Coverage Options

Auto and Home coverage


Liability/property damage:  Liability is the most important and mandatory coverage on an auto insurance policy.  Liability pays out on your car insurance if you are found at fault in an accident and damage somebody else’s property or cause harm to another person.  Most often you will see this coverage set up as split limits such as 100/300/100.  What this translates to is your policy will payout up to 100,000 max per person and 300,000 max per accident for medical bills.  The last split is for property damage you may cause.  In this case it would be 100,000.  The state minimums for the State of Wisconsin is 25/50/10 or 25,000 per person, 50,000 per accident, and 10,000 for property damage.  As a rule of thumb you want this coverage to be as high as you can afford.  The reason you want this as high as you can afford is so you don’t get sued beyond those limits if something catastrophic happens.

Liability can also be set by a single limit (CSL) such as 300 which stands for 300,000.  This type of policy does not distinguish particular limits per person or property damage.

Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage:  These coverage are listed separately on your policy but are very close in definition to the liability.  Uninsured motorist coverage protects you against outrageous medical that can be caused if someone else hits you that does not have insurance.  Underinsured motorist will kick in for your medical bills if someone hits you and doesn’t have as much coverage as you do.

Medical:  Medical coverage is medical protection for people in your car regardless of who is at fault.  A car accident settlement can take a long time to resolve and this coverage offers quicker access to policy money.

Comprehensive:  Comprehensive coverage pays to fix your car minus the deductible for any loss to your vehicle except collisions.  Some common examples of comprehensive losses are hail damage, water damage, hitting an animal, vandalism, and car theft

Collision:  Collision coverage covers your vehicle if you strike anything with you car besides animals.  You also need this coverage to repair your car if someone else hits you and they don’t have insurance.

Towing/Roadside assistance:  This coverage provides you with the peace of mind that no matter where you are driving you will have assistance if your car breaks down, you run out of gas, or if you lock your keys in the car.  Each company has different limits on how much they will pay per incident to the tow company.

Rental Reimbursement:  This coverage pays for the cost of renting a vehicle while your vehicle is being repaired for a covered loss.  In order to get this coverage you must have both comprehensive and collision coverage on your vehicle.

Other Coverages

Glass Coverage:  This coverage will cover auto glass repairs for free and will replace windows at either no cost or a smaller deductible than what you currently have.

Gap coverage:  Gap coverage or residual debt coverage provides money to your car loan company in case you didn’t put much money down on your vehicle.  For instance if you buy a $30000 car and put $0 down once you drive that car off the lot it could depreciate by $5000.  If you have a total loss in that vehicle you still have to pay off that loan and in this case would have to pay the additional $5k for a car you no longer own.

New Car replacement:  This coverage is similar to gap coverage except instead of simply paying off your vehicle it will give you enough money to the same brand new car again.  This is great if you put a lot of money down or paid cash for a vehicle.  This coverage can only be added to brand new cars.

Custom vehicle coverage:  This coverage allows you to make sure your vehicle upgrades are covered on your vehicle.  For instance if a lift was added to van or you have added other custom components.

Accident Forgiveness:  This coverage will allow you to get into one accident without it affecting your car insurance rate.

Homeowners Insurance

Dwelling:  This coverage is the max amount the policy will pay in the event there is a total loss on your home.  There are different ways to calculate the dwelling value.  Those options are actual cash value, functional replacement cost, and replacement cost.

Separate Structures:  This coverage provides coverage for any detached structure on your property.

Personal Property:  This coverage covers your personal belongings in your house.  There are special limits on certain items so make sure you talk to your agent about anything worth a lot of money to make sure it’s covered.  The most common belongings that need to be listed on the policy are extra jewelry, firearms, and computers.  Other items such as expensive cameras and musical instruments can also be added.

Liability:  Liability on a homeowners policy protects you if non-residents are injured on your property or even if  you are negligent away from your home.

Loss of Use:  This coverage provides you with living expenses in the event you are unable to live in your house while it is being fixed or rebuilt.

Guest Medical:  Guest Medical covers medical expenses in the event someone other than the residents of the property gets injured on the property.

Extended Replacement Cost:  This coverage raises your dwelling coverage up a certain percentage in case the dwelling coverage is set too low or there is a spike in building costs.

Building Ordinance:  Building ordinance provides protection against work that needs to be done associated with a loss that’s not up to code.  If there is a loss in your home and something associated with that loss is not up to code the insurance company will pay to get it up to code.

Sewer Backup:  This coverage provides coverage in case water backs up from beneath the floors in your basement.  This coverage usually needs to be added on in order to be covered.

Loss Assessment:  This coverage is very important for Condo owners and Homeowner association homes.  If there is a liability claim that is filed with an association they may spread that liability out among the association members.  This coverage provides protection against those losses.

Glass Coverage:  This coverage waives the deductible in case windows are broken.


Other Insurance options

Umbrella:  Umbrella policies are extra liability policies used to increase your liability limits on underlying policies.  These policies are great for people  who really want to protect their assets in the event of a tragic event and they are sued above their current policy limits

Flood:  Flood coverage covers your property in case water comes into your home from the outside.  Certain flood zones are more susceptible to losses than others but floods can happen anywhere.

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