Some Insurance Issues Concerning Your Children

Posted by Alex Boyer on Tue, Aug 04, 2015

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Driving Your Teenager's Car

"Our child has no assets, why worry about liability limits?”

Auto insurance is expensive and many parents are looking for ways to save money. While putting your teenager on a separate policy with lower liability limits may seem to be a good answer, it can create several problems.

  1. If you occasionally drive your teenager’s car, in the event of an accident you would be covered with their lower liability limit, not the higher limit that you have chosen to protect your assets. Your child’s car would be considered “available for your regular use” and, therefore, excluded from your policy.
  2. If your teenager maintains the proper liability limits on their policy, your personal umbrella (excess liability) policy can be written to protect your child above their own policy liability limits. Please call E & K to make sure coverage is properly coordinated among your household members’ policies.

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Income Continuation & Expense Coverages

“Are they ever going to leave the nest! ???”

Your personal auto policy provides Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”). In addition to the basic medical portion of this coverage, additional PIP is available to cover Income Continuation, Essential Services, Death and Funeral Expense Benefits. Typically, an auto policy provides these coverages for the named insured and spouse. What about the kids? Income continuation may not seem a big deal while they are students, but many are not leaving the nest when the college years are over. Often, adult children are living in your household, on your auto policy, and working full time. They can be included for additional PIP (for a premium charge), and be afforded the same financial protection you have purchased for yourself. Also, this may be a good time to discuss life insurance with your adult children.

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Your Child’s Belongings at School

“Is my child insured while away at school?”

Your child’s temporary residence while at school is covered, regardless of it being a dorm room or an apartment. The key word is temporary. Your student must maintain permanent residence in your home to be considered an insured. The policy provides 10% of your contents limit for personal property at another residence.

Tags: E&K Insurance, Insurance, auto insurance, Teen Driving, driving, umbrella policy, umbrella liability coverage, Car insurance, injury, coverage, personal insurance

Rental Car Coverage

Posted by Alex Boyer on Wed, Apr 29, 2015

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Most states have a financial responsibility law that requires registered vehicles to have a minimum amount of liability insurance. Depending on the law in the state the car is rented and the wording of the renter’s personal auto policy, the minimum coverage is likely to be provided by the rental car company. Renters are given the option to purchase additional limits from the rental car company or use the automatic excess personal auto limits available on their own policy.

Personal injury protection—medical and disability benefits coverage for injuries sustained in auto accidents— is one of the state’s more unique auto insurance provisions. Remember that PIP coverage follows the driver. A New Jersey operator of an out-of-state rental car still will have these benefits when operating a rental car, regardless of where they drive it.

Unfortunately, the discussion gets more complicated when we consider damage to the rental car. While the renter’s personal auto policy may cover damage to the rental car, its coverage has limitations. Personal auto coverage for a rental car is conditioned on the renter having at least one owned vehicle insured for its damage on the policy. Moreover, typically the rental vehicle must be a replacement vehicle for one of your cars that is in for repairs. If covered, there will be a deductible and payment will not exceed the repair or actual cash value of the rental car, along with a small amount for the rental car company’s loss of use. Rental car contracts can hold the renter responsible for expenses that go beyond the coverage in a personal auto policy, which may include administrative fees, additional loss of use expense or diminution of value. Rental drivers who want to avoid risk will be inclined to buy the “collision damage waiver” offered by the rental car company.

It’s a lot to think about as you embark on a trip. Give E & K a call before you leave, so the decision will be easy at the rental counter.

Tags: E&K Insurance, NJ, Insurance, Liability, auto insurance, driving, New Jersey, Car insurance, injury, coverage, rental car

E & K Applauds this Win for all Insurance Consumers

Posted by Alex Boyer on Fri, Apr 17, 2015

The Asbury Park Press reports that "buyers of homeowners insurance policies will receive an easy-to-read, one-page summary of their coverage starting in June, according to an announcement Tuesday from the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance."

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The coverage synopsis is the result of a law passed in May 2013 as a reaction to some of the confusion surrounding homeowners insurance and superstorm Sandy.

E & K applauds this win for all insurance consumers.

 

"As we worked with New Jersey consumers following that devastating storm, we saw that some homeowners didn't fully understand their homeowners insurance policy," said Banking and Insurance Commissioner Ken Kobylowski in a statement. "For example, some consumers believed that that homeowners policy covers flood damage. It does not. Flood insurance must be purchased separately. This one-page summary is one way the state is working to raise awareness of insurance issues so consumers understand clearly what their policies do and do not cover."

Read the full article in the Asbury Park Press.

Tags: Hurricane Sandy, Homeowner Insurance, E&K Insurance, NJ, Homeowner, House, Insurance, New Jersey natural disaster, home, FEMA, Superstorm, New Jersey, Homeowners insurance, coverage, Emergency Storm Claim Center, homeowner policy, storm damage

DRIVERS, LOCAL AUTHORITIES DEAL WITH TOUGH WINTER’S POTHOLES

Posted by Alex Boyer on Wed, Mar 18, 2015

Trusted Choice® survey shows about 50% of U.S. car owners report vehicle pothole damage.

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Eatontown, NJ, March 18, 2015— Poor road conditions have cost consumers and the insurance industry at least $27 billion over a five year period, according to a 2014 survey commissioned by Trusted Choice® and the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”). The survey also reveals that from 2009 to 2014 half of car owners experienced damage to their vehicles as a result of potholes. As millions of Americans encounter potholes as the rough winter wraps, Trusted Choice® and E&K urge drivers to be cautious now and as repairs continue.

“The snow, ice and freezing rain during the rough winter months left their mark on our roads in New Jersey and across the country,” says Ken Auerbach, Managing Director of E&K Agency, Inc. in Eatontown and Lakewood, a Trusted Choice® agency. “Severe potholes have led to accidents which may impact insurance rates, as premiums are determined by past claims, accidents and driving violations. Potholes and poor road conditions aren’t just an inconvenience, they are an expensive and dangerous result of harsh winters.”

The pothole survey also found that 31% of car owners who reported pothole damage to their vehicles filed a claim with their insurance company. A surprising 65% of respondents who needed repairs said they (or a third party) paid out of pocket for the vehicle to be fixed. Only about 3% said local authorities stepped in to foot the bill. For about 40% of respondents, that bill was more than $500.

“This survey highlights how widespread the pothole problem is on our roadways and that the costs are enormous to both the insurance industry and to consumers,” adds Auerbach “And now, local authorities are struggling to keep up with the extensive road repairs.”

While motorists in the Midwest, Northeast and North Central regions of the country reported the most pothole damage, surprisingly the numbers were not that different even in the Southern and Western regions which typically experience milder winters.

“Drivers rely on their auto insurance coverage and their own pocketbooks to deal with unexpected expenses,” continues Auerbach. “An E&K insurance agent can help you select the coverage that best suits you and your vehicle by helping you evaluate your insurance needs and risks.”

E&K and Trusted Choice® independent agents offer the following tips to motorists to help avoid costly damage from potholes and stay safe as they hit the roads after a tough winter:

Pothole safety tips:

  • Keep an eye on traffic patterns. A number of cars that slows down or move quickly to other lanes may be a sign of major potholes or road damage ahead.
  • Avoid the urge to swerve out of the way of a pothole at the last minute. You may swerve into the path of an oncoming vehicle. Risking damage to your car is wiser than risking the loss of your life or that of another person.
  • Report potholes to your state or local transportation department. Some states and localities have pothole hotlines. Motorists who think their state or local government will pay for damage to their cars may be out of luck. Laws in this area vary by jurisdiction and, even where such remedies are available, conditions may apply such as a requirement that the jurisdiction had notice of the pothole.
  • If you hit a pothole and suspect damage, pull over as soon as it is safe. If you notice damage, record details and specific damage—just as you would in the event of a collision with another motorist—in case you need to file an insurance claim.
  • Check in at least annually with your independent insurance agent to ensure that you have the right coverage.

E&K Agency, Inc. is a local Trusted Choice® agency that represents multiple insurance companies, so it offers you a variety of personal and business coverage choices and can customize an insurance plan to meet your specialized needs. This firm adheres to a pledge of performance, committing them to providing excellent customer service. You can visit E&K Agency, Inc. online at http://www.e-kinsurance.com or call it at 732-389-6000 or 732-575-1600.

The pothole survey was conducted for Trusted Choice® and the Big “I” by MFour Mobile Research, Inc. using MFour’s Surveys on the Go® Smartphone Application Panel which includes Apple and Android mobile device users. MFour is an independent research company headquartered in Costa Mesa, California. Interviews of a nationally representative sample of 2,565 U.S. car owners were conducted in June 2014 and weighted by age and gender to represent the general U.S. population over age 18. More information about MFour can be obtained at www.mfour.com.

Tags: E&K Insurance, NJ, Safe, Insurance, safety, winter, auto insurance, driving, New Jersey, potholes flat tire insurance claim, Car insurance, coverage, accident, prepare, File Claim, winter roads, vehicle maintenance, vehicle preparation, avoid potholes, potholes, avoid pothole damage

6 things you must know when buying car insurance

Posted by Alex Boyer on Thu, Feb 05, 2015

Color_Logo_5E&K's Personal Insurance Services Manager, Jeanne Cosentino, was recently featured in an Asbury Park Press article on the six things you must know when buying car insurance. Read the full article here. And check out our personal auto insurance page!

Tags: E&K Insurance, NJ, Insurance, auto insurance, Teen Driving, driving, New Jersey, Car insurance, coverage, accident

Car accident? What you need to know about your insurance!

Posted by Rachel Auerbach on Mon, Apr 14, 2014

Do you know about your auto coverages?

Liability is one of the basic types of coverages and is needed for accidents that you cause. It does not pay for medical expenses. But, it will pay for the other person's damages and it will also pay for a lawyer in case you are sued.

Bodily Injury Liability is a type of basic liability coverage that helps pay for another person's physical injuries acquired in an accident you caused. This will cover what you are legally obligated to pay such as medical bills, rehab costs, lost wages, long-term care and funeral costs. The minimum bodily injury liability coverage in New Jersey is $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident.

Property Damage Liability is another type of basic liability coverage that is coupled with your bodily injury liability. This covers any property damages in an accident you caused. If you chose a $10,000 limit, you will be covered up to $10,000 worth of property damages, which includes the other person's vehicle, a fence or mailbox. The minimum property damage liability in New Jersey is $5,000 per accident.

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Personal Injury Protection (PIP) pays for your medical coverage if you're injured in an accident AND it covers other people who may have also been injured in the accident.  Another important feature: it does not matter who caused the accident, your medical expenses will still be covered. PIP, or the "no fault" protection, could cover medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, funeral costs, child care/lawn maintenance/extra help if you can no longer do certain things due to injury. The minimum PIP coverage in New Jersey is $15,000.

 

Tags: Liability, auto insurance, Car insurance, injury, coverage, accident