On this page, we answer a few of the common questions our clients have about Auto, Home or Life insurance.  Of course, if you don’t find your question here, just drop us a line on our Contact Us page!

Auto Insurance

Should I buy collision insurance if I have an older car?

Buying collision insurance is a personal decision. You may want to consider the value of your car or the amount of loss you can personally assume. Our aim is to help you decide what coverages are best for you.

What is the difference between collision and comprehensive coverage for my automobile?

Collision Insurance

Collision insurance laws may vary by state, but generally, this insurance covers a loss to the insured’s vehicle caused by its impact with another vehicle or object.

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive insurance laws may vary by state, but generally, this insurance protects against any loss or damage to an automobile except those caused by collision or by upset; for example, glass replacement, towing and labor coverage, or coverage against fire or theft.

What is an endorsement?

An endorsement is an amendment to your policy written especially to cover unique items just for you. It is also a change to your policy that is made during the policy’s term. An endorsement is attached to your policy to modify the terms of the insurance contract.

What is the difference between bodily injury liability coverage and medical payments coverage?

Bodily Injury Liability coverage pays for injuries you or anyone covered under your policy may cause to others. Medical Payments coverage pays for reasonable medical expenses for you or your passengers, regardless of who caused the accident. Some states require passengers to first seek reimbursement under their own automobile policy.

Is my child who is covered under my policy still covered by my policy while driving someone else's car?

If your child is a resident of your household and will have use of your vehicle, he or she should be listed on the policy in order to be covered while driving a vehicle included on the policy. If your child is driving someone else’s car with their permission, the other person’s insurance often covers the damage.

Homeowners Insurance

What does a homeowner insurance policy cover?

Homeowner insurance covers damage from incidents such as fire, theft, and vandalism to your house, adjacent structures like a garage or shed, and your personal belongings. It covers living expenses if your house becomes temporarily unusable, and liability in cases you or a member of your household injures someone or damages their property.

Do I have an adequate amount of dwelling coverage on my policy?

You are properly covered if your policy’s value is enough for you to rebuild your house if you had a total loss. Since the replacement cost of your house can vary over time because of inflation, the costs of labor and building materials, and renovations you may make to your home, you should review your coverage every few years.

May I change the amount of coverage on my personal belongings?

Yes. Your coverage limit for personal property is usually 50% of your dwelling coverage amount. This amount may be increased or decreased based on your personal needs as well as your state’s requirements.

Are any items in my home not covered by my policy?

Most items are covered up to stated limits for covered perils like theft or fire. However some items including money, securities, watercraft, trailers, grave markers, and guns, have coverage limits. If you lose a bracelet or drop a vase, that loss would not be covered unless the item was specifically insured or scheduled.

Is there a limit on coverage for my silverware or other valuables?

A base policy usually provides coverage up to $2,500 for silverware and $1,000 for jewelry for loss by theft. If you need more coverage, you should consider scheduling the items.

If I conduct business at home, is my business property covered by my homeowner policy?

Most policies provide coverage for property located on the residence premises, which is related to your business. There is also a limit for such property located away from the residence premises.

How can I insure special items?

By “scheduling” an item in your policy you obtain broader coverage, no matter how a loss occurs. When you schedule items like jewelry, silverware, photographic equipment, or antiques, you specifically describe and insure them, and pay an additional premium, depending on the amount of coverage you want.

What if my pipes burst?

You are normally covered up to your policy’s limits for that damage, and for any additional damage done in the course of repairing the system. Coverage does not include the cost of repairing or replacing the system itself unless freezing caused the damage. Only water damage that is sudden and accidental is covered, so your policy would not cover damage from a slow leak, for example.

What if my pipes freeze?

Most policies cover for resulting damage to your home and belongings, as well as for damage to the plumbing or heating system. If the damage occurs when your home is vacant, you are covered as long as you have taken the necessary precautions to keep the building heated or have had the water turned off and the plumbing and heating systems drained.

What's my coverage if someone has an injury on my property?

Most policies have no coverage for injuries you or household members sustain on your property. The liability portion of your policy should cover any injury to a neighbor or visitor.

If my home is damaged, will my insurance cover living expense while my home is being repaired?

If your house is damaged by a covered peril, your policy provides Loss of Use Coverage. This Coverage provides “Additional Living Expenses” over and above your normal living costs. The coverage amount is usually between 10- 20 percent of the coverage on your home.

Life Insurance

Who needs life insurance?

If someone depends on you financially, you probably need life insurance. If you’re a breadwinner, life insurance can provide critical financial support to your loved ones if you die prematurely. Permanent life insurance can also help you establish a fund you can access for planned life events like college or retirement, or for emergencies and opportunities. Later in life, it can help you transfer your wealth to the next generation.

How do I know how much life insurance I need?

You can start by identifying what you want your life insurance to do. For example, if you’re a breadwinner, you probably want your life insurance to replace your income for a certain number of years in case something happens to you. Most experts say you should consider life insurance coverage worth five years of your current income.

Life insurance can also help ensure funds are there for college tuition, final expenses and to cover outstanding debt.

What are the different types of life insurance?

Term

Term insurance provides coverage for a specific period of time, such as 10, 20 or 30 years. If you die during that period, the beneficiary you name on your policy receives the death benefit amount. When the term ends, so does your protection, unless you select a term policy that gives you the option of renewing your coverage.

Term policies don’t build cash value as most permanent life insurance products do. Because of this fact, when you buy a term policy you’re paying for pure protection. So most of the time, term insurance is the least expensive kind of coverage you can buy.

Permanent

Permanent policies provide protection for your entire life by paying a sum to your named beneficiary upon your death. Most permanent policies build cash value over time, and you can access this cash value for emergencies, opportunities or planned life events such as a college education or retirement.

There are different types of permanent policies. Whole Life products usually offer level premiums and strong, traditional guarantees, such as a schedule of guaranteed values. Universal Life products normally offer flexible features, such as the ability to change your coverage amount or your payment schedule after you purchase the policy.

Finally, Single Payment Whole Life is a type of insurance you buy with one payment. Because the death benefit is higher than the single payment, this kind of insurance is often a good fit for people looking to transfer wealth.

What should I consider when choosing a life insurance company?

Before you decide to purchase a policy, check the company’s financial condition. If you’re working with an agent, ask for that information, or request it from your state’s insurance department. A number of independent rating services rank the financial strength of insurance companies. Examples of these rating companies include A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch. You can research a company’s rating online or in large public libraries, or by contacting one of the rating companies directly.

What if my life insurance needs change?

Life moves quickly and often coverage that was right at the time you purchased it may not be the best fit down the road. Look for a company that offers the option to convert term coverage to permanent coverage when it’s a better fit for your needs and budget. You can also consider a universal life policy that may allow you to increase or decrease your coverage after you purchase the policy, as long as you follow the guidelines in your contract.

The best way to make sure your coverage is keeping up with your changing needs is by reviewing your coverage with your agent at least once a year.

Should I have life insurance on my child?

One of the primary reasons to buy life insurance is to replace the income of a breadwinner in the case of premature death. Since children don’t usually have much current income, buying life insurance for this typical reason makes little sense. However, there are other advantages to buying life insurance for children. Buying a permanent policy for a child offers lasting protection at a relatively low cost. Plus, many policies offer a guaranteed insurability feature that gives the child the opportunity to buy more coverage at a later date, regardless of changes in health.

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