FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions and Miscellaneous Information

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Auto | Home | Renters | Commercial | Life & Health | Loss Control

Auto Insurance FAQ | Back to Top

Property-Damage Liability – This handles damage that you may cause to another person’s property. Again, the coverage only responds when you are financially responsible for such damage and it has to be related to your driving, use or ownership of a vehicle.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage – This coverage typically pays for injury you suffer from an accident caused by an uninsured driver. “Uninsured” usually refers to a person who has no insurance; a person who can’t be located (“hit and run drivers”); a person who has insurance but their insurance company is insolvent; and other situations (defined by individual state laws).

Important: Payment under this coverage is controlled by the limits mandated by a state’s financial responsibility or specific uninsured motorists law that often dictates what limit or limits must be sold. In some states, you may have an option to reject the coverage. Typically, the rejection must be in writing.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage – Similar to uninsured motorist, it pays for injuries caused by a driver who is inadequately insured. Example: You are seriously injured by someone carrying a bodily injury limit of $25,000, but your injuries are nearly $50,000. Your Underinsured Motorist Coverage limit is $100,000. In this instance, your policy would pay the difference between $25,000 and $50,000.

Remember that this is merely an introduction to complex policy coverages. Be sure to contact your agent for detailed insurance information

Cars are expensive to buy and repair, providing great reasons for protecting them. If you borrowed money to buy your car, or if you leased the vehicle, the lender or leasing company was likely to make certain that you had coverage to pay for any damage to the vehicle. Below are typical coverages that apply either to the vehicle or to those operating the vehicle:

Collision coverage – This covers damage to your own vehicle that happens when your vehicle runs into another object, such as other vehicles, trees, light poles, mountains, etc.

Other Than Collision coverage – This also covers damage to your own vehicle that is due to sources such as fire, theft, hitting an animal, vandalism, earthquake, flood or hail.

Unlike liability coverage, both Collision and Other Than Collision coverages are subject to deductibles, the amount of a claim that the policyowner must pay. Deductibles are meant to eliminate an insurer having to pay for very minor losses.

Personal Injury Protection or Medical Expense – This coverage typically handles medical expenses for injuries to you, your passengers or people who are “around” you. It may also cover you and your household if you, as a pedestrian or a bicyclist, are struck by an automobile.

Towing and Labor coverage – This coverage is to help pay for your costs to deal with a disabled car. It could help pay for the car to be towed to a service station or for any repair that occurs at the location of the car’s breakdown. Note that this coverage is for labor rather than the costs of car parts. Available coverage is minimal (often between $25-$75).

Rental Reimbursement – This coverage reimburses your expense of renting a car as a temporary replacement. The car being replaced must be an insured car that’s unavailable for use because of it being damaged, lost (stolen) or destroyed in a covered loss.

Remember the above information only touches upon some typical auto insurance issues. It’s always wise to contact your agent and discuss your coverage questions and needs in detail.

Home & Renter’s Insurance FAQ | Back to Top

Generally, a homeowner’s insurance policy includes at least six different coverage parts. The names of the parts may vary by insurance company, but they typically are referred to as Dwelling, Other Structures, Personal Property, Loss of Use, Personal Liability and Medical Payments coverage’s. They are usually presented as policy sections and are often labeled Coverage’s A through F.

Coverage A, Dwelling

The homeowner policy’s first coverage section protects your house and any attached structures, such as garages, decks or fences. The typical policy covers your home when it is damaged by many perils (also known as causes of loss) including fires or storms. However, the following causes of loss are usually excluded from coverage under the homeowners policy:

  • Earthquake
  • Flood
  • Faulty maintenance
  • Damage from insects or vermin
  • Wear and tear, gradual damage or deterioration

Coverage B, Other Structures

This coverage section protects structures that are not attached to the home, such as a detached (separate) garage, storage or utility shed, playground equipment and swimming pools.

Coverage C, Personal Property

This covers your possessions, whether they are at your home or away with you on vacation. Personal property is often covered on a named peril basis. This means that only the causes of loss listed in the policy section are covered. The coverage is also subject to limitations and exclusions. Types of property having significant value, such as jewelry, fine arts, collectibles, etc., may require special protection. Talk to your agent about scheduling (adding) coverage on a floater which broadens and extends coverage for high-valued possessions.

Actual Cash Value vs. Replacement Cost

Commonly, protection under sections A and B is provided on either an actual cash value or a replacement cost basis. Actual cash value is defined as replacement cost minus depreciation. Replacement cost is the actual cost to replace the structure, regardless of depreciation. Check your policy to see which type of coverage you have. Coverage under section C is usually provided on an actual cash basis. However, your agent may be able to add replacement cost to your possessions just like that found in Coverage A.

Coverage D, Loss of Use

This coverage handles the cost of additional living expenses while your home is being repaired. The coverage also applies if the home is unusable. However, the loss or loss of access has to be the result of an event that is covered by the policy. For instance, if your home was damaged during a war and you had to abandon it, Coverage D would not be available because war is excluded. Additional expenses normally include food, housing, and transportation. However, the expenses must exceed what your family normally incurs.

Coverage E, Personal Liability

This Coverage Part responds if you are legally responsible for causing property damage or physical injury. Protection includes paying for your defense costs and any financial judgment for covered incidents. Naturally the coverage would not apply for excluded situations, such as intentional injuries. Example: Joe is sued by a guy he injured during a brawl at a basketball game. The injuries from this incident are not accidental and would not be covered.

Coverage F, Medical Payments

This Part provides rapid reimbursement for minor injuries, such as a guest who trips and falls while visiting your home. This coverage does not apply to a family member. For example, if your child and your neighbor’s child are both slightly injured while playing and need to go to the emergency room, this coverage will pay for your neighbor’s expenses but not for your own child.

This is a brief overview of homeowners insurance. All of the coverage provided by the homeowner’s policy is subject to limitations such as exclusions, policy limits, and deductibles. It’s important that you discuss the details of coverage and any other insurance questions with your insurance agent.

Renters Insurance | Back to Top

Persons who live in apartments or rent a residence need renters insurance. Most insurance companies can protect their assets and belongings by using a policy that is designed especially for tenants. Typical policies cover your possessions for common causes of loss, additional living expenses related to making other living arrangements if your current residence is uninhabitable due to a covered cause of loss, medical expenses for treating people injured on your premises and, of course, lawsuits.

Commercial Package Policy | Back to Top

A Commercial Package Policy can provide property, liability and, other important coverage’s for your business. The Commercial Package Policy can be tailored to each specific business to meet their unique needs. No matter the size or type of business, tangible property is a major asset. A national standard for insuring such property is the Insurance Services Office (ISO) Commercial Property Program (CPP). The CPP may be written either as a single policy (covering only buildings and property) or as a part of the Commercial Package Policy.

A Commercial Package Policy can cover building, completed additions, fixtures, permanently installed machinery and equipment, personal property that is used to service or maintain the building or premises, and, under certain circumstances, construction equipment, material and supplies.

Like any insurance policy, there are items that are not covered. Again, this is just a very brief discussion of the CPP. If you need more information, help is nearby. Contact a Complete Insurance Agent to talk about coverage’s and your coverage needs.

Business Owners Policy

If you own and/or run a smaller business, your insurance needs may be properly handled by a business owner policy (BOP). BOPs are similar to a homeowners policy, offering both property and liability protection.

The policy’s protection for business personal property (such as office equipment, copiers, desks, etc.) applies whether the property is located inside or immediately outside the covered buildings. The category also includes property you own, lease or control (i.e., borrow or control) as long as the property is used by the business.

Business owners liability coverage provides comprehensive protection for claims or suits made by other parties. Its liability section covers losses involving injury to other persons or damage to property that belongs to others. It also provides limited protection against personal injury (slander or libel), advertising injury and losses involving an operation’s products or services.

A BOP may be the answer to your company’s coverage needs and it may be worthwhile to get more information on the BOP from one of your Complete Insurance Agents.

Health | Back to Top

Think of what would happen if you didn’t have insurance and someone in your family suffered a serious illness requiring extended medication or a long hospital stay. How quickly would you lose your assets and savings due to unpaid medical bills? Health insurance is a complex issue requiring your attention. Contact a Complete Insurance Agent today to find a Health insurance plan perfect for you and your family.

Life Insurance:

Life insurance protects those who depend on your paycheck, such as your spouse, children and quite possibly, your parents. If you die prematurely, life insurance can provide monetary support to your dependents, until they are able to live comfortably without it. It can also provide emergency support for legal, medical and funeral costs, should family savings not be sufficient to cover them.

Term vs Whole Life-

The basic difference between term and whole life insurance is this: A term policy is life coverage only. On the death of the insured it pays the face amount of the policy to the named beneficiary. You can buy term for periods of one year to 30 years. Whole life insurance, on the other hand, combines a term policy with an investment component.  The policy builds cash value that you can borrow against.

Disability Insurance:

Disability Insurance, often called DI or disability income insurance, is a form of insurance that insures the beneficiary’s earned income against the risk that disability will make working (and therefore earning) impossible.

Long Term Care:

Long-term care insurance is a type of insurance created to cover the costs of long-term care services. These include services in your home such as assistance with Activities of Daily Living as well as care in a variety of facility and community settings. Most insurance policies are activated when two or more activities of daily living cannot be performed by the policy holder.

Activities of Daily Living could include:

Bathing, Dressing, Grooming, Oral Care, Toileting, Transferring, Walking, Climbing Stairs, Eating, Housework, Cooking

What Is Loss Control? | Back to Top

Insurance is just one of many methods for controlling the chance that you’ll suffer from accidental losses. Insurance is a method of loss control. Your  personal environment is filled with opportunities where losses can occur. Most folks would like to minimize their chance of suffering a significant loss. The process of identifying and acting upon situations that may lead to losses is called “loss control.”

Loss Control Hints

  • Store important papers in a secure, fire-resistance box or even in the corner of a freezer.
  • Keep all the negatives of photos, so they can be reproduced
  • Make videotapes or digital recordings of personal property as documentation of your possessions
  • Make copies of personal videos
  • Be sure to carefully read contracts or agreements before accepting them
  • Arrange to exchange and keep important papers and mementos such as copies of videos and photos with friends so they’re easier to access and less expensive than storing in a safety deposit box

Loss Control – Automobile

  • Take a course on defensive or advanced driving skills
  • Practice defensive driving
  • Obey traffic laws
  • When appropriate, voluntarily yield right of way
  • Adjust driving habits according to driving conditions
  • Park or store your car where there is greater security
  • Install security alarm and/or other anti-theft devices
  • Properly maintain the car in good condition, especially safety devices such as brakes
  • Purchase or use cars that have higher safety ratings
  • Don’t lend your car to inexperienced or inconsiderate drivers
  • Have an emergency kit available, including first aid

 

Loss Control – Home

  • Keep your  home and surrounding access ways in good repair
  • Carefully store flammable liquids and dangerous chemicals
  • Install security alarm and/or other anti-theft devices
  • Consider an apartment or condo which avoids certain risks of home ownership
  • Warn visitors about any known hazards in your home
  • Avoid running a business from your home
  • Take precautions when your premises includes attractive nuisances such as playsets and swimming pools
  • Keep dangerous objects out of the reach of children
  • Carefully scrutinize activities that may create a bigger exposure to loss such as dangerous hobbies or highly visible activities (volunteer work for organizations that may create extra chances for losses)
  • If you are involved in high risk hobbies or activities, get the training and/or take precautions to be sure that your participation is as safe and responsible as possible
  • Take care with heating and electrical devices and systems (such as portable heaters, loads on electrical circuits, etc.)
  • Keep first aid kit available
  • Have a fire escape plan, including any needed safety devices (such as escape ladders from second floor exits)

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