Accident Protection

Why Do You Need Home Owner’s Insurance?

People take out homeowners insurance for the same reason they take out car and health insurance. If a home is damaged or someone else injured on the property, insurance helps owners cope with the financial consequences. Homeowners insurance is actually a combination of two different types of protection, hazard insurance, and liability insurance.

Hazard

Hazard insurance protects you against unintentional damage or destruction to your house or its contents, including fire, storm, theft, vandalism and similar threats. It can cover the cash value of the damages or the replacement value; replacement value pays enough to replace what you lost, but cash value only pays what a property is worth. The cash value for a five-year-old $1,000 television won’t be $1,000, for instance, because it depreciates with age, making it worth less in the insurer’s eyes.

Liability

Liability insurance covers personal liability for accidents on your property. If your neighbor trips on a hose in your yard and gets hurt, for example, liability insurance will pay for his medical expenses, up to the policy limit.

Mortgage Requirement

One reason homeowners need insurance is that mortgage companies require it. If you take out a mortgage, your house is the lender’s collateral, so your lender will require you to buy a minimum level of hazard insurance. That does not prevent you from buying a greater amount than the minimum, if you think it is necessary.

Exclusions

Homeowners insurance doesn’t protect you against everything: Insurers routinely exclude things such as flood damage and earthquake damage from coverage, though separate flood and earthquake policies may be available where you live. If an older building is damaged more than 50 percent, it will have to be rebuilt to the current building-code standards; the law exclusion means the insurer won’t pay the cost of upgrading wiring or roofs to meet the code.

If you have any questions about your insurance policies, make sure to contact us so we can answer any questions or concerns you might have.

Why Having Multiple Policies May Be Needed

Life insurance is a wonderful tool that spares your loved ones some of the pain of losing your income and support. But as with insurance options, the terminology can be confusing to many people. Complicating matters, life insurance comes in two basic forms that have many different names and different degrees of coverage. The question most people ask is whether they need term life or whole life.

The most basic definitions are the simplest: term life lasts for a specified term of your life; whole life lasts for the rest of your life. In both policies, your beneficiaries receive your death benefit when you die. The main differences lie in the duration of the two forms of life insurance and some of the built-in features available.

But term life is generally aimed at younger consumers, and often those customers outgrow their term life policies. If you buy a policy at 25 and name your parents and your spouse as beneficiaries, you can later change the policy to include future children, but the overall terms will remain the same, your designated beneficiaries would end up with fewer benefits from your life insurance policy. Consequently, some term life policies allow you to switch to whole life down the road.

Term life comes in two basic forms: level term life and decreasing term life. Level term life is more popular because the death benefit stays the same throughout the policy’s time frame. In decreasing term life policies, the benefit decreases over the course of the policy, most commonly in one-year increments. As with most insurance policies, the premiums you pay are not refunded if you make no claim during the course of the policy

Also known as permanent life insurance, whole life policies pay out death benefits if you die tomorrow or years from now. Whole life also allows you to build equity in the form of a savings account. Whole life insurance is available is three types of policies, each with their own variations.

Having multiple life policies offers consumers more flexibility and more opportunities to save on overall costs. This is possible because multiple policies do not cancel each other out. Rather, they work together to better meet your individual needs. Life insurance is available is so many forms that it can fit your current financial situation and whatever your situation may be in the future. If you have any questions about your current policy or other options, make sure to contact us.

Knowing How An Umbrella Policy Can Help You

Having the right insurance policy can help protect yourself, your family, and your property. If you find yourself in a situation where the basic policy is not enough, and umbrella policy can be beneficial to help cover extra costs.

A personal umbrella policy is a type of insurance that provides liability coverage over and above your automotive or home owners policy. So, if your liability coverage is not enough to pay for the damages of an accident you cause or a visitor’s injuries on your property, a personal umbrella insurance policy kicks in right where your underlying policy’s coverage left off. An umbrella policy could provide the additional coverage you need so that you do not get stuck trying to pay the remaining balance yourself. This extra policy could help protect your bank account, home, and other personal property.

In most cases, personal umbrella policies are available in million-dollar increments, from $1 to $5 million. While an umbrella policy is not required, it may offer increased protection in the unfortunate event of an accident. No matter if you have questions about your existing policy, or any other insurance policy, make sure to contact us. We can review with you the different options you have, and recommend what type of insurance policy is right for you.

What is an Umbrella Policy?

A personal umbrella policy can be a good option for you. It is a type of insurance that will provide liability coverage over and above the auto or homeowners policy. If the liability coverage is not enough to cover the damage of an accident you cause or and incident on your property, a personal umbrella insurance policy kicks in right where your other liability has been reached. By having an umbrella policy, you can be protected when your other insurance is not enough. An umbrella policy provides additional coverage or excess liability above the limits of your basic policies. It can protect you from bodily injury liability claims and property damage liability claims. Umbrella policies also provide a broader form of coverage and can help cover legal fees, false arrest, libel, and slander.

Your umbrella insurance can come into play if you are found liable and need to pay damages, or if you are sued and need to pay for your legal defense, even if the result is that you are not found to be responsible. An umbrella policy only pays once your basic liability limits have been exhausted or the claim is excluded from the basic liability coverage. The claim will be made against you, the policyholder, on behalf of the wronged party. Then your insurance company may pay the settlement amount up to the limits of your coverage. If the settlement amount exceeds your coverage limits, you are responsible for paying the remaining amount out of pocket.

When choosing your coverage limits, there are some things you should consider. Consider the risks that you might face. Consider risks as a homeowner or renter, the risk of causing an accident during your work commute, and any potentially dangerous activities you participate in that could put those around you at risk. Also remember to value the assets you have. These include properties, possessions, stocks, bonds, savings and retirement funds. The more assets you have to protect, the higher the umbrella policy limit you should consider. Since liability lawsuits can results in loss of both current assets and future income, consider potential loss of future income. Even if you have a few assets to protect, you may want to consider the long-term ramifications of a serious claim.

If you have any questions about your current insurance policies or other ones, make sure to contact us. We can advise you on the options you have, as well as recommend the policies that are beneficial for you.

What is Life Insurance?

Understanding your insurance policy is important. If you ever have any questions about your current plan or another plan, make sure to contact us. We can answer any questions and advise you on the options you have for a plan. A life insurance policy is a contract with an insurance company. In exchange for premium payments, the insurance company provides a lump-sum payment, known as a death benefit, to beneficiaries upon the insured’s death. Term life insurance generally provides protection for a set period of time, while permanent insurance, such as whole and universal life, provides lifetime coverage.

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance is designed to provide financial protection for a specific period of time, such as 10 or 20 years. With traditional term insurance, the premium payment amount stays the same for the coverage period you select. After that period, policies may offer continued coverage, usually at a substantially higher premium payment rate. Term life insurance is generally less expensive than permanent life insurance.

Universal Life Insurance

Universal life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance designed to provide lifetime coverage. Unlike whole life insurance, universal life insurance policies are flexible and may allow you to raise or lower your premium payment or coverage amounts throughout your lifetime. Another common use is long term income replacement, where the need extends beyond working years.

Not matter what coverage you have, make sure to contact us with any questions that you might have. This way you know what your coverage will cover for you and your family.

Type of Automotive Insurance

When looking for automotive insurance, there are several options you will need to consider. If you are not sure of what auto insurance to have, or have questions, make sure to contact us. We can advise you on the options, and recommend a plan that is right for you.

Liability

Liability car insurance is an important element because it protects you from the financial and legal repercussions of an accident affecting another vehicle, driver, or property. The benefits of liability car insurance will apply if find yourself responsible for damages to others, not to yourself or your own vehicle, in an accident. It is important to assess the exact amount of liability insurance you should purchase in order to derive maximum benefits. Most states require a minimum level of liability insurance, so we can advise you on the coverage needed. Having on the minimum level of insurance means that you are leaving yourself open to a significant amount of risk if damages from the accident exceed your coverage levels. On the other hand, having too much car insurance means you might be paying excessive premiums for coverage you don’t need. It is important to do your research when deciding how much liability insurance you need.

Collision

This form of car insurance will pay for damages to your own vehicle in an accident. If you owe any money on your car, you will likely be required by the bank to purchase collision insurance. You will also need to choose a deductible that is right for you. This refers to the part of any damages that you must pay yourself before your policy kicks in. Paying a higher deductible means handing over less each year in premiums because you are taking away some of the burden from the insurance company. If you choose a lower deductible, you will pay more for your policy because the insurance company is assuming more risk.

If you own an older car, you will have the option to consider whether collision insurance is the wisest option. Some financial planners suggest that you should decline collision coverage if your premium comes out to less than 10% of what you will receive when your car is totaled. If you pay a premium of $250 per year on collision coverage, for example, as well as a $500 deductible, the $2,500 you will receive for your totaled vehicle may not justify your costs.

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive car insurance coverage is an extension of collision insurance that covers the vehicle when it is on the receiving end of damages from theft, weather, or fire. When your windshield is struck by a rock over the course of your travels, it is the comprehensive insurance that will pay to repair the crack. If you are not sure what the best policy would be, make sure to contact us and we can explain the policies for you.

Understanding Umbrella Policies

When you have an insurance policy, you will want to choose an option that is best for you, your family, and the possessions. Make sure to contact us and we can advise you on the right insurance policy to invest in. We can also advise you if an umbrella policy can be beneficial.

If you are ever sued, your standard homeowners or auto policy will provide you with some liability coverage, paying for your attorney’s fees, up to a limit set in the policy. However, you may want to have an extra layer of liability protection. That is what a personal umbrella liability policy provides.

An umbrella policy kicks in when you reach the limit on the underlying liability coverage in a homeowners, renters, condo or auto policy. It will also cover you for things such as libel and slander. For about $150 to $300 per year you can buy a $1 million personal umbrella liability policy. The next million will cost about $75, and $50 for every million after that.

Since the personal umbrella policy goes into effect after the underlying coverage is exhausted, there are certain limits that usually must be met in order to purchase this coverage. If you are unsure how much is covered with the umbrella policy, make sure to contact us and we can advise you on the options you have. No matter if you have a question or concern about auto, life, health, or home owner’s insurance, it is recommended to talk to us so we can recommend what the best policies are for you and your family.

Know About Renter’s Insurance

At one point in time, most apartment renters and condo owners never considered buying homeowners-type insurance to protect their valuables. Now, however, renters insurance or condo insurance on the contents of your apartment or townhouse is a requirement that many landlords and condo associations enforce.

Know what the Insurance Risk Is

Even if you think that you are careful with your stuff and how you live, you will still need renters insurance. There are two types of risks to consider if you are renting, and that is loss and liability. While the risks are generally small, so generally are the premiums, which is the cost of insurance coverage that you pay. The loss coverage can cover anything you lose in a natural disaster. In addition to fire and flood damage, high winds, like a tornado or hurricane, can wreak havoc. If your apartment is burglarized, all your valuables could disappear. Or, you might have a wide variety of electronic equipment that needs to come in contact with only a little bit of water to become worthless. If you have neighbors with plumbing living above you, the potential for a flood always exists, especially if there’s a fire because the firefighters will spray hundreds of gallons of water that will soak the apartments several floors below where the fire was. The liability covers other accidents. If someone, especially someone you do not know well, like a painter or electrician, were to trip and fall or get injured in some other way in your apartment or condo, you could get sued and lose a great deal of money. Another costly liability can come if you have a dog, as people have successfully sued for hundreds of thousands of dollars after being bitten.

Make sure the Valuables are Inventoried

Whether or not you have insurance yet, make an inventory of all your belongings. While you’re making this list, take pictures of anything that’s valuable, including electronics like computers and flat screen TVs, jewelry, expensive china, glassware and silver, family heirlooms that have value as antiques, and collectibles because those pictures will be useful as evidence if you go ahead and get insurance. Some insurance companies have an online digital wallet where you can store these pictures, just in case the computer where you download them gets damaged or stolen. On your inventory list, include a column for what the replacement cost of each item would be. When you add it all up, you will have an idea of what you could lose were there to be a fire or flood in your apartment or building.

Apartment Insurance to be Aware of

Apartment insurance is generally low cost, unless you really have a lot of valuables or live in a high crime area. You can also get a good rate if you already have insurance, say for your car, and you bundle the policies with the same company. If you do not have a relationship with an insurance company, there are websites that will allow you to compare the costs from different companies such as renters insurance. When considering the cost of insurance payments, always think about how much it would cost you if you were to suffer property loss or get sued without being covered by insurance.

What to Know about Auto Insurance

When deciding what type of auto insurance is right for you, there are a few things that you should consider. If you ever have questions or concerns about auto insurance, make sure to contact us. We can advise you on the options you have, as well as recommend what type of insurance is right for you.

Two factors can determine what you pay for auto insurance. The first is underwriting and the second factor is rating. Insurance companies underwrite to assess the risk associated with an applicant, group the applicant with other similar risks and decide if the company will accept the application. Based on the results of the underwriting process, the rating assigns a price based on what the insurer believes it will cost to assume the financial responsibility for the applicant’s potential claim. There are also some other factors that can affect your rate. This can include your driving record, gender and age, marital status, vehicle use, and the make and model of your vehicle.

Sometimes you can qualify for discounts. This could be offered for multiple vehicles, driver education courses, safety devices, anti-theft devices, low mileage, or bundling other insurance options like home insurance. When you have auto insurance, check into collision coverage. This pays for physical damage to your vehicle if your vehicle collides with another object like a tree or car. Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your vehicle from other causes like fire, severe weather, vandalism, floods, or theft. This coverage will also cover broken glass and windshield damage. Comprehensive coverage is less expensive than collision, but is also optional. If you ever have any questions or concerns about the auto insurance coverage, make sure to contact us. This way we can help you with all your insurance needs so you can be insured while on the road.

Understanding Auto Insurance Coverage

If you drive, you need auto insurance coverage. This helps to cover you in the case of an accident. There are several different options and coverage packages that you can choose from. You can contact us and we can advise you on what insurance coverage would be right for you.

Collision Insurance

If you are in an automobile accident, regardless of who is at fault, collision insurance provides protection to replace or repair your vehicle, subject to a deductible.

Comprehensive Insurance to Choose

In the event of hail damage or a tree limb falling on your vehicle, risks not involving an automobile collision, this coverage insures you. Comprehensive coverage pays to repair your vehicle, subject to a separate deductible.

Personal injury protection

This type of insurance coverage is for medical and other expenses resulting from an automobile accident for the people specified in the policy, regardless of who is at fault in the accident. By having the proper insurance policy, you can protect yourself in the case of an accident.

Bodily injury and property damage liability coverage

The insurer agrees to pay damages if you injure someone or his property in an auto accident. With so many different options to choose from, make sure to contact us and we can advise you on the options. We can also recommend which one would be right for you.

Uninsured and underinsured motorists liability coverage

If you are in an accident with another driver who does not carry any or enough liability coverage, uninsured or underinsured motorists liability coverage allows you to collect damages that you personally experience from the accident. Increasing your liability limits and your deductibles may be appropriate for you if you have cash reserves. The additional liability coverage raises your premium; however, increasing your deductibles helps offset those additional costs. In fact, increasing your deductible from $250 to $500 could reduce your collision and comprehensive coverage premium by 15 to 30 percent. Going up to a $1,000 deductible could save you about 40 percent.You buy insurance to cover big financial risks. If you are involved in a major accident and cars are totaled, people are injured or killed, and property is damaged, the total financial impact could be hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars. The liability benefits on your automobile policy help to protect you from this financial devastation. You cannot afford to skimp on liability coverage. If you have a much older vehicle or drive your vehicles until they drop, a time will come when maintaining collision and comprehensive insurance coverage is not financially worthwhile. A general guideline is to drop collision and comprehensive coverage on vehicles worth less than ten times the cost for that portion of your auto policy. Do not drop your liability coverage under any circumstance, your old clunker can still wreak havoc in an accident. Make sure to know the laws of the state regarding insurance. That way you will follow the proper regulations for the insurance policies, your home, and your auto.