You have unique circumstances, and your coverage needs to respond to those needs and risks individual to you.
We write all lines of insurance; both personal and business. As an independent insurance agency, we have access to many great companies. We seek out and secure appointments with the companies that best fit the needs of our specific clients. While some companies have excellent products for personal insurance, others have excellent products for small businesses. We make every attempt to match our clients’ needs with the best insurance markets to meet those needs.
A basic auto insurance policy provides the following protection coverage for you and your vehicle:
1. Bodily Injury Liability
This coverage applies to injuries that you, the designated driver or policyholder, cause to someone else. You and family members listed on the policy are also covered when driving someone else’s car with their permission. This coverage applies for the limits chosen whether you are driving:
- your own auto, pickup or van scheduled on the policy
- a temporary borrowed auto, or
- a rented auto
2. Property Damage Liability
This coverage pays for damage you (or someone driving the car with your permission) may cause to someone else’s property. Usually this means damage to someone else’s car, but it also includes damage to lamp posts, telephone poles, fences, buildings or other structures your car hit.
3. Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
If you, your family or any passengers in your auto are injured in an accident, your necessary medical, hospital, and funeral expenses are covered under Personal Injury Protection (PIP) subject to specified limits. PIP also pays a percentage of your income or your passengers’ incomes should you or your passengers be unable to work due to a covered injury.
4. Damage to Your Auto
States do not require that you purchase collision or comprehensive coverage, but if you have a car loan, your lender may require you to carry it until your loan is paid off.
This coverage pays the Actual Cash Value (ACV) for damage to your car resulting from a collision with another car or object, or as a result of flipping over. Even if you are at fault for the accident, your collision coverage will reimburse you for the costs of repairing your car, minus the deductible. If you’re not at fault, your insurance company may try to recover the amount they paid you from the other driver’s insurance company. If they are successful, you’ll also be reimbursed for the deductible.
This coverage reimburses you for loss due to theft or damage caused by something other than a collision with another car or object, such as fire, falling objects, explosion, earthquake, windstorm, hail, flood, vandalism, riot, or contact with animals such as birds or deer. Comprehensive insurance will also reimburse you if your windshield is cracked or shattered.
5. Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
This coverage will reimburse you, a member of your family, or a designated driver if one of you is hit by an uninsured or hit-and-run driver. Underinsured motorist coverage comes into play when an at-fault driver has insufficient insurance to pay for your total loss. This coverage will also protect you if you are hit as a pedestrian.
Bodily Injury (BI):
If you or other passengers in your insured auto suffer injury or death from an uninsured or underinsured driver, your policy will pay, up to the limits shown for Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury, sums you are legally entitled to recover.
Property Damage (PD):
If your auto or other covered property is damaged by an uninsured or underinsured driver and requires repair or replacement, your policy will pay up to the limits shown for Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Property Damage.
Possible auto insurance premium discounts based on the insurance company:
- Account Discount (Auto & Homeowners coverage with same company)
- Experience Discount (drivers with good driving records)
- AAA Member Discount (active members of AAA Auto Club)
- Mature Driver Discount (drivers age 55+)
- Good Student Discount (youthful drivers in high school or college with a grade average of 3.0, B or better)
- Multi-Car Discount (for drivers with two or more autos)
- Vehicle Discounts (based on the features of your auto)
- Preferred Customer Credit (new customers who have had continuous insurance and good driving records)
Homeowner’s insurance provides financial protection against disasters. A standard policy insures the home itself and the things you keep in it. It covers both damage to your property and your liability or legal responsibility for any injuries and property damage you or members of your family cause to other people. This includes damage caused by household pets.
A standard homeowners policy includes four types of coverage:
1. COVERAGE FOR THE STRUCTURE OF YOUR HOME
This part of your policy pays to repair or rebuild your home if it is damaged or destroyed by disasters listed in your policy. Most likely, it will not pay for damage caused by a flood, earthquake, or routine wear and tear.
Most standard policies also cover structures that are detached from your home such as a garage, tool shed or gazebo. Generally, these structures are covered for about 10% of the amount of insurance you have on the structure of your home.
Some banks require you to buy homeowners insurance to cover the amount of your mortgage. If the limit of your insurance policy is based on your mortgage, make sure it’s enough to cover the cost of rebuilding. If your mortgage is paid off, don’t cancel your homeowners policy. Homeowners insurance protects your investment in your home.
2. COVERAGE FOR YOUR PERSONAL BELONGINGS
Your furniture, clothes, sports equipment and other personal items are covered if they are stolen or destroyed by fire or other insured disaster. This part of your policy includes off-premises coverage, which means that your belongings are covered anywhere in the world. Expensive items like jewelry, furs and silverware are covered, but there are usually dollar limits if they are stolen. To insure these items to their full value, purchase a special personal property endorsement or floater and insure the item for its appraised value. Coverage includes “accidental disappearance,” meaning coverage if you simply lose that item, and there is no deductible.
3. LIABILITY PROTECTION
Liability covers you against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage that you, your family members, or your pets cause to other people. If you or a family member accidentally ruins your neighbor’s expensive rug, you are covered. However, if they destroy your rug, you are not covered.
The liability portion of your policy pays for both the cost of defending you in court and any damages a court rules you must pay, up to the limit of your policy. You are covered not just in your home, but anywhere in the world.
Liability limits generally start at about $100,000. However, experts recommend that you purchase more coverage. You can purchase an umbrella or excess liability policy which provides broader coverage, including claims against you for libel and slander, as well as higher liability limits.
Your policy also provides no-fault medical coverage. In the event a friend or neighbor is injured in your home, he or she can simply submit medical bills to your insurance company. This way, expenses are paid without a liability claim being filed against you. It does not, however, pay the medical bills for your family or your pet.
4. ADDITIONAL LIVING EXPENSES
In the event you are temporarily unable to live in your home because of a fire or other insured disaster.
This pays the additional costs of temporarily living away from home if you can’t live there due to damage from a fire, storm or other insured peril. It covers hotel bills, restaurant meals and other living expenses incurred while your home is being rebuilt. If you rent out part of your house, this coverage also reimburses you for the rent that you would have collected from your tenant if your home had not been destroyed.<
Renters insurance provides financial protection against the loss or destruction of your possessions when you rent a house or apartment. While your landlord may be sympathetic to a burglary you have experienced or a fire caused by your iron, destruction or loss of your possessions is not usually covered by your landlord’s insurance. In most cases, renters insurance covers only the value of your belongings, not the physical building, so the premium is surprisingly inexpensive.
By purchasing renters insurance, your possessions are covered against losses from fire or smoke, lightning, vandalism, theft, explosion, windstorm and water damage (not including floods). Like homeowners insurance, renters insurance also covers your responsibility to other people injured at your home or elsewhere by you, a family member or your pet and pays legal defense costs if you are taken to court.
Renters insurance covers your additional living expenses if you are unable to live in your apartment because of a fire or other covered peril. Most policies will reimburse you the difference between your additional living expenses and your normal living expenses but still may set limits as to the amount they will pay.
Just a few inches of water from a flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. Over the past 10 years, the average flood claim has amounted to over $33,000. Flood insurance is the best way to protect you from a devastating financial loss.
Flood insurance is available to homeowners, renters, condo owners/renters, and commercial owners/renters. Costs vary depending on how much insurance is purchased, what it covers, and the property’s flood risk.
All policy forms provide coverage for buildings and contents. However, you might want to discuss insuring personal property with us, since contents coverage is optional. Typically, there’s a 30-day waiting period—from date of purchase—before your policy goes into effect. That means now is the best time to buy flood insurance.
Considering the litigious nature of our society, a personal umbrella policy is one of the best insurance purchases an individual can make. A personal umbrella policy provides worldwide liability coverage over and above the liability coverage provided by primary home and auto policies. Thus, it is aptly named “umbrella”.
Just a few examples of activities which might increase your exposure to lawsuits, thus furthering your need for a personal umbrella policy, include:
- Owning your own home
- Operating an automobile, boat, or snowmobile
- Owning a swimming pool
- Owning a hot tub
For a relatively inexpensive premium, our personal umbrella policy, with limits ranging from $1 million to $5 million, completes your package of insurance protection.
One or more coverage parts or forms may be written under the Commercial Package Policy. These coverages are listed below:
Business Property Insurance
Buildings includes completed additions, fixtures, permanently installed machinery and equipment, and personal property used to service or maintain the building (outdoor furniture, floor coverings, and refrigerators). Additions and repairs in progress, material, equipment, supplies, and temporary structures within 100 feet of the described premises and used for making additions or repairs are also included
Business Personal Property is the insured’s personal property located in or on the building described, or in the open (or in a vehicle) within 100 feet of the described premises. The property may include the following items:
- Furniture and fixtures
- Machinery and equipment (other than what is classified as buildings)
- Stock materials used for making the insured’s products or merchandise for sale
- All other personal property owned by the named insured and used in the insured’s business
- Leased property for which the insured has a contractual obligation to insure (example: leased photo copy machine)
Commercial General Liability (CGL) Insurance
- Liability (BI & PD)
- Personal Injury (PI) & Advertising Injury (AI): This covers injury other than “bodily injury”, arising out of one or more of the following offenses:
- False arrest, detention, or imprisonment (shoplifting)
- Malicious prosecution
- The wrongful eviction from, wrongful entry into, or invasion of right of private occupancy of a room, dwelling, or premises that a person occupies, by or on behalf of its owner, landlord, or lessor (rent real property or someone who owns or operates hotel or motel)
- Oral or written publication of material that slanders or libels a person or disparages a person’s or organization’s goods, products, or services.
- Oral or written publication of material that violates a person’s right of privacy.
- The use of another’s advertising idea in your “advertisement”.
- Infringement upon another’s copyright, trade dress or slogan in your advertisement.
- PI: Examples are slander, libel, invasion of privacy, false arrest, malicious prosecution, wrongful entry or eviction.
- AI: This is personal injury caused by advertising, which includes slander, libel, and invasion of privacy, and also such things as copyright infringement or stealing someone’s advertising idea
- Medical Payments: covers medical expenses without regard to fault when an accident arises out of the insured’s operations or occurs on or next to the insured’s premises. This does NOT cover injuries to an insured or a tenant or employee of the insured.
Commercial Crime Insurance
Pays an owner for the loss of property due to its wrongful taking by someone else through burglary, robbery or theft. Can be part of package or written separately.
- Burglary: breaking and entering into the premises of another with felonious intent, leaving visible signs of forcible entry or exit.
- Robbery: is the felonious taking by force or fear of force of the personal property of another
- Theft: is any loss of property by stealing, including both robbery and burglary. NOT include employee dishonesty or mysterious disappearance.
- Employee Dishonesty (blanket coverage, scheduled coverage, position coverage)
- Theft, disappearance and destruction: coverage from C. provides broad covg for loss of money and securities, which is excluded by the premises burglary and robbery and safe burg forms. Covers both inside and outside premises. This does NOT cover employee dishonesty.
Business Interruption Insurance
Business Interruption Insurance is a type of policy that pays for loss of earnings following a covered insurance loss. It is designed to pay for your ongoing expenses, including payroll.
Business interruption coverage is not sold separately. It is added to a property insurance policy or included in a package policy. A business that has to close down completely while the premises are being repaired may lose out to competitors. A quick resumption of business after a disaster is essential.
Extra Expense Insurance
Extra expense insurance pays the additional expenses your business would not have incurred had a loss not occurred. Examples of these expenses are the printing of new menus, advertising to announce the reopening of your business, and moving to a temporary location while your location is being repaired.
Earthquake Insurance for the Business
Coverage for earthquake damage is excluded in most property insurance policies, including homeowners and business owners package policies. If you live in an earthquake-prone area, you’ll need a special earthquake insurance policy or commercial property earthquake endorsement.
Earthquake policies have a different kind of deductible — a percentage of coverage rather than a straight dollar amount. If the building is insured for $100,000, with a 5% deductible, for example, in the event of an earthquake, your business would be responsible for the first $5,000 in damage.
Flood Insurance for the Business
Property insurance policies usually exclude coverage for flood damage. Find out from your local government office or your commercial bank whether your business is located in a flood zone. Also ask around to find out whether your location has been flooded in the past. Government projects to map flood zones may be slow to keep up with new developments.
The federal government requires buildings in flood zones that don’t conform to flood plain building codes to be torn down if damage exceeds 50 percent of the market value. Consider purchasing “ordinance or law” coverage to help pay for the extra costs of tearing down the structure and rebuilding it. If your policy contains a coinsurance clause, make sure your property is sufficiently insured to comply with the clause.