Auto insurance protects you against financial loss if you have an
accident. It is a contract between you and the insurance company.
You agree to pay the premium and the insurance company agrees to
pay your losses as defined in your policy.
Auto insurance provides property, liability and
- Property coverage pays for damage to or theft
of your car.
- Liability coverage pays for your legal responsibility
to others for bodily injury or property damage.
- Medical coverage pays for the cost of treating
injuries, rehabilitation and sometimes lost wages and funeral
An auto insurance policy is comprised of six different
kinds of coverage. Most states require you to buy some, but not
all, of these coverages. If you're financing a car, your lender
may also have requirements.
Most auto policies are for six months to a year.
Your insurance company should notify you by mail when it's time
to renew the policy and to pay your premium.
Your family counts on you every day for financial
support: food, shelter, transportation, education, and much more.
You and your spouse have plans for your future and dreams for your
family: another child, a bigger home, a new business, college education,
Life insurance is all about making sure your family
has adequate financial resources to make those plans and dreams
come true, if you were to die prematurely.
And just as your spouse and children (as beneficiaries)
count on you, you count on your spouse. That's why coverage for
your spouse is also important. If he or she were to die unexpectedly,
you would feel similar financial strains. This is especially true
today, with so many "double income" families.
Health insurance is one of the components of a sound financial plan.
It provides financial security for your family by providing financial
resources for health expenses in times of life's uncertainties.
Most people, especially with dependents, need
health insurance. To determine how much health insurance you need,
start by considering the typical medical expenses you and your family
incur (i.e., doctor visits, medical tests, prescriptions). Don't
forget to plan for the unexpected. To evaluate your specific needs,
you should contact a professional health insurance agent.
Homeowners insurance is a package policy. This means that it covers
both damage to your property and your liability or legal responsibility
for any injuries and property damage you or members of your family
cause to other people.
Here are a few things to keep in mind
While disasters are generally covered, floods
and earthquakes are the most significant exceptions. You need special
policies to insure for these events. And don't expect insurance
to pay for things that happen because you haven't maintained your
home. Such costs are all on your shoulders.
The most common policy today is called Homeowners-3
(HO-3). If your home is destroyed by a fire, for example, this type
of policy covers the cost of rebuilding it up to a certain specified
amount. Check with your agent or a local builder periodically to
make sure this is enough to meet your need . . . and that it is
not more than you need. Homeowner's policies include liability protection
against lawsuits. You may want at least $300,000 to be safe, more
if you think you need it.
Your household items and personal effects are
usually insured for 50% to 70% of what you have on your house's
structure. The best way to make sure this is sufficient is to conduct
a "home inventory." Whatever way you choose to record
your belongings - written list, photos, video, or audiotape - just
do it! Any record, even one that's incomplete or less than perfect,
is better than relying on your memory. And be sure to store your
inventory record outside your home, either in a safe deposit box
or at a relative's.
If you have valuable possessions like jewelry,
consider a "special personal property endorsement or floater"
to insure their full value with no deductible. It even covers items
if you simply lose them. Another feature you'll want to consider
for your personal property is a "replacement cost endorsement."
Otherwise, you'll only get market value on older items.
HomeBasic renter insurance will provide coverage to you, in the
event that your belongings are lost. The range of causes can include:
- water damage (broken pipes)
This insurance will also cover damage caused by
you, to the landlords property. For instance, if you host a party,
and one of your guests breaks a hole in the wall.
Several things to consider:
- Your inventory
|Take a look around your dwelling. Make
note of all items of value, and especially of those items
with high value/high replacement cost. It might be good
to catalog all of your possessions in a table or spreadsheet
for easy future reference.
|With any type of insurance policy, you'll
have to decide how much your deductibles are going to be.
In general, the higher the deductible, the lower your premium
- Replacement Cost and Actual
|Basic policies begin with coverage for
the actual cash values of your covered belongings. Example:
a 10 year old TV would be covered for its initial cost,
minus the depreciated cost. A 10 year old TV is really not
worth much today, so in the end, you wouldn't get much cash
for it. If you have items like this, it may be better to
opt for replacement cost coverage instead. With this coverage,
you would be reimbursed for the total current cost of a
new TV. A thing to remember is that replacement cost coverage
is more expensive, but perhaps worth the extra cost.
- Loss of use coverage
|If, for some reason, you aren't able
to live within your apartment, your coverage will take care
of expenses that are incurred through food and lodging.
- Specialty Items
|If you have very valuable items that
come with difficult replacement, you might want to consider
a "floater". Items that might be included: antiques,
jewelry, special electronic equipment, etc. A floater policy
is essentially a separate policy from your general coverage,
and it is designed for these special items. Compared to
the replacement cost of these items, this coverage is relatively
Farming and ranching are hybrid risks, combining all of the exposures
arising from their personal activities as well as the commercial
operation of the farm/ranch itself. As a result, most insurers offer
products specifically designed for a farm/ranch operation which
cover both aspects. Items to consider are property coverages for
the dwelling and farm buildings; inland marine coverages on equipment
for the farm/ranch operation, accounts receivable and personal items;
liability coverage for farm/ranch and personal exposures; automobile
physical damage and liability coverage for both; boiler and machinery/equipment
coverage for the farm/ranch; crop/hail and similar insurance; coverage
for silos and grain storage elevators and contents; and coverage
- FARM COMBINATION COVERAGE
Combines appropriate coverage forms to provide protection comparable
to that previously available under ISO's Farmowners-Ranchowners
Policy. Eligibility and premium discounts require that property
coverage apply to all farm dwellings, farm personal property,
and other farm structures owned by the insured (except those specifically
excluded by agreement). Liability insurance must apply to the
premises and operations associated with all covered farm property.
Farm combination coverage is not available
for: farms not operated by the insured (except those that are
operated under the insured's supervision and those operated
under contract management); vacant or unoccupied farms; farms
where the principal purpose is to supply commodities for manufacturing
or processing to the insured for sale to others or to operate
freezing or dehydrating plants or poultry factories; farms with
dwellings with more than four families; farms on which farm
dwellings are used for business purposes other than permitted
Using the modular concept, property insurance is developed by
use of basic, broad, special or tenants forms that are also
applicable to homeowners policies. Coverages for farm buildings
and farm personal property are provided by use of either scheduled
or blanket coverage forms. Liability insurance is effected by
use of personal, farm personal and/or commercial general liability
coverage forms. Various endorsements are available for optional
- AGRICULTURAL OUTPUT POLICY
Designed for big business agricultural activity that includes
work from production through processing to wholesale distribution.
Feed and fertilizer manufacturers, grain elevator operators and
seed processors are examples. A running mate for the commercial
output policy, this program provides similar protection for agricultural
suppliers, cultivators and processors. The complete range of property
insurance coverage is available basically and by way of options.
The program is distinguished from the farmowners program, which
is applicable to owner-operated farms.