Auto Insurance policies contain the following coverage areas:
- Bodily Injury - covers injury to others that you are liable for.
- Property Damage – covers damage to property of others.
- Medical Payments - covers medical expenses for injury to you and passengers in your vehicle, regardless of fault.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury - covers injury to you and passengers in your vehicle caused by someone that is not insured or has inadequate coverage limits.
- Collision - collision, upset, overturn, hit-and-run.
- Comprehensive/Other than Collision - covers the vehicle for losses that occur other than collision, upset, overturn, or hit-and-run. For example: fire, theft of vehicle, vandalism, crime coverage, falling objects, glass breakage, water damage.
- Towing and Labor – Pays to the policy limit for towing due to breakdown and labor for jump starts, or tire changes etc.
- Rental Reimbursement – This provides coverage for a rental vehicle if your vehicle cannot be driven due to a covered loss. Not included is mechanical breakdown.
- Gap Coverage - Gap insurance covers you for the difference between what you would owe on a vehicle and what an insurance company says it is worth. This insurance should strongly be considered for someone who is purchasing a new vehicle since a new vehicle depreciates right after it is driven off the dealer's lot.
There are numerous variables that go into the cost of your Auto Insurance. Things like: Your age, driving record, desired auto coverages, recent claims, vehicle and vehicle features all factor in. Youthful drivers, for example, are more costly to insure due to their inexperience (which statistics shows results in a greater chance of an accident.) Gone are the days of being able to ball park insurance cost accurately without detailed information. Give us a call or utilize our website tools to help you accurately price/quote your auto insurance needs. You can be sure we can help you find the best fit for coverage and cost thanks to our access to numerous insurance markets!
Take a moment to ensure that you and your passengers are OK from the accident and safe from any potential hazards. If possible move off the roadway but stay at the scene of the accident. Use your resources to warn traffic of the hazard (Flares/Hazard lights). Stay calm and do the following:
- Report the accident to the Police and call emergency personnel if needed.
- Do not admit fault or discuss the accident with anyone but the police, your agent, and claims representative.
- Get names and phone numbers of other drivers and exchange insurance information with them.
- Get the names and phone numbers of any witnesses.
- Contact your insurance company or agent.
No, but you should. If you have fully insured your personal vehicle (including collision and comprehensive coverage) and rent a vehicle for pleasure only (while on vacation etc), extra insurance from the rental company is not required. However, we still recommend that you purchase the coverage for the following reasons:
- Loss of Use of the rental vehicle to the rental company will not be covered under your personal insurance policy for the rental car. This can add up to significant dollars, depending upon the value of the vehicle and how long the rental company is not able to utilize it.
- Rental car companies can put a hold on your credit card for deductibles, and the anticipated loss of use. This can be problematic when you are trying to enjoy your vacation/travel and the company has maxed out your card limit.
- Your peace of mind. When purchasing the collision coverage directly from the rental car company, you will have a lot less hassle in the event of a loss. No paper work, follow up etc. Just get a new car and enjoy your vacation!
It should be noted that different rules apply if you are going to rent a car for business purposes. In these instances you should always purchase the additional coverage from the rental company.
Youthful drivers are more costly to insure due to their driving inexperience which statistics shows results in a greater chance of an accident. A youthful driver with a permit is not required to be added to an auto policy however once they are licensed they need to be added on to your policy. Here are some ways you can potentially lower or prevent higher premiums for youthful drivers:
- Good Student discount: Many insurance companies offer a discount for students with a B or better GPA.
- Driver’s education: Many companies discount for teens who have been through a driver’s education course at school or through a private institution.
- Discuss no cell phone use and set rules for them regarding their use. Keeping the device off and stored in a glove box is a great way to prevent distractions.
- Safe driving: While accidents can happen youthful drivers with violations and accidents will find their insurance rates increase dramatically.
A homeowners policy is designed to cover your buildings/dwellings, personal property, and liability from covered perils. Here is how those are defined:
- Your Dwelling (Homeowners Only) - the main structure and all attached structures.
- Other Structures (Homeowners Only) – structures not attached to your home, i.e., garages, sheds, barns.
- Personal Property - (Tenants and Homeowners) your belongings that are not permanently attached to your home. i.e. clothes, furniture, electronics.
- Loss of Use - (Tenants and Homeowners) provides you with additional coverage for extra expenses should you not be able to reside in your home due to a covered loss. I.E. Hotel, Food, etc.
- Liability - (Tenants and Homeowners) coverage and legal defense for physical injury caused to others accidentally for which you are deemed liable.
- Medical Payments - (Tenants and Homeowners) a good will type of coverage. Provides payment for injuries to non-household members regardless of fault.
For a complete list please contact one of our agents and we will happily review your coverage needs with you. Here is a list of some important coverages to consider adding:
- Flood and Earthquake: These items are not included in a typical homeowners so if you feel you are at risk to either of them please contact us to discuss adding the coverage.
- Jewelry, Fine Arts, Cash, and Guns etc: These items while included in your personal property coverage typically have very low limits. Any significant value items should be scheduled and added to the policy individually. This provides broader coverage (Such as mysterious disappearance for jewelry) and assures that a proper value is set on the item so you will not be disappointed at the time of a loss.
- Back up of sewer and drains: protects you in the event of a back up in your home to the policy limit.
- Home Business: Business exposures in your home are not automatically covered by the basic homeowners policy. If you have a business in your home, contact our office for a thorough review. Depending on the business size and industry we may have to write a separate business owners policy.
*Again please contact your agent for a more complete list of items not included on a homeowners policy or if you want us to review your current coverages.
With replacement cost coverage on your dwelling (Home) or your personal belongings (contents), in the event of a covered loss you would be reimbursed for the cost to replace your damaged property, brand new, in like kind and quality.
Actual Cash Value means you would be paid the current replacement cost of whatever you lost, minus depreciation. (Depreciation usually means the estimated wear and tear).
*In either case, the actual total amount you are reimbursed is subject to the terms and conditions of your particular policy, including deductibles and coverage limits.
Condos: If you own a condo, your condominium association probably has an insurance policy for the common areas, but you are still responsible for insuring your own interests such as your personal property and liability. Sometimes you are responsible from the studs in, which can include appliances, wall to wall flooring etc. You also may want additional protection for special assessments. Because they are unique the best way to ensure you are properly covered is to speak with one of our insurance agents so they can review your policy needs. It is often helpful to have us review your condo bylaws.
Mobile Home: If you own a mobile home, it may need to be on a special policy depending upon the age of the home and its installation. Once again the best bet is to give our agency a call to discuss the right coverages for you!
A personal umbrella policy increases your liability protection. This policy acts as an "umbrella" over all of your other personal liability policies (For example: home, auto, boat, etc.). so you have a higher personal liability limit than what would otherwise be available. In certain circumstances, an umbrella policy may provide personal liability coverage that is otherwise excluded from your other policies. For example, an umbrella policy provides coverage anywhere in the world, whereas your auto policy usually provides coverage in the US and Canada only.
Everyone should consider an Umbrella and your best bet is to discuss your needs with one of our agents. In general, anyone who wants to protect their home and assets from being taken away from them should consider purchasing one. Public attitudes have changed, and the public is much more prone to filing a law suit. An umbrella policy can give you the added protection you need in today's society.
Here are some examples of people who should consider purchasing one:
- Anyone with significant assets (property, buildings, vehicles, etc.)
- Anyone with mid to high income including what you might potentially earn in the future.
- Public office holders.
- People with a “High” profile in the community or visible occupations in the community (attorneys, doctors, accountants) etc.
- People with an upper position at their career (Presidents, CEO’s etc.).
- Families with youthful drivers.
All recreational vehicles require special insurance policies. Your homeowners and auto policies do not provide coverage for recreational vehicles. Here are some examples of recreational vehicles:
- Boats, jet skis, and other watercrafts
- RV's and campers