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Personal Lines Information

 

Auto Insurance Information


What is auto insurance?
Auto insurance protects you against financial loss if you have an accident. It is a contract between you and the insurance company. You agree to pay the premium and the insurance company agrees to pay your losses as defined in your policy.

Auto insurance provides property, liability and medical coverage:

  • Property coverage pays for damage to or theft of your car.
  • Liability coverage pays for your legal responsibility to others for bodily injury or property damage.
  • Medical coverage pays for the cost of treating injuries, rehabilitation and sometimes lost wages and funeral expenses.

An auto insurance policy is comprised of six different kinds of coverage. Most states require you to buy some, but not all, of these coverages. If you're financing a car, your lender may also have requirements.

Most auto policies are for six months or a year. Your insurance company should notify you by mail when it's time to renew the policy and to pay your premium.

Why do you need auto insurance?
It's really all about protecting yourself financially.

  • If you're in an accident or your car is stolen, it costs money, often a lot of money, to fix or replace it.
  • If you or any passengers are injured in an accident, medical costs can be extremely expensive.
  • If you or your car is responsible for damage or injury to others, you may be sued for much more than you're worth.
  • Not only is having insurance a prudent financial decision, many states require you to have at least some coverage.

Questions to ask your agent
Your Independent Agent is an advocate for finding auto insurance that meets your specific needs. Here are a few things to consider as you prepare for the discussion:

  • How much can you afford to pay if you get in an accident? (To keep premiums low you may want to have a higher deductible and be willing to pay more for repairs.)
  • What is the insurance company's level of service and ability to pay claims?
  • What discounts are available? (Ask about good driver, multiple policy and student discounts.)
  • What's the procedure for filing and settling a claim? (Ask who to call and what happens after you file a claim.)


Homeowners Insurance Information


Because everyone's needs are not the same, it is best to consult your agent to help assess your needs and find the insurance policy that is right for you.

What is Homeowners insurance?
Homeowners insurance provides financial protection against disasters. A standard policy insures the home itself and the things you keep in it.

Homeowners insurance is a package policy. This means that 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.

Damage caused by most disasters is covered but there are exceptions. The most significant are damage caused by floods, earthquakes and poor maintenance. You must buy two separate policies for flood and earthquake coverage. Maintenance-related problems are the homeowners' responsibility.

Why do you need homeowners insurance?
It is really all about protecting yourself financially if something unexpected happens to your home or possessions. That's important because chances are your home is likely one of your largest investments.

  • If your home was destroyed by fire or damaged by a natural disaster, you'd need money to repair or replace it.
  • If a guest in your home is injured, liability protection and medical coverage help pay expenses.
  • If you are a victim of theft and vandalism, it can reimburse you for your loss or pay for repairs.
  • If you are still paying for your home, your lender will require insurance.

It is important to know that homeowners insurance is meant to cover unexpected damage, not routine maintenance. Ask your agent to talk about what is covered and be sure to read your policy so you know exactly what's included and what is not.

Things to consider and questions to ask your agent
Here are few things to discuss with your agent that will influence your decisions.

  • How much will it cost to rebuild my house and replace my belongings if they are damaged or destroyed? (Ask your agent to talk you through your home's features and the things you own so you can make an informed decision about coverage.)
  • Does the insurance company have a good reputation for customer service? Is it known for paying claims fairly and promptly?
  • What discounts are available? (Ask about multiple policy, security system and fire resistance discounts.)
  • What's the process for filing and settling a claim? (Ask who to call and what happens after you file a claim.) 


Motorcycle Insurance Information


Why do you need insurance for your motorcycle?
You'll enjoy being out on the open road even more when you're not worried about the safety of yourself, your passengers or your investment. Here are a few things to consider:

  • If you're in an accident or your motorcycle is stolen, it costs money, often a lot of money, to fix or replace it.
  • If you or a passenger is injured in an accident, medical costs can be extremely expensive.
  • If your motorcycle is responsible for damage or injury to others, you may be sued for much more than you're worth.
  • Your motorcycle may be one of your most prized possessions. It deserves special protection.

Things to consider and questions to ask your agent
Your Independent Agent is an advocate for finding insurance that meets your specific needs. Here are a few things to consider as you prepare for the discussion:

  • How much can I afford to pay if my motorcycle is in an accident, damaged or stolen? (Ask your agent what your cost savings would be if you raised your deductible.)
  • What discounts and programs are available? (Ask about discounts for taking safety classes or having multiple policies. You may also save money if your motorcycle is stored in a garage or if you belong to a motorcycle association.)
  • How much medical and liability coverage should I have?
  • Does the insurance company have a good reputation for customer service? Is it known for paying claims fairly and promptly?
  • What's the process for filing and settling a claim?

Tips for the cost-conscious rider
Many factors can play a role in determining what your insurance costs will be such as your age, your driving record, where you live and the type of motorcycle you own, or being a graduate of a rider-training course.

  • Many companies offer discounts from 10 to 15 percent on motorcycle insurance for graduates of training courses, such as the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) rider course. Riders under the age of 25, usually considered a higher risk, may see some savings by taking this course. It's also a good idea for cyclists who have already had accidents.
  • Maintaining a good driving record with no violations will also help reduce your premiums.
  • In many northern states, riders may save money by buying a "lay-up" policy. With a lay-up policy, all coverage except comprehensive is suspended during winter months.
  • Find out what discounts your insurance representative offers. Multibike discounts for those insuring more than one bike, organization discounts, if you're a member of a motorcycle association, and mature rider discounts for experienced riders, are just a few possibilities. Discounts can range anywhere from 10 percent to 20 percent, depending on the company and your state. Availability and qualifications for discounts vary from company to company and state to state.
  • Keep in mind that the type, style (such as a sports bike vs. a cruiser) and age of the motorcycle, as well as the number of miles you drive a year and where you store your bike may also affect how much you pay for your premium.


Watercraft & Boat Insurance Information


Why do you need insurance for your boat or personal watercraft?
You'll enjoy the water ever more when you're not worried about the safety of yourself, your passengers or your investment. Here are a few things to consider:

  • If you're in an accident or your watercraft is stolen, it costs money, often a lot of money, to fix or replace it.
  • If you or any passengers are injured in an accident, medical costs can be extremely expensive.
  • If your watercraft is responsible for damage or injury to others, you may be sued for much more than you're worth.
  • Your watercraft also needs protection when it's on land. Accidents can happen while towing a watercraft.

Things to consider and questions to ask your agent
Here are a few things to consider as you prepare for the discussion:

  • How much can you afford to pay if your boat or personal watercraft is in an accident, damaged or stolen?
  • Is my boat or watercraft covered for use year-round?
  • What discounts and programs are available?
  • How much medical insurance and liability coverage is enough?
  • Do I have coverage if I need to have my boat towed in an emergency?
  • What's the process for filing and settling a claim?
  • Does the insurance company have a good reputation for customer service? Is it known for paying claims fairly and promptly?

Home and auto insurance policies may provide limited coverage for personal watercraft. Talk to your insurance representative about coverage limits. You may want to consider purchasing a personal watercraft policy to protect yourself and your water vehicle in the event of an accident.

The personal watercraft policy covers:

  • bodily injury
  • property damage
  • guest passenger liability
  • medical payments
  • theft

Liability limits start at $15,000 and can be increased to $300,000.

Typical policies include deductibles of $250 for property damage, $500 for theft and $1,000 for medical payments.

Additional coverage can also be purchased for trailers and other accessories.

You should talk to your insurance representative about the type of coverage that would best suit your needs.



Recreational Vehicle Insurance Information


Unless you have a true recreational vehicle insurance package, you could be in for an unpleasant ordeal should you experience a loss with your RV. Your auto and homeowner's policies may not cover such items as appliances, plumbing or accessories. Without true Recreational Vehicle insurance, your emergency expenses incurred while traveling would undoubtedly come out of your own pocket. A typical travel trailer insurance policy from an auto carrier will include physical damage coverage only. Our A + rated motorhome insurance and travel trailer insurance companies provide coverages far above and beyond the modest coverage provided by your auto insurance company.



Renters Insurance Information


With renters insurance, you will be able to replace what is damaged or stolen.

Renters insurance covers your possessions against losses from fire or smoke, lightning, vandalism, theft, explosion, windstorm, and water damage from plumbing.

However, renters insurance does not cover floods, earthquakes or routine wear and tear. You can, however, buy separate policies for flood and earthquake damage.

If you are forced out of your home because of a disaster your additional living expenses will be covered.

Renters insurance pays the reasonable additional costs of temporarily living away from your home if you can't live in it due to a fire, severe storm or other insured disaster. It covers hotel bills, temporary rentals, restaurant meals and other living expenses incurred while your home is being rebuilt. Coverage for additional living expenses differs from company to company.

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.

Decide How Much Insurance You Need.

Add up the cost of everything you would want to replace if it were damaged or stolen. This could also serve as the basis for an inventory that will make filing a claim easier. For an inventory, also record model numbers, dates and places of purchase. Take photographs or make a video of these items and place a copy of the inventory in safe place away form your home.

If you rent an apartment or house you need insurance to protect your belongings. While your landlord might have insurance, it only protects the building. Your belongings are not covered under those policies.
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