Types of Fleet Insurance Coverage

Both federal and state laws require all fleet vehicles to have commercial fleet insurance, specifically liability insurance. This covers bodily injury, property damage or a combination in the event your drivers are at fault for any accident.

  • Bodily injury liability coverage pays for any injuries or death associated with an accident for which your business is at fault. Often, this coverage includes legal defense.
  • Property damage liability coverage provides protection if one of your vehicles damages another person’s property.
  • Combined single limit (CSL) coverage is a type of policy that attaches the same dollar amount of coverage for any instance, whether bodily injury and property damage.

Each state has its own requirements regarding the minimum quantities of liability coverage a business must have. Researching your state’s requirements is the best way to stay compliant and avoid fines.

While fleet insurance requirements are focused on liability coverage, there are many types of insurance to protect your fleet. When choosing a policy, consider looking for one that encompasses both liability and any specialized coverage your fleet may need. Here are some of the types of coverage to consider including on your fleet insurance plan:

Fleet-Insurance-Jones family Insurance - Fort Myers Florida

Fleet-Insurance-Jones family Insurance – Fort Myers Florida

Physical Damage Coverage

Picture this: you come into work the night after a hail storm. Three of your vehicles have cracked windshields. While liability insurance covers accidents caused by your drivers, this type of accident isn’t covered.

Physical damage insurance protects your vehicles from weather events, theft, vandalism and other events that harm your vehicles. All types of assets can benefit from this coverage.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

It’s an unfortunate reality, but many drivers on the road are uninsured. If one of your vehicles is involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist, this type of coverage can protect your assets and avoid your business paying out of pocket for any repairs or medical expenses.

Collision Coverage

The more vehicles in your fleet, the greater the risk of accidents! Having collision coverage in your fleet insurance policy protects you from costly repairs when your vehicles are hit by another car or object.

Learn more at Jones Family Insurance. Serving Punta Gorda and Fort Myers Florida

Fact file: Florida hurricane insurance facts

June 2020

  • Six of the 10 costliest hurricanes in U.S. history have impacted Florida. Three of these storms occurred within just two years: 2004 and 2005.
  • The costliest hurricane, based on insured property losses to Florida, was 1992’s Hurricane Andrew. It caused $25.9 billion in damage to Florida and Louisiana (in 2019 dollars).
  • Standard homeowners policies typically do not cover flood damage. Flood insurance is covered by the federally managed National Flood Insurance Program, but private flood insurance is becoming increasingly available.
  • Florida leads the nation in the number of flood policies, according to the National Flood Insurance Program, with about 1.8 million policies in force in 2019.
  • About 98 percent of the total population of Florida lives in one of the coastal counties. The number of people living in coastal areas in Florida increased by 4.2 million, or 27 percent, from 15.6 million in 2000 to 19.8 million in 2015, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • In Florida, 2.9 million single-family homes were at risk in 2020 for storm surge damage from hurricanes up to Category 5 strength, according to CoreLogic, Inc. These homes would cost $581 billion to completely rebuild, including labor and materials.
  • After its establishment in 2002, when the state passed legislation combining two separate high-risk insurance pools known as the Florida Windstorm Underwriting Association and the Florida Residential Property & Casualty Joint Underwriting Association, Citizens Property Insurance Corp. (CPIC) experienced exponential growth. As a result, Florida Citizens has evolved from a market of last resort to the state’s largest property insurer.
  • Florida Citizens Property Insurance Corp. provides multiperil and wind-only insurance coverage to Florida homeowners, commercial residential and commercial business property owners.
  • Direct homeowners insurance premiums in Florida written by Citizens was $490.9 million in 2018 down from $795 million in 2014.
  • Citizens was the state’s fourth leading homeowners insurer in 2018, with a market share of 5.11 percent, down from 9.1 percent in 2014.
  • Florida Citizens had 346,227 policies as of March 31, 2020.

Get your no obligation homeowners insurance quote at Jones Family Insurance. Serving Punta Gorda and Fort Myers Florida.

WHAT FIRE INSURANCE COVERS WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR HOME

Fire is one of the most serious and devastating disasters a homeowner can face.  Luckily, all standard homeowners insurance policies provide coverage for fire damages.  However, many homeowners wonder what fire insurance covers when it comes to their home.  Here’s what you need to know about the fire protection included in your home insurance.

  • Coverages

Your homeowners insurance offers coverage for fire damage to your home, damage to the contents of your home, and your additional living expenses if you and your family must live elsewhere while your home is being repaired.  It’s important to note that the additional structures on your property, such as storage sheds, fences, detached garages, etc., are also covered by most home insurance policies.

  • Coverage Exclusions

All insurance policies are subject to certain limits, and your homeowners insurance is no different.  When it comes to fire, your policy will not offer coverage if the fire was caused by war, nuclear damage, and other associated perils.  The damages caused by arson are also not covered by your home policy.  Your insurance will also exclude coverage for fires that break out in a vacant home.  A home is considered vacant if it has been uninhabited for more than 30 consecutive days.

  • Wildfire Protection

With wildfires becoming more common and more deadly every passing year, many homeowners are anxious about securing wildfire protection.  Fortunately, standard homeowners insurance policies offer coverage for the damages and losses caused by a wildfire.  If you live in an area that is particularly prone to wildfires, then you may want to speak to your insurance provider and ask if there are options to secure supplemental wildfire coverage for your home.

This is what fire insurance covers when it comes to your home.  Do you have more questions about your homeowners insurance?  If so, then contact the experts at Jones Family Insurance.  Our dedicated team is eager to assist you with all your home coverage needs.

Serving North Port, Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, Cape Coral and Fort Myers Florida.

We spend a lot of time talking about health insurance and life insurance, but what about car insurance?

Who’s going to pay for repairs on that “remodeled” SUV when your teenager accidentally drives it through the garage door? Or what if your uncle forgets to put your car in park and it rolls into the neighbor’s brand-new convertible? Would you be covered, or would you have an angry neighbor and a financial mess on your hands?

Whether you drive a nice car or an older model, you want to make sure you’re covered in case life decides to hit you . . . or your car. To protect yourself, it’s important to know the types of insurance, how car insurance works, and how much car insurance you really need!

But before we talk about the difference between basic, extended and premium auto insurance options—and which ones are right for you—let’s cover some basic insurance terms.

The Lowdown: Car Insurance Terms Explained

Deductible

The deductible is the portion of the damages you’ll have to pay before your coverage kicks in. Let’s say you have a fender bender and the repairs cost $2,500. If your deductible is $500, all you have to pay toward that repair is $500. Insurance would cover the remaining $2,000.

Do you have the right auto insurance coverage? You could be saving hundreds!

Auto insurance deductibles typically apply per claim. So, if you have another fender bender two months later, you’ll have to pay your deductible again. But in most cases, $500 is a steal compared to what could potentially have to come out of your pocket!

On the other hand, if you have a $1,000 deductible and only need $750 worth of repairs, you’re responsible for the entire amount because the repair cost doesn’t exceed your deductible.

You will likely have two different deductibles under your auto insurance policy—one for collision and one for comprehensive coverage.

The average driver files a collision claim once every 16.3 years, and a comprehensive claim once every 33 years. In 2019, the average collision claim was $3,874 while the average comprehensive claim was $1,833.

Car Insurance Premium

A car insurance premium is simply the dollar amount you pay for your coverage. Depending on your insurance company, you may pay monthly, quarterly, semiannually or even annually. Car insurance premiums can vary based on things like your deductible, your age, the make and age of your car, your driving history, and the type of insurance you purchase.

Coverage Limit

Your coverage limit is the maximum amount your policy will pay for each type of coverage you have. Work with your agent to make sure you have the maximum amount of coverage. If you exceed your policy’s limits, you’ll be responsible for any remaining costs.

No-Fault and At-Fault

Currently there are 12 states with no-fault insurance laws. In these states, your auto insurance automatically pays toward your claim for medical payments for you or your family, up to a certain limit, regardless of whether you’re at fault or not. The other 38 states are at-fault states—which means someone must be deemed “at fault” for the accident, and that person’s insurance must pay the damages for everyone involved.

Types of Auto Insurance Coverage (Basic, Extended and Premium)

Basic Coverage

So how much car insurance do you really need to protect you, your passengers and your car? Three of the most important types of auto insurance you can have are liability, comprehensive and collision coverage. Think of these as the basics—or coverage you can’t afford to do without.

Liability Coverage

Though liability coverage doesn’t protect you or your car, it does protect your wallet! If you’re in an accident that’s deemed “your fault,” liability insurance covers third-party costs you’d typically be responsible for—medical or auto-repair costs that others might sustain due to the accident.

So how much liability insurance should you have? That can be answered in two words—a lot! Even if your state doesn’t require liability insurance, it’s a good idea to have at least $500,000 worth of coverage that encompasses both types of liability coverage—property damage liability and bodily injury liability. That way you’re covered for costs related to getting the other driver’s car fixed (property damage) as well as costs related to their lost wages or medical bills (bodily injury) that resulted from an accident where you’re at fault.

Without liability coverage, you would be responsible for paying the other driver’s property damage and bodily injury costs out of your pocket. That could put you at serious risk financially—and potentially even cause your future wages to be garnished until the damages are paid. No matter what kind of car you drive, liability auto insurance is a definite must-have.

How Does My Car Insurance Coverage Break Down?

When looking at your auto insurance coverage limits, you may see something like $250,000/$500,000/$250,000 or 250/500/250 for your liability coverage.

Here’s how that breaks down:

  • $250,000 of coverage for bodily injury (per person)
  • $500,000 of coverage for bodily injury (per accident)
  • $250,000 of coverage for property damage (per accident)

Comprehensive Coverage

Remember that hailstorm last year that left a lasting impression on the hood of your car? Or that time your car wasn’t where you parked it because someone else decided to claim it as their own? With comprehensive coverage, you’re covered! Whether it’s theft or damage from a fire, a storm, a natural disaster or even a tree branch falling on your car, comprehensive coverage will pay to replace or repair your car as long as the damage isn’t due to a collision.

Like liability insurance, comprehensive coverage is fairly inexpensive—so you’ll want to have it whether you’re driving a beater or a brand-new car.

Collision Coverage

Whether it’s the kids screaming in the back seat that makes you hit the brakes a second too late or the black ice that turns your sedan into a slip and slide . . . accidents happen. The good news is, no matter who is at fault, collision coverage pays to repair or replace your car if you’re in an accident with another vehicle, object or even yourself.

You may be wondering, But what about liability insurance—wouldn’t that cover any damage to my car? The answer: Only if another driver is at fault and they have enough liability insurance to cover the damages. That’s why nearly 3 out of 4 drivers (74%) decide to purchase collision coverage.

Let’s say your car is totaled in a wreck that happens to be your fault. The other driver’s liability coverage (if they even have it) won’t pay for your car repairs because they’re not “liable” (at fault) for the wreck—you are. Without collision coverage, you’d have to pay out of pocket to repair or replace your own car. Ouch!

Extended Coverage

So now that you have your basic auto insurance covered, what about an extra layer of protection? You’ll find plenty of options for extended auto insurance coverage. Sit down with a Jones Family insurance agent to discuss the level of coverage that’s right for you.

Medical Payments Coverage (MedPay)

Whether you’re covered by health insurance or not, medical payments coverage (MedPay) covers reasonable medical expenses for you, your passengers or any family members associated with an auto accident—no matter who’s at fault.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Personal injury protection (PIP) is similar to MedPay but has more comprehensive coverage, higher coverage limits and a higher premium. But unlike MedPay, PIP generally has a deductible.

Currently, there are 22 states where you’re either required by law to have PIP or have the option to purchase it as an add-on insurance. If you live in a state that requires you to carry PIP, take full advantage of the coverage if you ever need it. Here are some things PIP may cover for you:

  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral costs
  • Physical or occupational therapy
  • “Substitute services” like childcare or lawn care (if your accident left you unable to take care of your family or household chores)
  • Approximately 60–80% of lost wages
  • Funds to hire subcontractors to complete your work (if you’re self-employed)

Though it varies state to state, PIP usually offers immediate coverage up to the threshold set by your auto insurance and would need to be exhausted before you have to tap into MedPay or your own health insurance policy.

Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP)

With the cost of new cars continuing to climb, the average length of a car loan has expanded to six years or more, making GAP insurance more popular than ever.

Let’s pretend you had a momentary loss of all good sense and, instead of paying cash, you financed a brand-new SUV. If you totaled it a year later, your insurance company would only cover the actual market value of the SUV. So even though they’d be cutting you a pretty big check, it still wouldn’t be enough to pay off your loan. That’s because new cars can drop more than 20% in value in the first year. Yikes!

GAP insurance would fill the “gap” by covering the remainder of what you still owe on your loan.

Our recommendation? Skip GAP insurance and save yourself a financial headache by buying a used car with cash in the first place. If you already have a car loan, make it your goal to pay it off as quickly as possible so you can drop the GAP coverage and lower your premium.

Uninsured (UM) and Underinsured (UIM) Motorist

According to the Insurance Research Council, about 1 in 8 motorists drive around uninsured.7 Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) covers medical expenses (for you and your passengers) that result from a hit-and-run driver or a driver who’s uninsured, but it does not cover damage to your vehicle.

But what if you’re hit by a driver who has insurance, just not enough? Underinsured motorist insurance (UIM) covers you when you’re in an accident caused by a driver whose insurance coverage falls below the state’s required minimums.

Occasionally you’ll find uninsured motorist property damage, or UMPD, packaged with UM and UIM. Though it usually has a lower deductible than collision coverage, you probably don’t need both UMPD and collision coverage since they essentially perform the same function.

Even if your state doesn’t require you to have car insurance coverage, you may still be held liable for property damage or bodily injury if you cause an accident.

Premium Coverage

Though it comes with all the bells and whistles, premium auto insurance coverage may also come at a premium cost. Here are some of the most common types of optional premium auto insurance coverage and how they may or may not be a good fit for you.

Mechanical Breakdown

If you’re on a first-name basis with your mechanic, you may be tempted to sign up for mechanical breakdown insurance because it allows you to choose where your car is repaired, as long as the mechanic is licensed. Our advice? Save your money and skip this coverage. If you still want to use your favorite mechanic, use your emergency fund to pay for emergency repairs—that’s what it’s there for!

Rental Reimbursement

So how exactly do you make do without a car after an accident? Who’s going to pick up the kids from school or take you to work the next day? That’s where rental reimbursement coverage was designed to come in. It covers the cost of a rental car (up to a specific dollar amount and number of days) while your car is being repaired for any damages covered by your insurance.

Pay-Per-Mile Coverage

If your car tends to sit in the garage collecting dust, you may be interested in pay-per-mile coverage. With this coverage, a GPS device is installed in your car so you’re billed per mile, rather than an annual estimate.

Roadside Assistance

Remember that time you coasted down the interstate on empty, praying you’d make it to the closest gas station? Or that time you hit a pothole and were left with two flat tires? With roadside assistance coverage, you’d be covered. This covers having fuel brought to you, getting your battery jumped, having your car towed to the nearest repair shop, or replacing a dead battery.

Umbrella Insurance

You may be wondering, Why would I purchase an umbrella liability policy if I already have liability insurance? Umbrella insurance (or personal liability insurance) is an extra layer of liability coverage that kicks in after you’ve met the limits of your current policy. Coverage is typically available from $1 million to $5 million. In addition to protecting your assets and paying for any damages you’re legally responsible for in the event of an accident, umbrella insurance normally offers a wider form of protection than liability insurance for things like legal fees, false arrests and even slander. If your net worth is $500K or above, umbrella insurance is a must to protect your assets!

Custom Equipment

If you’ve permanently installed “aftermarket” or “performance” parts on your car, you could carry custom equipment coverage to help repair or replace enhancements like custom running boards, stereo systems or even a custom paint job.

OEM Endorsement

To save money, insurance companies often use “aftermarket” parts when they replace or repair parts on your vehicle. OEM endorsement coverage ensures OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts—the same parts your manufacturer safety tested and used to originally build your vehicle—are used on your car.

Forgiveness Coverage (Accident Forgiveness or Minor Violation Forgiveness)

Did you know that just one at-fault accident can cause your insurance premiums to increase an average of 41%? Though forgiveness coverage may not be able to turn back time and undo an accident, it can essentially wipe your slate clean by “forgiving” your first at-fault accident. Depending on your insurance company, this coverage may only apply once per policy term, or it may take years of safe driving to go into effect.

Glass Coverage

If you live next to a golf course, you may have found yourself wishing you had glass coverage to pay for the cost of fixing or replacing the windows on your car. Some insurance companies offer glass coverage with no deductible, but the cost of the added coverage may outweigh the benefits, especially with some policies only covering the windshield.

Should I Choose a High or a Low Deductible—Which One Is Right for Me?

Now that you know what a deductible is, it’s time to determine if you can afford yours.

If you choose a high deductible, your insurance company looks at you as a lower risk and will reward you with a lower premium. If you choose a low deductible, your premium will be higher because you represent a greater risk to the insurance company.

 

What a high premium means when it comes to your deductible

What a low premium means when it comes to your deductible

 

What About a Disappearing Deductible?

Some insurance companies offer “disappearing deductibles” at an additional cost for drivers with a long history of safe driving. The deductible decreases every year you’re accident free. What’s important to remember is that the deductible reappears in full the second you get into an accident.

According to one of our Endorsed Local Providers Brandon Smith, “A good rule of thumb is to insure for what could financially devastate you, rather than what inconveniences you.” So, a disappearing deductible may not be the reward it claims to be. Factoring in the cost of the coverage, you’re better off saving that money to put toward your debt snowball or emergency fund.

Should I File a Claim?

If your car needs $250 worth of work thanks to a fender bender, should you file a claim? Isn’t that what you have car insurance for? Yes . . . and no. Frequent small claims are red flags that could cause your premium to go up. Plus, if you have a $1,000 deductible on a repair that costs $250, it doesn’t make sense to file the claim. Your emergency fund is there for a reason! Pick your battles carefully and file a claim only when it makes sense.

Learn more at Jones Family Insurance 

HURRICANES DON’T JUST AFFECT COASTS; EXPERTS SAY: “GET FLOOD INSURANCE

With the 2020 hurricane season activity expected to be “well above average” in intensity; three named storms having formed already; and Tropical Depression Cristobal brought flooding rains and powerful winds from the South to the Midwest as it made landfall in Louisiana, preparedness should be on the minds of everyone who could be affected – and that means more than just people in coastal states.

Cristobal’s moved from the lower Mississippi Valley to the Midwest – just ahead of a cold front that will eventually absorb Cristobal’s remnants as it moves into southeastern Canada, according to Weather.com: “The combination of deep, tropical moisture from Cristobal and the cold front will wring out heavy rain along a swath from the lower Mississippi Valley into the Midwest. Strong winds will also develop in the Midwest and Great Lakes from this setup.”

“Inland flooding has resulted in more deaths in the past 30 years from hurricanes and tropical storms in the U.S. than any other threat,” said CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller. “Though wind speeds and storm surge are important, and get a lot of the headlines, flash flooding from intense rainfall associated with the storm’s rainbands impact far more people and stretch over a much larger area.”

About 90 percent of all natural disasters in the U.S involve flooding. This is why experts like Dan Kaniewski – managing director for public sector innovation at Marsh & McLennan and former deputy administrator for resilience at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) – strenuously urge everyone to buy flood insurance.

If it can rain, it can flood

“Any home can flood,” Matt Jones said (Matt Jones Owner of Jones Family Insurance in Punta Gorda and Fort Myers Florida). “Even if you’re well outside a floodplain…. Get flood insurance. Whether you’re a homeowner or a renter or a business – get flood insurance. It’s not included in your homeowners policy, and most people don’t understand that.”

Dr. Rick Knabb – on-air hurricane expert for the Weather Channel – was similarly emphatic:

“If it can rain where you live,” he said, “it can flood where you live.”

He recounted buying a new home, asking his agent about flood insurance, and being told, “You don’t need it.”

“I told him, ‘Get it for me anyway,’” Knabb said.

Flood insurance purchase rates too low

2019 was the second-wettest year on record across the continental U.S., yet flood insurance purchase rates remain low. To illustrate the difference between having and not having flood insurance, Jones described two scenarios related to 2017’s devastating Hurricane Harvey.

“The average [FEMA] payout for the uninsured homeowner in the Houston area was about $3,000,” Kaniewski said. “But if you were proactive and took out a relatively low-cost flood insurance policy…you would have received not $3,000 but $110,000. You’re not going to recover on $3,000, but with $110,000, you’d be well on the path to recovery.”

Unfortunately, he said, even inside designated floodplains, “two-thirds of homeowners do not have flood insurance.”

Shop for your Flood Insurance Policy today! CLICK HERE

Protecting your Business from Pandemic Scams

Many offices have successfully transitioned from in-office to a work-from-home system. It’s been a successful experiment for a lot of businesses, as they’ve quickly transitioned their entire business from in-person to virtual in just a matter of months. As the pandemic continues, it’s clear that many businesses will have to keep at least a partial work-from-home set up for their employees. It’s definitely worth celebrating your business successfully adapting to the challenges of the pandemic, but there is still a lot of work ahead to keep your business safe from bad actors taking advantage of the situation.

 

Protecting Your Office (At Home)

Most people who worked in offices are now working from their homes. Hackers and bad actors will try to take advantage of this situation in order to steal data, hack accounts or steal money directly. Here are a few things you can do to protect your employees and business.

  1. Keep your work and personal hardware separate. Give employees a secure laptop that they can work on. Hire an IT firm to set this up for you. If you don’t already have the infrastructure in place, it may seem like a big investment, but the alternative (having data or money stolen) can be far worse. Plus, many experts predict that working from home will remain prevalent even after the pandemic is over.
  2. Check your home wifi to make sure it’s secure. This one will also require the help of an IT expert who will give instructions to your employees on how to secure their wifi connection. Even if you aren’t working from home, cyber crime is on the rise during the pandemic so hiring some IT help to secure your home can be worth it.

 

Fake Websites and Emails

Always check the website URL before entering your log in information. One popular age old scam is receiving an email from a company you do business with asking you to click a link to check something. Most people click the link and immediately try to log in to check whatever it is. Be careful. Check the exact email address that the email was sent from and make sure it’s familiar to you. Then, instead of clicking the link provided in the email, search for the website using Google and log in from there. You can then hover over the email link to see if the URL matches the URL from your Google search to determine if it’s authentic. If something doesn’t add up, delete the email.

 

One note for people still using Live.com, hotmail and Yahoo email addresses: I’ve noticed that these mail service has been particularly poor and filtering spam compared to email services like Google. If you are still using one of these mail services, be especially careful as many scams seem to escape their filters.

 

Scam Calls

According to a report by nextcaller.com. Scam calls to financial institutions are up 50% since the start of the pandemic. These are bad actors (often starting the scam with a robo call) who are looking for a crack in your business. If your bank calls with a fraud alert, listen to the message, hang up, then independently Google the phone number for your bank. If it’s a real person, do not engage or give any personal information, even if they seem friendly. And, you cannot rely on the caller ID or contact in your phone. For example, if you have Citibank’s number saved and your iPhone shows the call is from Citibank, this is not a reliable way to verify the call is real. Scammers can easily spoof Citibank’s real number while calling from a completely different number. Always hang up and call back from a number you are sure is authentic.

And, if you receive a bill from a company you do business with, don’t just pay it. Call the company first using contact information you can confirm to be authentic. There have been incidences reported where a company has paid a bill for the exact amount they owe, only to find out later they paid scammers.

This isn’t a complete list, but hopefully these tips prove helpful as you navigate this new normal for businesses.

Contact us at Jones Family Insurance. Serving clients from North Port, Fl to Fort Myers, Fl!

Comprehensive Auto Insurance: What It Is and When to Keep It.

Comprehensive coverage is like bad luck insurance for your car. It pays for damage to your vehicle from just about anything except a traffic collision or rollover. That includes a wide array of random events outside your control, from a chipped windshield or hail dent to explosions or damage from riots.

While comprehensive insurance is optional as far as your insurer and state government are concerned, lenders typically require it if you finance or lease a car. Here’s a little more about what comprehensive car insurance will pay for, plus a quick way to know if the coverage is worth what it costs.

What comprehensive insurance covers

“Comprehensive” doesn’t mean full coverage when it comes to insurance — damage or injuries you cause to others aren’t included, nor are injuries you suffer when you’re at fault in a wreck. Liability insurance, which is required in every state except New Hampshire, covers those events.

Generally, you’d file a comprehensive insurance claim if your car is damaged by:

  • Hail, floods or lightning from thunderstorms, hurricanes or tornadoes.
  • Falling objects, such as a tree limb.
  • Fire or explosions.
  • Hitting an animal.
  • Theft.
  • Earthquakes.
  • Vandalism or civil disobedience, such as a riot.

Comprehensive insurance also pays to repair glass damage to your windshield, in many states.

The cost of comprehensive insurance

In many cases, you can’t buy comprehensive insurance without collision coverage, or vice versa. This can be because your auto lender requires both, or your insurer requires one to purchase the other. But since collision claims are far more common, collision tends to cost a lot more than comprehensive.

Do you need comprehensive insurance?

Comprehensive insurance will never pay out more than the value of your car.

Comprehensive coverage becomes less valuable as your car depreciates since it will never pay out more than the vehicle’s value, minus your deductible. So if you don’t have a financing contract that requires it, at some point you may decide to forgo comprehensive insurance.

To know whether comprehensive coverage is worth what it costs, first consider the value of your car and your deductible. If you have a $1,500 comprehensive deductible on a vehicle worth $1,500, you’re paying for insurance that won’t pay out when you need it.

Even if you decide comprehensive insurance is worth it for your car now, revisit this math as your car ages and you get new car insurance quotes.

 

Why Do Contractors Need Insurance?

As a contractor, you work hard for your customers. You make sure they get the results they were going for, and that all your work is done at the highest level of professionalism. Your customers know they can trust you to care for what they value, and to be a serious professional. Whether you’re installing a light, fixing a broken drain, or renovating a kitchen, you take your work seriously and give it your all.

Contractor’s insurance enables you to focus on your work without distractions. Contractor insurance gives you the confidence to take on big jobs, and to succeed.  And contractors liability insurance is one more way you show your customers that you’re a professional and have taken steps to make sure that you’re covered, even in the unlikely situation that something goes wrong. General liability insurance for contractors enables you to thrive, with the awareness that you have great coverage behind you on every job, every day. Contractor’s insurance is a must for anyone who works with residential and commercial buildings, such as general contractors, handymen, carpenters, electricians, plumbers and more.

Why Do Contractors Need Insurance?

Is Contractors Insurance Required By Law?

Depending on where you work, general liability contractors insurance can be required by law, as a minimum insurance coverage for contracting business. Regulations regarding contractor insurance vary by state and even by city. We recommend you check your local guidelines for exact legal requirements. Even so, we believe general liability contractor insurance is a good idea for any business.

Why Do I Need Contractors Insurance?

Contractors liability insurance offers your business protection and peace of mind for even the unpredictable parts of life and being a business owner. With the right independent contractor insurance, you can do your work and focus on the job at hand without fear of what could happen or worry about if something goes wrong.

What’s The Impact On Your Business?

Customers want a contractor who’s confident. Contractor general liability insurance is one way you can show them that you have an edge on your competition, with a serious insurance policy and certificate of insurance for contractors, just like they’d expect. When you have affordable contractors insurance which you can pay monthly, the impact on your profitability is small, while the impact on your level of professionalism is huge. Insurance for self-employed contractors proves to your customers that not only will you do your job properly, but you’ll take care of them even in the unlikely case of an accident.

COVID-19 impact could take 5 years to be fully understood: survey results

The results of the second COVID-19 survey by Reinsurance News suggest that it may take up to five years to fully understand the impact that the pandemic will have on the insurance and reinsurance markets.

The survey, undertaken in collaboration with ILS focused sister-site Artemis, acted as a follow-up to our April survey, which sought to take the pulse of the global reinsurance market at this unprecedented and challenging time.

Now two months on, with COVID-19 still profoundly impacting the market, our latest survey aims to show how re/insurers’ views of the crisis have changed, while also providing fresh insights.

The new COVID-19 Market Survey includes responses from hundreds of identifiable market participants, of which more than half have responsibility for, or provide input to, reinsurance and retrocession buying decisions.

This includes 16 CEO’s, 15 CUO’s, 12 COO’s, 27 senior Board members, reinsurance buyers, senior underwriting executives, ILS managers, brokers and a range of service providers.

While 25.9% of these respondents were hopeful that the full impact of the pandemic could be understood in less than two years, 60.4% agreed that it could take up to five years.

There was broad consensus in other areas too, as the majority of survey answers indicated that re/insurers are more concerned about the affect of COVID-19 on the underwriting side of their business, rather than on the investment side.

And in terms of underwriting losses, the vast majority (85.3%) saw non-life business as more exposed than life business.

There were mixed thoughts about the overall size of the industry’s non-life underwriting loss, although the $80-100 billion range proved the most popular, with 27.3% of respondents favouring this option.

The adjacent ranges of $50-80 billion and $100-150 billion were selected by 14.4% and 20.1% of respondents, respectively, and the top end of $200+ billion also came in at 14.4%.

With opinion split across such a wide range of potential loss scenarios, it seems to reinforce the sense that it could be a number of years before the market is truly able to put a concrete figure on the cost of the pandemic.

Also supporting this notion was the general agreement that the highest levels of pandemic losses are yet to be reported, as roughly a quarter of respondents felt that the highest levels of claims would be seen in the second quarter of the year, while 39.6% forecast the highest losses in Q3, and 19.4% in Q4, with others putting the heaviest impact even into 2021 and 2022.

Other questions offered insight into the market’s view on legal efforts surrounding retrospective business interruption claims, which less than 15% of participants now feel is likely to be successful.

This compares to the results of our previous survey, when almost one third of respondents said they were very concerned, while almost 18% said they were extremely concerned.

But more than two-thirds of respondents to the latest survey said they anticipate ‘significant changes’ to business interruption policies following the pandemic.

And there was also broad consensus that government supported backstop reinsurance schemes for future pandemics should be implemented, with 22.3% classing them as essential, 41.7% as definitely helpful, and 28.8% saying they would help a bit.

What is clear from the survey results is that there remains a tremendous amount of worry and uncertainty when it comes to unprecedented challenges that the market now faces.

Amid all of this uncertainty, we hope that this survey can help to capture a snapshot of this historic moment, create useful data to inform actions, and take the pulse of the market at this time.

9 Things You Should Never Do During A Hurricane Insurance Claim

Property owners are now facing the threat of hurricanes in Southwest Florida. Homeowners may be overwhelmed by having to potentially navigate a hurricane insurance claim, there are – at least – 9 things that property owners should NOT do after a hurricane property damage loss.

1.   Do NOT return to your home until it is safe to do so.  First responders are going to be busy searching for survivors and helping those with critical needs. Do not make their job more difficult by attempting to gain access to your property before you have been given authorization by your local officials to return to the area.

2.   Do NOT automatically throw away all possibly damaged items. Salvage the items and property that can be saved and take pictures of any items that are beyond repair. Although on first glance much of your property may look like it has been totally destroyed by either wind or water intrusion, you may be able to preserve a substantial amount of your property by securing it from further harm.

Not only will this allow you to save some of your valued property, but your insurance company will probably require that you do what you can to protect your property from further harm and to mitigate the damage from the storm.

3.   Do NOT wait to contact your insurance company. The sooner you contact your insurance company, the sooner they can send a representative to your property to assess and compensate you for your hurricane insurance claim. The longer you wait to place your claim, the longer you may have to wait for an insurance representative to come to your home (you will not be the only one placing a claim after the storm).

Also, your insurance policy most likely has a “prompt notice” requirement, which will mandate that you give your insurance company notice of your claim as soon as possible after the loss event.

4.   Do NOT let the insurance company representative fail to investigate the full extent of hurricane insurance claim. Many times insurance adjusters will only take a cursory review of your property or purposely fail to explore portions of your home that may be damaged.

The most common example is when the adjuster says that he does not need to go onto your roof to see if it is damaged. Make sure the adjuster evaluates all of the damage to your home and, if he does not, make sure to document what portions of your home were not evaluated by the adjuster.

5.   Do NOT “diagnose” your damages to the insurance adjuster. Many property owners feel the need to “diagnose” the cause of the damage to their home to the insurance representative. Property owners sometimes try to tell the insurance representative what they think could be the cause of damage – not knowing that many times the property owner’s diagnosis could lead to the damage not being covered!

For example, if a property owner incorrectly tells the adjuster that certain damage was from “flood” as opposed to “wind”, the adjuster may deny an otherwise valid wind claim based on the property owner’s (inaccurate) representation. As a property owner, your job is to point out the damage – let the insurance representative come to his own conclusions as to the cause of the loss.

6.   Do NOT stay in your home if it is not safe to do so. If your home is rendered uninhabitable after the storm, there is a portion of your policy which will reimburse you for any out of pocket expenses you incur while you are displaced from your home. This coverage is called Alternative Living Expense and should pay for any additional expenses that you incur (over and above expenses you would have normally incurred) while your home is being repaired.

7.   Do NOT feel that you have to accept the insurance company’s initial estimate as to the amount of your loss. After a hurricane damage loss, the insurance company’s goal is to “close” as many claims as they can in the shortest amount of time.  While in pursuit of this goal, insurance companies will often (if not always) undervalue the true cost to repair the damage – which leaves you with not enough money to fully repair and restore your property. You have the right to dispute the insurance company’s estimates and to fight for the full value of your loss.

8.   Do NOT try to handle a Hurricane Insurance Claim without professional assistance. The repair of your home after a catastrophic loss is just too important for you to try and make it a “learning experience”. There are just too many tricks and technicalities involved with the placement of a property insurance claim (Actual Cash Value vs. Replacement Cost Value? Post-loss Proof of Loss requirements? Water vs. Wind vs. Mold losses?) to attempt this process without help.

Additionally, since most property loss professionals work on a contingency fee basis, there are no up-front fees or costs and these professionals are only paid if they can obtain additional insurance funds on your behalf.  Since it costs you nothing to hire a property loss attorney or public adjuster, why would you not want get the benefit of a professional and let them take care of the headaches?

9.   Do NOT hire a property loss attorney or other professional based solely on television or billboard advertisements. Just because the law firm spends a lot of money on television or other advertisements, it does not mean they are qualified to handle your claim. Make your hiring decision based on a review of the law firm’s qualifications, experience, testimonials, and past successes in cases similar to yours.

As always, should you have any questions whatsoever with regard to the property insurance claim process, we would be happy to speak with you.  Usually with just a brief phone call, we can answer any questions you may have and provide whatever assistance you may need.

If You Have Questions Regarding Your Storm Damage Claim – Contact us at Jones Family Insurance!