How Personal Property Insurance Protects Your Property

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If you are a homeowner, you probably have homeowner’s insurance. This type of insurance generally provides some coverage for your personal property. This coverage is only for the homeowner’s property — it does not cover real estate or property belonging to renters or roommates. If your personal property exceeds the value covered, or if you are a renter, you will need to purchase a personal property insurance policy. If you live in a condo, check out our blog post about condo insurance coverage.

What Does Personal Property Insurance Cover?

According to Insurance.com, most home insurance policies only offer coverage for 40-70% of the home’s insured value. What does a personal property insurance policy cover? Many of the items that you own including clothes, appliances, furniture, and home decor. If these items are damaged or stolen, the policy will reimburse policyholders the estimated cost to repair or replace the property.

But some of the property that you own may not be covered. This could include jewelry, artwork, firearms, pets, and collectibles. Insuring these high-value items will require the purchase of a scheduled endorsement. Many insurance companies will also ask for an appraisal of the items.

Making a Claim

If your property is damaged or stolen, then you will need to contact your insurance company to file a claim. The company may ask you to provide pictures as proof of the damages. Any receipts that you can provide as proof of purchase of your property should go to the company, as well.

When your insurance approves your claim, you will receive reimbursement according to the terms of your policy. The policy will either pay the actual cash value, which includes depreciation and pays out for the estimated current value of items, or replacement cost value. This provides the amount needed to replace the property and does not include depreciation.

How Do You Get Coverage?

When you need insurance coverage, you can contact a direct writer. These agents work directly for a prominent name insurance provider. You could also contact an independent agent. Independent agents can often offer better coverage prices because they will have several options for you to choose from. Also, they will be familiar with insurance needs in your area.

If you live in Massachusetts, Vargas & Vargas is here to help you find the policy that fits your needs. Vargas & Vargas Insurance is one of the premier local independent insurance agencies. We work for our clients and not the insurance company. We will customize your insurance coverage to your specific needs at the right price and are here to answer all of your insurance questions. Contact us today.

How Much Liability Insurance Do I Need to Buy?

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Homeowners are responsible for ensuring safety on their property. Consequently, you can be held accountable if someone is injured on your property because of unsafe hazards. This is why homeowners need liability insurance coverage

How Does Liability Insurance Coverage Work? 

Your homeowner’s insurance policy has a liability portion that provides coverage for accidents and damages associated with your property, family members, and pets. For example, a visitor may sue you for compensation if they are attacked and injured by your pet. Additionally, anyone can sue you if they slip and fall on your slippery pavement or sidewalk. 

Liability coverage can protect you from the resulting financial loss. To this end, a typical liability policy will cover the following expenses: 

  • The injured party’s medical expenses 
  • The cost of your legal defense 
  • Repair costs for the other party’s damaged property

Some policies cover a wider range of risks. Your policy’s coverage will depend on how much insurance you buy, as explained below. 

How Much Coverage Should You Get? 

Standard homeowner liability insurance policies cover up to $300,000 worth of injuries and property damages. However, this may not always be sufficient to cover all of the resulting expenses. Consequently, you may need to pay for the extra costs out-of-pocket, which can be financially crippling. 

Alternatively, you can increase your insurance coverage. For example, you can extend coverage to up to $500,000 by paying higher premiums. You can also buy an umbrella liability policy that will extend coverage to $1 million and more (up to $5 million). 

Final Thoughts on Liability Insurance

Vargas & Vargas Insurance is one of the premier local independent insurance agencies. We work for our clients and not the insurance company. Our team can customize your homeowner’s insurance coverage to meet your specific needs at the right price. 

We are here to answer all of your insurance questions. Contact us today to learn more. 

Car Insurance Terms, Part Two: Car Insurance Claims

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Understanding the basic language of your auto insurance policy is important. However, knowing your coverages and car insurance claims terminology is what really matters when your insurance suddenly becomes more than just another monthly bill. Learn more about these important terms:

Liability

Liability coverage has three distinct coverages under one heading. All of them protect the claimant in an accident. The first is the bodily injury liability per person. The amount of coverage shown is the maximum pay-out amount for injuries to any one claimant in an accident. 

Next is the bodily injury liability per accident. This amount is the maximum pay-out amount for bodily injury per accident, regardless of how many people receive injuries. 

Lastly, property damage liability is the maximum amount that will be paid out for damage to property (autos, buildings, etc.) per accident, regardless of how many vehicles you are held responsible for.

There is a maximum pay-out under your auto insurance. But you are still legally responsible for any remaining damages. That’s why it’s vitally important to discuss your coverage choices with your insurance agent. Maintaining state-required minimums does not release you from full responsibility to the claimant. 

Medical Payments

After car insurance claims, your policy may provide coverage for medical expenses to you and/or your passengers up to the limit listed. 

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

PIP coverage provides a little more extensive coverage when you receive injuries in an auto accident. This includes elements such as lost wages and other damages, regardless of who is at fault in the accident. 

Comprehensive

Sometimes referred to as “other than collision,” this is for covered damage to your vehicle that is not the result of a collision. Some examples include fire, theft, vandalism, glass breakage, and animals. Coverage is subject to your deductible.

Collision

When your vehicle collides with another object, whether it’s a vehicle, building, pothole, or something else, the damage falls under your collision coverage. It is also subject to your deductible. Comprehensive and collision coverages are required when your vehicle has a lien or leaseholder. It protects their interest in the vehicle until it is paid off. 

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured motorist coverage protects you when your vehicle is struck by a vehicle that does not have enough coverage, has no coverage at all, or commits a hit-and-run. It may include coverage for bodily injury, property damage, or both. The coverage amount limits the amount paid. 

Additional Coverage Options

Insurers offer a variety of additional coverages for your convenience, including emergency road service and car rental reimbursement. 

Claim

A claim is when an insured or claimant believes an insurance company should reimburse him or her for damages resulting from an event. 

Claimant

An individual who makes car insurance claims against another party (or their insurance company) is a claimant. 

At-Fault/No-Fault

Some states require that fault be assigned in an accident and that the responsible individual be held accountable for the entirety of the accident’s damages. But other states are no-fault. That means each vehicle owner’s insurance takes care of damages for their insured, regardless of fault. Massachusetts is a no-fault state.

Subrogation

Even in an at-fault state, it is common for the insurance of the not-at-fault party to pay for damages upfront. Then repairs can happen quickly. The insurance company will then subrogate, or pursue, the responsible party or their insurance for reimbursement of paid-out expenses. 

See the first part of our series on car insurance terms for more helpful auto insurance explanations.

Vargas & Vargas Insurance understands that insurance terminology can be confusing. That’s why, as a premier local independent insurance agency, we strive to build the relationships necessary to customize your insurance coverage to your needs at the right price. Contact us today.