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FAQ's

If you have a question that you think belongs here, please email it to us so that we can add it. Many insurance questions have complicated answers that may depend on variables such as state residency, driving records, and financial history. These questions are better asked of one of our agents.

Auto | HomeownersRecreational VehiclesLife | Valuable Items | Business Insurance

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Auto Insurance FAQ's

Q: What does liability coverage mean?
A: Liability Coverage protects you from lawsuits in the event you are involved in an accident. This coverage provides protection even if you are driving another person's vehicle. There are four main types of Liability Coverage:

Bodily Injury
Bodily Injury Coverage is typically sold as split limits, a limit for each passenger and an overall limit for the accident. For example, if you elect to purchase $100,0000/$300,000 coverage, you have the following coverage maximum payouts in the event of an accident:

$100,000 maximum payment to any individual involved in the accident
$300,000 maximum payment for all individuals involved in the accident

The minimum limits for BI vary by state and it is suggested that you purchase $250,000/$500,000 unless you are a non-standard driver that has very expensive insurance rates. Always check with your insurance agent about the risks associated with purchasing lower or minimum liability limits.

Medical or Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
This coverage provides protection for medical and/or funeral costs for you in the event of an accident. States are either Medical states or PIP states depending on their state law. Please check with your agent for a complete description on Medical Coverage and its relation to other existing Health/Life Coverage you may have.

Property Damage
As the name implies, property damage protects you from any damage resulting to a person's car or other property in the event of an accident. For example, if you purchase $100,000 of Property Damage, the maximum amount paid for damage to other individual's property would be $100,000 for the accident.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist
Uninsured Motorist provides coverage for you in the event the other driver does not have insurance at all. Underinsured Motorist provides liability coverage for you in the event the other driver does not have enough insurance coverage.

Q: What does collision and comprehensive coverage mean?
A: These two coverage options provide compensation for damage inflicted to your vehicle in the event of an accident. Collision provides coverage in the event of an accident. Comprehensive provides coverage in the event of car damage from other perils such as storms, theft and some other non-accident damage inflicted to your car.

Comprehensive and Collision are sold with deductibles. A deductible is the amount you pay first. After the deductible has been reached, the insurance coverage provides payment for the additional amount of repairs/replacement needed. A typical deductible for Comprehensive and Collision is:

$100 Comprehensive
$250 Collision

It is very important that you consult with your agent to determine the best coverage for you. Depending on your vehicle, age, driving record, income and many other factors, the right coverage will vary.

Disclaimer: This information is intended to provide a brief overview of insurance coverage, and is not a substitute for reading the details of your insurance policy and/or consulting with an agent.

Q: What is the difference between collision and comprehensive coverage?
A: Comprehensive covers glass breakage and accidents involving animals. Collision covers physical damage resulting from accidents with another vehicle or a fixed object.

Q: My car insurance seems expensive. How can I reduce the cost?
A: There are tools you can use to reduce your costs. A few things to consider include:

Vehicle Choice
Premiums vary by vehicle - some are theft targets or expensive to repair. Check the insurance rates before you make a purchase.

Deductibles
Choosing higher Comprehensive and Collision deductibles can reduce premiums.

Collision Coverage
As your vehicle ages and the value declines, it might be a good idea to drop Collision Coverage to save money.

Account Credit
Many companies provide discounts if your home and auto are insured together.

Ride Share
If you commute, look into ride share vans or alternatives to driving to work every day. Decreased usage may translate into a lower rate class.

Q: Am I covered for rental car expenses if my car is inoperable?
A: Only if you have rental car reimbursement coverage added to your policy.

Q: Why should I package all my insurance?
A: By packaging all of your insurance policies you can achieve significant multiple policy discounts and savings.

Q: Will my teenage son/daughter be covered if he/she drives my car?
A: Yes, as long as they have a valid drivers license and have been added to your policy.

Q: If I let a non-family member drive my car is he/she covered in the event of an accident?
A: Yes, as long as they have a valid drivers license

Homeowners Insurance FAQ's

Q: If a tree in my yard is struck by lightening and crashes into my house am I covered?
A: Yes. Damage to the house and removal of the tree is covered. It also provides limited coverage for the tree itself.

Q: My pet damaged my carpet. Can I claim it on my insurance?
A: No.

Q: A flood destroyed my home. Am I covered?
A: No. Flood coverage is excluded under your homeowner policy. A separate flood insurance policy would cover the loss.

Q: An earthquake damaged my home. Am I covered?
A: Earthquake is excluded from your Homeowners policy but you may add an earthquake endorsement onto your policy that would cover you.

Q: Why should I purchase earthquake coverage?
A: Earthquake coverage is not included in your homeowner policy. Since 1900 earthquakes have occurred in 39 states and caused damage in all 50. Nine out of 10 Americans live in seismically active areas.

Q: A visitor slipped and fell on ice and is suing me. Am I covered?
A: Yes, up to the policy limit of your comprehensive personal liability under your Homeowners.

Q: Why should I package all my insurance?
A: By packaging all of your insurance policies you can achieve significant savings.

Q: Will damages caused by a furnace puff back be covered by my homeowners insurance?
A: Cleaning expenses are covered.

Q: What are the differences between actual cash value/replacement costs and all risks/named perils?
A: Replacement cost is the current cost to replace an item. Actual cash value is the replacement cost less depreciation for age. Special form coverage covers all losses except those that are excluded. Named perils cover only specifically named perils such as fire, lightening, windstorm, etc.

Q: Is all my personal property automatically covered under my homeowner policy?
A: Yes. However, there are limitations on certain items.

Q: Should I advise my agent every time I make a home improvement?
A: You need to make sure that your home is always insured for at least 80 percent of its replacement cost or you will be subject to a co-insurance penalty in the event of a claim.

Q: Will my homeowner's policy cover me if my wedding ring is stolen or lost?
A: Your homeowners policy will cover the loss only if there is reasonable thought that a theft occurred up to $1,000. If you need more coverage an Inland Marine policy should be purchased with the value based upon an appraisal of the item.

Q: Why should I buy renter's insurance?
A: It is inexpensive and covers personal property in your apartment. It also provides limited off premises coverage, motel costs in the event that you had to evacuate the building overnight, and court expenses if you were found liable for an accident in the apartment that resulted in someone else's injuries.

Q: When comparing homeowners policies, what should I look at other than the limit on my house?
A: There are many features within a Homeowners Policy that will make it different than another. In addition to the limits shown on the front of your policy (dwelling, contents, liability, etc.), you need to dig into the policy language to see how your policy addresses things like:

Backup of Sewer or Drains
The basic Homeowners Policy does not cover this, but many offer it as an option or enhancement.

Wind Damage to Trees
If you have a tree blown down on your home, most policies will pay for the cost to remove it. However, if the tree is just downed in the yard, some policies will cover the removal - others will not.

Cost to Replace your Home
Virtually all Homeowners Policies provide replacement cost coverage (not depreciated) up to the home value shown on the policy. What if your cost to rebuild exceeds that limit? Many companies offer endorsements to allow some "excess coverage" to allow for situations where the cost to rebuild exceeds the home value shown. While you should try to insure at the full cost to rebuild, these endorsements take the burden off of you to make sure that you are aware of every change in building costs over time.

Q: If I have an office in my home, does my homeowners policy provide the coverage I need?
A: Probably not, unless you address a few items specifically. Be sure to address any business activity with your agent. There are many gaps in both the Property and Liability Coverage under the Homeowners Policy, relative to the business. Your policy may exclude any detached structures, such as a garage, that are used for business purposes, including storage of materials. Contents coverage for business personal property is usually limited to $2500 at home or $250 away from home. Liability Coverage for business activity is generally excluded.

Many of these items, however, can be addressed by many Homeowners Policies as in-home businesses become more common. Coverage for contents, business computers and data and liability can often be added to the Homeowners Policy or be provided by a Companion Policy.

Recreational Vehicles FAQ's

Q: Are recreational vehicles covered under my homeowner policy?
A: Only if they are not registered for the road and are used for the maintenance of the premises. You need to purchase specific insurance for recreational vehicles that are taken over the road whether they are registered or not.

Q: Why should I package all my insurance?
A: By packaging all of your insurance policies you can achieve significant savings.

Life Insurance FAQ's

Q: What are the most common types of life insurance and what are their benefits?
A: Term life is the cheapest. It is used to provide a specific amount of coverage for a specific amount of time. One way to look at term is that you "rent" the coverage that is provided for a specified period of time until it is no longer needed. Term is the cheapest because it has no cash value.

Permanent Life Insurance policies provide cash value that accumulates and in the long run may prove to cost less than term insurance.

Q: How should one determine the amount of life insurance to buy?
A: You need to decide what your short- and long-term goals are and then how to protect your family, business, and professional pursuits. As professional agents we will tailor a plan for you so you will have the right kind of coverage for your circumstances and budget requirements.

Q: At what age is it appropriate to buy life insurance for a child?
A: Since premiums are based on age the sooner the better.

Q: Why should I package all my insurance?
A: By packaging all of your insurance policies you can achieve significant savings.

Valuable Items FAQ's

Q: What kind of items should I have scheduled on my homeowner policy?
A: Jewelry, furs, firearms, computer equipment, business property, boats, and cash to name a few. Use of inland marine policies can be used to cover some of these items.

Q: What kind of documentation do I need to provide for replacement of my valuables?
A: Appraisals, serial numbers, and photos if available.

Q: In the event of a loss, will I be reimbursed the appraisal value or replacement cost of the item?
A: The company reserves the right to replace the item with like kind and like quality of the item which may or may not be in the amount of the appraisal since retail purchased jewelry has a very high markup and the insurance company usually has an arrangement with a highly reputable jeweler resulting in savings, some time of as much as 50% off the retail price.

Q: Why should I package all my insurance?
A: By packaging all of your insurance policies you can achieve significant savings.

Business Insurance FAQ's

Q: What is the most comprehensive policy available for small businesses?
A: The Business Owners Policy is the most widely used form of coverage. It provides coverage for building and contents, loss of income, and general liability up to policy limits. Separate policies for business auto, worker's compensation, bonds, and other business exposures are also available. Your agent can tailor these coverage's to the needs of your specific business.

Q: Why should I package all my insurance?
A: By packaging all of your insurance policies you can achieve significant savings.

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