Homeowner's insurance protects your investment in your home. It provides coverage for your residence, as well as your personal property and personal liability. The price you paid for your home is probably not the amount you will choose to insure it. What will it cost to rebuild your home? While there can be limitations for things such as jewelry, fine arts, etc., these items can most generally be scheduled to the policy for an additional premium. Do you have a home-based business? Our agents will discuss coverage options with you, to determine the best fit for your needs.
Renter’s insurance protects your personal property and provides liability coverage for those individuals who rent apartments or do not own their home. The landlord insures his property, not yours. It costs less than you think. An example of liability coverage would be if you are found negligent after fire in your apartment and the landlord seeks reimbursement for the damages to his building.
Golf Carts are no longer being used just on the golf course. There are many people that are using them as a means of transportation around the neighborhood, going to the store, etc. depending if the city regulations where they live allow this type of usage. Having the proper insurance is important. How you use your golf cart will determine how it needs to be insured. Our hometown agents can discuss the options available.
Personal Umbrella Insurance
If you are involved in a serious accident, do you have the finances available if you are sued? Unfortunately these days anyone can be sued and the limits on your personal insurance policy may not be enough. Purchase a personal umbrella policy for peace of mind.
An umbrella policy provides an additional layer of liability protection which sits over the top of your primary or underlying liability insurance (i.e., auto, home). This valuable umbrella protection picks up where your primary personal insurance policies leave off; expanding the liability coverage you many need in the event of a serious accident.
What An Umbrella Policy Is, and Why You Might Need It
Most Americans view auto insurance as necessary to protect against the costs of a car accident. Likewise, it’s common knowledge that homeowners insurance helps families rebuild their lives and homes. An “umbrella” policy is not as well known, but anyone who owns a home or any assets should consider buying it.
Umbrella liability insurance covers you in many situations if you are held responsible for bodily injury, property damage, or personal injury. The product got its name because it adds a higher level of protection above auto, homeowners and boat policies, which are “primary” policies. Umbrella coverage kicks in after primary insurance is exhausted. What’s more, an umbrella policy offers primary coverage for losses not covered by other insurance.
Typically, insurance agents sell an umbrella policy in conjunction with auto and homeowners coverage. You can usually add $1 million-plus of liability insurance for a few hundred dollars per year, and a multiple-policy discounts often can be had. One tactic insurance pros suggest: raise deductibles on auto and homeowners policies, and use the premium savings to pay for umbrella coverage.
What does primary insurance pay for? Liability insurance under auto and homeowners policies pays expenses (for example, an injured person’s medical care, rehabilitation and lost wages) because the policyholder was at fault through negligent actions. Liability coverage also pays for costs of defending against a claim or lawsuit.
It’s common for a driver, vehicle owner, homeowner, or boat operator/owner to be held responsible for someone else’s injuries, property damage, lost wage and/or expenses. An at-fault driver also can be held liable for personal injury (which is distinct from bodily injury), including psychological injury such as “pain and suffering.”
What does umbrella coverage do? The umbrella is a shield to protect an individual from having to tap into savings or sell assets to pay a judgment or claim. The umbrella policy keeps the hands of the claimant from the personal, family and business assets of the negligent person.
Intoxicated drivers leaving a party at your home, dog bites, and the neighbor kid falling off the trampoline– these incidents can cause financial losses. Even lending a friend a ski house or lake house for the weekend can create a claim. A tree in your yard that blows over in a storm and crushes the neighbor’s car is another example. A home-based business that requires visitors to come to your house may create a loss that’s excluded from homeowners coverage.
But all these incidents may cause bodily injury, personal injury and loss of wages. These losses might exceed (or be excluded from) primary insurance limits and coverages.
Who should consider an umbrella policy? Most homeowners should consider an umbrella, but especially those active in community affairs. Serving in civic, charitable, and religious organizations can lead to conflicts, claims, and even lawsuits. Even if a lawsuit is thrown out of court, you still must defend yourself. Umbrella liability coverage picks up these costs, whether or not a person is actually found to be liable. Defense costs generally are covered in addition to the liability limits of the umbrella policy.
Conversely, a person might face a damaging situation such as a false arrest or imprisonment, defamation, invasion of privacy, wrongful entry, eviction or malicious prosecution. Most will want to defend themselves, but will face legal and other costs to do so. Homeowners coverage won’t cover it; umbrella coverage can.
Driving without auto insurance is against the law in most states. Auto insurance not only can provide protection financially, but it is a social responsibility as well. We are able to provide coverage for most types of vehicles, and will visit with you to determine which limits, coverage options, and company can best meet your needs.
It is important to have the right level of coverage to protect yourself from large court awarded settlements for your auto liability. Want protection for your vehicle from hail, glass breakage and collision with animals as well as damage to your vehicle from a collision with another vehicle? Protect your investment in your newer vehicles with comprehensive and collision coverages.
Gregory’s professional agents can assist you by providing you with various options for deductibles. We are your local agent who is here to discuss your insurance needs and answer your questions.
Auto Safety Information
Please see information regarding Distracted Driving and other Auto Safety topics in our Information Center. Being a safe and accident free drive can save you money with lower insurance premiums.
Questions about Auto Insurance?
- April is Distracted Driving Month
Plan to Recognize April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month
Thousands die needlessly each year because people continue to use their cell phones while driving, handheld or hands-free. Join the National Safety Council this April in urging those you care about to:
- Stop using cell phones while driving
- Understand the dangers of the cognitive distraction to the brain
- Inform people who call you while driving that you'd be happy to continue the conversation once they have reached their destination
- Tell others about the dangers of cell phone distracted driving
See how you can get involved:Read more...
- First Car, First Insurance Question: Does My Teen Driver Need Their Own Policy?
How to insure a teenager’s car has got to be one of the most common questions Gregory's Insurance professionals get asked year after year. Should parents title and insure a teen driver’s car separately from other cars in the household? This is normally done with an eye to save some premium dollars and to reduce potential liability for the parents- at least on the surface. The reality is that insuring a teen driver’s car separately can actually open some pretty big gaps in coverage that a parent may still find they’re liable for. So here are a few things to consider when deciding whether your teen should have their own policy:
- 5 Things to Discuss with Your Teen Driver
Driving can open up new opportunities for teens but with those opportunities comes responsibility. It’s important for teens to understand those responsibilities and for parents to set appropriate expectations. With school starting shortly it’s a good time to sit down with your teen driver and have a discussion about your rules and expectations on how they use a car, whether they have their own or borrow yours. Here are five subjects you’ll want to cover with your teenager when it comes to driving.Read more...
- Care to Share? How Joining a Car or Bike Share Program Could Impact Your Insurance
Across the country car and bike share programs are gaining in popularity as a way to ease congested traffic patterns in urban areas while at the same time providing more flexible transportation alternatives to public transit. These programs are a great alternative for urban dwellers and college students who may not own a car or bike but occasionally need one to run errands, or to use as an alternate means of commuting.Read more...
- Rental Car Insurance: To Buy or Not to Buy?
As the holiday season approaches, millions of Americans will take to the roads to visit family and friends. Since many will make the trip in a rented car, it’s an appropriate time to discuss one of the most frequently asked questions of agents and brokers all over the country: “Should I buy the insurance from the rental car company?”Read more...
- Shopping Carts Woes
Could your car’s worst enemy be…a shopping cart? How could a motor-less, four-wheeled wannabe pose such a threat to a proper automobile? Believe it or not, one of the most common causes of body damage to a car is the dings and dents received by not-so-innocent buggies in the parking lots of your neighborhood grocery store. The question is: If your car is the next victim, how will your car insurance respond?Read more...
- Is a GPS Covered by an Auto Policy?
Some may view them as science fiction gone wild. Others see them as indispensable, possibly life-saving tools. Regardless of your feelings about Global Positioning Systems (GPS), they continue to occupy the dashboards of millions of U.S. vehicles each year. The pervasiveness and expense of the technology has drivers asking if their GPS systems are covered by auto insurance.Read more...
- Insurance: The One Question Everyone Asks
“Am I overpaying?” That’s a question that every consumer asks from time to time. Everyone is curious and concerned as to whether he or she is getting a good value for the money, whether it’s for a candy bar, a car or an airline ticketRead more...
For answers to these and other questions, please see Auto Insurance Guide from www.trustedchoice.com
Going for a ride on a hot summer day is just one of the many perks of owning a motorcycle. Insuring your motorcycle properly is a necessity. Just like wearing a helmet, protecting your investment just makes good sense. In addition to liability coverage, additional insurance can be added to the policy to cover physical damage to the motorcycles as well as custom parts, equipment and even roadside assistance.
Motocycle Information Links
Information on motorcycle licensing, law, safety and statistics from the
Nebraska Office of Highway Safety
Motorcycle training course information from the
Nebraska Safety Council
Motorcycle training course information from the National Safety Council at
Recreational Vehicles Insurance
Recreational Vehicle (RV) coverage is designed to protect your RV investment whether it is motorized, non-motorized or it is a pop-up trailer all the way up to the customized bus conversion. This policy will also help protect the items in your RV: such as clothing, computers, camera equipment, camping equipment, etc. Do you visit campgrounds? Liability insurance provides coverage in case someone is injured around your campsite.
ATVs - Although ATV’s are mainly used in an off road setting (hunting, trail riding, etc.), there are occasions that they will be driven on a public roadway. In this case, bodily injury and personal damage liability insurance is required. Your homeowners insurance may not cover you if you are off your residence premises. In addition to the liability coverage, comprehensive/collision coverage and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage may be added to your policy.
Do you plan to rent a sailboat, houseboat, jet skis or other watercraft? Unfortunately, homeowners insurance provides minimal IF ANY coverage depending on your policy.
There is nothing better on a hot summer day than playing in the water. However, being in a boat or personal watercraft (PWC) does not exclude you from liability. Watercraft insurance is every bit as important as insurance for your auto and home. Besides loss replacement and liability on a boat or PWC, additional coverage for personal effects, fishing equipment, emergency towing, labor, property damage liability (fuel spill cleanups), etc can also be added to the policy. Watercraft policies will generally provide additional coverage that is not available with a homeowner policy.
Boat Insurance Q&A
Q. What types of boats can be insured?
You can purchase insurance for any boat from a jet ski to a mega-yacht to a high performance boat.
Q. What states have mandatory boat coverage?
Boat insurance is not required by law in most states. But it is in some. For example, in South Carolina, liability insurance or a bond is required. Check with your state department of motor vehicles.
Q. If my state doesn’t require it, why should I get boat insurance?
If you’ve financed your boat, your lender will require it. Plus, it makes good sense to insure an enjoyable investment.
Q. How much insurance do I need for my boat?
You’ll want to use the market value or purchase price as the insured value of your boat. Standard liability limits are $100,000, $300,00, $500,00 and $1,000,000.
Q. How much does boat insurance cost?
Boat insurance premiums are impacted by the cost of the boat, its size, the use of the boat and many other factors. The prices are as varied as boats! Gregory’s hometown agents can discuss the various insurance options available and give you a custom quote.
Q. How can I reduce my premiums?
Most insurance companies offer discounts if you’ve successfully completed an approved safe boating course. These courses are provided by the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Power Squadron and others.
Q. What’s covered on a boat insurance policy?
The three main coverages are bodily injury liability, property damage liability and physical damage. There are also several optional coverages including towing, medical payments, and personal effects.
Q. Who can drive my boat?
Usually anyone you give permission to can operate your boat. Some policies exclude persons under the age of 16.Further Questions
For further answers contact your Gregory's Insurance professional for more information.
Do you need Flood Insurance? Flood insurance is not included in a homeowners or renter insurance policy, and not everyone is required to carry it. If you are located in a flood zone and have a mortgage with a federally regulated institution, you will most likely be required to carry flood insurance. However, you do not need to live in a flood zone to obtain coverage. In most instances, there is a 30 day waiting period before coverage begins. Flood insurance is available through a program backed by the federal government.
Flood Insurance: What It’s All About
Just three years ago, Hurricane Katrina pounded the Gulf coast of the United States, wiping out more than 250,000 homes.
That massive storm painfully brought to public awareness the fact that flood damage is not covered by homeowners insurance.
Many consumers were unaware that, even though their homes were ruined in the hurricane, they were not insured since they lacked flood insurance. Insurance against flooding (rising water) is different from insurance against driven rain or leakage, which often are covered. Since that time, tens of thousands of Americans have purchased flood insurance for the first time.
Three perils—fire, lightning and windstorm—are traditionally covered by homeowners property insurance. Flooding is excluded from homeowners coverage, as floods tend to be catastrophic in nature causing widespread damage in a geographic area. Private insurers are not able to absorb all that risk.
Hurricanes get a lot of attention, but big storms are not the only cause of floods, nor are floods limited to coastlines. In fact, flooding is the nation’s most common and frequent natural disaster, according to federal officials.
Flood insurance first came about after the federal government was called upon to bail out communities. As the nation grew after World War II, flood-damaged communities turned to the federal government for disaster relief and rebuilding assistance. In the 1960s, Congress sought a more proactive system, and in 1968 created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
This community-based insurance mechanism requires municipalities to adopt and enforce flood-abatement measures. In order to join the NFIP, it must adopt a program of corrective and preventive measures for reducing future flood damage (including zoning and building requirements). Flood insurance is available only to consumers in communities that have joined the NFIP.
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It provides flood coverage to homeowners and renters as well as commercial building owners. Coverage is provided through Trusted Choice® independent agents as well as through other insurance agents.
Flood insurance may not just be desirable for homeowners, it may be required. For example, mortgage lenders are legally bound to require consumers buying a house in a high-risk flood zone to have flood insurance.
Consumers owning or renting property in low- or moderate-risk flood areas can buy flood insurance, and may be eligible for a lower-cost preferred risk flood policy.
Flood insurance protects against losses to buildings and contents (not the property on which they sit). Coverage is in effect whether flooding results from heavy rains, storm surge on the coast, melting of snow, blocked storm drainage systems, levee or dam failure, or other causes. Waters must cover at least two acres or affect at least two properties to be considered a flood for insurance purposes.
Residential flood insurance provides as much as $250,000 of coverage for dwellings for 1-4 families, and as much as $100,000 for contents. Commercial property owners can get up to $500,000 of insurance for the building and the same amount for contents. Condominiums also can be insured.
Unlike homeowners insurance, flood insurance has a waiting period. The NFIP sets a standard 30-day waiting period before flood coverage goes into effect (except for lender-required flood insurance, if more insurance is required because of a flood map revision, or if existing coverage is being increased upon renewal).
A Gregory's Insurance professional can help you sort out whether you need coverage, what type to apply for, and what to get.