Frequently Asked Questions
1. What does homeowners insurance cover?
Homeowners insurance provides protection for your home, personal property such as furniture, clothing, and appliances as well as for personal liability. It protects you from a variety of events, including fire, lightning, burglary, vandalism, storms, explosions, and more. See your policy contract for terms and conditions of your specific policy.
2. What factors should I consider when purchasing homeowners insurance?
There are a number of factors you should consider when purchasing any product or service, and insurance is no different.
• Determine the amount and type of insurance that you need. The coverage limit of your house should equal 100% of its replacement cost. 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.
• Decide how much personal property and personal liability limits are adequate for your needs.
• Determine which, if any, additional endorsements you want to add to your policy.
3. What is the difference between actual cash value and replacement cost?
Replacement Cost is the amount to repair or replace the damaged property using materials of the like kind and quality, without deduction for depreciation. Depreciation is the loss of value that develops as an item ages, wears out, or becomes obsolete. Actual Cash Value is the replacement cost of an item, less the amount for depreciation.
4. What is the difference between an "all risk" policy and a "named perils" policy?
A named perils policy covers losses that are due to only those perils listed in the policy. Those typically include fire, windstorm, hail, and other physical losses. An all risk policy covers losses that are due to any peril except those specifically excluded in the policy. An all risk policy provides broader protection than a named perils policy.
5. What about flood insurance?
If your property is officially designated as being in a special flood hazard area, you must obtain flood insurance. While the federal government provides most flood protection, you are responsible for applying and obtaining this coverage. It's important to know that flood insurance is not included in a standard homeowner’s policy. Even if your home is not in a special flood hazard area, you may wish to consider whether you need flood insurance.
6. What do I need to complete an auto rate quote?
• Information about your current insurance policy (Examples: current renewal notice, declaration page showing coverages/deductibles).
• Information about your vehicle (Examples: alarm system, air bags, automatic seat belts, Vehicle Identification Number).
• Information about the driving record for you and all licensed drivers in your household (Examples: drivers license number, tickets and accidents).
7. What factors can affect the cost of my automobile insurance?
A number of factors can affect the cost of your automobile 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.
8. 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.
9. What protection does the personal liability coverage in my homeowner's insurance policy provide?
This coverage protects you and all family members living with you against claims or lawsuits resulting from bodily injury or property damage to others for which you are legally liable, with the exception of intentional acts
10. What is a personal umbrella liability policy?
This is an insurance contract designed to accomplish two goals. First, it increases liability protection beyond what you have in your homeowners and automobile insurance policies. Second, it aims to fill in gaps in your liability coverage since some things are simply not covered by automobile and homeowner’s policies - for example, libel and slander. Together with homeowners and automobile insurance policies, a personal umbrella policy gives you the highest level of protection.
11. How do I know if I need a personal umbrella liability policy?
In the past, the people who purchased personal umbrella liability policies were wealthy with sizable amounts of personal assets that would be at risk in a lawsuit. However, our society has become more litigious, and many people desire more liability insurance than what is provided under their homeowners and automobile insurance policies. How much protection you want against potential lawsuits is a choice you should make based on your personal circumstances and what you need to feel comfortably protected.