Leffelman
It is very important that you consult with your agent to determine the best coverage for you. Depending on your vehicle, age, driving record, income and many other factors, the right coverage will vary.
 
Disclaimer: This information is intended to provide a brief overview of insurance coverage, and is not a substitute for reading the details of your insurance policy and/or consulting with an agent.
  1. What does liability coverage mean? 
  2. What does collision and comprehensive coverage mean? 
  3. My car insurance seems expensive. How can I reduce the cost? 
  4. When comparing homeowners policies, what should I look at other than the limit on my house? 
  5. If I have an office in my home, does my homeowners policy provide the coverage I need?
    WHAT DOES LIABILITY COVERAGE MEAN
    Liability coverage protects you from lawsuits in the event you are involved in an accident. This coverage provides protection even if you are driving another person's vehicle. There are three main types of Liability coverage:
     
    Bodily Injury
    Bodily Injury coverage is typically sold as split limits, a limit for each passenger and an overall limit for the accident. For example, if you elect to purchase $100,0000/$300,000 coverage, you have the following coverage maximum payouts in the event of an accident:
     
    $100,000 maximum payment to any individual involved in the accident
    $300,000 maximum payment for all individuals involved in the accident.
     
    The minimum limits for BI vary by state, and it is suggested that you purchase at least $100,000/$300,000. Always check with your insurance agent about the risks associated with purchasing lower or minimum liability limits.
     
    Medical or Personal Injury Protection(PIP)
    This coverage provides protection for medical and/or funeral costs for you in the event of an accident. States are either Medical states or PIP states depending on their state law. Please check with your agent for a complete description on medical coverage and its relation to other existing health/life coverage you may have.
     
    Property Damage
    As the name implies, property damage protects you from any damage resulting to a person's car or other property in the event of an accident. For example, if you purchase $100,000 of Property Damage, the maximum amount paid for damage to other individual's property would be $100,000 for the accident.
     
    Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist
    Uninsured Motorist provides coverage for you in the event the other driver does not have insurance at all. Underinsured Motorist provides liability coverage for you in the event the other driver does not have enough insurance coverage. 
     
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    WHAT DOES COLLISION AND COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE MEAN?
    These two coverage options provide compensation for damage inflicted to your vehicle in the event of an accident. Collision provides coverage in the event of an accident. Comprehensive provides coverage in the event of car damage from other perils such as storms, theft, and some other non-accident damage inflicted to your car.
     
    Comprehensive and Collision are sold with deductibles. A deductible is the amount you pay first. After the deductible has been reached, the insurance coverage provides payment for the additional amount of repairs/replacement needed. A typical deductible for Comprehensive and Collision is:
     
    $250 Comprehensive
    $500 Collision
     
    It is very important that you consult with your agent to determine the best coverage for you. Depending on your vehicle, age, driving record, income and many other factors, the right coverage will vary.
     
    Disclaimer: This information is intended to provide a brief overview of insurance coverage and is not a substitute for reading the details of your insurance policy and/or consulting with an agent. 
     
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    MY CAR INSURANCE SEEMS EXPENSIVE. HOW CAN I REDUCE THE COST?
    Auto insurance rates in Illinois are actually some of the lowest in the nation. Only 9 states have lower rates than we do. However, there are still tools you can use to reduce your costs. A few things to consider include:
     
    Vehicle Choice - Premiums vary by vehicle - some are theft targets or expensive to repair. Check the insurance rates before you make a purchase.
     
    Deductibles - Choosing higher comprehensive and collision deductibles can reduce premiums.
     
    Collision Coverage - As your vehicle ages and the value declines, it might be a good idea to drop collision coverage to save money.
     
    Account Credit - Many companies provide discounts if your home and auto are insured together.
     
    Ride Share - If you commute, look into ride share vans or alternatives to driving to work every day. Decreased usage may translate into a lower rate class. 
     
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    WHEN COMPARING HOMEOWNERS POLICIES, WHAT SHOULD I LOOK AT OTHER THAN THE LIMIT ON MY HOUSE?
    There are many features within a homeowners policy that will make it different than another. In addition to the limits shown on the front of your policy (dwelling, contents, liability, etc.), you need to dig into the policy language to see how your policy addresses things like: 

    Backup of Sewer or Drains - the basic homeowners policy does not cover this, but many offer it as an option or enhancement. 

    Wind damage to trees - if you have a tree blown down on your home, most policies will pay for the cost to remove it. However, if the tree is just downed in the yard, some policies will cover the removal - others will not. 

    Cost to Replace your Home - Virtually all homeowners policies provide replacement cost coverage (not depreciated) up to the home value shown on the policy. What if your cost to rebuild exceeds that limit? Many companies offer endorsements to allow some "excess coverage" to allow for situations where the cost to rebuild exceeds the home value shown. While you should try to insure at the full cost to rebuild, these endorsements take the burden off of you to make sure that you are aware of every change in building costs over time.

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If I HAVE AN OFFICE IN MY HOME, DOES MY HOMEOWNERS POLICY PROVIDE THE COVERAGE I NEED?
Probably not, unless you address a few items specifically.
 
Be sure to address any business activity with your agent. There are many gaps in both the property and liability coverage under the homeowners policy relative to the business. Your policy may exclude any detached structures, such as a garage, that are used for business purposes, including storage of materials. Contents coverage for business personal property is usually limited to $2500 at home or $250 away from home. Liability coverage for business activity is generally excluded.
 
Many of these items, however, can be addressed by many homeowners policies as in-home businesses become more common. Coverage for contents, business computers and data and liability can often be added to the homeowners policy or be provided by a companion policy. 
 
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