What concerns you most when thinking about insurance?
- Your insurance premiums increasing after an accident or minor violation; or
- The effects of adding a youthful driver to your policy; or
- A single homeowner loss cancelling your policy; or
- Coverage limitations for jewelry and collectibles; or
- Protecting your personal belongings from a lawsuit?
Whether its coverage for your home, property, autos, recreational vehicles, valuables or a personal umbrella, we can design a personal insurance program that is tailored to meet your specific needs. Or goal is to help you secure the proper coverage at a competitive price for all your personal insurance needs.
Our goal is to protect you and your family adequately if an unfortunate event occurs that could pose a financial/ mental burden that is immeasurable! We accomplish this by researching the coverage’s based on your needs, and then proposing the company products that meet those needs. We also strive to build long term relationships by providing the advice and guidance that our customers expect and deserve. Your security and the protection of your family is our main priority.
The value of good insurance doesn’t become apparent until you really need it. Whether it’s minor claim or a more substantial loss, it pays to have insurance coverage you can count on. Our friendly knowledge staff is here to answer all of your insurance questions and assist you with any problems you may have.
1. Auto/Car Insurance
Auto insurance protects you against financial loss if you have an accident. It is a contract between you and the insurance company. You agree to pay the premium and the insurance company agrees to pay your losses as defined in your policy.
Auto insurance provides property, liability and medical coverage:
- Property coverage pays for damage to or theft of your car.
- Liability coverage pays for your legal responsibility to others for bodily injury or property damage.
- Medical coverage pays for the cost of treating injuries, rehabilitation and sometimes lost wages and funeral expenses.
An auto insurance policy is comprised of six different kinds of coverage. Most states require you to buy some, but not all, of these coverages. If you’re financing a car, your lender may also have requirements.
Most auto policies are for six months to a year.
The six parts of an auto policy
Your auto policy may include all 6 coverages or some of them. Each coverage is priced separately.
- Bodily Injury Liability
For injuries the policyholder causes to someone else.
- Medical Payments or Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
For treatment of injuries to the driver and passengers of the policyholder’s car. At its broadest, PIP can cover medical payments, lost wages and the cost of replacing services normally performed by someone injured in an auto accident.
- Property Damage Liability
For damage the policyholder caused to someone else’s property.
For damage to the policyholder’s car from a collision. The collision could be with another car, a light post, fire hydrant, etc.
For damage to the policyholder’s car that doesn’t involve a collision with another car. Covered risks include fire, theft, falling objects, missiles, explosion, earthquake, flood, riot and civil commotion.
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage
For treatment of policyholder’s injuries as a result of collision with an uninsured driver. Underinsured motorist coverage can also be included in an auto policy. Underinsured motorist coverage comes into play when an at-fault driver has auto liability insurance, but the limit of insurance is inadequate to pay for your damages.
Each state requires that you have certain types of coverages with minimum liability limits. The insurance industry recommends that your bodily injury liability limits be $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident.
a) Classic Cars & Antiques
b) Youthful Operators/Teen Drivers/ New Drivers/Ages 16-19
Whether you’re a teen who has never driven and insured a car before, or the parent of a teen who is just planning to drive for the first time, there is much to know about purchasing auto insurance for teen or first-time drivers. Being educated on the insurance buying process will save you time, effort and money throughout the transaction.
- If you are not adding a vehicle, the new teen driver usually needs to be rated as a primary driver on one of the family vehicles. A special form is required by the state to obtain individual license.
- Your insurance rates will typically increase when a new driver or teen driver is added to a policy. Find out if you qualify for any auto insurance discounts in your area, such as a Good Student Discount or Safe Driver programs.
- Talk with your teenager about safe driving, as well as how traffic violations will affect your rates.
- If you are buying a new vehicle, you may want to consider which vehicles get the lowest rates.
- Consider getting a Personal Umbrella Policy in the event you or your teen driver accidentally injures someone or damages their property, you could be sued.
Common facts: It’s usually cheaper to add your teen driver to the family plan versus buying separate auto insurance:
The teen shares in the savings you get for things like owning a home, being married, having an established credit history and having a safer driving record.
The teen receives a break on your rate with the family’s loyalty or long term discounts.
It costs less to insure when the rate is split across other cars than it would be to insure it by itself.
2. Homeowners Insurance
How much homeowners insurance do I need? You need enough insurance to cover the following:
- The structure of your home.
- Your Personal possessions.
- The cost of additional living expenses if you home is damaged and you have to live elsewhere during repairs.
- Your Liability to others.
You need enough insurance to cover the cost of rebuilding you home at current construction costs. Don’t include the cost of the land. And don’t base your rebuilding costs on the price you paid for your home. The cost of rebuilding could be more or less than the price you paid or could sell it for today.
Some banks require you to buy homeowners insurance to cover the amount of your mortgage. If the limit of your insurance policy is based on your mortgage, make sure it’s enough to cover the cost of rebuilding. (If your mortgage is paid off, don’t cancel your homeowners policy. Homeowners insurance protects your investment in your home.)
Factors that will determine the cost of rebuilding your home:
- Local construction costs
- Year of construction
- The square footage of the structure
- The type of exterior wall construction – frame, masonry (brick or stone), or veneer
- The style of the house (rand, colonial)
- The number of bathrooms and other rooms
- The type of roof and materials use
- Other structures on the premises such as garages, sheds
- Fireplaces, interior and exterior finishings and other special features
- Whether the house, or parts of it like the kitchen, were custom built or remodeled.
- Improvements to your home – adding a second bathroom, enlarging the kitchen or other additions that have added value to your home
Standard homeowners policies provide coverage for disasters such as damage due to fire, lightning, hail, explosions and theft. They do not cover floods, earthquakes or damage caused by lack of routine maintenance.
Replacement cost policies
Most policies cover replacement cost for damage to the structure. A replacement cost policy pays for the repair or replacement of damaged property with materials of similar kind and quality. There is no deduction for depreciation — the decrease in value due to age, wear and tear, and other factors.
If you purchase a flood insurance policy, coverage for the structure is available on a replacement cost basis.
Guaranteed or extended replacement cost coverage
After a major hurricane or a tornado, building materials and construction workers are often in great demand. This can push rebuilding costs above homeowners policy limits, leaving you without enough money to cover the bill. To protect against such a situation, you can buy a policy that pays more than the policy limits.
An extended replacement cost policy will pay an extra 20 percent or more above the limits, depending on the insurance company. A guaranteed replacement cost policy will pay whatever it costs to rebuild your home as it was before the fire or other disaster.
Building codes are updated periodically and may have changed significantly since your home was built. If your home is badly damaged, you may be required to rebuild your home to meet new building codes. Generally, homeowners insurance policies (even a guaranteed replacement cost policy) won’t pay for the extra expense of rebuilding to code. Many insurance companies offer an Ordinance or Law endorsement that pays a specified amount toward these costs. (An endorsement is a form attached to an insurance policy that changes what the policy covers.)
Consider adding an inflation guard clause to your policy. This automatically adjusts the dwelling limit when you renew your policy to reflect current construction costs in your area.
If you own an older home, you may not be able to buy a replacement cost policy. Instead, you may have to buy a modified replacement cost policy. This means that instead of repairing or replacing features typical of older homes, like plaster walls and wooden floors, with similar materials, the policy will pay for repairs using the standard building materials and construction techniques in use today.
Insurance companies differ greatly in how they insure older homes. Some won’t insure older homes for the replacement cost because of the expense of re-creating special features like wall and ceiling moldings and carvings. Other companies will insure older homes for the replacement cost as long as the dwelling is in good condition.
If you can’t insure your home for the replacement cost or choose not to do so — in some cases, the cost of replacing a large old home is so high that you might not want to replace it with a house of the same size — make sure the limits of the policy are high enough to provide you with a house of acceptable size and quality.
Your personal possessions
Most homeowners insurance policies provide coverage for your personal possessions for approximately 50% to 70% of the amount of insurance you have on the structure or “dwelling” of your home. The limits of the policy typically appear on the Declarations Page under Section I, Coverages, A. Dwelling.
To determine if this is enough coverage, you need to conduct a home inventory. This is a detailed list of everything you own and information related to the cost to replace these items if they were stolen or destroyed by a disaster such as a fire. If you think you need more coverage, contact your agent or insurance company representative and ask for higher limits for your personal possessions.
Replacement Cost or Actual Cash Value
You can insure your possessions in two ways. You can either insure your belongings for their actual cash value or their replacement cost.
A cash value policy pays the cost to replace your belongings minus depreciation. A replacement cost policy, on the other hand, reimburses you for the cost to replace the item.
Suppose, for example, a fire destroys a 10-year-old TV set in your living room. If you have a replacement cost policy for the contents of your home, the insurance company will pay to replace the TV set with a new one. If you have an actual cash value policy, it will pay only a percentage of the cost of a new TV set because the TV has been used for 10 years and is worth a lot less than its original cost. Some replacement cost policies also replace the item and deliver it to you.
Generally, the price of replacement cost coverage is about 10% more than actual cash value. If you need a flood insurance policy, you can purchase flood insurance for your belongings. It is only available, however, on an actual cash value basis.
Insuring expensive items with floaters/endorsements
There may be limits on how much coverage you get for expensive items such as jewelry, silverware and furs. Generally, there is a limit on jewelry for $1,000 to $2,000. You should ask your agent or look it up in your policy. This information is in Section I, Personal Property, Special Limits of Liability. Insurance companies may also place a limit on what they’ll pay for computers.
If the limits are too low, consider buying a special personal property floater or an endorsement. These allow you to insure these items individually or as a collection. With floaters and endorsements, there is no deductible. You are charged a premium based on what the item (or collection) is, where you live and its dollar value.
You can determine the value by providing your agent with a recent receipt or getting the item or collection appraised.
Additional living expenses after a disaster
This is a very important feature of a standard homeowners insurance policy. This pays the additional costs of temporarily living away from your home if you can’t live in it due to a fire, severe storm or other insured disaster. It covers hotel bills, restaurant meals and other living expenses incurred while your home is being rebuilt.
Coverage for additional living expenses differs from company to company. Many policies provide coverage for about 20% of the insurance on your house. Some companies will even sell you a policy that provides you with an unlimited amount of loss of use coverage, for a limited amount of time.
If you rent out part of your house, this coverage also reimburses you for the rent that you would have collected from your tenant if your home had not been destroyed.
You should talk to your agent or company to make sure you know exactly how much coverage you have and how long the coverage will be in effect. In most cases, you can increase this coverage for an additional premium.
Liability to others
This part of your policy covers you against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage that you or family members cause to other people. It also pays for damage caused by pets. It pays for both the cost of defending you in court and for any damages a court rules you must pay.
Generally, most homeowners insurance policies provide a minimum of $100,000 worth of liability insurance, but higher amounts are available. Increasingly, it is recommended that homeowners consider purchasing at least $300,000 to $500,000 worth of coverage of liability protection.
Umbrella or Excess Liability
You should buy enough liability insurance to protect your assets. If you own property and or have investments and savings that are worth more than the liability limits in your policy, you may consider purchasing an excess liability or umbrella policy.
Umbrella or excess liability policies provide extra coverage. They start to pay after you have used up the liability insurance in your underlying home (or auto) policy. An umbrella policy is not part of your homeowners policy. You have to purchase it separately. In addition to providing a higher dollar amount, they offer broader coverage. You are covered for libel, slander, and invasion of privacy. These things are not covered under standard homeowners or auto policies.
The cost of an umbrella policy depends on how much underlying insurance you have and the kind of risk you represent. The greater the underlying liability coverage, the cheaper the policy. This is because you would be the less likely to need the additional insurance. Most companies will require a minimum of $300,000 on your home and your car, if you own one.
a) Primary Home (newer constructions)
b) Secondary Home
Even though you don’t own your own home you have personal property that can be lost to fires, burglaries and even lawsuits.
While most homeowners are insured for these risks, many renters are not. No one requires renters to buy insurance to protect their personal property (belongings), so many do not.
These are some of the types of losses for which your personal property is covered:
- Smoke, if sudden and accidental
- Sudden and accidental discharge of water or steam from plumbing, heating, or air-condition system, or household appliance
- Fire or lightning
- Windstorm or hail
- Loss of Use
If you rent a home or a mobile home, you need special protection. Our plans can cover you from almost any kind of hazard. You can be protected against damage to the home or adjacent structures and your contents as well.
Life & Long-term Care Insurance
Are you prepared for or concerned about?
- Income to pay your bills when out of work for surgery, illness or other extended circumstances; or
- Paying for burial and other final expenses; or
- Loss of income with departure of spouse; or
- Stability in retirement?
Let us help you select life insurance coverage that meets your needs, your life and your budget. There are many types of life insurance to fit individual needs and circumstances. How much life insurance do I need? In most cases, if you have no dependents and have enough money to pay your final expense, you don’t need any life insurance.
Disability Insurance – Disability insurance pays an insured person an income when that person is unable to work because of an accident or illness.
Long term care – Because of old age, mental or physical illness, or injury, some people find themselves in need of help with eating, bathing, dressing and other physical activities.
Final Expense (also known as basic burial insurance) – Final expense insurance is one of the greatest gifts you can provide for your loved ones. Providing your family with the money needed to cover your final expenses is something that simply makes sense.
Annuity – In its most general sense, an annuity is an agreement for one person or organization to pya another a stream or series of payments (income). Usually the term “annuity” relates to a contract between you and a life insurance company, but a charity or a trust can take the place of the insurance company.
Life Insurance – What are the principal types of life insurance?
There are two major types of life insurance—term and whole life. Whole life is sometimes called permanent life insurance, and it encompasses several subcategories, including traditional whole life, universal life, variable life and variable universal life. In 2003, about 6.4 million individual life insurance policies bought were term and about 7.1 million were whole life.
Life insurance products for groups are different from life insurance sold to individuals. The information below focuses on life insurance sold to individuals.
There are several different types of term insurance you can consider:
Renewable Term Insurance
Convertible Term Insurance
Level Term Insurance
Decreasing Term Insurance
Increasing Term Insurance
Term Insurance is the simplest form of life insurance. It pays only if death occurs during the term of the policy, which is usually from one to 30 years. Most term policies have no other benefit provisions.
There are two basic types of term life insurance policies—level term and decreasing term.
Level term means that the death benefit stays the same throughout the duration of the policy.
Decreasing term means that the death benefit drops, usually in one-year increments, over the course of the policy’s term. In 2003, virtually all (97 percent) of the term life insurance bought was level term.
Whole We / Permanent Insurance
There are four basic types of permanent insurance:
Joint Whole Life
Whole life or permanent insurance pays a death benefit whenever you die—even if you live to 1001 There are three major types of whole life or permanent life insurance—traditional whole life, universal life, and variable universal life, and there are variations within each type.
In the case of traditional whole life, both the death benefit and the premium are designed to stay the same (level) throughout the life of the policy. The cost per $1,000 of benefit increases as the insured person ages, and it obviously gets very high when the insured lives to 80 and beyond. The insurance company could charge a premium that increases each year, but that would make it very hard for most people to afford life insurance at advanced ages. So the company keeps the premium level by charging a premium that, in the early years, is higher than what’s needed to pay claims, investing that money, and then using it to supplement the level premium to help pay the cost of life insurance for older people.
By law, when these “overpayments” reach a certain amount, they must be available to the policyowner as a cash value if he or she decides not to continue with the original plan. The cash value is an alternative, not an additional, benefit under the policy.
In the 1970s and 1980s, life insurance companies introduced two variations on the traditional whole life product—universal life insurance and variable universal life insurance.
What is Long Term Care Insurance?
Because of old age, mental or physical illness, or injury, some people find themselves in need of help with eating, bathing, dressing, toileting or continence, and/or
transferring (e.g., getting out of a chair or out of bed). These six actions are called Activities of Daily Living-sometimes referred to as ADLs. In general, if you can’t do two or more of these activities, or if you have a cognitive impairment, you are said to need “long-term care.”
Long-term care isn’t a very helpful name for this type of situation because, for one thing, it might not last for a long time. Some people who need ADL services might need them only for a few months or less.
Many people think that long-term care is provided exclusively in a nursing home. It can be, but it can also be provided in an adult day care center, an assisted living facility, or at home.
Assistance with ADLs, called “custodial care,” may be provided in the same place as (and therefore is sometimes confused with) “skilled care.” Skilled care means medical, nursing, or rehabilitative services, including help taking medicine, undergoing testing (e.g. blood pressure), or other similar services. This distinction is important because Medicare and most private health insurance pays only for skilled care-not custodial care.
Should I buy long-term care insurance?
If you need long-term care services and have to pay to obtain them, what financial resources could you call on? Do you have enough to pay for four or more years in a nursing home, an assisted living facility, or home health care?
If you’re over 65, don’t rely on Medicare or private health insurance. Medicare doesn’t pay for custodial care, and private health insurance rarely pays any of the cost of long¬term care.
If you expect to have very little money when you need long¬term care services, you might qualify for Medicaid, a government program that pays the medical and long-term care expenses of poor people. If you expect to be in that situation, you probably shouldn’t buy long-term care insurance, because your state’s Medicaid program will pay your long-term care expenses. Buying long-term care insurance would only save the state, not you, money. The exception is if you live in California, Connecticut, Indiana, or New York, states that have a Partnership for Long-Term Care program. For residents of these four states, buying long-term care insurance does offer an additional benefit.
If you expect to have a lot of money when you need long-term care services, you also probably shouldn’t buy long-term care insurance. Instead, you should plan to pay for the care “out of pocket”? that is, as a regular expense. One financial advisor suggested in a newspaper interview that if your net worth is in the $1.5 million range, not including the value of your home, you could safely skip buying long-term care insurance and treat long-term care expenses, if they arise, as you do your other bills.
If you fall in-between these two categories, owning long-term care insurance, like all other insurance coverages, offers peace-of-mind benefits as well as financial ones. For example, a recent survey of people age 50 and over asked how confident they were that they could pay for long-term care services if they needed them. Among those with long¬term care policies, 52 percent said they were very confident and another 40 percent said they were somewhat confident. Among those who didn’t own a long-term care policy, only 8 percent were very confident and only 27 percent were somewhat confident.
But if you’re under 85, and especially if you’re under 65, that doesn’t mean you should ignore the topic of long-term care insurance because:
You might already be unable to buy long-term care insurance. Wakely Consulting Group, an actuarial firm, studied applicants for long-term care insurance in 2003-2004; the findings: 11 percent of applicants in their 50s, 19 percent in their 60s and 43 percent in their 70s were rejected.
A Milliman & Robertson actuary estimated that 15 to 25 percent of the over-65 age group are uninsurable for long¬term care.
A report from the Henry J. Kaiser Foundation indicates that over five million people ages 18-64 need some type of long¬term care.
The latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics (for 1999) reported that roughly 160,000 of the people living in nursing homes were under age 65 (nearly 10 percent of the total). Of those receiving home health care services, roughly 400,000 were under 65 (about 30 percent of the total).
So, unless you have so little money that you will qualify for Medicaid, or so much money that you can pay the bills out of your own pocket, you should consider buying long-term care insurance.
4. Recreational Vehicles Insurance
If you love the outdoors, we have a policy for you – from RVs and boats to motorcycles, ATVs and Golf Carts. With Recreational Vehicle Insurance from Beach Insurance & Associates, you can enjoy your toys, knowing that you, your vehicle, and your passengers are protected. Our insurance options provide you with the same service and rich features you can expect – from comprehensive and collision coverage to personal injury protection and towing costs. Should an accident happen – such as property damage, vandalism, or bodily injury as a result of a crash – it is reassuring to know that your investment is protected.
e) Golf Carts