General | Auto Insurance | Property Insurance | Umbrella | Life Insurance

General FAQs

What are the advantages to using an independent agent to purchase insurance?

By using an independent agent to purchase insurance, the policy holder receives more personal service. An agent with whom there is direct contact can be vital when purchasing a product and absolutely necessary when filing a claim. A local independent agent is able to deliver quality insurance with competitive pricing and local, personalized service.

When is my next payment due?

There are a few options available to you to find out when your next payment is due. It is important to pay your premiums on time so that your insurance coverage does not lapse. The best way is to review your policy or monthly statement. You may also visit our pay online and billing questions page to contact your carrier directly and pay your bill or find out the due date. It is now very easy to either pay online or over the phone. If those options are not possible then please give us a call and we will quickly tell you when the next payment is due and how much is due.

What kinds of questions should I be expected to answer when I apply for an insurance policy? Why do insurers need so much information?

When you apply for an insurance policy, you’ll be asked a number of questions. Among other things, the agent might ask you your name, age, gender, and address. You’ll also be asked a number of other questions which will be used to determine how likely you are to make a claim.

When an insurance company is deciding whether or not to offer automobile insurance to a potential customer, they will want to know about the person’s previous driving record, whether they have had any recent accidents or violations, and what type of car is to be insured.

Insurance companies have different programs for different customers. Adults with good driving records will generally pay less for auto insurance than a young driver with traffic tickets will. In order to determine which program you qualify for, an insurance company needs basic information about you.

In addition to your age, gender, and driving experience, they will also need information about the vehicle you drive and how you drive it to determine a fair price. For example, a large luxury car costs more to repair or replace than a sub-compact, and someone who commutes 30 miles each way is more likely to be in an accident than someone who rides the bus to work and drives only on weekends.

As long as you have your current policy in front of you it will only take our agents a few minutes to gather all the information they need to provide you with a comparable and money savings quote.

Auto FAQ’s

What is the best way to handle an auto claim?

There are a few ways in which to expedite an auto claim. We want you to be reimbursed as quickly and accurately as possible so that your life does not have to be affected due to an accident. The fastest way to process a claim is to call your carrier directly by going to our claim page and call their 24/7 number or use their website to report the claim. If that is not possible, just give us a call and we can gather some information and process the claim for you.

What factors can affect the cost of my automobile insurance?

There are a number of factors which can affect the cost of your insurance policy each year, some of which you can control and some that you can’t.

The type of car you drive, the purpose the car serves, your driving record, and where the car is garaged can all affect how much your automobile insurance will cost. Recently many more companies are factoring in a driver’s credit score to determine their risk as an insured so it is important for you to monitor your credit score.

Even your marital status can affect your cost of insurance. Statistics show that married people tend to have fewer and less costly accidents than single people do.

Do I have to report an accident if I am not at fault?

No, if you were involved in an accident and were not at fault you do not need to report that accident to us. As long as the driver that was at fault has adequate insurance you can report it through their insurance. Call us if you have any questions about if you should report the accident or not.

Who is a covered driver of my car?

Any driver to whom you give permission to drive your personal vehicle is considered a covered driver, as well as any member of your household and whoever is listed as a driver on the policy.
What is uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, and do I need it?

Uninsured motorist coverage is required to protect you from other drivers who may break the law and not carry any insurance on their vehicle.

Underinsured motorist coverage also protects you by providing coverage when you are involved in an accident with someone who is carrying too low a limit to cover the expenses of an accident.

We always recommend carrying Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist coverage to protect you and your family’s needs. We are happy to review your current policy to make sure you have this important coverage or if you have more questions about this coverage.

What’s the difference between Collision Physical Damage Coverage and Comprehensive Physical Damage Coverage?

Collision Physical Damage Coverage is defined as losses you incur when your automobile collides with another car or object. For example, if you hit a car in a parking lot or on the road, the damages to your car will be paid under your collision coverage.

Comprehensive Physical Damage Coverage provides coverage for most other direct physical damage losses you could incur, including theft, fire, vandalism, flood, falling objects, and hitting an animal. For example, damage to your car from a hailstorm or hitting a deer would be covered under your comprehensive coverage.

Property FAQs

What are some practical things that I can do to lower the cost of my homeowners insurance?

There are a number of things you can do to lower the cost of your homeowners insurance. The easiest thing to do is to get a comprehensive review of your policy and needs from your local agent. It’s not surprising to find quotes on homeowners insurance that vary by hundreds of dollars for the same coverage on the same home. When you shop, be careful to make sure each insurer is offering the same coverage.

Another way to lower the cost of your homeowners insurance is to look for any discounts that you may qualify for. For example, many insurers will offer a discount when you place both your automobile and homeowners insurance with them. Another easy way to lower the cost of your homeowners insurance is to raise your deductible. Increasing your deductible from $250 to $500 or even $1,000 will lower your premium, sometimes by as much as five or ten percent.

What is the difference between “actual cash value” and “replacement cost”?

Covered losses under a homeowners policy can be paid on either an actual cash value basis or on a replacement cost basis. When “actual cash value” is used, the policy owner is entitled to the depreciated value of the damaged property. Under the “replacement cost” coverage, the policy owner is reimbursed an amount necessary to replace the article with one of similar type and quality at current prices.

Is regular wear and tear to my property covered by my policy?

No, wear and tear to a property is not a covered claim on your homeowners policy. The policy is created to cover specific types of claims, but wear and tear, earthquake, and flood are almost always excluded.

Do I need earthquake coverage, and how can I get it?

The standard insurance policy does not pay for direct damages caused by earth movement. “Earth movement” is a much broader term than “earthquake”. It includes earthquakes, volcanic activity, and other types of earth movement. This coverage may be available by endorsement for an additional charge. If you live in an area that’s more likely to have an earthquake, you’ll pay more than if you live in an area that is unlikely to have one. We can help you weigh the costs and benefits of this coverage before you decide to purchase.

Why would I want to buy renters insurance?

If you live in an apartment or a rented house, renters insurance provides important coverage for both you and your possessions. A standard renter’s policy protects your personal property in many cases of theft or damage and may pay for temporary living expenses if your rental is damaged. It can also shield you from personal liability. Anyone who leases a house or apartment should consider this type of coverage. Renters insurance can many times give you a discount on your auto policy that can cover the cost of the entire renters insurance policy.

Umbrella FAQs

What is a personal umbrella liability policy?

A personal umbrella liability policy is designed to increase your liability protection. This single policy acts as an “umbrella” over all of your other personal liability policies (home, auto, boat, RV, etc.) so that 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 U.S. and Canada only.

Why do I need a personal umbrella liability policy?

In our very litigious society, even individuals with modest incomes and assets are often subjects of large lawsuits. Since they are even less able than a wealthy individual to pay large damage awards, they recognize the need to have coverage limits greater than what can be obtained from their homeowner or auto policies.

Life Insurance FAQs

How much life insurance should an individual own?

Rule of thumb suggests an amount of life insurance equal to 5-10 times annual earnings. However, many factors should be taken into account when determining the right amount of life insurance for you, your family, or your buy-sell agreement.

Important factors include:

  • Income sources (and amounts) other than salary/earnings
  • Whether or not you’re married and, if so, what your spouse’s earning capacity is
  • The number of individuals who are financially dependent upon you
  • The amount of death benefits payable from Social Security and from an employer-sponsored life insurance plan
  • Whether any special life insurance needs exist (e.g., mortgage repayment, education fund, estate planning need, etc.)

Calculating the correct amount of life insurance to buy is not as simple as it appears. We recommend contacting us for help determining the right amount of coverage. As independent agents, we are unbiased advisors who will help you avoid buying too much, show you appropriate coverage for your needs, and recommend a company that will best serve your interests.