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1. Will filing one claim on my homeowners insurance cause my rates to go up?

It depends. In most cases, an insurer will review your loss history and if there is a chargeable claim then your home insurance rates might be affected.  You will loss your claim free discount.  There are endorsements that might be on your insurance policy waiving your first claim.  Therefore you would not loss your claim free discount.  It is important to review your policy with your broker. 

2. What is auto insurance?

Auto insurance protects you against financial loss if you have an accident. It is a contract between you and the Insurance company. You agree to pay the premium and the insurance company agrees to pay your losses as defined In your policy.

Auto Insurance provides property, liability and medical coverage:

  • Property coverage pays for damage to or theft of your car.
  • Liability coverage pays for your legal responsibility to others for bodily Injury or property damage.
  • Medical coverage pays for the cost of treating injuries, rehabilitation and sometimes lost wages and funeral expenses.

3. Do I need insurance to rent a car?

When renting a car, you need Insurance. If you have adequate Insurance on your own car, Including collision and comprehensive, this may be enough. Before you rent a car:

Contact your insurance company.
Find out how much coverage you have on your own car. In most cases, the coverage and deductibles you have on your personal auto policy used for pleasure and not business. If you don't have comprehensive and collision coverage on your own car1 you will not be covered if your rental car is stolen or if it is damaged in an accident.

Call your credit card company
Find out what Insurance your card provides. Levels of coverage vary.

4. Can I drive legally without insurance?

NO! Almost every state requires you to have auto liabl!Jty Insurance. All states also have financial responsibility laws. This means that even in a state that does not require liability insurance, you need to have sufficient assets to pay claims if you cause an accident. If you don't have enough assets, you must purchase at least the state minimum amount of insurance. But insurance exists to protect your assets. Trying to see how little you can get by with can be very shortsighted and dangerous.

5. How do I file a claim?

To file a claim, follow these steps:

1). Call your Insurance agent as soon as possible 1 regardless of who Is at fault." Find out whether you're covered for this loss. Even If the accident appears minor, It Is Important that you Jet your insurance company know about the incident.

2). Ask your agent or company representative how to proceed and what forms or documents are needed to support your claim. Your insurance company wlll require a "proof of claim" form and, If there is one, a copy of the police report. Increasingly, companies allow you to monitor the progress of your claim on their web site.

3). Supply the information your insurer requests. Fill out the claim form carefully. Keep good records. Get the names and phone numbers of everyone you speak with and copies of any bills related to the accident.

6. What should I do if I am having trouble settling my claim?

If you are not satisfied with how your claim is being handled, there are steps you can take. Let your agent or company representative know that you are unhappy.

If the agant or representative is unable to solve your problem, get the name and phone number of the heaqf the insurer's claims department. Your Insurance company may also have a consumer complaint department that can help.

Be prepared to support your case. Send documents and a Jetter explaining why you are not satisfied and make sure you have the figures to back up your argument. Be certain to include your address, claim number, day and evening phone numbers and any other important Identifying Information.

Review your auto insurance policy, Most companies offer either arbitration or appraisal services to help settle differences and disputes. Your insurance policy will explain these options

9. Is there a difference between cancellation and nonrenewal?

There Is a big difference between an Insurance company canceling a policy and choosing not to renew it. Insurance companies cannot cancel a policy that has been In force for more than 60 days except when:

  • You fail to pay the premium
  • You have committed fraud or made serious misrepresentations on your application
  • Your driver's license has been revoke'd or suspended.

Nonrenewal is a different matter. Either you or your Insurance company can decide not to renew the policy when It expires. Depending on the state you Jive In, your Insurance company must give you a certain number of days notice and explain the reason for not renewing before It drops your policy. If you think the reason is unfair or want a further explanation, call the Insurance company's consumer affairs division.

The company may have decided to drop that particular line of insurance or to write fewer policies where you live, so the nonrenewal decision may not be because of something you did. On the other hand, if you did do something that raised the insurance company's risk considerably, like driving drunk1 the premium may rise or you may not have your policy renewed.

If your insurance company did not renew your policy, you will not necessarily be charged a higher premium at another Insurance company.

11. In the event of a claim, am I liable to pay any excess?

Under most sections of your policy, you wlll have to pay an excess. This means that you will be responsible for paying the first part of the claim for each incident. The amount you have to pay is the excess.