As a kid, I remember hearing my parents tell me, “Ask us anything Jess!” Those talks with my quirky parents were at times downright scary, but mostly characterized with beneficial information accompanied with sidesplitting laughter. They’re people who always wanted us kids to have a realistic view of life. I hope that when it comes to your partnership with Synergy Insurance, you won’t shy away from your questions and consider us as part of your extended family. One of our goals here at Synergy, is that our customers feel comfortable asking us anything. From requesting auto ID cards, adding a youthful driver or worker’s compensation for your business, we’ve got you covered! Throughout the past few months, I have noticed a trend in frequently asked questions (FAQs) by our wonderful clients. So I thought, “Why not talk about it?” Let’s dive right in!
What is the claims process?
Filing a claim generally has a bad reputation for being stressful. We strive to make the claims process virtually as painless as possible. So what do you need to know?
- What is my deductible? Depending on the type of claim, (Auto, home, boat etc) you have a set deductible agreed upon by you and your insurance carrier. If the repairs needed are right around your deductible or less, take a moment to consider if filing a claim is worth it.
For example: a rock came up and cracked my windshield. My auto comprehensive deductible is $250 but the repairs are estimated at $266. Is it worth it to file claim for $16 ($266-$250)? Probably not.
- Take precaution to keep the accident or incident from getting any worse. Broken car window? Cover it up or move the vehicle inside a garage. Water covering 6 inches of your carpet in your basement? Try to soak up as much as possible and get those fans a blowin!
- Take pictures of the damage. Always, always, always!
- Take down contact information of other involved parties. Phone number, insurance information, name and address are great pieces of information to have during a loss.
- Call your account manager. Our account managers are trained to take down the details of your claim, give you next steps, and have direct access to your insurance carrier. They will also give you a claim number and your adjuster information.
Why did my premium increase?
Many factors go into determining your premium:
- Claims history
- Insurance score
- Territory (where you live)
- Overall industry rate increases
- Replacement cost in today’s economy
Slight changes in any of the categories can result in a premium increase, although the categories above are just a few of the many reasons that cause rates to rise.
Increasing premiums are frustrating. Our agency itself, is not responsible for premiums going up. However, we will do our best to find out why your premium may be higher than last year and see if there is a better solution to your insurance needs and risks.
How much is it to add a youthful driver?
Phew! That’s kind of a loaded question! There is no flat base rate that insurance companies stick to when rating a youthful driver. One of the largest reasons adding your 16 year old daughter to your policy is more expensive is because of her inexperience as a driver. While she may not have a ticket or accident, (insert your hallelujah here) she still has not been driving for very long. This causes insurance companies to view her as a higher risk individual.
What can help offset some of the cost of youthful drivers?
- Driver’s education courses
- Good student discount (GPA)
- Teen Monitoring GPS device/app
Is it ok to let a friend/family member, borrow my car?
Overall the answer to that question is…..maybe. Ask yourself these questions before you let anyone borrow your vehicle:
- Do they have a VALID driver’s license?
- What is their driving history with their own personal vehicle? Are they accident prone?
- Are they the only one who will be driving “with your permission?”
You are putting yourself at risk, even though you’re not driving. Liability and physical damage always follow the vehicle NOT the driver. If that person happens to get into an accident, the damages fall will back on you as the vehicle owner.
What do I need to request a certificate of insurance for my business?
- Certificate holder name, address, email and/or fax
- Certificate holder requirements for coverages and endorsements
Each certificate holder’s requirements may not be the same, so make sure you are specific. Some holders may request policies be endorsed which could also result in an increase in premium.
Be sure that you give your account manager ample time to complete your certificate request. Basic requests with no additions to the policy can usually be completed within 24 hours. More complex requests vary in time if documentation is needed to be sent directly from the insurance carrier in the event that the policy needs to be amended.
Very specific wording requested by the certificate holder may need to be approved by an underwriter prior to adding to the certificate.
How does an audit affect my business insurance?
- Your initial business insurance policy is written based on a projection of either payroll or sales figures. The audit accounts for the actual results of the year which could either increase or decrease premium.
- This helps to ensure that your business is properly covered based on your actual risk.
- It’s vital that figures are reported accurately and promptly in order to remain compliant with the state board and avoid surcharges.
If you have any more questions, we are here for you! I just wanted to take a few moments to answer those pressing questions that pop up regularly in the insurance industry. We are here for you and hope you learn a little something about your insurance each and every time we converse with you about your insurance needs.