Disclaimer: Please refer to your actual insurance policy for additional information and verification. The answers we provide are general answers and may not provide specific exclusions, endorsements and conditions that your policy may contain.
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Frequently Asked Questions
This can be covered in 2 ways. First, your homeowners insurance policy provides medical payments coverage and this will pay for the medical bills up to the limit specified regardless of who was at fault. If you are found at fault for the injuries, your personal liability coverage can protect you.
While speaking to parents at the StreetSafe events, this is one area that I have found most people don’t realize how important carrying higher liability limits is. Nearly all of your assets are at risk if you are sued for injuring someone or worse, causing a death in an accident without adequate liability protection. The best way to protect yourself is to increase your bodily injury limits to at least $250,000 per person and $500,000 per occurrence and add a liability umbrella. Visit our website at www.paramountinsurance.net/personal-insurance/umbrella to learn more or give us a call to discuss.
There is NO coverage for rental cars on your auto policy if the rental car is used for business purposes. ALWAYS buy the physical damage insurance offered by rental car companies regardless of it’s use. If you damage a rental car, it is much easier to simply turn the car in and walk away if you bought their insurance.
These are just some of the questions we get after bad things happen. However, we want you to know what’s covered and what is not before bad things happen. Please feel free to give us a call anytime you have any concerns about your insurance protection.
There are a number of factors that affect insurance rates but the greatest way to save on your insurance is to use an independent insurance agent that can shop the marketplace to find the lowest insurance rates for your needs. It is also best to combine your home insurance and your car insurance with the same insurance company. This will give you a multi-policy discount that can save you up to 20%.
Insurance companies use credit for underwriting and rating personal insurance policies. They have found that those with better credit scores have fewer insurance claims. Insurance companies believe that if you are responsible enough to maintain high credit scores, you are a more responsible driver and protect your property better than those with lower credit scores.
Sometimes bills get misplaced or lost in the mail. Sometimes we just forget to send in the payment and a policy can be cancelled. If your policy is cancelled and you get into an accident or have a claim, it won’t be covered leaving you to fork out the money for the damages. The best way to avoid cancellation of your insurance is to set up EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer). It’s quick and easy. We can help you set this up with just a quick phone call to our office.
The premiums for your general liability and workers compensation insurance policies are based on payroll. If you do not have a copy of their certificate, the insurance company will assume they are uninsured and include them in your total payroll thus increasing your premiums. If they are insured, always get a copy of their certificate of insurance.
To determine how much life insurance coverage you need, you should talk with a licensed life insurance agent who can perform a “needs analysis” for your individual needs. Call our office and we’ll be glad to help you determine this and what type of life insurance you need.
Yes, you can. Most life insurance companies will allow you to either split the coverage amount in percentages or fixed amounts for each individual beneficiary.
Permanent life insurance is intended to cover you for your entire life. Some types of permanent life insurance such as variable life and universal life may not because they are typically not 100% guaranteed to last your entire life. These types of policies are dependent on how well the cash value in your policy performs. Since the cash value is invested by the insurance company and is dependent on market conditions, these policies may not last as long as you need them.
Term life is guaranteed for a specific amount of time and does not contain a cash value feature. A 20 year term policy will provide the stated amount of insurance for 20 years. No more and no less. However, you can convert a term policy into a permanent policy within a specified time range. Check your policy for this option.
There are other features of both types of policies that may benefit you. The best way to decide on what type of life insurance you need to to sit down with a professional that can explain in detail all of your options. We can help you with this.
This is probably one of the most costly issues boat owners face when they have a claim and it’s important to have the right type of policy should you have a loss. Actual Cash value means that if your boat is damaged the insurance company will pay you the replacement cost minus depreciation. An older boat regardless of how good of condition it’s in can be depreciated significantly leaving you with only getting paid a portion of what it may be worth.
Replacement cost coverage means that the insurance company will pay you for what it would cost to buy a new boat of the same like and kind. These boat insurance policies are very rare. The best type of policy to get is an Agreed Value boat insurance policy. This means that when you insure the boat both you and the insurance company agree on the value to insure it for. So, if you have a total loss, the insurance company will pay this amount in full for the claim. It is likely that the boat insurance company will adjust this amount annually and may require a survey to prove the value of the boat.
There are a number of factors that can affect your claim.
First, does your policy require you to take appropriate measures to protect the boat and if so, what do they require?
Second, is there a separate deductible for hurricane damage. Many policies will contain a separate deductible for this such as a 1% or even a 10% deductible. This is a percentage of the hull coverage amount.
Third, what type of policy do you have, agreed value or actual cash value? This will make a huge difference in the amount you receive. An actual cash value policy will deduct for depreciation and can greatly reduce the amount paid.
Fourth, is there a specified navigational restriction on your policy. Some boat or yacht insurance policies will require the vessel to be located outside of hurricane prone areas during hurricane season. For example, many will require the vessel to be north of Florida between June 1st and November 30th.
You really need to speak with a licensed agent that understands boat insurance to get the right boat insurance policy for your needs.
If I am in an accident and someone is riding on the back of motorcycle with me and hurt, will my motorcycle insurance policy pay for their injuries?
Yes, your motorcycle insurance policy can pay for their injuries in two ways. First, if their injuries are minor and regardless if you were at fault or not, your medical payments coverage can pay for this. If you are responsible for the accident, injuries could be paid from your liability coverage. If you are not responsible for the accident and the other driver who is responsible doesn’t have coverage, then your uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage will pay provided you have this coverage. All of this can apply provided you have the right coverages. You should talk to an insurance agent that understands motorcycle insurance and can get you the right coverage. Beware that not all motorcycles policies are the same in North Carolina and coverages vary from one company to the next.
Unless you add coverage for modifications and custom parts, it is typically not covered by most motorcycle insurance policies. Most motorcycle owners invest a lot of money in their bikes with custom paint, chrome extras, engine modifications and so on. You need to discuss this with your agent to be sure the money you spend on your bike is covered.
Absolutely! It is very wise to make sure your teen driver is covered under your umbrella insurance policy. Teen drivers are 5 times more likely to cause an accident than experienced drivers and that means you now have a much greater chance of being sued placing your assets at great risk.
An umbrella insurance policy or a personal excess umbrella policy is an additional policy you can purchase that adds additional liability protection to your underlying policies (homeowners, auto, boat, motorcycle, vacation home etc.). If the limits of your underlying policy are exceeded, your umbrella will cover the balance of the claim up to it’s limits. So, for example, if you are responsible for a serious car accident where someone is paralyzed or killed, you will most likely be sued. Let’s say if the court awards the plaintiff $750,000, your auto insurance will pay it’s limits and the umbrella will pay the rest. You can buy an umbrella with limits starting a 1 million and up to 10 million for little cost. The average 1 million umbrella policy with 2 cars and a home start at $120 a year.
Nearly everyone who drives, owns a home or has assets that can be taken away in a lawsuit, needs an umbrella.
We have had some rain storms dumping up to 6 inches of rain and waters have come close to our home but so far, no damage. Will my homeowners insurance policy cover if I do have damage from flooding to my home?
Flood damage is NOT covered by a NC homeowners insurance policy. You will have to purchase a separate Flood Insurance policy to protect your property from damage from a flood. If you are not in a high risk area, flood insurance is very inexpensive and is based on the replacement value of your home and the amount of coverage desired for your personal property. Every home in North Carolina is in a flood zone and subject to flooding. Flood maps are used by the National Flood Insurance program to determine how likely flooding is to occur in different areas which is used to determine the cost of flood insurance.
Damage from water and sewer backup is NOT covered by the standard NC homeowners insurance policy but can be endorsed to include this coverage and you can choose the limits of coverage desired. If you have a higher value home, you’ll want to make sure you have a high enough limit to cover this potentially costly damage to your home.
As long as the tree was caused to fall by a covered peril such as wind or lightning, your homeowners insurance will pay for the damage to your home. If the tree or a tree limb was dead, your neighbor is responsible for the damage.
This is a good question that we get quite often. Your auto insurance policy may or may not cover damage to a rental car. If you have comprehensive and collision on any vehicle on your policy, there is coverage minus the deductible. However, there are some issues you should be aware of. First, your auto insurance policy does not cover for loss of use. If the car has to be repaired for any extended about of time, the rental car company may charge you for the time it takes to repair it. You’ll have to pay for this and it can be expensive depending on amount of damage and time to repair. Second, there is NO coverage from your personal auto insurance policy if the rented vehicle is used for business purposes.
The best solution is to buy the insurance the rental car company offers. If you damage the car, just hand over the keys and you can go on your way.
This type of damage is covered under auto insurance comprehensive coverage if you have this optional coverage on your policy. You can elect to carry comprehensive coverage with various deductibles or no deductible at all. If you are carry a $250 deductible for comprehensive, you will pay the first $250 and the insurance company will pay the rest for this type of damage.