Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The accident wasn’t my fault! Does my deductible still apply?
Yes, when filing your claim under your insurance policy, the applicable deductible applies even if you’re not at fault. If the at-fault party is known, once your claim is paid, your insurance carrier will seek to recover the payments - including your deductible - from the responsible party or that party's insurance company.
How many estimates do I need?
You may only need to get an estimate from one shop or in some cases the insurance company will do the estimate for you. When submitting an estimate, make sure it is from the shop where you wish to have the repairs completed.
How long does the claim process take before I will get my check?
For vehicle repairs, payment is usually issued within a few days, once you and your adjuster have agreed on the repairs. For total loss situations, property claims, and more complex auto accidents such as those where injuries are involved, the amount of time until you receive your check varies.
What if my business is unable to continue operations due to a loss?
Ask your claim representative about any business income insurance or extra expense coverage’s that may be available under your policy. Talk to your claim representative about any decisions regarding continuation or your business operations.
My home was damaged. What should I do?
To start the process, call your agent or the company directly to report the damage or loss. Next, you should:
- Protect your home from further damage.
- Retain damaged property for inspection purposes or to help us determine cause of loss when appropriate.
A personally assigned adjuster will work with you to estimate your damages. To complete the repairs, you can choose to get an estimate from a contractor of your choice, or the adjuster may be able to provide you with a list of local contractors who have done work for our customers in the past. No matter which option you choose your adjuster and the contractor work together to agree on a repair price.
Other things you should know:
- You may be entitled to temporary living expenses and housing if your home is considered uninhabitable due to a covered claim.
- Some items may be cleaned or repaired per the terms of your policy.
- We may be required to protect the interest of your mortgage company and include their name on any payments. You may need to contact them to discuss their policies.
What if someone is injured at my home or property?
Please collect the injured person's contact information along with contact information for anyone else who was present at the time of the injury. You need to provide your adjuster with all names, addresses and phone numbers. Promptly report the incident, regardless of fault.
What does “replacement cost” mean?
Replacement cost is the cost to repair or replace the damaged item with an item of like kind and quality, without deduction for depreciation.
How is “replacement cost” reimbursed to me in the event of a claim?
Your policy may have replacement cost coverage on the structure and your personal property. If it does, full reimbursement for replacement costs may take place in the form of two or more payments. You receive an initial payment from the adjuster with the estimate. This initial payment is for the full cost or for the actual cash value of the repair. If the payment is for actual cash value, a holdback or recoverable depreciation is listed on the claim settlement report. This amount can be claimed upon completion of the work.
Is it true I can save money by dealing directly with an insurance company?
Though advertised as the low cost alternative, purchasing insurance by the phone is not necessarily a money saving proposition. Often we find that the savings proclaimed is more a product of advertising than one of fact. It is important to consider that without the assistance of an agent, you are left to make all the decisions yourself. If you have a problem, who works for you? If you have a claim, who would you rather rely on - a stranger on the phone or a real live person paid by you, to represent you? How do you replace the experience and expertise that an agent brings you and your family?
When a tree falls on a home or auto, who pays for the damages?
When a tree falls, it is the insurance on the property damaged that applies. For example, if your neighbor’s tree fell on your house, it would be your home insurance that would pay for your damages. As the tree cannot be held accountable for its actions, there is no negligence. If the owner of the tree knowingly knew the tree was rotted and did nothing, then there might possibly be an opportunity to purse payment by his insurance for your damages.
I'm renting A Car, Do I Need To Purchase Additional Insurance?
This is a good question whose answer has evolved over the years. Your automobile policy will usually extend coverage to a rental car just as though it was your vehicle. If you have comprehensive or collision coverage on your policy, this coverage will extend to the rental vehicle in the same manner - deductibles included. This only applies if you are actually the one driving the rental vehicle. One thing to remember is that the rental company may charge you for loss of rental income while the vehicle is being repaired. This is usually not covered by your traditional personal auto or business auto policy.
How much life insurance do I need?
This is a question that has no definite answer. Each individual and family requires an amount of insurance based on their needs. We look at such things as amount of debt, assets available, number and age of children, income of spouses, and other factors for determination. As a rule of thumb, we generally suggest at least 6-8 times your annual salary.
I had a fire in my apartment and my landlord sued me for damages. Is it possible to purchase an insurance policy that would have paid for the damages even though I am just renting?
Yes a HO4 policy (renter’s policy) will provide you with liability coverage that will pay for damage caused by the fire. The policy also provides coverage for your personal property and additional living expenses such as a hotel room should your apartment be uninhabitable. The policy will only cover accidental damages. Intentional damage would not be covered.
Is valuable jewelry covered by my homeowner’s insurance policy?
Jewelry, as well as other valuable items, may be covered by the typical homeowner’s policy. The best option is to schedule any valuable items to insure they would be covered no matter what happens, often with no deductible or a very small out of pocket expense.
Remember there is no such thing as a bad question when referring to insurance. It is a complicated process and we encourage you to contact an agent today to answer any of your questions or concerns.