Auto Insurance FAQ

What is the difference between Collision and Comprehensive coverage for my automobile?

Comprehensive insurance is also known as “other than collision” insurance or “OTC”. It covers damage done to your vehicle from things other than collisions, such as: vandalism, disasters, theft, fire, impacts with animals, etc. Comprehensive does not cover any damage as a result of a collision.

What is an endorsement?

An insurance endorsement refers to an insurance policy change — usually, one requested by the named insured. A change of any kind is often referred to as an endorsement. Changes include vehicle changes, coverage changes, driver changes, loss payee changes, and other miscellaneous changes.

What does car insurance cover?

There are several categories of auto insurance, each of which covers a different aspect of your risk as a driver. Here is a brief overview of these types of coverage:

  • Liability: If you are deemed at fault in a car accident, liability coverage will pay for repairs, medical costs for injuries suffered by others in the vehicle, plus other expenses related to the accident such as legal fees. Your liability limits are set at the time you purchase your policy. There are two parts to liability coverage: Bodily injury liability and property damage liability. The limits are the maximum amount the policy will pay out; anything above that would come out of your pocket unless you have other insurance.
  • Collision: If you hit another vehicle or an object (like a guardrail), your collision coverage will pay for damages or repairs to your vehicle after you pay a deductible (up-front amount). In other words, if you have collision coverage with a $500 deductible and you suffer damage that costs $1,500, your collision coverage will pay $1000 after you pay the first $500.
  • Comprehensive: Comprehensive coverage, which is also known as “other than collision,” pays for losses to your vehicle if it suffers damage from something other than an accident. For example, if a tree falls on your car or you hit a deer while driving, some portion of that loss will be covered if you have comprehensive coverage. Like collision, comprehensive has a deductible attached to it.
  • Medical Expenses: This coverage pays for injuries that you, a family member or anyone else riding your vehicle may suffer in an auto accident, regardless of who is at fault. It also pays for injuries you or your family members may incur while riding in other vehicles.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist: This coverage pays for injuries and property damage you suffer in an accident when the driver at fault either is uninsured or does not have enough insurance to cover your injuries and damage. It will also cover you in the event that a hit-and-run driver flees the scene and you cannot file a claim against that driver’s insurance company.
  • Roadside Assistance: Many insurance companies offer this optional coverage. If you need a tow or service for a flat tire or dead battery, roadside assistance will provide that service for a nominal premium.
  • Rental Reimbursement: If your car is in the shop for several days and you need a vehicle, this coverage will provide that for you for a nominal premium.

How Expensive Is Car Insurance?

Your vehicle just might be the most expensive possession you have other than your home. However, your auto insurance won’t necessarily be costly.

While rates vary from state to state and take into account a variety of factors, car insurance is usually fairly affordable. The factors that affect your costs include whether your car is new or used, the overall safety rating of the car, your driving record, your age and gender, and even your ZIP code, as certain areas tend to have a higher occurrence of accidents and claims than others.

The discounts you may qualify for include:

  • Good student discount: May apply if the young driver in your family has good grades
  • Good driver discount: May apply if you’ve been accident-free for a period of time
  • Multi-car discount: May apply if you insure more than one of your vehicles with the same company
  • Multi-policy discount: May apply when you insure both your home and car with the same company

Your local agent can also talk with you about these discounts and determine the ones that would benefit you and save you the most money on your policy.

Do Auto Insurance Quotes Affect Credit?

Car insurance is not an application for credit, so while insurance companies check your credit to determine your responsibility and financial security, they are not extending credit.  A credit check for a car insurance quote is called a “soft pull” and it does not affect your credit rating.

Credit scores have become very important in recent years as lenders have tightened restrictions. Many families are focused on eliminating debt and getting caught up on payments so they can improve their credit scores and get better rates when getting a mortgage or a car loan. Every time you fill out an application for credit, your credit score can be affected because a good percentage of your score is based on how much total credit you have and the number of accounts you have.

Why Is Auto Insurance Important?

When you get behind the wheel, you take a risk. You may attempt to be the best possible driver, but you also have to trust that everyone else on the road is driving well and paying attention, too. Auto insurance provides a safety net when drivers make mistakes.

In the event of an accident, you are at risk financially. If the accident is not your fault, and the other driver does not have adequate insurance, you have to pay for all damages to your own car plus pay for any medical bills if you are badly injured.

When you are at fault, you are typically liable for damages to the other person’s vehicle as well as the medical costs of injured victims. Additionally, you must cover the repairs to your own vehicle and the costs of legal fees if you are sued. All of your assets are at risk if you are uninsured or underinsured.

Home Insurance FAQ

What is home insurance?

Home insurance cover comes in two parts – buildings insurance and contents insurance. You can choose either one or both of these based on your needs.

Buildings cover insures your bricks and mortar for events like fire and weather damage, while contents cover could protect your belongings against problems like theft, damage and loss.

Is it essential to have home insurance?

If you’re a homeowner, most mortgage lenders insist you have buildings cover in place to protect their investment.

You don’t usually need buildings cover if you’re renting, but you may want contents insurance to help cover the cost of replacing your things if you suffer a loss.

What is accidental damage cover and do I need it?

Most insurers define accidental damage as an unintentional one-off incident that harms your property or its contents.

Most standard policies cover key items like home entertainment, but there may be varying exclusions depending on your insurer.

Your need depends on your circumstances – many accidental damage claims come from people with young children.

It’s also important to know what’s covered under your standard policy. Checking the small print is the best way to make sure you’ve got adequate cover.

Do I have to get my buildings insurance through my mortgage provider?

No – unless it’s a specific requirement of your mortgage contract.

By being the only insurer offering you buildings cover when you’re arranging your mortgage, there’s less need for them to competitively price your insurance policy.

You can often save money by shopping around with a price comparison site to get a range of quotes from a number of insurers.

What should I include in my contents cover?

As a rule of thumb, anything you’d take with you if you moved house should be included on your contents policy – including items like curtains and carpets.

It’s worth taking the time to go around your house from room to room and putting a reasonable value on everything.

Does home insurance apply to me if I rent?

As the owner, your landlord will be responsible for the maintenance of the building, so it’s down to them to ensure their property is protected with buildings insurance.

But you’re responsible for any contents inside that you own. If anything were to happen to your possessions, you would liable yourself for the cost of replacing them.

Why is home insurance important?

It is important for  homeowners to have home insurance because homeowners insurance protects your home, which may very well be your largest investment, and gives you a sense of security.

Covers the Home’s Structure

A homeowners insurance policy covers the cost to rebuild the home’s structure if the damage falls under the scope of the policy. The amount of coverage on the policy determines how much the insurance company will pay toward rebuilding the house, so you want to make sure that amount is accurate. The insurance company should calculate the amount of necessary coverage for you. By insuring the structure of your home, you are protecting yourself financially should damage occur.

Pays to Replace Belongings

A standard home policy also covers your belongings in the event of serious damage. Even if you feel like you don’t own much, replacing all your belongings would add up quickly. You need a homeowners policy so you don’t have to go without the necessities and luxuries that you have inside your home. Taking an inventory and keeping a list will help you estimate how much coverage you need and will also comes in handy if you have to file a claim. High-value items, such as artwork, antiques and furs, often need a rider to ensure coverage. The rider is simply extra insurance for that specific item attached to the regular policy.

Provides Liability Coverage

You don’t intend for anyone to get hurt on your property, but sometimes accidents happen. Your friend can slip on the ice out front and break a bone or your dog could bite the mail carrier. While you hope you never have to worry about these issues, you need to err on the side of caution and protect yourself with the liability coverage afforded by homeowners insurance. The liability portion of the policy covers injuries others sustain on your property.

Fulfills Mortgage Contract

Most homeowners carry a mortgage on their homes. If you are one of those mortgage-carrying homeowners, your contract likely requires a homeowners insurance policy. The lender has a financial stake in your home, which is the reason for requiring insurance. Most companies will place an insurance policy on your home if you don’t have your own homeowners policy, so skipping out isn’t an option. A policy you find yourself is generally more affordable than what the mortgage company will find for you.

Workers Compensation FAQ

What is Workers' Compensation?

Workers’ Compensation insurance is a program established by State law which all employers having one or more employees, full or part-time, are required to have for the benefit of their employees. It is a no-fault system under which injured employees receive benefits in connection with work-related injuries or occupational illness. The Workers’ Compensation Commission is the State Arbitration Board that ensures employees are given fair treatment in the event of a work-related accident or illness. For an injury to be considered compensable under workers’ compensation, the injury must “arise out of and in the course of employment.”

Who pays for Workers' Compensation Insurance?

Workers’ Compensation Insurance is paid entirely by the employer. No payroll deductions are taken out of individual employees’ paychecks.

If I am disabled and cannot work for a certain period of time, how will I be compensated for lost wages?

If you are in a “regular” employment status, you are eligible for accident leave immediately for up to 30 days, unless otherwise notified. Only accidents, not occupational illnesses, are covered by accident leave.

What is accident leave?

Accident leave is monetary compensation for time lost from work due to a work-related accident if (a) it is determined to be compensable under the Workers’ Compensation Act and (b) a physician examines the employee and certifies that the employee is disabled as a result of the injury. Whether an employee receives accident leave is determined by the UMD Workers’ Compensation Manager. Employees are eligible for accident leave if they are appointed in a “regular employment status”. Contractual, contingent, temporary, or hourly employees are not eligible for accident leave. Accident leave is two thirds (2/3) of the employee’s gross wages. It is non-taxable, non-cumulative, and is available for up to six (6) months from the first day of disability.

How can I be compensated if I am not eligible for accident leave?

If you miss more than 3 days from work and have a compensable claim, you will receive temporary total benefits from the University’s Workers’ Compensation Carrier, the Injured Workers’ Insurance Fund (IWIF).

What kind of benefits will I receive if I have a permanent disability?

You will receive weekly benefits for a specified period of time based on the type and extent of your permanent disability. Medical evaluations are usually required to establish the nature and extent of any permanent disability.

Life Insurance FAQ

How do I know how much life insurance I need?

Pacific Vista Insurance Services recommends that each family income provider carry no less than ten times their annual income/worth in life insurance.

The amount of your outstanding mortgage should also be a consideration. Any coverage for your mortgage should be in addition to the amount of insurance you calculate for your income coverage.

It’s quite common to see life insurance also referred to as mortgage protection insurance since most people equate buying life insurance with the need to pay off large debts.

What Does Life Insurance Cover?

In its basic form, a life insurance policy provides death benefits and is designed to cover loss of income, end-of-life expenses, funeral costs and other financial needs that a family may have if you – the policyholder – should die unexpectedly.

While death benefits are often designated for funeral expenses and income replacement, life insurance is a very flexible type of coverage that can be used in numerous ways.

For example:

  • Cost of living: Life insurance can cover your family’s vital expenses after your passing, such as the payment of your mortgage, outstanding debts and children’s college tuition.
  • Trusts and charities: You can use life insurance policy to create a trust as a financial legacy for your heirs, a chosen charity or other organization.
  • Retirement and estate planning: A permanent life insurance policy can be structured to cover your living costs during your retirement or for estate planning, and can even cover the cost of your life insurance premiums.
  • Business continuation: Business owners often purchase life insurance that can help protect their business in the event they die unexpectedly. For example, a business owner can construct a buy-sell agreement that pays benefits to one or more surviving co-owners who can then purchase the policyholders share of the enterprise.

How Does Life Insurance Work?

A life insurance policy is a contractual arrangement between you, the policyholder, and the life insurance company. The policyholder determines the amount of life insurance coverage required and pays the life insurance company a premium to keep the policy in force.

The way the premium will be paid will also be spelled out in the policy. The premium could be paid to the life insurance company as a lump sum, an annual or semi-annual payment, or monthly amount, for example. The premium must be paid according to the terms of the policy to keep the life insurance policy active.

Should the policyholder die while a life insurance policy is in force, then the life insurance company will pay out the death benefits specified in the policy. Additionally (applicable to permanent life insurance policies only), the insurance company will accumulate a cash value.

Death proceeds are paid as a lump sum to the named beneficiary (the person who will receive the life insurance benefits), as stipulated in the policy.

What Is Life Insurance?

Many people do fully understand what life insurance is and how it works. This is partly because life insurance is somewhat complex, and partly because it is a very flexible type of insurance that offers many opportunities for creating security for you and for your family.

The two basic types of life insurance are:

  • Term life insurance: A term life policy is in force for a specific time and has a face value (coverage amount) that you specify when you buy the policy. In the event that you die within the specified term, the insurance company pays the face value of the policy as a death benefit to your beneficiaries.
  • Permanent life insurance: A permanent life insurance policy (which includes whole life, universal life and variable life insurance) is in force for your lifetime as long as you continue to make your premium payments. Like term life insurance, permanent life insurance pays a death benefit. But it also has an accumulating cash value.

Why Is Life Insurance Important?

Life insurance can protect your family from becoming financially burdened in the event that you unexpectedly die, especially if you are the primary income earner for your household. Life insurance proceeds can help your loved ones cushion the economic impact that may occur as a result of your death.

Life insurance is important for different individuals for different reasons. For some people, it is important to cover end-of-life costs while others want to create a large financial legacy for their dependents and heirs. Some people want a life insurance policy that will help their business continue to flourish after their passing. Others want to create an endowment that will benefit an important cause or institution.

Life insurance policies have helped many families at a time of need, when a primary income earner dies. When that happens, the family can be left with additional expenses and fewer financial resources. Living expenses, funeral expenses, debts, mortgage or rent payments and education costs can all create an enormous financial burden for a family when a primary income earner passes away.

Unfortunately, a large percentage of families today lack any form of life insurance, leaving open the possibility of financial hardship. Term life insurance is a highly affordable policy that can help prevent this scenario.

Business Insurance FAQ

What is the difference between Collision and Comprehensive coverage for my automobile?

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What is an endorsement?

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Should I buy collision insurance if I have an old car?

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What is the difference between bodily injury liability coverage and medical payments coverage?

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Is my child who is covered under my policy still covered by my policy while driving someone else's car?

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Travel Insurance FAQ

What is the difference between Collision and Comprehensive coverage for my automobile?

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What is an endorsement?

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Should I buy collision insurance if I have an old car?

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What is the difference between bodily injury liability coverage and medical payments coverage?

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Is my child who is covered under my policy still covered by my policy while driving someone else's car?

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CLAIMING INSURANCE FAQ

What is the difference between Collision and Comprehensive coverage for my automobile?

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What is an endorsement?

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Should I buy collision insurance if I have an old car?

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What is the difference between bodily injury liability coverage and medical payments coverage?

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Is my child who is covered under my policy still covered by my policy while driving someone else's car?

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How to insurance help to our life ?

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Policy FAQ

What is the difference between Collision and Comprehensive coverage for my automobile?

Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for ‘lorem ipsum’ will uncover many web sites still in their infancy.

What is an endorsement?

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Should I buy collision insurance if I have an old car?

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What is the difference between bodily injury liability coverage and medical payments coverage?

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Is my child who is covered under my policy still covered by my policy while driving someone else's car?

Odio semper eleifend urna sed lobortis maurismus mattis eget neque vel ornareivamus enim risus consectetur at enim sed, consectetur mollis lectus.

How to insurance help to our life ?

Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for ‘lorem ipsum’ will uncover many web sites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humour and the like).

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