How to save on your insurance costs?

Bundle your home and auto insurance to obtain valuable discounts.

Now that my business is established, I think it is time to offer my employees some benefits. What do I need to know?

Employee benefits generally include health insurance (sometimes including dental and vision benefits), term life insurance, and possibly a retirement program. Group disability insurance is also available, although employers and employees opt for this benefit less frequently.

Employers can provide coverage for their employees alone or for the employees and their families. Cost is usually the determining factor. With the high cost of health insurance in the United States today, employers are more likely to ask employees to pay some or all of the costs of health insurance for their families and sometimes for the employees themselves.

What is Directors and Officers Liability?

Often called D&O, Directors and Officers liability is a business management insurance policy.  This coverage designed to provide  financial protection for the  Directors and Officers of a company or an organization  in the event that they are sued regarding their  performance and decisions made while serving in their capacity for the organization. This coverage is very important for those that serve on boards because they can be held personally liable for decisions made on behalf of the organization. The organization’s General Liability policy and the board member’s   personal Homeowners policy will not extend coverage for this exposure.  Common allegations against Directors and Officers involve decisions,acts or omissions that may have lowered stock values,wasted corporate assets, overlooked growth or investment opportunities and conflicts of interest. These types of situations can result in financial injury to stockholders, employees  and others.

What is the difference between “actual cash value” and “replacement cost”?

When a claim is paid on an “actual cash value basis” the policy holder will be paid the depreciated value of the damaged property (replacement cost less depreciation). When replacement cost is used, the policy holder will be reimbursed the amount  necessary to replace the property with a similar item.

What types of property do I need to insure?

Your business may not possess all the following types of property, but you can use this list to make sure that you have considered all the property categories and any insurance coverage that may be warranted:

  •  Buildings and other structures (owned or leased)
  • Furniture, equipment and supplies
  • Inventory
  • Money and securities
  • Records of accounts receivable
  • Improvements and betterments you made to the premises
  • Machinery
  • Boilers
  • Data processing equipment and media (including computers)
  • Valuable papers, books and documents
  • Mobile property such as automobiles, trucks and construction equipment
  • Satellite dishes
  • Signs, fences, and other outdoor property not attached to a building
  • Intangible property (good will, trademarks, etc.)
  • Leased equipment

While the above list is a start, it is by no means a complete list of coverages you should consider.  To establish the amount of insurance you need on each, your agent can help you review the types of property you own and their uses before determining what type of coverage you will need.

I don’t have any major business assets. Why do I need insurance?

Every business has some property. And, when you think about it, your business is your property. Just like your home and 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 insurance-property and liability. Property insurance covers damage to or loss of the policyholder’s property. And if somebody sued for damages caused by you or your possessions (other than a vehicle covered by your auto insurance policy), the cost of the suit-both defending it and settling it, if necessary-would be covered by your liability insurance.

I’m just getting my business started. Do I need insurance right away?

Yes, because the chance that you could suffer a loss begins with the first day of business. You can’t get help after the fact. If you suffer a loss and have no insurance or have improper or insufficient coverage, there is very little, if anything, your agent can do to help you. You must be prepared for the risks that are inherent in any business and the losses, sometimes catastrophic, that they can cause.

Also, many states and local jurisdictions require that businesses be insured to begin operating especially workers compensation insurance. And if you rent space for your business, your landlord probably requires that you be adequately insured as well

Doesn’t my condo association carry enough insurance to take care of me?

When you live in a condo or co-op apartment, you enjoy many of the advantages of home ownership, but you don’t actually own the building that you live in. As a result, home insurance for condo and

co-op owners is different from homeowners insurance.   A specialized form of homeowners insurance, called  H0-6, addresses the needs of condo owners.

There is a master  policy  held by the Condo Association or Co-op Board that generally covers the building and its common areas in case of covered losses. However, as a condo owner, you need insurance to protect your personal property from fire, lightning, explosion, storms, vandalism and theft and more. These are just a few of the named perils (specific risks) typically covered by an H0-6 policy.

These coverages protect your personal belongings in the event of loss.

As a condo owner, you also need to insure improvements you may have made to the structure of your unit, like private entry ways, garages, additions, balconies, and specialized fixtures. If these were not part of the original structure of your unit, then these improvements should be covered by your condo insurance policy to properly protect your investment.

Note that master policies d!fTer from condo association to condo association. Be sure to know exactly what is covered by the master policy, and make sure that your H0-6 coverage takes care of the rest.

And should someone be injured on your property, you may be held liable and be financially responsible for medical expenses, legal expenses or property damage involving that third party. Personal liability coverage is typically included in an H0-6  policy to cover this sott of accident or loss.

My landlord has insurance, so why do I need renters insurance?

Your landlord may have insurance to cover your building, but what if there’s damage to your property from fire or storms? Your landlord isn’t responsible for that. You are. And if repairs require you to move out, do you have the money to pay for another place to stay?

Renters insurance covers you against specific types of losses- named  perils such as damage from lightning, fire, storms, vandalism or theft- so that you can replace or repair your property in the event of an incident. And it even protects belongings that may be in your car!

If your apartment is uninhabitable for a period of time,  Renters Insurance  provides you the funds to live in a comparable apartment while yours is being repaired.

Think you don’t have enough personal property to justify the cost of renters insurance? You may be surprised. Your sporting goods, electronics, computers, clothes and furnishings may be worth more than you realize.

And protect yourself for a surprisingly affordable monthly rate!

Why do I need Personal Liability coverage?

Whether you live in a house, a condo or an apartment, if someone is hurt or suffers a loss in your home you could be found personally liable. In other words, you’re financially responsible for the expenses that may result.

  •  It may be as simple as someone slipping in your home, in the entryway or on the stairs. Even a broken leg can cost thousands of dollars in medical expenses – and potentially more if lost wages are involved.
  • Have a dog? Dog bites occur all too often, and you will be responsible for pain and suffering, medical expenses, and potentially lost wages.
  • If the person injured decides to sue, can you cover the legal expenses? Do you really want to put your assets at risk? 

Personal liability coverage is a standard part of most home insurance policies. A few extra dollars can go a long way to preventing financial disaster clown the road.

How do I know how much coverage I need for my home?

The type and amount of coverage you need depends upon:

  • the type of home you live in
  • its value
  • the value of your personal property
  • whether or not you have a mmtgage on your property
  • your personal finances

Since your family situation changes over the years as you remodel and increase the value of your home, the right amount of coverage for you will change over time. So be sure to evaluate your coverage needs on a regular basis.


What does homeowners insurance cover?

Homeowners insurance typically covers you for:

  • the structure of your dwelling
  • other structures on your property
  •  your personal belongings
  • personalliability 

A standard homeowners insurance policy protects you against loss causes like fire, lightning, wind, explosion, theft, vandalism and a host of other specific causes of damage or loss.

It also provides Loss of Use Coverage, which helps pay the additional expenses incurred if your home is damaged or destroyed in a covered loss and you have to live elsewhere temporarily

What is Collision Coverage?

Collision coverage is defined as the upset of your covered auto or its impact with another vehicle or object.  This is the coverage that pays for damage to your auto when there is an accident.

What is Comprehensive Coverage?

Comprehensive coverage is property damage protection for your vehicle.  Some of the perils covered are:  falling objects,fire, theft  of the vehicle,explosion,earthquake,hail,water, flood, vandalism,contact with  a bird or animal and glass breakage.

What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

Uninsured  motorist coverage provides protection for bodily injury  to you and passengers in your vehicle if you are injured in an accident caused by another vehicle and the other party has no auto insurance.

What is Liability Coverage?

This is the most important piece of your auto insurance policy because it provides financial protection for you.  Liability insurance provides protection for you if you are involved in an auto accident and found to be at fault.  It pays for bodily injury to the injured party and for property damage to their vehicle.  Liability insurance also pays for your defense costs in the event of a lawsuit.

Financial responsibility (commonly known as liability insurance) is required on all vehicles operated or parked on California roadways.  You must carry evidence of liability  insurance in your vehicle at all times and it must be provided when: requested  by law enforcement, renewing vehicle registration or the vehicle is involved in a traffic collision.

I want “full coverage” on my car. What is “full coverage and what does it cover?”

Full coverage does not exist.  All policies have terms,provisions, conditions  and sometimes deductibles  that restrict or exclude coverage for certain events.

Generally speaking “full coverage” is thought  to mean insurance coverage for liability,medical payments,uninsured motorist,comprehensive and collision.  Sometimes roadside assistance and rental reimbursement are thought to be part of “full coverage”.

It is very important to understand  what you are getting when you purchase your auto insurance policy.  We will take the time to help you understand  what protection your policy will offer and explain your options  with limits and deductibles.