Why Should I Use an Insurance Broker?
- An insurance “broker” works for you, the buyer, and can obtain competitive pricing and coverage from multiple insurance companies. In contrast, an insurance “agent” works directly for only one company.
- Brokers are licensed and educated professionals who provide the advice you need to make the best choices.
- A brokerage like Incline Insurance can provide for all of your insurance needs, from auto and home to life and health to business and more.
- Brokers can often help you navigate the claims process and make your life less stressful.
Q. What is uninsured motorist coverage?
A. Uninsured motorist coverage protects you if you get into a collision with a person who has no insurance coverage.
Q. What is the difference between collision and comprehensive coverage?
A. Collision pays to repair or replace your car if it’s damaged in an accident with another vehicle or object. Comprehensive (a.k.a. Other Than Collision) pays to repair or replace your car for damages not caused by a collision (i.e. fire, theft, vandalism, etc.).
Q. Does my car insurance cover me when I rent a car?
A. Car insurance may cover you if you need to rent a car while yours is being repaired. However, you will most likely be subject to a deductible or a daily $ limit.
Q. How does “full glass” coverage work?
A. Full glass coverage adds glass breakage to your auto insurance policy and often needs to be purchased in conjunction with comp coverage.
Q. When do I file an auto insurance claim?
A. Sooner rather than later is always best. However, it is not required to file immediately. What is very important is to document the incident properly by:
- Exchanging insurance information with all parties involved
- Taking pictures and obtaining witness statements when possible
- Calling your insurance broker before filing the claim directly with the carrier
Q. Can I cancel my auto insurance policy anytime?
A. You can cancel any personal insurance policy (i.e. Auto, Home, Boat, etc) at any time without penalty in California.
Homeowners & Renters Policies
Q. What is renters insurance?
A. Renters insurance will protect your personal property in your residence and in many cases when you are away. For example, if your car got broken into and your computer gets stolen from your car, your renters (or homeowners) insurance will cover this, not your auto insurance.
Q. Do I need separate insurance for my “toys”?
A. Boats, RVs, Off Road Vehicles, etc. each require a separate insurance policy to be sure that you are adequately covered.
Q. How does “Actual Cash Value” (ACV) affect a homeowners (or renters) insurance claim?
A. ACV depreciates the original value of an insured item. For example, if you buy a new kitchen table and have a claim on it several years later, you will not get the full original amount paid for the table. Many policies come with replacement cost coverage which can reimburse you for the full amount of the item. This is an important topic to discuss with your broker when choosing a policy.
Personal Umbrella Policy
Q. What is an umbrella policy and why would I need one?
A. An umbrella policy provides an extra layer of liability coverage over and above your underlying insurance policies. It’s important to discuss with your agent if you have assets over a certain value that you want to protect; such as, jewelry, antiques, musical instruments etc. that are over and above the value of your general policy. It may also cover you for certain kinds of claims and lawsuits.
Q: What is the difference between term and whole life insurance?
A. Life insurance policies come in all shapes and sizes. We can try and simplify term vs. whole life insurance as renting a house vs. buying a home. Term has an expiration date while whole life lasts as long as you pay for it.
Q. What is the difference between general liability and professional liability?
A. General liability covers bodily injury and/or property damage to a 3rd party. For example, a woman walks into your restaurant and slips on a wet spot on the floor, breaks her hip, and sues your business for the medical damage. That’s general liability.
Professional liability protects your business from claims for bad advice or guidance. Any time you give a client or customer a professional opinion, advice, or guidance, you are opening yourself up to a professional liability claim.
Q. What is the Best Restaurant Insurance Program?
A. There are many different options out there. Some carriers rate on sales, square feet, or property. At Incline, we look at a variety of factors and needs to be sure that the total package is appropriate and cost-effective depending on your type of restaurant.
Q. Should my small business have business income insurance?
A. Business income coverage is not required by law but should be seriously considered. In the event your business cannot operate for a particular time due to a covered reason, the insurance company will reimburse you for specific time and/or amount- which could be the difference between being able to pay your rent and employees (or not) while the business is closed.
Q. Does my business need employment practices liability?
A. If your business has employees (full or part-time) it is vulnerable to an employment practice claim for sexual harassment and/or age, race, gender or ethnicity discrimination by any manager- or even other business employees. This ensures that your legal fees are covered if a claim is brought against you. This policy is also not required by law but should be considered in this highly litigious age.
Q. When do I need workers comp for my employees?
A. In California, you are required by law to carry workers comp as soon as you hire at least one employee.
Q. How does “pay-as-you-go” workers compensation programs help my business?
A. Pay-as-you-go workers comp allows businesses to pay premiums in direct proportion to their payroll. If a business has a lower payroll month then their premium will be lower. It is similar to taxes in the idea that it is “pay now” or “pay later.” Otherwise, you are estimating in advance and that can negatively impact your cash flow- especially if you underestimate and end up being fined.
Q. How are California workers compensation premiums calculated?
A. Workers comp premiums are calculated by a specific percentage or rate determined by the carrier and dependent on what type of business you have and the size of your payroll. For example, a general contractor will traditionally pay more than a restaurant based on historical factors that analyze accident and injury risk factors for your business, your area and your industry. If you have a net rate of 5.0, this would mean for every $100 of payroll you are paying $5.00 to the carrier. This can be multiplied out by the size of your payroll.