Category Archives: Personal Insurance

WAIT! Something Changed?

You Make Changes - Keep Your Insurance Up To Date

For your insurance to protect you properly, it may be important to update your coverage.Businessman trying to catch the train

Here is a list of  common changes that may require updating your insurance policies.  If you answer yes to any of the following questions, but have not made sure your policy has been updated, be sure to call your insurance agent.

  • Have you changed your address recently?
  • Is your home vacant or rented to someone else?
  • Have there been any changes to the name on your deed? (Trusts, Estates)
  • Have you improved, added on to your home or finished the basement?
  • Could there be over $5,000 in damage if water or sewer backed up in your basement?
  • Do you have items of value over $250? Special items may need to be listed “scheduled” on your policy.
  • (jewelry, guns, camera, computer equipment, musical instruments, collectibles)
  • Do you own or rent property not listed on your policy?
  • Do you have a woodstove in your home?
  • Do you run a business or keep business property at your home?
  • Do you farm or sell produce/ livestock?
  • Are the liability limits on your policy adequate to protect all your assets?
  • Do you have vehicles or household residents not listed on your policy?
  • Do you have autos on your policy not titled to you?
  • Does your policy only list liability coverage, but you need coverage for damage to your vehicle?
  • (Comprehensive, Collision)
  • Does your healthcare policy pay before your auto policy in case of injury due to an accident?
  • Do you have a company car?
  • Do you use your vehicle for business?
  • Do you choose NOT to wear a helmet when riding your motorcycle? (additional medical coverage required)
  • Do you own other vehicles not listed on your policy?
  • (snowmobiles, golf carts, RV’s motorcycles, scooters, recreational vehicles, antique vehicles)
  • Is the amount of your life insurance less than double your annual salary?
  • Do you need life, health or disability coverage?

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

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

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.

 

Best Home Video – Home Inventory

Best Home Video – Home Inventory

Imagine trying to list every possession you own along with each item’s worth after your home as beenhome video photo destroyed by fire or a natural disaster.  The task will feel overwhelming.  Having a detailed home inventory can make the difference between a paid and a disputed claim. Do not rely solely on your memory.

Consider these tips

  • Discuss your homeowner’s policy with your agent. Are you covered for the replacement value on your possessions or only the depreciated value? You may need special coverage if you have expensive collections or unique items like musical instruments, firearms, golf clubs, etc.
  • Take photos and/or videos.
  • Photograph the outside of your house from at least four angles. Be sure to photograph your home’s landscaping, outdoor furniture and decorations.
  • Make a room-by-room photographic inventory. Take as many pictures as needed to inventory every room in your house. Be sure to document items in closets, cupboards and drawers, noting when and where items were obtained and the cost. If possible scan receipts to keep with your home inventory. Clothes, shoes, purses and jewelry can add up. Take separate photos of items over $350 in value.
  • Electronics are major purchases. List and photograph model and serial numbers for electronics including televisions, stereos, computers and mobile devices.
  • Lay out a full set of your china, silverware or other valuables and photograph. Include a picture to show the brand and pattern. Then count and photograph where the items are stored to show the number of sets you own.
  • Take photos of things that cannot be replaced.(family photographs. mementos, heirlooms) Although these items are irreplaceable, make copies so you will have a record of the items. Remember to discuss rare or high end items with your agent and photograph separately.
  • Inventory the garage. Document bicycles, sports equipment, tools, lawn mowers and other items stored in your garage.
  • Remember to inform your agent of major updates. Include photos of window coverings, hardwood floors, finished basement, decks etc.

Store the home inventory off premises. E-mail a copy to yourself and use cloud storage to keep copies electronically or save on a flash drive and keep it in a safe deposit box. Don’t save the inventory only on a computer drive that could be destroyed.

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

 

 

 

 

How Umbrella Coverage Protects You

Why you may need Umbrella Insurance Coverage

A rain umbrella protects you from getting wet, but doesn’t stop the raindrops from falling. Umbrella insurance is similar, it does not prevent disaster, but it can save you from the financial consequences. In our litigious society.Umbrella Protection

Personal

Accidents happen, when they do you may be held legally responsible for injury, damage to property and legal fees. These can quickly escalate to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some examples are:

  • While driving, you cause a serious accident.
  • Your dog escapes and bites a neighbor, causing extensive medical costs.
  • Your child’s friends are playing on your trampoline and one falls, suffering serious injury.
  • You publish a newsletter on the Internet and wrongly accuse a state senator of a crime.
  • Your drop a friend’s valuable antique, which shatters on your garage floor.

If you have assets, including retirement savings, college funds, home equity and other assets, you are at risk. An umbrella policy provides peace of mind as the premium you pay for protection is very low.

Business

An accident with severe injury can result in substantial medical care, lost income and other expenses, sometimes taking years to determine the extent damage.  Your business is responsible when coverage provided by your policies is not enough to meet the amount of a loss.. Umbrella Liability coverage can protect your business from bankruptcy and serious financial hardship by providing defense coverage and additional limits to pay large judgments.

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

 Excerpts from: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2014

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.