Personal Insurance Policy Information
Personal Insurance. Because we get a lot of small business owners asking about personal lines insurance (home, car, boat etc..), this article will help you understand some the of most common personal insurance policies available. Personal liability and property insurance helps protect your personal income and assets from lawsuits and settlements that can bankrupt most people.
Carrying adequate personal insurance limits to protect your cars, home and other belongings shouldn't be a question - it's a must if you want to make sure that you don't get put in a bad position. A situation where you sell your home, cars and other property to pay to cover expenses associated with a loss where you were found at fault.
Many people make the mistake of just buying 'state minimums', or other minimum required amounts to save on premiums each month. But that leave them exposed to potentially have to pay huge sums out of their own pockets - if the damages caused by them are more than their insurance limits.
Learn about personal insurance polices including requirements, costs and coverages for: Auto Insurance (car), Homeowners Insurance, Umbrella Insurance, Renters Insurance and more.
You can skip to the following types of personal insurance risks that people facer using these links:
Personal Insurance Risks & Exposures:
- Why Do I Need Homeowners Insurance?
- Is Homeowners Insurance Required?
- Why Do I Need Renters Insurance?
- Is Renters Insurance Required?
- Why Do I Need Car Insurance?
- Is Auto Insurance Required?
- What Are The State Minimums For Auto Insurance?
Why Do I Need Homeowners Insurance?
To protect your home, personal liability and your belongings. An owner-occupied home provides living accommodations for an individual, a couple, one or more adults raising children, or a multi-generational family. The individuals living in the dwelling may be related by blood, marriage or other arrangement such as adoption, foster parenthood or a guardianship. The household may also own a pet(s). Owner occupied means that the property owner(s) live on the property and that the premises are not leased or rented out to others.
The on-premises exposure includes the land and all structures on that land, such as a garage, storage shed, or swimming pool. Off-premises exposures include activities of the dwelling owner and all members of the household, including students who live away from home as long as they are in school and are younger than 24 years of age.
Property exposure includes the dwelling, its contents, and any related non-business structures and their contents located on the premises. The most significant controllable hazards are fire and theft. The major uncontrollable hazards are windstorm, hail, snow and ice, flood and earthquake. The age of the structure and its maintenance are primary concerns since both can contribute to losses. Fire hazards include electrical wiring, heating, cooling, and cooking equipment.
The location of the property, type of contents, adequacy of locks and alarm systems are important when evaluating theft exposures. The property's location is the key to assessing its vulnerability to natural disasters such as wind, hail, snow and ice, flood, or earthquake. The premises should be built to current code. Vegetation should be trimmed and away from the structures.
Personal property (belongings) exposure includes any antiques, collectibles, electronics, fine arts, firearms, furs, jewelry, silverware, and other types of property subject to sub limits and exclusions within the homeowners policy. As these items are often attractive theft targets, security features such as locks, alarms, off-premise/transit exposures and storage arrangements should be reviewed.
Personal liability exposure arises from conditions at the premises and the actions of the members of the household (including pets). The age of any children, the social and civic organizations, and sports that the family participates in can all impact the loss potential. In addition, the type and breed of any pet(s) should be considered. Pools, trampolines, tree houses, playground equipment, non-licensed motorized vehicles, and similar attractions must be secured to prevent young children from gaining unsupervised access.
Automobile exposures are from household members driving owned, rented, or borrowed vehicles or from loaning their vehicles to others outside the household. All drivers must be identified, licensed, and have acceptable MVRs. The type of vehicle, ownership, the principle driver, garaging location, miles driven, and type of driving must be considered when evaluating the exposure. Age and experience of each driver must be evaluated. Driving courses can assist drivers of any age.
The exposure of household residents temporarily living away from the household exposures such as students away at college is important to explore because of potential vehicle ownership, state compliance, garaging, and usage changes.
Is Homeowners Insurance Required?
Yes - if you have a mortgage on your home, your lender will require homeowners insurance. This is because they own a portion of your home and want to be paid if the house is damaged or destroyed.
All homeowners should have home insurance regardless of whether a lender requires it to protect their home and belongings inside, as well as liability if someone got hurt while visiting (think dog bites).
Why Do I Need Renters Insurance?
To protect your belongings and your personal liability. Tenants do not own the building they live in - as there is no dwelling structure to be insured. The tenants pay rent to the building owner (landlord). There is generally a written or verbal lease which may be short term or long term.
Property exposure for the tenant is generally limited to personal property in the rented dwelling unit. The major causes of loss are fire and theft. Fire hazards include electrical wiring, heating, cooling, and cooking equipment. The type of building construction, the location of the building, and the adequacy of locks are important when evaluating exposures. If there are other tenants in the building, the exposure increases as the other tenant may break into the insured's unit or start a fire that breaches the insured's living space. Security of the building is important, as is the security to the insured's particular unit.
Personal property (belongings) exposure includes any antiques, collectibles, electronics, fine arts, firearms, furs, jewelry, silverware, and other types of property subject to sub limits and exclusions within the renters policy. As these items are often attractive theft targets, security features such as locks and alarms should be in place and a current appraisal available to substantiate any loss. An inventory and picture record is important to document each item's existence and to aid in its recovery.
Personal liability exposure arises from conditions in the tenant's portion of the premises and actions of the members of the household including students who live away from home as long as they are in school and are under the age of 24 years. The age of any children, the social and civic organizations, and sports that the family participates in can all impact the loss potential. Additionally, the type and breed of any pet(s) should be considered.
While injuries due to conditions outside the insured unit are normally the responsibility of the landlord, injuries due to conditions within the insured's unit may become the landlord's responsibility if, before a loss, the insured wrote the landlord about a hazardous situation and it had not been addressed. The contractual relationship between the property owner and the tenant is very important because it can significantly affect the tenant's responsibility.
Is Renters Insurance Required?
Renters insurance is not required by law, but most landlord or management companies will require that you have renters insurance as part your lease agreement.
All tenants should consider renters insurance - regardless of whether a landlord requires it - to protect their belongings, as well as liability if someone got hurt while visiting (think slip and fall).
Why Do I Need Car Insurance?
The main reason car insurance is required is because liability - meaning you pay for any property damage or injuries that you cause.
Auto insurance polices have for main coverages:
- Liability coverage is a single-limit and protects the insured against most auto-related lawsuits.
- Medical payments cover expenses incurred by an insured within three years after the date of an accident.
- Uninsured motorists coverage and underinsured motorists coverage must be offered in most states based on state mandate and may not be rejected in many states.
- Physical damage coverage is a single insuring agreement with both comprehensive and collision coverage.
If you cause an auto accident, you can be held responsible for the costs associated with it - if you are found at fault.
These can include legal fees, medical expenses or lost income or the injured person if their injuries prevent them from working. Liability coverage is what protects you if your hurt someone or damage someone else's property.
It also important to have coverage for your own car. For example, what if your car was stolen? Comprehensive coverage may pay replacement if your car is stolen or damaged by something other than a collision, such as falling objects or fire.
Collison coverage that helps pay to repair or replace your car if it's damaged in an accident.
Is Auto Insurance Required?
Most states require by law that you have certain minimum amounts of auto insurance to legally drive.
Also if you have car loan or lease, the bank or lender typically requires you have liability insurance - along with comprehensive and collision coverages to fix your own car if it is damaged.
What Are The State Minimums For Auto Insurance?
Following are the state-by-state minimum car insurance requirements:
|State||Minimum Required Auto Insurance Limits|
Types Of Personal Insurance Policies
|Individual Insurance Policy Type||What Is Covered?|
|Auto Insurance||What does auto insurance cover? It protects you from bodily injury and property damage you cause when driving, and also can pay to fix your car if damaged or stolen.|
|Homeowners Insurance||What does homeowners insurance cover? Home insurance protects you if people get hurt while at your house, or if your house or belongings inside are damaged.|
|Renters Insurance||What does renters insurance cover? Renters insurance protects your belongings in case of fire, theft, or damage. It also offers liability coverage if someone got hurt at your place.|
|Umbrella Insurance||What does umbrella insurance cover? Umbrella extends the limits of liability over home and auto insurance policies. Intended for individuals or families who have above-average incomes and have assets to protect.|
|Life Insurance||What does life insurance cover? All life insurance pays a 'death benefit' to your beneficiaries when you pass. Some life insurance has a 'cash value' that offers living benefits to the policy owner.|
|Disability Insurance||What does disability insurance cover? If you are physically unable to work, you lose your income, but your expenses remain the same. Disability insurance helps to pay expenses while you are disabled.|
Personal Insurance Company RatingsPersonal Insurer Ratings:
- Safeco Insurance
- Safeco Auto Insurance
- Safeco Condo Insurance
- Safeco Homeowners Insurance
- Safeco Landlord Insurance
- Safeco Renters Insurance
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