PERSONAL INSURANCE FAQs
Auto insurance policies protect your personal vehicle and a variety of risks associated with operating it. Auto policies typically offer four types of coverage: Liability, Medical Payments, Uninsured Motorists and Physical Damage. This coverage is then broken down into liability protection for the driver, personal injury for the driver and passengers, coverage to protect from uninsured or underinsured drivers, comprehensive for damage that occurs other than collision and collision coverage.
Depending on the specific insurance company and policy, there may be additional types of coverage available for customization, roadside assistance, towing, loss of use and even gap coverage for new vehicle purchases. Limits can range from 15,000 to as much as 1,000,000. Minimum liability requirements vary from state to state and are usually much lower than the average person's exposure.
Homeowner's insurance policies provide coverage for your home in six main areas: Dwelling, Separate Structures, Contents, Loss of Use, Personal Liability and Medical Payments.
Depending on the specific insurance company and policy, there are many endorsements that can be added to increase coverage for items such as collectibles, jewelry or even a home-based business.
Renters' insurance is coverage for your contents and personal liability when you rent a house, apartment or condo from a company or individual.
The two most common types of life insurance are term and permanent. Term insurance is designed to go for a certain number of years at a fixed price each month or year. Permanent insurance is designed to cover you for your entire life and can vary depending on the way the premiums are invested by the company and how the policy is set up.
There are many different options available to enhance life insurance policies such as waiver of premium, accelerated death benefit coverage, critical illness or even long-term care coverage. It is important that the policy and coverage you select matches your individual needs and will allow for you to make adjustments in the future as your life changes.
Personal Umbrella insurance policies provide additional liability protection above the limits of liability that is offered on your homeowners', auto, motorcycle, boat and RV or rental property policy. To be eligible for a personal umbrella, most companies have minimum liability coverage limit levels that are required. Personal umbrellas coverage typically begins at $1,000,000 and may range to as much as $5,000,000 or $10,000,000.
Many insurance companies prefer for you to have both your auto and homeowners' policies with them before they will offer umbrella coverage. Personal Umbrella policies have a self-insured retention, or deductible, of $250 or more. Coverage is also available for exposures such as personal injury for libel, slander and defamation of character, defense coverage or vacation rental liability.
Boat and watercraft insurance policies provide boaters with coverage that is specific to the boat or personal watercraft. Most companies offer coverage for bodily injury and property damage liability, uninsured boaters, medical payments, comprehensive and collision.
Other coverage considerations, such as personal effects replacement, on-water towing, roadside assistance, pollution or fuel spill liability, wreckage removal or water sports, can be important additions to your boat or personal watercraft policy.
Recreational Vehicle (RV) insurance policies protect your trailer, fifth wheel or motorhome for a number of risks. There are a variety of options based upon whether this is a travel trailer or motorized vehicle. Most policies offer bodily injury and property damage liability, comprehensive and collision, uninsured and underinsured motorist and medical payments. Some companies offer coverage for your personal effects, vacation liability and total replacement cost.
Motorcycle insurance policies protect your bike and a variety of risks associated with operating it. Most policies offer bodily injury and property damage liability, comprehensive and collision, uninsured and underinsured motorist and medical payments. Some companies offer coverage for custom parts and equipment and roadside assistance in case of a breakdown.
BUSINESS INSURANCE FAQs
General Liability Insurance (GL) policies protect against negligence claims from clients, employees, vendors, contractors or others. GL policies cover general liability, bodily injury, property damage, personal injury, advertising injury, liquor liability, and contractual liability, loss of services, public liability, products-completed operations and employers.
GL policies include coverage for the cost to defend and associated expenses, costs for judgments or settlements from a covered claim and associated medical costs for claimants. GL policies usually start with split limits as low as $1,000,000 single occurrence and $2,000,000 aggregate for any covered loss.
GL coverage can be part of a Business Owner Policy (BOP) or purchased as part of a Commercial Package Policy or as stand-alone coverage depending on the situation and business need.
Business property insurance policies help protect your businesses from a variety of perils that can damage the building, signage, equipment and inventory. Policies normally provide coverage for things such as fire, explosion, theft, vandalism, damage from storms (windstorm or hail) or water damage from a burst pipe.
Additional coverage may be available for things such as valuable records and papers, electronics, glass breakage and business interruption to cover lost income while your business is closed.
Business auto or commercial auto insurance policies help protect your businesses and your employees. Many different businesses have a need for business auto insurance. Examples: contractors, tow truck companies, couriers, services, dry cleaners, retail delivery, carpet cleaning, appliance and electronic repair companies, pizza delivery, trucks and dump trucks.
Business auto insurance provides protection for liability, uninsured and underinsured motorists, medical payments, comprehensive and collision. Coverage can be extended on some policies for employees using their personal cars for business.
There are several occupations such as a home-based business, real estate or insurance and financial services that may not require a commercial auto policy. Often these types of businesses can instead have a "business use" rating on their personal auto insurance policy.
Workers' Compensation Insurance (Work Comp) is a policy that provides coverage for employees of a business in the event that they are injured at work or have a work-related illness. Work Comp coverage includes income benefits to pay employees lost wages, medical benefits, burial benefits and death benefits.
Work Comp insurance is available in all 50 states and is regulated by each state. There are four monopolistic states where the state sets rates and operates a state administered workers' compensation fund: Ohio, North Dakota, Washington and Wyoming. The State of Texas does not require private employers in to carry Work Comp coverage.
Work Comp coverage premiums are based upon several factors, including type of business, occupation, loss history and deductible. Premiums are charged as a rate per $100 of payroll.
A Business Owners Policy (BOP) is a business insurance policy that provides a package of basic coverage for most small to medium sized businesses. A BOP offers coverage that is normally less expensive than if it were purchased separately. BOP policy coverage includes property coverage for your building, liability coverage, contents coverage for inventory, equipment and fixtures and business interruption to replace lost income for up to a year in the event of a covered loss.
Many other coverage options are available such as crime, glass breakage, outdoor signage, valuable papers and records and electronic data recreation may be available depending on the particular company.
Some examples of businesses that purchase BOP policies include: retail stores, service related businesses, professional offices, dry cleaners, wholesale suppliers, motel and hotel, delis and coffee shops.
Commercial Bonds are generally thought of in terms of Surety Bonds. Surety insurance is a contract between at least three parties: the Surety provides the hiring party (the obliged), a guarantee that the contractor or person hired (principal) will perform or they will be returned their funds.
There are two main groups of bonds: contract bonds and commercial bonds. Contract bonds guarantee the performance of a contract such as: performance, bid, supply or maintenance. Commercial bonds guarantee terms such as: permit, license, court, public official and fidelity bonds.
There are many different types of business that may require a Surety Bond, such as financial institutions, healthcare, retail and service related businesses, contractors and technology companies. Surety Bond premiums vary and will depend on the type of bond, amount of the bond and the credit or financial strength of the person or business requiring it.
Group Benefits typically refer to employer sponsored benefit plans for employees such as health, vision, dental, short and long-term disability insurance, life insurance and 401K or 403B, pensions or deferred compensation retirement plans. Group Benefits plans usually provide employees with options for increasing coverage on themselves, adding family members and different deductibles at varying price points.
Many health insurance coverage providers offer employers and employees access to Group Benefits coverage. There are many different plan types and coverage options available depending on the provider. Up until recent health care legislation changes Group Benefits policies were the only guaranteed issue medical coverage for employees choosing to participate with pricing based upon the census information of the employee work group.
Group Benefits can also include "supplemental insurance" for catastrophic events like cancer, accident, accidental death or dismemberment. These policies can be offered through the employer or purchased separately by the employee as part of their payroll deductions.