- Auto - FAQ's
- Commercial Insurance - FAQ's
- Homeowners - FAQ's
What are the different types of auto coverage?
This coverage protects the owner against losses from legal liability arising from bodily injury or property damage caused by an automobile accident. The coverage can be a single limit, ($100,000 for each accident), or split limits such as $50,000 / $100,000 / $25,000 (per person/per accident for bodily injury/property damage).
Medical Payments Coverage:
This provision pays medical because of bodily injury. The coverage is generally in increments of $1,000 to $5,000 up to $10,000 per person per accident.
Physical Damage Coverage:
This section of the auto policy is designed to cover physical damage to the insured auto. Collision covers, as the name implies, collision losses. Comprehensive (also known as "other than collision") covers losses from non-collision incidents, such as theft, fire or storm damage. Losses for physical damage are generally based on the cost to repair or replace the damaged or stolen vehicle.
Even though many states have enacted "financial responsibility" laws, not all automobile owners comply. Uninsured motorist coverage pays for injuries sustained in an accident with an uninsured (or a hit-and-run driver). Underinsured motorist insurance covers the difference between actual losses sustained, and what an insured can collect from an at-fault driver, up to policy limits.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP):
PIP provides coverage for bodily injury sustained by the insured or any family member. Coverage has a $10,000 limit and is mandatory in the state of Florida - additional limits are available. Also provides funeral expenses up to $5,000.
What's that collision damage waiver that car rental companies want you to buy?
Do I need really need it when I rent a car? The collision damage waiver, which is a type of insurance that the rental car company tries to sell, releases you from financial responsibility should you damage their vehicle while renting it. If you have already have insurance on your own car (including collision and comprehensive coverage), and rent a car for pleasure only (e.g., when on vacation), you don't need to buy the collision damage waiver from the rental company. Renting a car for business purposes, however, is usually a bit different, and you should check with your insurance agent first.
Does my auto insurance cover other people who drive my car?
Yes. Liability, collision, and comprehensive insurance follow your car. In addition, if the person who borrows your car is insured, his or her policy also will be available to cover the cost of damages and injuries should there be an accident. Keep in mind that when you borrow someone else's car your liability coverage follows you but your comprehensive and collision do not.
On my insurance policy, what do those three numbers divided by slashes mean?
Each of these numbers means thousands of dollars in liability coverage. For example, the numbers 100/300/100 actually mean $100,000/$300,000/$100,000. The first number is for bodily injury coverage per person; the second number is for bodily injury coverage per accident; and the third number is for property damage coverage per accident. Thus, in the above example, your coverage: $100,000 in bodily injury coverage per person. $300,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident. $100,000 in property damage coverage per accident.
Why do insurance companies use Insurance Bureau Scores?
Insurance companies use scores to help them issue new and renewal insurance policies. Insurance Bureau Scores provide an objective, accurate and consistent tool that insurers use with other applicant information to better anticipate claims, while streamlining the decision process so they can issue policies more efficiently. By better anticipating claims, insurers can better control risk, enabling them to offer insurance coverage to more consumers at a fairer cost.
How can I improve my score?
An Insurance Bureau Score is a snapshot of your insurance risk picture based on information in your credit report that reflects your credit payment patterns over time, with more emphasis on recent information. To improve a score, you should: Pay bills on time. Delinquent payments and collections can have a major negative impact on a score. Keep balances low on unsecured revolving debt like credit cards. High outstanding debt can affect a score. Apply for and open new credit accounts only as needed. You can increase your score over time by using credit responsibly. It's also a good idea to periodically obtain a copy of your credit reports from three major credit bureaus to check for any inaccuracies.
How can I keep the cost of my auto insurance as low as possible?
As with most everything else, you can shop around to find low cost auto insurance. There are many factors that go into determining the right coverage - and price - for your individual situation. While it can pay to shop around on your own, your shopping should also include the input and advice of an insurance agent. In addition, there are a number of things that you can do that will enable you to get the right coverage at a lower cost.
- Maintain a good driving record.
- Take the highest deductible you can afford on collision and comprehensive coverage.
- Check for discounts.
- Pay your premiums on time.
- Consider dropping some coverage on older cars.
- Periodically review your coverage.
- Seek Professional Guidance from an Insurance Agent.
What is commercial insurance?
Commercial insurance is insurance for businesses. This can include business auto, workers compensation, building coverage, general liability and professional liability.
What is property insurance?
Property insurance protects your buildings and equipment, stock, furniture and fixtures. Some policies also include equipment breakdown and business income coverage. Basic property insurance will generally cover your business for losses in the event of a fire or lightening strike and will pay the cost of removing property to protect it from further loss. Additionally, a standard small business insurance policy will usually cover losses from windstorm, hail, explosion, riot and civil commotion and damage caused by aircraft, automobiles or vandalism.
How much property insurance does my small business need?
Property insurance can be purchased on the basis of the property's actual value (the replacement cost minus depreciation); it's replacement value (the cost of replacing the item without deducting for depreciation); or an agreed upon amount.
How does liability insurance coverage protect my small business?
There are many different types of third-party liabilities to be covered for a business. Business liability insurance may protect you from claims arising from someone's bodily or personal injuries. Other items that could be covered are damage to the property of others, products-completed operations, advertising, premises operations, fire legal liability and related legal defense costs. For instance, liability insurance will not only pay the cost of covered damages but also attorney fees and other costs associated with your defense.
What exactly does the term "bodily injury" in a liability insurance policy mean?
This refers to the injury, sickness, disease, or even death, of any person that occurs during the policy period.
What does Products/Completed Operations cover on my General Liability policy?
Coverage designed to protect against the liability for injury, loss, or damage caused by your products or operation that may incur after you are no longer in control of them.
How does the Named Insured and First Named Insured differ from an Additional Insured?
The Named Insured can be one person, partnership, corporation or any other entity with insurable interest and is shown on the declaration page of the policy. The First Named Insured on the declaration page of the policy usually acts as the legal party that handles any request, such as changes to the policy and cancellations. When an Additional Insured is added to a policy, coverage is being extended to that entity with respect to your activities as the insured. A relationship must be established between the Insured and the Additional Insured and does not eliminate the need for the Additional Insured to carry their own General Liability policy.
What is an audit?
Certain policies written give the insurance company the privilege of auditing the policyholder's records to verify the accuracy of the premiums paid at the end of the policy term. If the exposure is based on, for example, sales or payroll, the company will usually perform an audit in person, by mail or telephone. It is important to perform the audit when requested to avoid an additional premium charge.
Why is it important that I get copies of Certificates of Insurance from sub contractors that I use?
It is important that anyone doing work for you is properly insured to prevent you from picking up their liability exposure. This is additionally important if you are audited by the insurance carrier; without certificates of insurance showing proof of insurance from your sub contractors, the auditor may add the sub contractor's payroll to yours resulting in additional premium.
Does my auto policy cover physical damage to a vehicle I rent?
Hired car physical damage coverage must be purchased to cover this type of loss.
Are other people allowed to drive my business vehicle?
All drivers should be listed on your policy if they are regular drivers of your business vehicles, however anyone can drive your vehicle with your permission.
What is homeowners insurance and who should consider buying it?
Homeowners insurance is one of the most popular types of personal insurance on the market today. The typical homeowners policy has two main sections: 1) Section I covers the property of the insured; and, 2) Section II provides personal liability coverage to the insured. Anyone who owns or leases property has a need for this coverage. Many times, homeowners insurance is required by a lender as part of the requirement in obtaining a mortgage.
What factors should I consider when purchasing homeowners insurance?
Several factors to consider when purchasing homeowners insurance: 1) Insure your home to at least 80% of replacement value to satisfy most insurers coinsurance requirements. Remember, market value does not equal replacement value of your home. Have an insurance agent help determine your home's replacement value; 2) Determine if you need any additional endorsements to the policy. For example, do you want replacement value on your personal property? Do you need sinkhole and flood coverage? Do you have high value items, like antiques, jewelry, or silverware that should be listed and covered specifically? 3) Determine Section II coverage limits. Do you need $100,000, $300,000, or $500,000 of personal liability, or an umbrella policy? Do you have other rental or vacation properties that you need coverage for liability? Ask your agent to guide you through these questions. The more information you disclose, the better your agent can help protect you.
What are the policy limits in the standard homeowners policy?
Coverage A and B provide protection to the dwelling and other structures on the premises (sheds, garages, etc.) on an "all-risk" or special form coverage up to the policy limits. The policy limit for Coverage A is set by the homeowner at the time the insurance is secured. The policy limit for Coverage B is usually equal to 10% of the coverage limit on the dwelling (Coverage A). Coverage C covers losses to the insured's personal property on a named peril basis. The policy limit on Coverage C usually equals at least 50-75% of the dwelling limit. Coverage D allows for additional expenses that the policyholder may incur due to an insured and covered loss. Coverage D usually equals 20% of the dwelling limit. Finally, Coverage E-Personal Liability-is determined by the policyholder at the time the insurance is secured.
Where and when is my personal property covered?
With most carriers, Coverage C provides coverage to your personal property (except property that is specifically excluded) on a Broad Form, or named-peril basis anywhere in the world. For example, if you purchased a piece of furniture while travelling, your homeowners policy would provide coverage for the named perils while the piece is in transit, even though it has never been in your home. (Check with your agent).
What can I do to lower the cost of my homeowners insurance?
There are several ways to decrease the cost of your homeowners insurance. First, ask your agent if there are other companies he represents that offer competitive rates. Secondly, ask about any discounts that you may qualify for. Many insurers will offer you a discount if you have multiple policies with the same company. Other discounts are available for smoke detectors, alarm systems, deadbolt locks, plus longevity with the same company. Finally, ask about varying your deductible.
Are there exclusions I should know about?
There may be exclusions listed and defined in your policy such as neglect, intentional loss, earth movement, flood, general power failure, and even damage caused by war. If you fail to take care of your property (e.g., a leaky roof not repaired), you may not be covered. Obviously, if you intend to lose an object or damage your property, there is no coverage. In addition, one other exclusion that can be costly is the Ordinance or Law exclusion. Building codes established by local government bodies that drive up the cost of rebuilding or repairing after a loss occurs may not be covered by your insurance policy. If you discover when replacing damaged property that current law demands higher grade or more expensive materials than the original ones being replaced, the new material may not be covered for the full price. Ask about those exclusions now instead of finding out at claim time.