Insurance - Auto
Do I need personal auto insurance?
The state of Pennsylvania requires all registered vehicles
to carry minimum liability limits. To purchase a vehicle
or renew your registration, you must provide proof of
affects my insurance premium?
Insurance companies use a combination of several factors
to determine your rates including: 1) the area where you
live and garage your vehicle; 2) the vehicle you own;
3) the age of the household drivers; 4) coverage limits;
5) driving experience; and 6) the use of your vehicle.
- What are some ways I can lower
my automobile insurance rates?
There are several ways to decrease the cost of your automobile
insurance. First, ask your agent if there are other companies
he represents that offer competitive rates. Secondly,
ask about any discounts that you may qualify for. Many
insurers will offer you a discount if you insure multiple
cars under the same policy. Other discounts are available
for multiple policies with the same company, driver education
classes, airbags, and alarm systems. Also, ask about varying
your comprehensive and/or collision deductibles. Finally,
ask your agent to help you evaluate the need for collision
coverage on an older vehicle.
Can my insurance company cancel my policy?
Yes, your insurance company may non-renew your insurance
policy at their discretion based upon: 1) not meeting
acceptable company guidelines; 2) chargeable accidents;
or 3) excessive or major violations
What happens when I loan my car to someone? Is that person
covered by my policy and am I still covered?
Yes, you are covered if you give permission for the other
person to use your car. Liability and physical damage
coverage always follow your car. So, if you give permission
for your neighbor to borrow your car and he has an accident,
the accident could be surcharged against your policy.
The same is true if you borrow someone else's car. The
vehicle owner's policy is primary, while your own insurance
may follow and provide benefits.
I have coverage for a rental vehicle?
You may have coverage for a short-term rental vehicle
for personal use only if you have full coverage on at
least one of your vehicles (liability, comprehensive,
and collision coverage). Insurance carriers are more frequently
recommending taking the physical damage protection offered
by the rental company. That way, any claims would not
affect rates on your own personal insurance policy.
|Request a personal
Insurance - Homeowner's
- What is homeowners insurance and who should consider
Homeowners insurance is one of the most popular types
of personal insurance on the market today. The typical
homeowners policy has two main sections: 1) Section I
covers the property of the insured; and, 2) Section II
provides personal liability coverage to the insured. Anyone
who owns or leases property has a need for this coverage.
Many times, homeowners insurance is required by a lender
as part of the requirement in obtaining a mortgage.
- What factors should I consider when purchasing homeowners
Several factors to consider when purchasing homeowners
insurance: 1) Insure your home to at least 80% of replacement
value to satisfy most insurers coinsurance requirements.
Remember, market value does not equal replacement value
of your home. Have an insurance agent help determine your
home's replacement value; 2) Determine if you need any
additional endorsements to the policy. For example, do
you want replacement value on your personal property?
Do you need earthquake coverage or flood coverage? Do
you have high value items, like antiques, jewelry, or
silverware that should be listed and covered specifically?
3) Determine Section II coverage limits. Do you need $100,000,
$300,000, or $500,000 of personal liability, or an umbrella
policy? Do you have other rental or vacation properties
that you need coverage for liability? Ask your agent to
guide you through these questions. The more information
you disclose, the better your agent can help protect you.
- What are the policy limits in the standard homeowners
Coverage A and B provide protection to the dwelling and
other structures on the premises (sheds, garages, etc.)
on an "all-risk" or special form coverage up
to the policy limits. The policy limit for Coverage A
is set by the homeowner at the time the insurance is secured.
The policy limit for Coverage B is usually equal to 10%
of the coverage limit on the dwelling (Coverage A). Coverage
C covers losses to the insured's personal property on
a named peril basis. The policy limit on Coverage C usually
equals at least 50-75% of the dwelling limit. Coverage
D allows for additional expenses that the policyholder
may incur due to an insured and covered loss. Coverage
D usually equals 20% of the dwelling limit. Finally, Coverage
E-Personal Liability-is determined by the policyholder
at the time the insurance is secured.
- Where and when is my personal property covered?
Coverage C provides coverage to your personal property
(except property that is specifically excluded) on a Broad
Form, or named-peril basis anywhere in the world. For
example, if you purchased a piece of furniture while travelling,
your homeowners policy would provide coverage for the
named perils while the piece is in transit, even though
it has never been in your home.
- What can I do to lower the cost of my homeowners
There are several ways to decrease the cost of your homeowners
insurance. First, ask your agent if there are other companies
he represents that offer competitive rates. Secondly,
ask about any discounts that you may qualify for. Many
insurers will offer you a discount if you have multiple
policies with the same company. Other discounts are available
for smoke detectors, alarm systems, deadbolt locks, plus
longevity with the same company. Finally, ask about varying
- Are there exclusions I should know about?
There may be exclusions listed and defined in your policy
such as neglect, intentional loss, earth movement, flood,
general power failure, and even damage caused by war.
If you fail to take care of your property (e.g., a leaky
roof not repaired), you may not be covered. Obviously,
if you intend to lose an object or damage your property,
there is no coverage. In addition, one other exclusion
that can be costly is the Ordinance or Law exclusion.
Building codes established by local government bodies
that drive up the cost of rebuilding or repairing after
a loss occurs may not be covered by your insurance policy.
If you discover when replacing damaged property that current
law demands higher grade or more expensive materials than
the original ones being replaced, the new material may
not be covered for the full price. Ask about those exclusions
now instead of finding out at claim time.
|Request a homeowner's
Insurance - Renter's
- Why would I want to buy renters insurance?
If you live in an apartment or rented house, renters insurance
provides important coverage for both you and your possessions.
A standard renters policy protects your personal property
in many certain cases of theft or damage and may pay for
temporary living expenses if your rental is damaged. It
can also shield you from personal liability. Anyone who
leases a house or apartment needs to consider this type
- Does my Landlord's insurance protect me?
Generally, no. The property owner's insurance covers the
building itself and rarely a tenant's possessions. Clarify
this with your landlord before signing a lease.
- Is my Landlord liable if someone trips in my apartment
and gets injured?
Again, the landlord's policy may specifically exclude
liability for something that occurs within your rented
residence. You could be held personally liable for injury
to another person or damage to another person's property
if the incident occurred within your rented residence.
Be sure you have adequate liability coverage on your renter's
- How expensive is renter's insurance and what does
Renters insurance is typically available starting at less
than $100 annually. It usually covers personal property
inside your apartment on a named peril basis and includes
personal liability protection. The named perils include:
1) fire or lightning, 2) windstorm or hail, 3) explosions,
4) riots, 5) aircraft, 6) vehicles, 7) smoke, 8) vandalism
or malicious mischief, 9) theft, 10) falling objects,
11) weight of ice, snow or sleet, 12) accidental discharge
or overflow of water or steam, 13) sudden or accidental
tearing apart, cracking, burning, or bulging, 14) freezing,
15) sudden and accidental damage from artificially generated
electrical current, and 16) volcanic eruptions. Renters
coverage applies to your personal property anywhere in
- What if I share my apartment with a roommate? Do
we both need to have renters insurance?
Standard renters policies cover only you and relatives
that live with you. Unfortunately, if your roommate is
not a relative, each of you will need your own renters
policy to cover your own property and to provide personal
liability coverage for your own actions.
a renter's quote
Insurance - Umbrella
- What is a personal umbrella policy?
The personal umbrella policy is a liability insurance
contract designed to accomplish two goals: 1) It increases
the liability protection beyond what the policyholder
already has on his/her auto or homeowners insurance policies;
and, 2) It is designed to fill in the gaps in a policyowner's
liability coverage since several types of liability exposure
exist that are not covered by personal auto or homeowners
- How do I know if I need a personal umbrella liability
The only people who used to need personal umbrella policies
were wealthy individuals who had sizeable personal assets.
Unfortunately, in today's litigious society, many people
realize they have a need for more liability insurance
than what is provided under their auto and homeowners
policies. The personal umbrella policy is ideally suited
to provide this protection.
an umbrella quote
- I am only renting a farm and do not have significant
assets. Do I need a farmowner's policy?
Yes, you do need a farmowner's policy, regardless of
the value of your farm assets. You should insure your
farm assets against loss. However, in today's society,
the important coverage in any insurance policy is the
liability protection. How would you pay for damages
done by the steer that got loose through the opening
in the pasture fence? Or how about the milk contamination
in the bulk tank driver's last load? Or even damage
to another vehicle caused by your tractor and equipment
out on the road?
- I understand I need to insure my buildings, but
why my equipment and live stock?
Equipment can be protected from losses due to fire,
theft, collision, and upset. If machinery is not specifically
listed on the policy, you have no coverage for those
pieces. Livestock is the same way. Livestock can be
insured up to its replacement value on a farmowner's
policy using a brief description and value of each head.
Again, if it is not listed on the policy with a description
and value, you generally have no coverage.
- Do I need more than the liability protection provided
on the basic policy?
Again, in today's society, liability protection is a
major concern. Does your farm policy provide enough
coverage at $300,000 limits? If you own a farm or other
assets, probably not. You might be better suited to
consider a farm umbrella liability policy of $1M, $2M,
$5M or more. The umbrella policy offers additional protection
beyond the basic liability coverage afforded under the
general liability limits of the farmowner's policy.
- I hire the neighbor boy to help during the summer
months around the farm. Do I need Workers Compensation
(WC) coverage for him?
Yes, you need WC for any and all employees, regardless
of the wages paid. Pennsylvania law requires you to
protect your employees against job-related injuries.
As a result, WC coverage is mandatory in Pennsylvania.
Call us for WC rates under the Ag Safety Group.
- I use my old pickup truck for farm errands only.
Do I need to have it licensed and insured?
If you are using a pickup truck to service your farm
property only, you may want to consider a farm sticker
in Pennsylvania, instead of licensing. Also, if you
go no further than a small radius of your farm, you
may want to consider farm license plates for the truck.
We can insure both of these types of vehicles. Call
farm insurance information
- I am just starting my business. Do I need insurance
Yes, you do need insurance immediately because your
chance of suffering a loss begins the first day of
business. If you suffer a loss and have no insurance
or have improper or insufficient insurance coverage,
you can't get help after the fact. You could lose
everything you have put into the business, including
personal assets, before you really get the business
off the ground. Also, many states and local jurisdictions
require that businesses be insured prior to operating.
And if you rent space for your business, your landlord
probably requires proof of liability insurance as
- I do not have many large business assets. Do
I still need insurance?
Again, the answer is yes. You do need insurance for
some of the same reasons above. Every business has
some property. Just like your home and car, your business
needs to be protected from loss, damage and liability.
Also, your business is your source of income, so you
need protection from the potential loss of that income.
In today's society, liability protection seems to
be the more important coverage of the two. Insure
your business and its assets properly with a property
and liability package. In addition, if you are doing
subcontract work for another party, they will require
liability insurance coverage to match their own liability
- Do business policies vary in coverage?
Yes, business policies do vary in coverage. Because
businesses vary in the goods and services they provide,
there is not one standard insurance policy to meet
every businessowner's needs. It is impossible to have
a standard policy to cover all contingencies that
a business could face. However, Businessowners Policies
(BOPs) provide the small businessowner a more complete
coverage package to meet their business needs. Talk
to us today to tailor a package to best suit your
- I need to hire employees. What insurance issues
do I need to consider?
First, in hiring employees, be sure you are compliant
with State and Federal regulations for advertising,
interviewing, and hiring new employees. You may want
to consult your attorney for legal advice prior to
hiring your first full-time employee. You will also
need to secure Workers Compensation (WC) insurance
to cover the employee for work-related injuries while
on the job. WC coverage is mandatory in Pennsylvania
for all employers with employees.
- I drive my own vehicle for business use. Am I
Be sure to call your insurance agent to discuss the
situation. Sometimes, vehicles used in the business
may be covered under your personal auto policy. Most
times, your agent will have to write a new commercial
auto policy to cover the increased risks associated
with business use of a vehicle.
business insurance information
- Do churches really need insurance coverage?
Yes, even churches need insurance coverage. Property
and liability packages offer comprehensive coverage
for the active congregations today. As church buildings
and programs grow, the chance of loss increases. You
need to insure the church building and other structures
against physical damage, and include liability protection
for the employees, members, and volunteers of the
- Can I get all of that in one policy?
Yes, there are specialty church insurance carriers
who write church and not-for-profit coverage only.
A comprehensive church package protects the physical
church building against loss (i.e., wind, fire, lightning,
and other "special form" perils) and includes
liability protection for activities of its members,
volunteers, and employees (a church outreach/service
project, a youth work camp, volunteer labor at the
church, etc.). The package also includes other "incidental"
coverage designed specifically for the daily operations
of a church. Ask about coverage for sexual misconduct,
director's & officers liability, non-owned &
hired auto liability, and employment practices liability.
- How do we value our church building?
As a trained church insurance specialist, we can provide
the tools and information to help you accurately value
your church building, including its pipe organ, stained
glass, and other valuable fixtures.
- The church is purchasing a van. What should
First, you will need a commercial/business automobile
policy. It is important to have adequate liability
coverage for not only the driver but also coverage
for his passengers. Insist on a minimum of $1M liability
limits to match the general liability limits of your
church package policy. First party benefits can cover
medical expenses of any and all passengers. Ask about
the highest limits available. Also, set up driver
guidelines regarding who drives it and how it is used.
It is the church's responsibility to make sure qualified
and safe drivers are behind the wheel of the van.
Finally, assign someone to take care of the general
maintenance of the van.
- The pastor(s) is considered self-employed. Do
we need to have him covered under a Workers Compensation
policy in the church's name?
Workers Compensation coverage is mandatory in Pennsylvania
for all employers with employees. Churches could argue
pastors are self-employed and therefore do not need
WC coverage. However, WC coverage is inexpensive protection
for the church. If that "self-employed"
pastor trips down the steps after a Sunday morning
worship service, turns his ankle, and incurs medical
bills and lost wages, a WC policy could provide coverage
for the loss.
church insurance information
- Do fire companies really need insurance coverage?
Fire companies are no different than churches and other
they are made up of excellent
people giving of themselves to help and protect others.
Firehouses need the same comprehensive protection as
other buildings in the community. More importantly,
its volunteer members need coverage for themselves personally
if they are hurt, injured, or even killed in the line
of duty. Turn to a specialty carrier for your comprehensive
package of protection.
- Aren't all policies created equal?
Again, no policy can protect against all possible loss
situations and no two policies are identical. However,
a carrier who specializes in benefits for fire companies
and their volunteers will have unique coverages available
for you and your fellow volunteers. What seems like
insignificant benefits on paper can provide significant
benefits if you are the one in need of financial help
due to an accident while volunteering on behalf of the
local Fire Company. Call us today for your company quote.
fire company information
How much life insurance should
I use to protect my family?
General "rules of thumb" suggest life insurance
equal to 6-10 times your annual salary. However, many
factors should be reviewed in determining a more exact
amount of life insurance. Those factors include: 1)
other income sources than salary, including Social Security
benefits; 2) if married, what would be the spouse's
earning capacity; 3) number of dependents; 4) other
death benefits available (e.g.-employer coverage); and,
5) special life insurance needs (mortgage repayment,
education needs, estate planning, etc.). Call us to
help you determine your need for life insurance coverage.
I determine the amount of life insurance, then what
kind should I purchase?
That is a good question! The answer will vary depending
upon your circumstances. If the amount is so large,
the only way to afford it might be through the purchase
of term insurance with its lower premiums. However,
if your ability to pay life insurance premiums is such
that you can afford a fixed or permanent premium, then
you need to consider other financial factors in the
decision (e.g.-tax bracket, short or long-term needs,
rate of return on alternative investments of similar
mortgage insurance a good buy?
The face amount of mortgage insurance typically decreases
over time, consistent with projected decreases in the
outstanding balance of the mortgage loan. Fixed term
insurance, on the other hand, usually remains level
in premium and death benefit for a fixed number of years.
Term insurance is generally less expensive and maintains
a higher death benefit than mortgage insurance.
about purchasing life insurance on my spouse or children?
In certain circumstances, it may be wise to purchase
life insurance on children. However, such purchases
should not be made in lieu of purchasing appropriate
amounts of life insurance on the family breadwinner(s).
It is of utmost importance that the earning capacity
of the primary breadwinner be fully protected through
the purchase of the required amount of life insurance
before contemplating the purchase of life insurance
coverage on children or on a non-wage earning spouse.
Life insurance on a non-wage earning spouse is often
recommended for paying for household services lost at
this individual's death. In a dual-earning household,
it is important to protect the income-earning capacity
of both spouses.
|Request a life insurance
- What types of health insurance policies are available?
In recent years, managed care plans have replaced the
typical indemnity, or fee-for-service plans. Managed
care plans include Health Maintenance Organizations
(HMOs), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO's), and
Point-of-Service (POS) plans.
Managed care plans require insureds to access health
care through a network of providers. The primary care
physician refers patients to specialists and other providers
in the network. In turn, premiums are somewhat reduced
and/or benefits increased.
Traditional indemnity plans allow insureds the freedom
to select and use providers of their choice. Services
are not restricted to the network's territory or list
of participating providers.
- Is my employer required to offer me health insurance?
Employers typically offer benefits like health insurance
on a voluntary basis to attract and retain quality employees.
Cost of the insurance for the employee is usually paid
in full by the employer, while employees contribute
to the cost of spouse and dependent care.
- If I change jobs, does my health insurance continue?
Generally, your new employer will offer you their group
health insurance benefits after a probationary employment
period. You may continue your previous employer's coverage
under Federal COBRA regulations for up to 18 months
after terminating employment, but at your own cost.
Generally, employees opt for their new employer's health
- What health insurance options do I have if I want
to start my own business?
As mentioned, Federal COBRA regulations allow you to
continue your current employer's health insurance plan
for up to 18 months after terminating employment, but
at your own cost. If your spouse is employed, check
into adding the family to his/her plan. Otherwise, you
will need to secure your own individual health insurance
plan. Options for coverage include Short-Term Medical,
Traditional (indemnity or fee-for-service) plans, PPO's,
- What are HSA plans?
Health Savings Accounts (HSA's) are offered to individuals and small groups as an alternative to low deductible health insurance plans. An HSA is a two-part plan. Qualified HSA medical plans offer a high deductible, or "catastrophic," health insurance coverage plus a separate account for tax-deductible, tax-deferred savings. Accumulated money in the HSA may be withdrawn for I.R.S.-qualified medical expenses that either are below the insurance plan’s deductible or not covered by the health insurance plan. Individuals and families with HSA plans may deposit maximum limits (as determined annually by the I.R.S.) to a custodial HSA account each tax year the plan is in effect.
a health insurance quote
- What is disability insurance?
Disability insurance (DI) provides income protection
for you and your family if you become physically unable
to work. Where would the cash come from to pay your
monthly mortgage payments, car payment, or credit card
balance? DI can put money back into your pocket to pay
those fixed expenses.
- Do I need DI protection?
The need for DI depends on several factors: 1) your
continued monthly debt obligations; 2) your spouse's
earning ability to replace your lost wages; 3) your
cash reserve to cover unexpected periods of unemployment
due to physical limitations; and, 4) other sources of
- How much DI do I need?
Coverage amount depends on some of the above factors.
You can usually purchase monthly benefits in an amount
of up to 70% of your current income. Depending upon
your occupation, you can secure benefits for 1 year,
2 years, 5 years, or "to age 65." Other options
worth considering include own occupation rider, guaranteed
renewable rider, and a benefit increase option.
a disability insurance quote
- What is Long-Term Care insurance?
Most people refer to nursing home insurance as Long-Term
Care (LTC) insurance. However, LTC insurance can cover
the whole gamut of health care including home health
care, adult day care, assisted living, personal or custodial
care, intermediate care, skilled care, and Alzheimer's
- Doesn't Medicare and my health insurance cover
Generally, Medicare and other health insurance policies
only cover limited benefits for LTC expenses. Medicare
can cover skilled nursing home stays after a 3-day hospital
stay for up to 20 days. Typical health insurance policies
pay up to 30 days of skilled care only. Other stays
in adult day care, assisted living, personal care, intermediate
care, or Alzheimer's care are not covered by Medicare
or major medical health insurance policies (Medicare
Supplement and HMO's included).
- How do people pay for nursing home stays?
Most people rely on their own savings to pay the $3,000-5,000
plus monthly bills associated with nursing home confinements.
Those who have depleted their assets rely on the State
Medical Assistance program to help them pay their expenses.
A small percentage of people needing LTC rely on their
private LTC insurance policies to help pay and supplement
their income to meet monthly expenses.
- Aren't LTC insurance policies expensive?
In comparison to monthly nursing home charges, LTC insurance
can be very affordable. However, LTC insurance is not
for everyone. Finances determine your need for the coverage.
If coverage is appropriate, several factors affect the
cost, including your age, health conditions, and policy
options selected. It is best to work with an independent
agent to determine your needs and investigate several
options for coverage. Call us today for your free consultation!
a long-term care insurance quote
Retirement Accounts (IRA's)
What is an IRA?
An IRA is an Individual Retirement Account. Established
by the Federal government as a vehicle to encourage
retirement savings, contributions are tax-deductible
and earnings are tax-deferred. However, not everyone
is eligible to contribute. Your income level and marital
status determine your eligibility to contribute annually
to an IRA.
do I set up an IRA?
You may use almost any investment vehicle to set up
an IRA. Assuming you qualify for an annual contribution,
you may use anything from bank certificates of deposit,
to mutual fund accounts, to insurance company annuities.
Each investment vehicle has unique paperwork to complete
and sign to either establish a new IRA or transfer an
existing balance into a new account. Most institutions
require a minimum balance to open a new account.
I contribute annually to an IRA?
No, most financial institutions do not require ongoing
contributions to an established IRA. However, tax benefits
encourage maximum allowable contributions to the account
a Roth IRA better than a regular IRA?
A Roth IRA follows identical eligibility and contribution
guidelines as the regular IRA. However, the Roth IRA
does not allow for deductibility of the contributions
in the current tax year. Also, a Roth IRA does not mandate
distribution requirements at the age of 70 ½.
should I consider a Roth IRA?
A Roth IRA is an attractive option for those who might
not need the tax deductibility of the contribution to
the regular IRA, or would prefer the flexibility of
withdrawing their contributions and earnings tax-free.
- What is an annuity?
An annuity is issued by an insurance company to provide
an income stream to a named beneficiary at some future
date. It usually provides a death benefit and a guaranteed
minimum interest rate on the money invested in it.
- How are annuities used?
Annuities are typically used for IRAs and other situations
where the owner wants to defer income and taxes on the
gain until later years. Annuities incorporate an insurance
product (a death benefit) and an investment vehicle
into one product.
- What are the benefits of mutual funds?
Mutual funds pool the resources of investors and allow
a professional investment manager to oversee the daily
monitoring of those funds. Mutual funds also allow for
diversification, lower risk, and liquidity compared
to other investment options.
- How can I use Mutual Funds?
Mutual funds can be used for several things, including
a savings account, other retirement or emergency savings,
or growth and income potential. Mutual funds are generally
used for the intermediate to long-term investment perspective,
depending upon the type of mutual fund selected.
- Are there different types of Mutual Funds?
Yes, mutual funds come in a variety of classes and families.
Families are the sponsoring companies in charge of the
various funds. Each family may have numerous funds they
offer, depending upon the investment objectives. Three
broad types of funds include cash (money funds), bonds
(US Gov.'t, private industry sector), and equities (stocks
of domestic and international companies). The right
family and fund depends upon you comfort level of risk.
Work with an investment professional to help you sort
through the myriad of options in the marketplace today.
Mutual Fund information