Insurance Agent

Insurance Terminology

 

Insurance professionals come in many forms. They go by various names and have different strengths and weaknesses. Agents can be classified by their relationship with the insurance company, the customer or both.

The term insurance agent is used widely by the public. But, the term agent is most often used when referring to an employee of the insurance company.

Insurance agents are sometimes referred to as exclusive agents or captive agents. These terms stem from the fact that the agents are employees of the insurance company. As a result, they can only sell the products of their employer.

InsuranceWith limited options, captive agents can find themselves at a disadvantage. While independent agents can to other insurance professionals. There is, however, a positive to be captive. As employees of the insurance company, captive or exclusive agents have more authority.

If you are searching for the best insurance agent for your needs be sure to consider the benefits associated with each type.  Or even better, take a little extra time and try both a captive and an independent agent.

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Innkeepers Legal Liability Insurance

Motel Insurance

Innkeepers Legal Liability

At times most of us leave personal belongs under the temporary control or custody of others. These individuals or entities are referred to as a Bailee. Cleaners, jewelers, and parking valets are good examples of Bailees.

Hotel insurance needs in some ways are similar to most other businesses. Commercial Property, Business Auto, Commercial General Liability and Workers Compensation coverages are likely to be somewhat comparable to most others.Hotel Insurance

Insurance for motels and hotels must also address some more unique exposures. When traveling, we may leave property in the care, custody, and control of lodging or other hospitality-related organizations. Hotels, motels, and B&B’s are required by law to have in place coverage for customer belongs. Insurance for the lodging guest can be acquired via an Innkeepers Legal Liability or similar coverage.

Who will require me to have condo insurance?

When you are looking to make a good investment in your future, one great decision you can make would be to purchase a home. For those that do not want to have all of the maintenance requirements and responsibilities that come with a single-family home, another option would be to purchase a Fisherville, KY area condo. When you own a condo, you undoubtedly will need to have a reliable condo insurance policy on your home. There are several situations in which you will be required to carry condo insurance.

Loan Outstanding

The first situation in which you will need to have condo insurance is when you have any loans outstanding on your home. Since it can be an expensive investment, you likely will have to take out a mortgage to finance it. Whenever you have a mortgage outstanding, the lender will likely require that you grow your monthly insurance payments. This will help to ensure that their collateral is properly protected.

Home Association Requirements

If you do not have a loan outstanding on your condo, you still might be required to have a condo insurance policy in place at all times. Most people that live in a condo also live in a condo association. These associations are typically governed by a variety of different rules and regulations. One of the most common regulations is a regulation that will require that you have insurance on your condo. This insurance will not only have to protect the actual property but will also have to provide liability coverage. 

If you are looking for a condo insurance policy in the Fisherville, KY area, you should contact TruePoint Insurance. The TruePoint Insurance company will help you to identify your condo insurance needs and get you into a great policy. 

Kentucky Car Insurance; state auto insurance requirements

Closing insurance gaps

Kentucky Minimum Car Insurance Limits   

 

If you own and operate a car in Kentucky, you are required to meet certain financial standards. State mandated requirements protect other drivers using Kentucky’s roads and highways..
For almost all of us, this means that we must have an auto insurance policy. Kentucky and all other states require car owners to meet or exceeds certain limits.
When considering car insurance, the first thought of many is how to replace or repair their car in the event of an accident. For this, you would need to have collision or comprehensive coverage in place. While this coverage is important, it is not the insurance coverage mandated by the state.
 
Because we live in a no-fault state, Kentucky car owner’s are required to maintain two coverage’s :
 
• Auto Liability Insurance
• No-Fault Car Insurance
 
Liability Insurance
 
If you are involved in an accident and found to be at fault, you can legally be held financially responsible. This is why you buy car insurance! Your auto liability policy protects other drivers. Specifcally it provides coverage for bodily injury and/or property damage that results from your actions.
While you may be held reasonable for the full cost of damages, insurance companies will only pay up to the limits declared in the policy.
What does that mean?
It means that we need to ask what will happen if the cost of damages exceeds our auto liability policy limits. Answering that goes well beyond the abilities of an insurance agent or even a claims adjuster. But it seems logical that an inadequately insured auto owner has opened the door to many potential headaches. Including the possibility of significant financial exposure.
Counting calories? Then ordering the minimum size soda and fry at McDonald’s is a wise decision. Using the same logic with your insurance agent may put you on a course for disaster. Before buying insurance, it is essential that you know the state’s requirements.
Kentucky Auto InsuranceKentucky minimum auto liability insurance requirements are as follows:
• Kentucky motor vehicle liability coverage minimum for bodily injury is unchanged.
     o $25,000 for bodily injury liability coverage per person
     o $50,000 for bodily injury liability coverage per accident
• Kentucky motor vehicle liability coverage minimum for property damages increased 150%.
     o Before 1/1/18, the minimum requirement for auto liability property damage was $10,000
     o Kentucky auto owners are now required to carry at least $25,000 for claims made against them as        result of damaging the property of others
 
 
For years Kentucky Insurance minimums for motor vehicles as:
 25/50/10 
…or…
$25,000 Bodily Injury (BI) per person / $50,000 BI per accident / $10,000 Property Damage (PD)
 

Today, Kentucky Car Insurance state-mandated minimums are:

25/50/25 …or… $25,000 (BI) per person / $50,000 BI per accident / $25,000 (PD)

WARNING! Many sites continue to post Kentucky’s minimum required auto insurance limits that were in effect prior to January 1st, 2018.
 
Before asking an insurance agent for the “Cheapest Car Insurance, you got,” consider the following:
• Cheap car insurance more than likely means you are getting the state-mandated minimums.
• How far will those dollars go if you are the cause of a severe auto accident?
• Settlement cost seldom equal medical cost. Why? For one, pain and suffering. If you want an estimate for total settlement cost, a good rule of thumb is to multiple medical bills by 3. If your negligence was the cause of a car crash and the other party sustained $10,000 in medical expenses you are looking at $30,000 to settle the claim. $5,000 higher than the state minimum!
• How far will $10,000 go in an emergency room today?
• How far will the $50,000 per accident limit go if you hit a car with multiple passengers? What if you are the cause of a multiple car collision or if the other vehicle isn’t a car but rather a bus?
• Kentucky has done a great job by raising the required minimum coverages for property damage. But have you priced a new car lately? Better yet, a new truck? What if you cause damage to property other than an automobile? You may someday depend on your auto insurance to cover damages to a building, utilities, infrastructure, or some other non-auto related properties.
Cheap car insurance can cost you in more ways than you realize. Ever wonder how insurance companies come up with an auto insurance premium for you and your car?
Your premium is the result of a number of factors. Every car insurance companies has their own unique formula. Each aimed at helping them attract clients and make a buck too. What you may find surprising is that many companies will penalize you if your current insurance limits are the state minimums. Never buy the state mandated minimum without first considering the cost of better coverage. It’s likely to be less than you think and it will save you in the long run.
In the end, cheap auto insurance may wind up costing you more than you bargained for. Even if you never have an accident! Consider your options, prepare for the worst and be sure that you find an insurance agent the is willing to spend the time to help you through the process.

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Contractor’s E&O Insurance

Closing insurance gapsIf your business has never had to turn in an insurance claim many will tell you to consider yourself lucky. Others may tell you to give yourself a pat on the back. At TruePoint, we will tell you that it is highly likely that both are true.
No one enjoys turning in an insurance claim. Once we get past the fact that no one is injured, an explosion of thoughts race through our minds. How much is this going to cost? What’s my deductible? How much will my insurance premium go up? Will I get canceled?
The one thought that is seldom considered is, “will my insurance company deny the claim?” Most small businesses seldom consider needing anything more than a General Liability policy. If you are a contractor that has had a past claim denied, then you most likely know where we are headed.
General Liability Insurance or GL covers a boatload. Even if you are not liable, it will pay claims made against you by a third party. Most legal fees, settlement costs, damages to property, bodily injury and more are covered. Your general liability policy should also pay claims related to slander or libel. It will also pay for some construction-related claims as long as they fall under the completed products coverage.
Most claims not covered by the general liability coverage policy are logical. First off we can exclude every claim not related to damages that we’ve caused to others. Buildings and other property must be covered by a property form. Some liability related losses are not covered by the commercial general liability (CGL) policy. The following are some of the most obvious examples:
•      Property Damage and Body Injury resulting while operating a vehicle Commercial Auto         Policy
•      Injuries to employees while at work Workers Compensation
•      Liability coverage for Doctors, Lawyers, etc. Professional Liability
Professional liability insurance is sometimes referred to as errors and omissions insurance or E&O. Warning to the wise, take care to review all policies. Professional Liability and Errors & Omission coverages differ. While E&O is more applicable to most contractors, it’s crucial that you make sure that the product you are buying provides the coverages you need.
Why is it that certain professions need E&O insurance and other need General Liability?
First of all, I don’t think this is a simple as flipping a switch. Up for GL and down for E&O. The two are entirely different and independent coverages, and many businesses are apt to need both to be adequately insured.
We mentioned earlier that General Liability insurance doesn’t cover certain losses. We already identified a couple of the more obvious types. You should also be aware that negligence, failure to offer a service, failure to act in good faith, misrepresentation are a few additional examples of exposures not covered by a CGL policy.
Do the gaps in General Liability coverages mean that contractors and other construction-related industries need Errors and Omission coverage? Possibly, each case is different. But if you’re not considering it, then you may need to find an agent that will work through the issues and provide enough insight into the question for you to make the right decision.
Most contractors have enough exposure that they could benefit by adding E&O coverage to their existing policy. The approach TruePoint takes in exploring whether Errors and Omissions should be added is no different than the way we treat any other coverage that is required. We start defining the types of risk that are being considered. In the case of contractors E&O we would ask questions similar to those below:
1.      Does your General Liability insurance protect you against claims for faulty work?
o      You’re correct if you answered NO! Advance to #2.
o      General Liability does not provide coverage for defective work. Call (502) 410-5089 or go to www.insuringky.com to learn more if you answered question 1 in the affirmative.
2.      Does your General Liability cover your work and products?
o      Again you are correct if you answered NO! Advance to #3.
o      General Liability does not cover your work or products. If you answered YES visit our site www.insuringky.com to learn more about TruePoint Insurance.
Contractors can have significant gaps in coverage that can be eliminated or reduced by adding Contractors’ E&O. The next step that we advise is to determine your exposure. We begin by developing a risk profile which at a very basic level answers the following:
•      your potential loss exposure (both a median or average potential loss as well as a max loss)
•      the expected frequency of the type loss being considered
The final step is to help you decide if the cost of the added coverage is reasonable relative to the reduced exposure:
•      We determine the cost to transfer the risk (in this case, how much will you pay for the E&O Policy)
•      And we then compare the cost to insure versus the exposures identified in the risk profile.
TruePoint works with commercial accounts in Kentucky and Southern Indiana to help them better understand their business insurance needs. Our focus is on how we can help you to most effectively develop and execute a strategy for your commercial insurance needs.

What’s your best insurance analogy?

InsuranceI would be very interested in how you answer the following question.  So if you have the time to comment, please leave a reply at the end of this post, including the season, month or holiday as well as insights why?  Just curious!

Question:  What’s your best insurance analogy?

For me the answer is easy.  It depends on the current season.  Of course, I am an insurance agent, which means I can draw a correlation to insurance to everything.  That includes the bologna sandwich I am eating.  However, this time of year there seems to be an almost endless list of things to associate with insurance.  Below are just a few:

  • Fall is the time of year that we associate with change and mystery. Insurance don't be afraid of insuranceprotects us from the uncertainty that results during periods of change. Fall is also associated with a period preparation and protection. Insurance is no different.  We prepare for less desirable times by purchasing insurance.
  • Halloween is a time that most of us associate with fear. Ghost, goblins and all sorts of creepy critters running around asking us to fork over a few sugary treats. By doing as requested we avoid and unexpected and frightening trick.  That certainly sounds a lot like risk transfer to me.
  • Haunted Houses, we all know they’re not real, but the can scare even the bravest soul. Insurance agents have a bad rap. I am not going to say that it isn’t earned.  There are a number of agents out there that are similar to the haunted houses; they just aren’t the real thing.  Finding a good agent can and will reduce many of the fears that you may have regarding insurance.
  • Peanuts, It’s the Great Pumpkin. Every year around this time we all cringe as CharlieInsurance Sales Brown once again put’s his trust in Lucy to hold the football. Every year, in spite of severe ridicule, Linus forgoes the big Halloween sugar score.  Waiting in the pumpkin patch for a no show, the Great Pumpkin.
  • In most transactions, the buyer receives some degree of immediate satisfaction.  Insurance is not that way at all.  In fact, it is one of the only things that we as consumers ever buy that we hope to never use.  As a result, insurance consumers can in many regards be compared to Charlie Brown and Linus.  They have both made decisions based entirely on trust.

Each of the above associations are valid, but it is the Peanuts analogy that rings the loudest. Insurance shouldn’t be about selling, Insurance is about trust.  Think of Lucy as being the insurance agent.  Sure she’s a salesperson, a salesperson with a bad memory.  She will do everything in her power to convince Charlie Brown to trust that she will hold the ball.

Insurance is something you are required to have or should have.  Maybe you don’t know you need it yet, but if you need it then it’s not selling, it’s educating.  Everyone knows that Charlie Brown is going to kick the ball.  Charlie knows he’s going to, even though she’s not there, the little red-haired girl knows, and yes Lucy knows that Charlie Brown is going to try and kick the ball!

So if Lucy knows that Charlie Brown is going to kick the ball, why does she have to use the full-blown sales pitch?  Seriously, she doesn’t have the best reputation to start with.  So why not just shoot straight?  High-pressure sales must be addictive.  Just like Lucy, it seems that there continue to be too many insurance producers trying to sell something that can only be earned.  Trust!

 

So if Lucy is symbolic of the fast-talking hard selling insurance agent, they who should be associated with the insurance consumer.  A case can be made for both Charlie Brown and Linus.  Both characters display faith that is foolish.  This is very similar to what insurance consumers are doing.  Savvy consumers are asking questions aimed at obtaining adequate coverages at a fair price, while the foolish are lining up to be sold.

Linus also displays a firm commitment and faith in his beliefs.  Once again he forgoes the annual Halloween candy score while failing to prove his theory about the Great Pumpkin.  From this standpoint Linus is similar to consumers that refuse to seek advice from multiple sources.  Just as Linus’ belief in the Great Pumpkin left him with no candy; insurance consumers may be confronted with paying too much for insurance, being sold inadequate coverages, or both.

Functionally Valuing Older Business Property

Businesses that have been successful for decades are usually ones that also consistently take care of their property. While maximizing the use of every asset, it also raises a coverage issue. Aging equipment may have reached the point where it:

  • Is functionally obsoleteOld movie theatre, functional use
  • May be a type of equipment that is no longer made and/or
  • Has been replaced with more effective, technologically advanced equivalents.

Such property can be difficult to insure since a typical commercial property policy considers obsolete items to be worthless. However, a commercial property policy can be modified with a form that may make coverage more practical. One form, called “Functional Personal Property Valuation,” changes a policy so that the regular policy conditions on valuing a loss and coinsurance don’t apply.

Functional valuation recognizes that the insured firm’s priority is to repair damaged, older equipment or to find an equivalent substitute. A policy with a functional valuation provision is likely to offer the additional option of paying an amount equal to the damaged or destroyed property’s market value that it held just before their loss. Other features are requirements that any repairs be done quickly and that any replacement property is at the same site and for the same use of the property that was lost or destroyed. A coverage modification is also likely to add terms with special definitions, such as “replacement” or “functional equivalent,” or “market value.”

A policy that has been altered in order to use a functional settlement basis should result in smoother claims handling and a better loss to post-loss transition. Arranging for such coverage may also spur a buyer to identify possible sources for replacing his vulnerable, older property.

If your concern is one that may be dependent on older equipment, it may be past the time that you discuss your particular coverage need with a knowledgeable insurance professional.

COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2015

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

Homeowners Coverage

insuranceGenerally, a homeowners insurance policy includes at least six different coverage parts. The names of the parts may vary by insurance company, but they typically are referred to as Dwelling, Other Structures, Personal Property, Loss of Use, Personal Liability and Medical Payments coverages. They are usually presented as policy sections and are often labeled Coverages A through F. This article discusses Coverage Parts A, B, and C, which protect property.

Coverage A, Dwelling

Home fire risk increase in winterThe homeowner policy’s first coverage section protects your house and any attached structures, such as garages, decks or fences. The typical policy covers your home when it is damaged by many perils (also known as causes of loss) including fires or storms. However, the following causes of loss are usually excluded from coverage under the homeowner’s policy:

  • Earthquake
  • Flood
  • Faulty maintenance
  • Damage from insects or vermin
  • Wear and tear, gradual damage or deterioration

Coverage B, Other Structures

This coverage section protects structures that are not attached to the home, such as a detached (separate) garage, storage or utility shed playground equipment and swimming pools.

Coverage C, Personal Property

Golf Cart used in competitive drivingThis covers your possessions, whether they are at your home or away with you on vacation. Personal property is often covered on a named peril basis. This means that only the causes of loss listed in the policy section are covered. The coverage is also subject to limitations and exclusions. Types of property having significant value, such as jewelry, fine arts, collectibles, etc., may require special protection. Talk to your agent about scheduling (adding) coverage on a floater which broadens and extends coverage for high-valued possessions.

Actual Cash Value vs. Replacement Cost

Commonly, protection under sections A and B is provided on either an actual cash value or a replacement cost basis. Actual cash value is defined as replacement cost minus depreciation. Replacement cost is the actual cost to replace the structure, regardless of depreciation. Check your policy to see which type of coverage you have. Coverage under section C is usually provided on an actual cash basis. However, your agent may be able to add replacement cost to your possessions just like that found in Coverage A.

 

Part one discussed how a typical homeowner policy covers buildings and structures. Now let’s look at Coverage Part D, which is also a property coverage; as well as Coverage Parts E and F. These latter parts address coverage for injuries to persons or damage to property that belongs to others.

Coverage D, Loss of Use

This coverage handles the cost of additional living expenses while your home is being repaired. The coverage also applies if the home is unusable. However, the loss or loss of access has to be the result of an event that is covered by the policy. For instance, if your home was damaged during a war and you had to abandon it, Coverage D would not be available because war is excluded. Additional expenses normally include food, housing, and transportation. However, the expenses must exceed what your family normally incurs.

Coverage E, Personal Liability

This Coverage Part responds if you are legally responsible for causing property damage or Avoid this insurance claim. Slipping on Sidewalkphysical injury. Protection includes paying for your defense costs and any financial judgment for covered incidents. Naturally, the coverage would not apply for excluded situations, such as intentional injuries. Example: Joe is sued by a guy he injured after tackling and repeatedly punching him during a pickup basketball game. The injuries from this incident are not accidental and would not be covered.

Coverage F, Medical Payments

This Part provides rapid reimbursement for minor injuries, such as a guest who trips and falls while visiting your home. This coverage does not apply to a family member. For example, if your child and your neighbor’s child are both injured while playing and need to go to the emergency room, this coverage will pay for your neighbor’s expenses but not for your own child.

This is a brief overview of homeowners insurance. All of the coverage provided by the homeowner’s policy is subject to limitations such as exclusions, policy limits, and deductibles. It’s important that you discuss the details of coverage and any other insurance questions with your insurance agent.

 

COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc., 2016
All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

Personal Auto Coverages

Most state financial responsibility laws require proof that you are able to pay for any damage or injury you may cause while driving. Auto insurance is the way that most people comply with these laws. Typically compliance only takes liability insurance at some minimal limit that varies by state. Liability coverages include the following:

Auto Accident, Auto InsuranceBodily Injury Liability – insures against injury that you may cause to other persons. The key is that it involves you being held financially responsible for injuries to other persons because of your driving, your ownership or other use of your vehicle.

Property-Damage Liability – handles damage that you may cause to another person’s property. Again, the coverage only responds when you are financially responsible for such damage and it has to be related to your use or ownership of a vehicle.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage – This coverage typically pays for injury you suffer from an uninsured motorist, underinsured motoristaccident caused by a person who has no insurance; a person who can’t be located (“hit and run drivers”); or a person who has insurance but their insurance company is insolvent.

Important: Payment under this coverage is controlled by various laws that dictate what limit or limits must be sold. In some states, you may have an option to reject the coverage. Typically, the rejection must be in writing.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage – Similar to uninsured motorist, it pays for injuries caused by a driver who is inadequately insured. Example: You are seriously injured by someone carrying a bodily injury limit of $25,000, but your injuries are nearly $50,000. Your Underinsured Motorist Coverage limit is $100,000. In this instance, your policy would pay the difference between $25,000 and $50,000.

 

Kentucky's No-fault Auto insurance systemCars are expensive to buy and repair, providing great reasons for protecting them. If you borrowed money to buy your car, or if you leased the vehicle, the lender or leasing company was likely to make certain that you had coverage to pay for any damage to the vehicle. Below are typical coverages that apply either to the vehicle or to those operating the vehicle:

Collision coverage – This covers damage to your own vehicle that happens when your vehicle runs into another object, such as other vehicles, trees, light poles, mountains, etc.

Other Than Collision coverage – This also covers damage to your own vehicle that is due to sources such as fire, theft, hitting an animal, vandalism, earthquake, flood or hail.

Collision and Other Than Collision coverages are subject to deductibles (the amount a policyowner must pay). They eliminate the need for an insurer having to pay for very minor losses.

Personal Injury Protection or Medical Expense – This coverage typically handles medical expenses for injuries to you, your passengers or people who are “around” you. It may also cover you and your household if you, as a pedestrian or a bicyclist, are struck by an automobile.

Towing and Labor coverage – This coverage is to help pay for your costs to deal with a disabled car. It could help pay for the car to be towed to a service station or for any repair that occurs at the location of the car’s breakdown. Note that this coverage is for labor rather than the costs of car parts. Available coverage is minimal (often $25-$75).

Rental Reimbursement – This coverage reimburses your expense of renting a car as a temporary replacement. The car being replaced must be an insured car that’s unavailable for use because of it being damaged, lost (stolen) or destroyed in a covered loss.

Important: This is merely an introduction to complex policy coverages. Be sure to contact your agent for detailed insurance information.

 

COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2017
All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.