. Below are some of these costs to consider when planning to make your home truly a sweet home.

Closing Costs. These can include different fees such as title insurance, legal work, and inspections. Being aware of these costs and working with your realtor to negotiate the details may help to save you thousands of dollars before you sign on the dotted line.

Homeowners Insurance. Just like your auto insurance, home insurance is a monthly fee that helps to cover the cost of unexpected events like robberies, weather damage, or other unforeseen disasters. Depending on the value and specific characters of your home, your home insurance costs will vary.

Taxes. One of the guarantees in life: taxes. In the case of a homeowner, they are expected to pay property taxes that will help cover some costs of living within the community in which they reside. These will vary depending on location and available town amenities.

HOA Fees. Depending on your residence, there is a chance your house is a part of a Homeowners Association. Knowing these monthly fees ahead of time can save you some headache when the monthly bills arrive.

Utility Costs. Electricity, gas, propane, water, trash and sewage — all possible add-on’s to your cost of living. These too are generally monthly payments, and they can vary depending on the house. Be sure you understand the structure of your house and its utility demands before closing on your contract.

Be Smart About Homeowner Expenses

Once you’ve made you purchase decision, call Insurance Town & Country for your insurance needs today and speak with one of our insurance professionals. We have offices in Denver (303–388-7216) and Castle Rock (303–688-1251). Call us today to schedule your consultation!

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    Frontpage Article Insurance Insurance Agent Insurance Payment Personal

    Back-to-school insurance quotes

    • Open Lowry article - Published by: Living Well in Lowry by neighbors, for neighbors (serving Lowry since 2002)
    • This article is a transcription from the Lowry newsletter by

    Insurance Town and Country: Denver’s Family Owned Insurance Broker

    As a homeowner or business owner, it’s rarely a favorite topic to discuss. It’s hardly ever the first thing you like to spend your money on, and at the same time it’s always a good idea to buy some. We’re talking about insurance.

    Joan Burkett, owner of Insurance Town and Country, says, “It’s the thing you hate to buy, but you’ll love the fact that you have it when something happens.”

    Residential Umbrella InsuranceInsurance Town and Country is a family-owned insurance business serving us in the town (Denver Metro area) and those in the country, specifically the Castle Rock area, since 1997. They are an independent insurance broker business that can shop more than 25 companies to find the best rate for your personal situation.

    Back in 1983, Joan’s husband Norman begged her to get licensed so she could help run his insurance office in Kittredge. She really didn’t want to at first because she didn’t think it was her thing. At the same time, she knew her husband was quite the sales guy and she had a knack for explaining things to people. Maybe Norm was on to something after all?

    The following decade or so proved to be trying at times, but kept Joan and her family on their toes as they rode out the ups and downs of various agencies and insurance firms. Joan is a firm believer in God and she believes everything happens for a reason. “While insurance is not my passion, it helps fund my passions. I’m truly blessed with this opportunity to support myself and help my community.”

    Joan joined forces with her middle son Jeremy in 1997, and shortly thereafter Norman passed away in 1999. Joan and Jeremy’s partnership became a blessing in disguise for her while they both mourned his loss. Jeremy wasn’t easily convinced to join the insurance business either, but it didn’t take long for them to become the perfect business partners. Jeremy’s dream at the time was a career in the NFL. After two years with the New York Giants, though, he returned home with his Mom to get things started. “it’s easier on his knees, ” jokes Joan.

    How is Insurance Town and Country different from other agencies?

    Well, someone will always answer the phone! There’s no 800 number here, it’s personal and we care. Nicole, our account manager, is amazing! If I could clone her, I would,” explains Joan.

    When you visit Joan and Jeremy for the first time, they’ll give you a broad brush review of your individual situation. “We look to see how we can save you money. We can help you understand your current coverage by explaining what you already have. And, sometimes, we even assure you that you’re best off staying put where you are.”

    Now that summer vacation is almost over, some of you will be sending kids off to college and taking an inventory of your current policies.

    Here are some things Insurance Town and Country can help you evaluate this fall.

    Did you know if your child goes to college more than 100 miles from home and does not take a car, you can save money?

    denver insurance choicesHave you considered insuring your child’s big-ticket items that he or she is taking to college?

    • When we went away to school, we may have taken a record player, or a stereo and microwave, but kids today take flat screen TC and laptops.

    Do you understand your healthcare plan? 

    • It’s no secret that the current healthcare system is very difficult for the average person to understand. Let Insurance Town and Country help you navigate the paperwork to determine what you’re really covered for.

    When was the last time you reviewed your coverage and/or your insurance carrier?

    • Joan and Jeremy encourage you to review your policies every three years (not sooner). It’s always a good idea to see how your life and needs change over time, but don’t change providers too often. The next guy might decide not to cover you at all, or you could lose valuable renewal credits.

    Have you recently gotten married?

    • You could save 20% on your insurance by combining your policies under one company.

    How can you pay just one deductible the next time it hails?

    • Make sure your home and auto is on one policy so the next time we have a major story, you only make one claim and pay one deductible for the repairs.

    Yes, insurance companies can be difficult, but you have to be at a place where you can trust your agent and your insurance company. Insurance is not simple so who you choose for an agent does matter. We are invested in getting you a good deal and we want you to have a good claim experience,” explains Joan.

    Insurance Town and Country provides a level of customer service and personal care that the larger companies simply  cannot. While it’s not a buttoned-up office, it’s Colorado-casual by design. They’re approachable and they understand the broad range of their clients, from the young to old.

    We’re small enough to know your name, but we’re big enough to meet your needs,” explains Joan.

    For more information on Insurance Town and Country, visit, or give them a call at 303–388-7216.

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      The Benefits of Long-Term Care Insurance

      Benefits of Long-Term Care Insurance

      Retirement. A time of relaxation.  A time of having no more cares or concerns. A time when you are supposed to finally be able to rest after working so hard for so many years. But what happens when advanced age has an effect on your plans and costs pop up in your time of relaxation? Is your current Medicare insurance going to help you pay for these unforeseen costs? The answer is mostly likely no. Even with Medicare insurance, there will be healthcare needs that unfortunately will not be met as one might expect transitioning into retirement. According to Genworth’s 2015 “Cost of Care” Survey — the average retiree in Colorado will have anywhere from an additional $17,000-$90,000 annually in retirement-specific costs. These costs include payment for Homemaker Services, Home Health Aide, Adult Day Health Care, Assisted Living, and Nursing Home.

      So how is a person supposed to manage all of these expenses? Insurance Town & Country recommends looking into Long-Term Care Insurance. This type of insurance will help manage the costs of all the services that Medicare will not cover.

      Depending on the coverage of these Long-Term Care Insurance plans, the plans and premium can vary. Knowing which plan is right for you will further help to manage the costs associated with retirement. That starts with knowing your own budget and taking into consideration the affordability of the premiums (which can increase with age). What can you afford on a monthly basis? Do you have substantial assets? How much flexibility do wish to have in your choice of care? All of these questions should be considered when looking into Long-Term Care Insurance. The main goal is to help you remain independent for as long as possible.

      Insurance Town & Country is available to help you make the best decisions regarding your retirement. Our experienced insurance experts will help you consider your options for Long-Term Care Insurance and assist you in selecting the plan that’s right for you. Call us today to schedule your consultation, and let your retirement be relaxing! We have offices in Denver (303–388-7216) and Castle Rock (303–688-1251).

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        The Basics of Commercial Insurance

        Right Coverage for your Commercial Insurance

        As a business owner, it is important to ensure all aspects of your company are insured.

        Addressing these concerns and the need for insurance early on can potentially save you a few bucks and prevent additional worry.

        Determining the kinds of coverage you need is the first step. Professional liability? Worker’s compensation? Commercial insurance? Chances are that if you own a business and have a vehicle that is used for work purposes, you or your company will need to carry commercial  insurance. Since this type of insurance can be vital to your business, you will want to work with an independent agent who can help you determine the best protection for your company, taking into consideration both industry and size of the business.

        Below are a few tips to help you find the agent that will help you find the right coverage:

        Commercial Insurance Auto Accident

        • Unbiased is Best! An independent agent represent several difference insurance companies, allowing them to compare and contrast several different package options for your company’s needs. As opposed to a captive agent–who only represents one insurance company–an independent agent can be more flexible, finding the best fit for your business.
        • Go World Wide — on the Web. Visiting the website of a larger insurance company can provide further insight to available coverage options. From there, look locally for an agent close to home.
        • Ask Around. It’s quite probable that fellow business owners or professional acquaintances are using insurance agents for the same reason you need to use them. Ask for a referral and get a trusted suggestion.

        Regardless of your choice of agent, keep in mind that your insurance needs are unique to your business. There is no “one size fits all” option. As your business grows and changes, your coverage needs will do the same. Be sure to follow up with your agent to ensure your protection is up to date.

        Call Insurance Town & Country today and speak with one of our insurance professionals. We can help you determine the commercial auto insurance that best suits your company’s needs. We have offices in Denver (303–388-7216) and Castle Rock (303–688-1251).  Call us today to schedule your consultation!

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          Auto Insurance: TRUE or FALSE?

          Auto Insurance: TRUE or FALSE?

          Rushing to buy car insurance is like Auto Insurance Investigation is it True or Falseplaying a board game without reading the rules. While you may feel the need to be “covered” and get in the game, some of the important details may get overlooked. Not fully understanding your auto insurance can lead to further confusion and frustration later on. The more informed you are, the better choices you will make. Below are some common “TRUE or FALSE?” statements to consider when buying car insurance.

          TRUE or FALSE: Everything is paid for with “full coverage.”

          False! According to the, there is no such thing as full coverage auto insurance. Some policies may combine state-required liability, collision and comprehension coverage–but even with this, the details and protection will vary.

          TRUE or FALSE: Get as many auto repair estimates as possible.

          Sometimes true, sometimes false! This one depends on your insurance. Some insurance companies only require that you use an “in-network” auto repair shop. However, if you know you will be paying out of pocket, it won’t hurt to shop around for a good deal.

          TRUE or FALSE: Getting into an accident automatically increases your premium.

          False! This one also depends on your insurance and how your insurance provider determines your rate. Multiple factors such as your car and your driving history can have an effect on whether your rate increases, decreases, or stays the same.

          TRUE or FALSE: I can lend my car to anyone. My insurance will cover it.

          Not necessarily. If none of the parties involved have optional physical damage coverage, you might be having to pay out of pocket for any vehicle damage.

          TRUE or FALSE: My new car is automatically covered by my previous auto insurance.

          False! Whether you are buying a new car or simply adding another vehicle to your policy, you must notify your insurance agent. Often you have 30 days to do so.

          Call Insurance Town & Country today and speak with one of our insurance professionals. We can help you review your policy and ensure you understand all the fine-print details! We have offices in Denver (303–388-7216) and Castle Rock (303–688-1251).  Call us today to schedule your consultation!

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            Protect Your Employees with Workers Comp

            Workers Comp Insurance

            Protect Your Employees with Workers CompIf you own a business, you understand the value and importance of your employees. You also understand the needs of protecting your own employees with Worker’s Compensation Insurance. Simply known as “workers comp” — this type of insurance will protect both your employees and your business from various on-the-job mishaps. Although subject to specific terms and conditions, Worker’s Compensation can cover financial obligations such as:

                        • An injured employee’s medical expenses/treatment
                        • The replacement of lost wages from injury time off
                        • A company’s legal fees in the case of a lawsuit


            WHY GET IT?
            Aside from many businesses requiring workers comp insurance, most states require this type of insurance by law as well. These laws are designed to ensure that employers are covering some part of the payment for workers’ on-site injuries or even possible occupational health risks.

            WHAT ARE THE BASICS?
            Worker’s Compensation will usually only cover on-site or work-related injuries and illnesses. However, it is important to know your industry and check your policy because “work-related” can have a wide array of meaning. Accidents including heavy machinery, wet or oil surfaces, fire and explosions, and even simple slip ups with a stapler can all be considered under the blanket of Worker’s Comp. If your company does not offer Worker’s Compensation, these type of injuries or illnesses that occur on the job could lead to an employees suing your company for damages.

            Call Insurance Town & Country today and speak with one of our insurance professionals. We will discuss to you the various insurance policies needed to keep your business and its employees protected! Protect Your Employees with Worker’s Comp. We have offices in Denver (303–388-7216) and Castle Rock (303–688-1251). Call us today to schedule your consultation!

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              How Do Your Savings Stack Up?

              Are You Sure Your Getting The Right Insurance Payment

              How Insurance Payment WorksAccording to a survey by the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, about 20% of drivers just might be paying too much for car insurance. With the various driving discounts that are out there, how do you know if you are getting the savings you deserve?

              While it is best to consult with the team at Insurance Town & Country, here are a few starter questions to ask yourself when reviewing your own policy:

              Tips On How Insurance Payment Works.

              • How many vehicles do I own? Being a multi-vehicle owner could lead to more savings. Insuring your boats, motorcycles, or RVs and other toys with the same insurance payment company you have your auto insurance with can potentially help you cut down on costs.
              • Can I pay in one lump sum? If you can afford to pay your auto insurance in full, you might get a break on the final bill versus sticking to the standard monthly payments.
              • Can “going green” make me some green? Depending on the agency, opting for paperless billings may lead to even more savings. In addition to saving a tree, you might also be saving a few dollars.
              • How loyal am I? If you’ve been with the same insurance payment company for a while, you may see the benefits in extra perks and added savings.
              • Are my kids making the grades? Many insurance companies reward teen-drivers for being good students. Additionally, if your child’s good grades got them into college (and not driving your car as often), there’s a chance you can still get that discount.

              Call Insurance Town & Country today and speak with one of our insurance professionals. We can help with a policy review to determine which rates and discounts are suited for you and your family. We have offices in Denver (303–388-7216) and Castle Rock (303–688-1251).  Call us today to schedule your consultation!

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