Insuring Your Home to Value

Although not required by law in Massachusetts, Homeowners Insurance is required by most mortgage lenders. Typical Homeowners policies in Massachusetts provide coverage for your home, other structures on your property, and the possessions in your home against losses such as from fire, storm damage and theft. These policies also generally protect you and your family members from liability arising from bodily harm to others or property damage to other people’s property.

Since a home is usually your single biggest financial investment, it’s important to make sure you not only have coverage, but you have the right coverage for you. At Cochrane & Porter, we help you avoid the most common home insurance mistake – under insuring the Replacement Cost of your home. The best way to do that is to insure your home to value, and here’s how:

Ask your agent to review.

  • Insurance to value is an insurance concept based on making sure you have enough coverage on your policy to rebuild the home if there is total loss. It differs from the market value of the home and does not include the value of the land. Independent agents like Cochrane & Porter can utilize cost estimators, check prior inspections, review information available through your town’s assessor’s office – and account for inflation and make sure your policy is sufficient. Other information from websites like Zillow or Trulia can also obtain information about your home that help make sure your Replacement Cost is accurate.

Consider requesting an inspection.

  • Some insurance companies will send an inspector if the home has been without inspection for a long time, but if you have made home improvements, built an addition, or made other changes that could affect the value of your home, it may be worth asking your insurance agent to talk to the insurance company about performing an inspection.

If your home is insured to less than 80% of value, then even in a partial loss you will only receive an equivalent percentage of the cost to repair the damages. For example, if the limit on your home is only 70% of the cost to rebuild it, in the event of a partial loss of $100,000 you would only receive $70,000. That’s $30,000 in out-of-pocket expenses. Ouch!

You want your Homeowners insurance to be there for you when you need it, and making sure your home is insured to value is the best way to get that peace of mind. Contact us today and we’ll be happy to help you get the best possible coverage for your home at the best possible price!

Rest Assured. We’ve got you covered!

What are the Benefits of Packaging My Homeowner and Auto Policies with the Same Company?

If you’re like most Americans, you have both car insurance and some type of protection for where you live – homeowners insurance, renters insurance or condo insurance. But if you’re a typical buyer, you may be shopping around for the best price for each; unaware that by securing both policies from the same insurance company, you’ll likely earn significant discounts and can be sure that you have proper coverage for your unique individual needs.

Additional Provider Options

Some insurance companies refuse to write mono-line (singular) policies. So, if you’re only shopping for car insurance, or only shopping for homeowners insurance, you may be missing out on offers from companies who will gladly provide you with both coverages.  And when you work with an independent agency with the resources of Cochrane & Porter, more than a dozen additional insurance companies could be competing for your business. That could mean big savings for you!

Premium Savings

Discounts of 20% are typical, and have the potential to be more than 35%. You’ll also be eligible for additional tiered benefits, which could reduce your premium even further. Many insurance companies have different tiers with lower base rates for certain tiers for which mono-line accounts are not eligible. Companies would rather write both lines of insurance for you at a discount than find another new customer who only wants one type of insurance.

Ease of Use

By getting both your auto and homeowners insurance from a single company, you’re making your life as an insured much, much easier. You’ll only be getting a bill from one place, only need to use one website to look up your insurance information, and only deal with one company if you need to file a claim. If a tree falls on your car in your front yard, you’ll have much fewer headaches trying to get the situation resolved. And, if you have an umbrella policy, there’s no need to submit your auto policy every year to confirm eligibility.

Ensuring Proper Coverage

While packaging all of your policies with one company usually makes a lot of sense, it always makes sense to write them with the same agency (and specifically Cochrane & Porter!). We can make sure you have the proper coverage in place, with no gaps, at the right price. We can do a full review of your policies and identify any areas where you may need additional protection or there are additional savings.

 

Contact us today to get your insurance bundled with one company, and with us!

What Happens if My Car Hits a Deer and I Am Injured?

In our last blog we explained which coverage would apply to your vehicle if you hit a deer. In Massachusetts, insureds need comprehensive coverage to be protected from financial loss in these types of incidents. But what if you get hurt in the accident? Medical bills are expensive, so it’s important to know what kind of financial support you can expect from a typical Massachusetts auto insurance policy and what you can do to make sure you have optimal protection.

There are four components to Massachusetts auto insurance policies that are required by law:

  1. Bodily Injury to Others
  2. Personal Injury Protection
  3. Bodily Injury Caused by an Uninsured Auto
  4. Damage to Someone Else’s Property

Additional options include Collision and Comprehensive coverage. As explained above, comprehensive coverage provides financial protection for your property in case you hit a deer.

If in the unfortunate circumstance that you do get hurt, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) will typically automatically cover the first $2,000 in medical expenses incurred. Additional medical expenses will then be submitted to your private health insurance provider to determine if medical coverage applies. If for some reason your health insurance provider denies payment for a claim, you must submit that claim to your auto insurance carrier and your PIP coverage would then be used to cover up to the standard limit of $8,000.

If you have Medical Payments (MedPay) but don’t have private health insurance, PIP will cover the first $8,000 in medical expenses and any additional expenses will be covered by MedPay up to the MedPay policy limits. If you have MedPay and private health insurance, PIP will cover the first $2,000 in medical expenses and anything above that amount will be submitted for review to your private health insurance provider. Any expenses denied by the health insurance provider can be resubmitted through your PIP coverage and paid, up to the $8,000 limit, with additional expense then going through your MedPay coverage, up to the policy limit.

To keep it simple, if you are injured as an insured driver after hitting a deer or another animal, PIP will typically cover medical expenses up to $2,000 and private health insurance will kick in after that – although you can come back to your PIP coverage up to the $8,000 limit for certain items denied by health insurance. MedPay customers will have a slightly different experience. After the PIP limit is exhausted, MedPay would then be used for any expenses not covered by a health insurance provider.

A licensed and responsible insurance agent can be the difference between making sure you have the protection you need and facing eye-popping expenses after an accident.

Contact us today for a complimentary review of your insurance and let us shop our network of 40+ companies to find you the best possible coverage at an affordable price!