A Conversation with Your Insurance Agent – 5 Things to Discuss
As an insurance professional, I read a lot of blogs by other insurance professionals and insurance carriers. Browsing my favorite blogs the other day, I came across one from Enhanced Insurance that was particularly interesting to me. Below are some topics from their blog that any well-informed insured should speak with their agent or broker about. For all who want to protect what you own – regardless of your situation in life:
1) What about Personal Umbrella Insurance?
Personal Umbrella Liability provides protection against injury to others (by yourself or a family member) that you could be held legally liable for*. Injury can be defined in many forms:
a) You put off repairing the lifted cement on your front walkway and your neighbor’s toddler trips, breaking an arm.
b) You post something scandalous on Facebook, naming another person (who sues you for defamation).
c) You cause an accident in your vehicle in which many people are injured, exhausting your auto insurance coverage.
*Intentional damage and contractual obligations are typically not covered under Personal Umbrella Liability policies.
2) Does my insurance company use my credit information to help establish my rates?
Many insurance companies use a credit based score to help determine risk and set rates. To learn more, click here.
3) What happens to my rates if I file a claim?
This is sometimes a difficult question to answer, simply because there are so many factors. But, the short answer is: Yes. Your insurance premiums will most likely go up in proportion to the number of claims that you file – especially if you are negligent or at fault. One way to offset this is setting deductibles at an amount that is comfortable for you to absorb in the event of any loss. This is important for a couple of reasons – one being that the higher the deductible, the less likelihood of filing small claims. The second reason is the higher your deductible, the lower your premium.
4) Can my policy be canceled or non-renewed by the carrier?
Yes. Filing multiple claims, especially for the same type of loss (3 claims filed for damages caused by a leaking pipe) can cause an insurer to cancel a policy, or elect to non-renew. Other reasons may be neglecting to repair or replace a roof that is lifting, etc. However, in the case of needed repairs, your insurance company will usually be in contact with you and will allow plenty of time for you to make repairs prior to canceling a policy.
5) How much coverage do I need?
This is something that you and your insurance professional can discuss and assess. Each individual has different needs depending on their assets and exposure to risk. Make sure your insurance professional takes the time to explain each coverage and limit contained in your policy and don’t leave their office until you completely understand and feel comfortable with your policies.
I would love to provide more insight into what your specific insurance needs are. Please contact me to discuss.