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Insurance FAQs

Below are answers to some of the frequently asked questions our members have about their insurance.

If you can't find the answer you're looking for, or have any further questions, please feel free to contact us.

  • What are the advantages to using an agent to purchase insurance?

    A local, independent agent is able to deliver quality insurance with competitive pricing and personalized service. We help find a policy that works best for you, and we’re here to help if something goes wrong and you have a claim to file.

  • What kinds of questions should I be expected to answer when I am applying for an insurance policy? Why do insurers need so much information?

    When you apply for an insurance policy, you will be asked a number of questions. For example, the agent might ask you your name, age, gender, address, etc. They will also ask about your driving record and the vehicle you want to insure. This is because insurance companies have different programs for different customers. Adults with good driving records will generally pay less for auto insurance than a young driver with traffic tickets. In order to determine which program you qualify for, an insurance company needs this information about you.

    In addition to your age, gender and driving experience, information about the vehicle you drive and how you drive it is also needed to determine a fair price. For example, a large luxury car costs more to repair or replace than a sub-compact; and, someone who commutes 30 miles each way is more likely to be in an accident than someone who rides the bus to work and drives only on weekends.

  • Why do I need to provide my social security number in order to get a quote?

    Most of the insurance companies we represent perform credit checks for rating purposes. However, we can assure you that your social security number is kept secure throughout this process.

  • Will checking my credit history for an insurance quote affect my credit rating?

    Generally, no. While credit inquiries made by an insurance carrier will appear on the credit report, they are clearly identified as insurance inquiries. Credit bureaus call this a “soft pull”, meaning that the inquiry isn’t about extending your credit and therefore won’t affect your score.

  • Auto - I have an older car whose current market value is very low - do I really need to purchase automobile insurance?

    Most states have insurance laws that require drivers to have at least some automobile liability insurance. These laws were enacted to ensure that victims of automobile accidents receive compensation when their losses are caused by the actions of another driver.

    It is often the case that the cost of repairing the damages to an older car is greater than its value. In these cases, your insurer will usually just “total” the car and give you a check for the car’s market value less the deductible. Many people with older cars decide not to purchase any physical damage coverage.

  • Auto - What are Split Limits?

    Split limits apply to automobile liability. If you cause an accident and have a split limit of 50/100/50, for example, then your policy would pay up $50,000 for injuries to each person, but only up to $100,000 total for injuries per accident. Finally, it would pay up to $50,000 in property damage per accident.

  • Auto - What factors can affect the cost of my car insurance?

    A number of factors can affect the cost of your car insurance, some of which you can control and some that are beyond your control.

    The type of car you drive, the purpose the car serves, your driving record, and where the car is garaged can all affect how much your automobile insurance will cost you.

    Even your marital status can affect your cost of insurance. Statistics show that married people tend to have fewer and less costly accidents than do single people.

  • Auto - What is the difference between collision physical damage coverage and comprehensive physical damage coverage?

    Collision is defined as losses you incur when your automobile collides with another car or object. For example, if you hit a car in a parking lot, the damages to your car will be paid under your collision coverage.

    Comprehensive provides coverage for most other direct physical damage losses you could incur, including theft. For example, damage to your car from a hailstorm will be covered under your comprehensive coverage.

  • Auto - What is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

    Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage is designed to provide protection to insured drivers should he or she be included in an collision where the driver at fault has no insurance (or not enough insurance) to cover the loss.

  • Homeowners - What are some practical things I can do to lower the cost of my homeowners insurance?

    There are a number of things you can do to lower the cost of your homeowners insurance. The easiest thing to do is get a comprehensive review of your policy and needs from your local agent.

    One way to lower the cost of your homeowners insurance is to look for any discounts that you may qualify for. For example, many insurers will offer a discount when you place both your automobile and homeowners insurance with them. Be sure to ask us about any discounts for which you may qualify.

    Another easy way to lower the cost of your homeowners insurance is to raise your deductible. Increasing your deductible from $250 to $500 will lower your premium, sometimes by as much as 5-10%.

  • Homeowners - What does homeowners insurance cover?

    The typical homeowners policy has two main sections: Section I covers the property of the insured and Section II provides personal liability coverage for the insured. Almost anyone who owns or leases property has a need for this type of insurance. Usually, homeowners insurance is required by the lender to obtain a mortgage.

  • Homeowners - What factors should I consider when purchasing homeowners insurance?

    Here is a checklist of some of the things you should consider when you purchase homeowners insurance:

    • Determine the amount and type of insurance that you need. If your policy limit is less than 80% of the replacement cost of your home, any payment from your insurance company will be less than the full cost to replace your home — you’ll have to pay the rest out of your own pocket.
    • Determine whether or not you wish to add any additional endorsements to your policy.
    • Once you have decided on the coverage you want in your homeowners insurance policy, consult us. We will be able to help you determine if there are any gaps in coverage you might not have been aware of, explain the details of the policy’s exclusions and limitations, and recommend an insurance company that will live up to your expectations.
  • Homeowners - What is the difference between "actual cash value" and "replacement cost"?

    Covered losses under a homeowners policy can be paid on either an actual cash value basis or on a replacement cost basis. Under the “replacement cost” coverage, the policy owner is reimbursed an amount necessary to replace the article with one of similar type and quality at current prices. But as a building ages, it begins to depreciate or lose value. "Actual cash value" is just the replacement cost minus this depreciation.

  • Homeowners - Where and when is my personal property covered?

    Personal property (except property that is specifically excluded by the policy) is covered anywhere in the world. For example, suppose that while traveling, you purchased a dresser and you want to ship it home. Your homeowners policy would provide coverage for the named perils while the dresser is in transit — even though the dresser has never been in your home before.

  • Renters - Why would I want to buy renters insurance?

     A standard renters policy protects your personal property in many cases of theft or damage, and it may even pay for temporary living expenses if your rental is damaged. It can also shield you from personal liability. If you live in an apartment or a rented house, renters insurance provides important coverage for both you and your possessions.

  • Renters - Why do some apartment complexes require tenants to have renters insurance?

    Owners of apartment complexes buy insurance policies for their liability and to cover their buildings and personal property. However, these policies do not cover any of the tenant’s property or liability. By requiring their tenants to have renters insurance, the apartment owner is assured that the tenants will not mistakenly believe the apartment complex owner’s policy will provide coverage for a tenant’s property or personal liability.

  • Renters - What if I share my apartment with a roommate? Do we both need to have renters insurance?

    Standard renters insurance policies cover only you and relatives that live with you. If your roommate is not a relative, each of you will need your own renters policy to cover your own property and to provide you liability coverage for your own actions.