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You’ve Got Questions - We’ve Got Answers

Why should I use an independent agent to purchase insurance?

An independent agency provides more personal service compared to direct writers.  We work with long list of insurance carriers that provide competitive pricing and local claim service.  Our role as your agent is to act as your advocate and communicate on your behalf to your insurance company.  We are with you every step of the way, whether you have a question about coverage or billing, need advice on changing your policy or need to file a claim.  Having a local agent is an invaluable resource!

Should I package my home and auto coverage together?

It almost always makes sense to use the same insurance carrier for your homeowner/renters and auto policies.  The multi-line discount will save you up to 22% from both policies with our companies!  The savings can be so significant that one can purchase auto insurance and the discount will in turn pay for your renters policy!

I’m shopping for a home. When do I obtain a quote?

Even if you’re not under contract yet and are comparing several different properties, feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns.  It is never too early to plan ahead and there are many different factors that affect home insurance premiums, such as the home’s age and type of construction, alarm systems, distance to the fire department, or running a business from home.  Flood coverage is excluded from homeowner policies.  If your home is located in a high risk flood zone your lender may require you carry flood coverage.  We will write a separate flood policy for this need.  When we look for home insurance solutions for you, we will always try to package your home and auto policies together to take advantage of all discounts.

The coverage amount on my home is different than what I paid for it. Why is that?

Most insurance companies require you to carry full replacement coverage so that you have adequate coverage to rebuild in the event of a loss.  Replacement cost coverage can be and often is a different amount from the amount you see on your tax bill or the appraised market value.  There are many items that affect fair market value including the condition of the home, its location and how many acres are included in the property.

Are red cars more expensive to insure?

In order to obtain an accurate quote, we will need the year, make, model & VIN of your auto.  The vehicle identification number tells us everything we need to know about your vehicle, including what vehicle features and safety discounts it has.  It does not tell us about the color however and color does not affect pricing.  That is a myth!  If a red car catches your eye, test drive away!

What is an SR22?

It is a vehicle liability insurance document required by the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).  The DMV determines how long you need to carry this insurance and will notify you in writing when your obligation is fulfilled.

I just got a speeding ticket. How long will that stay on my record?

Points are added to your motor vehicle record every time you are convicted of a moving violation.  In the state of Vermont, if you accrue 10 points or more within 2 years, you will be notified by mail that your Vermont driver’s license has been suspended.  Depending on the company, insurance carriers look back anywhere from three to five years and take all moving violations and accidents into consideration when determining premiums.

My child is getting their license. When do I add them to my auto policy?

We will need to list your child as a driver on your auto policy the day they obtain their driver license.  We do not need to list them if they have their learners permit.  Feel free to contact us prior to getting their license so we can give you a quote and you’ll know how this will affect your premium.  Any big life changes are a good time to reach out to us to make sure your policies are changing with you and meeting your needs.  If a child getting their license causes a large increase to your insurance costs, we can review rates with our other carriers to ensure you are getting the most cost effective rate.  This is one of the many advantages of working with an independent agent!  Options!

I’m just starting my business. Do I need to start a policy right away?

The short answer is yes!  You could experience a claim the first day you are in business.  Even if you do not have a large amount of business property or assets to protect, you will need to be concerned with protecting your business liability.  The cost of a lawsuit would be covered by your liability insurance.

I run my business from home. Does my home insurance cover this?

There can be coverage depending on the type of business and on a very limited basis.  It is important to keep your agent appraised of what business activities take place at home to ensure your coverage is continually meeting your needs.  Please remember there is no business liability in a standard homeowner policy and we’ll likely need to find a separate commercial policy to cover all your basis.

Insurance is so expensive! What can I do to lower my premiums?

Here are some ways we can assist you with decreasing your premium.

  • Stay with your existing company, if possible, you don’t want to lose merit renewal credits.

  • Increase your deductibles, you do not want to submit small claims right now.

  • Pay your premiums in full.  Take advantage of this discount if your company offers it.  If you cannot, change your payment plan to monthly automatic payments where there is minimal or no installment fee charges.

  • Package your home/condo/renter and auto insurance with the same company if you can.

  • If we move your property to a new company, there will be a new inspection by the new company.

  • Pay your bills on time, this gives you the best insurance rates.

We will pull and review your policy if it increased 25% or more at time of renewal, but if you are still concerned about your premium increase, you can call us to discuss your policy options.

What discounts could I be getting on my insurance policy?

The best way to find out is to start the conversation!  An annual insurance review can uncover changes that we recommend you consider and ensure we are maximizing your discounts.  Alarms systems in your home, having multiple vehicles on one policy, having more than one policy with a company, good grades, driver education courses, and boating or motorcycle safety courses are just a few of the many things you can do to maximize your savings.

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