Have you ever locked your keys in your car? This can be a very frustrating experience – especially if your car is still running!
With some newer vehicles, you may have a safeguard built in to keep this from happening. But with many automobiles, this is still a problem that can happen all too easily. It’s such a helpless feeling isn’t it? You’re standing right there so close to your keys and yet so far away!
This actually happened to me a few months ago in Xenia, Ohio. Before I realized it, I locked my car door only to discover that my keys were still inside the car. What was I going to do now?
Fortunately, I was able to call Farmers HelpPoint at 800-435-7764. (I keep this number in my cell phone for emergencies and I still had my cell phone with me.) I knew that my auto insurance coverage with Farmers included towing & roadside assistance. I knew that I was just a phone call away from someone who could help me. I reported the situation to the friendly person at HelpPoint and within 20 minutes they had someone there to assist me.
The roadside assistance specialist pulled out a special tool and was able to open my car door in practically no time at all. I was so relieved! And the cost for this service was billed directly to Farmers so I had no additional charges to pay.
Does your current auto insurance policy include this kind of service? If it doesn’t – or you’re not sure- call our office today at 937-848-6840 and we’ll be glad to set it up for you.
You may have a business insurance policy, but does it fully protect you for many of these common claims that often occur?
ARE YOU COVERED…WHEN THE POWER GOES OUT IN YOUR AREA?
Off-site power failure can be devastating for any business. In this day and age, it’s almost impossible to operate without electricity. If you are unable to continue operations due to a power outage off premises, will you be compensated for loss of business income?
ARE YOU COVERED…FOR CLAIMS DUE TO EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES?
Claims against a business owner from current, former, or even prospective employees are becoming more and more common today. Not only are they extremely frustrating, they can be quite costly to defend. Will your policy protect you if you are sued for any of the following accusations?
Failure to hire
ARE YOU COVERED…FOR LOSS OF BUSINESS INCOME?
If you experience a covered claim and your business is shut down for a period of time, will you be compensated for the income you would have received during that time? It would be very difficult for most businesses to remain viable without any income coming in. Will your policy reimburse you for your loss of business income…and how long will your coverage last?
ARE YOU COVERED…FOR LOSS OF BUSINESS INCOME IMMEDIATELY?
If you experience a covered claim and your business is shut down for a period of time, will you be compensated for the income you would have received during that time right away? If your policy provides coverage, does it have a “waiting period” before this coverage begins? If so, how long can you go without any business income before it impacts your ability to stay in business?
ARE YOU COVERED…FOR THE FULL VALUE OF YOUR CONTENTS?
If the contents, supplies and equipment that you use to operate your business are damaged or destroyed by a covered claim, will you have the protection that you need? Is the amount of your coverage adequate? And if it is, does your policy provide “replacement cost” protection?
ARE YOU COVERED…FOR ADDITIONAL LOSSES DURING BUSY SEASON?
Most business insurance policies provide an established limit for contents coverage. But what if a claim occurs during your prime season when your inventory is higher than usual? Does your policy provide additional coverage if your loss exceeds the amount of contents coverage during your busy season?
ARE YOU COVERED…FOR REBUILDING YOUR BUILDING?
If you own your building, do you have enough coverage to rebuild the entire structure in the event of a total loss? Many business policies provide only a limited amount that may not be enough to rebuild and may leave you hanging in the event of a partial loss. Make sure that your policy provides enough protection to rebuild and repair your valuable property.
ARE YOU COVERED…FOR CLAIMS OUTSIDE YOUR PROPERTY?
If someone is injured outside your business premises but nearby, will you be covered? Some commercial policies limit your protection only to events that occur on your premises, but you could be held liable for claims beyond your boundary. It’s important to know where your coverage begins and ends.
ARE YOU COVERED…FOR ACCOUNTS NOT RECEIVED?
Are you covered for the loss of accounts receivable? Suppose you were working on a project for a client that was not yet completed when a loss occurs. Would your policy pay you the amount you would have received had the job been completed? In some cases, this could add up to a substantial amount of money.
10.ARE YOU COVERED…FOR THE LOSS OF A PARTNER OR KEY EMPLOYEE?
If you depend on a partner or a key employee, are you protected in case something happens to that person? If they were no longer able to work with you, how would this impact your ability to continue operating your business? Many businesses cannot survive the loss of a partner or key employee. It’s important to plan for this contingency and protect your most important asset.
BONUS HOLES FOR RESTAURANTS
If you own or operate a restaurant, there are additional holes to watch for in your business coverage. See if your policy protects you in case of the following:
SPOILAGE – Are you covered if your food spoils due to a power outage or other covered claim? If you are covered, what is the limit on your policy? Is it enough to adequately protect you?
EQUIPMENT BREAKDOWN – Are you covered for vital equipment that may break down? It doesn’t even have to be a fire or other claim. If the equipment you are counting on every day goes out, what will you do? You need to be protected in case this occurs.
CONTAMINATION SHUT DOWN – Are you covered if the health department shuts down your restaurant due to a concern regarding contamination? Will your policy provide “loss of business income” if this happens? If you have to close your restaurant for an extended period of time, this could be quite costly.
FOOD-BORNE ILLNESS – Are you covered if your amount of business is diminished due to negative media-reporting about items on your menu? Suppose that the number of people coming to your restaurant is down because something on your menu has received negative publicity, will your policy provide “loss of business income” in the event that this occurs?
Sometimes we get the strangest calls at our insurance office in Bellbrook, Ohio. Last week we received a call from a policyholder with a unique problem. As he was pulling his car into his attached garage, somehow the car got away from him and rammed straight through the garage into the family room wall. He was calling to report damage to his car and to his house!
If this happened to you, would you be covered? And how would your insurance handle this? Do you think this would be considered one insurance claim – or two?
Fortunately, our client had all of his insurance with one company, Farmers. This simplified things a little bit. He only had one phone call to make to report what happened. He knew that his auto policy would cover the damage to his car (since he carried collision coverage), but what about the damage to his house? He wanted to know if his auto policy would also pay for the repairs needed to the wall of his home.
The helpful person at Farmers HelpPoint let him know that the damage to his home would need to be covered under his homeowner’s policy rather than his auto insurance policy. Our client called me to confirm this, and I explained that you cannot be liable under your auto policy for damage to your own property. If he had inadvertently driven his car into his neighbor’s house, this would be covered under his auto policy, but since it was his own home, the expense for repairing his house would come under his homeowner’s policy.
The repairs are already underway, and everything should be back to normal soon. Thankfully, no one was injured from this bizarre incident. It gave me a chance to meet with our client and review his insurance policies to make sure everthing was up to date. Now he can rest assured knowing that Farmers is doing everything possible to get him back where he belongs.
During the holidays, we often like to decorate our homes with Christmas Reindeer, but this can be a dangerous time to watch out for real deer. Just this week at our office in Bellbrook, Ohio we’ve received 3 calls from clients who’ve had collisions involving deer. This frightening experience can result in significant damage to your vehicle and even serious injury to yourself and others.
One question often asked is, “Will this count as an accident on my record?” Fortunately, when you hit a deer…we actually blame it on the deer. In other words, you didn’t hit the deer . . . the deer hit you!
So a deer accident doesn’t count as a “collision” claim; it counts as a “comprehensive” claim. That’s good news because comp claims do not cause an increase in your insurance premium. Plus, you may have a lower deductible for comprehensive damage. If you have our “Glass” coverage, and your windshield is damaged, your deductible will be even lower.
So be careful – especially when driving on country roads near wooded areas. Watch out for those real deer – they’re a lot more dangerous than the reindeer!
When you call to place insurance on a vehicle you recently obtained, have you ever said, “I want full coverage on this?” Every day at our office in Bellbrook, Ohio we receive calls for new auto insurance and sometimes we ask the question, “Do you need full coverage?” Most people understand this to mean, “Do you want to protect your car in case it’s damaged in a claim or do you only need to protect other cars that are damaged and other drivers or passengers who are injured?” But it’s really much more than that.
Full Coverage can actually mean a number of different things. All auto insurance policies must carry some level of liability protection for other cars and other persons. Most policies also include UM/UIM and Medical (see below). From there, you can add additional features like Comprehensive, Collision, Towing, and Rental Reimbursement to create a package that is often referred to as “Full Coverage.”
Of course, even within these various coverage areas there are certain limits. Liability, uninsured motorist, and medical all have dollar limitations. They will provide coverage up to a certain amount stated in your policy. Towing coverage may have a dollar limit or a distance limit. Rental coverage usually has a per-day limit and a maximum number of days where coverage is provided. Comprehensive and Collision coverages usually come with a certain deductible to be applied in case of a claim.
Most of us are familiar with the concept of a deductible. If I have an accident where I am at fault, and I have a collision deductible of $500, then that’s the amount I will need to pay and my insurance will cover the rest. (If the driver of the other car was at fault, then I should not have to pay a deductible.) The same holds true with a deductible for a comprehensive claim.
Many people in Bellbrook, Ohio ask what is a comprehensive claim? Basically, it’s damage to your car resulting from something other than your actions or another driver’s actions. If your vehicle is damaged or destroyed by fire, storm, theft, or vandalism it’s considered a comprehensive claim. (If a deer or other animal collides with your car while you are driving, this is also considered a comprehensive claim. See our post on “What If…I hit a deer?”)
Sometimes we hear the response, “No, I don’t want full coverage; I only need liability for this vehicle.” That’s often the case if the car to be insured is over 10 years old and valued at less than $2,000. However, this is not a very accurate way to describe the coverage needed for older vehicles. You usually need more than just liability coverage.
Even with an older vehicle, you should still consider carrying “Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist” protection. This provides coverage in case you or your passengers are injured in an accident where the other driver is at fault and does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance. You can also include “Uninsured Motorist Property Damage” if you do not carry collision coverage. This will provide a limited amount of coverage to repair your vehicle if the other driver is at fault and is uninsured. You may want to still keep comprehensive coverage in case you experience hail damage or some other calamity that is out of your control.
Then there’s “Medical Pay” coverage for you or your passengers to provide reimbursement for medical expenses even if you are the one at fault in an accident. And don’t forget to add “Towing and Roadside Assistance”. With Farmers HelpPoint, you are just a phone call away from someone coming out to charge your battery, bring fuel if you run out of gas, change a flat tire, get your keys out of your locked car, or tow your vehicle to a safe place for repairs.
When our clients request Full Coverage we try to clarify whether they need to include Rental Reimbursement. This coverage provides for a rental car while your vehicle is in the body shop for repairs due to a claim. Farmers Insurance offers a unique coverage that goes beyond simply reimbursing the cost of a rental car. It’s called “Loss of Use” protection and it provides either $25 per day or $50 per day paid directly to you when your car is in the shop due to a claim (the amount per day depends on the coverage you select with your policy). The great thing is, this money is yours even if you don’t need a rental car! Now that’s a tremendous value!
Finally, what if your car is totaled? If I have Full Coverage does that mean my car will be replaced? Not necessarily. There’s a rather complicated formula for determining the current value of your car. (See our post on WHAT IF…my car is totaled?) However, if you purchase a brand new car, you can add “New Car Replacement” coverage to your policy. This will guarantee the replacement of your car with a brand new model if yours is totaled within the first two years.
So…how “full” is Full Coverage? It all depends on what you select when you start your auto insurance policy. Ask for more details the next time you meet with us here at the Greg Davis Agency in Bellbrook, Ohio.
Here in Ohio, it’s starting to look and feel like Winter. We haven’t had any significant snow yet, but the temperature has been around the freezing point. This is a good time to make sure your home is protected from the potential dangers of an ice dam building up on your roof.
Take a look at this video produced by Farmers that provides some valuable ideas on how to deal with this winter time hazzard.
Greg Davis started his Farmers Insurance Agency in 2007. The office is located in Bellbrook, Ohio in the Sugarcreek Eye Health building. Greg’s wife, Elizabeth came to work as the Office Manager in 2009. Their children, Nicodemus, Emily, and Zachariah help out from time to time by distributing flyers and raising money for the annual March of Dimes effort. It really is a “family affair.”
Carlos Scarpero AKA "Mr. Leads" is an internet marketing consultant. who provides internet marketing, SEO, LinkedIn training and much more to business owners throughout the Dayton metro region. He can be reached at www.Mr-Leads.com.
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