Automobile Insurance Coverage Descriptions:

Note: The following outline of coverage is for your information only. Please see your policy for exact terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations.

Bodily Injury Liability (occasionally referred to as BI):

  • Pays when you are legally liable for injury or death caused by your vehicle. Legal fees and court costs are also included outside of limit, but duty to defend ends once limits are reach on a payout. Pays up to the first limit for each person and up to the second limit “Total” for all injury in the accident for which you are legally liable.

Property Damage Liability (occasionally referred to as PD):

  • Pays when you are legally liable for damage to the property of others caused by your vehicle.

Uninsured Motorist (occasionally referred to as UIM):

  • Pay damages that you, household relatives, and passengers in the insured motor vehicle are legally entitled to recover because of bodily injury and property damage caused by an uninsured or hit-and-run motor vehicle....

First thing, is to stop and render aid. Call 911 for emergency medical help if needed. Second, notify the police. Note: police are not likely to come to the scene if the accident occurred in a parking lot, or there are no injuries.

Now its time to gather information.

The top priorities:

  1. Be sure to get the drivers name, dob, and drivers license.
  2. The license plate of their vehicle. (We can pull the registered owner of a vehicle from this)
  3. Getting witnesses’ names and contact numbers can be a huge help especially when other parties change their story after they leave the scene. The police coming out and getting statements and recording the accident at the scene acts as a great “witness” source in addition to any other witnesses. (Be sure to get a copy of the police report at the scene if you can as the form can take 3 or more days to be available again.)
  4. Get insurance information on the other vehicle involved in the accident.

Other helpful information to gather at the scene:

  1. Addresses of other...

What is consider a flood?

Flood, as used in this flood insurance policy, means:

1. A general and temporary condition of partial or

complete inundation of two or more acres of normally

dry land area or of two or more properties (at least

one of which is your property) from:

a.Overflow of inland or tidal waters;

b.Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of

surface waters from any source;


In other words a drainage issue on your property is not covered.

Property not covered:

  • Pools and their equipment.
  • Detached structures, with the exception that a separate garage not held for rent is covered for 10% of the coverage.
  • Personal property in a building that is not fully enclosed must be secured to prevent flotation out of the building. If the personal property does float out during a flood, it will be conclusively presumed that it was not reasonably secured.
  • Pays only up to 30K for you to comply with a State or local floodplain management law or ordinance affecting repair or...

I often get the scenario of a client who is not at fault, and needs to file a claim after another party hits them. From here if there are no injuries, there are two options. File the claim with the clients policy or have the client file against the at fault party’s insurance. The short of it, is that I recommend filing on the other parties insurance but there are pros and cons to each way. Below list some of the pros and cons.

File with other parties auto insurance policy: (assuming you carry collision coverage on your policy)


1) Only one claim needs to be filed.

2) Once they complete investigation to determine fault they will pay claim in full. This can be a quick process when the facts of the accident are basic, such as a hit from behind while stopped.


1) Some insurance companies don’t have the resources or staff training and can be difficult to work with. (We recommend stopping the process, and filing on your own policy at any time if you feel uncomfortable.)

File on own policy:


1) We can take the claim in...


Workers’ Compensation Insurance

When an employer buys a workers’ compensation policy or is certified to self-insure, the insurance company (or a third-party administrator in the case of self-insurance) pays the medical and income benefits due to the employee. No attempt is made to assess blame or determine fault, except under a few circumstances specified by law.

The Texas Property and Casualty Insurance Guaranty Association covers licensed workers’ compensation insurance companies. This means the guaranty association will pay claims if the insurance company becomes financially unable to do so.

Employee Benefits

Injured employees are entitled to all health care reasonably required to treat the work-related injury or illness. These medical benefits continue for the rest of the injured employee’s life.

Employees who are off work for more than seven days because of a work-related injury may also receive temporary income benefits to replace some of their lost income. Temporary income benefits are calculated as a percentage of the employee’s pre-injury...


UIM coverage is just as important if not more important than the auto liability limits you carry to protect your assets from a lawsuit.

Here’s why:

1) 1 in 4 drivers in Travis County are uninsured motorist. Source: pilot program to catch uninsured motorists in Travis County. Sadly the pilot program started 3 years ago and the state has not acted on it.

2) A person who is not responsible enough to carry auto insurance, will typically take risks in other areas of their life and cause more severe auto accidents.

3) When an uninsured motorist injures you, your assets are at risk, and most people don’t think about this. If you have medical bills, sure health insurance kicks in, but what about pain, suffering, lost wages, and other additional expense. All of these can drain you financially, especially if paralyzed or death in an auto accident occurs.

4) UIM Protects YOU and your family.

The Solution:

Be sure to carry Uninsured motorist limits that at least meet your liability limits. The max currently available on a auto...


What is employer practice liability insurance? It provides protection for an employer against claims made by employees, former employees, or potential employees. It covers discrimination (age, sex, race, disability, etc.), wrongful termination of employment, sexual harassment, and other employment-related allegations. It covers your firm, including its Directors and Officers.

Usually the next comment after I explain the coverage to a client is, “I hire everyone and we wouldn’t do anything stupid like that.” Their probably right, but would you fire someone if they posted online negative comments about your business and you? Most likely, yes. This was just the case in a recent EPLI claim. This is one example, but there are many other reasons EPLI is a good idea.

1) Employers who also do all the hiring usually don’t have procedures implemented for hiring, firing, and disciplining employees.

2) Even interviews you didn’t hire can sue.

3) As a company grows you cannot monitor all employees.

See below article from

Did you hear about the...


Most home policies come with replacement cost coverage. Meaning the insurance company will pay the full amount to replace the damage property minus any deductible. This is the coverage I recommend as it makes allows you to replace the property that was damaged or stolen.

However, there are a few areas of a home policy that do not get replacement cost coverage regardless if the rest of the home policy is replacement cost. These items are paid out in actual cash value. Which means the insurance company will deprecate the item based on its age and condition and only pay a portion of what it would cost to replace with a new item.

- Any loss over 2500 for building and 1500 for personal property is paid out as actual cash value, and if repairs are made within 12 months, then the policy will pay the difference to total replacement cost.

- Loss settlement on cloth awnings, above ground pools, fences, satellite dishes, antennas, piers, and boat docks are all paid out as actual cash value losses.


If you are going to understand one coverage on a home insurance policy, water damage should be it. This is because water damage comes in many forms and not all types are covered.

The goal of a home insurance policy is to cover sudden and accidental water damage. Think bursting pipes, appliances failing, and accidental overflows.

  • Slow leaks are generally not covered. This is a touchy subject, because what if you didn’t know about it? That can be true, however with the average deductible in Texas at about 2000, a slow leak with 2000 plus dollars in damage, it is hard to imagine a situation where its not noticeable. The times where the slow leak results in this much damages is always most likely neglect. If the damage is above your deductible and reported at first possible discovery and not due to you neglecting something that created the leak, then my experience is that most insurance company will pay such a claim.
  • Leaks in the slab are not covered by many policies sold unless endorsed. Note that the endorsement doesn’t cover the slab just the access to...

Do you Tweet, or Facebook? Seems harmless, but it opens up a huge risk… personal injury! Personal Injury in relation to your home or renters insurance policy doesn’t mean bodily injury but harm to the mind or emotions.

With all the comments and tweets that go out to your closest 500 friends, imagine if one of them was offended by your comment. You could be sued for defamation of character. But you wouldn’t do that right?, what about your children or teenager? Scared Now!?!

Because of the risk it is worth explaining to kids and some adults, what the risk are, and to include personal injury coverage on your home or renters policy to add piece of mind.

Detailed examples of damages covered.

1. false arrest, imprisonment, malicious prosecution and detention;

2. the wrongful eviction from, wrongful entry into, or invasion of the right of private occupancy of a room,

home, or premises that a person occupies when committed by or on behalf of its owner, landlord, or


3. libel, slander, defamation of character;



As a business owner it’s important to provide a safe workplace for your employees. It’s also good business sense to try to prevent accidents and fires that could result in lost productivity and unnecessary expenses — especially in this tough economy.

I understand that many small to medium-sized businesses don’t have regular access to safety professionals. That’s why Farmers offers MySafetyPoint — a web-based tool that gives you the resources needed to avoid losses. MySafetyPoint offers Farmers Business Insurance customers self-service safety, loss prevention and risk-management resources. This site contains features that can help you recognize hazards and implement controls to reduce risk. MySafetyPoint includes:

· Model programs and technical guides

· Newsletters and feeds to bulletins

· Free streaming safety videos

· Access to DVDs and online training

· Supervisor tool box safety talks

· Safety forms and checklists

· Self-assessment risk management tools

· Federal and State agency regulations

· Links to aligned vendors...


An average of 250 million homes each winter experience water damage because of pipes that freeze and burst. Even in Texas the threat is real, because while our winter weather is mild compared to other areas in the country, our home building codes aren’t as strict for cold weather.


If you are a customer of Farmers Insurance there are many convenient features on and even your iPhone. Note the system is only for personal insurance and not commercial policies.

Here is how to get signed up!

1) First go to

2) In the top right area of the page click on enroll.

3) The first question is your policy #. This is your 8 digit auto policy or your 9 digit Home/Renter policy.

Two Things to note at this step:

- your policy number on some documents will have a leading 35, do not include this.

- your billing account number is not your policy number. A billing account has letters in the account number, and policy #’s do not.

4) Enter your last name, DOB, and last 4 of your social.

5) finish the page to create login credentials, and email. Note that your login and password must be at least 6 characters and include at least one character and one number.

You’re in, now what?

1) Sign up for paperless policies and paperless billing.

2) Print id cards 24/7.

3) Pay your...


Insurance is about offering peace of mind, it’s about preparing for the unexpected, it’s about making sure you and your family have the protection you need. An annual review is a great tool to make sure you are getting all of the above out of your insurance plan.

Think back to when you purchased your policy, how much time did you focus on cost?, how much on coverages and understanding the policy? If you are like most, not much time at all on the latter.

There are two common short falls to not reviewing and understanding your insurance program. Not understanding the short falls can cause frustration at best and cost hundreds of thousands at worst.

1) Your needs and situation change and your insurance plan needs to also.

(Example: a new born, a purchase, home addition, new business venture, etc.) Not reviewing changes like these can leave huge gaps.

2) If don’t understand how insurance works and what it covers, it’s impossible to manage your risk.

(Example: not understanding a home policy doesn’t cover maintenance items, such a rotting...


A lot of insured’s get stumped when it comes to question How much life insurance is best for me?


Ever get lost in the confusion of auto coverages, just to get to the coverage you understand, your auto deductibles. A great deal of time is spent debating. “full coverage” or not, what the deductibles should be etc. But what about the “other” coverages and how to select limits and understand them?

I would like to describe a tool that can put into perspective how you can take control of your auto coverages limit decisions.

The chart above simply compares loss frequency(likelyness of occuring) to severity of the loss (financial amount). This does not have to be scientific, just place scenarios that relate to your ownership of a car and where you think they fall on the graph. For example you can try adding a lawsuit, tow claim, etc to the above graph. In addition, what you will start to see is that the deductible coverages (comp and collision) relate to higher...


You paid the premium you agreed to the coverages, you might think you completed your side of the bargain, but not so fast. All insurance policies have conditions that are required by you the insured. No there not “GOTCHA” conditions, just common sense conditions that minimize insurance cost for society as a whole. You can find conditions of a policy in section of your insurance policy called, conditions.

Some common conditions:

1) You must have an financial interest in the property you are insuring.

2) Give prompt notice to the insurance company of losses. (NOTE: prompt is an ambiguous word, and in practice typically means quickly enough to prevent further damage)

3) Make list of all damaged personal property. (This is why a home inventory can be so important. While adjuster are understanding, it is often hard to recall every item in your house).

4) Cooperate with investigations and right to view the damaged property

An insurance policy is a contract, and like all contracts it’s important to know your obligations under that contract before...


Most businesses don’t understand the liability losses they face because they are not common claims but when they do occur they have the greatest potential to shut down a business. Below is a list of the most common exposures, and can be used as a tool to identify and then limit your business’s exposure.

1) Premise liability: created by having visitors to an organization’s premise.

2) Operations liability: created by conducting operations on an organizations premise.

3) Product liability: created by manufacturing products. In some cases just putting your brand on a product not manufactured by you will create the same exposure as if you were the manufacture.

4) Worker’s Compensation liability: created by state statutes to cover employees for related injuries and illness. In Texas workers comp is typically optional.

Rules from Texas Department of Insurance: If you do not buy workers’ compensation insurance, you are considered a “non-subscriber,” and you must notify your employees that you do not have workers’ compensation insurance. You are required to...


You can learn a lot about an insurance policy from reading the exclusions. Insurance companies use exclusions to create products that aren’t cost prohibitive or to remove losses that aren’t insurable. Cost prohibitive exclusions are things like vacancy, neglect and mold. Uninsurable losses are things like war, and earth movement because the risk cannot be spread and threaten putting the insurance company out of business.

So what exclusions surprise some people? Below is a list of common exclusions.

Vacant homes: If you leave your home vacant for 30 days or more most likely will lose coverage for vandalism, and possibly water damage to the home. Vacant homes are targets for vandalism and water losses that would be a couple thousand in an occupied home can balloon if no one is there to catch them.

The definition of a vacant home can vary by policy, but typically a home is vacant if it is moved out of and the predominant amount of personal property has been removed. You can find the definition in your policy under the definition section of the policy.



Some common phrases I hear when talking to clients.

1) That wont happen to me.

2) I never make claims.

3) I pay so much premium and get nothing back.

While I understand the source of questioning and frustration trying to manage risk there are a few steps you can take to be your own risk manager.

What is risk? :

First risk in insurance (typically) is the possibility of a negative outcome, or no loss. This is known as pure risk. For example your house burns, and you have a financial loss or it doesn’t burn and your financial gain is zero. You cannot not gain profit from insurance. This is important to note as most people think of risk as either gaining or losing money, as is with the financial risk a home’s market value has of the value going up or down.

Ask yourself how do you measure the risk you face from owning a car, a home, a boat?

There are two methods to figure this out. The first is subjective risk, where one perceives the amount of risk based on an individual’s opinion and experience. The second is objective risk that is...


First, start by imagining a disaster. One day, you get to work — the first one there as usual. You find the door already unlocked, which sends up a big red flag in your mind because you know you locked the door the previous night. (You are last to leave as well.) You open the door and find . . . desk drawers open, file cabinets overturned . . . and the personal computers on each desktop — where are the PCs?

By the time your employees arrive for work, you have realized you are living a worst-case scenario. The office has been gutted by thieves, and there’s no way your business can be operational any time soon. When you consider your insurance you need to be in this mindset so you can plan for the worst. Below are a few topics and points to consider.


For business with moderate risk and common type of business a business owner policy will be available. A business owner policy is known as a BOP in the insurance world. A BOP comes with a package of coverages that include types of property and types of liability coverages. Too many to list here, but we will...


You’ve just started your vacation. You’ve arrived at your destination, collected your luggage, and are in the process of renting a car. You’ve given the person behind the counter your drivers license and credit card, and now you’re being asked if you want to buy their insurance.

It’s expensive. Do you need it? Well … it depends.

Immediate red flags:

Using the Car for Business?

If you’re using the car for business while on your trip, chances are your personal auto policy will not cover you. You definitely want to check with us BEFORE you rent a car for business purposes.

Outside The US or Canada?

Most policies will only cover you in the United States and Canada. Typically a limitation of 25 miles into Mexico is covered . If Canada we can provide a Canadian Id card free of charge from your Tx policy. If Mexico, we can offer mexico insurance policies for your trip for additional premium.

Renting a large vehicle or moving truck?

If it weighs more than 10K lbs then its excluded from coverage on the Texas auto policy. FYI: a 16...


Going to rent a boat out on the lake and think homeowners liability will cover you? Maybe, but most likely no! You should buy the insurance offered at a rental unless it is a boat with less than 50hp, or a Sail boat less then 26ft. Jet skis and Hovercrafts are specifically excluded. Umbrella liability policies lists the same guidelines.

Own a boat, read on?

However if you own a boat and have it insured, in most cases the rental boat is covered from that policy.


Coverages on a boat policy are listed just like an auto policy. You have liability, uninsured/underinsured boater, medical, comprehensive, collision, and towing.

Optional coverages:

Personal property – for skis, life jackets, etc.

Trailer – covers the value of the trailer. Note: when pulling a trailer the liability to others comes from the auto insurance policy of the car pulling it. The damage to the trailer is picked up under trailer coverage, on a boat policy.

You can get Actual Cash Value or Agreed Amount Coverage on the boat’s value. Actual cash value...


The question that stumps most about Life Insurance is what amount and what type of life insurance.


Many people don’t realize that homeowners and renters policies have special sub limits for jewelry. On most policies this limit ranges from $500 – $2000 special limit for jewelry theft losses. Many women have an engagement ring worth more than the standard limit and would be out of luck if something were to happen. So it’s important coverage to consider.

How to get proper coverage:

To get proper coverage on a jewelry item it needs to be scheduled on the home or renters policy with a jewelry floater. In order to do so the insurance company will require an appraisal or a receipt dated within the last 2 years to verify the value. They will also ask for some extra premium! This rate is typically 1.75-3.00 dollars per 100 insured. For example the cost for a 10K item, would cost 200 per year at a rate of $2 per 100. Seems expensive but consider you are walking around with the value of some cars on your hand!

Benefits of scheduling jewelry:

Beyond the proper coverage limits, two other very important factors come into play.

1) Floaters typically have a zero...


We often over estimate risks we face. For example what is more dangerous a home pool or a gun? Stats show pools kill more children then gun accidents, but most will assume guns. How about the greatest risk to teen drivers? Drinking, Drugs, not wearing a seat belt? All are dangerous, but the most dangerous is teenagers driving at night!

The following is an article from Insurance Headlines on the study conducted for teenage drivers.

Driving after dark is the single most-dangerous risk a teenage driver can take and is more likely to result in death than drinking, speeding or disregarding a seat belt, according to a national 10-year study of highway fatalities released Thursday.

The report, conducted by the Texas Transportation Institute, used federal traffic fatality data from 1999 to 2008, a period in which the number of traffic deaths declined nationwide.

Safer cars, safer highways, seat-belt laws and drunken-driving enforcement have been linked to the drop in fatalities — all factors in darkness and daylight alike.

The Texas research indicates that...


If you had a burglary or fire in your home or apartment tomorrow, you wouldn’t want to rely on just your memory when filing a claim. The items you use everyday might come to mind quickly — but what about that set of silverware used on on special occasions?

An inventory of your household goods, in both words and pictures, is essential to getting all the benefits that are due you.

Here some tips on how to do this:

1) Photographs and videotape: You don’t have to be a professional photographer or cameraperson to do an inventory. Just take pictures or video of every room, wall to wall, floor to ceiling. Then take close ups of valuable items. Don’t forget the closets! When you are finished we are happy to keep electronic versions of clients records or you can keep then with a trusted friend or family member. Review the above every 2-3 years.

2) Sales receipts and appraisals: Keeping records such as these for high value or major purchases will insure you get the proper amount for these items. NOTE: jewelry, fine arts, firearms, and collectables have limited...


The below is an article published by Farmers. This is a good example of how Farmers responds in a catastrophe. Every event from Hurricane Ike (Farmers Ike Video) to wild fires in California were handled the same way. Farmers has the size and willingness to help customers 2 days to 2 weeks before other companies can even start. The desire combined with creating relationships by providing large donations of diesel or other needs to city services. Here is a link to hurricane Ike respo

As rescuers begin combing through the wreckage after tornadoes tore across Oklahoma on Monday, Farmers employees, agents and district managers are already meeting with affected customers in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area.

“Oklahoma City and the surrounding areas have been hit hard by these tornadoes and we are making contact with our customers as quickly as we can,” says John Lucido, state executive director – Oklahoma.

District manager Pepper Williams and members of Oklahoma’s Agency Catastrophe Team have been touring...


Nashville Flood 2010

Flood insurance is one area of insurance where most people don’t think about it until its close to home. One reason is most feel they can predict their flood risk, based on prior events. If you think about it this is partially true, depending how close you are to a river, ocean, or body of water.

However, take it one step further and its easy to see that weather patterns have been changing, development of land changes the nature of water runoff, and floods are measured in chances in 100 years (longer than most of us live). So more now than ever prior short term indications are poor predictors of the future. This is one reason the national government provides insurance and not the private industry.

A few keys to understanding on flood insurance works:

1) There is a 30 day waiting period to issue a flood policy, unless its lender forced. Meaning if you see the water around you rising, it’s too late to buy a policy.

2) A flood is defined as A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or...


The following is an article published by the Insurance Information Institute: (Apirl 2010). I think it does a good job of explaing the question I get often, “What does my credit have to do with insurance?”.

Credit Report Information—Who Wants It?

It is becoming increasingly important to have an acceptable credit record. Whether we like it or not, society equates the ability to manage credit responsibly with responsible behavior, even if individuals have a bad credit record through no fault of their own. Landlords often look at applicants’ credit records before renting apartments to see whether they manage their finances responsibly and are therefore likely to pay their rent on time. Banks and other lenders look at the credit records of loan applicants to find out whether they are likely to have loans repaid. Some employers also look at credit records, especially where employees handle money, and view a good credit record as a measure of maturity and stability.

Why Insurers Need It: Insurers need to be able to assess the risk of loss—the possibility that a...


So, what’s the difference?

You already know what the typical townhouse and condo physically look like. And 90% of the time you know what it is when you see it. But it’s the other 10% that can get you in trouble. In Austin, the last 10 years it’s even more common for builders in downtown areas to split a lot in half with a two unit condo complex versus a two unit townhome. This is because the building permit process is much faster to build condos because the land does not need to be re-deeded since its still one owner of the land, the HOA, vs. two or more with a townhouse complex.

NOTE: being listed as a condo can mark a big difference when you look for a mortgage on a property like this as lending standards are stricter on condos.

The only way to tell the difference is by checking the legal documents that show exactly how it was defined when it was built. The restrictive covenants will state whether it is a townhouse or a condo. Usually, the closing attorney will pull a copy of these when they do their title search but, that may be a day before closing and you...


With home insurance the perils covered (losses covered) can vary from insurance company to insurance company, but follow the outline of Broad or Open Perils for the structure. This outline is a good starting point to understand your home insurance, but you should always read the policy. It’s easier than you would think and can avoid surprises later.

The typical HO-A or ISO HO-1 policy which are broad form policies Cover the following Perils.

  • Fire and lighting
  • Windstorm an Hail
  • Explosion
  • Riot or Civil Commotion
  • Aircraft
  • Vehicles
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism and Mischief
  • Theft
  • Volcanic Eruption

By endorsement and extra premium often Accidental Discharge or overflow of water/steam can be added.

In addition to the above perils, the Open perils which offers more coverage, and are standard on the HO-B and ISO HO-3, as well as many individual insurance companies modified forms.

  • Accidental Discharge or overflow of water/steam
  • Falling Objects
  • Weight of ice, snow,...

As a benefits advisor, I would like to provide you a summary of the key components of the health care reform legislation and how it may impact you or your business. I expect that given the number of years that it will take to fully rollout these reforms, there will continue to be changes to many elements of the legislation. However, for the first time in over a year, we have a much clearer view of the changes that will potentially take place. This bill will:

  • Mandate that everyone must have insurance. (This is the trade off to get Health insurance companies to accept all applications. Current situation in the individual market is if you have a prescription or medical condition then health companies exclude the coverage)
  • Result in more than 30 million additional people becoming insured.
  • Provide for subsidized coverage for people that can’t afford it and increase the number of people that will qualify for Medicaid.
  • Make cuts to Medicare Advantage Plans and change their payment formula.
  • Increase taxes and fees to many individual Americans...

It is one of the most commonly repeated myths about insurance. Renters don’t need insurance because their landlord’s policy provides coverage for the renters’ property.

Renters insurance is basically like homeowners coverage without coverage for the structure. However unlike a home an apartment can have several buildings connected. This exponentially makes your chance for a fire or water damage occur, as many other units could affect your apartment and property. For example a neighbor starts fire with a cigarette, and it spreads to your apartment.

The Stats:

192 property crimes per 1000 rented households, making a renter 40% more likely to be a victim then a home owner.

U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics – 2005

Average property loss in burglary is 1000

FBI – 2004

What does Renters Insurance Protect:

Renters insurance provides coverage for your possessions and for liability if someone injured while on your premises sues you. Renters insurance also covers any of your possessions when they are away from your...


You’ve just had an accident. At the scene, you need to do the following:

1. Stop the car and get help for any injured drivers or passengers. Give whatever help you can to the injured (covering them with blankets, making them comfortable), but don’t move them. You could aggravate the injury(ies). Have someone call the police or highway patrol. Tell the police how many are injured and the possible extent of the injuries (whether they appear serious or not). The police can then notify the nearest medical units if they are needed.

2. Protect the accident scene. Try to prevent further damage to the vehicles involved be setting up flares or getting your car off the road.

3. Give the police officers whatever information they require, including your version of what happened. Do not admit you were at fault, either to the police or the other driver(s). Just give the facts as you see them. Ask the investigating officer how you can get a copy of the police report. You might need the report when you submit your claim to the insurance company. Stay at the accident scene...


Ask an insurance agent, a mortgage broker, and a realtor “How much insurance should I have on my new home” and I will guarantee you will get three different answers. The mortgage broker might say the loan amount, the realtor might say the market value, and the insurance agent, if he or she is doing their job correctly will say the replacement cost of the home. So who’s correct? In short, it has to be the replacement value. Homeowners want enough coverage to rebuild their home if a catastrophe happens. Let’s take a look at how an insurance company comes up with this number.

Insurance companies use a computerized “replacement cost worksheet” using historical data of building costs in a given area. This data is compiled by independent companies who do actual surveys of building costs and provide it to insurance companies and others in the construction business. One of the best known companies providing this information is Marshall & Swift. By plugging in the square footage, number of baths, style of the home, and the home’s other amenities into the worksheet a...


You absolutely have insurance issues to consider when renting out your home. As you might have guessed, rental property owners have some unique insurance needs. A standard homeowners policy isn’t appropriate for rental property, because:

(1) you don’t need to insure the contents of the house, unless you provide furnished accommodations;

(2) you need to be more concerned about liability issues; and

(3) you need to protect yourself against the loss of rental income.

A good rental property policy should provide the following, however the best proactive protection you can do is rent to people with good credit scores, and offer to repair the small things before they become large issues.

Broad coverage for the physical structure of the house:

  • Coverage for other structures located on the property (garages, sheds, etc.)–this coverage is often limited to 10 percent of the coverage for the house but usually can be increased if needed
  • Coverage for your property left on the premises (appliances, maintenance equipment, etc.) Many policies...

Only One Website is Authorized To Give You a Truly FREE Report.

Skip all of the marketing hype. The advertisements tell you how important it is for you to check your credit report and for that part, they are right. However, you don’t have to pay for it!

All those websites and commercials urging you to “log on and get your free credit report” with promises of a “free credit score” are scams with strings attached. They want you so sign up for services like credit monitoring and then charge you a monthly fee.

While you may have a need for monthly credit monitoring, I don’t think that you should be tricked into signing up for it!

Only one secure website is authorized under law to fill orders for your truly free credit report. The world of commerce, banking and insurance use data in your credit file to make decisions that affect the price you pay for credit, loans and in some states insurance. So it is a good idea to stay on top of what others are reporting about you.

You are entitled to receive a free report one...


There are different ways to insure your home, both the structure and your personal property. There are two types of coverage: replacement cost and actual cash value. Replacement cost is better for you, the homeowner.

Let’s take the structure first. Under replacement cost coverage, the insurance will cover the cost of replacing the part of the structure that is damaged, up to a maximum dollar amount. Under actual cash value, the insurance will cover the cost of replacing the damaged structure minus an allowance for depreciation. If you have an older home, that allowance could be quite significant. Unless your policy specifically says it provides replacement cost coverage, the coverage is for actual cash value. So how much insurance should you have? Basically, unless you want to pay some of the costs yourself, you should insure your home for what it would cost to rebuild it if your residence were destroyed. How do you find this out? Your insurance agent can have an answer for you in no time, or look on an appraisal, page 3, for a rebuild cost break down. Do not look soley...


There is no right answer but there are many things to consider when choosing an auto insurance deductible. The auto insurance deductible has two categories Comprehensive (sometimes referred to as “other than collision”), and Collision. Both deductibles are a per occurrence, and not an annual deductible, and they typically vary from 50 dollars to 1250 dollars. The deductible functions


Comprehensive coverage examples:

-Weather losses

-Hitting a live animal

-Flying projectile





-”other than collision”


1) Less premium is tied up in this deductible so carrying a low deductible doesn’t cause much of an increase in premium.

2) Comprehensive deductibles can happen to all your cars at once. For example a hail storm, could damage all your cars and each car would be subject to its own deductible. For this reason it’s good to consider; could you afford your deductible times the number of cars you have?

3) Carrying a lower deductible is...


At least 9 ways to get the most for your auto insurance dollar.

1. Get higher limits for liability and uninsured motorist – paying more up front for the coverages that protect your assets can save you the most in the long run.

*Tip: The average award to an auto claim in court is 425,000 and the most common limit that people carry on their auto insurance is 100,000 per person. That’s a cost of 325,000! Carry 500,000 limits and you just saved 325,000 of your future wages or assets.

2. One Insurer, Multiple Policies – Do you have a homeowners or renters insurance policy? Usually, these discounts are at least 15% and some insurers apply the discounts to both the auto and the homeowners/renters policy.

3. Good Driver, Good Price? – It’s no secret that the better your driving record, the less you will pay for auto insurance. But did you know that most people qualify as “good drivers” and are eligible for discounted premiums? Many auto insurers are actually a collection of several insurance companies in which each caters to a certain type of driver. The...


If insurance is for a rainy day, umbrella insurance is for a storm! A day when someone hits you with a lawsuit for hundreds of thousands, even millions, of dollars.

Think it can’t happen to you? Do you know how lawsuit-crazy this country is? You can’t pick up a newspaper these days without reading about somebody suing somebody else.

But remember that a lot of lawsuits aren’t crazy at all. Some get settled. Actually, most get settled. Often, the person being sued winds up paying something to the person who brought the lawsuit. And that doesn’t even include the fees the defendant in the lawsuit has to pay to his or her attorney.

How Far Will Your Current Protection Really Go to Protect You?

* Example. Say you’re at fault in an auto accident that causes serious injuries to the driver and/or passenger(s) in the car you hit. Your auto insurance has liability limits of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident. (Which are pretty common limits, by the way, even for people with a lot of assets.)

How far do you think $100,000 will go, particularly if the...