FAQs

Auto

Yes. The law requires all autos to carry at least state minimum liability coverage. Minimums vary by state and your agent can best advise you on appropriate protection limits.

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There are a variety of coverages available to drivers on the road. You will want to purchase liability protection, which covers damages to a third party in an accident. If you have a newer vehicle, you will want to add physical damage coverage, which pays for losses sustained to your vehicle. Your agent can consult you on which coverages you may want to select.

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Remember that insurance companies like safe drivers. The best way to make sure you consistently earn the lowest premium possible is to limit the number of tickets and accidents you have. There are also adjustments you can make to your actual policy, such as increasing the deductible on your policy; the higher the deductible, the lower the premium.

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In most instances, insurance coverage follows the vehicle. If you give an individual permission to drive your car, remember that any claims caused by other drivers will be recorded on your policy, which can affect your premium.

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Collision covers damages to a vehicle when the driver is at fault. For example, if you rear end a vehicle and damage your bumper, collision will kick in and pay to have it repaired.

Comprehensive is also called “other than collision” coverage. It protects your car against losses that are outside your control like hail, vandalism, and hitting a deer.

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As long as you are driving a rental car within the United States or its territories, your personal auto policy will cover damages sustained while driving the rental up to your policy limits. If you do not carry comprehensive and collision coverage on your policy, it will not be carry over to the rental vehicle.

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If you are in an accident with an at fault driver who does not have any insurance or inadequate limits to pay for damages you sustain, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your policy will pay the claim up to the limits listed on your policy under uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

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Each insurance company has their own policy concerning cancellations. If you develop a poor driving record and have multiple claims, you may no longer be a desired candidate for an insurance company and see your policy up for cancellation. Each company also sets their own policy about late payments, so contact your agent as soon as possible if you have missed a payment or you know ahead of time that you might need to pay late.

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Most states do not require your child to have their own insurance when learning to drive with a permit. However, as soon as your child receives his or her license, they need to be added to your policy.

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As soon as your teenager starts driving, it is important to speak to your agent so they can add them to your policy. Failing to report a new driver may lead to complications with claims so it is always best to talk to your agent ahead of time. Generally, it is best to add your child to your policy to begin with, but there are some circumstances under which the child might need to purchase their own insurance, so it’s best to consult with you agent.

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There is no “one size fits all” policy for auto insurance. While states have minimum liability limits that you must carry to comply with the law, they are often inadequate in cases of an accident. Your agent can advise you on appropriate coverages and limits depending on your circumstances.

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Everything from what you drive to where you live to your marital status can affect your auto insurance premium. It is always best to talk to your agent about your auto policy to understand what you are purchasing.

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Yes. Anti-theft and safety features are just a couple factors that can affect your auto insurance rate. High value cars can also result in higher premiums due to the higher cost of repair.

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Homeowners

Unlike driving a car, you can legally own a home and not carry homeowners insurance.

However, if you have a mortgage, banks will often request that you have insurance. It is highly recommended that regardless of your situation, you have homeowners insurance so that you protect your assets in case of a catastrophic loss.

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It is a good idea to insure your home up to the cost to fully construct the home from the ground up. Insurance companies calculate this using special software by looking at specifications like location, square footage, type of construction, and special features in the home.

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This is particularly important for possessions that are high in value or difficult to replace.

A home inventory is a written or recorded list of your personal possessions. This protects you as the insured in times of a loss where an item may be difficult to replace and helps to ensure you purchase enough insurance.

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Your insurance agent will need to following information to begin a quote:

  • Your full name and property address
  • The date of birth of all owners
  • Square footage of your home and construction details
  • Whether or not you have dogs and which breeds

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Generally, it is a good idea to review your homeowner’s policy every two to three years. If you make any additions to your home, it is best to contact your agent immediately.

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An insurance policy that has been in force for more than 60 days can only be cancelled when:

  • You fail to pay the premium
  • You have made serious misrepresentations on your insurance application

Non-renewing a policy can be decided either by you or the insurance company once the policy expires.

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Yes. Homeowners policies provide coverage for water damage caused by accidental discharge or overflow from plumbing or heating and air conditioning units.

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No, while a homeowners policy does cover some types of water damage such as accidental discharge or overflow of water from a plumbing or heating and air conditioning system, flood insurance is provided by FEMA, a government program.

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Sewer and drain backup coverage can be added to your homeowners policy. Most policies do not automatically provide coverage for this.

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Typically, condo owners are required to insure a portion of their property, depending on what the master policy states. A standard condo policy will provide coverage for your personal property and walls-in coverage for your unit. Not all townhomes are condos, so you should check your tax record to see how your townhome is classified.

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In this case, you will need a landlord’s policy, which provides protection for the building you rent out, your personal property inside the rental property, legal costs, and loss of income.

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Coverage for these items on a homeowners policy is often limited. It is best to consult your agent to determine what limits are necessary to protect your valuables.

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While actual cash value deducts for depreciation over time, replacement cost coverage guarantees that damaged property will be replaced at the actual cost of the item at the time of loss.

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Yes. Most homeowners policies will cover “additional living expenses” or “loss of use” costs that result from a covered loss. Your agent can advise you on how much coverage your particular policy carries.

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It depends on the policy. Generally there is coverage as long as the child is a full-time college student. There can be restrictions for the age of the child, so it’s best to check with your agent regarding this coverage.

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A personal umbrella policy offers another layer of liability protection above and beyond your underlying auto, home, boat, RV, and motorcycle policies. The policy starts at $1 million in additional liability and goes up from there, generally in increments of $1 million.

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The deductible on your home insurance policy is the amount at which you self-insure at the time of loss to your property before the insurance company pays; the higher the deductible, the lower the premium.

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Insurance companies pull some relevant information from credit scores to determine your insurance score, which can affect your eligibility with a company and your overall premium.

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Depending on your homeowner’s policy, losses which may be excluded include, but are not limited to: flood, earthquake, or water backup from a sump pump. Some of these coverages may be added to your policy for an additional cost.

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Commercial

Depending on the type of business you own, you will be exposed to a vast number of different risks. Insurance professionals can help navigate you through the complexities of various coverages and create a program that is customized to fit what you need.

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Even if you are just starting out, business insurance is important to consider. Many businesses are required to show proof of insurance before they are allowed to begin working with other business partners. An agent can assist you in determining what coverages are appropriate for you.

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Business liability or general liability insurance covers you against lawsuits brought against your business for property or bodily injury to a third party, as well as advertising and personal injury expenses. Every business is at risk of having lawsuits brought against them, so it is a good idea to carry it as part of your business’ insurance program.

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Workers Compensation laws differ by state. In many states, you are required to carry workers compensation as soon as you have at least one part time employee. An employee is viewed broadly under worker compensation law and includes part-time and full-time, seasonal and temporary workers, and trainees. A licensed agent can advise you on your specific needs.

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Even without major assets, it is still suggested that you carry business insurance to protect yourself against lawsuits, frivolous or not. A major coverage under a general liability policy includes defense costs, which would be out of pocket expenses if you do not carry proper insurance.

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The property you use to operate your business should be covered under your insurance program, as well as the personal property of others while it is on you business’ premises or in your business’ possession.

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Most Homeowners policies are extremely limited when it comes to insuring a business. In some cases, a Homeowners policy may exclude certain coverages which could make you vulnerable to out of pocket expenses in the event of a loss. In order to have sufficient coverage, it is best to consider having a separate business policy to cover property and liability expenses.

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A business owner’s policy is a package policy which combines general liability and business personal property together, often resulting in a lower annual premium. Endorsements may also be added to these policies, which are often tailored to meet the needs of the specific type of business being insured.

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If you own a car that is titled under a business entity, it must be insured under a commercial auto policy. If you have any uncertainty, it is best to consult with an insurance agent.

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Business interruption coverage pays for the loss of income a business suffers after a disaster. This can be the result of a disaster-related temporary shutdown of the business or due to the rebuilding process after a loss.

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Coinsurance clauses are used by insurance companies to prevent businesses from underinsuring their property. Generally, coinsurance requires a business to have coverage for at least 80% of the true value of the property. If a business does in fact underinsure their property, they can be penalized and in turn become a coinsurer with the insurance company in the event of a covered loss.

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Professional Liability protects professional advice and service providing business from lawsuits brought against for claims of negligence, often not covered under a general liability policy.

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Depending on the type of business and your insurance carrier, premiums can be affected by such things including: years in business, number of employees, annual sales, payroll, and more. An insurance agent can help explain the cost of your particular insurance program, as well as ways to save money.

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If your business uses subcontractors, it is important to make sure they carry their own workers compensation insurance. If they do not, you will be on the hook for covering them at the end of your term on your own policy. Always ask for certificates of insurance from subcontractors before they begin work on a project.

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There are a variety of ways to lower insurance costs. However, it is most important to make sure that your business is properly covered should a loss occur. The greatest way to maintain a low annual cost is to mitigate claims, and an agent can assist you having a proactive plan in place for your business.

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Life

Life insurance pays a designated beneficiary a sum of money upon the death of the insured party.

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The best time to buy life insurance is when you are young, since the longer you wait, the more expensive coverage becomes. An agent can consult you on which insurance plan is most appropriate depending of your living circumstances.

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Term life insurance is a policy that runs for a designated amount of time, usually ten, twenty, or thirty years.

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Permanent life insurance is a policy that is designed to cover the life span of the insured party. Some policies can combine the death benefit with a savings component. Permanent life insurance is also commonly known as whole life and universal life insurance.

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The amount of life insurance that you need may differ depending on your lifestyle and living situation. A number of factors including debt, annual income, future obligations, and dependents should all be considered when selecting an appropriate policy. An agent can help advise you on a coverage plan.

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Choosing the right type of life insurance can be confusing depends on a number of factors. Do you need life insurance for a specific period of time? Do you need a large amount of coverage, but have a limited budget? Do you want to accumulate a savings element that will grow on a tax-deferred basis? An agent can help you answer these questions.

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Yes, as both people, whether they work or not, have a financial stake in the marriage. If one were to pass away, you would still need finances to cover what the other was responsible for, i.e. income, child care, etc.

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It is always recommended to consider a personal life insurance policy. There are a number of factors to consider: your employer may not offer enough life insurance, you may lose your coverage if your job situation changes, your plan doesn’t provide enough coverage for your spouse, and an employer-provided plan may not be your cheapest option.

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If you do not have life insurance and pass away suddenly, your loved ones could be burdened with funeral and death expenses, medical bills, and other outstanding debts.

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Yes, although the premiums may be higher. The medical exam is fairly simple, consisting of height and weight measurements, a blood and urine exam, in addition to basic questions about your overall health.

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In many cases, you can still get coverage, even if you have been treated for something like heart disease or some types of cancer. Your ability to obtain life insurance not only depends on your medical condition, but how well it is controlled.

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While life insurance is designed to protect your dependents, you can choose anyone to be a beneficiary. If you plan on having children in the future, it may be a good idea to consider purchasing a life insurance policy since rates generally go up as you get older.

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No. The proceeds a beneficiary receives from a life insurance policy are not taxable.

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If you purchase life insurance for your children while they are young, you will generally pay less in premium. Health can also change, and ailments can sometimes lead to becoming uninsurable. In this instance, universal or whole life is recommended.

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Depending on the policy, the amount of coverage may be amended once a policy is purchased. In some instances, additional underwriting questions may be required.

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There is no limit to the number of beneficiaries you can have on a policy, and the death benefit is divided in a manner of your choosing. While there are some exceptions, generally beneficiaries can be changed at any time and as many times as you want.

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You will never need to “re-qualify” to maintain your life insurance so long as premiums are continuously paid. Should a policy lapse, you may need to have a new policy and “re-qualify.”

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