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Great Questions

Asked Questions

General Insurance Questions

What is an “Independent” insurance agent?

Independent insurance agents aren’t employed by a specific insurance agency, because of this they are able to sell insurance from multiple companies.

What is “Replacement Cost?”

Replacement Cost is the reimbursement of the amount of money it would cost to repair/replace your property at today’s cost.

What is “Actual Cash Value?”

Actual Cash Value is the amount of money needed to repair/replace your property minus its decrease in value due to age or use.

What is the “Deductible” in my policy?

A deductible is the amount of money that the insured person must pay before their insurance policy starts paying for covered expenses.

What is a waiver of “subrogation?”

It is part of a contract that gives the right to seek compensation from the negligent party to the insurance carrier, instead of the insured doing so.

Who is the “First Named Insured” on a policy? What is their role?

The “first named insured” is the insured listed first on the declarations page and holds the primary responsibility for the policy.

Does how I pay for my insurance affect my premium?

Yes, many insurance providers have different payment options such as pay in full or monthly. Many companies will provide a discount if the premium is paid in full.

Home Insurance Questions

What is personal property insurance on my homeowners policy?

Personal property insurance is a separate limit that covers “stuff” in the home. It is important to remember that things like electronics, jewelry, and artwork have special sub-limits that may limit coverage.

Do I need to reapply for homeowners insurance each year?

Not necessarily, most policies renew each year but you will remain eligible as long as there has been continuing payments. It is recommended that you review your  coverage with your insurance representative each year.

Can my homeowners insurance carrier cancel my policy?

When you sign the application with the insurance carrier, they have 60 days to inspect the property and determine if they want to continue. They can cancel the policy during those 60 days if they would like.

After 60 days they cannot cancel the policy due to the amount of claims made until the policy is renewed.

How does escrow work with my homeowners insurance payments?

If you choose to pay your homeowners insurance through you escrow, a portion of your mortgage payment is set aside into your escrow account and this will automatically pay for insurance and property taxes when they are due.

Is hail damage covered by my insurance policy?

It depends on the type of policy you have. If you have open/broad coverage it is likely covered. If you have purchased basic/fire only then it is likely not covered. It is recommended you speak to your insurance representative to discuss any coverages you may need.

Is flood damage covered by my insurance policy?

Flood damage is not covered under homeowners policies. It may be added through a separate individual policy which can be provided by your carrier but is run through the National Flood Insurance Program.

What is coinsurance and how does it affect my building insurance?

In a homeowners policy the coinsurance is a clause that is used to ensure that policyholders insure their property closer to its actual value so the insurer receives a fair premium.

The recommended coinsurance is a minimum of 80%. In case of a loss after the deductible, the insurance will cover 80% of the loss and the insured the remaining 20% in this example.

What is NOT typically covered by my homeowners policy?

Some common home insurance exclusions include floods, earthquakes, and sewer backups among others. If you need to protect your home against something your insurance doesn’t cover, you can add coverage through different endorsements and should ask your insurance representative.

How is condo, renters and homeowners insurance different?

The big difference between the three is how the building or dwelling is covered.  In a homeowners policy you own the building/dwelling so there are specific coverages.

In condo insurance the majority of the structure is not yours so the coverage largely extends to your area inside the building. If you are part of a condo association you may be assessed damages to shared spaces or the building through that association.

Renters insurance has similar coverages to a homeowners policy in terms of property/liability. It simply excludes the building or dwelling from the policy.

Is debris removal covered by my homeowners policy?
Debris removal is covered under most policies, but the amount of coverage will vary depending on the carrier.

Auto Insurance Questions

What is “Uninsured Motorist Coverage”?

This covers injuries and damages caused by an at fault uninsured driver. This also covers hit and run accidents.

What is the difference between “Comprehensive” and “Collision” coverage?
Comprehensive covers damage done to your vehicle in a non vehicle collision event (Theft, Vandalism, Deer). Whereas collision pays damages to your vehicle during a collision.
What is “Medical Payment” coverage on a car insurance policy?

This pays for medical expenses, lost wages and funeral expenses in the event of an accident.

Do I need more than the state minimum coverage?
Yes, state laws require that drivers at least hold the state minimum liability insurance.
Can I cancel my policy at any time?
You should only cancel your policy if you have another policy through a different insurance company. A lapse in insurance can raise premiums dramatically.
What is “Gap Coverage?”
When you buy a car with a loan because of the financing you owe more in loans than the vehicle is worth. Gap coverage will cover that difference in value in the event of a total loss.

For example your vehicle according to Kelly Blue Book is worth $15,000,but you owe $20,000 in loans. In the event of a loss your insurance will only cover the vehicle’s value ($15,000), gap insurance would cover the remaining (5,000).

Does my auto insurance policy cover a “Hit and Run” accident?
This would be covered under your uninsured motorist policy.
What is “other than collision coverage?”
Other than collision coverage is another term for comprehensive coverage.
When do I file an auto insurance claim?
When the event that causes the claim occurs such as an accident it is important to get a police report to establish fault and gather all necessary information from the parties involved. Then a claim should be filed with your insurance.
How long can my child stay on my auto insurance?
There’s no cutoff age with auto insurance like there is with medical insurance. As long as they live in the same house as you, you can keep them on your policy.
Does my auto insurance cover if someone else is driving my car?
Yes, typically it will cover your vehicle if the person who borrows the car has your permission. This falls under your policy’s “permissive use.”
Does my car insurance cover rental cars?

Typically your personal car insurance covers rental cars with the same limits and deductibles as your policy. This will only extend this coverage however if you are using the vehicle for personal use, such as while on vacation.

Business/Commercal Insurance Questions

What is commercial inland marine insurance coverage?

This covers property that is movable or transportable while it is in transit.

What is “General Liability” insurance?

General Liability is often referred to as Business Liability and covers claims against the insured that include bodily injury and property damage that the insured may be found responsible for.

What is “Commercial Property” insurance?

Covers the physical location of the business as well as inventory, furniture and tools. This policy typically covers replacement and repair costs in event of a covered loss.

What is a Business Owners Policy or (BOP)?

A business owner’s policy is a basic policy that covers three parts of a business.  Property damage (building, furniture, inventory), business interruption covers lost business income due to a loss that is covered by the insurance carrier, and liability insurance which covers legal defense costs, judgments and settlements.

What is “Personal and Advertising” injury?

This protects from third-party lawsuits that are non-physical, such as slander, libel, false arrest and copyright infringement.

Do I need commercial auto insurance?

Commercial auto insurance provides liability and physical damage coverage for vehicles that are used for business purposes. If you are in an accident with your personal vehicle driving to a meeting with a client your personal auto insurance may not cover.

Do I need “Errors and Omissions” insurance?
(E&O) is designed to protect the insured against clients’ claims of negligence or inadequate work. If your business provides a service to a client such as construction, accounting, real estate as a few examples you should consider
carrying errors and omissions insurance.
Do I need “Cyber Liability” insurance?

Cyber liability covers your business in the event of a cyber attack that leaks personal or financial information of your clients or business. This will cover the costs associated with the breach or lawsuits that may arise.

Who is an “Additional Insured?” When do I need to add them to my policy?

An additional insured is anyone on the policy other than the named insured who can be covered under the policy. Additional insureds can be added by endorsement and should be included if they have a business relationship with the named insured.

Personal Umbrella Insurance Questions

How does an “Umbrella Insurance” policy work?

An umbrella policy sits over top of the underlying policy and provides an extra layer of liability above existing coverages and limits.

What does an “Umbrella Insurance” policy cover?

An umbrella policy will cover anything that is covered in the policy at higher limits. For example if your homeowners policy has a limit of $500,000 and there is a loss of $600,000 your umbrella policy will cover the remaining $100,000.

Workers Compensation Insurance Questions

What is workers compensation and when would I need it?
Workers compensation guarantees medical benefits to employees in the event of work related injury/illness or death.
Can an employee sue my company if I have workers compensation?

Workers compensation was created to guarantee employees medical benefits in the event of a work related injury, because this coverage is guaranteed through the policy the employee many of their rights to sue. This doesn’t mean that in events of negligence from the employer they can’t sue, but many policies have liability coverage that will respond to the suits.

Do I need to cover Independent or Subcontractors for workers compensation?
Yes, the principal employer or contractor who hires a subcontractor to do a job can be held liable for work related injuries.

Life Insurance Questions

How much life insurance should I purchase?
The amount of life insurance you should purchase is based on many factors. The important things to think about are immediate and ongoing financial requirements such as funeral arrangements and coverage of future family expenses.
How does the insurance company determine my life insurance premium?

Premium rates are typically based on factors such as age, gender, height, weight, health status (including whether or not you use tobacco), and if you participate in high-risk activities or occupations.

Am I still eligible for coverage if I have a serious health condition?

Most plans do require basic medical testing/information and charge premiums based on this information. If you do have a serious medical condition there are still options available it may come at an increased premium or limited coverage.

What is a beneficiary?

A life insurance beneficiary is an individual, entity, trustee, or estate named by the policy owner to collect the death benefit proceeds upon the insured’s death.

What is “Final Expense” Life insurance?

This covers charges and affairs associated with burial, funeral services or final medical bills. This is a fixed premium that lasts as long as the policy holder lives.

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