Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need liability insurance for my business?

If you own a business in Pennsylvania, you’ve got enough on your mind without worrying about what will happen if an employee is injured on the job, your roof is damaged in a storm, or a customer falls on your property.

Risk Averse helps to minimize your risk with a comprehensive array of insurance products designed just for business: general liability insurance, business personal property insurance, workers compensation insurance, professional liability insurance, employment practices liability insurance, management liability insurance, and cyber liability insurance – even special coverage for home businesses.

Why is my car insurance premium so high?

There are many reasons why your car insurance premium may be higher than you expected, but here are 8 in particular that are most common:

Proximity to the Philadelphia Area – Car insurance in Philadelphia is the highest in the state. In surrounding counties such as Montgomery County, Bucks County, and Delaware County insurance premiums can end up being higher than average. As you get further from Philadelphia into Chester County and Berks County, premiums will start to decrease.

Low Credit/Insurance Score – Clients don’t like to hear that their credit score is affecting their insurance premiums, but it’s a fact, and every company uses it in determining premiums. Insurance companies have found that credit score has a direct correlation to the profitability of the business they write. Some companies have more favorable rates for those with poor credit scores while others will essentially deny coverage.

Claims – Whether it’s a small claim or a big one, all claims can affect your ability to get lower rates when shopping. Even if the insurance company cannot “surcharge” your policy for a claim, PA car insurance companies can move you to a less favorable rating tier or remove loss-free discounts.

Young Driver – Will my insurance get cheaper when I turn 25? Short answer… No. This is a major misconception in the car insurance industry. There is no specific discount when you turn 25. In reality, your rates will get progressively better as you age. In many cases, you may need to shop your insurance to see any significant change in premium. Some car insurance companies are more favorable to drivers in their 20s. No companies are favorable for drivers in their teens.

Older Driver – The reverse is also true… somewhere around age 60, you can expect to see your insurance premiums start to creep up. Around age 70 or 75, companies may even require that an extra medical form be filled out.

Home and Auto Policies are Separate – If you have your home and auto insurance with different companies, you may be missing out on significant discounts. It’s very rare that I find a situation where this makes sense.

Prior Low Limits of Insurance – I’ve mentioned this in other articles, but low limits of insurance don’t always mean the lowest prices. Rather than carry the state minimum coverage, get quotes for higher limits. You might find that it’s not as expensive as you thought. It might also open up new, more competitive markets that aren’t looking to write low limits. This will also help you secure better quotes in the future.

Been with the Same Company for Years – As an agent, I can appreciate this kind of customer loyalty. However, these are the clients for whom I end up saving the most money… sometimes thousands of dollars a year. This is where the value of an independent agent comes in. As an independent agent, I have the ability to shop your insurance with numerous companies to make sure you are still getting the best premium. Agents for companies like State Farm and Allstate are locked in to one specific company, which isn’t doing you any favors. Most customers are looking to be loyal to their agent, not their insurance company (there’s a difference). Why not have one that gives you more options?

Call Risk Averse Insurance in Media, PA for a quote on your PA homeowners insurance and PA car insurance. 

Risk Averse Insurance is an insurance agency in Delaware County that specializes in providing high quality insurance products at an affordable price.

What is builders risk insurance?

Builders risk insurance is a type of property insurance specifically used for buildings and homes that are under construction. This policy can cover three types of construction projects: remodeling, ground-up new construction, and installation. The limits on your policy will vary depending on the level of risk involved in the project.

Builders risk insurance policies can differ depending on the scope of the project, but it typically covers the following property losses due to:

  • Fire 
  • Hurricanes 
  • Lightning 
  • Hail 
  • Vandalism 
  • Theft 
  • Soft costs

However, if you find that the basic coverages are not enough for your construction project, you can add extensions or endorsements to cover any additional risks you may face while on the job. 

How much insurance coverage should I buy for my house?

One of the questions I get most from my clients is “Why is my house insured for so much? I could never sell it for that amount.” The reason for this difference is that your insurance policy is insuring your property on a Replacement Cost basis. Replacement cost is the amount required to replace the structure as-is in the event of a loss. There are times when this amount will be lower or higher than the Market Value of your home. The Market Value is what you can expect to sell your home for in the current market. Market Value will take into account the land that the property sits on, school district, etc.

Let’s assume we have a small rancher in Newtown Square, PA on an acre of land. The Market Value of this property will likely be much higher than the Replacement Cost because the land and school district will account for a significant portion of the value. Your Replacement Cost insurance policy will only be covering the materials and labor required to re-build the small rancher. Now, let’s assume you have a stone, Victorian-style home sitting on a quarter of an acre in Drexel Hill, PA. Chances are, this property was built in the early to mid-1900s making the replacement of these materials very expensive. In this case, the Replacement Cost of the home could greatly exceed the Market Value of the home.

With that being said, it’s imperative that you include the following endorsements on your PA homeowners insurance policy:

  1. Extended Replacement Cost – This coverage will give you an additional 25% or 50% of your Dwelling coverage. For example, your home is insured for $200,000 at the time of loss. It then cost $240,000 to rebuild the home. Without this endorsement, you’d be on the hook for $40,000. Determining the replacement cost of your home is an inexact science. I could do a replacement-cost estimate with 4 different companies and come up with a different replacement cost of the same home each time. Don’t leave your financial security to chance… make sure you’re adequately protected.
  2. Ordinance and Law Coverage – This coverage provides you coverage for the increased replacement cost resulting from changes in building codes. For example, building codes in your area may require that all new construction be sprinklered. Because your home was originally built in 1975, your home didn’t include sprinklers and, therefore, it wasn’t accounted for in the replacement cost estimate. This endorsement will account for that increased expense.
  3. Water and Sewer Backup – This doesn’t have to do specifically with replacement cost, but it is a very important coverage. Your homeowners policy, without this endorsement, does not provide coverage for a backup of sewers into your home… trust me, it happens! Don’t leave your home exposed.

 

Call Risk Averse Insurance in Media, PA to get a homeowners or car insurance quote.

Risk Averse Insurance is an independent insurance agency in Delaware County that specializes in providing high-quality insurance products at an affordable price.

Is my child’s property covered while they're away at college?

Many parents ask me “does my homeowners policy cover my child while he or she is away at college?” The answer really depends on whether your child intends to live on-campus or off-campus. If your daughter plans to live in the dorms for her first year of college, your homeowners policy will provide coverage for her belongings, typically up to 10% of the Personal Property limit listed on your policy. Any losses would be covered subject to your deductible. Your homeowners policy will also provide liability protection for her automatically.

Your son, on the other hand, has decided he’s going to live in off-campus housing this year. This is where things get dicey. You will definitely need a renters insurance policy for him. There are some things you should keep in mind. If he is going to be living with friends, they should each have their own renters insurance. Some companies may allow for roommates to be on the same renters insurance policy, but if your son isn’t specifically listed on the policy, he’s not covered.

More importantly, if you are signing the lease for your son, you want to make sure you are protected. If you are on the lease, you will certainly be pulled into the lawsuit. You can do this one of two ways. First, make sure your name is listed on his renters insurance policy as a named insured. Second, add this location to your homeowners policy for Extended Liability. This option would cost you under $25 per year. Important tip – Make sure any policy you get for you or your children includes Personal Injury coverage.

Let’s say your son or daughter posts something on Facebook bashing a teacher, business, or another student. This person, as a result, suffers a damaged reputation and will most likely end up suing your child. Without Personal Injury protection, the policy will not provide coverage. It’s very cheap but invaluable in today’s social media-driven society.

Call Risk Averse Insurance in Media, PA to get a homeowners or car insurance quote.

Risk Averse Insurance is an independent insurance agency in Delaware County that specializes in providing high-quality insurance products at an affordable price.

What's the difference between general liability and professional liability insurance?

A general liability policy is going to cover your most basic business insurance needs. Also known as business liability insurance, this policy protects you from general claims that any company could face; this includes claims regarding bodily injury, third-party medical costs, advertising injury lawsuits, and more. This coverage is typically required when entering into a contract with a third party or pulling permits in a city like Philadelphia. General liability coverage also provides legal representation and pays for covered damages caused by the business owner or an employee. 

Professional liability insurance (also known as E&O insurance or medical malpractice insurance) provides coverage for business owners that offer advice or professional services in the event that you give bad advice or fail to perform a service resulting in a client’s lost revenues. Professionals such as accountants, lawyers, physicians, and real estate agents would be required to carry this type of insurance policy as it protects you from your most common causes of loss.

Call Risk Averse Insurance in Media, PA to get a business insurance quote.

Risk Averse Insurance is an independent insurance agency in Delaware County that specializes in providing high-quality insurance products at an affordable price.

How much life insurance do I need?

Although it’s not something we like to think about, tragedy can strike at any time. Would your family be able to cover final expenses if it happened to you? How long will they be able to afford the mortgage payments without your income? Will the kids be able to go to college?

Approaching the subject of life insurance can be daunting, especially if you aren’t sure how much you need. Depending on how long you want the coverage to last and what you want it to cover, you can choose between term and whole life insurance.

Term Life Insurance is pretty straightforward; you pay a monthly premium for as long as you have the policy. Term life insurance policies are relatively inexpensive, but the price will vary depending on a number of factors such as age, gender, health, and whether you’re a smoker. Term policies typically last between 10-30 years. If you die within the effective dates of a term life insurance policy, your designated beneficiary/beneficiaries will receive a payout or “death benefit.” 

Whole Life Insurance is, as the name suggests, life insurance coverage that lasts your whole life. It is considerably more expensive, but this is due to the length of the coverage and the fact that this policy has cash value with a guaranteed rate of investment return on a portion of the money that you pay. In other words, a part of your premium will go into a tax-deferred savings account every month, and the cash value increases over time.

Why does my worker's compensation policy have an ESTIMATED premium?

Worker’s compensation insurance premiums are determined based on your actual payroll. Because most companies are not sure exactly what their payroll is going to be, the insurance company estimates your premium based on your estimated payroll. At the end of the policy term, the company will audit your payroll. If actual payroll was less than estimated payroll, you would get a refund. If actual payroll is more than estimated payroll, you would owe the insurance company money.

Call Risk Averse Insurance in Media, PA to get a worker’s compensation quote.

Risk Averse Insurance is an independent insurance agency in Delaware County that specializes in providing high-quality insurance products at an affordable price.

Is it a good idea to shop my insurance every year?

In general, it’s a good idea to shop your rates every 3-5 years. Some companies give better pricing to clients who have been with one insurer for 3 years or more. Some let you earn discounts like accident forgiveness, for example. If you have a good broker, they’ll usually let you know when another carrier they have may be more competitive.

NOTE: it is beneficial to have all of your personal and commercial insurance policies with one agency. It doesn’t necessarily need to be with the same insurance carrier within the agency, but having one set of eyes on everything helps to make sure that there are no gaps in coverage.

Call Risk Averse Insurance in Media, PA to get a business or personal insurance quote.

Risk Averse Insurance is an independent insurance agency in Delaware County that specializes in providing high-quality insurance products at an affordable price.

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