Insurance Tips

Auto Insurance 101

  1. You are a statistic.
    An insurer looks at you as a set of risks and your premium is based on your “risk factors.” Risk factors include some things each insurance carrier feels is important such as your occupation, where you live, your driving record, etc.
  2. Insurance companies differ.
    As with anything else you buy, what seems to be the same product can have different prices. The same goes for insurance  – depending on the company you can save money by comparison shopping.
  3. Don’t buy just price.
    A low price is no bargain if the insurance company takes forever to service your claim. We can tell you the insurer’s record for claims service, as well as its financial stability.
  4. Go beyond the basics.
    By law you are required to only purchase a minimum of auto-insurance liability coverage, but you should look for more coverage than that. In the event of a claim, you’ll be glad you did.
  5. Do you qualify for discounts?
    Insurance companies provide discounts to reward behavior that reduces risk. Don’t be one of the Americans who waste money every a year because they forget to ask for them!
  6. Ask for the real thing.
    Insurers cut costs by paying only for car parts made by companies other than the car’s manufacturer. These parts can be inferior. Demand parts by the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
  7. Prepare before you have to file a claim.
    Keep your policy updated, and re-read it before you file a claim so there are no surprises. Take photos of your car at the time of insuring it so you have proof in the event you need the insurance company to make you whole after a claim.

Business Insurance 101

  1. General liability
    This insurance protects you if anyone is injured at your place of business or as a result of your services or products.
  2. Umbrella liability
    Umbrella coverage is intended to fill in any gaps left by all your other forms of insurance.
  3. Property/casualty
    If your business owns property, you need insurance for the structure as well. The most desirable kind of property insurance is “all risks” coverage, which is intended to cover all types of problems.
  4. Business interruption
    A blackout, earthquake or storm could grind your business to a halt for weeks or even months. You need insurance that will cover damage to your building and compensate you for lost sales.
  5. Workers’ compensation
    If your business has employees, you must carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover medical bills and lost pay for employees who are injured on the job.
  6. Disability insurance
    Your workers are covered by federal disability programs, but you are not. Ask us about coverage to protect you temporarily or long-term.
  7. Life insurance
    If your business would cease to function without you there to guide it, life insurance can replace that lost income and make sure your family members are financially secure.

Homeowners Insurance 101

  1. Homeowners insurance protects you, your home and your guests.
    A typical policy covers damage to your home or property as well as your liability for certain injuries.
  2. More specifically, homeowners insurance also covers your furniture, clothing, appliances and other things you keep inside your home.
    When shopping around, you’ll notice that most companies offer increased limits for valuables like art, jewelry and other collectibles.
  3. One thing to note
    The majority of homeowners insurance policies do not cover damage caused by earthquake or flood, so if you live in an area prone to these risks, you might consider buying a separate flood or earthquake policy.

Condominium Insurance 101

  1. Associations and Master Policies
    They frequently cover the basic building but do not provide coverage for fixtures inside. The homeowner is still responsible for carpeting, cabinets, appliances, wall coverings and sometimes even interior walls and floors. Find out what is and what is not covered before purchasing insurance.
  2. Personal Belongings
    These are not covered by associations. Instead, insurance must be purchased for coverage.
  3. Protection
    Condominium insurance can protect you from damage in such instances as: fire or lightning, smoke damage, windstorms, theft, vandalism, vehicle damage, artificially generated electrical current, falling objects, accidental overflow of water, accidental eruption of hot water heating system, explosion, riot or civil commotion and more.
  4. Flood or earthquake
    Basic condo insurance frequently does NOT include compensation for damage caused by a flood or earthquake.
  5. Additional Coverage
    There are items that many insurance policies overlook. Be sure that your condo insurance covers damages from sewers that back up along with additional coverage for expensive items such as antique furniture, jewelry or art.
  6. How much insurance is appropriate?
    You policy should include replacement coverage. Without this, you may only be paid for the cash value of an older, used item. Make a list of all items, including walls and floors, along with the price to replace it in another column to determine necessary coverage. Be sure to add about 10 to 20% to offset estimation errors.
  7. Do I need to insure the structure?
    No. You do not actually own the structure, despite the fact that you do own the condo. Thus, what you should actually concentrate on is the inside of the home.

Renters Insurance 101

  1. Renters Insurance Policy Coverage
    Renters insurance policies are typically designed to protect you in case of: Smoke damage, vandalism, fire, lightning damage, wind damage, theft, vehicle/aircraft damage, water-related damages and more.
  2. Renters Insurance Offers Liability Protection
    With lawsuits these days, liability isn’t anything you want to mess around with. One accident could put you into financial ruin. Liability protection guards you from inadvertent damage to property or bodily injury that you cause. For example, if you accidently start a fire because of negligence, other tenants could bring legal action against you. If an accident like this happens, you are covered.
  3. Renters Insurance is Cheap
    When you start comparing the cost of renters insurance to what you might loose, the policies are well worth it. As a general rule, renters insurance policies are generally around $12/month.
  4. Your Landlord Won’t Cover Your Personal Belongings
    Although landlords do generally cover the structure, if a fire or other damaging event occurs, your personal belongings will not be covered. That’s why renters insurance is important.
  5. If Something Happens, You Have a Place to Stay.
    Also covered in the event of damage to the place you are renting such as a fire or flood, renters insurance policies cover money for temporary housing.
  6. Do You Own Expensive Personal Property Such As Jewelry and High-End Electronic Equipment?
    If so, it may be a good idea to purchase additional premium coverage beyond your renters insurance. Especially if you feel that their worth is significant. Liability coverage on renters insurance policies protect up to a certain amount, and this may not include the price of your more expensive possessions.

Umbrella Insurance 101

  1. Many Insurance Policies Have Limited Liability Insurance.
    Basically this means that if you get sued, you may not have enough liability insurance from your current policies to cover your costs for negligence. Since no one knows how much a judge may award the injured party, umbrella insurance can be the extra protection you need to insure that you are covered.
  2. After Adding in Medical Expenses of Injured Policies Along with Legal Fees, Your Homeowner or Auto Policy May Not be Enough.
    Most states have laws that hold drivers financially responsible for bodily injury and property damage that happens as a result of car accidents. With umbrella insurance, you can be given added liability protection without a large additional cost.
  3. Most Umbrella Policies Are Inexpensive.
    On average, umbrella policies cost the average American around $20 to $25 a month. When you consider the cost of a catastrophic event, umbrella insurance policies can really be worth it.
  4. When You Get Umbrella Insurance, You Are Paying for Peace of Mind.
    What if you are sued for liability following a fender-bender or even following something more catastrophic? With umbrella insurance, you could be covered in the event of unforeseen damages, saving your financial livelihood.
  5. The Maximum You Can Otherwise Purchase for Liability Insurance is Minimal.
    The most that one can purchase for liability protection is $500,000 for homeowners or $500,000 per accident for auto insurance. And that is with the purchase of additional liability protection. With today’s lawsuits, this may not be enough to cover you and your family.
  6. How Much Coverage is Enough?
    This is obviously situational. How much are your assets worth? Do you have teenagers? Do they drive? This and more should be taken into consideration when reviewing your policy. Talk to your SCI Insurance Agent for more information.
  7. How Much Extra Coverage Can Umbrella Insurance Offer?
    On average, umbrella insurance offers you the added security of an extra $1 million to $5 million in liability protection.

Mechanical Breakdown Protection 101

  1. You Are More Likely to Have a Mechanical Breakdown Than an Auto Accident.
    Statistics show you are more likely to have a major mechanical breakdown than an auto accident. Also according to statistics, you are more likely to experience a mechanical failure after your warranty is up. For those reasons, it may be a good idea to look into Mechanical Breakdown Protection as a preventative measure.
  2. MBP Typically Saves You More Money Than Traditional Extended Warranties.
    This is because it provides you with more coverage and benefits.
  3. Avoid Costly Repairs.
    MBP plans can extend your coverage to virtually all mechanical and electrical vehicle components.
  4. Additional Benefits Savings Adds Up.
    The added benefits of towing, rental, travel and tire road hazard benefits can really help you in instances of needed car repairs, unlike traditional extended warranties.
  5. This is an Insurance Contract.
    Mechanical Breakdown Protection is not a dealer warranty. It is an insurance contract, monitored and protected by SCI Insurance and the state. Because of this, you can be sure that you will be covered.
  6. Can You Cancel Your Dealer Contract/Policy to get MBP?
    Yes. Although many dealers are slow to admit this, state law requires that their contracts contain minimum cancellation clauses, meaning that all policies can be cancelled within 30 days. If you have had it longer than that, you can still get a refund for the time you haven’t used.

Commercial Auto Insurance 101

  1. The Bottom Line.
    Commercial Auto Insurance can protect your business and employees from financial losses resulting from an accident or incident. This type of coverage can be very important to your business, insuring your financial security.
  2. Commercial Auto Insurance Offers Endorsements.
    Customizable to your business and policy, commercial auto insurance can include endorsements such as new vehicle replacement, auto loans, expanded towing, rental reimbursement, personal injury protection and more.
  3. Liability Insurance.
    This coverage insures you in instances of bodily injury, property damage, uninsured motorists and underinsured motorists.
  4. Physical Damage Insurance.
    This coverage insures you in instances of collisions.
  5. Look for Discounts.
    Many discounts are available to companies. Before initiating a quote, gather your company’s loss and financial records. This information could help save your company a lot of money on your policy.
  6. As Your Business Evolves, So Will Your Policy.
    Your business may start in your dining room and grow to several vehicles and commercial property. As your business evolves, your coverage needs to as well. Be sure to check in with your agent to update your coverage periodically to make sure your evolving business is covered.
  7. One Size Doesn’t Fit All.
    That is why SCI Insurance offers a variety of commercial auto insurance policies to fit the individual needs of your company.