Wednesday, March 1, 2017

What is an Umbrella and how do I know if I need one?

Did you say Umbrella? 
 
 
 
 
 
An umbrella can do more than just cover for rain, it can also help when it pours on you in a liability crisis. A Personal Umbrella policy is a type of insurance that provides liability coverage over and above your homeowner's and auto insurance.  So, if your liability coverage isn't enough to pay for the damages caused by an accident you are responsible or a visitor's injuries on your property, a personal umbrella insurance policy kicks in where your underlying policy's coverage left off.

Personal Umbrella Insurance Policy in Action

The best way to explain how a personal umbrella policy works, is to give an example of how it can affect you.  If you're at fault in a car accident that injures another driver, your regular automobile insurance may cover the other driver up to the limit on your personal auto policy, say $100,000.  However, what happens if that limit is not enough to cover the other driver's resulting medical bills?
If the other driver's injuries are severe, you may be legally responsible for damages beyond the $100,000 your car insurance policy covers. Also, keep in mind that if  he sues you, your personal assets could be at stake. Imagine if that injured driver were a highly paid professional such as a surgeon or another highly paid professional?  What if the accident you caused resulted in an injury that kept him from doing his job for six months? Suddenly, he's suing you for $1 million to cover the six months he's away from work.
Your automobile policy's liability coverage may pay for up to $100,000 but where would you come up with the remaining $900,000? A personal umbrella policy can help cover the additional costs when your standard insurance policy isn't enough. An umbrella policy could provide the additional coverage you need so that you don't get stuck trying to pay the remaining balance yourself. This extra policy could help protect your bank account, home and other personal property.

Knowing Your Personal Umbrella Insurance Policy Options

In most cases, personal umbrella policies are available in million-dollar increments, from $1 to $5 million. While an umbrella policy is not required, it may offer increased protection in the unfortunate event of an accident.  Contact an agent at Priority-One Insurance for more information about how a personal umbrella policy can further protect your family, so you can decide whether having additional liability coverage makes sense for you.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Lets have a conversation about Standard vs. Non Standard Auto Insurance

 
Finding the most suitable insurance coverage to fit your individual needs can be a complicated task. We will examine the common question about the differences between Standard and Non-standard auto insurance. 
 



 Standard coverage is designed for the low risk policy holder. Standard policies differ little from each other, mainly in terms of the scope of coverages and price.

Common features of Standard policies may include:

  • Standard policies typically have more restrictions in terms of which types of individuals they will cover.
  • Only individuals who fit into the low risk category will qualify for standard insurance, example, specific determining factors for coverage include driving record, that doesn't contain accidents, tickets for traffic violations, and filed insurance claims.
  • Standard policy forms are regulated by the State in which the policy is issued.
  • Under a standard policy, permissive drivers are generally covered
While non-standard insurance policies are also written on State approved policy forms, however, they are highly customized to the policyholders needs and therefore vary widely in coverage and price.

Common features of Non-standard policies may include:
 
  • Non-Standard policies are sometimes referred to as Excess & Surplus Lines (E&S).
  • Non-Standard policies may involve additional fees depending upon the specific coverage you require and your level of risk. If you are a high-risk applicant, you will pay premiums that reflect this.
  • Non-standard policies have a lot more flexibility regarding their acceptance of high-risk applicants who may not qualify for other standard insurance carriers.
  • Non-Standard policies may have more Teen drivers.
Non-Standard policies may include foreign license and lack a U.S. driving record.
  • Non-Standard policies may have no previous coverage.
  • Non-Standard policies may have lapsed auto coverages.
  • Non-Standard policies holders may have been convicted of a serious violation, such as reckless driving or driving under the influence.
  • Non-Standard policies may have more speeding tickets or other moving violations.
  • Non-Standard policies may have substandard credit (if you live in a state that lets insurers consider credit history when setting premiums).
  • Non-Standard policies holders may be required to have an SR-22 or FR-44, a special form the insurer must file on your behalf to prove to the state that you have car insurance. Some states require one of these forms for drivers who have had their licenses revoked or have been convicted of serious violations.
  • Non-Standard policies may drive a rare vehicle or super car, like a Lamborghini or a Bugatti Veyron.

I hope this information was helpful and clearly steers you in the right direction for your own personal auto insurance needs. Reach out to the professionals at Priority-One Insurance on the gulf coast for additional information on auto insurance.
More information visit Click PriorityoneInsurance





Powter, John. “Standard vs Non-Standard Insurance Coverage” Web. 14 Apr. 2014
Marquand, Barbara “The Difference Between Standard and Non-Standard Car Insurance Quotes” Web. 8 May. 2015 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

 

Image result for insurance agent sitting with clients pictures

Priority-One Insurance Services, Inc.

850-244-1066
Located in Fort Walton Beach, servicing surrounding areas in Florida, Alabama and Tennessee
 
How to Assess Whether Your Current Insurance Fits Your Current Life

This post is part of a series of insurance blogs on Safeco.com showcasing the expertise of independent insurance agents and aimed at helping you understand important insurance coverages and issues.

 
Everyone gets busy with daily life – family, jobs, kids, school, travel, and the list goes on. Before you know it, a year or more has slipped by without you giving your insurance coverage a second thought.
You pay your premiums and phone your carrier when an accident or other need arises. Otherwise, you assume all is well with your policies. But, what if it’s not?
There are a number of life changes and events that should prompt you to pick up your phone and call your insurance agent. You may need more homeowners coverage, for example, or you may need to remove a driver from your auto policy.
Even if you adjust your coverage as some of these changes occur, you’ll likely only catch others if you catch up with your insurance agent once a year – or more often. When you do, here are six questions you should be prepared to address:
  1. What Have I Added or Updated Around My Home?
    Did you add an addition to make room for baby? Did you remodel after the youngest left the nest? How about adding a pool or finishing your basement? All of these examples and more increase the value of your home and how much it would cost to rebuild it. You should update your insurance coverage to reflect not only the new home value but also any new risks.
     
  2. What Has Changed With My Vehicles or Drivers?
    Are you driving a longer distance to work? Is the vehicle you previously used for commuting now sitting in your garage more often than not? It’s a good idea to reexamine your auto insurance coverage at least once a year to ensure you have the exact coverage you want – not too little, and not too much.
     
  3. What Significant Purchases Have I Made?
    Did you invest in a home automation system or a high-end leather couch? What about that piece of fine jewelry you picked up on the cruise ship? If the value of your personal belongings has increased significantly, you’ll want to check whether your homeowners or renters insurance still provides enough coverage. If not, you can likely purchase additional coverage for specific items or possibly groups of items. Otherwise, if a costly item is lost, damaged or stolen, you may find yourself needing to replace it with a lower-cost version.
     
  4. What Is New With My Family?
    Did someone leave for college? Are more people now driving your motorcycle? These are things to discuss with your independent insurance agent, too.
     
  5. Are There Any Discounts for Which I Now Qualify?
    Doing things such as adding a burglar alarm to your home or driving your car less may help you gain discounts you didn’t qualify for when you first purchased your policy. So, if you like to save money on your insurance as much as the rest of us, an in-depth annual discussion of recent changes in your life and around your home is a must.
     
  6. Should I Consider Any Coverage Options?
    More than likely, your carrier offers some coverage options that might just be a good fit for you now, even if they weren’t when you first purchased your policies. Examples can include roadside assistance for cars, motorcycles, scooters, RVs and other vehicles. You may want to add stereo coverage for the new system you put in your car or appliance coverage following a kitchen remodel. Your agent, of course, can help you explore these options and select what fits.
Some other questions you might consider before your annual insurance review include:
  • Do I need any specialized disaster coverage, such as flood insurance or earthquake insurance, that I don’t already have?
  • Is my home inventory current?
  • Can I afford to raise my deductibles, and would it lower my insurance costs?
  • Am I carrying high enough liability limits to protect myself?
  • Is an umbrella policy right for me?
Just like filing your taxes, an insurance check-up is an annual item on your to-do list that can’t be skipped. After all, there’s nothing like the headache and heartache of thinking that you’re fully covered and then finding out you’re not when a claim occurs.
Remember, your insurance policies should reflect the life you have now – not the life you had when you first signed up with your carrier. So, keep your insurance policies up to date and keep your annual appointment with your insurance agent.
 
The following are the views of Independent Insurance Agent David Shaffer, Owner, David Shaffer Insurance Services, Walnut Creek, CA.
 

Friday, October 21, 2016

What is the deal with PIP, now that I have moved to Florida?

Moving to Florida is exciting, yeah, fabulous weather and beaches nearby. However, before the beach, I must get my Driver’s license transferred to this state, auto insurance updated and tag replaced and registered. One big difference, is PIP.  I don’t understand this deal about PIP, in a nutshell, what can I expect?


The best way to explain Personal injury protection (PIP) is simple.  The goal for our State was to reduce payment delay for injured drivers, as well as limiting   the use of our court system. Florida is one of only 10 states that have personal injury protection, also known as, “no fault” auto insurance. Drivers who are injured get $10,000 in immediate medical coverage instead of waiting for the court system to establish fault. Here in Florida, PIP coverage is required by all owners of motor vehicles registered in Florida. PIP makes individuals responsible for their own injuries in an accident regardless of fault, for up to the $10,000. Unfortunately, all good intentions, but the number of PIP claims and PIP payments has blown through the roof. The National insurance crime bureau lists Florida as having some of the highest amount of “questionable claims” nationally.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Welcome to our new Insurance Blog for your Life

Flood Insurance is a Hot topic right now, and rightfully so with areas of our country flooding for the first time in over 100 years. Important questions you need  answered can be found with your local Insurance Agent best. I highly recommend taking the time to find an Agent you can trust for finding out the following questions about your specific property location. The flood map can be different for your neighbor, that is how close the lines on a flood map can be. Talking one on one gets direct answers and peace of mind in person. To get started, here are a few of my favorite questions that I like to answer for my clients. Hope this helps you, and as always, give me a call if you would like to have a conversation about your insurance. 850-244-1066

What flood zone do I live in? What is my property's flood risk?
 
Is flood insurance mandatory for my property? Will the lender require it?
 
Even if flood insurance isn't required by my lender, do I still need it?
 
Do I qualify for a Preferred Risk Policy?
 
 Does my community participate in the National Flood Insurance Program's Community Rating System (CRS)? If so, does my home qualify for a CRS rating discount?                    
 
What will and won't be covered?
 
Will the Federal Government back my flood insurance policy?
 
How much coverage should I get for my building and for my contents?
 
How can I reduce my premium?
 
Are there additional expenses or agency fees?
 
Will my policy provide Replacement Cost Value or Actual Cash Value—and what's the difference between the two?
 
Who should I call if I have a flood claim?
 
How can I pay for my policy?
 
How do I renew my policy?