Insurance Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take to get a quote?

Time will vary depending on the complexity of your situation, if you have had previous coverage and if you have had any claims.  Most packages can be quoted the same day, more complex situations can take longer.

How can I lower my premium?

If you want to lower your monthly premium, or buy more coverage for less money, one way is to carry a higher deductible. A higher deductible also may make sense if you believe that your chances of making a claim are remote enough to warrant assuming extra financial risk.

Can I finance my insurance costs?

Yes. You can finance your policy with a minimum down payment of approximately 25-40% of your total cost, depending on the carrier. (Service fees will apply).

What is the difference between an “Admitted” and Non-Admitted” insurance company?

An Admitted carrier is “backed” by the California Insurance Guarantee Association (CIGA) Fund. The Fund would cover the claim up to your policy limit or $500,000 in liability; whichever amount is lower, in the case that the carrier becomes insolvent.

A ‘Non-Admitted” carrier has been approved by the California Department of Insurance to operate on a “Non-Admitted” basis but is not “backed” by the CIGA Fund. Financial stability of the carrier becomes very important when they are transacting business on a “Non-Admitted” basis. This can be investigated by using companies such as A.M. Best who are in business for the sole purpose of researching insurance carriers and compiling statistical information

One point that should be mentioned is that financial strength is not always related to the carriers Admitted or Non-Admitted status. Furthermore, there are more regulatory restrictions placed on the Admitted carrier. Some of the largest insurance companies in the world choose to transact business in California, and in all states, on a Non-Admitted basis.

What is an “Additional Insured”?

This is an endorsement which names others to your policy. It is a requirement by almost all carriers that if you hire a Sub-Contractor – you must have your Company named as “Additional Insured” on their policy. Failure to comply with this requirement can get you Cancelled or could affect any claim should one arise.

Can I be audited by the insurance company?

Yes. Your premiums are based on the estimated numbers provided at the start of your policy. These numbers are usually based on your past history or estimates provided. In order for the carrier to determine that you were charged the correct premium for the amount of your exposure, a carrier will contact you towards the end of your policy or after it has expired.

What damage to my house would not be covered by my homeowner’s policy?

It depends on the type of policy you own. But in general, unless you buy additional coverage, you won’t be compensated for losses due to floods, earthquakes, nuclear accidents, wars, intentional damage, and normal wear and tear. Other exclusions may also apply.

What can I do about expensive possessions, like jewelry and camera equipment, that are far more valuable than the coverage limits of my homeowner’s policy?

You can purchase additional coverage, through an endorsement to your existing policy or with a separate policy, to extend the limits of coverage for specific items.

What does it mean when a car is “totaled”?

After an accident or theft recovery, if the insurance company decides your car is “totaled,” it means the estimate of repairs exceeds the car’s value. At this point, the insurance company will likely send you a check for your car’s value. It gets to keep your car unless you make arrangements to buy it back “as is”.

If I don’t have auto insurance, and am involved in an accident that is completely not my fault, will the party at fault’s insurance pay for the repairs to my car?

Yes, assuming that unlike you, the “party at fault” is carrying at least basic liability coverage, his or her insurance will pay for the damage incurred by their client. However, if the fault for the accident is shared, for example 50-50, then the other driver’s insurance will cover his or her portion of the damage, but will only cover your portion if the other driver is also carrying uninsured motorist insurance. However, uninsured motorist insurance is not obligatory in every state, and you should not count on it. Whatever the insurance situation of the other party, not carrying auto insurance is against the law, so you would be wise to buy it. Penalties for non-compliance with insurance laws vary by state, but often involve a substantial fine, license and/or registration suspension or revocation, as well as possible jail time in some states.
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