FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Automobile

What do I do if I have an auto claim?

  • Gather important information from the scene of the accident, including street names, intersections, and witness’s contact information
  • Make sure to collect information from all other parties involved, including names, addresses, phone numbers, license numbers, car plate numbers, auto insurance policy information, and anything else that pertains to the accident. 
  • Report the claim immediately
  • Promptly comply with any instructions given to you by your insurance carrier

NOTE: New York State requires you to report a loss and submit all paperwork needed to process the claim within a limited number of days. Full compliance with these standards will help ensure your claim is settled quickly and smoothly, as well as expedite your payment. Use MV-104 Form.

Do I need to report an accident to my own insurance if I was not at fault?
If there were no injuries and the other party was at fault, it is better to file with their insurance provider to avoid paying the deductible and a possible rate increase. See note above regarding notifying the state.

My windshield is broken. How do I get it fixed and how much will it cost?
If you have comprehensive coverage, you most likely have “Full” glass which means there will be no charge to you for the repair/replacement. Call your agent to start a claim.

How many estimates am I required to obtain?
Typically 1 is sufficient. Please discuss with your adjuster.

My car has to go in the shop for repairs; will my policy pay for my rental?
No, the rental reimbursement coverage is applicable only if the vehicle has been in an accident.

Can other people drive my business vehicle?
Yes with your permission.

Homeowner / Building coverage

My neighbor’s tree fell on my house. Who pays for the loss?
If the tree lands on your property, your policy pays.

What is “Actual Cash Value”?
Actual Cash Value is defined as replacement cost minus depreciation. With Replacement Cost coverage, the insurance company will replace the damaged property with new materials or items.

What do I do if I have a property loss?

  • Report the loss immediately, either to a claims representative in our agency or your insurance carrier
  • Keep damaged property for an adjuster to see
  • Protect your property from further loss, as necessary (weather, theft, exposure, etc)
  • Follow all instructions with regard to gathering estimates of damages and repairs
  • Promptly submit all required information and forms as requested by your insurance carrier

What is underinsurance?
Underinsurance describes when an insurance policy has a stated limit that does not adequately cover the replacement cost of the insured item. This could include a home, auto, jewelry or artwork. The process of adequately insuring property is also known as “insuring to value.”

What causes underinsurance?
Underinsurance may be caused by many factors, ranging from a failure to update a policy in a timely manner to an underestimate of reconstruction or replacement value. Failure to report new construction or additions to the property or a decision not to purchase sufficient insurance due to cost could also lead to underinsurance problems.

The cost of reconstruction of a home may also be estimated incorrectly, particularly in the event of post-catastrophe construction price spikes. Particularly difficult to predict are changes caused by new building codes enacted after a major disaster. Building code upgrades could be minor changes or may involve complex questions of infrastructure and redevelopment. Homeowners can protect against this by including building code upgrade coverage in their home insurance policies.

How can a homeowner make sure the insurance policy adequately covers the home in the event of a total loss?

  • Homeowners should first fully understand the policy they plan to purchase. Knowing what it covers, what it doesn’t cover and what conditions define the coverage can help avoid problems after a disaster or major insurance claim.
  • The main coverage, usually called “Dwelling” or “Coverage A,” should be equal to the cost of rebuilding should the home be destroyed. Insurers make an honest attempt to estimate the cost of reconstruction of the home based upon the information provided by the homeowner. However, it is still only an estimate.
  • Many homeowner insurance policies now offer protection to help avoid under-insurance problems. Some policies provide general upgrades of the coverage limits of 25-to-50 percent. Others provide additional coverage specifically for building code upgrades.
  • For “Personal Property,” or “Coverage C,” a homeowner should make a complete inventory of all belongings. This will help determine the cost of the personal property so that it is reflected in the policy. A comprehensive home inventory can also serve as a shopping list of everything that will need to be replaced should the home be destroyed or burglarized.

Whose responsibility is it to make sure that a home is adequately covered by insurance?
State courts have held that it is the homeowner’s responsibility to make sure that their property is properly insured. Although insurers take many precautions to match coverage to a homeowner’s needs, the homeowner makes the final decision of what they want and what they can afford.

What is Electronic FundsTransfer (EFT)
EFT is a convenient payment option which allows your customers to have their insurance premium payments automatically deducted from their checking or savings account.

What is Recurring Credit Card (RCC)
RCC is a convenient payment option which allows your customers to have their insurance premium payments charged on a recurring basis to a Visa or Mastercard.

Liability & Other

What is EPLI?
EPLI or Employment Practices Liability Insurance covers wrongful acts arising from the employment process. Some of the most frequent types of claims alleged under such policies included wrongful termination, discrimination, and sexual harassment.

What is the difference between Additional Insured and Additional Named Insured?
An additional insured is a person or organization not automatically included as an insured under an insurance policy, but for whom insured status is arranged as a result of a close relationship such as a contractual agreement, usually by endorsement. An additional named insured is a person or organization, other than the first named insured, identified as an insured in the policy declarations or an addendum to the policy declarations. This entity would have the same rights and responsibilities as an insured in the policy declarations, other than those rights and responsibilities reserved to the first named insured.

What is “Fire Legal”?
Coverage of a tenant’s liability for damage by fire to the rented premises the tenant occupies. It is more commonly known as “Damage to premises rented to you”.

How does an audit work?
At the end of your policy term, an auditor will come and review your payroll records for the payroll recorded during that annual term. The findings are then recorded with the insurance company, the policy is amended to reflect the actual payroll and the insured receives a debit, credit or NIL audit endorsement. For smaller accounts the audit can be done via the telephone or mail.

Why do I need certificates of insurance from sub-contractors?
You need certificates of insurance from sub-contractors to show proof that they have coverage and to protect your company’s interests.

When do I need to carry workers compensation coverage?
You need to carry Workers’ Compensation coverage anytime you have employees.