Frequently Asked Questions about Insurance
If you have general insurance questions, you are not alone. That’s why our industry experts have answered some of the most common insurance-related questions below. If you have further questions or would like to ask a specific question, contact our team directly.
General Insurance Questions
Credit-based insurance scores predict the likelihood of a customer filing a claim that will cost the provider more money than what was collected in premium payments. It is a tool the insurance company uses to ensure they don't lose money as your auto insurance provider.
Your credit score may also be used to determine if that provider will take you on as a customer. However, some states prohibit this. These states include Michigan, Massachusetts, Maryland, California, Utah, Oregon, and Hawaii. In these regions, an insurance provider cannot ask potential clients what their credit score is, no matter how good or bad that number might be.
Currently, in Florida, insurance carriers legally can use credit scores to determine automotive insurance eligibility and premium rates.
In addition to your credit score, an auto insurance provider may also use your location, vehicle type, and driving record to determine your insurance premium. Providers can also factor in demographic information, like age, marital status, and gender, to price a premium. Some insurance carriers offer pay-per-mile policies, which link premium costs to vehicle usage.
Homeowners insurance typically includes damages to a physical dwelling. The policy also extends to physical structures on the property, such as the garage, fence, and shed. Automobiles do not classify as physical dwellings since they can leave the property.
Damage caused by natural catastrophes like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, or earthquakes may not be covered by a basic home insurance plan. These natural disasters usually require specialized insurance plans. That's why Florida homeowners are encouraged to add hurricane insurance to their policy.
Fires are typically covered by home insurance plans. Most policies include repair and rebuild expenses as well as coverage for living expenses after a fire, like staying in a hotel.
Most policies also include personal property coverage, like TVs and clothing. But homeowners insurance may not cover high-value possessions, like expensive artwork, musical instruments, or jewelry.
To determine what is and isn't covered under your homeowners insurance policy, read the fine print your insurance carrier provided. If you have questions, reach out to your agent.
While it may not be required, anyone planning on renting a property for an extended period (more than six months) should invest in renters insurance.
Renters insurance is similar to homeowners insurance in that it reduces the liability and financial impact of an unexpected event. Renters insurance provides personal property damage, which reimburses tenants for lost belongings up to their policy's limits. It also includes personal liability coverage to protect tenants in the event of an accident in their residence. Renters insurance also covers loss of use. This is when a tenant must move out of the property due to safety concerns.
Dwelling coverage is an example of something included in a homeowners insurance plan, but not condo policies. Dwelling coverage pays for the repair and rebuild of physical structures after they are damaged by a covered peril. Condo owners are only responsible for what is inside their unit, and therefore do not need to rebuild damaged property dwellings. A condo association is responsible for fixing external buildings, walls, elevators, pools, etc.
Condo insurance is only necessary for those who purchase a condo. If you are renting a condo, a renters insurance policy should cover everything you need.
But if you are running a business out of your home, homeowners insurance will not cover any losses you incur. Therefore, you need to invest in business insurance. The type of home-based business insurance you require will depend on the industry and type of business you are running.
For example, business property insurance is necessary for business owners that use office equipment on their property. This includes computers, printers, desks, etc. Business property insurance will protect against any damages to your office equipment in the event of a fire or robbery.
If you have clients visiting your home to receive services, invest in business liability insurance. Liability insurance shields you and your business from damages inflicted on a client while they are on your property. It also protects your property from any damages a customer may cause. If a client visits you for a personal training session and gets hurt, liability insurance will protect you from being responsible for their medical bills.
Other types of business insurance policies include professional liability (for consultants), product liability coverage, and business automobile coverage. Reach out to a business insurance expert to learn more about which policy best fits your business needs.
Home Insurance Questions
Your policy may also pay your living expenses if you are displaced from your home while it is being repaired or rebuilt. Your policy may even replace your valuables if they are stolen from your home.
Homeowners insurance also protects you from liability if someone is injured on your property and decides to file a lawsuit. Many policies also cover you if you accidentally injure someone while you are not on your property.
Increase your deductible to lower your annual premium or pay less out of pocket with a slightly higher premium. Modify your maximum level of coverage to accurately reflect your home’s replacement value, so you have the right coverage in the event of damage. Our agents can guide you if you have questions about your chosen policy or connect you with the perfect plan for your needs.
Once they have the information, they will give you a quote and typically schedule a home inspection to ensure they can offer you coverage. You may not have to be there for the exterior inspection, though the company may ask you to make improvements to the property before they can extend coverage.
In general, however, the process is simple and takes minimal time and effort. You can usually get coverage starting the day you get the keys to your new home.
Auto Insurance Questions
Your Car Information
This includes the year, model, make, and vehicle identification number or VIN #.
They will need your driver’s license number, date of birth, and social security number.
If there are additional drivers in your home, you will need to also provide their information.
You will also be asked some general questions, like how long you have been driving, how many accidents you had in the past, your credit rating, and more.
The better your driving record is, the less your premium will be. In contrast, if you have had any serious moving violations or accidents in the past, you will pay more. Thus, if you didn’t carry insurance for the past several years, your premium may also be higher.
The Total Number of Miles Driven Each Year
The more you drive, the better your chances are of having accidents. If the miles you drive each year are lower than average, which is less than 10,000, then you will pay less. Also, some insurance agencies give discounts to those who carpool.
Where You Live
Insurance agencies look at local trends that include the number of accidents in your area, lawsuits, and car thefts, as well as car repair and medical care costs.
Typically, older drivers don’t have as many accidents as drivers with less experience, such as teenagers. Therefore, if your car will be driven by teenagers or drivers who are less than 25 years old, your premiums will be higher.
The Car You Drive
Every car is different, and therefore, will cost more or less to insure. This is because some cars may cost more for repairs, are safer to drive, and are more likely to be stolen than others.
Your credit rating is a key factor in determining how much you will pay for auto insurance, as it is a statistically valid tool for indicating how likely someone would be to file a claim and how much the claim will cost. Credit-based insurance scores contain important information, including your payment history, collections, outstanding debts, bankruptcies, and length of credit history. If you made credit card or mortgage payments on-time or paid off your debts, your score is affected positively, while negative balances or late payments affect your score negatively.
How Much Coverage You Are Requesting
Needless to say, the higher the amount of coverage, the more you will pay. However, there are often some valuable discounts you may qualify for.
Search for Discounts and Compare Prices
There are several auto insurance discounts available on the internet that you can use to save on auto insurance. Compare different coverage levels of auto insurance. Sometimes the cost of higher limits is not much different from lower ones.
Choose a higher deductible. If you choose a higher deductible, you will pay less for your monthly premium but will have to pay more out of pocket if you are ever involved in an accident.
Use An Independent Agent
Find an independent agent that represents a leading carrier. They will shop for you and know exactly what to look for to reduce your premiums, allowing you to select the best options and save.
Many companies will give you a big discount for Bundling several types of your insurance plans together with a multi-policy plan that they offer. For example, you can bundle your auto and home insurance to save a lot of money on insurance. Some customers who choose to bundle save 27% on average by getting all their insurance from one company.
·Health Plans with a higher Star Rating are paid more than wellbeing plans with a low evaluating
· Health Plans that keep on getting a low appraising are disposed of
· 5-Star Plans enjoy all year open enrollment
·Rating is dictated by: wellbeing results, preventive consideration, case management and customer satisfaction.
Life Insurance Questions
The answer to the question of, "who needs life insurance?" doesn't have an easy answer.
Life insurance's value depends on the well-being of those related to the policyholder. If death benefits offer aid to beneficiaries then, yes, life insurance makes sense. However, if beneficiaries are already well-off (or if there are none) then it may not make sense to get a policy.
Relationships may also play a factor in whether one decides to get life insurance. One may choose their beneficiaries who may not be family or friends. A policyholder may not choose a person, either, funneling death benefits to the estate.
Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance involves coverage for a set amount of years. Those who die within the term life timeframe will see death benefits distributed. Unfortunately, if a person passes between plans (a coverage lapse) then benefits aren't paid to beneficiaries.
Term life insurance policies are only a few years at a time. Many individuals choose this for its affordability and flexibility. One would, in essence, pick up coverage when they feel most vulnerable.
Whole Life Insurance
Whole life insurance is an on-going coverage (hence "whole life").
Once a person starts a whole life insurance policy they are locked in. The coverage combines a death benefit with additional investments (savings). In a way, it acts as both insurance and savings. A plan where the savings funnel into the plan and compound its benefits.
An individual may choose to opt-out of this form of policy, receiving a "surrender value" but at a loss. This change may occur from life-changing moments such as business success, a high-profile marriage, and/or financial windfalls.
Other Insurance Types
There are other forms of insurance such as variable life insurance, group life insurance, and more. A consultation with one's insurance company reveals which of these coverages are available.
An individual may choose to have many life insurance policies. While this is less common, it's still an option one may consider if they lead complex lives!
Life insurance is an act of caring, giving stability through the grieving process. It grants survivors time to adjust to this sudden lifestyle change, too. It is peace of mind knowing they are secure while processing the event and the arrangements.
Finally, life insurance lets a person create a lasting legacy well after they're gone. It is not an inheritance but it does help survivors thrive after the breadwinner is long gone.
Failure to disclose risky behaviors, vices, or known health issues.
Partaking in activities and/or hobbies known to be dangerous.
Taking one's life within a policy's "suicide clause" timeframe.
Obtaining a policy, traveling/moving abroad, and dying while away.
Death due to catastrophic events and disasters caused by nature.
Contesting Death Benefits
An insurance company will contest payout if there is a suspicious death. Whether it's due to illegal activities or reckless behavior, murder, and more, the insurance company will do its research.
Don't feel intimidated if health issues are present. Most deaths are covered by life insurance policies. An individual simply needs to be transparent to the company as they apply for coverage.
The best advice we can give is to be open and transparent.
Insurance companies need a complete picture of one's life. This attention to detail is to protect both policyholders and insurers. It allows proper underwriting and coverage without the risk of death benefits denial.
Commercial Insurance Questions
Owners are liable for their business operations. In turn, this means the risk of lawsuits and damages. Owners are at the whim of their markets. Competition is fierce, and woes may strike at any moment.
Commercial insurance provides peace of mind from the unexpected. In turn, the business can continue operating despite setbacks. They persevere through tough times caused by financial losses.
The insurance also aids workers by way of worker's compensation. In a roundabout way, business protections are linked to worker protections. Ensure their well-being, and the business thrives.
Keep in mind that "commercial insurance" is an over-arching term.
All states have some form of required insurance coverage for business operations. This includes worker's compensation insurance.
Common coverage may also include commercial auto insurance (if there are company vehicles). General liability insurance, too, is commonly held to protect customers and third parties.
Larger organizations may take protection into their own hands. They have the capital and resources necessary for coverages. As for small businesses? Forgoing business insurance isn't recommended.
The main types of commercial insurance include:
General Liability Insurance
General liability insurance (business liability insurance) aims to offer coverage and protection from accidents and mistakes. Relate this insurance to body and property damage. It's ideal for retail businesses and others that engage customers physically.
Commercial Property Insurance
Commercial property insurance is protection for items at the business and on its property. Relate this insurance to events like fires, floods, and major storms. It's ideal for all businesses operating in a physical location.
Commercial Vehicle Insurance
Commercial vehicle insurance covers company vehicles. The policy also covers those in the vehicle and others involved in an accident. It's ideal for any company offering employees a vehicle and fleets. Delivery drivers are specially protected through this insurance type.
Worker's Compensation Insurance
Worker's comp insurance is what covers employees when they're sick or injured. Insurance pays out, covering employee expenses while they recover. It's a necessary coverage for any business with employees.
Business Interruption Insurance
Business interruption insurance offers protection during downtimes. The intent is to cover expenses while the business is unable to operate. Relate this coverage to disasters. Though truly unexpected, it's an insurance that's ideal for those in volatile locations.
Cyber/Data Liability Insurance
Data (cyber) liability insurance provides coverage from data breaches, attacks, and disruptions. This insurance is becoming a necessity since so many rely on computers and the Web. It's a plan that adapts to the rapid changes in modern business and tech.
Other Commercial Insurance Options
From crime insurance and coverage for accounts receivable to umbrella policies and more, business owners have options! As business evolves, so does commercial insurance.
What isn't covered by commercial insurance? What causes claim denials? Consider activities such as:
Whether it's shady manufacturing to money laundering, don't expect insurance coverage nor payouts for illegal practices. Denials can extend to unethical practices, too. If it skirts the line of legality, then be aware that there are serious consequences from all fronts.
Intentional neglect of items that lead to dangers and accidents aren't covered by insurance. Activities that harm employees or customers are grounds for claim denials, too. Think of it like this: If corners are getting cut and causing problems, then expect issues with the insurer.
Labor Disputes and Issues
Breaking labor laws goes well beyond claim denials from an insurance company. The business is now in hot water with state and federal laws. If a business has sunk this far, then claims coverages are a zero.
The type of coverage and its extent is a major factor. Next, the industry and business type are considered. Location, property, assets, challenges, and employees go into the pricing, too.
Commercial insurance is affordable.
Many plans only cost businesses a few hundred dollars each year. The total amount will depend on the needs of a business. But, it's far less than the financial fallout caused by a single incident.
It's best to get a few quotes to find the perfect median price. This is after deciding exactly what's needed and reducing risks. Consider bundling insurance policies to receive an extra discount.
All businesses are unique, and so insurance isn't one-size-fits-all.
Have more questions? Ask our Insurance Experts.
Let us know how we can help and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.