1How do I file a claim?
The best way is to contact the insurance company directly. The claims department will ask you to provide a brief description of your loss and assign a claim number to you. Auto carriers have their claim department phone number listed on your auto ID card and homeowners companies have their claims department phone number on the declaration page or in the policy package you received at renewal. However you can always call us and we will give you the phone number and your policy number and help you with any questions you have regarding the claim.
2What happens after I file a claim?
2) An adjuster will inspect and photograph the damage in order to generate a report with the details of the claim. The report is given to the insurance company to assess the cause and estimate the value of the loss. You may be asked to provide documentation with regard to the value of the property to assist in the estimate.
3) An estimate is prepared by the insurance company.
4) A check is issued to you.
5) The estimate is based upon the initial inspection. If the actual loss differs from the initial estimate the carrier can amend the estimate. Insurance companies strive to settle claims to your satisfaction by providing as much coverage as possible under the policy in order to bring you back to your prior loss condition.
6) The estimate is based upon the initial inspection. If the actual loss differs from the initial estimate the carrier can amend the estimate. Insurance companies strive to settle claims to your satisfaction by providing as much coverage as possible under the policy in order to bring you back to your prior loss condition.
3What happens if I'm at fault in a car accident?
You will need to file a claim with your insurance company. If you have purchased Collision you will have to pay your selected deductible amount in order to get your car repaired. If you cause injury to other people or damage to other vehicles or property, your policy will respond to pay those losses up to your policy limits. Your insurance company will handle the settlement of those losses on your behalf.
4What if another driver hits my car?
The other driver's insurance policy would respond to pay for the damage to your vehicle or property without any deductible to you. If you are injured, your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) would pay up to the first $10,000 of your injuries. If your injuries exceed that amount, the other driver's insurance policy would pick up those expenses.
5Can I let a friend or relative borrow my car?
Your auto policy allows you to give permission to a person who is not listed as a driver on your policy to drive your car. However in the event of an accident, it will be your policy that responds even though you were not the driver in the accident because coverage follows the vehicle. If a person has regular use of your vehicle or lives in the same household you must list them as an operator on your policy.
6What kind of insurance do I need to rent a car?
Your auto coverage will transfer to a rental car and will respond the same as if you were driving your own car. If you are at fault in an accident and others are injured and/or you cause damage to property, your Bodily Injury and/or Property Damage will respond up to your policy limits. The policy will pay to repair the damage to the rental car as long as you have Comprehensive and Collision coverage but you will have to pay the deductible as if it were your own car. However your policy will not pay for the loss of income to the rental company while the car is being repaired. You can purchase extra coverage from the rental company to eliminate these out of pocket expenses at an additional cost. In most cases if you are hit by another driver, their policy would respond to pay for the damages to the rental car and not yours.
7What is PIP (Personal Insurance Protection) and do I have to buy it?
PIP is a mandatory coverage in Florida that you must purchase on your auto policy. It covers your injuries if you are injured in an auto accident no matter who is at fault and no matter whose car you are in. You may select a deductible from $0 to $1000. The coverage will pay 80% of your medical bills and 60% loss of use up to $10,000 maximum benefit.
8Why is the replacement cost on my homeowner's policy so high?
Replacement cost on your house is not the market value or purchase price of your home. The amount for which your home is insured is what it would cost to rebuild it in the event you had a total loss, including the cost to tear down and remove the destroyed structure. The market value is what someone is willing to pay for your home at a given point in time. Replacement value is based upon cost and market value is based upon what similar properties are selling for in your area.
9Does a homeowner's policy cover jewelry?
Most homeowner's insurance policy provides very limited coverage for jewelry. For example, your policy may only cover a maximum of $1500 for jewelry per loss and will be subject to the deductible and covered perils. If the jewelry in your home exceeds that limit, you may want to add a separate rider on your policy if it's available or purchase a stand-alone jewelry policy. This will allow you the opportunity to cover your jewelry for loss under most circumstances with full replacement value and little or no deductible.
10If my household appliances cause water damage does my homeowner's insurance cover that?
It will depend on what caused your household appliances to leak. If your appliance was damaged in a covered peril then the water damage may be covered under your homeowners insurance. However, if your appliance broke down due to age or poor maintenance, this would not be covered under your homeowners insurance policy as that would be considered a maintenance issue.
11Do I need a condo policy if my condo association has a master policy for the building?
In general the condo association master policy covers the building structure only. You are responsible for everything inside the unit such as your personal contents as well as everything permanently attached to the walls, floor and ceiling such as flooring, cabinetry, plumbing and lighting fixtures, paint, woodwork, etc. You are also responsible for all the equipment that services your unit such as the hot water heater and air conditioning unit. Some master policies may have provisions to cover more than this so it is important to review those documents carefully. In order to get protection for your own possessions and for legal liability related to your own unit you need a unit owner's policy.
12Does my homeowner's policy cover flooding?
Flooding is an excluded coverage under the homeowner's policy. The National Flood Insurance program has a flood policy that is designed to provide coverage for flooding as a result of water from an exterior source such as tidal surge and rising water that is often accompanied by severe rains, hurricanes, tropical storms, etc. A separate flood policy can be purchased to cover these perils. If your house is in a standard flood zone you will need to have an elevation certificate in order to purchase a policy. Preferred policies are available at reduced rates for homes that are not in a high risk flood zone and do not require an elevation certificate.