Posts Tagged ‘policyholders’
Do terms like liability, comprehensive coverage, and underinsured seem like a foreign language to you? If so, you are not alone.
Julie Turner, wife of Ross, loves to tell the story of when Ross first reviewed her auto insurance policy back in 1989. Both were single at the time, and Julie’s insurance bill was due. Ross looked at the policy and couldn’t believe his eyes.
Julie had the minimum limits and very little coverage – on her brand new 1988 Honda Accord! When he asked her why, she said she had called an 800 number and asked for the best price. She had no idea that her policy would not have paid enough if she had been in an accident. Suffice it to say, Ross eventually became her insurance agent and her husband… and in that order!
It’s important to understand your automobile insurance coverage, even though it can seem complicated. Take a moment to review these key auto insurance terms:
Liability Insurance – Reimburses others for injury, damages or losses caused by your driving or your car. There are two types:
*Bodily Injury Liability – In a car crash where you’re at fault, bodily injury liability will provide compensation for pain and suffering, lost earnings and related expenses resulting from injury or death. We can help you determine the right amount of coverage, based on whether you own a home and other substantial assets that could be at risk in a lawsuit.
*Property Damage Liability – This coverage will pay to repair or replace things you damage in an accident other than your own car. Again, it’s best to consider your personal situation.
Collision Insurance – Covers the replacement or repair of your car, regardless of who is at fault in the accident, even if you are hit while parked or hit by an unknown car or object. If you have a car loan, you are required to have collision protection. On the other hand, if your older car’s value rises and falls based on the gas in its tank, you may consider dropping collision coverage.
Comprehensive Insurance – Protects against damage to your car that does not involve a collision. For example, fire, theft, hail, flood, windstorm, flying objects or animals. It’s likely required if you’re paying a car loan, but optional if you own an older car that’s not worth much.
Medical Payments Coverage – Pays for physicians, hospital bills, continuing care, funeral costs and compensation for you and your passengers, regardless of who is at fault. If you have adequate health insurance, you may not need this optional coverage, but it can pay expenses your health insurance may not cover.
Uninsured and Underinsured Coverage – Covers you, and members of your household, for losses in an accident with a hit-and-run driver or a driver who has no car insurance or not enough car insurance.
And remember, we love questions! We are happy to walk through and explain your policy at any time.
If you rent your home, your property is not protected by the landlord’s insurance.
If you rent your home or apartment, you may think the landlord is responsible for the property’s insurance. Guess what? Your belongings are not covered on his policy. If there’s a fire or water damage or theft, you would likely be forced to leave your home for a length of time. And you may have to start over in terms of acquiring possessions. At least if you have renters insurance, you wouldn’t have to pay for those inconveniences.
Turner Agency Insurance offers affordable renters insurance protection that every renter should seriously consider having. It covers your rental property, no matter if it’s a house, apartment, multi-family residence, duplex, loft, townhome or condo. It covers renters in much the same way homeowners insurance works, but since it’s not always required, some renters neglect to protect themselves.
What Renters Insurance Covers
Renters insurance protects you against a wide range of disasters and damage caused by fire or smoke, lightning, windstorm or hail, volcanic eruption, ice, vandalism, theft, explosion, plumbing leaks and falling objects. Floods and earthquakes are typically excluded from standard renters insurance. Most policies cover sports and recreational equipment but not your vehicles, which would be covered by your car insurance.
You may add extra coverage for valuable jewelry, collectibles, cameras, musical instruments and more, as an endorsement to your policy. If you operate a business out of your home, you can add increased business coverage to protect those assets. Renters insurance also offers both personal liability coverage to protect you against lawsuits and additional living protection should you need to relocate while the rental property is repaired or rebuilt.
You can usually choose between actual cash value renters insurance, which will replace your belongings after factoring depreciation, or full replacement cost protection, which may cost more upfront, but covers the full replacement cost of your possessions.
Whose Possessions Are Covered
Any member of your family is covered under your renters insurance policy. If your kids are in college, their possessions are covered at school, provided they live on campus and don’t rent an apartment.
Common Myths about Renters Insurance
Let’s address these myths one at a time, and you can decide whether renters insurance is something you need.
- My landlord is responsible if anything happens to my apartment.
- I don’t need insurance; my stuff fits in the back of my truck.
- I can’t afford to buy renters insurance.
- If my friends get hurt at my house, their insurance will cover them.
My Landlord Is Responsible
There are many advantages to renting rather than owning your home. Your landlord probably handles general care of the premises and may even cover your utilities. You may have cable TV as part of your rental agreement. You never need to worry about lawn care, snow removal or trash collection. You are free to relocate simply by giving notice under the terms of your lease. Your landlord insures the property and has liability protection enough to cover appropriate claims. But that protection will not cover you, your belongings or anything occurring inside your home.
I Don’t Need Renters Insurance
Many renters believe their belongings could easily be replaced since they don’t have many possessions. Since most people acquire their things over time, it’s easy to lose track of cumulative value. But take one look in your kitchen or clothes closet and you’ll likely realize you wouldn’t readily have the financial resources to replace everything you currently own. Even renters whose earthly belongings fit in the back of a pick-up truck would be hard-pressed to replace furniture, appliances, electronics, food, clothes and more all at once if the duplex burned down.
I Can’t Afford Renters Insurance
Do yourself a favor and contact us for a no-obligation quote for renters insurance. It’s affordable, and it’s money well spent for protection that provides peace of mind.
If My Friend Is Hurt, Their Insurance Kicks In
In addition to insuring your personal property, renters insurance can protect you against lawsuits with liability protection. If a houseguest is injured at your house and sues for lost wages or pain and suffering, your renters policy can cover the damages.
What to Expect from Turner Agency Insurance
- One-stop shop for all your insurance needs
- Multiple policy discounts
- Free, no-obligation quotes
- Choice of insurance companies you can trust
- Efficient claims process
- Testimonials from satisfied customers
We can help you protect yourself and your property with renters insurance. Contact our independent agents for a no-obligation quote. We can help you discover discounts you may be eligible for, and we’ll be with you every step of the way. Call us today at 288-9513.
You may have noticed an increase in your homeowner’s insurance premiums. You’re not alone – increases are happening across the country.
Why the increase? In a word: weather. Catastrophic weather events in the second quarter (April, May, and June) of 2011 exceeded $15 billion countrywide.
Consider the following:
- Hurricane Irene caused record losses in the eastern United States
- Wind and hail caused over 20,000 severe weather reports in just the first half of 2011
- Tornado outbreaks this spring, most significantly in Joplin, Missouri and Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
- Wildfires in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas destroyed over 2,000 homes and losses are estimated to exceed $250 million
- Ice and snow from Texas to New England!
- Earthquakes in various places, with the most significant occurring in Virginia
These catastrophic events have also put a demand on the building industry for labor and materials, driving up reconstruction and repair costs.
So while the market value – the amount you could expect someone to pay to buy your home – may have dropped, the cost to rebuild your home at the same location with similar materials – the replacement cost – has increased.
Because you insure your home to the replacement cost, not the market value, the amount of coverage you need to be fully protected, and thus your premiums, are going up. So what can you do?
There are several ways you can lower your insurance premiums.
Ask us about…
- Increasing your deductibles. If you assume a greater part of the risk by increasing your deductible, you can lower your premiums.
- Insuring your auto and home with the same company if you don’t already.
- Don’t move your coverage from company to company. Many companies will give you loyalty credit for staying with them!
- Protecting your home. Install fire, burglar, and smoke alarms in your home – discounts are available in most states.
An insurance policy is a promise…a promise to help you recover from your losses. Part of this promise is assuring that we will have the resources available to help you when you need us. While we hope you never experience a loss, be assured we will be here for you with outstanding claims service and the financial stability to help you recover quickly.
Please contact us with your questions or comments or to learn more about the benefits your homeowners policy provides you and your family.
There are over 240 million registered motor vehicles in the U.S., according to the Census Bureau. At a given time, as many as a third of those are on the American roadways, and it is estimated that one-fourth of those are being used in the course of work.
Running errands, making deliveries, visiting customers – we all use a car for a variety of reasons. Even for those whose employment is not based on driving, it’s fair to say that your vehicle is an essential part of your employment. This presents an important question: If you are involved in an accident in the course of employment, are you covered by your personal auto insurance policy (PAP)?
Like most insurance questions, the answer depends on circumstance. For example, what kind of car are you driving? Does the car belong to you or someone else? What type of business are you in?
Consider the language found in the typical PAP. At a glance, many policyholders are shocked to see that the PAP appears to exclude coverage for the use of any vehicle in the course of business other than farming or ranching. However, a very broad exception to this exclusion allows coverage for the business use of a vehicle provided it is one of three types: 1) a private passenger auto, 2) a pickup or van, or 3) trailer while used with the aforementioned. This exception suggests that as long as the vehicle is one of these three types, coverage remains intact after the accident.
But policyholders should proceed with caution, since some PAPs are not as generous. For example, some versions may be more restrictive towards pickups or vans, possibly including a gross vehicle weight (GVW) limitation or a clause that restricts coverage to owned pickups or vans only. Be sure to consult your policy before driving any pickup or van for work.
Further, policyholders should understand that any coverage permitted for business use of personal vehicles by the PAP is not intended for these three vehicle categories:
Commercial-type vehicles. The PAP restricts business use to private passenger autos, pickups and vans. While they can be purchased personally, box trucks, tractor trailers, shuttle busses and other commercial-type vehicles do not fit this description; such vehicles require a commercial auto policy.
Furnished or available for regular use. Often called the “company car” exclusion, this provision is dangerous and must be remedied if the exposure exists. The reason is that a typical PAP will exclude coverage for a vehicle that is regularly available to the policyholder but is not specifically insured under the PAP. For example, if you are furnished a company car as a benefit to your employment, make certain that you are covered by your employer’s auto insurance policy. If not, specific action is required to extend coverage under your PAP; it will not do so automatically. The good news is that this coverage change is usually inexpensive and can be done easily; just be sure to request the change now, before the accident happens. While the definition of furnished or available for regular use varies by case, err on the side of caution. Don’t assume that because you don’t take it home with you each night or that you only drive it occasionally you’re in the clear. Regardless, a vehicle owned by your employer could be considered available for your regular use. This exclusion presents a potential gap that is too risky to ignore; your Trusted Choice® insurance professional can help you take the appropriate steps to close it.
Vehicles that are the business. A PAP will not cover your vehicle if you use it to carry people for a fee, such as a taxi, limo or shuttle. The only exception is a share-the-expense car pool. And if you’re planning to make a few extra bucks delivering pizzas, auto parts, newspapers or other goods, proceed with caution. Many PAPs also remove coverage for vehicles that are used to deliver food or other types of property for a fee.
While in most cases the PAP will cover you for business use of a personal vehicle, there are situations where it will not. Such situations are not uncommon and, if not remedied, could result in significant financial detriment for you and your family. Consult us for advice on how to close potentially devastating gaps in your PAP today.
Independent insurance agents like The Turner Agency not only advise clients about insurance, but they’re disaster readiness consultants. We recommend meeting with a Trusted Choice® independent insurance agent who can consult with you in assessing your risks and ensuring that you, your family and your home are prepared in the event of a disaster.
A good way to begin your planning process is to gather as much information as you can. There are numerous resources available to guide you through the process of getting your household prepared to deal with a disaster. Here are some disaster-specific readiness and recovery tips for consumers to get started:
on all your other insurance coverages.
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