Insurance can be tricky.  We’ve compiled some of our most frequently asked questions on this page.

Home Insurance

Q: What’s the difference between the dwelling limit and the dwelling maximum replacement cost?

A: The dwelling limit is the amount the insurance company believes it would cost to rebuild your house.  The dwelling maximum replacement cost is the most they would spend rebuilding your house.  Most companies include some level of extended replacement cost.  This is primarily to account for spikes in labor and material costs that could occur, especially if there was a major loss in the area (such as a wildfire or tornado). what is other

Q: What are “other structures”

A: Other structures is included in most standard home policies.  It would cover structures not attached to your home, but on your property.  This would be your fence, but could also include a gazebo, built-in sandbox, shed, etc.  Most policies include 10% of your dwelling limit for separate structures.  Even though 10% might be excessive, there’s normally no cost savings for removing or lowering this coverage.

Q: What is a “Percent Deductible”?

A: Insurance companies in Colorado started rolling out percent deductibles around 2010.  Oftentimes we’ll see a flat deductible on your home with a separate wind and hail deductible. Common percent deductibles we see are 1/2%, 1%, 2% or even 5%!  The percent is not the percent of your claim (like in health insurance), but rather the percent of your dwelling coverage (coverage A).  If your home is insured for $524,000 and you have a 2% wind and hail deductible, your wind and hail deductible would be $10,480 (524,000 x 2%).  With a wind and hail deductible, your deductible will increase every year as your dwelling coverage increases.  Learn more about wind and hail deductibles by clicking here.

Q: What is the difference between sewer & drain backup and service line coverage?

Sewer and drain backup covers the damage that a sewer backup would cause to your personal property and house.  Service line coverage covers the costs to repair or replace the sewer line (or most other utility lines on your property, entering or exiting your home). Imagine if your sewer line was clogged due to tree roots growing inside the line.  Now the toilet handle gets stuck in the running position and you leave town for the weekend.  All weekend the water is backing up into your basement.  Service Line coverage would pay up to the policy limits to repair or replace the sewer line.  Sewer and drain backup coverage would pay up to the policy limits to replace the damage it caused to your basement and any personal property that was destroyed (furniture, clothes, etc.).

Car Insurance

Q: What is full coverage auto insurance?

A: Full coverage is not an insurance term, it means something different to everyone. I believe banks started using the term to mean coverage mandated by the state plus coverage for your vehicle. When your bank or leasing company tells you to get full coverage. They mean comprehensive and collision. However, you as a consumer might assume full coverage means everything is covered. This is never the case when it comes to insurance. You may think you have ‘full coverage’ but are missing important coverages such as rental reimbursement, towing and roadside assistance, glass coverage, uninsured motorist, higher liability limits and many other coverages. When you’re buying auto insurance, try to avoid using the term full coverage. This will prevent any misunderstandings between you and your agent.

Q: Why am I required to buy uninsured motorist coverage? Shouldn’t they be buying their own insurance?

A:  You’re not required to buy uninsured motorist coverage in Colorado. However, state law mandates that if the primary named insured declines the coverage, they must sign a waiver.  That being said, we highly suggest you purchase as much uninsured motorist coverage as your policy allows.  Uninsured Motorist coverage protects YOU, not uninsured motorist. Find the answers to these important questions: Do you have enough uninsured motorist bodily injury? How important is uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage in Colorado?

Q: Should I buy the insurance that the rental car companies offer?

A: With a few exceptions, your personal auto insurance policy in Colorado extends to non-owned vehicles.  A rental car would normally fall into this category.  The best coverage that you have on any car on your existing policy, is the coverage that extends to non-owned vehicles.  If you have three cars and two of them only carry liability and one has $100 deductibles, the car with $100 deductibles would extend to rental cars. If you have a bunch of older vehicles with liability-only coverage, liability is what would extend to a rental car, no comprehensive or collision! There are a couple of charges that a rental car agency may try and charge you, that your car insurance wouldn’t cover.  These would be diminished value and the rental rate of the vehicle for each day it was off the road getting repairs.  These rules only apply to private passenger vehicles.  If you’re renting a moving truck, or other commercial vehicle, there’s likely no coverage extended.

Q: How can I keep my insurance affordable when I need to add my teenage son/daughter to the policy?

A: Insuring teenagers is expensive, and it only seems to be getting more expensive. There are a few things you can do to minimize the price increase.

  1. Make sure they maintain at least a 3.0 GPA
  2. Some companies give discounts if they completed drivers ed.
  3. Ask about telematics. Many companies have telematic discounts.  The discounts can be even bigger for young drivers.
  4. Ask an independent agent to shop your rates. Your car insurance will be thousands of dollars a year if you have a teen on your policy.  Even a savings of 10% can mean hundreds of dollars in savings.

 

Insurance policies are contracts between you and the insurance carrier.  The above answers do not apply to every policy. Consult your agent or policy to determine the coverage you have.