What Should I Know About Liability Insurance
Although many of us do not look forward to buying and renewing our insurance policies there are several issues to consider when purchasing or renewing insurance to ensure that you obtain the type of insurance coverage you need. Having the proper insurance can dramatically affect you and your family if you are ever injured by another or cause injury to someone else. The lack of adequate insurance can result in your personal or business assets being put in jeopardy. Here is a brief summary of a few of the different types of insurance available to protect yourself and others from harm.
In New York and Pennsylvania there exists a system known as No-Fault insurance. Generally, under this type of insurance contract the insured’s (person buying the insurance) are indemnified (paid back) for losses by their own insurance company, regardless of fault in the incident generating the loss. There are many differences and factors to consider when purchasing or renewing this insurance. For information on the differences between New York and Pennsylvania’s car insurance programs and what you need to consider when navigating the purchase or renewal of your automobile insurance, please click here.
Premises liability covers owners and occupiers of property who are legally responsible for incidents and injuries that occur on, and sometimes off, that property. Many times we as business and homeowners permit conditions to exist on our property that are dangerous to others. We also allow activities to occur on our property that are dangerous to others. This is where premises liability occurs. Typically, premises liability is covered by a Homeowners/Renters Policy (residential) or Commercial General Liability (business) policy. Often each of these policies include a coverage known as Medical Payments coverage or Med Pay. This is essentially no-fault insurance for medical bills an injured person incurs as a result of an incident on the property. This allows for their medical bills to be paid for and, in some cases, wage loss or other out-of-pocket expenses regardless of fault. Another important part of premises insurance is content protection. This can protect a property from vandalism, theft and other occurrences where business and personal items have been lost, destroyed or otherwise damaged.
Most Homeowner’s policies start with a $100,000.00 policy limit and increase from there. It is important to consider many factors when purchasing this insurance such as: where you live, what you do, your assets, are children often on site, etc. Indeed, you need to examine the risk your property poses to others as well as the risk the activities that take place on your property pose to others. Many insurance companies examine these risks via questionnaires that ask if you have a swimming pool, trampoline or dogs, etc. This type of policy will protect you if your animal injuries someone, if someone falls on your property or if someone is injured during an activity on your property. This insurance is very important and every person who has a home should have it. Please take the time to sit down with your insurance professional and examine this coverage in detail.
The Commercial General Liability policy is typically offered to businesses and has much larger policy limits. This is to protect patrons and vendors of your business from harm that is related to the premises. Some companies have several different layers of this coverage to protect them in case of serious injuries. Many times this coverage is broken down into three categories: Coverage A = general liability; Coverage B = personal injury and advertising injury liability; and Coverage C = medical payments. Each business needs to examine its risk to others to properly evaluate what is an acceptable policy limit. Regardless of that number, a business that does not have insurance is a business in great danger so please consider this insurance if you have a business.
Renter’s Insurance is a type of premises liability insurance and contents coverage for those who do not own the property. This is often issued to tenants to protect them from theft and other damage to the contents of their apartment or rented home. This coverage is very inexpensive an often costs a few hundred dollars per year or $15/month. This will often protect a renter from theft or destruction caused by roommates or other persons that have access to the property when the renter is away and will cover you for liability attributed to the premises as well. This is certainly a coverage to consider for anyone renting a place to live.
Umbrella insurance is excess insurance or insurance that is typically used after another primary policy has been depleted. Often, it also covers claims in defamation cases like libel and slander. This type of coverage typically starts at $1,000,000.00 and increases and is usually only used after another policy has been exhausted, such as an automobile or premises policy. Many think that a policy limit of this amount is expensive but, these policies typically start in the $150/year – $250/year range because they have a smaller chance of being utilized. Therefore, a personal umbrella policy is a very smart investment for the average person looking to protect their assets. It should be noted that these policies require a lower level liability policy, such as Automobile and Homeowner’s policies, in excess of the state minimum. So, if you already have such a policy on your car or home, you can likely add an umbrella policy for a few dollars per month more.
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If you ever have any questions about what insurance to select please call and talk with us, even if not listed here on this page. We are here to help and will meet or speak with you completely free of charge.