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General Insurance Information

1. What is an insurance quote?

An insurance quote is an estimate of what your rate could be with a potential insurance carrier. Quotes are subject to change depending on how much information you give at the time of the quote. The more forthcoming you are with information, the more accurate your insurance quote.

2. What is a deductible?

A deductible is the amount you've agreed to pay out of your pocket before your insurance provider will pay for any covered losses. For example, if the covered claim is $4,500 and you picked a $500 deductible, you pay $500, and then your insurance provider will pay the remaining $4,000.

General Auto Insurance Information

1. What is "liability only" insurance?

“Liability only” typically refers to a minimum coverage level that is required in most states. Liability coverage pays for damages to other people and property caused by you in an accident. Liability does not cover your vehicle.

2. What is "full coverage" insurance?

“Full coverage” is a term that is often used to describe how much automobile insurance coverage someone has on their policy. Although there is really no such thing as “full coverage”, that term is intended to mean that the policy has more than just Liability coverage and includes collision and comprehensive coverage.

3. Do I need collision and comprehensive coverage?

If you are financing or leasing your vehicle, collision and comprehensive coverage will be required by your financing or leasing company. If you own your vehicle these coverages are optional for you but provide protection for your vehicle in the event of a covered incident. The key things to consider are the value of your vehicle (what the insurance company will pay you in the event of a loss, minus the deductible), and the cost of collision and comprehensive coverage.

4. Does everyone have to have auto insurance?

Yes, automobile liability insurance, or proof of financial responsibility is required in all fifty states. Although each state sets their own limits on how much insurance is needed, these are only minimum limits and in most cases additional coverage is needed if you don't want to have to pay additional expenses out of pocket. If you have a lease or loan on your car you are usually required by the lender to have comprehensive and collision coverage in addition to the state required liability coverage.

5. Is anyone who drives my car covered?

In most cases, yes, as long as they have the permission or reasonable belief from the insured that they can use the vehicle. The insured is the person named on the insurance policy and their spouse if applicable.

There are some exclusions, so you would need to look at your particular insurance policy to make sure. Remember, everyone in your household must be listed on your insurance policy if they have a license. For example, if a girlfriend you live with uses your car, she may not be covered if you did not list her on your insurance policy. On the other hand, if you live separately, she could use your car with your permission and be covered.

6. How does my driving record affect my insurance premium?

The premium you pay is a direct reflection of your driving record for the past three to five years depending on the insurance company. Insurance companies order driving records from the DMV of your residence state and from other states where you've been licensed. Statistics show that drivers with tickets and accidents are more likely to have accidents than drivers with clean records.

7. Do you need auto insurance when you have a learner's permit?

Yes, all drivers in the U.S. are required to carry proof of financial responsibility when operating a motor vehicle on public roads. A Driver's or "Learner's "Permit" is permission to drive and therefore a temporary drivers license with certain restrictions.

When you are driving on a Learner's Permit, be sure to observe all the rules and restrictions of your permit. You can obtain your own auto insurance or you may be eligible for coverage under the vehicle owners policy such as your parents or another existing auto policy but you must have coverage.

A Driver's Permit comes with all the same responsibilities of anyone who operates a motor vehicle on public roads, including our financial responsibility.

8. My teenager just got his license, but I do not allow him to drive my car. Does he need to be insured?

In most cases, yes. Automobile insurance policies require every licensed person in your household to be listed on your insurance policy unless they have a completely separate policy of their own. This includes a teenager who just received their licence or a college student who still uses your address as their residence and/or visits regularly on weekends, vacations, ect.

General Homeowners Insurance Information

1. Why should I buy homeowners insurance?

-Home Owners: Protect both your house and personal property.

-Tenants of Rental Properties: Protect your personal property.

-All parties: Protection against liability for accidents that injure other people or damage their property.

2. How much home insurance do I need?

Asset protection: More coverage generally means you will have less to pay out of your own pocket if disaster strikes. You must determine the amount you can financially afford to lose. Depending upon your determination, more insurance may be the answer. You need enough liability coverage to protect yourself from lawsuits resulting from your possible negligence.

Lender requirements: Your lender may require you to cover the house for at least the amount of the mortgage. You are not required to purchase insurance from the insurer recommended by your lender.

Policy requirements: Insurers may impose some conditions for replacement cost protection, including insurance of the property to value.

3. What affects home insurance prices?

Type of construction: Frame houses usually cost more to insure than brick.

Age of house: New homes may qualify for discounts. Some insurance companies offer limited coverage or may not insure older homes.

Local fire protection: The number of fire hydrants and fire departments and the availability of water are some factors that determine your area's fire protection class. If you reside in an area without fire protection, you will pay more for fire insurance.