Answers to Common Questions

What are the advantages to using an agent to purchase insurance?

By using an agent to purchase insurance, the policyholder receives more personal service. Direct contact with an agent can be vital when purchasing a product, and absolutely necessary when filing a claim. A local, independent agent is able to deliver quality insurance with competitive pricing and local personalized service.

Where can I take a defensive driving class and how does it affect my insurance premium?

The National Safety council offers classes throughout the county, two contacts we have are:
SUNY Ulster (845) 339-2025
Ulster Greene ARC (845) 338-6210 Ext 593 or 594
Online Course: www.NewYorkSafetyCouncil.com
Advanced registration is required, and the course normally costs approximately $45. For more specific information please call either of the above.
The course will give a 10% discount to auto liability, no fault and collision premiums. The course will also reduce motor vehicle driving points by 4.

How do I remove a vehicle from my policy?

License plates need to be surrendered to the DMV; they charge a $1 fee. The DMV will then issue an FS-6 plate surrender receipt. We will need a copy of this receipt to process the change to your policy. The insurance company will honor the vehicle deletion effective the date shown on the FS-6 receipt.

Does my insurance go up if I install a woodstove or pool?

There is a woodstove surcharge, but only with certain homeowners carriers. Not all carriers surcharge, but they do require a woodstove questionnaire be completed for their records, and in some cases they will ask for a photo.

There is no surcharge for a pool; however, the insurance company normally requires that the pool area is fenced and locked. As with woodstoves, they may ask for a photo of the pool. If it is an inground pool, there are underwriting stipulations regarding slides and diving boards, as these present an additional liability exposure. Our CSRs will be able to give you additional information relating to specific insurance carriers and what their requirements/charges are.

Is my girlfriend/boyfriend covered if they borrow my car?

If the vehicle is being used with the insured’s permission, yes, they are covered. If the person is a regular operator of the vehicle, they should be listed on your auto policy as a driver. It is important to disclose all regular operators of the vehicle, and all household members who have access to the vehicle. Other members of the household may have their own insurance and therefore would not need to be rated on your policy.

Does my homeowner’s policy cover flood damage?

NO. A separate flood policy is required for damage caused by ground water. A good website for consumers to visit for additional flood insurance information is: www.floodsmart.gov

Where can I go to get photos taken for CARCO for a new vehicle?

You can come to our agency at 100 Ulster Ave in Saugerties, NY, or you can go onto our resources page and look at the CARCO website.

What are some practical things I can do to lower my automobile insurance rates?

There are a number of things you can do to lower the cost of your automobile insurance. The easiest thing to do is ask us to get quotes from several companies for you. It is not uncommon to find quotes on automobile insurance that can vary by hundreds of dollars for the same coverage on the same car. When you shop, be careful to make sure each insurer is offering the same coverage. Another way to lower the cost of your automobile insurance is to look for any discounts for which you may qualify. For example, many insurers will offer you a discount if you insure multiple cars under the same policy, or if you have had a driver education class in the last five years. Be sure to ask us about their discount plans. Another easy way to lower the cost of your automobile insurance is to increase the deductible. Simply raising your deductible from $250 to $500 can lower your premium sometimes by as much as five or ten percent.

What does homeowners insurance cover?

The typical homeowner’s 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.

Why would I want to buy renters insurance?

If you live in an apartment or a rented house, renters insurance provides important coverage for both you and your possessions. A standard renter’s policy protects your personal property in many cases of theft or damage and may pay for temporary living expenses if your rental is damaged. It can also shield you from personal liability. Anyone who leases a house or apartment should consider this type of coverage.

How does a renter’s policy protect my personal property?

A renter’s policy provides named perils coverage. This means that the policy only pays when your property is damaged or destroyed by any of the ways specifically described in the policy. These usually include:

Fire or lightning
Windstorm or hail
Explosions
Riots
Aircraft
Vehicles
Smoke
Vandalism or malicious mischief
Theft
Falling objects
Weight of ice, snow, or sleet
Accidental discharge or overflow of water or steam
Freezing
Sudden and accidental damage from artificially generated electrical current
Volcanic eruptions (but this doesn’t include earthquake or tremors)

Renter’s coverage applies to your personal property no matter where you are in the world. This means you’re covered when you are on vacation as well as at home.

What is a personal umbrella liability policy?

The personal umbrella liability policy is designed to increase your liability protection. This single policy acts as an “umbrella” over all of your other personal liability policies — home, auto, boat, RV, etc. — so you have a higher personal liability limit than what would otherwise be available. In certain circumstances, an umbrella policy may provide personal liability coverage that is otherwise excluded from your other policies. For example, an umbrella policy provides coverage anywhere in the world, whereas your auto policy usually provides coverage in the US and Canada only.

What is business insurance?

The term “Business Insurance” refers to a wide variety of insurance coverages that can reduce, mitigate or compensate for exposure to risk for the business or its employees. It also includes coverage mandated by law such as unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, Social Security, and (in some states) state disability.

What kinds of insurance does my new business need?

The risk assessment process is the basis for determining what insurance you need. Many insurance companies provide a wide variety of business property and casualty coverages. These can be underwritten individually and tailored to your specific business.

Do I need liability insurance?

Basic liability coverages, like those provided in business owners’ policies, may be adequate in many cases – but if you are in a business or profession where there is an especially high risk of lawsuits (some branches of medicine, for example) you may need extra protection.

What about workers’ compensation?

Most businesses with employees will need to purchase workers’ compensation coverage. While details vary from state to state, there are generally requirements mandated by state law. You can refer to the New York State Workers Compensation Board website at www.wcb.state.ny.us or call their customer service toll free number at 877-632-4996. They will be able to help assist you in understanding your obligation with regards to workers compensation.

What is a business owner’s policy (BOP)?

A Business Owner’s Policy offers low premiums and a minimum of hassle, since the coverages are prepackaged; however, the lack of flexibility may be a problem for business owners who want different options or higher maximum coverage.

A BOP does not cover every type of risk you might need to insure, so you may need additional types of coverage. Some examples would include Fleet insurance for the automobiles you own, additional coverages for the specific risks faced by businesses in your industry, and workers’ compensation or employee benefits.

What basics do I need to understand about life insurance?

The basic types of life insurance policies are term insurance policies and cash value policies, also known as permanent insurance. Term insurance is for a limited time and tends to have lower premiums. Term policies can be renewable or non-renewable. Shorter terms (1 year or 5 years) tend to have lower premiums than those policies with longer terms (10 years or 25 years). As with your personal life insurance, term policies are often used to cover a loan or mortgage. Cash value plans are often used for business agreements where the death of the insured person would trigger a need for cash and where the need is likely to be ongoing during the life of the insured person. The cash value of the policy can also be borrowed against for business needs at the loan rate specified in the policy.

In a personal policy, the owner (the one who controls such aspects as the beneficiary designation and the disposition of the policy) is usually the person who is insured. For business life insurance policies the ownership could be other individuals or the business itself, depending upon how the policy is being used in the business and what legal documents have been executed.

Who do I call if my policy is set to cancel and the agency is closed?

You can either call the company directly to report or make a payment. Check your policy declaration packet for billing contact information. Some carriers accept payments online – again, refer to your policy declaration packet for billing contact information. If you cannot locate that number in your policy declaration packet, you can go to our commercial contact tab on our website and locate your carrier and contact phone number.

Who do I call if I have a claim and the agency is not open yet or it is after hours?

You can call the company directly to report the claim; see your policy for the claims phone number. If you cannot locate that number on policy declaration packet, you can go to our commercial contact tab on our website and locate your carrier and claims phone number.

How can I obtain an insurance quote?

There are several ways to obtain and insurance quote from our agency. You can call directly to the agency during operating hours, and speak to a representative who will take your information over the phone to begin the quoting process. Another option is to submit your request for a quote through our website. An agency representative will contact you the next business day.

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