Category Archives: General

General Blog Posts

Cobb-Hall Insurance: Agency of the Year Award

Cobb-Hall Insurance is honored to be named Agency of the Year by National Underwriter Magazine.  Click link to read full article.    Cobb-Hall Insurance Agency of the Year

Coinsurance – What you don’t know CAN hurt you

Coinsurance Explained -What you need to know   

Most Business Insurance policies include a coinsurance clause for building and business personal Young man jumpingproperty coverage. Coinsurance creates an agreement between the policy owner and insurance company on the value of the insured property and the amount of insurance purchased.

The benefit is that coinsurance allows for lower insurance policy costs. But what you need to know is that IF the insurance purchased is less than the agreed percentage, the insured will be required to pay a portion of any losses.

Here is a simplified example: If a business is valued at $100,000 and there is an 80% coinsurance clause, the insured is required to purchase at least $80,000 of insurance.  If instead, the insured purchased $40,000, (half of what should have been purchased), the company will only pay half on losses.

Awareness of the percentage of your coinsurance clause, along with knowing the value of your building and property will provide the information needed to make the best decision to fit your needs.

Let the experienced professionals at Cobb-Hall eliminate confusion and provide solutions designed specifically for your needs.

 

Life Insurance Decision Guide

Life Insurance – How to Decide

Many people don’t know where they are going or how to get there when discussing life insurance.  yogi berra The following information can help you make decisions.

Basic Life Insurance Information

Whether you are married or single, a death can create financial hardship. Remember to consider expenses such as childcare, college, funeral expenses, and mortgage when determining your needs.

There are two basic types of life insurance: term life insurance and permanent life insurance. The type of life insurance policy that best suits you will depend on your unique needs.

Option #1: Term Life Insurance

Just as its name implies, term life insurance covers you for a specific period of time, or term, that you choose. Since it offers a death benefit but no cash value, term life insurance is an inexpensive way to protect your beneficiaries for a specified period of time.

Renewal term life insurance can be renewed at the end of the term, at the option of the policyholder for a limited number of successive terms. It can also be converted, or exchanged for a permanent insurance policy, down the road. It’s important to note that rates generally increase along with the insured’s age.

Option #2: Whole Life Insurance

Permanent life insurance is any form of life insurance other than term. Examples are whole life, universal life and variable life. These policies combine term life insurance with a long-term, tax-sheltered savings plan.

Whole life is the most basic type of permanent life insurance. It provides coverage that lasts a lifetime and builds up a cash value that you can borrow against, withdraw or use to pay future premiums.

A life insurance policy with a cash value is ideal for those who have a lifetime need for insurance protection, prefer stable premiums over the life of the policy, want a policy that allows them to build tax-deferred values, and value the high degree of coverage the policy affords. While rates for a whole life insurance policy remain stable over the life of the policy, premiums are initially more costly than for term insurance.

How Much Insurance Do I Need?

To find the right amount of coverage, it’s important to consider your dependents’ current lifestyle and needs against future sources of income and assets.

Contact the caring experts at Cobb-Hall Insurance for more details.

 

Cyber Liability

Data Breach Unsecured Warning Sign ConceptCyber Liability – Data Breach Protection

If you run payments or have sensitive client information you need to consider purchasing a cyber liability policy to protect you from the financial hardship of cyber losses

Nearly all businesses are susceptible to a cyber attack. Besides internet dangers, cyber attacks can also include computer hardware problems, communication media errors, backup and operating system errors and fraud. Your general liability policy may not cover cyber risks and include loss of control over sensitive customer data.

Common causes of cyber related losses include:

  • Human error: Unintentional acts such as leaving a laptop that has access to patient medical records at the airport.
  • Intentional: Illegal criminal activity can occur outside the organization by hackers or criminals, or come from inside the organization.

Cyber Risk Liability policies can be tailored to your needs and do not have to be expensive. Look for a policy that covers business interruption and other aspects like notifying customers of data breach and hiring a PR firm to manage your public image. Some of these policies can also assist you before you are cyber-attacked.

Contact the experienced professionals at Cobb-Hall Insurance to provide solutions designed specifically for your needs.

Excerpts from: Trusted Choice/ Independent Insurance Agents

Steps for Handling A Business Loss

What to do in Case of a Business Loss

At the time of a loss, sometimes it is difficult to know what steps to take.  Your insurance contract Emergency exit signsrequires that you report all claims promptly, so be sure to contact them as soon as possible after a loss. Once the insurance company assigns an adjuster, you will be able to deal directly with the adjuster to settle your claim.Your agent is there to help you, so if you have any delay or problem settling your claim, be sure to contact your agent.

Here are some tips to assist you in case of loss.

Property Claim

  • Contact proper authorities. (Fire Department, Police, Etc.)
  • Protect property from further damage.Contact: Utilities (gas, electric),                                      Contractor (board windows, cover hole in roof)
  • If possible, take photos of damage before emergency repairs are made.
  • Call your agent/insurance company to report the loss. An adjuster will be assigned.
  • Discuss the next steps with your adjuster. (what contractor to call, when to schedule repairs, etc.)
  • Be sure to keep a record of costs and retain receipts.

Automobile Claim

  • Contact the police.
  • Stay safe and out of traffic. Warn oncoming traffic if needed.
  • Check if medical assistance is needed. Call an ambulance if necessary.
  • Collect information: vehicles, drivers, address & phone numbers, license & plate numbers, insurance policy numbers, police report number, witness contact information, etc.
  • Call your agent/insurance company to report the loss.
  • If vehicle is not drivable, have it towed to a repair shop.
  • Discuss the next steps with your adjuster. Do not authorize repairs before the adjuster gives authorization.

Liability Claim- In the event of injury or property damage you allegedly cause

  • If injury is involved, provide assistance and call an ambulance and/or the police if necessary.
  • Obtain details: name, address, contact information for those involved, witnesses, description of event, etc.
  • Call your agent/insurance company to report the  incident.
  • Forward all correspondence, including attorney summons and court documents to the insurance company.
  • Refer all claim questions to your adjuster, including from the other party’s attorney.

Workers’ Compensation Claim

  • If injury is involved, provide assistance and call ambulance and/or police if necessary.
  • Obtain details: name, address, contact information of those involved, witnesses, description of event, etc.
  • Complete state-mandated accident reporting form (form 100). Contact your insurance company/agent to obtain this form.
  • Contact your Workers’ Compensation Insurance company or agent to report the incident.
  • Forward all correspondence, including attorney summons & court documents to the insurance company..
  • Follow instructions from your adjuster and refer all claim questions to your insurance adjuster.

Contact the professionals at Cobb-Hall Insurance to provide solutions for your business insurance needs.

Disability Income Insurance

Protect Yourself with Disability Income Insurance

When an illness or injury leaves someone temporarily or permanently unable to perform their job, Protecting Your Assetsmost people immediately begin to worry about how they will pay their bills. Few people could afford to be out of work for several months or even years without the benefit of disability benefits. Social Security can bring lengthy waiting periods or disqualification. For most workers, an individual disability policy is the best way to ensure adequate income in the event of serious illness or injury.

Disability Income coverage is especially important for self-employed or contract workers. With disability insurance, you can expect to receive up to 66% of your previous salary. However, disability benefits are not taxed, which often makes up for much of the lost income.

Short-term income protection insurance provides coverage for a limited amount of time, typically after a short waiting period of up to 14 days. You are then covered for the length of time specified in your policy, which can be from several months up to one year.

Long-term income protection covers injuries and illnesses that prevent you from working for a long period of time. There may be a longer waiting period before receiving benefits, but benefits can last for several years, until you reach age 65 or you recover.

The experienced professionals at Cobb-Hall Insurance can assist you with protections designed specifically for your needs.

Excerpts from post:  By Ryan Hanley , Trusted Choice.com., Agency Nation 

Home Insurance-Clear Explanation

Confused about your Home Insurance? Here are some basics. Real Estate symbol

Most homeowner’s policies contain a variety of coverages Here is a brief explanation of just some of the coverages to help you when considering your choices in purchasing insurance for your home.

Home (Definition: The building structure)

Replacement Cost  Most homeowners’ policies will pay to rebuild your home if it was completely destroyed. In addition to the structure, coverage includes the wiring, plumbing, heating and air conditioning.  Policies are issued for the amount it would cost to rebuild your home.  Your agent can assist you with determining the correct insurance value as land and unattached buildings are not included in this amount.  It is important to note that there are claim payment penalties for homes that are greatly under insured.

Coverage Typically losses covered by a homeowner’s policy are for fire, windstorm, hail, lightning, theft or vandalism. Other damage may be covered, but generally these policies do NOT cover flood or earthquakes.

Deductible  You can choose from a variety of deductible amounts.  A deductible is an amount of money that you pay first for any loss.  Many people choose between $1,000 and $2,000, usually the higher your deductible, the lower your premium.

Personal Property  (Definition: Contents-Imagine shaking your house upside down, what falls out is considered contents.)

Replacement Cost   Covering your contents for replacement cost versus actual cash value is recommended.  Like it sounds, replacement cost is what you pay to replace an item; actual cash value is what the item is worth after depreciation.  For example: if your sofa is destroyed in a fire, replacement cost on contents coverage would allow the company to reimburse you the cost of a new sofa.  Actual cash value coverage limits the company payment to the amount your old sofa was worth if you were to sell it.

Liability (Definition- Cost for damage/injury to others  you are legally obligated to pay.)

Liability  Homeowners policies include coverage for injury or damage to others when you are sued or determined to be legally liable.  Examples include; injury if someone falls on your icy sidewalk, your dog bites a neighbor or damage if your child breaks a friend’s expensive Chinese vase. Consider your assets when deciding on a liability limit, For many people  $500,000 adequate, but other limits are available.

 Contact Cobb-Hall Insurance to help you determine the insurance protection that best fits your needs.

Hired and Non-Owned Auto Coverage

If employees use their vehicle for business, it  may leave a huge coverage gap.

If an employee uses their own vehicle at work or runs an errandDriving in summer for their employer,  the company could be held financially responsible in case of an accident. Usually a business auto policy only protects against loss involving company-owned vehicles and an employee’s personal auto policy  excludes business use. This can present a coverage gap. Even if a business rarely uses non-owned autos, it only takes one serious accident to create a significant loss for the business

How Non-Owned Automobile Coverage eliminates coverage gap

If your company has a business auto policy, make sure it includes coverage for hired and non-owned automobiles. Non-owned autos are vehicles owned by others (such as an employee) that are used for business purposes for their employer.

If your business does not own any automobiles, it is possible to purchase coverage for only losses involving use of Hired and Non-owned vehicles. The ‘hired’ portion would cover your business for liability purposes when renting a vehicle for business use. The ‘non-owned’ portion would cover employees using their own auto in the business.

Make sure your limit for Hired and Non-owned coverage is enough to cover large court judgments.  Non-owned coverage will protect both the business and the employee for liability, but this does not cover the damage to the employee’s auto.

Contact Cobb-Hall Insurance for solutions designed specifically for your needs.

Excerpts from:  Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc., 2014

 

 

Auto Insurance-Michigan IS Different

Confused about your Auto Insurance?  Michigan IS Different!

Here is a brief explanation of available coverages for you to consider regarding decisions on your auto insurance in Michigan

Mandatory Coverages

  • Bodily Injury Covers payments you are legally liable to pay for injury you cause to others. 
  • Property Damage Covers payments you are legally liable to pay for damage you cause to other’s property.
  • Property Protection Covers up to $1,000,000 for damage you cause to other’s property in the State of Michigan.      
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) The broadest no-fault medical coverage in the U.S.; PIP provides payment for injury to you or your household members including unlimited lifetime disability.
  • Excess/Coordinated or Primary/Full PIP An important consideration with PIP coverage is whether your policy is listed as Excess or Primary. Excess PIP  indicates you are covered by another medical policy that covers auto related accidents first. If this policy is not applicable, a deductible will apply.
  • MCCA Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association Contribution to state fund for medical expenses and disability as a result of an auto accident related catastrophic loss.

 Optional Coverages

  • Limited Property Damage Mini-tort Covers up to $1000 for damage you cause to another vehicle.
  • Uninsured Motorists Covers you when someone without insurance is legally responsible for your injuries.  
  • Underinsured Motorists Covers you when someone with low insurance limits is legally responsible for your injuries.      
  • Comprehensive Covers your vehicle for damage NOT from a collision. Example: fire, theft, wind, vandalism, etc.  
  •  Collision There are 3 types for you to choose from:

Broad If you are less than 50% at fault for an accident, (as shown in the police report) you do not pay deductible.
Standard/Basic You always pay your collision deductible.
Limited NO collision coverage unless someone else is more than 50% at fault (as shown in police report)

  •  Rental Reimbursement Covers specified amount to rent a vehicle while yours is being repaired due to a covered loss.     
  • Towing Covers specified amount in the event you need towing or road service.    
  •  Lease/Loan Gap Provides payment for the difference between the amount you owe the loan/lease company and actual cash value of a covered vehicle in the event of a total loss. This is important as many times the amount of the loan or lease is much higher than the value of the vehicle.  
  • Additional Endorsement for Rental Car This provides for gaps in coverage for a car you rent.

 Contact Cobb-Hall Insurance to help you determine the insurance protection that best fits your needs.

 

Ten Commitments To Our Customers

Being a company in a highly competitive industry, we take great pride in separating ourselves from the pack. We differentiate ourselves by holding our staff accountable to our ten commitments. These are our business values and on what we base all our customer services.

Ten Commitments

  1. We will always offer you the best possible coverage at the best possible price.
  2. We pledge to offer you professional advice from the most knowledgeable staff in the area.
  3. We will return all phone and e-mail communication the same day, and make every effort to avoid “phone tag”.
  4. We will issue proofs or certificates of insurance the same day we receive the request.
  5. We will report all claims to the company the day they are received.
  6. We will assist you with all aspects of a claim.
  7. Policy changes will be sent to the company the same day we receive them.
  8. We will issue binders and evidence of insurance the same day the transaction in finalized.
  9. We will provide notary service to our customers, free of charge.
  10. We will do all these things with the friendly attitude you deserve.

It is with these tenets of high standards that we create the service experience that keeps our customers happy and coming back year after year.