Insurance 101

Disappearing Deductible???

A disappearing deductible is a relatively new concept in insurance. So what is it exactly? Glad you asked. For every year you have a clean year of driving your insurance company may add a $50 credit towards your deductible. you would need collision or limited collision to qualify for this credit.

Mapfre Insurance offers this credit up to a total of $300.  If you got into an accident and had a $500 deductible you would only have to pay $200 for your deductible. The credit then goes away until you have another incident free year of driving accumulating $50 a year.

Not all insurance companies offer this and some companies actually charge for it. With Mapfre Insurance this is a free benefit.

The above is meant as general information and as general policy descriptions to help you understand the different types of coverages available to you. Always consult your policy for actual coverages and exclusions.

Hoverboards & Insurance fun!

I know hoverboards and insurance fun don’t go together (ok, insurance and fun probably don’t go together either), but hoverboards, fire and broken bones do. I don’t want to get too in-depth with this conversation, but have you ever wondered if hoverboards are covered by insurance?

There are several different versions of homeowner’s insurance policies and insurance companies will add endorsements and exclusions to those different versions so please understand this is broad and simplified discussion. Always consult your insurance policy for actual coverage and exclusions.

Here are some scenarios to think about…

  • Your hoverboard spontaneously caught fire and burned down your house. Will your homeowner’s insurance policy pay to rebuild your home???? The good news is yes. Your insurance company will then subrogate against the manufacturer to recover it’s damages.
  • The hoverboard itself will more than likely not be covered as personal property because it could be considered a “motor vehicle”, which is excluded on your homeowner’s insurance policy.
  • Your son crashes into an elderly woman at the mall with his hoverboard and she suffers numerous injuries. NO COVERAGE. This is a scary one because not only will the woman’s medical bills not be covered, but neither will you as the homeowner have any defense coverage when you are sued.   There is a potential to have this covered if the injury occurred at an “insured premises” (so basically at your home).

Just some food for thought as you enjoy the compilation video above of people taking spills on hoverboards.

Stay safe and have a Happy New Year. BTW we are closing at 3pm on New Year’s Eve.

Thanks,
Steve

Sinkhole coverage in Massachusetts

There has been a lot of press recently about that awful sinkhole collapse in Florida, but there have been a few in Massachusetts the past 3 years. Ask your agent if sinkholes are covered on your home, business or rental property and more often than not you will get a “let me get back to you”. So consider this me getting back to you.

On your home and rental properties, sinkholes are not covered. The coverage can be bought back by endorsement however. The same goes for earthquake.

Your commercial policy does cover sinkhole collapse, but still excludes earthquake.

Now you can dazzle people at your next cocktail party with your fancy insurance knowledge. And when they ask you the name of the endorsement or how much it costs just have them call me.

Thanks,
Steve

The above is meant as general information and as general policy descriptions to help you understand the different types of coverages available to you. Always consult your policy for actual coverages and exclusions.

You sold your house and let the buyers move in…

There are many situations that come up where you no longer reside in your home. You sell your home and let the new buyers move in for a few days before the closing, you move into a nursing home, or you buy a new home and make some renovations before you move in.

There have been numerous occasions where claims have happened in these situations and have been denied. The issue is residency. Whether you were a resident of the home at the time of the claim. This is not so much of an insurance issue. There is nothing in the insurance policy that describes being a resident of the home. There is, however, a vacancy clause, which is well-defined in the policy.

The simplest solution is to talk to your insurance agent and let he or she know what you are doing. They can then convey that to the company underwiter and either confirm that yes they are still covered in or the policy may need to be written on a dwelling fire policy. Better to find out before a claim arises.

The above is meant as general information and as general policy descriptions to help you understand the different types of coverages available to you. Always consult your policy for actual coverages and exclusions.

Turkey Day Turkeys

Thanksgiving should be a time for family and friends to gather together, enjoy each others company, eat too much and possibly sneak in an afternoon nap on the couch. And for most people that’s just what it is. But accidents can happen and people get hurt (don’t even get me started on the whole fried turkey thing).

So what does any of this have to do with insurance? Glad you asked. Let’s say Uncle Earl, while carving the turkey, manages to carve a piece of his hand with the electric knife. Your homeowner’s insurance policy will pay up to $5,000 for his medical expenses. This coverage is simply called Medical Payments. There are higher limits available for a very minimal charge.

Your policy will pay the medical expenses of someone injured in your home regardless if you are at fault. It is often hoped that by paying the medical expenses of someone injured in your home that the injured person will not pursue a lawsuit. One thing to keep in mind is that coverage is excluded for household members.

So enjoy your family and friends, eat as much as you like, watch every minute of football, and don’t let Uncle Earl use the electric knife.  

The above is meant as general information and as general policy descriptions to help you understand the different types of coverages available to you. Always consult your policy for actual coverages and exclusions.

Food Spoilage & Tree Removal FAQ’s

Two of the most common insurance questions and claims are food spoilage and tree removal. I will try to give you a quick overview of these common claims. Please remember this is a broad explanation, but always read your policy or call your agent for coverage questions.

TREE REMOVAL 
If a tree falls in my yard but does not damage my home or property, will my insurance company pay to remove it?
Generally, the tree must cause damage to your home before your insurance company will pay to remove it. There are endorsements available to add this coverage.

If my neighbor’s tree falls on my home, will his insurance company pay for the damage?
Unless negligence can be proven, your neighbor’s policy covers his home and your policy covers your home.  Generally, if the tree is damaged due to a storm, the owner would not be considered negligent.

My tree is hanging over my house. It hasn’t fallen, but it is posing a danger to the property and my family. Will the company pay for the cost to remove it?
Most policies do not provide coverage for removing trees that may fall on the property.

A tree is on my roof. Will my insurance company pay to have the roof tarped?
Insurer’s expect homeowner’s to make any necessary repairs to protect their property from further damage and will pay the reasonable costs associated with proptecting the property. Placing tarps on the roof is a way of protecting your property from further damage.

FOOD SPOILAGE
There was no damage to my home, but $400 worth of food was lost because of the power outage. Can I file a claim for the loss?
Unless you have a special endorsement, generally there is no coverage if the power outage occurred off your premises. If it did occur on your property then you may have coverage subject to your deductible.

What is the benefit of a food spoilage endorsement?
Typically you will have a $50, $100 or even no deductible option and it will provide food spoilage coverage whether the power outage occurred on or off your premises.

Top Ten Flood Insurance Facts

I bet when you woke up this morning you rolled out of bed and sat silently pondering the intricacies of flood insurance. Okay, maybe you have never thought of flood insurance in your life. No one cares about flood insurance until you suffer a loss cause by a flood. Did you know coverage for flood insurance is excluded on virtually every insurance policy known to man except….wait for it….Auto Insurance?. I bet you would never have guessed that one.

Back to my point. There is a wonderful website developed by FEMA called Floodsmart.gov. There is a treasure trove of information about flood insurance. I wanted to call to you attention a brief flyer they created called the Ten Flood Insurance Facts. It is easy to read and gives you a basic understanding of flood insurance.

That’s it for today. If there is ever anything you would like to see posted or had questions on feel free to email me at steve@hannon-ryan.com. Have a nice weekend and don’t forget to go shopping for Mother’s Day next week.

Thank You,
Steve Murphy

The above is meant as general information and as general policy descriptions to help you understand the different types of coverages available to you. Always consult your policy for actual coverages and exclusions.

 

What Insurance Policy are You Guaranteed to Use?

Give up? Or more to the point don’t care? I’ll just pretend you’re interested….Life Insurance! Yes, if you think about it we all buy car insurance, homeowner’s insurance and for some even an umbrella policy. We can go 30 years without an accident (not a simple task in Massachusetts) or possibly never have a homeowner’s claim. But we are all going to die someday. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. The good news is that life insurance rates are very affordable right now. For example I just quoted a $500,000 30-year term life insurance policy for a 35 year old male in good health, non-smoker and the monthly premium is less than $38 a month. I spend more than that a month at Dunkin Donuts (and that’s probably killing me).

It may be one of the more challenging insurance policies to buy just because we all procrastinate, but it is one of  the most important. Your family will never regret your decision to buy a life insurance policy. You will never get scare tactics from me, just the reality we all face.

Feel free to call me at 508-746-0030 or send me an email at steve@hannon-ryan.com for a quote or if you have any questions.

Thank You,
Steve Murphy

The above is meant as general information and as general policy descriptions to help you understand the different types of coverages available to you. Always consult your policy for actual coverages and exclusions.

Will my insurance rates go up if…?

A common question we are asked is “Will my homeowner’s insurance premium go up if I file a claim?”. The simple quick answer is no. You could potentially lose your loss-free credit if you have one on your policy. That would cause your premium to go up the following policy term. Homeowner’s insurance rates are not determined by loss history. Your homeowner’s insurance rates are based on a multitude of factors including the location of your home, the size, the age, your insurance score (insurance company lingo for a credit score) to mention a few.  

Insurance companies are more concerned with frequency rather than a single loss. If you file 3 small claims in a year more than likely you will be looking for a new company when your policy expires. So, if you have a loss with significant damage, the right thing to do is file the claim. After all, you’re paying a premium every year, why not use your insurance for what it’s designed to do?

The above is meant as general information and as general policy descriptions to help you understand the different types of coverages available to you. Always consult your policy for actual coverages and exclusions.

200,000 to 400,000…

That is the average number of driver’s a day in Massachusetts driving without insurance. Yes, auto insurance coverage is mandatory in Massachusetts, but not everyone follows the rules. What would happen if you got into a car accident with someone with no auto insurance? Yes, you can take legal action against that person, but chances are that will be a long process and more than likely not amount to much help.

Fortunately you have a coverage on your auto insurance policy called Uninsured Motorist coverage. This coverage is for you and your passengers who are injured in an auto accident with an uninsured vehicle. This  coverage pays for medical bills, lost income and property damage expenses. This is YOUR protection. And the price is very affordable.

Do me a favor. Pull out your auto policy today and look at two coverages; Bodily Injury Caused by an Uninsured Motorist & Bodily Injury Caused by an Undersinsured Motorist. These coverages are designed to protect your financial well being if you are involved in an accident with someone with either no insurance or low limits. Do you have less than $100/$300k? If yes, then call your agent today and ask how much it would cost to increase those limits. 

Rememer, just because you follow the rules doesn’t mean that the person in the car next to you does.

The above is meant as general information and as general policy descriptions to help you understand the different types of coverages available to you. Always consult your policy for actual coverages and exclusions.