Property & Casualty Insurance 101
By: Advocate Brokerage
As specialists in the world of Property & Casualty Insurance, we thought it might be helpful to share some information for those who are just starting their journey into independence. Below you will find a guide to the types of insurance that should consider when you are starting this new adventure called Adulthood. Welcome!
If you have a car, you likely have some experience with Auto Insurance. Our goal is to help you understand your coverage better so, keep reading! There are two main parts to your car insurance policy and we want to take a moment to discuss each one. Personal auto insurance is a policy that provides coverage for liability and physical damage coverage.
Liability coverage is what pays the damages if you are at fault for an auto accident and another person is injured or has damage done to their car or other property. Liability coverage is required (at a specified minimum amount) by nearly every state in the United States of America. While some will only purchase a policy with the minimum amount required by law, it is often not enough coverage to take care of the damages in the event of a serious accident. In addition, some states are much more litigious than other states, and in those states the pay-outs can be extremely high.
Physical Damage Coverage is often referred to as comprehensive and collision. It covers the cost to repair your own car in the event of an accident. You choose the deductible, and that is the amount you are self-insuring (meaning it is what you are willing to pay out of your own pocket in the event of an accident). Keep in mind that the higher the deductible, the lower the cost of the monthly premium. There are many good reasons to take a high deductible; specifically, each and every accident you report comes with a cost and dings your record. When you take a $1,000 deductible it keeps you from putting in small losses. We especially discourage putting in claims when there is no other party involved.
If you have a newer vehicle, it is a good idea to consider an Agreed Value policy. A policy with Agreed Value means that the value of your car is determined before a loss and in the event of an accident; you are guaranteed a check for that amount without deprecation during the policy year.
Auto Accident Tip From Your Insurance Advocate
When involved in an accident, if safe, take photos of the scene, the exact spots where the cars hit, the license plate of the other car, and snap a photo of the other driver’s license and insurance card. Ask for a phone number for the other vehicle’s owner. If there are ANY witnesses that were not passengers in either car, get their name and phone number for an insurance statement. A witness can make a huge difference determining fault.
Whether you have been living as a dependent of your parents or always had a partner handle your insurance (at home, in a college dorm or in a rental apartment), when you are heading out on your own, you should consider purchasing a homeowner’s policy in order to protect your possessions. There are a couple of different types depending on if you are renting or buying a home.
Renters Insurance is something you will need to purchase if you are renting an apartment or house after graduation. Renters Insurance will cover your personal belongings in the event of a fire, burglary or other weather-related emergency. Obtaining renters insurance means that if there is a burst pipe that destroys your property, or you suffer a burglary, your insurance will cover the cost to replace your damaged contents, assuming the claim is over your chosen deductible.
Renters insurance also provides some Loss of Use coverage which means that if you need to live elsewhere after a covered loss, your insurance will pay for it.
Renters Insurance Tip
It is a good idea to create an inventory of all of the items you own and the approximate value of each item. This will help in two ways; one it will help you determine the amount of coverage you need; and two it will help should you need to file a claim after a loss. If this is unrealistic, take a video with your smart phone of the inside of your home, open the drawers, cabinets, and closets, and film everything so that you have a permanent record.
Homeowners Insurance is a form of property insurance that covers damage to your home and possessions as well as offering liability coverage for any injuries or property damage you cause to other people. Like renters’ insurance, this coverage offers coverage for personal belongings damaged in the event of a fire, theft and some weather related emergencies, as well as providing protection for damages that happen to your home or property. When it comes to purchasing your first home, you will want to seek out the advice of an insurance specialist that can help you understand the risks you face and provide customized coverage that protects your assets.
Liability Insurance offers you protection in the event that you cause damage to someone else’s property, or someone is injured, and you are responsible for the damages. While both your auto insurance and your renter’s insurance will offer some degree of liability coverage, the amount may not be enough. We can help you to determine appropriate coverage limits based on your risk factors.
We love building relationships with our Advocate Brokerage families. If you have adult children that are moving on to a new phase of life, now is a good time to have a conversation with us so that we can advise you of any updates that may need to be made to your current policies.
If you are new to Advocate Brokerage, Welcome to the family! We are here to answer any questions and advise you on all your property and casualty needs.
If someone you know and love is moving into this new stage of life, please share this blog and let them know that Advocate Brokerage is part of your family and here to help and answer any questions!