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Insurance 101

Insurance 101

What is a personal umbrella liability policy?

The personal umbrella liability policy is designed to increase your liability protection. This single policy acts as an "umbrella" over all of your other personal liability policies — home, car, boat, RV, etc., so you have a higher personal liability limit, than what would otherwise be available. In certain circumstances, an umbrella insurance policy may provide personal liability coverage that is otherwise excluded from your other policies. For example, an umbrella insurance policy provides coverage anywhere in the world, whereas your car insurance policy usually provides coverage in only the US and Canada.

How do I know if I need a personal umbrella liability policy? 

It used to be that the only people who needed personal umbrella liability policies were wealthy individuals, who had sizable amounts of personal assets that would be at risk in a lawsuit. However, in our very litigious society, even individuals with modest incomes and assets are often subjects of large lawsuits. Since those with modest incomes are even less able to pay damages than a wealthy individual, AZ Insurance Team recognizes the need to provide coverage limits greater than what can be obtained from their homeowner insurance or car insurance policies.

What are the advantages to using an agent to purchase insurance?

By using an independent agent such as AZ Insurance Team, the policyholder receives more personalized service. Having direct contact with AZ Insurance Team can be very important when purchasing insurance, and absolutely necessary when filing a claim. AZ Insurance Team is able to deliver quality insurance in Arizona and California with competitive pricing and local, customized service.

When to file a claim and when not to file a claim….that is the question

Homeowners insurance is there to cover an owner when large loss occurs. Insurance is not meant to cover an owner from small damage or normal wear and tear. The real question is when should a homeowners claim be filed? There are several factors that need to be looked at to see if filing a claim will harm or help the policy holder.

The first thing that should be looked is the amount of loss vs. the deductible. If the repair is cheaper than the deductible a claim should not be filed. AZ Insurance Team always tells our clients to have someone come out and look at it before a claim is filed. Once you have a claim on your record the premium will increase by about 30% for 3 years. Also, the more claims that are filed the worse the premium will be and generally companies will only take homeowners with 2 or less claims in the past 3 years. If you file more than a couple of claims within 3 years you could be looking at a premium in the thousands.

The second thing to look at is the cause of loss. Your homeowner’s policy has limits on what types of loss it will payout for.

• One thing that is never covered is flood. Flood insurance is a program setup and ran by the FEMA.

• When a house has been vacant for more than 60 days and is not on a vacant policy nothing will be covered.

• Some policies do not cover sewer backup where as others do.

An agent who is proactive will ask the right questions to make sure the policy meets the needs of their clients. However if the needs of the client does change they should have regular contact with their agent.  AZ Insurance Team will reach out to our clients a couple times a year to make sure their needs have not changed.

Bottom line, when thinking about filing a claim you should contact AZ Insurance Team not the 1-800 number for customer service. If you call customer service and say you want to file a claim there is no way to remove it even if they do not pay out and your rates will increase. AZ Insurance Team will help to consult you and make sure you made the right decision.

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