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The Royersford Insurance Agent

My granddaughter is borrowing our car for the Prom. Am I covered?

A client called the other day and said that his granddaughter is borrowing his car to go to the prom.  Was he covered?  Was she covered?

 

Volkswagen Beetle crashed through a brick wallCreative Commons License simpleinsomnia via Compfight

 

As always, check with your agent and your carrier to verify.  But here’s how it works with mostly every insurance company that I know of.

The insurance follows the car, not the person.  So if your granddaughter, your friend, your sister, even if your sister’s friend were to drive your car and you authorized them to do so (gave them the OK) and they were to be in accident, there would be coverage for your car and any other damage that occurred as a result of the accident.

I advised my client to make sure that his granddaughter was listed as a driver on her parent’s policy.  All drivers need to be listed on an insurance policy somewhere.  If they are not then this could cause some issues.  There would most likely still be coverage but it could hold up things with the claim.  Meaning it may take a little longer for you to get your payment as the claim rep and the powers that be in the claim office review everything.

Depending on how often the person you are lending your car to drives the car, your insurance company may require you to list them as a driver.  In this example, the prom example, the granddaughter will just be borrowing the vehicle once.  But if you had someone who is borrowing the car more frequently than it is a smart idea to list them as a driver.

That’s among the first questions that a claim rep will ask a person who is an accident that is not listed on the policy, “how often do you drive the car?”  If the answer is anything other than this is my first time, they will demand the driver be listed.

Especially if they are not listed on a policy somewhere else.

Keep in mind Medical Coverage on an Insurance policy follows the person.  So, in this example, if there were to be an accident and the granddaughter were injured, her parent’s policy would pay for her Medical bills.  This, obviously, is assuming that her parents have Medical coverage on their policy.  If the granddaughter has a boyfriend that is also injured, his parent’s policy would pay for his medical bills.

Most people only have a $10,000 limit listed for their Medical coverage.  We have started to recommend you go higher, even as high as $100,000.  This will help you avoid using your Primary Health Insurance and any deductibles and co-pays that are associated with it.

One last thing to consider.  You are putting your liability on the line anytime you let someone borrow your car.  If there were to be an accident in your vehicle you are at risk for being sued.  It doesn’t mean you will get sued but the possibility is certainly there.

Here is a list of the minimum coverages that I would recommend.  You should not go below these limits.

 

My name is Keith Laskey. My goal is to educate the everyday consumer and to help them make intelligent decisions with their insurance policies. Please contact me at my office, 610-948-4830 or Email Me for any insurance related questions or concerns. You can also visit the Ron Black Agency website or like us on Facebook! Thank you for stopping by, have a great day!

Are Animals Covered under Homeowners Insurance?

Marshmallow man

 

A friend of mine mentioned to me last night that he was on his way to the hospital to visit his brother-in-law who was bit by a dog he owned.  The dog was owned by the brother-in-law, not my friend.

The dog isn’t vicious. They were playing and the dog bit his hand and not the bone he was holding.

In this case, a Homeowners policy would NOT pay for the medical treatment.  There is coverage on a Homeowners policy for Medical Treatment but it is only for others, meaning people that are not household members.

There are a few reasons why a Homeowners policy would pay for damage caused by an animal and a few reasons why it would not.

 

Animals

 

 

There are a few different answers to this question.  Yes and No.

 

Does Homeowners Insurance cover my pets if they are hurt?

No.  Homeowners Insurance Policies specifically exclude coverage for animals, birds and fish.  Meaning if your dog, Dreyfuss, is injured while running in the back yard, your policy WILL NOT cover the cost of his medical treatment.  There is also no coverage if an animal were to run away or lose his or her life.

Horses, goats, chickens, cats…any animal you can think of that is a pet falls under this category.

If you have animals that you use for profit than you would need an entirely different policy.  Contact your agent to discuss what you need if you have any animal that you profit from.

 

Does Homeowners Insurance cover my pets if they injure someone?

Yes.  Your Homeowners policy comes with Liability coverage which would cover you.  The most common claim is a dog bite.  If Dreyfuss were to bite a friend and that friend were to sue you for medical expenses, your policy would help.  If you have a dog that has a 1% chance of biting someone than you should also have an Umbrella Policy.  An Umbrella Policy provides you with at least $1 Million dollars worth of excess liability coverage in the event that you need it.

The most common liability limit on a Homeowners Policy is $300,000.  $300,000 gets spent pretty fast in the medical field.  Insurance companies take dog bites very seriously. If you have a dog that has a history of biting you will have a very difficult time finding insurance.

I would advise you to NOT sign an agreement with an insurance company that states the insurance company will not cover a claim if your dog were to bite someone.  You put yourself at risk if you were to make that agreement.

 

Does Homeowners Insurance cover my pets if they damage someone else’s property?

Yes.  Let’s say your horse breaks free and destroys your neighbor’s fence or car or any other property owned by someone else.  Your Homeowners liability coverage would pay for those items.  No deductible would apply because the damage was to another person’s property.

 

Does Homeowners Insurance cover the damages if my pets destroy MY property?

No.  If an animal owned by you destroys your property, the damage to the property would NOT be covered.  So your policy would not cover the damages if Dreyfuss was left at home all day and rips up your carpet.  Homeowners policies only cover damage sustained to other people’s property if the cause of the damage is from an animal owned by you.

 

What about Wild Animals?

Your policy will not cover damage to your property caused by any animal, whether or not they are owned by you or if they are wild.  Insects are included in this exclusion.  Be on the lookout for signs of termites, rats and mice, and bats.

 

Have you ever had a claim as a result of an animal?  Was it covered?
My name is Keith Laskey. My goal is to educate the everyday consumer and to help them make intelligent decisions with their insurance policies. Please contact me at my office, 610-948-4830 or Email Me for any insurance related questions or concerns. You can also visit the Ron Black Agency website or like us on Facebook! Thank you for stopping by, have a great day!

How an Umbrella Policy Can Protect You

Umbrella Policies provide excess liability coverage.  It’s coverage that sit’s on top of the liability coverage of your other policies.  It comes into play if you ever find yourself on the wrong end of a lawsuit and you reach the end of your limits on your auto or homeowners policies.

 

The Travelers Neon | 113/365 Explored Mike Hiatt via Compfight

 

Umbrella policies insure against the worse case scenario.  If someone falls on your property and sues you, or if you cause an accident and there is significant injury or death to someone as a result of it, or even if your kid says something untrue about someone else on social media.  An Umbrella policy would prove it’s value a hundred fold in any of those cases.

 

The last reason I gave may be the most frightening of them all.  Kids are on their iDevices constantly these days.  And most of them are on Instagram or at least communicating via text.  Let’s say that your child, Johnny, makes up something about me that he knows is not true.  Something awful that would damage my reputation.  The rumor gets around to the community and now people are unsure what to believe.

 

I would have no choice but to protect my name.  I would need to file a lawsuit against you, the parent.  Your Homeowner’s policy would deny coverage but an Umbrella policy would protect you from this circumstance.

 

Here are a few other things to know about Umbrella Policies.

  • They are fairly inexpensive.  A $1 Million policy cost as low as $250 to $400.

  • Young drivers, rental properties, multiple vehicles will increase the cost.

  • Umbrella policies help pay for your legal fees and settlements above your regular insurance limits.  Your assets may be at stake without it.

  • Liability risks are everywhere. Do you have a teen Driver? Do you host parties? Do you have a pool, hot tub or boat? Do you have a housekeeper?  These are all risk factors.

  • An Umbrella policy is most useful for protecting your net worth.

 

Our agency recommends that all homeowners consider having a $1 Million Umbrella policy.  If you have a pool or another risk that I stated above than you should increase that to $2 Million.

 

Contact your agent and ask for a quote to add an Umbrella Policy.  It’s usually best to get the policy with the same carrier that you have your auto and homeowners policies to take advantage of multi-account discounts.

 

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have.

 

-Keith Laskey

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