Do I have coverage if I drive for Uber?

Some companies have the ability to add an endorsement to contemplate this exposure. Many companies do not allow coverage when the car is used as a livery.

Can I deliver pizza?

As you might suspect this is a very difficult exposure to cover. Most carriers do not want to cover it because these deliveries usually have a time element, so speeding is typically part of the process and it is typically a younger driver that will have this type of job.

Can I take my car to school?

A lot of carriers do allow this. If you do allow your kids to take the car, it is imperative that they do not give blanket usage rights to their friends and roommates

Should I add my child to my policy, or should they get their own?

We advise that it is best to keep the kids on the parents’ policy. Typically, the policies are rated based on the parents’ credit and driving history. This most often allows the child to get a better rate for better coverage than they could on their own

Can I let someone drive my car?

You can always give someone permission to use your car and they are covered by your policy. The permission needs to be given each time that an unlisted driver uses the car, as opposed to giving friends blanket rights to drive the car.

Should I buy the waiver from the rental car company?

Yes, you should. There are many restrictions in the auto policy regarding rentals. The biggest however, is if you rent a car and crash it, the rental company has the right to charge you as if you are still renting the car the entire time it is out of the rental pool being fixed. Your policy WILL NOT cover these charges.

What is business use vs. pleasure use vs. commute?

Business use on a personal auto policy is for things like the Insurance Salesman that may use the cars to go on work calls. Pleasure use is typically defined as less than a 3-mile commute to work, or no commute at all. Commute use is typically over 3 miles to work.

When should I choose Business/Commercial Auto vs. a personal policy with business use on my vehicle?

That really depends on what the commercial use is, and to whom the vehicles will be registered and titled. This typically leads to some further questions to determine the best course of action.

Can I get a low-mileage discount?

Many of our carriers offer a low-mileage discount. It just takes a little bit of tracking and reporting on your end

Why do I have to disclose all the residents in my household, even if they’re insured elsewhere?

Yes, nearly all companies have a whole-house underwriting process. The reason being is that anyone that lives with you is a potential driver. It is amazing how often there is an accident, “the only time” someone ever borrowed a car.

Should I take the Defensive Driver Course?

Must definitely; here is a link to an online course that is approved by the State of NY. You will save about 10% (it’s actually about 9.8%)


Can I Air BNB my home?

More and more companies are coming out with endorsements that cover the ABNB exposure. You need to ask your agent this one directly.

Why should I schedule specific items?

This does several things; here are the highlights: You have an agreed value on the item. You now have full theft and mysterious disappearance coverage on your items now. This is typically limited on the basic homeowner form. The scheduled item is no longer covered by the personal property section of the policy, so now you have more money to replace the more standard household items.

I run a business in my outbuilding; is that covered?

This really depends on the type of business, the percent of the household income derived from this business, and the amount of on-property traffic it creates.

Does having a pool increase my cost?

Not typically, but it will have to be fenced, and companies do not like diving boards or slides as a general rule.

I am thinking about getting a dog; does that have anything to do with my insurance?

Dogs do not typically increase the premium directly but it will be a determining factor in whether a home is insurable or not by a specific insurer. Some companies will exclude the dog or only write a very low limit on certain breeds.

What is coinsurance?

This is a calculation that is used to determine what the amount of coverage is at the time of loss. In order to get the full replacement value of your home you must insure it between 80-100%. If you are not there at the time of loss, there could be a penalty based on the ratio of what you did have vs. what you should have.

How do we determine the Replacement Cost of the house?

We have industry standard software that will help you determine what the approximate cost to replace your home would be. This is far from an exact science, but you really do not want to be below $200 per square foot in our area.

Do I need Flood insurance?

This is something that you would typically be required to have by your bank if you need it.

I’m building a new home – how does that change the insurance I need?

It does not really change what you need in that some insurance companies will write a stripped-down homeowner policy during the course of construction. This policy will have an endorsement on it to cover the building materials and to indicate that it is under construction. Once it is done, we will add the necessary coverages back on and take off the endorsement.

Can I insure a vacant lot? (What is considered a vacant lot)?

Vacant lots can be covered on a homeowner policy. We typically put an endorsement on the policy that extends liability to the specific address of the land.

My house is for sale but I’m still living in it – why is that considered vacant/higher risk?

If you are still living in it, that is fine. Once you move out you need to let your agent know, and then at renewal you may need to move it to a policy that allows for vacancy.

I bought a house that needs renovations – how will that impact my insurance?

It really depends on the extent of the renovations. Are they simply cosmetic? Are they structural? Will you live there while they are going on? How long will they take? Who is doing them? As you can see this will require a conversation with your agent.

When I move to a new house, are my contents covered in transit (in the moving van)? What about in storage?

Yes, during the moving process your contents are covered as long as you leave the Homeowner policy in force throughout the move.

Is Personal Injury liability automatically covered on my homeowners?

This typically needs to be added by endorsement.

How is Personal Injury liability different from Personal liability on my homeowner’s policy?

Personal injury covers things like libel and slander. Where Personal liability covers bodily injury and property damage

My house is owned by a corporation/company – do I have to get insurance in the company name?

This is becoming more and more common but it varies from company to company. This is another conversation to be had with your agent.

My parents died and their house is currently in probate – how do we insure the house?

This is typically fine but the named insured should be changed to the Estate of and revisited at the next renewal for the company’s appetite to remain on the policy.

I own a house in trust with my siblings – how do we insure the house?

Depending on how many siblings there are this is quite normal. Most of the time the named insured is you and your siblings and the Trust is an additional insured

I own property in NY and in FL, and travel between the two. How do I tell which is my primary and which is my secondary home?

This is basically math, the primary as far as insurance is concerned is the one that you are in more than half of the time.

Why should I get an estimate before I file a claim?

On a home policy I would get the claim started right away, then get the estimate process started. On an auto policy I would get the estimate on the car before I start the claim.

Am I allowed to have a trampoline?

Different companies have different attitudes on the presence of a trampoline on an insured residence. For some it is fine, for some it is a hard no. Again, this is a conversation to be had with your agent.


Why do I need an umbrella

The umbrella is a very inexpensive way to get higher limits of liability. This is great in the event of a loss; it protects your assets from attachment in a lawsuit.

What does it cover?

It can go over most liability policies. Auto, Home, Boat, Antique Auto, Camper and ATVs are good examples of policies that can go under your umbrella.

What does a drop-down provision mean?

This is coverage in the umbrella that allows it to cover exposures that you don’t have an underlying policy for. For example, you go on vacation and rent a boat, but you don’t have boat insurance and you injury a 3rd party in an accident. The drop-down provision allows the coverage to “drop down” and cover the accident.

Why should I have an umbrella before my teen starts driving?

This is always a good idea because once they are licensed it may limit the ability to get the policy.

Should I add SUM (Supplemental Underinsured Motorist) protection to my umbrella policy?

Yes, because this covers you and your passengers under the umbrella in the event of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. Why cover everyone else for more than you are covering yourself?

I have property in multiple states – are they all covered under the same umbrella policy?

Yes, but they must be listed on the policy and there may be a limit to the number of properties any company might be willing to insure. This is another conversation to have with your agent.


When do I need to have Workers Comp?

In NY State, if you have employees you must have Workers Comp and NYS Disability with Paid Family Leave coverage. FYI, paying someone on a 1099 basis does NOT necessarily make them a sub-contractor, therefore getting you out of the need for Workers Comp

Do I have to be covered on my own WC policy?

Owners of sole proprietorships and the partners in a partnership do not need to cover themselves. Corporate officers can choose not to be covered in NYS as long as there are no more than two officers or shareholders.

What is business income insurance?

This is a key coverage in all quality insurance programs. It replaces your income if there is a covered loss that forces you to not be able to operate.

What is Cyber liability?

This is a valuable coverage today. It typically is coverage for claims arising out of the usage of a computer. It can be loss of your own data. It can be for causing damage to others’ data. It can be for coverage for failure to protect client data. It can be coverage for bogus wire transfers. This is a coverage that warrants a conversation with your agent.

What is Employment Practices liability?

This is a vital policy in today’s day and age. It covers things like sexual harassment, failure to hire, accusations of discrimination when firing someone, failure to provide a safe place to work.

I am being asked for a Waiver of Subrogation – what is that?

That is an agreement between your company and the person requesting it that your company will not come back after them to recover the cost of a loss.

Do I need to be an AI on my subs policies?

Yes, always. This is a great practice because it positions the subcontractor’s policy in a position that is the primary coverage to yours in the event of a loss.

Can I put a magnetic sign or a wrap for my business on my car? Or truck?

This really goes back to “Do I need a commercial policy for my truck?” If your car is wrapped, signed or lettered it should not be on a personal policy. If you do have the car wrapped or lettered you need to remember to add the cost of the work to the cost of the vehicle because it will not be put back if it is not.