Frequently Asked Questions

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The following are frequently asked questions regarding various coverage areas.

What types of Automobile Insurance coverage should I consider?

  • Bodily Injury/Property Damage Liability – The bodily injury component of a personal auto policy protects you against causing injury or death to someone. The property damage liability component offers protection against damage or loss of use to a person’s property. These coverages are generally written together.
  • Collision – This covers loss to your automobile caused by collision with another vehicle or object.
  • Medical Payments –This pays for medical and funeral expenses resulting from an auto accident, regardless of fault. It also covers injuries sustained by passengers in your car or while you are operating someone else’s car (with their permission), as well as injuries you or your family incur as pedestrians.
  • Other than Collision – This covers damage to a vehicle caused by an event other than a collision or overturn — such as fire, theft, vandalism and falling objects.
  • Personal Injury Protection (No-fault) – Personal Injury Protection (PIP), also called no-fault, enables auto accident victims to collect directly from their own insurance companies for medical and hospital expenses regardless of who was at fault in the accident. However, victims might still be allowed to sue the negligent party if the amount of damages exceeds a certain threshold.
  • Rental Reimbursement (Extended Transportation) –This coverage reimburses you for a rental car if your vehicle is disabled due to a covered loss. It pays all or part of your rental car costs.
  • Towing and Labor – This coverage pays for towing and labor costs each time a covered auto or non-owned auto is disabled, up to the stated amount.
  • Underinsured Motorist – Underinsured motorist coverage applies when a negligent driver is responsible for damages beyond the limits of his or her auto policy. This coverage can be added to your policy to supplement uninsured motorist coverage.
  • Uninsured Motorist –This coverage pays for bodily injury if you are hurt by an uninsured motorist, hit-and-run driver or driver whose insurer becomes insolvent.

What is Dwelling Fire insurance?

  • This policy provides property coverage for a dwelling and its contents in case of fire. It is often used to insure a second property such as a camp, or is purchased by those unable to afford or qualify for a traditional homeowners policy.

Do I need separate Flood insurance?

  • Standard homeowners policies do not cover water damage resulting from a flood, surface water, waves, tidal waves, overflow of body of water or spray from any of these. You must purchase a separate flood policy. There is a 30-day waiting period between the time the policy is purchased and the coverage goes into effect.

What types of Homeowner Insurance coverage should I consider?

  • Homeowners – This refers to a group of polices designed to cover your home and personal belongings against loss and provide you with liability protection for injuries sustained by a second party. Along with houses, coverage forms are also available for renters, condominium and townhouse owners, and mobile home owners.
  • Loss of Use – This covers expenses you might incur in living elsewhere while your home is being repaired following an insured loss.
  • Medical Payments – This coverage pays the medical expenses of individuals resulting from an accident that you caused.
  • Other Structures – This refers to structures on your property other than the dwelling itself, such as a garage or storage shed. Coverage is included in your homeowners policy.
  • Personal Liability – This provides coverage if a claim is made or suit is brought by an injured party because of bodily injury or property damage caused by a covered occurrence.
  • Personal Property –This coverage reimburses you for personal property that is damaged, lost or stolen.
  • Underlying Limits – “Underlying Limits” are the basic liability limits covered by a standard auto or homeowners policy. You can obtain higher limits by purchasing an umbrella policy. However, before you do so you must have minimum liability amounts on your standard policy. Minimums vary among insurers, but are usually $250,000 per person and $500,000 per occurrence on bodily injury liability, and $100,000 for property damage liability under an auto policy. Personal liability insurance limits must be at least $300,000 under a homeowners policy. If you have a watercraft liability exposure, you are usually required to carry at least $300,000 in liability coverage.
  • Self-Insured Retention –The self-insured retention is the amount of the loss you pay before an umbrella policy responds. It only applies if a loss is excluded from coverage under the primary policy, but not under the umbrella policy.

What is a Tenant Homeowners policy?

  • This is a form of homeowners coverage for renters. It protects personal property much like a homeowners policy and provides similar personal liability coverage. The actual dwelling is not covered because as a renter you do not own it.

What is an Inland Marine policy?

  • Your homeowners policy, while very broad in scope, contains designated limits for certain items such as jewelry, silverware, antiques and collectibles, computers, sporting and hobby equipment, and some items of clothing. An Inland Marine policy provides specific higher levels of coverage for such items with limits identified for each. This policy covers the items wherever they happen to be — anywhere in the world.

What is Recreational Vehicle coverage?

  • A recreational vehicle policy provides basic liability coverage for boats, jet skis, snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and other recreational vehicles. Additional insurance, including collision and other-than-collision coverages, to protect the vehicle itself is suggested. With boats, the cost of the additional coverage depends on the value and size of the craft; its equipment; the engine’s horsepower and whether it is an in-board or out-board; With jet skis, the cost depends upon the value of the machine and its engine power. Other circumstances affect coverage options for ATVs and snowmobiles. Contact your account manager for more information.

What is a Personal Umbrella Policy?

  • A personal umbrella policy provides coverage in case of a catastrophic claim, lawsuit or judgment after the limits of your homeowners or auto policy are exhausted.

Do I need Workers Compensation insurance?

  • While workers compensation is generally thought of as a business coverage, it also applies if you hire someone to work on or at your home. Homeowners policies sold in New York State automatically provide an endorsement that covers minors you hire to perform certain tasks at your home, like mowing the lawn. Professionals hired for more significant jobs should be covered under their own workers compensation policy. If you have domestic employees like housekeepers, gardeners, etc., you should obtain a separate workers compensation policy to adequately protect yourself in case they are injured or killed on the job.

Please Note – The above information is a broad overview of selected topics, and is for discussion purposes only. Please contact your Private Client Insurance Services Account Executive for more detailed information.

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