Personal

The Personal Insurance department is dedicated to education & counseling of your personal insurance needs. A brief explanation of the major topics in personal insurance follows.

Click any type of insurance below to open panel for more information, click again to close.

Automobile Insurance

AUTO INSURANCE LIABILITY COVERAGE: This is the dollar amount of protection you choose to purchase in order to protect your financial assets for Bodily Injury & Property Damage that you cause as a result of an automobile accident.

Limits come in two ways: split limits & combined single limits. Split limits could look like 50/100/25. Combined single limits could look like 300,000. What does this mean?

Split limits:

This provides protection up to 50,000 per person with a maximum of 100,000 per accident, for bodily injury that you cause. (The word cause here means the accident was your fault. Actual fault is to be determined by the insurance companies via an investigation)

The protection for damage to property is a maximum of 25,000. Damage to property includes, but is not limited to: vehicles, motorcycles, trailers, boats, buses, trains, trucks, buildings, signs, utility poles, landscaping, guard rails, & loss of use of businesses that cannot work because you put out the electricity. These are just a few examples of damages as a result of an accident.

Combined single limit 300,000. Here we put your protection in a “pot” & you use it how you need it. For example, if you caused a tractor-trailer truck to overturn & totaled the cargo but the driver wasn’t hurt at all, you would have the whole 300,000 to pay for the truck & cargo.

As you can see, 50/100/25 isn’t very much coverage and these days, neither is 300,000. We urge you to buy as much liability coverage as you can afford. The bulk of the cost is in the first 25/50/10 limits. The cost to increase above this limit is a real bargain.

What happens if I don’t have enough coverage to pay for the loss? Guess what? It comes out of your pocket. You will be required to pay the difference in whatever way the injured party’s attorney can get it out of you. They can tap all of your savings including your retirement account. They can go after your home. They can attach your wages for the rest of your life. But you do not get off without paying for the damages that you cause. We don’t want you to have an “if only” after you are found at fault for the accident. If only I knew it was only $100 to triple or quadruple my limits. If only I had purchased an umbrella policy. (Refer to Umbrella for more information on this very vital coverage.)

There are other coverages to understand about auto insurance:

PIP: This is Personal Injury Protection. Generally, it is at a limit of 15,000 per person. This 15,000 is to pay for medical bills you incur as a result of an automobile accident no matter who is at fault. The limit is per person so if you had 3 other passengers who were hurt, they each have 15,000 coverage. One of the purposes of this coverage is to give you an opportunity to see the doctor or go to the emergency room without worrying about paying for it. The bill will go to your own insurance company. There are other coverages & limits in the PIP coverage. Some of them are lost wages, & death benefit.

UNINSURED/UNDERINSURED MOTORISTS COVERAGES: This coverage is to protect you in case of an automobile accident that is NOT your fault. If the at fault party does not have insurance or does not have enough coverage to pay for your bodily injury, you have recourse under your own auto coverage. You should always buy the same limit as your liability limit.

COLLISION COVERAGE: This is coverage you purchase for your own automobile to cover the repair costs when you upset or collide with another object. A deductible will apply & you choose the deductible amount at the time you purchase the coverage.

COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE: This is coverage you purchase for your own automobile that is not covered by collision. It covers for fire, theft, flood, broken glass, vandalism or malicious mischief and other coverages. It also covers collision with an animal or bird.

TOWING & LABOR: This provides some reimbursement of the cost to tow your car. It will also cover to get in your car when you locked the keys in the car or change a flat tire All companies have limits on this coverage so make sure to review it for adequacy.

LOSS OF USE or RENTAL CAR COVERAGE: This pays up to the dollar amount purchased to rent a car if you were involved in an accident, if IT WAS YOUR FAULT & your car needs to go into the shop for several days for the repair. Many insureds think this coverage will pay for your car being in the shop for mechanical problems. It does not. These are the major coverages in an automobile insurance policy. There are other optional coverages that you can purchase, depending on your needs.

If you would like a review of your personal insurance program, just send us an e-mail. We hope our explanations of coverage have been of benefit to you.

 

Homeowners Insurance

HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE: Generally, your home is your largest asset. All homeowner insurance contracts are not alike. Coverage varies in what is covered & how it is covered if there is a loss. The age & quality of your home are important factors in choosing coverage.

Here are some important aspects to consider about replacing your home in the event of a loss:

Replacement needs to be with “like kind and quality” vs. functional replacement or replacement with similar or readily available materials. It is important not to disturb the theme of your home. For example, if your home has 10’ or 12’ lengths of hardwood floors, would you be happy with a patch of 2’ or 3’ lengths? Unique items to consider for replacement are--quality of woods: mahogany, pecan, oak, walnut, etc. old growth fir floors, fireplace mantels, crown moldings, lath & plaster walls, cove ceilings, built-ins, original light fixtures and hardware, leaded windows, stained glass windows, and true divided light windows.

Replacement cost guarantee with no cap. Many insurance companies have caps of 20% to 30%, which is the maximum they will cover above the dwelling amount listed on the policy declaration page. This may lead to thousands of dollars of out of pocket expense to replace your home with like kind and quality when replacement costs exceed the insured amount by more than 20 or 30%. Some contracts provide only the dwelling amount listed. There is no guarantee at all. You either make up the difference or settle for inferior replacement.

Ordinance of law coverage needs to be included in the guarantee with no cap. The cost to bring the damaged portion up to current building codes could lead to thousands of dollars of out of pocket expense to you. Some items included in code updates to consider are insulation, electrical, windows, foundations, plumbing and width of hallways. In some contracts you have to select the amount of coverage you want and pay for it. This means you have to determine today, what it will cost you to bring your home up to current building codes 10 or 20 years from now!

At RF&P we work with companies that provide replacement cost coverage, with like kind & quality, without regard to cost, and code update coverage is included. As you can imagine, an insurance company that provides this coverage is adamant about insurance to value as well they should be. It is only fair to insure the home as close to 100% of the replacement cost as possible. We take the time to review the details of your home with you to help you determine proper coverage. This is our number one priority.

**There are numerous endorsements available to tailor the policy to your family’s needs.

Now that you know the importance of insurance to value, let’s look at some of the main terms of a Homeowners policy:

DWELLING or BUILDING COVERAGE: This is usually the main structure on the property that you live in and it will have an amount of insurance listed after it. For example 200,000

OTHER STRUCTURES or OUTBUILDINGS: This is generally any detached structure i.e.: garage, fencing, playhouse, barn, swimming pool etc. Driveways & walkways are also usually included. Normally there is 10% of the dwelling amount listed here as automatic coverage and you can increase it for a small cost. In our example, the limit listed would be 20,000.

PERSONAL PROPERTY or CONTENTS COVERAGE: This is coverage for your furnishings, clothing & other items necessary to the livability of the home. In most homeowner policies, this coverage is worldwide, as long as the contents are not located at another residence where you or a family member lives. In other words, when you travel, what you take with you is covered. When your child goes off to college, make sure to call your agent to discuss how your policy works for you.

There are differences in coverage and limitations from policy to policy so it is very important to review the personal property section of the contract. For example, limitations can apply to jewelry, money, furs, guns, rugs, collections, boats, trailers, silverware, antiques, fine arts, & business personal property just to name a few. At RF&P we review the contracts with you so that you will know if you need to add any special endorsements to meet your individual needs. There are types of personal property not covered and there are exclusions on types of losses not covered. Amounts of personal property coverage automatically provided vary from 50% to 75% of the building amount. Insurance to value is very important here also. Contents can be on a depreciated or replacement cost basis so again, it is very important to review this coverage with your insurance agent.

LOSS OF USE or ADDITIONAL LIVING EXPENSES: This is the coverage provided for you to maintain your standard of living if you cannot remain in your home after a loss. Only a claims adjuster can make that determination. If you are advised to stay elsewhere, necessary increase in living expenses to you so that your household can maintain it’s normal standard of living, are covered up to the limits stated in the policy. The amount also varies by contract.

PERSONAL LIABILITY: This is the amount of protection you purchase to protect your assets against a claim or suit for damages brought against you or your family members (residing with you) as a result of bodily injury or property damage. The company will pay to defend you and pay a judgement if you are found at fault. They will pay up to the limit of liability that you purchased. There are numerous exclusions under this coverage. Just a few of the more common ones are intentional acts, business pursuits, professional services, in home day care & sexual molestation. It is very important that you review these with your agent & purchase any endorsements that may be available for your needs. Various limits of coverage are available starting at 25,000 but most contracts have a minimum of 100,000. This may seem like a lot to you but if your child unintentionally hurts another child and causes permanent injury, how much do you think a sympathetic jury would award? Anything awarded above your liability limits comes out of your pocket. It is very inexpensive to buy higher limits.

MEDICAL PAYMENTS TO OTHERS: This is the amount you have available to pay for necessary medical expenses for bodily injury to others. Again, there are limitations and exclusions so make sure to review them with your insurance agent.

 

Renters Insurance / Condominium Insurance

RENTERS INSURANCE: This is contents, loss of use and liability coverage for individuals who rent a home or apt. The landlord does not provide this coverage & is not responsible for your personal property or liability.

CONDOMINUM INSURANCE: This is coverage for building, contents & liability for Condo owners. Many individuals think that they have all the coverage they need under the “Master Plan” policy. This is not true. Condominiums are insured based on the Codes, Covenants & Restrictions (CC&R’s) of each condo association. It is imperative that you review the CC&R’s to determine where your responsibility lies for the building coverage i.e.: from the walls in. The individual policy can then be tailored to your needs. Most individual policies need a special endorsement for Loss Assessments coverage. This is property and liability coverage provided in the event the association assesses each owner for underinsurance. It provides coverage for the same causes of loss as the building portion of the coverage or liability coverage. In other words, it does not provide coverage for maintenance issues i.e.: assessments for repainting the complex or re-roofing, etc.

 

Umbrella or Personal Excess Coverage

UMBRELLA or PERSONAL EXCESS COVERAGE: This is liability coverage that adds an additional layer of protection over your personal exposures such as autos, homes, rentals, and boats. It also includes defense coverage. You must first have primary insurance on you autos, homes, rentals and boats. The amount required and coverage varies by company. The object of the coverage is to protect your assets in the event you cause injury to someone and you are found at fault. We live in a very litigious society. Multi-million dollar judgements happen more frequently. Don’t think that you don’t need this coverage because you are not “worth” a million. Judgements have nothing to do with what you are worth these days. It’s what you can be sued for. All of your assets are at risk including your college and retirement accounts!

Here are a few examples:

Insured operator fell asleep at the wheel and struck two people who were changing a tire on the roadside, killing them. Incurred claim 949,521

Insured vehicle made a left hand turn in front of claimant vehicle. Incurred claim 1,500,000

Insured’s son at college hosted a fraternity party. An intoxicated participant caused an auto accident. Incurred claim 1,125,000

Twelve year old boy fell out of insured’s boat while on a fishing trip. The propeller struck boy’s head, resulting in brain damage and partial vision loss. Incurred claim 2,000,000

A 78 year old female was allegedly knocked down by the insured’s dog. She suffered a hip fracture. Incurred claim 350,000

Umbrella policies cost less than $250 per year at $1,000,000 in coverage, higher limits are available. It is the best insurance bargain.

 

Dwelling Fire or Landlords Protection

DWELLING FIRE or LANDLORDS PROTECTION: Dwelling Fire coverage is for homes or apartments rented to others. The policies cover for building coverage, furnishing supplies, loss of rents & liability. It does not cover the renter's personal property. The renter must obtain a renters or tenants for their contents and liability. We recommend that all landlords verify that each renter have their own coverage.

 

Motorcycles & ATV's, Boats & Personal Watercraft

MOTORCYCLES & ATV’s, BOATS & PERSONAL WATERCRAFT: These items require liability coverage just like an automobile. ATV’s for on road or off road use also require liability insurance. They can also be covered for physical damage coverage. Contact your agent if you acquire any “toys”. NEVER assume your existing policies cover these.

 

In Home Business

IN HOME BUSINESS: Coverage is excluded in your homeowners for any business exposure so be sure to discuss this with your agent. Many types of coverage are available depending on your particular needs.

 

Flood Insurance

FLOOD INSURANCE: Coverage is excluded in your homeowner contract. You can purchase flood insurance whether or not you are in a flood zone. Contact your agent and let them know you would like a flood quotation.

 

 

For more information on any of the policies above, please contact us:

Phone: 503-227-2246 • Toll Free: 1-888-631-0068 • Fax: 503-274-8500

Return to top