Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How much can you afford to pay out of pocket?
A. Choose a deductible that you know you can pay out of pocket. Also, if you choose lower limits, you might be personally responsible for damages that exceed those limits. Consider whether you can afford this possibility, too.
Q. How do deductibles work?
A. A deductible is a specific amount of money you pay out of pocket before your insurance company will begin to pay for a covered loss up to the limit. For example, if you have a $500 deductible and your car suffers $2,000 worth of damage, your insurance will pay $1,500 after you pay your $500 share. You can choose your deductible amount. This means that if your car experienced the same $2,000 damage and your deductible was set higher than $2,000, you’d pay the full amount out of pocket. The reason many people opt for higher-deductible insurance policies is to lower premiums. While that is always helpful, consider what works best for your situation
Q. Am I required to have car insurance if I only drive occasionally?
A. This question has an easy answer: Yes. Regardless of how often or how infrequently you drive, any time you slide behind the wheel of a car, your vehicle’s insurance coverage has to meet minimum state requirements.
Q. What is the difference between collision coverage and comprehensive coverage?
A. It’s easy to remember what collision coverage does, simply by looking at the word “collision.” When you have this type of coverage, you’re essentially insuring your car against damages it may suffer if your car collides with another vehicle. Comprehensive coverage, on the other hand, deals with loss or damage caused by things other than a collision—such as theft, vandalism, animals or hail.
Q. What do I do if I have an auto accident?
A. First, take photos of the scene using the camera on your phone or else keep an inexpensive disposable camera in your glove compartment to take pictures of the vehicles, the scene, and the people involved. This helps prove who was actually there. Don’t be shy about using it! Make sure your current proof of Insurance is in your glove compartment at all times.(It’s also the Law)
Q. Do I get a discount if my home and auto insurance are with the same company?
A. Many companies do give discounts if you have both home and auto with the same company. Ask your agent.
Q. Do I really need insurance for my home?
A. Yes. Insurance is your protection against the many property and liability risks you face as an owner or renter. For example, if somebody sued you for an injury or damage caused by you or your property, the cost of defending that suit could run into thousands of dollars just for legal fees-regardless of the outcome of the suit. And if you were to lose your home due to a fire or to have the contents damaged or stolen, you probably could not afford to replace everything all at once. That’s why mortgage lenders, as a rule, require homeowners insurance.
Q. Does my homeowners insurance cover my possessions even when I go on vacation?
A. Yes. Homeowners insurance is a package of insurance coverage that extends to all your possessions no matter where they are. If you take a round-the-world vacation and lose a valuable item, as long as the loss is by a covered event or peril, the location does not matter, you’re covered.
Q. Does my homeowners insurance only cover my home?
A. The liability component also extends well beyond the boundaries of your home. Should you be found legally at fault for injury or loss to another individual, whether you unfortunately and unintentionally cause a tumble down a San Francisco hill or a fall in an Indiana barn, for example, your homeowners policy likely will cover you.
Q. Are their limits to homeowners policy coverage?
A. As in the property section of a homeowners policy, there are limits and exclusions to personal liability.
Q. Is any part of my business or business activities covered under homeowners insurance?
A. Your business activities are not covered under your homeowners policy. You also are not covered for injuries or damage you deliberately cause. Your policy lists specific exclusions and limits.
Q. Is there anything I should do after I get homeowners insurance?
A. Now is the time to make a list of major household items and possessions. Where possible, it is wise to list the items’ serial number, the date and the cost of purchase and the receipt.
Q. What if I don’t have receipts or can’t find serial information for my possessions covered under homeowners insurance?
A. Perhaps an even easier way to inventory your home is to use a still or video camera. As you take the video, you also can talk about the items, when you purchased them and how much they cost. Whatever method you choose, have a copy made. Ask a friend or family member to hold on to it. Store your copy in a safe deposit box. Check with your agent, who may be able to store a copy for you. If the worst happens and your home is destroyed, the inventory will be safe at another location.