Q: Why should I use a broker/agent when carriers are offering coverage directly to possible insureds?
A: Agents are there to help you. At the most basic level, any agent should be able to answer all of your questions about insurance, provide you with a thorough assessment of your insurance needs and offer you a choice of insurance products to meet those needs. Also, any insurance agency should provide you with prompt, quality service in the case of a claim.
Just as important is the level of professional confidence and personal comfort you feel with the agent. Many people stick with the same insurance agency for decades, even generations. It helps to find an agent you can get to know and trust.
Q: How do I know if an insurance company is stable and sound?
A: We are happy to review all our companies’ financial ratings. Our agency works with financially stable carriers. Additionally, as a result of recent press coverage and media attention, some carriers in our area have had their reputations tarnished. In actuality the actual companies/divisions providing the client coverage are sound, and well funded. Our experienced staff would be pleased to review your concerns and provide you with the facts.
Q: How can I reduce my automobile insurance rates?
A: First and foremost, there are state provided driving courses. The Mogil Organization stresses the importance of these classes; not only as a credit on your insurance but as a means to become a better, safer driver. Secondly, we have multiple markets to shop your account. We are finding our markets are now beating direct writers; all with the added benefit of having a broker to guide you through the purchase of a policy and any claims. Lastly, there are possible credits you may be missing such as multi-policy credit for having more than one line with a carrier, good student credit, student away credit, and possibly increasing your deductible.
Q: What are some practical things I can do to lower the cost of my homeowners insurance?
A: There are a number of things you can do to lower the cost of your homeowners insurance. The easiest thing to do is get a comprehensive review of your policy and needs from your local agent.
It’s not surprising to find quotes on homeowners insurance that vary by hundreds of dollars for the same coverage on the same home. When you shop, be careful to make sure each insurer is offering the same coverage.
Another way to lower the cost of your homeowners insurance is to look for any discounts that you may qualify for. For example, many insurers will offer a discount when you place both your automobile and homeowners insurance with them. Other times, insurers offer discounts if there are deadbolt exterior locks on all your doors, or if your home has a security system. Be sure to ask us to look into these discounts for you.
Another easy way to lower the cost of your homeowners insurance is to raise your deductible. Increasing your deductible from $250 to $500 will lower your premium, sometimes by as much as five or ten percent.
Q: What does homeowners insurance cover?
A: The typical homeowners policy has two main sections: Section I covers the property of the insured, and Section II provides personal liability coverage for the insured. Almost anyone who owns or leases property has a need for this type of insurance. Usually, homeowners insurance is required by the lender to obtain a mortgage.
Q: Isn’t jewelry automatically covered with my homeowners, Condo/Coop or renters policy? What about fine art, furs, or silverware?
A: There are caps in all homeowners, Condo/Coop and renter policies for items of jewelry, fine art, furs or silverware. These items need to be insured with a personal articles floater. This is a contract specifically geared to insure these items worldwide. With our breadth of carriers, we are able to find the perfect market for you valuable items.
Q: Is coverage for flood provided with my insurance policy? Do I really need flood insurance?
A: Flood coverage is typically not provided in homeowners insurance. There are markets that can provide this coverage as an endorsement on their contracts in preferred flood zones. Typically, a flood insurance policy is procured thru the federal government. Underwriting of these policies is complicated and one should be advised by a professional when purchasing this policy.
Q: How can I possibly know all the details of my policy? What if I am missing coverages?
A: The greatest asset of a working with a broker such as The Mogil Organization, which has been around for 45 years, is the management and our staff’s ability to explain coverages in understandable terms, and review your current portfolio to be sure you have no costly gaps in coverage.
Q: What is the difference between “actual cash value” and “replacement cost”?
A: Covered losses under a homeowners policy can be paid on either an actual cash value basis or on a replacement cost basis. When “actual cash value” is used, the policy owner is entitled to the depreciated value of the damaged property. Under the “replacement cost” coverage, the policy owner is reimbursed an amount necessary to replace the article with one of similar type and quality at current prices.