Frequently Asked Questons
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Frequently Asked Questions
Get your questions answered!
Making insurance simple has aways been at the core of what we do. So here are some simple answers to your most complicated questions. Have more? Contact us today! That’s what we’re here for.
General Insurance FAQ’s
Q: What is an independent insurance agent?
A: Essentially, there are two kinds of insurance agents. One is the “captive agent”, such as those who work for Allstate or State Farm. A captive agent represents a single company, and can only provide you with information or access to his company’s products. The other is an independent insurance agent. Independent agents have no exclusive relationship with any one company. With an independent agent, you get choices. Why? Because an independent agent represents many insurance companies at once, and works on your behalf to find the best possible rate and coverage to fit your specific needs.
Q: Why choose an independent insurance agent?
A: With an independent agent, in addition to having choices, you have the advantage of a licensed professional who will:
- Evaluate and assess your individual risks and requirements;
- Identify and tailor policies that are right for you;
- Offer products to meet all of your insurance needs, including auto, home, business, life and flood;
- Assist you when you have a claim;
- Treat you like a person, and provide excellent, hands-on service.
An independent agent will help you understand what your policy actually covers, how much of a deductible to carry and how much coverage you need. When it comes to protecting your family, your assets and your future, you want to do it right, the first time!
Homeowners Insurance FAQ’s
Q: What is replacement cost?
A: Replacement cost refers to the amount it would cost to replace or rebuild your home or repair damages, using materials of a similar kind and quality, without deducting for depreciation (depreciation being the decrease in value because of age and wear and tear). If you are adequately insured, and have replacement cost coverage, your home will be replaced or repaired to its prior status. As an illustration, imagine your 10-year-old roof is completely destroyed, and would cost $30,000 to repair. Even though the roof has lost half its useful life, the insurer will cover the entire cost to repair the roof, if you have replacement cost coverage.
Q: What happens if I don’t carry enough insurance on my home and suffer a loss?
A: Many insurance companies require you to insure your home for at least 80 percent of its replacement cost. If your home is insured for less than 80 percent replacement cost, the insurance company may assess a penalty and only pay for part of a loss. This is referred to as a co-insurance penalty. Insuring your home for the appropriate percentage of its replacement cost is extremely important.
Q: Wouldn’t I be better off insuring my home to 100 percent of its replacement value?
A: Yes, absolutely.
Q: What can I do to ensure I maintain adequate homeowners coverage?
A: If you’ve made changes or improvements to your home, are unsure of what loss cost valuation; method your policy contains, or are simply concerned about having and maintaining adequate coverage, you should contact your agent and request a coverage analysis as soon as possible. While making policy coverage decisions is yours — and yours alone under the law, as your independent insurance agent, I can help explain your options, so you can make informed decisions.
Personal Auto Insurance FAQ’s
Q: Pennsylvania requires minimum insurance coverage of 15/30/5. What does that mean?
A: Minimum liability limits of 15/30/5 means the insurer will provide:
- bodily injury liability coverage:
◦ up to $15,000 per person injured in any one accident, and
◦ up to $30,000 for all persons injured in any one accident, and
- property damage liability
- up to $5,000 for property damaged in any one accident.
Q: If I have minimum limits, what happens if I have an accident and damages exceed my policy limits?
A: Your insurance company will only pay up to the amount of your policy limits. So, if you’ve chosen Pennsylvania’s minimum property damage limits of $5,000 and cause an accident which results in $25,000 in property damage, the insurance company will only pay $5,000, and you will be responsible for payment of the remaining $20,000.
Q: If I choose more than the minimum, are there generally recommended limits of coverage?
A: As reported by The Insurance Information Institute, it’s recommended you have at least $100,000 bodily injury protection per person, and $300,000 per accident (commonly known as 100/300). However, depending on your individual circumstances and risk tolerance, even this amount could be considered insufficient.
Q: What is Limited vs. Full Tort
A: Limited-Tort: Limits your right to sue for pain and suffering, except in cases of “serious injury”. This “limited-tort” option qualifies you for a reduction in your premium. Full Tort: Does not limit your right to sue. You do not qualify for a reduced premium if you elected the “full-tort” option.
Q: If I choose the “limited-tort” option, what am I giving up?
A: You are giving up the right to sue for non-economic damages, more commonly known as “pain and suffering,” except in cases of serious injury. The law defines serious injury as death, serious impairment of body function or permanent, serious disfigurement. If your injury is determined to be serious, you will keep your right to sue for non-economic damages even if you have elected limited-tort.
This selection will be effective whether you are going after the responsible driver’s insurance company, or if you are filing the claim with your own insurer, under an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim.
Q: What on earth is UM/UIM?
A: Underinsured Motorist (UIM) and Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage is designed to protect you against negligent individuals who drive without sufficient insurance limits, or without insurance at all. It also protects you against hit-and-run drivers, or when the negligent driver’s insurance company denies coverage or has become insolvent. Keep in mind that while it protects you, the coverage is only activated and available when the other driver is at fault.
Q: What does stacking mean for Pennsylvania drivers?
A: If you have multiple vehicles, and are paying a UM/UIM premium for each, the law gives you the option to add (or “stack”) the UM/UIM coverage for all the vehicles insured under the policy for a price. If you have multiple vehicles insured under the same policy, the math is easy: stacking allows you to add the liability limits from the different vehicles. If you are injured by an at-fault driver who is uninsured or underinsured, you can use your stacked UM/UIM limits to pay for medical bills or other related expenses.
Personal Umbrella Insurance FAQ’s
Q: How does a Personal Umbrella Policy (PUP) work?
A: A PUP kicks in when the limits of your primary policy (auto, home, etc.) are exhausted, subject to certain exclusions. As a result, your current assets and your future earnings are better protected.
Q: Can you really afford to be caught without an umbrella?
A: You’ve worked long and hard to get to where you are today. You own a home and a variety of personal possessions, some of which may have been expensive, and you and your family have a car or two, or maybe even three. You’ve done your duty and pinched pennies to save for retirement, all in an effort to provide for your family’s present well-being, as well as its financial future and security. But, if you aren’t protected by a PUP, everything you’ve worked for could be at risk because of a single accident or lawsuit.
Life Insurance FAQ’s
Q: Do I need Life insurance?
A: Everyone needs life insurance, whether it is to cover mortgage or debt obligations, for family security, or just final expenses. The last thing you want to do is leave a loved one with any burdens.
Q: What is the difference between Term life and Whole Life Insurance?
A: Term Life insurance that pays a benefit in the event of the death of the insured during a specified term. People usually purchase Term insurance when they need a large face value for a limited time period, generally to cover debt obligations like a mortgage. It is usually the cheaper way to buy life insurance due in part to the fact that it does not accumulate any cash value. Whole Life insurance that pays a benefit in the event of the death of the insured and also accumulates a cash value. It is generally a bit more expensive than term, but does not limit the coverage to a specific number of years.