Frequently Asked Questions

My payment is late. Is there a %22grace period%22 before my policy cancels?

Answer:  There is no specific grace period when payments are due. The date listed on your invoice is the date the payment is due. Some companies may reinstate your policy if payment is made shortly after this due date. However, this decision is at their discretion and is NOT required by law. In order to keep your policy in force it is recommended to mail all payments 7-10 days prior to the due date.

Does my insurance cover me when I rent a car?

Answer:  If you have a personal auto policy, your policy coverage’s do follow you when you rent a car. However, there are some gaps in coverage such as loss of use (where the rental company charges you for every day the car is out of service) and full value replacement (where the rental company expects the vehicles full replacement value of the vehicle – your policy only pays the actual cash value or depreciated value of the vehicle). There may be other gaps dependent on the wording in your rental contract. If you have a commercial auto policy, your liability coverage only follows you when you rent a car. There is no physical damage unless you have scheduled this additional coverage on your policy.

Does my insurance policy cover a friend if I loan him/her my car?

Answer:  When you loan your car to a friend or an associate, he or she will be covered under your automobile insurance policy.

How can I lower my automobile insurance rates?

Answer:  One way to lower the cost is to change your deductible.  By raising your deductible you may lower the cost of your automobile insurance almost 10%.  You must be able to pay the deductible amount in case of a claim.  You can also look for discounts that you may be entitled to.  Some examples are multiple cars under the same policy, having a homeowner’s policy written with the same carrier, or being a member of a group or association that works with the carrier to provide discounted premiums.

Should I purchase earthquake insurance?

Answer:  Direct damages due to earthquakes are not covered under the standard homeowner’s insurance policy.  If you live in an area that is prone to earthquakes, you may want to consider an earthquake endorsement to your homeowner’s insurance policy.  This endorsement will cover damages due to earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions and other earth movements.

Should I purchase flood insurance?

Answer:  If your property lies in a flood plain as determined by the U.S. Government Flood Maps, then you must purchase flood insurance.  You can contact your account executive for more information and a quote.

Should I try to clean up water or fire/smoke damage myself?

Answer:  To prevent further damage, a restoration company should be called out right away.  The policy requires the client to do anything they can to keep the loss from becoming worse.  Many times it requires the skills and training of a professional for proper cleanup.

Can an existing life insurance policy be used to provide for the repayment of an outstanding mortgage loan?

Answer:  Yes; the purchase of a new mortgage protection term insurance policy is usually not required by the lender.. An existing policy, either term or cash-value life insurance, can be used for many purposes, including paying off an outstanding mortgage loan balance in the event of the insured’s death.

Question: How does mortgage protection term insurance differ from other types of term life insurance?

Answer:  The face amount under mortgage protection term insurance decreases over time, consistent with the projected annual decreases in the outstanding balance of a mortgage loan.  Mortgage protection policies are generally available to cover a range of mortgage repayment periods; 15, 20, 25, or 30 years.  Although the face amount decreases over time, the premium is usually level in amount.  Further, the premium payment period often is shorter than the maximum period of insurance coverage.

 

How much life insurance should I purchase?

Answer:  Rough “rules of thumb” suggest an amount of life insurance equal to 6 to 8 times your annual earnings.  However, the following factors should be taken into account in order to determine a more precise estimate:

  • Income sources other than salary or earnings.
  • Whether or not you are married and, if so, your spouse’s earnings.
  • The number of individuals who are financially dependent on the insured.
  • The amount of death benefits payable from Social Security and from an employer sponsored life insurance plan.
  • Whether any special life insurance needs exist (mortgage payment, education fund, etc).
  • It is highly recommended that you contact your account executive for a precise calculation.
Should term insurance or cash value life insurance be purchased?

Answer:  There are at least two basic questions that must be answered before any life insurance purchasing decision:

  • “How much life insurance should I buy” and
  • “What type of life insurance policy should I buy”

The “how much” question should always be resolved first.  For example, the amount of life insurance that you need may be so large that the only way in which this needed amount of insurance can be afforded is through the purchase of term insurance with its lower premium.  If your ability (and willingness) to pay life insurance premiums is such that you can afford the desired amount of life insurance under either type of policy, it is then appropriate to consider the “which type of policy” decision.  Important factors affecting this decision include your income tax bracket, whether the need for life insurance is short-term on long-term, and the rate of return on alternative investments possessing similar risk.

What about purchasing life insurance on a spouse and/or on children?

Answer:  In certain circumstances, it may be advisable to purchase life insurance on children.  However, such purchases should not be made in lieu of purchasing appropriate amounts of life insurance on the family breadwinner(s).  It is of utmost importance that the income earning capacity of the primary breadwinner be fully protected, if possible, through the purchase of the required amount of life insurance before contemplating the purchase of life insurance on children or a non-wage earning spouse.  In a dual-earning household, it is often recommended for the purpose of paying for household services lost at this individual’s death.