FAQ Quick Links
What factors affect the insurance premiums I pay?
- Protects your assets against attachment as a result of a court award.
- Provides for cost of defense when you are sued.
- Allows you to purchase such high value items as a car or a home by insuring the collateral on behalf of the financial
institution that lent you the money.
- Provides financial security for your family in the event of your death.
- Provides for the health care of you and your family through systematic payments.
- Allows you to save for retirement while deferring interest payments to a time when your income is lower, thus reducing
your tax payments.
- Allows you to remain financially solvent when you're ill and can't work.
- Claims activity including such costs as medical care, auto body repair, construction, legal defense, jury awards, claims
adjustment, and insurance fraud.
- Overhead including rent, utilities, employee salaries and benefits, office supplies, equipment, and furniture.
- Investment income.
How does where I live affect my premium?
Where you keep your car directly affects your chances of having an accident or becoming a victim of theft or vandalism. The likelihood
of encountering these problems increases in larger, more densely populated cities, while such incidents remain relatively low in rural
Additionally, the time and efficiency of police response and law enforcement, local road and traffic conditions, and the quality of
local medical services can affect regional insurance rates. Some insurers even factor in the litigation rates in a given area (how
many lawsuits are filed, go to trial, out of court settlements, and their amounts).
Do all states require some kind of Liability insurance?
No. Although not every state requires Auto insurance, some have "financial responsibility" laws mandating all drivers to be
able to pay for any damage or injury they might cause. However, Liability insurance is still the best way for you to meet your state's
financial responsibility requirements.
By law, all states offer UM and UIM policies, including no-fault states. In fact, some states require all motorists to carry this
coverage in order to gain protection from inadequate insurance coverage of other drivers.
What happens when I loan my car to someone? Is that person covered by my policy? Am I still covered?
Yes. Liability and coverage for Physical Damage (i.e. Comprehensive and Collision) always follow your car. Plus, if the driver of your
car is insured, his/her policy will also be available to cover the cost of damages and injuries.
The same rules apply when you borrow someone else's vehicle; your own insurance follows you no matter whose car you're driving. But the
vehicle owner's policy is the key coverage in the event of an accident.
Am I covered for natural disasters or "Acts of God"?
Comprehensive insurance, which covers you for fire and theft, generally covers you against damage by flood, earthquake, hail, and other
natural perils, except when your car is overturned (which is technically considered a collision). If you have specific concerns about
the safety of your vehicle in natural disasters, contact us for information on catastrophic coverage.
How can I challenge my insurers if they refuse to cover a claim?
Usually, insurers that refuse to cover a claim have a strong legal reason for doing so — even if you disagree. First, contact us if you
feel you're being treated unfairly. Your agent is your strongest advocate in insurance matters. But if it's a legal problem, you might
have to hire a lawyer.
Who decides on the type of insurance, the mortgage company or me?
You do. The mortgage company collects a set amount from you each month in order to protect their investment. This money is put in
escrow and covers your insurance and taxes. However, the policy is still yours and you might select the insurance you feel offers the
best coverage at the best rates.
What exactly does a Homeowners policy cover?
"Exact" coverage is impossible to define because there are different policies and about 900 insurance companies writing
Property/Casualty business in the United States. However, 80% of Homeowners policies are based on a standard form. All Homeowners
policies cover two important areas: Property and Liability.
Property insurance covers your structures and possessions. Personal Liability, as its name implies, means you're legally obligated to
pay money to another person for actions caused by you, your family, or your property. That liability extends to medical payments to
others for injuries caused by you or your family.
Are floods, earthquakes, and other natural disasters covered?
Most catastrophes are covered. Flood and earthquake damage, however, are not covered by a standard policy and both perils are more
common than many people realize. We can advise you on such normally excluded conditions as floods and earthquakes.
Are there exclusions I should know about?
Exclusions listed and defined in your policy might include neglect, intentional loss, "earth movement," general power
failure, and even damage caused by war. If you fail to take care of your property (e.g., a leaky roof), you might not be covered.
Obviously, if you intend to lose an object or damage your property, there's no coverage.
How expensive is renters insurance?
Renters insurance is typically available for as little as $100 a year.
Does my landlord's insurance protect me?
Generally, no. The property owner's insurance covers the building itself and seldom a tenant's possessions or liability. Clarify this
with your landlord before signing a lease.
I'm just getting my business started. Do I need insurance immediately?
Yes. Your chance of suffering a loss begins with the first day of business. If you suffer a loss and have no insurance or have improper
or insufficient coverage, your insurance agent can do little, if anything, to help you.
Also, many states and local jurisdictions require businesses to have insurance to begin operating. And if you rent space for your
business, your landlord probably requires you to obtain adequate insurance.
I don't have any major business assets. Why do I need insurance?
Every business has some property. When you think about it, your business is your property. Just like your home and your car, your
business needs to be protected from loss, damage, and liability. In addition, your business is your source of income, so you need
protection from the potential loss of that income.
Does insurance coverage vary for different businesses?
It can. Many small businesses opt for package policies that cover the major Property and Liability exposures as well as for a loss of
income. A common package policy used by many small businesses is called the Business Owners Policy (BOP).
Generally, BOPs provide more complete coverage at a lower price than separate policies for each type of insurance needed. We can help
you decide which policy or policies are right for your business. You can also purchase additional coverage for perils or conditions
otherwise excluded (e.g., flood protection) as endorsements to a standard policy or as a separate, second policy called a Difference
in Conditions (DIC) policy.
We can advise you of the best policy (or policies) to protect you and your business.