Frequently Asked Questions
What can we help you find?
What can we help you find?
As you apply for insurance, the companies will need identifiable information to assess the proper premium for insuring you, whether it is home, auto, renters, umbrella, the list goes on. This will include Name, Current and Prior Addresses, Age and Gender. This will be used to check credit and loss history.
Independent agents represent you, the policyholder, not the insurance companies. They have access to multiple companies to price the insurance you need. A franchise, or captive agent,represents one brand of insurance companies and can provide you with that single option. Often this means needing to quote with multiple agents to make sure you are receiving the broadest coverage for the lowest premium available.
A bundle is referred to insuring multiple lines of coverage with the same insurance company, i.e. home, auto, umbrella, jewelry etc.This is a common way of reducing the cost per policy. ATTENTION FLORIDA POLICY HOLDERS – Given the complex nature of insuring in Florida between Hurricanes, Floods, Sinkholes and our Laws there are very few companies actually “bundling” your coverages. Rather some companies actually insure one policy like car insurance and internally broker the other lines with different companies yet say the insurance as all with the same company. Make sure to check the insurance company stated on each insurance policy to see if you have a“bundle”or you could be paying too much.
Historically this has been a factor in determining auto insurance only. Some companies are beginning to use credit on other types of coverages, but not as common.
An escrow account is an account in which a borrower’s property taxes and/or insurance are held in trust. Because Lenders require that the properties they lend to purchase are insured and taxes are paid they often require the escrow account. As such,the prior year’s annual property tax and insurance are divided evenly amongst the monthly mortgage payments. When taxes are due (usually in the Fall) and insurance (annually renewing on the date of purchase of the property) the Lender remits the payments with the funds it has “escrowed” from the borrower. If the property is sold, any funds in escrow in excess of what is owed as of that date of sale will be returned to the borrower.
An additional insured is a personal or entity that is added to an insurance policy to transfer its risk onto that of the policy holder. This is done due to a contractual relationship between the parties with the policyholder needing to assume liability of the additional insured. Example: A homeowner is seeking renovations on their home. When hiring the General Contractor the homeowner wants to ensure any damages to the home, any bodily injuries due to theworkor any injuries to the employees of the contractor while on site are the responsibility of the General Contractor and do not require them to file against their homeowners policy. As such the homeowner requests to be added as an additional insured on the general liability, automobile and workers compensation insurance of the General Contractor to have rights to those policies instead.
An additional interest is a person or entity seeking rights to the policy due to a financial relationship with a policyholder. In the event of a claim they along with the policyholder would be able to recoup their investment. Examples: Lenders require being named as an Additional Interest (or Mortgagee) on a home they lend to purchase, a car leasing requires naming the Lender as an Additional Interest (or Lienholder).
Coverage A of a standard homeowners policy is Dwelling Coverage. This is the total amount available to pay for the repair or rebuilding of the structure of the home and anything permanently attached. Common items would be the roof, walls, electrical, plumbing, HVAC systems etc. This is not the amount used to pay for your contents including furniture, clothing, TVs, books, etc.
Coverage C of a standard homeowners policy is Personal Property also referred to as Contents.This is the total amount available to replace the items of your home if lost due to a covered peril on a policy, whether it be a fire, water damage or theft. Common items that belong in this limit are furniture, clothing, electronics, dishes, musical instruments, toys, etc.
Replacement Cost and Actual Cash Value are considered ValuationTypes.At the time of a loss, a claims adjuster will need to calculate the value of the property lost. Replacement cost is considered the current price (labor and materials) to repair or replace the damaged property up to the policy limit. If the policy is issued with Actual Cash Value, the adjusters will calculate the value of the damages as of the time of the claim based on the useful life remaining and pay the depreciated value of damaged property.
When purchasing auto insurance you have the option to carry “comprehensive” and/or “collision” coverage on your vehicle. Doing so is typically referred to as having “Full Coverage”. Comprehensive Coverage protects your vehicle from damage unrelated to an accident, such as a tree branch falling on it or hitting an animal, whereas Collision Coverage protects against collisions with another vehicle or object.
Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage pays for medical bills and/or damage to your vehicle if the at-fault driver has no insurance or insufficient amount of coverage. It is extremely important coverage especially in Florida as there is no state law requiring drivers to purchase Bodily Injury coverage, which would pay for your and your passengers’ injuries. We do not suggest clients rely on their health insurance for a few important reasons:
A personal umbrella policy provides additional liability coverage beyond the individual liability limits of your homeowners, auto, and boat insurance policies. It can help protect you from large lawsuits by providing additional coverage when the liability limits of your primary policies have been reached or in fact fill in and pay claims the primary policies don’t cover, subject to policy provisions.
A premium audit is a retroactive calculation of the amount owed for an insurance policy. In many types of commercial insurance the premium charged at the inception of the policy is only estimated. If the entity has more revenue than expected or pays more salaries than expected to employees these would be used to calculate the true premium. Any premium that is considered earned for the risk assumed but unpaid would be billed by the company to the policyholder. Similarly, any premium unearned due the policyholder having done less in sales or payroll would trigger a return of premium.
The most common commercial insurance is general liability insurance. This pays for defense costs and damages if the business becomes obligated to pay for the for bodily injury, property damage, copyright infringement, reputational harm and advertising injury to others. Workers Compensation, Commercial Property, Commercial Auto, Product Liability, Errors and Omissions, Directors and Officers, Employment Practices Liability and Bonds are also commonly purchased depending on the nature of the business.
A certificate of insurance, or COI, is a document issued by an insurance company, brokerage or agency that verifies the existence of an insurance policy and summarizes the key aspects and conditions of the policy. A COI usually provides all the critical information at a glance, such as the policyholder’s name, the name of the insurer, the policy number, the coverage limits, and the effective and expiration dates. It is also common for a business’s clients to request to be added as a Certificate Holder and/or Additional Insured when entering into business so they can ensure a business they contract with is insured.
Commercial or Business Insurance is rated largely on the size and scope of the prospective insured. Annual Sales, size of the occupied premises, number of employees or payroll can be used to price the insurance.
Workers Compensation differed from state to state. In the State of Florida, worker’s compensation requirements depends largely on industry.
Worker’s compensation is required for any non-construction industry employer with 4 or more employees and any construction industry employer with 1 employee or more. Additional information on worker’s compensation can be found on the FL CFO’s website.
An admitted insurance company is licensed and authorized to do business in the state where the policy is sold whereas non-admitted insurance refers to policies written by an insurer that is not licensed or authorized to do business in the state where the policy is sold. This doesn’t mean the non-admitted company cannot sell insurance. Rather it means that the company simply hasn’t filed their standard policy with the state for approval prior to making it available. Non-admitted insurance companies serve an important market in that they are willing to offer coverage where admitted or “standard” companies are unwilling to insure. Theoretically they make insurance available where it is otherwise not possible.
Business Income is extremely important. Business Income pays the Lost Net Income that arises from a covered loss to the business. It can also include Extra Expense to continuing operate offsite and extra expenses in doing so.
Business liability insurance can pay legal fees in defending against allegations and the resultant settlements or judgements of bodily injury to others at your place of business or bodily injury alleged to be caused by your operations, accidental damage to your customer’s property, your advertising causing damage to a competitor, mistakes that harm a client financially and incidents related to alcohol consumption if you serve drinks.
Also referred to as “E.P.L.I.” this insurance is meant to respond to and pay for any awarded damages for employment matters not covered by your general liability insurance. Allegations of discrimination or harassment, failure to pay earned wages including overtime, invasion of privacy or wrongful termination are the most common.
In the event of physical damage at your business location you’d likely be unable to operate and suffer both loss of income and worse be required to continue paying your current bills including rent, utilities, wages, equipment lease payments, and other ongoing expenses. Purchasing this optional coverage on your business policy is important for both defraying those additional expenses and for recouping lost income during the period of restoration of the premises or relocation to another temporary location.