Frequently Asked Questions

General Insurance

Home Insurance

Health Insurance

Auto Insurance

Life Insurance

Additional Insurance Products


Home Insurance

What do I do if nobody will sell me a home owners insurance policy?

A FAIR plan is available for those who will not be granted home insurance privately.  Essentially it is an insurer of last resort.  An insurance agent or insurance broker can help you decide if you qualify, as some states do not offer such a plan.  Talking to an industry expert can also lead to other avenues depending on a individual factors. 

I filed a claim to my insurance agent or claim service, what happens now?
The insurance claims process can take varying amounts of time depending on what steps need to be taken and the timely manner in which and individual addresses a claim.  Listed are some of the general steps that are taken:

1.  Claim is received at local claim office
2.  A call is made to the insured filing the claim to review statement and address procedures
3.  It is determined whether inspection is warranted.  If not, then a settlement check is decided once additional information is received
4.  If warranted, a field adjuster is assigned and an appointment is made.
5.  It is then determined if a contractor is needed.  If so, then everyone meets and an estimate is prepared.  Once determined, then a check is given for total damages.  If a contractor is not neccessary, then the adjuster prepares an estimate and issues a check.
6.  Some wish to find a contractor after the loss is settled.  In this case the insured should have the contractor update the adjuster concerning any mistakes.
7.  A final decision will be reached and a check will be issued if agreed upon. 

Is flood insurance really needed?

It depends.  If the area one is insured often has flooding issues, then yes.  If not, then maybe not.  The majority of basic home owner insurance plans do not touch flood insurance.  The National Flood Insurance Program determines most of the flood insurance policies in the U.S.  In sum, it is a judgment call for those insured and should be looked into so a sound decision will be reached.

Can I get Insurance if my dog bit someone or I own a certain breed of dog?
Obtaining home owners insurance can be difficult for anyone who owns a dog who has bitten another person.  Also, certain breeds of dogs (Pit Bull, Rottweiler, etc.) may make it difficult to find the coverage desired.  While hard, it is not necessarily impossible.  Some insurance plans agree to cover everything except the actions of the dog.  Also, there are insurance companies that don't "discriminate" based on breed, rather past history of the dog and the owner.  The best advice is to contact and insurance broker or agent and have them help in determining which insurance company will best work with you. 

Why is it so hard for Florida residents to find home insurance and what can I do?

Because of the high volume of hurricanes, Florida residents may have difficulty in obtaining home insurance.  Many standard programs will not cover for all damages, especially if caused by a hurricane.  You can contact the Florida Windstorm Underwriting Association who can align you with the policy needed.

Another option is to call Florida's Citizens Property Insurance Corporation who will help those who need it most.  Their support line is: 888-685-1555.

Is there earthquake insurance for those in California?

Yes, it is possible for California residents to obtain earthquake insurance, depending on past history. The California Earthquake Authority (CEA) also has coverage options for homes without previous damages.  There are also independent plans that an insurance broker or insurance agent can refer you to.

Health Insurance

What is the difference between primary and secondary coverages?

Primary health coverage is the first plan for payments to be made. Secondary health coverage usually covers what the primary health coverage could not. Because many people have available health insurance through more than one plan, particularly employed couples who are covered under group health insurance plans, your primary coverage will usually come from your employer or whatever plan you've had the longest.

Secondary coverage applies to those who are listed as a dependent under another persons health plan.

Is there an advantage to having group health insurance plan over an individual insurance plan?

Group health insurance generally has some built-in advantages over individual health insurance, while many of the coverages are similar.  As with anything, buying in bulk normally leads to price reductions or additional benefits.  Group health insurance is no exception, as group plans result in reduced acquisition costs for insurers and normally better overall coverage for the "group".  

What are some of the different types of group health insurance plans?

There are many different kinds of group health insurance plans available for both small and large business.  Some of the coverages available include:

  • Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)-  A common type of group program where the organization provides a full breadth of medical coverage to participants.  Individual participants are referred to as "enrollees".  This basic system is good for providing medical care distinguished by reduction in selection by the individual participant of the provider whom distributes services.
  • Fully Insured Employer Group-  Most arrangements are for HMO or major medical coverages.  Employees typically contract directly with Insurance companies who provide certificates.  Large Employer Groups are basically the same thing.
  • Self-Funded ERISA-  This is an "in-house" health coverage available for large groups.  Outside 3rd party sources handle paperwork documentation.  The insurance plans along with these costs for outside sources are all dealt with and paid by the group.
  • Small Employer Group-  Health insurance for smaller employer groups are typically consolidated with other small company groups.  This forms a larger conglomerate of groups getting the same coverage of greater value than my be typically found with individual insurance.
  • Associated Group-  This insurance coverage is for those who get insurance through a club or group and not a business.  Common group that fall in this category are church groups or those who join a service that includes insurance as an marketing campaign. 
  • Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)-  Comprised by a network of health care professionals who contract with health insurance companies, often resulting in saving for the patient.
  • Group Managed Care-  Offers health insurance to groups on an extended basis.

What individual health insurance policies are best for me?

Many options are available relating to individual health insurance and choosing one over another can get tricky.  Whether you are in search of long-term care, short-term care, dental, vision, or any number of different types of coverage, the advantage of individual health insurance is you can implement what works best you.  Some of the more common types include:

1. Majory Medical- Covers prolonged injuries and illnesses and all or most hospital fees that come with that.

2. Short Term- Similar to major medical coverage except it only last for an allotted amount of time.

3. Dental-  Dental Insurance coverage extends to orthodontists and dentists

4.  Long Term Care-  This is for people who who require special attention for an extended period of time.  This most often deals with the elderly or those with long-term illnesses.  Some example of long-term care recipients include those who suffer paralysis, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

5.  Vision-  Covers visits to eye care specialists for things the eye examinations.  This usually entails some compensation for eye glasses, contact lenses, and other hardware concerning eye care.

6.  Home Health Care-  This coverage provides personal care in ones home.  Included can be a 24 nurse care and assisted living to help maintain a patients home.

7.  Hospital and Surgery-  Coverage for hospital stays and surgery and all expenses that are included with these procedures.

8.  Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs)-  Comprised of a network of medical professionals that covers basic things like doctor visits and surgery.  HMOs normally don't rely on deductibles and co-payments, rather many of the providers withing their network share in financial risk.

9.  Accident Only-  Covers hospital fees that originated from an accident.  

10.  Hospital Confinement Indemnity-  Sets aside a given monetary value for everyday you are hospitalized.

What types of insurance do employers usually offer?

Many Employers offer health insurance to compliment an employees annual income or hourly wage.  Just as individual insurance plans can vary, so can group health plans. 

Typically, those employed should expect protection in the event of a catastrophic loss through accidents or illnesses.  Some bigger corporations even offer varying health programs for an employee to choose.

What is an insurance premium and what dictates total cost?

Insurance premiums represent the amount charged by insurance companies for active account coverage.  Premiums can vary for every insurance company depending on past and present health, location, and many other factors.  Normally an insurance agent or broker will factor in all the variables and let a prospect know a specific premium will cost.   

Group plans typically cost less because it is assumed a certain percentage of people will be in good health.  For individual insurance, it is assumed someone is applying because they have increased health risks, thus driving the overall cost. 

Auto Insurance

What is no fault car insurance?

No fault car insurance is meant safe guard drivers from high financial risk.  It indicates a system where drivers are required by law to carry auto insurance.  This is for the protection of ones self and through this there are limiting factors in suing another driver for damage caused.  Under no fault laws the insurance company will pay for all damages or up to the amount stipulated in the policy, no matter who was responsible the accident.

True no fault systems do not exist, even in states that claim to carry no fault policies.  Instead, elements of the liability system are also incorporated, thus lawsuits are still a viable option in select cases. No fault insurance results in immediate medical attention to drivers and reduced legal fees.  This is beneficial to those insured because it means lower insurance premiums.

I totaled my car, what is the salvage value going to be?

The salvage value of a car after an accident can vary depending on a number of factors such as retail value at the time of the accident, where the vehicle was damaged, demand for the car and parts, blue book value, car conditions before an accident and more.  Different insurers use varying formulas in determining total sum of salvage value and it's best if you research these thoroughly.

Generally speaking, though, you can expect 15-25% of the value of the car at the time of the accident. If an insurance adjuster offers less than what is perceived to be fair, don't except the offer.  Figure out alternative options and, if possible, find a good attorney.  Fighting insurance companies by oneself can be an uphill battle. 

Where can I find cheap auto insurance?

Getting a car insurance quote is easy at  When planning financial expenditures it is important to remember that you get what you pay for.  Auto insurance is not just mandatory, it's an investment.  It protects your safety and security.  A great plan, even if at a high price, can result in increased monetary rewards in the future.

As far as what is equated when determining overall price, an insurance company will look at the driving record, location, credit score and several other factors. 

How much is a DUI going to change my auto insurance rates?

Car insurance rate increases resulting from a DUI charge can vary depending on the insurance company and the persons past history who is insured. 

Some companies will drop those insured from their plan, even on a first offense basis.  If not, expect your premiums to skyrocket. Many who are in financial crises have to judge whether car insurance is even worth it considering often times their drivers licenses are suspended.

Should I put my teenager on my car insurance plan?

Auto insurance for teenagers can be expensive.  Costs are normally lowered when parents put them on their plan. If it is decided for the teen to get their own policy, it is recommended to invest in an older reliable vehicle, as this will keep costs down.

My collision coverage is too high, how can I lower it?
Collision coverage can be expensive but there are ways to control it. 

First decide whether collision coverage is worth it in comparison to a cars retail value.  If it costs more to cover the policy than it did to buy the car, then common sense says that collision coverage can be dropped.  If you have a car of respectable value, look into raising your deductibles.  Generally speaking, this will lower your premium.  In the case of an accident, though, it means more money out of you pocket to cover initial costs.

Life Insurance

How much life insurance is needed?

Determining what life insurance policy works best for can be difficult.  It is important to evaluate family needs and expenditures before making a decision. Financial protection for ones family is what life insurance is all about.  A general way to decide is take your annual gross income and multiply it by 5, 6, or 7.  This approach should give a god idea of what can be expected. Mostly, research how much your family currently spends and what you plan on spending in the future.  Make sure all the bases are covered and you've done plenty of research.

What is term life insurance?

Term life insurance, or temporary life insurance, is a simple plan that protects those insured for a set amount of time.  Once the policy has expired, so has the insurance unless those insured decide to renew. Premium rates for renewals are typically higher unless you can provide evidence to indacate you are a "safe" investment. Policies usually last 5-30 years.  Initial costs are normally lower than permanent insurance plans but renewal rates are higher.

What is permanent life insurance?

Permanent life insurance is also commonly known as whole life, adjustable, and variable life insurance. Permanent life insurance coverage is for lifelong protection.  Pricing structure is built for payment over an extended period of time. As long as premium payments are met, permanent life insurance will continue.  Price structure can vary depending on those insured.

What Life Insurance Policy should I buy? 

When determining a life insurance policy first thing to do is get a quote on Once an agent is found, they will recommend different policies based on information provided.  Typically you will have the option for a type of a term life insurance policy or a permanent life insurance policy. Study your options carefully.  Once a policy is decided on, most plans provide a 10 day grace period to change or drop the coverage.  Utilize this time to study the various nuances of the agreed plan.

Should I get life insurance for my kids?

Life insurance for children is an option and it is advised to find a policy with a guaranteed, low premium. The main thing within any family is to protect the person who makes the most money first, then worry about the life insurance for the rest of the family.  This approach is best for all involved.

Can I replace or cancel my life insurance policy for another one?

It is possible to change life insurance policies but it is not advisable. Premiums are likely to cost more with a policy purchased at a later date.  Expenditures for application fees and the cost of issuing a policies will again have to be paid. 

Certain guarantees, like protection after suicide, are often covered after a few years with a policy.  Changing policies is like starting over with many benefits. Basically, if you are going to change policies make sure it is the right move.  Gather all the data possible and then decide if it's worth it.  Odds are it is going to cost extra, it's up to you to decide if it is going to be worth it.

Additional Insurance Products

Travel Insurance

Why get travel insurance?

Travel insurance normally extends beyond what basic trip insurance will cover.  Those with travel insurance can cover medical and health emergencies that may arise on your trip. 

Other perks may also be available that will ensure those traveling to travel without worry. This includes evacuation to ones home in case of medical emergency, emergency cash, or help in case of theft.

How soon before a vacation should I buy travel insurance?
Many plans give a 10 day window after travel arrangements have been made. 

Dental Insurance

Do I need dental insurance?
Dental insurance is always a good idea, generally speaking.  It is a good idea to check out available plans to see if the premium fees are worth spending compared to normal dental cost.  Also, check to see if a particular plan covers what you deem as important. 

Many people hold off on going to the dentist because it is not seen as "important".  Those with dental insurance typically go to the dentist more often.  For this reason alone dental insurance is a safe bet.

My dental plan won't cover the work I need done.  What should I do?
Dental coverage is usually great for check-ups but for expensive treatments it can be useless, all depending on the particular insurance plan.  Many dental plans do not cover pre-existing conditions, sealants, and other dental needs.  This is something that should be looked into before agreeing to a particular coverage plan.

If a dentist recommends something, the best bet would be to follow his advice and pay the full amount.  If you are unsure, consult another dentist and see if there are alternative procedures that your plan will cover.

My Dentist is charging me for my first visit even though my plan covers 100% of two checkups a year.  What's up with that?

Many dental plans claim to cover 100% of the first two dental visits but this may not necessarily be the case.  There is a "customary" or "reasonable" fee limit included in many plans, similiar to what you may find with other types of insurance. 

What is deemed "reasonable" can vary depending on the insurer coverage.  So, if your first visit costs $100 and the cap is set at $85, then you will have to pay the difference.

Business Insurance

As a business owner, why do I need insurance coverage?

Business owners often ignore the idea of commercial coverage until it is too late.  A risk assessment process needs to take place to determine what exactly you want covered. Businesses crumble all of the time, seemingly through no fault of their own.

How much does business insurance cost?
Business insurance costs can vary, but a good start is to get a quote from There are many option for business owners in terms of business coverage.  Small or medium sized business can join a packaged coverage which will save money over an individual plan.

What are some risks that won't be included in my business coverage plan?
An insurance company will not cover loss of business due to rising prices of products or the reduction of product costs by competitors.

I own a small company and was told to get a business owner's policy (bop).  What is that?
Business owner's policy (bop) is the standard business policy for small to medium sized business owners.  BOPs join seperate coverages and together they form a discounted insurance plan as opposed to the sum of its parts.  Insurance companies favor this because of efficiency, which leads to reduced premiums.

Renters Insurance

What is renters insurance and what does it cover?

Renters insurance covers loss of personal belongings.  Home owners insurance covers the actual home or apartment, but personal property is left uninsured. Beyond personal property, renters coverage can also include protection against lawsuits or medical bills in case someone gets injured at your residence. In some cases renters insurance is required, although this is not too common.

How do I go about getting my property back if I have renters insurance?
Renters insurance can reimburse for lost property in a couple of different methods. Deductibles imply a specified amount to for the insured to pay with the insurance company paying for the rest once that price point has been met.

Replacement Cost Coverage pay for what it costs to replace the items and those insured get the money once they have purchased the replacements.  Although, there is normally a limit on amount received. Actual Cash Value pays an for what is lost minus the depreciated value.

Does a renters insurance policy cover my roomates too?

Renters insurance coverage varies depending on the plan and the insurance company. Some plans will cover multiple people, some not.

Title Insurance

What is title insurance?
Title insurance is a policy that covers the title to real property in case the title is defective for whatever reason.  The insurer will correct the title or pay those insured or the lender for the insured.

Why should I purchase title insurance?

Title insurance protects claims from the past.  Deeds are written that don't address certain cirucumstances, forged signatures, divorce claim; these are all reaons title insurance can pay dividends when you need it most.

What happens with my title insurance if I die?

Title insurance continues for as long as those protected own the property.  This includes family who may inherit the property.

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