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Zirpolo Insurance has been successfully meeting the needs of our clients in NJ since 1985. Our dedicated agents specialize in Property & Casualty. But, we simply don’t believe in the “one-size-fits-all” approach. We work with you to create individualized solutions. Our team is here to help our clients ask the right questions, identify their specific insurance demands and voice their concerns so we can best meet them.
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If you have an accident, auto insurance protects you against financial loss. Very simply, it is a contract between you and the insurance company. You agree to pay a premium and the insurance company agrees to pay for your losses, due to an accident, as defined in your policy.
Auto insurance protects you on three fronts:
Property coverage pays for damage to or theft of your car.
Liability coverage pays for your legal responsibility to others for bodily injury or property damage.
Medical coverage pays for the cost of treating injuries, rehabilitation and sometimes lost wages and funeral expenses.
Most states require you to buy some vehicle coverage. If you’re financing a car, your lender may also require that you buy car insurance.
The six primary sections of an auto insurance policy
Your auto policy may include these six areas of coverage or a combination of them. Each is priced separately.
Bodily Injury Liability
For injuries the policyholder causes to someone else.
Medical Payments or Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
For treatment of injuries to the driver and passengers of the policyholder’s car.
Property Damage Liability
For damage the policyholder caused to someone else’s property.
For damage to the policyholder’s car from a collision. The collision could be with another car, a fence, a light post, a wall, etc.
For damage to the policyholder’s car that doesn’t involve a collision. Coverage includes fire, theft, falling objects, explosion, earthquake, flood, etc.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
For treatment of the policyholder’s injuries as a result of collision with an uninsured driver. Additionally, underinsured motorist coverage can also be included in the policy. Underinsured motorist coverage is for when an at-fault driver has auto liability insurance, but the limit of insurance is insufficient to pay your damages.
Each state requires that you have certain types of coverage combination with minimum liability limits. Talk to your agent about the type of coverage that is right for you.
It’s your home and you want to protect it with the right homeowner’s insurance policy. To do that it’s important to understand what a standard homeowner’s insurance policy includes. There are four key components consisting of:
Coverage for the structure of your home.
Coverage for your personal belongings.
Living expenses in case you are temporarily unable to live in your home due to a fire or other insured disaster.
1. Your house
This part of your policy generally pays to repair or rebuild your home if it is damaged or destroyed by fire, hurricane, hail, lightning or other disaster listed in your policy. It generally does not pay for damage caused by a flood, earthquake or just wear and tear. When purchasing coverage for the structure of your home, make sure to buy enough to rebuild your home. Also, review this coverage on an annual basis to make sure you have sufficient coverage.
2. Your personal belongings
Your furniture, clothes and other personal belongings are usually covered if they are stolen or destroyed by fire, hurricane or other insured disaster. Most companies provide coverage between 50% to 70% (this is just an average, every policy is different) of the amount of insurance you have on the structure of your home. The best way to determine if this is sufficient is to conduct a home inventory, in case you need to increase your coverage. If you have questions about what is covered by a specific policy, contact us.
This part of your policy may also include off-premises coverage, which means that your belongings are covered anywhere in the world, unless you have decided against this coverage.
Expensive items such as jewelry, furs and silverware are covered, but there are usually dollar limits if they are stolen. To insure these special items to their full value, consider purchasing a special personal property endorsement or floater and insure these items for their appraised value.
Trees, plants and shrubs are also covered under standard homeowners insurance. They are protected against theft, fire, lightning, explosion, vandalism, riot and even falling aircraft. They are not covered against damage by wind or disease.
3. Liability protection
Liability protects you against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage that you or family members cause to someone else. It also pays for damage caused by your pets. So, if your child or dog accidentally breaks something in your neighbor’s yard, you are covered. The liability portion of your policy also pays for both the cost of defending you in court and any court awards—up to the limit of your policy.
Liability limits generally start at about $100,000. Many recommend that you have up to $300,000 in coverage. Some people feel more comfortable with more coverage. You can also purchase an umbrella or excess liability policy which provides broader coverage, including claims against you for libel and slander, as well as higher liability limits.
Your policy also provides no-fault medical coverage. If a friend or neighbor breaks an ankle playing basketball in your back yard, he or she can simply submit medical bills to your insurance company. Expenses are paid without a liability claim being filed against you. You can generally get $1,000 to $5,000 worth of this coverage.
4. Additional living expenses
If you your home is damaged because of a fire, storm or other insured disaster and you can’t live in it, this coverage pays the costs of living someplace else while your home is repaired or you find another place to live. While your home is being rebuilt, hotel bills, restaurant meals and other living expenses are covered. Coverage for additional living expenses differs from company to company.
Do I need liability insurance for my business?
A good liability risk policy can help mitigate the chance that your business will be sued. As careful as we may try to be mistakes happen that might result in an injury to someone or damages to property. Or, a mistake could harm the reputation or interfere with the privacy of a customer or client. If something happens, you may be legally liable to pay damages to someone who suffers a loss due to your actions or inaction.
Depending on the degree of harm and the number of people injured and/or value of property damaged, a lawsuit could bankrupt your business. Even if your organization is cleared of any wrongdoing, a determined plaintiff can keep you tied up in legal proceedings for years, resulting in an expensive and time consuming defense. Liability insurance pays the cost of your defense, protects your assets, and lets you stay focused on your business.
What policy is right for me?
For small businesses the most efficient and least expensive way to purchase liability insurance is usually as part of the Business Owners Policy (BOP) property and liability insurance in one contract.
Under a BOP, your insurance pay damages that you are legally obligated to pay as a result of “bodily injury,” “property damage” or “personal and advertising injury,” up to the policy limits and subject to your deductible. Punitive damages are generally not covered, although there may be some exceptions.
Bodily injury means injury, sickness, disease or death; it may include injuries that are emotional or mental, such as post traumatic stress syndrome or humiliation.
Personal and advertising injury includes libel, slander or any defamatory or disparaging material or a publication or utterance in violation of an individual’s right of privacy; infringing the privacy or copyright rights of another in your advertisement; wrongful entry or eviction, or other invasion of the right of private occupancy; and false arrest or wrongful detention.
What is covered medical expense?
For the most part, your BOP liability coverage is for situations where a third party claims you were negligent and sues for damages. The medical payments coverage is an exception, as it pays medical expenses for bodily injury to third parties that occurs on premises you own or rent or as a result of your operations regardless of fault.
Who is insured?
BOP liability coverage insures a sole proprietor, partners or partners named in the policy "Declarations," but only with respect to their duties on behalf of the business. The spouses of sole proprietors or partners are also covered. If your organization has officers and directors, they are insured, as are your stockholders, but only with respect to their duties or liabilities in connection with the business. Employees and volunteer workers are insured for acts committed within the scope of their employment in your business.
How much liability coverage is right for my business?
The amount of liability coverage a business needs depends on the perceived risk. It’s important to consider the amount of risk inherently associated with your business. For example, a business that manufactures or distributes engines and generators is at a greater risk of being sued than one that distributes fabric and would therefore need more liability insurance. You can usually get a good sense of lawsuits involving your type of business through your trade association.
Some of the companies you do business with may require you to carry a specific minimum amount of liability insurance in order to work with them. Make sure you keep an eye on contracts with your suppliers and customers in case they have specific requirements for liability coverage.
What is difference between occurrence and claims made policies?
There are two major forms of liability insurance policies: Occurrence and Claims Made.
Occurrence Policy: An occurrence policy covers a business for harm to others caused by incidents that occurred while a policy is in force, no matter when the claim is filed. For example, a person might sue a business in 2010 for an injury stemming from an injury in 2001. The policy that was in place when the incident occurred (i.e.2001) will apply, even if the company now has a policy in place with higher limits.
Claims Made Policy: A claims made policy covers the business based on the policy that is in force when the claim is made, regardless of when the incident occurred. In the above example, the limits in the policy in effect in 2010 would apply.
Workers’ compensation is a must-have insurance for companies with employees in order to provide benefits to employees who are injured or become ill on the job. Through this program, workers receive benefits and medical care, and employers are assured that they will not be sued by the employee.
Workers’ compensation is administered at the state level through the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs. Every state requires employers to purchase workers’ compensation insurance to ensure that employees, affected by illness or injury, and their dependents, are protected against significant hardships in case of injury, illness, or death.
For the record
As an employer, ensure that your employees and management staff know that accident reports must be completed when an employee is injured or claims job-related illness. It is important to provide the claims filing forms from your chosen workers’ compensation company. Also, work closely with your workers’ compensation agent to ensure that both the employee’s medical needs and your liability are covered. Follow the guidelines we provided and make sure the claims are completed completely and in a timely manner.