Personal Insurance

How can I lower my homeowner premium?

Insurance companies often award lower rates to homeowners who guard against theft, accidents and other losses. They also may provide discounts for multiple-customers (home and auto). Here are some things you can install in your home that generally qualify for lower premiums:

  • Dead bolts and window locks
  • A security system with outside signal
  • Smoke detectors
  • A sprinkler system for fire
  • A fire alarm that alerts the local fire department

What records are necessary to substantiate a homeowner claim?

You should keep a booklet detailing items or a video of your personal property. Having an inventory record at the time of loss could save you thousands of dollars because no one remembers everything, and forgotten items will go unclaimed. Keep your records in a safe deposit box or with your insurance agent.

What questions should I be prepared to answer when applying for an insurance policy?

Anyone who applies for an insurance policy is asked a number of questions. For example, the agent will ask you simple questions such as your name, age and address. But you will also be asked a number of questions that determine what type of risk you are. For example, for auto insurance, the agent will want to know about your previous driving record, what type of car will be insured and various other types of information.

The answers to the questions will determine which rate to charge you, whether you should be offered insurance at the high-risk driver rate or the low-risk driver rate, for example.

What can I do to lower my auto premium?

Talk to your insurance agent about available discounts such as multi-car, renewal, claim-free, student discounts, driver training, defense driver course, anti-lock brakes, air bags, anti-theft devices, and auto/home discounts. Also ask how much you can save by increasing your deductibles.

What is full coverage?

The term “full coverage” refers to the legal amount or most commonly requested coverages, typically including bodily injury, property damage, uninsured and underinsured motorist, damage to a covered vehicle, and any other coverage available.

Am I covered when I drive someone else’s vehicle?

Coverage varies from state to state and you should consult with your insurance agent for details. In general, you are covered for liability to third parties unless the owner is a resident of your household or you use the vehicle regularly. In some states, you are not covered for damage to a borrowed vehicle.

When I rent a vehicle, should I buy the insurance coverage?

If you have auto insurance protection on your personal vehicles, you do not need to buy extra insurance.

When my child gets his/her driver’s license, should I add him/her to my insurance policy?

Yes. All licensed drivers in the household need to be listed on the auto policy unless they have their own auto insurance.