Frequently Asked Questions
A: An Independent Agent is not locked into one company. An Independent Agent represents as many companies as is necessary to bring the best in coverage and pricing to the client.
A: Rates differ not only from state to state, but also differ from county to county. If you are buying coastal property, you are dealing with the increased wind exposure and cost of reinsurance.
A: You need to provide as much data as possible. A completed application including previous insurance history and verifiable loss information is also required.
A: No business can afford to be unprepared for a lawsuit. Liability insurance protects your business assets when the business is sued for something the business did (or failed to do) that contributed to injury or property damage to someone else. Liability coverage extends not only to paying damages but also to the attorneys' fees and other costs involved in defending against the lawsuit - whether valid or not. The standard business owner's policy provides liability coverage, as does a separate policy known as a commercial general liability (CGL) insurance policy. Generally, commercial liability insurance, whether purchased in a separate policy or as part of a standard business owner's policy, will cover bodily injury, property damage, personal injury or advertising injury. The medical expenses of a person or persons (other than employees) injured at the business or as a direct result of the operations of the business are also covered. Usually excluded from both types of liability insurance policies are suits by customers against a business for nonperformance of a contract and by employees charging wrongful termination or racial or gender discrimination harassment.
A: Every business has some property. And, when you think about it, your business is your property. Just like you insure your car, your business needs to be protected from loss, damage and liability. In addition, your business is your source of income, so you need protection from the potential loss of that income. Generally, there are two types of coverage, property and liability. Property insurance covers damage to or loss of the policyholder's property. And if somebody alleges damages caused by you or your possessions (other than a vehicle covered by your insurance policy), the cost of both defending it and settling it if necessary - would be covered by your liability insurance.
A: Yes, in most states there are legal requirements that must be met, and for which you may be responsible - but most states require that you carry some form of workers compensation insurance. This protects the employee and also offers you the business owner a degree of immunity from lawsuit by an injured employee. In South Carolina if you have 4 employees or more you must carry workers compensation, however, you are responsible for damages if you have only 1 employee.
A: Remember that policies vary but homeowners insurance covers damage to both structures and personal property caused by:
- Fire or lightning
- Windstorm or hail
- Explosions Riot or civil commotion
- Theft or vandalism (sometimes called malicious mischief)
- Falling objects
- Weight of ice, snow or sleet
- Freezing of a plumbing, heating, air conditioning or other such household system
In fact, your coverage is most likely even more comprehensive than the above list. Many homeowners policies cover damage by "just about everything," unless the coverage is specifically excluded. In these cases it is even more important to understand what is not covered.
A: Most catastrophes are covered; for example, wind damage from hurricanes and tornados comes under the windstorm peril listed in the previous question and so are included. Flood and earthquake damage, however, are not covered by a standard policy. Be careful not to be lulled into a false sense of geographic security. Flood and earthquake activity is more widespread than many people realize. For example, almost 90% of the U.S. population lives in seismically active areas. Since 1900 earthquakes have occurred in 39 states, and caused damage in all 50. And if your home is located in a flood-prone area, you are 26 more times likely to suffer a flood loss than a loss from fire. You may want to check with your agent about special catastrophic policies for normally excluded conditions like floods and earthquakes. Of course the cost of such extra coverage may reflect the high risk involved. If you live along a shoreline, for example, expect to pay a higher premium for flood coverage than someone living on a mountaintop would pay.
A: There may be other exclusions spelled out in your policy such as neglect, intentional loss, earth movement, general power failure and even damage caused by war. If you neglect to take care of your property (e.g. a leaky roof), you may not be covered. Obviously, if you intend to lose an object, or damage your property, there is no coverage. One other exclusion that can be costly is the Ordinance or Law exclusion. Building codes established by government bodies that drive up the cost of rebuilding or repairing after a loss occurs may not be covered by your insurance policy. Thus, if you discover when replacing damaged property that current law requires higher grade or more expensive materials than the original ones being replaced, the new materials may not be covered for the full price. For example, if the current building code in your area requires a higher grade of electrical wiring and after the fire you are replacing all the wiring in your home, your policy may cover only the cost of replacing the older wiring. The difference in cost between the old wiring and the new wiring required by ordinance or law is your responsibility. Even if you live in a fairly new home, laws and building codes are constantly being updated. Coverage to include ordinance or law requirements can be added to your homeowners policy with an endorsement - an addition that can save you money in the long run.
A: 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.
A: Probably not. Most homeowners insurance policies do not offer protection against flood losses. You should check your policy under the Section; Exclusions. It would probably be listed under "water damage." Flood insurance is available through the federal government's National Flood Insurance Program. It may be purchased through any licensed property/casualty insurance producer or through many private insurance companies that are now writing flood insurance under arrangements with the Federal Insurance Administrator.
Q. My car is financed through a bank. I could not afford to pay comprehensive and collision coverage. The bank secured coverage on my vehicle without my knowledge. Can the bank do this?
A: Yes, a lender has the right to require a borrower to protect the lender's interest in the collateral. A collateralized loan agreement typically includes a provision requiring the borrower to keep the collateral.
Q. I was involved in a car accident, and was not at fault. The officer gave a ticket to the other individual. I have contacted the other party's insurance company , and they refuse to honor my claim because their insured has not given them notice of the accident. Doesn't the company have an obligation to pay my claim, even if their insured does not report the accident?
A: The company is obligated to pay claims for which the insured is legally liable, because of the accident. The fact that the insured did not report the accident appears to be irrelevant, as long as sufficient documentation substantiating the claim can be provided to the company.