Auto Insurance FAQs

Most states require drivers to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance.  Liability Insurance provides coverage for other drivers in the event you’re at fault in an accident that causes injury or property damage to others. 

The amount of coverage you carry beyond liability is contingent on several factors:  

  • The value of your car and other assets
  • How often you drive
  • How you use your vehicle (e.g., mostly driving to work, etc.)
  • Do you regularly transport passengers? How many? 

It’s not inconceivable that the liability portion of your auto insurance policy could hit its payout limits in the event of a serious claim against you.  This is especially true if you were sued by someone claiming you caused their loss or injury.  If you lost the suit, the award could easily exceed the payout limits of your normal auto insurance policy, potentially devastating your finances. 

This is when a Personal Umbrella Insurance Policy would be extremely useful.  Personal umbrella insurance supplements your existing auto insurance policy and begins paying when you reach the payout limits on the standard policy. 

That’s easy!  We do the comparisons for you!  We work with numerous vehicle insurance providers to find the right coverage in the right amounts to fit your lifestyle and budget.  Our large number of insurance partners enables us to provide high-quality personal vehicle insurance at competitive rates.  

A deductible is a dollar amount you’re responsible for paying in the event of a covered claim. Deductibles are agreed upon in the terms of the police on the Declarations Page.  After you file a covered claim, you’re obligated to pay the portion that’s up to the amount of the deductible. For example, if your claim is worth $3,600 and your deductible is $500, insurance will pay $3,100 of the claim.  You pay $500. If the covered loss was valued at $475, you would be responsible for the full amount, with no insurance payment. 

Deductible payments do not accumulate across multiple claims.  For example, if you file a claim in January, you will owe a $500 deductible.  If you filed another claim in March, you would again be responsible for $500. In the $475 example above, your payment of the full claim has no impact on the deductible you’ll owe on your next claim: $500. 

Generally speaking, the higher your deductible amount, the less you pay in premium.  The lower the deductible amount, the more you pay in premium.  It’s important to select a deductible amount you reasonably believe you can pay.  Keep in mind, too, that if you have more than one claim in a short period of time, you’ll have to pay that deductible amount for each separate claim. 

There are a number of measures drivers can take to lower rates.  For example, the vehicle’s make, model, and age have a significant impact on rates.  An individual who drives a Corvette will pay significantly more for insurance than a person who drives a Corolla.  Likewise, an individual driving a 2007 Corvette will pay lower premiums than one who drives a 2017 Corvette with the same features, and so on.  Before you buy a new or used vehicle, call us first.  We’ll give you comparison quotes for the various makes, models, and model years you’re considering.

Drivers can also lower their rates by purchasing multi-coverages with the same insurance provider. For example, a driver who buys both car and homeowner’s insurance from the same provider will typically pay less on both policies than if they purchased auto insurance alone.  Most providers will also lower premium rates if multiple drivers and/or cars are covered in the same household. 

Maintaining a safe driving record is another effective way to lower premiums.  Most providers will reward drivers with lower premiums for going a certain number of years without having an accident. 

You can also slightly lower your premium by paying an entire six-month coverage period at once, as opposed to paying it monthly. 

You can also raise your deductible amount.  The more you choose to pay out of pocket for a future claim, the less you will pay in premium. 

Getting older—especially in the absence of serious accident or citation—will also automatically reduce your rates over time.  

Beyond these most common ways to lower car insurance rates, a number of providers also offer various company-specific discounts.  To find out what unique discounts your provider might offer, give them a call. 

We can help you with that.  We shop our various partner providers to help find you the most-comprehensive coverage possible at the lowest possible rates.  What are your insurance needs? Talk to us about it and we’ll help you find maximum coverages at minimum prices. 

You might have heard the old saying that “past is prelude to future.”  In the insurance business, this axiom is taken seriously.  How many accidents have you been involved in while behind the wheel?  How many speeding tickets or other traffic citations have you had?  Have you ever had a DUI or DWI?  How many comprehensive claims have you averaged per year in your driving career?  

Auto insurance companies use such information to establish your driving and claims patterns over time.  From those patterns, providers make statistical predictions on how likely you are to be involved in an accident, to get a citation, to make a comprehensive claim, etc.  Companies are legally permitted to base auto insurance rates on these predictions.  

Please note, however, that providers are also limited regarding how long they can cite any single accident, traffic violation, etc., as a reason to increase your rates or keep them high. 

Do I have to buy auto insurance from you if I get a quote online? 

Absolutely not and never, ever.  Our quotes are always 100% free of charge or obligation. 

You can pay your premium via cash, check, money order, or any major credit or debit card.  Please note that, if you pay with cash, you’ll need to come by our offices in person to do so, which presents a decided inconvenience.  

If you pay via check or money order, these can be mailed to us. 

If you pay with a credit or debit card, you can opt for an automatic draft to be charged to your card every month. Ask us about this option, and we’ll be glad to get you set up. 

Your coverage begins upon the issuance of a valid proof of insurance coverage card.  We will mail this card to you, but you can also access it online. 

No.  Your proof of insurance card contains all the details of your policy not provided by a receipt.  These include your confirmation number, policy number, your vehicle’s VIN, and other information.  Most providers allow you to access this information online, too. 

Extremely.  We take your privacy very seriously. We never sell your information to third parties and we use cutting-edge security protocols to keep your data protected. 

What kinds of discounts are available for Auto Insurance? 

1) Multi-car 

2) Multi-policy 

3) Multi-driver 

4) Safe driver 

Please note that some discounts are provider-specific. Ask your provider what discounts might be available to you. 

Many factors can cause your auto insurance rates to change: 

1) Normal market fluctuations, influences, and variances 

2) You had an accident that was your fault 

3) You’ve been involved in several accidents within the last few years—even if some weren’t your fault 

4) You’ve had a recent traffic citation 

5) You recently added a driver to your policy 

6) You’ve gone several years without an accident or traffic citation 

 

This largely depends on your finances.  How much can you afford to pay out of pocket on any given insurance claim?  Is the amount $250, $500, $1000 or more?  How much monthly premium can you afford?  To answer these questions, you must closely review your income against your outgoing bills. 

 

The higher your deductible, the less in premium you will pay.  It’s critical to choose a deductible amount that balances your coverage needs with the amounts you can pay out of pocket and in premium. 

Yes.  A vehicle’s make, model, and age all have a significant impact on insurance premiums.  An individual insuring a Dodge Viper will pay far more than a person who drives a Honda Civic. Likewise, in individual driving a 2002 Civic will pay lower premiums than one who drives a comparable 2017 Civic.  Generally, the more a car is worth, the costlier it is to insure.  Other factors can also impact insurance costs, however, including engine power, overall size, number of seats, and other factors.  

Full coverage means that, in the event of an accident, your policy reimburses your losses, as well as the losses of other drivers if you’re at fault (this part is called liability insurance).  Full coverage also includes comprehensive coverage, which reimburses you for things like theft, road damage (e.g., you hit a deer), weather-related events, and others. 

Generally, the insurance policy of the vehicle’s owner covers you if you drive someone else’s car with permission.  In the event of an accident, your own personal auto coverage may kick in, depending on your individual coverages.  However, the vehicle owner’s insurance will always provide the first, if any, line of coverage. 

This depends on your individual policy and coverages.  However, most policies include an allowance for other drivers who operate your vehicle with appropriate permission. 

 

This depends on your individual policy and coverages.  However, rental car coverage is sometimes offered with comprehensive policies.

Generally, no.  In most cases, a single accident won’t cause your coverage to be terminated.  However, if you are found criminally negligent for an accident and/or cause serious injury, loss of life and/or severe amounts of property damage, your coverage could indeed be terminated for a single accident. 

Home Insurance FAQs

It can. The National Insurance Services Office (ISO) ranks each local fire department on the quality and potential effectiveness of their firefighting capabilities.  The ISO ranking is formally known as the Public Protection Class (PPC).  The PPC uses a scale of 1 (highest ranking) to 10 (lowest ranking) to rate each facility. 

Home insurance providers commonly use the PPC score in conjunction with a home’s distance from the nearest responding Fire Station to determine policy rates.  Some providers might even decline coverage based on the PPC score and related factors. 

The answer to this question will determine how much insurance coverage you require.  The following questions will help you estimate rebuilding costs: 

  • What are the rates charged by local contractors?
  • How many square feet is your home?
  • How many bathrooms do you have?
  • How many other rooms do you have?
  • Is your home’s exterior built of brick, stone, veneer, or frame?
  • What type of roof does your home have?
  • How many floors is your home?
  • What special features does your home have (e.g., attached garage, fireplace, arched windows, etc.)?
  • What is the quality level of your home’s materials and finishes? 

We recommend estimating your home’s value each year. 

  • Know local building codes – These change with varying frequency from community to community. If an unforeseen event requires you to rebuild, you’ll want to make sure you rebuild everything in compliance with local code.  Failure to do so could be extremely costly.
  • Don’t insure at market value – Rebuilding costs could significantly exceed your home’s market value or the amount you paid for it (they could also fall below these values).
  • Have enough coverage for your mortgage and for rebuilding – your lender may only require you to cover the mortgage amount.  However, you should also consider the cost of rebuilding when deciding on coverage amounts.
  • Increase your policy limits – If you enhance your home’s value, add a room, upgrade your flooring, upgrade your roof, or make any other change to your home that significantly increases its value, it’s imperative to also increase your coverage amounts. 
  • Full replacement coverage – This kind of coverage reimburses you the full amount required to replace your property, regardless of age or depreciation.
  • Actual cash value coverage – This type of coverage subtracts the amount of depreciation from the replacement cost of new items. 

A deductible is a dollar amount you’re responsible for paying in the event of a covered claim.  Deductibles are agreed upon in the terms of the policy, on the declarations page.  After you file a covered claim, you’re obligated to pay the portion that’s up to the amount of the deductible.  For example, if your claim is worth $3,600 and your deductible is $500, insurance will pay $3,100 of the claim.  You pay $500.  If the covered loss was valued at $475, you would be responsible for the full amount, with no insurance payment. 

Deductible payments do not accumulate across multiple claims.  For example, if you file a claim in January, you will owe a $500 deductible.  If you filed another claim in March, you would again be responsible for $500.  In the $475 example above, your payment of the full claim has no impact on the deductible you’ll owe on your next claim: $500. 

Yes. The three most common deductible types for homeowner’s policies are: 

  1. Flat – A flat deductible is a set dollar amount owed for each covered claim. The $500 example above is a flat deductible. 
  2. Percent – With this type of deductible, the policyholder selects a percentage of the house’s dwelling coverage to pay as the deductible. For example, if you have $200,000 in dwelling coverage and a 2.5% deductible, you’d owe $5,000 for each covered claim. 
  3. Split – A split deductible uses a combination of percent and flat deductibles depending on the loss type. For instance, the policy might specify that, in the event of a wind and hail-damage claim, a percent deductible will apply.  For all other loss types, a flat deductible might apply. 

 

The higher your deductible amount, the less you pay in premium.  The lower the deductible amount, the more you pay in premium.  It’s important to select a deductible amount you reasonably believe you can pay.  Keep in mind, too, that if you have more than one claim in a short time, you’ll have to pay that deductible amount for each separate claim. 

Yes.  A certain amount of liability coverage is automatically built into most homeowner’s policies.  Homeowner’s liability shields you against loss and or injury to other people you are legally ordered to pay.  If your dog bit your neighbor, for example, your liability coverage would cover the cost of medical expenses, any lost wages arising from missed work time, etc.  Your liability coverage would also help cover your legal fees in the event you’re sued for a claim against you. 

It’s not inconceivable that the liability portion of your homeowner’s policy could hit its payout limits in the event of a serious claim against you.  This is especially true if you were sued by someone claiming you caused their loss or injury.  If you lost the suit, the award could easily exceed the payout limits of your normal homeowner’s policy, potentially devastating your finances. 

This is when a Personal Umbrella Insurance Policy would be extremely useful.

Personal umbrella insurance supplements your existing homeowner’s policy and begins paying when you reach the payout limits on the standard policy. 

Standard homeowner’s policies provide only limited coverage for jewelry and other personal belongings.  Therefore, you might want to invest in jewelry coverage and/or a personal articles floater. 

Yes.  Taking an inventory, including photographs, is always a good idea.  In the event of a covered claim, you’ll be able to more effectively catalog and estimate your losses.  Some providers even offer forms to make the process of inventorying your stuff easier.  Talk to your provider about it. 

If a covered loss forces me out of my home during repairs/reconstruction, will I be reimbursed for those additional living expenses? 

You’ll need to purchase the appropriate coverages to receive this kind of reimbursement.  Such coverage will reimburse you for housing, food, and other expenses within the limits established by the policy. 

Standard homeowner’s policies typically cover losses arising from: 

  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Tornadoes
  • Windstorms
  • Hail
  • Explosions
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism
  • Theft 

The following types of events aren’t covered by standard homeowner’s policies and require separate policies: 

  • Earthquakes
  • Flooding
  • Nuclear accidents
  • Warfare 

Yes. Most homeowner’s policies will cover this kind of event. 

If you add rooms to your home or other additions or make a significant purchase (e.g., jewelry, computer equipment, etc.), it’s a good idea to review your policy and consider modifying your coverages. 

There are several measures you can take to lower your premiums: 

  • Install window locks and deadbolt door locks.
  • Install an alarm system, including outside coverage, that connects directly to your local police department.
  • Install smoke detectors and keep them properly maintained and functional.
  • Install inside fire-suppression sprinklers.
  • Install a fire alarm that sends an alert directly to your responding firehouse.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Bundle your homeowner’s insurance with other policies (e.g., auto) from the same provider 

You might have heard the old saying that “the past is the prelude to future.”  In the insurance business, this axiom is taken seriously.  Statistics show that your loss claims history is a strong predictor of your future claims.  Therefore, your claims history is considered when a provider calculates your premiums.  Your claims history can also be used to deny coverage entirely. 

In the event, you’re denied coverage, or your rates are negatively impacted by your claims history, the Federal Fair Reporting Act (FCRA) obligates the provider to send you an FCRA notice. This notice will include information for contacting the consumer reporting agency that gave the provider your claims history information. You can then contact that agency to verify the information in your report and correct any mistakes.     

Motorcycle Insurance FAQs

We can help you with that.  We shop our various partner providers to help find you the most-comprehensive coverage possible at the lowest possible rates.  What are your insurance needs? Talk to us about it and we’ll help you find maximum coverages at minimum prices. 

Different policies provide various coverages levels, so this will largely depend on the policy you purchase.  If you’ve made significant investments in aftermarket customizations to your bike, you’ll want to be sure they’re all covered. 

Your helmet and leather riding clothes and jacket should all have accidental-damage coverage under your policy.  However, most policies don’t provide theft coverage for safety apparel. 

Some companies will provide first-accident waivers for certain customers with otherwise clean driving records.  Ask us about first-accident waivers when we start shopping for motorcycle coverage for you. 

Yes.  Depending on your situation and how often you ride, you might want to consider increasing your liability limits.  These limits shield you in case you’re cited as having caused an accident. Many riders opt to carry the same liability limits they carry on their automobile. 

Many of the same discounts available for auto-insurance coverage apply to motorcycle coverage.  For example, your motorcycle’s make, model, and age have an impact on rates.  Before you buy a new or used cycle, call us first.  We’ll give you comparison quotes between for the various makes, models, and model years you’re considering. 

Riders can also lower their rates by bundling other policies with the same insurance provider.  

Maintaining a safe riding and driving record is another effective way to lower premiums.  Most providers will reward riders with lower premiums for going a certain number of years without having an accident.  Being accident-free in your regular vehicle can also impact your motorcycle rates. 

You can also slightly lower your premium by paying an entire six-month coverage period at once, as opposed to paying it monthly. 

You can also raise your deductible amount.  The more you choose to pay out of pocket for a future claim, the less you will pay in premium. 

Getting older—especially in the absence of serious accident or citation—will also automatically reduce your rates over time.  

Beyond these most common ways to lower motorcycle insurance rates, several providers also offer various company-specific discounts.  To find out what unique discounts your provider might offer, give them a call. 

Yes. Most companies offer optional roadside assistance in case your bike breaks down on the road.  Generally speaking, this coverage adds relatively little expense to the overall premium.  We can help you find reasonably-priced roadside assistance coverage through one of our various partner companies.  Ask us about it.

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