FAQs

Auto

What are the different types of coverage?

  1. Bodily Injury Liability: when your car injures or kills pedestrians or persons riding in other cars or guests in your car.
  2. Medical Payments: treatment of injuries to the driver and passengers of your car.
  3. Property Damage Liability: when your car damages the property of others
  4. Collision: Damage as a result of colliding with a vehicle or other object, or as a result of turning over.
  5. Comprehensive: Damage to your car not involving collision with another car.
  6. Uninsured Motorists Coverage: bodily injuries for which an uninsured motorist or a hit-and-run driver is legally liable.

Under Wisconsin law, when are you required to report an accident?

  1. If there is an injury or death
  2. there is $200 or more damage to government property
  3. There is $1000 or more damage to any one person’s property

You must report a reportable accident as soon as possible to local police, county traffic patrol, sheriff or the Wisconsin State Patrol. You must also file a Driver’s Report of Accident within 10 days with the Division of Motor Vehicles in Madison.

My child has left home for college. Do I still include them on my policy?

Yes. Insurance companies know that when college students come home for vacations or breaks, they have access to the family car. The company may reduce the premiums if the college is more than a specific distance from your home.

How is my insurance rate determined?

Auto insurance rates are based mainly on the dollar amount of claims paid out by insurance companies. The more insured accidents people have, the more claims insurance companies must pay. The more dollars paid in claims, the higher the cost of your auto insurance.

Can my credit score affect the cost of my auto insurance policy?

Yes. Factors that can affect your insurance coverage also include:

  1. Driving Record
  2. Any installed anti-theft devices
  3. Your location (urban areas have more claims than rural areas)
  4. Gender and age (males have more accidents)
  5. Marital Status
  6. Prior insurance coverage (if you have been cancelled for non-payment of premiums)
  7. Vehicle Use (higher mileage leads to higher risk for a claim)
  8. Make and Model of your vehicle

Who pays for the rental car while my car is in the body shop?

When the claim is against the other driver’s company, the other driver’s company should pay your rental car cost. If the car is totaled, many companies pay for your rental as a courtesy, but they are not required to. When it’s a claim against your own policy, your company will pay if you paid a premium to include rental reimbursement coverage.

If personal items get stolen from my car, what insurance covers the loss?

Homeowners/Renter’s insurance.

Homeowners

What is included in most homeowner policies?

The house, garage and other structures on the property, as well as personal possessions inside the house such as furniture, appliances, clothing. Homeowners also covers additional living expenses, which covers the cost of living elsewhere while the house is being restored after a disaster. The liability portion of the policy covers accidental injuries such as a guest slipping down unmaintained stairs.

What is excluded from most homeowner policies?

  1. Loss or damage caused by flood
  2. Water that backs up through sewers or drains
  3. Earth movement
  4. Nuclear Damage
  5. War

Our sump pump failed and the insurance company is denying our claim. How can they do this?

Standard policies don’t cover sewage backup or sump pump overflow.If the coverage is on the policy, it’s minimal. If you have a finished basement, it’s essential to buy sewer and sump pump overflow coverage. $10,000 of coverage costs about $65 per year, depending on the carrier.

If I don't own a home, do I need homeowner's insurance?

Even if you rent, you need insurance to protect your furniture and other personal property. Everyone needs protection against liability for accidents that injure others or cause damage to their property.

What affects the cost of homeowners insurance?

  1. Type of construction
  2. Age of house
  3. Local fire protection (distance from fire hydrant and quality of local fire department)
  4. Amount of coverage
  5. Deductible amount
  6. Discounts (you may apply for discounts if you insure car and home with the same company or if you install deadbolt locks or alarm systems.

What is the most important exclusion from my homeowner's policy?

Flood insurance is one of the most major exclusions. If you live in a flood-prone community, it’s not worth going without the coverage.

Life

How much life insurance do I need?

When buying life insurance, consider these questions:

  1. How much of the family income do I provide?
  2. If I were to die, how would my children/spouse get by?
  3. Does anyone else depend on me financially (parent, grandparent, sibling)?
  4. Do I want to set aside money for education for my children in case I die?
  5. Do I have family or an organization with whom I would like to leave money?
  6. Will there be estate taxes to pay after my death?

What do I get when I buy term insurance?

You have bought the company’s guarantee that if you die during the term of the policy, it will pay a death benefit to your beneficiary.

Business

Do I need a commercial auto insurance policy?

That depends on the kind of driving you do. It depends on how you use vehicles in your business, who will be driving them, and whether employees are likely to be driving their own cars for your business.

What if I use the same vehicle for both business and pleasure?

If the vehicle is owned by the business, make sure the name of the business appear on the policy as the “principal insured” rather than your name. This will avoid confusion if you need to file a claim or if a claim is filed against you.

Do I need professional liability insurance?

If you operate your own business, you need professional liability insurance in addition to an in-home business or businessowners policy. This protects you against financial losses from lawsuits filed against you. When liability is limited to acts of negligence, professional insurance may be called “errors and omissions” liability.

What is employment practices liability insurance (EPLI)?

This covers damages for which an employer is legally liable for violating an employee’s civil or other legal rights. This coverage can be added as an endorsement to the Businessowners Policy (BOP). Some companies offer EPLI as a stand-alone coverage. EPLI provides protection against:

  1. Sexual harassment
  2. Discrimination
  3. Wrongful termination
  4. Breach of employment contract
  5. Negligent evaluation
  6. Failure to employ or promote
  7. Wrongful discipline
  8. Deprivation of career opportunity
  9. Wrongful infliction of emotional distress
  10. Mismanagement of employee benefit plans

What coverages does a small business need?

Most small business need to purchase Property, Liability, Business Auto, and Workers Compensation insurance.

Are there any disasters my property insurance won't cover?

Yes. Flood, earthquakes and acts of terrorism are generally not covered.