Am I required to have auto insurance?

Yes, in the state of Michigan you are required to have auto insurance.

What are the different types of coverages?

Personal Injury Protection (also known as PIP) is your medical coverage for injuries you (and others) suffer in an auto accident. PIP pays if you or other persons covered under your policy are injured in an auto accident. It is sometimes called “no-fault” coverage because it pays your own medical expenses no matter who caused the auto accident.

Liability coverage pays others for damages from an auto accident that you cause. It also pays for a lawyer to defend you if you are sued for damages that you cause.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage pays you for property damage or bodily injury if you are in an auto accident caused by an uninsured motorist. Claims that you would have made against the uninsured driver who caused the accident are paid by your own policy. Uninsured motorist coverage does not pay benefits to the uninsured driver.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage pays you for property damage or bodily injury if you are in an auto accident caused by a driver who is insured, but who has less coverage than your underinsured motorist coverage.

Collision Coverage pays you for damage to your vehicle as the result of a collision with another car or other object. Collision coverage pays you for damage that you cause to your automobile.

Comprehensive Coverage pays for damage to your vehicle that is not a result of a collision, such as theft of your car, vandalism, flooding, falling objects, fire or a broken windshield. However, it will pay if you collide with an animal.

What is PIP?

Personal Injury Protection (also known as PIP) is your medical coverage for injuries you (and others) suffer in an auto accident. PIP pays if you or other persons covered under your policy are injured in an auto accident. It is sometimes called “no-fault” coverage because it pays your own medical expenses no matter who caused the auto accident. PIP has two parts — (1) coverage for the cost of treatment you receive from hospitals, doctors and other medical providers and any medical equipment that may be needed to treat your injuries and (2) reimbursement for certain other expenses you may have because you are hurt, such as lost wages and the need to hire someone to take care of your home or family. You may purchase both parts of PIP coverage or medical treatment coverage only, depending upon your needs.

What is Business Insurance?

Business insurance includes a broad range of policy options designed to protect a business from financial loss. Every commercial operation has its own unique set of risks, which means a commercial insurance policy must be tailored to the business. Many factors, from the size of your company, to the number of workers you employ, the materials they handle and whether you have business vehicles, will determine the specific coverage you need to mitigate risk and protect your company’s financials.

What does Business Insurance cover?

Business insurance coverage for a commercial operation can include the following and more:

  • General liability insurance: Covers third party liability claims for injuries to other people.
  • Professional liability and malpractice insurance: Covers professionals against loss due to negligent professional duty, wrongful acts, and advice and services that lead to another person’s loss or injury.
  • Product liability insurance: Covers against faulty products and damage, illness, injury or death that may occur from using a faulty product.
  • Property insurance: Covers loss and damage to your commercial business property due to fires, storms and other causes.
  • Commercial vehicle insurance: Covers commercial vehicles and drivers for collision, liability, property damage, personal injury and “comprehensive” (now known as “other than collision”).
  • Workers compensation: Covers your employees if they become ill or injured while working on the job.
  • Loss of income: Covers your business expenses such as rent and employee wages if you can’t operate your business.
  • Key person insurance: Covers loss of income that may result from the head of the business or other key personnel becoming incapacitated or passing away (also known as key man insurance).
  • Cyber-crime insurance: Provides protection for risks due to Internet use and online communications.
  • Records retention policies: Covers loss of important data and financial records.
  • Specialty coverage: Insurance that covers various specific business risks, such as those of landlords, farmers, and commercial operations that put on one-day events, such as seminars or concerts.
How does Business Insurance work?

Business insurance is a contract between the insurance company and the business. The insurance company agrees to share the business risk with the business entity in exchange for premium payments. In the event of a covered loss, the insurance company pays for the financial losses the business incurs up to the limit of the policy after the deductible amount is paid by the business filing a claim.

At the time of a loss, the business will typically file a claim. If a fire destroys a portion of the business premises, for example, the company will file a claim against the property insurance policy. An adjuster will assess the damage and process the claim. The company will then receive the appropriate amount of compensation for the loss.

There are many different scenarios with regard to business risk and how insurance claims are filed. For example, in the event that the incident is a loss suffered by a customer of the company, the injured party will likely file a claim against the businesses’ liability policy. How the claim is processed depends upon the size of the claim, whether the matter can be settled with an insurance payment, and if the claim results in a lawsuit.

What is a claim?

A claim is a request to an insurer for payment or reimbursement of a loss covered by the
terms of an insurance policy.

How do I file a claim?

To file a claim, call us in the office at {Phone Number Here} and we will walk you through the process.

How long will my claim take?

Every claim is unique, and there are a lot of different things that could affect how long it takes to resolve your claim.

Keep in mind that even though filing a claim is probably a rare event for you, our claims teams are made up of experienced professionals who work with issues similar to yours day in and day out. They’ll always do their best to get your claim resolved efficiently.

You can help your claim go smoothly by providing your insurance carrier with all the information you can about the incident. Talk with your claims team to make sure you’ve given them all the documentation and details they need.

What is the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)?

The NFIP is a Federal program created by Congress to mitigate future flood losses nationwide through sound, community-enforced building and zoning ordinances and to provide access to affordable, federally backed flood insurance protection for property owners. The NFIP is designed to provide an insurance alternative to disaster assistance to meet the escalating costs of repairing damage to buildings and their contents caused by floods.

Participation in the NFIP is based on an agreement between local communities and the Federal Government that states that if a community will adopt and enforce a floodplain management ordinance to reduce future flood risks to new construction in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs), the Federal Government will make flood insurance available within the community as a financial protection against flood losses.

What is a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA)?

In support of the NFIP, FEMA identifies flood hazard areas throughout the United States and its territories. Most areas of flood hazard are commonly identified on Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). Areas not yet identified by a FIRM may be mapped on Flood Hazard Boundary Maps (FHBMs). Several areas of flood hazards are identified on these maps. One of these areas is the
Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA).

The SFHA is a high-risk area defined as any land that would be inundated by a flood having a 1-percent chance of occurring in a given year (also referred to as the base flood). The high-risk-area standard constitutes a reasonable compromise between the need for building restrictions to minimize potential loss of life and property and the economic benefits to be derived from floodplain development. Development may take place within an SFHA, provided that development complies with local floodplain management ordinances, which must meet the minimum Federal requirements. Flood insurance is required for insurable structures within high-risk areas to protect Federal financial investments and assistance used for acquisition and/or construction purposes within communities participating in the NFIP.

What is a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM)?

A Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) is an official map of a community on which FEMA has delineated both the special hazard areas and the risk premium zones applicable to the community.

What is an agent?

An agent is a licensed person or organization authorized to sell insurance by or on behalf of an insurance company.

What is automobile insurance?

Automobile insurance is coverage on the risks associated with driving or owning an automobile. It can include collision, liability, comprehensive, medical, and uninsured motorist coverages.

What is a binder?

A binder is a temporary or preliminary agreement which provides coverage until a policy can be written or delivered.

Who needs Home Insurance?
  • Owners need it to protect their home(s) and their personal property.
  • Renters need it to protect their personal property.
  • Both need it to protect against liability for injuring third persons or damaging their property.
How much home insurance do I need?
  • That depends on the value of your property. The more coverage you buy, the less you will have to pay out of your own pocket if you suffer a loss that damages your house or its contents.
  • You also need enough personal liability coverage to protect you from claims brought against you by others.
  • Your bank or mortgage company may insist that you insure your house for at least the amount of the mortgage.
  • Insurers may require you to insure your house for a certain limit in order to obtain replacement cost coverage.
I’m paying a mortgage, so my home is already protected by homeowner’s insurance, right?
  • Not necessarily. Mortgage lenders do require some kind of homeowners insurance because, like you, they have a big investment in your home. But mistakes do occur and messages do get lost. Some mortgages do include insurance premium payments in your monthly mortgage bills, but some do not.
  • You may think the mortgage lender is paying for the insurance while the lender thinks you are paying for it.
  • Ultimately it is your responsibility to know who is insuring your home and whether the premium has been paid.
  • Contact your lender and insurance company to make sure your policy is in place and the premium is getting paid.
  • Important Note: Some mortgage companies will supply a policy called “forced coverage” if a standard policy is not maintained. These policies are very expensive and protect only the interest of the mortgage company on the structure itself. It does not protect you or your belongings.
An insurance agent has suggested I switch term companies every couple of years to take advantage of the company’s promotional rates in the first couple of years. Anything wrong with that?

Nothing wrong, but there is always a risk when you switch polices that you could be subject to a new contestability period.  You start a new, 2-year contestability period anytime you switch.  If you die during that 2-year period, the insurance company can (and probably will) investigate the statements you made on your application.  If you’ve given inaccurate or incomplete answers, the company may (and probably will) refuse to pay the death benefit.

I understand my permanent policy would be “fully paid up” at age 65. What does that mean?

“Fully paid up” means just that. You have made enough premium payments to cover the cost of insurance for the rest of your life.

What happens to the cash value after the policy is fully paid up?

The company plans to use the cash value to pay premiums until you die. If you take cash value out, there may not be enough to pay premiums. The company could require you to resume paying premiums, or reduce the amount of the death benefit to an amount that the remaining cash value will support.

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