Car Insurance Deductibles, Explained

car insurance, auto insurance, deductiblesDeductibles:  the mysterious and puzzling numbers of insurance.

Like most people, you may not quite understand what your car insurance deductibles are and how they work.  Plus, if you head down the road in Fayetteville, Arkansas and were in a wreck, you may not know exactly what you’d be expected to pay for damages.  That can be a scary thought, but never fear, G&G is here!  Let’s solve the deal on deductibles.

How does a car insurance deductible work?

A deductible, whether it’s for your car or your home, is what you are responsible for paying if you have an accident or claim.  For example, if you have a $1,000 deductible and your car accident is $2,500, you would pay $1,000 and your insurance provider would cover the rest of the costs.  Before filing a claim, have an appraisal completed on the damage to know how much it will take to repair it.  If you get an appraisal first, you will know if it is worth filing a claim.  Think about this, if it will cost you $300 to repair your car and your deductible is $500, it’s not worth filing a claim with your insurance provider since you will have to cover all of the costs.  Your car insurance rates could go up when you file a claim (and nobody enjoys that!) so know the costs before you file a claim.  Whether you have one or 10 car accidents, you are required to pay your deductible with most claims (we’ll also discuss when you don’t have to pay your deductible!).  If your car is totaled, your insurance company pays you for its current value, minus your deductible.

The two most common coverages that include deductibles are comprehensive and collision, but some states do use deductibles on personal injury protection or uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage.  The same rules for deductibles apply for all forms of car insurance coverage.

Generally, you only have to pay your deductible if your car is damaged, not the other person’s vehicle.  Short-rule:  your insurance company pays, you pay.

car insurance, auto insurance, deductible

Is there a situation where I don’t pay my car insurance deductible?

There are some situations where you may not have to pay your deductible, which can include:

Another driver hits you

Imagine this:  you’re cruising through Fayetteville, Arkansas when another driver runs a red light and hits your brand-new truck.  If the other driver is at fault, their insurer will cover the repair costs and you won’t have to pay your deductible.  However, if you are in an accident where you and the other driver are both at fault, you may have to pay a portion of your deductible.

You decide not to repair your car

Whether you are required to repair your car or not depends on your insurance provider.  Some insurers will pay you for the costs of repairs (minus your deductible) no matter what you decide to do with your vehicle.  However, others will follow up with you to ensure you properly restored your car.  Also, if you have a loan on your vehicle, your lender may require you to get your car fixed.

How does my car insurance deductible impact my price?

Now you have to find the right balance with your deductible.  When you have a higher deductible, you have a lower car insurance rate (and vice versa).  However, a higher deductible also means you have to pay more out-of-pocket if you have a car accident or a claim.   Be sure to ask your insurance provider about the difference in your insurance premium based on various deductible amounts.  You may be able to lower your deductible and keep your rate approximately the same!

car insurance, auto insurance, deductible

How much should my car insurance deductible be?

There are many options when it comes to your deductible.  Typically, it ranges from $100 to $2,000.  A $500 deductible is pretty common for drivers.  If you are unsure on what your car insurance deductible should be, ask yourself if you’d rather pay less for auto insurance or car repairs.  If you’d rather pay for car insurance, you should have a lower deductible.  That way, you won’t have to pay as much for a car accident or claim.

Another factor to consider is how much you can afford to pay in the event of a wreck.  Your deductible should always be under the amount that you are able to pay out of pocket.

Lastly, think about how likely an accident or claim is for you.  Do you live in a busy metropolitan area?  Do you drive your car a lot?  Have you been in an accident before?  If you have been in an accident before and you often drive on busier roads, you may be more likely to be in an accident.  In that case, you may want a lower deductible, so you can get the best value from your insurance.

Deciding on your deductible is a big deal.  If you are still unsure of what the best deductible is for you, ask your Insurance Advisor for their recommendation and assess your financial situation.

 

Phew, that was a lot of information!  If you have questions or want to see how much your car insurance rates would be with a certain deductible, give G&G a call at 479-802-0086!

Is Home Insurance Required In Fayetteville, AR?

Buying home insurance for your home is an important decision. Understanding the requirements will help you to determine what should be included in your policy. Further, it can show you why you need the financial protection in place.

What the State Requires

When you live in Fayetteville, AR, the state does not require you to have insurance. Instead, the only one who can dictate that you have home insurance is a mortgage company. If you still have a mortgage loan out on your home, the mortgage company will require you to have a certain level of coverage. This is designed to protect their financial investment over your home.

Once your home is paid off, it is up to you whether you have home insurance or not.

Why Home Insurance is Important

Whether you have a mortgage in place or not, you will want to have home insurance. It is extremely important because it provides coverage against so many different scenarios. You would be covered against natural disasters, break-ins, as well as accidents that happen on your property. In some instances, you can even be covered in the event that someone who lives in your home damages the property of someone else. G & G Independent Ins agents can discuss the various coverage levels with you.

If you don’t have home insurance, you are financially responsible for home repairs, liability lawsuits, replacing valuables, and much more. This can be a considerable financial strain in the event that something really does happen. It is much easier to file a claim with the insurance company knowing that you are only financially responsible for the deductible.

G & G Independent Ins can help you to find a home insurance policy that fits your needs in Fayetteville, AR. It allows you to determine whether any kind of insurance is required by your mortgage lender as well as what type of coverage options should be added to your policy based on your individual needs.

 

 

The Lowdown on Your Car Insurance Prices

car insurance, auto insurance, car insurance prices

Grab your calculator, because we’re about to add up some auto insurance price factors!

Whether you live in Fayetteville, Arkansas, or elsewhere, you may be wondering about what impacts your car insurance prices.  There are many misunderstandings about car insurance rates and how they are calculated, so we want to shed some light on the reality of your auto insurance rates and debunk those misconceptions!

Age

Typically, car insurance prices decrease as you get older until you reach about 75 years of age.  You will usually see a decrease in rates between the ages of 19 and 25, and then they are more stable.  Something to note, however, is that your rates are tied more to how long you’ve been driving, not just your actual age.  Younger drivers are more prone to have an accident or be risky while driving, so insurance providers usually charge more for young drivers.

If you’re looking to get your teenager their own car insurance policy, you may want to hit the brakes.  It is usually cheaper to add your teenage driver to your existing policy, instead of creating a whole new one.  Also, most companies offer a Good Student Discount to help out your wallet, so be sure to ask your insurance provider about discount options.

Vehicle Use

Whether you’re driving cross-country or just around the block each day, your vehicle usage is accounted for in your car insurance prices.  For G&G Independent Insurance, we check to see if you drive more or less than 8,000 miles annually.  If you drive less than 8,000 miles, you may be eligible for a discount on your car insurance rates.  The more you drive your vehicle, the more your car insurance rates will be.

car insurance, auto insurance, speedingSpeeding and Traffic Tickets

We’ve all been there.  We are late to work and rushing as fast as we can when we see the flashing lights in the rearview mirror.  Nobody wants to be pulled over and get a speeding ticket!  If it is your first speeding ticket in a three- to five-year period, you may not see your rates increase.  However, if you have a lead foot and multiple tickets, you will more than likely have an increase in your car insurance prices.  The good news is you’re not stuck with those rising costs forever!  After a few years, your speeding tickets are no longer accounted for on your driving record.

Parking tickets are different than speeding tickets.  Parking tickets will not affect your insurance premium (no matter how many you rack up!).

At-fault Accidents

Imagine this:  You’re driving in Fayetteville, Arkansas when a squirrel darts into the road.  Being you’re the animal lover that you are, you swerve to avoid the furry creature and side-swipe the car next to you.

Since the accident was your fault, it will probably affect your car insurance prices.  Like speeding tickets, most at-fault accidents are going to raise your rate until they fall off your record in a few years.  Each insurance provider is different, but most companies wait three to five years before they stop counting at-fault accidents in their rates.

Not-at-fault and one-car accidents

Not-at-fault accidents are a complicated situation, but the basic idea is that it is based on both the state you live in and your insurance company.  Some insurance providers see a not-at-fault accident as posing a higher risk for more accidents and will raise your premiums, while others do not.  It all depends, so be sure to ask your insurance agency about their rules on not-at-fault accidents.

If you drive into a pole or have another form of a one-car accident, you are considered at-fault, which can cause auto insurance costs to go up.

car insurance, auto insurance, locationLocation

Believe it or not, but your ZIP code is very telling about your insurance rates.  If you live in a highly populated area, you have a higher risk of theft, collision, and other damage to your car.  If this is the case for you, you will probably pay more for your comprehensive and collision coverage because of the risks of a populous region.

Coverages

Every person’s auto insurance policy is different, depending on the coverages and deductibles they have.  Typically, if you have more coverage, you will have a higher insurance rate.  The upside is that you can sometimes add thousands’ worth of coverage and only see a small change in price!  Another factor is your deductible.  Your deductible is your out-of-pocket cost if you have a claim.  Thus, if you raise your deductible, you will have to take on more expenses in the case of a claim, but you’ll have a lower overall rate and vice versa.

Insurance History

There are two factors from your insurance history that providers use to determine rates:  how long you’ve been with the same company and whether you have had gaps or cancellations in your past.  If you have no gaps and if you’ve been with the same insurance provider for a while, you’ll usually get a lower rate.  The longer you have been with the same company, the better the discount.

 

There are many other factors that go into an auto insurance premium, but these aspects have the greatest impact.  If you’re curious about other rate factors in Fayetteville, Arkansas, or you would like a quote, give G&G Independent Insurance a call at 479-802-0096, and we would love to help!

 

4 Reasons to Buy Auto Insurance

If you’re looking for a reason to buy auto insurance, look no further. Here at G & G Independent Ins serving the Fayetteville AR area, we’ve put together a list of four reasons.

Protection for You and Your Family

Having auto insurance provides protection for both you and your loved ones. You should have enough coverage to protect you and your vehicle in the event of an accident. And it’s also ideal to have coverage for damages and injuries to others involved in an accident. In fact, it’s the law. This is why you should speak with a qualified agent to ensure you are purchasing a policy that can best meet your needs.

Stay in Compliance With the Law

Since driving without auto insurance is illegal in most areas, auto coverage can help protect you from losing your driving privileges or paying fines. You may incur lose points on your driver’s license and your insurance rates may increase if you are caught driving without coverage. 

Help Getting Your Car Repaired

When you’re in an accident and your automobile is damaged, this will decrease the automobile’s value. If you have borrowed funds to purchase the vehicle, the lender will want to make sure you have adequate car insurance in the event of an accident or damage. This ensures the car can be repaired or replaced.

Help You With Towing and Transportation

Having auto insurance can save you a ton of time and a ton of stress in the event of an accident. Auto insurance can assist in getting help with vehicle towing, repairs, and if needed, a replacement vehicle to drive while you search for another car or wait for yours to be repaired. 

Accidents happen. With auto insurance, you can rest assured that you are protected in the event of an accident. Contact G & G Independent Ins serving Fayetteville, AR to learn more about the many reasons to purchase car insurance. 

The Complete Guide To Home Insurance

home insurance, homeowners insurance, house insurance

We would have to agree with Dorothy – there’s no place like home! 

If you are purchasing a new home or are looking for home insurance in Springdale, Arkansas, you may not know all of the ins and outs of what you actually get from home insurance or how it works.  We want you to get the most out of your insurance, so here is the complete guide to home insurance!

What is home insurance?

Home or homeowners insurance is essentially a bundle of coverages for your home, unattached structures, lawsuits against you, and other situations that your insurance provider agrees to pay for.  Insurance is all about paying a small amount now to avoid having to pay a lot in the future.

Is home insurance required?

Home insurance is not legally required, but neither is brushing your teeth (we’d highly recommend both!).  While it’s not required by law, if you have a mortgage, your lender will probably require you to have insurance on the home before purchasing the property.

How does home insurance work?

Whether it is for your car, home, or other property items, insurance starts with a few questions about what you are insuring.  For homes, the insurer will typically ask you about where you live, what is included at the property, and other related questions about you and your home.  Once the insurance provider knows more about you and your house, you will have some options for coverages.  You will typically have to pay a higher price for more coverage.  Once you have homeowners insurance, you can file a “claim” if your house is damaged or something else happens that’s covered by your insurance.  A claim basically means you ask for payment for costs that are covered by your home policy.  If you are covered, the insurance company will cover the expenses up to your policy’s coverage limits.

home, home insurance, house insurance

What is covered by home insurance?

Coverages vary based on where you live, but these are the common items protected in most states.

Your House

Your Dwelling coverage protects anything that is permanently attached to your house, including the chimney, roof, flooring, cabinets, etc.  For example, if you have a garage attached to your home, your Dwelling coverage would cover it.

Unattached Structures

One of the coverages included in a home insurance policy is to protect your unattached structures.  This could include unattached garages, fences, driveways, gazebos, etc.  So, if your wife has a “she-shed” in the backyard, it would be protected through Unattached Structures coverage.

Your Belongings

Your belongings or personal property is protected whether it is damaged or stolen from your home.  Your ‘stuff’ that is commonly covered includes:

  • Furniture,
  • Electronics,
  • Clothing,
  • Tools/power equipment,
  • And Décor

However, there are typically per-item limits on your belongings.  For example, if you have $100,000 in personal property coverage, but your limit for a single item is $10,000, you will only get up to $10,000 for a particular damaged item, minus depreciation.  This is great unless you have an item that is worth more than that limit, like an engagement ring, grand piano, or an expensive art piece.  But don’t worry!  If you have expensive items, you can insure them as individual items on your policy, which is referred to as scheduling an item or adding a rider.  The most common items that are scheduled are:

  • Expensive or custom furniture,
  • Art and collectibles,
  • And Jewelry

Lawsuits

Whether someone is injured on your property or you or someone else on your policy cause damage to another person’s property, your Personal Liability Coverage would protect you.  If you are sued due to these kinds of damages, your home insurance can pay for your lawyer and court fees up to your policy’s limit.

Temporary Living Costs

If your home is damaged and you can no longer stay there, this coverage pays for hotel/rent expenses and food (above the normal costs you pay for food).  Let’s say you usually spend $150 on groceries each week, but because you can’t cook at your home, you have to eat out and you spend $400.  You would get $250 from your insurance provider for food expenses.

Injuries on Your Property

If someone else is hurt at your house or on your property, this type of coverage helps pay medical bills associated with the accident.

house fire, home insurance

What kind of events are covered by my home insurance?

Events usually covered by home insurance are called perils, which are just instances that could potentially cause damage.  Every insurance provider is different, so be sure to ask what perils are covered by the policy you have.  Perils can include:

  • Windstorms/hail
  • Lightning
  • Tornadoes
  • Explosions
  • Theft and vandalism
  • Falling trees/objects
  • Water damage (except for floods)
  • Crashes into your home
  • Fire and smoke
  • The weight of ice, snow, or sleet

Flood coverage is not included in home insurance.  If you would like to include this type of coverage, you will need a separate flood insurance policy.

Can I add more coverages?

There are some extra coverage options you can add, such as water backup and personal injury coverage.

Whenever plumbing/sewer systems get backed up, this is not automatically covered with home insurance.  We recommend having water backup coverage since this can cause significant damage and be an expensive mess to fix.  This form of coverage helps pay for home and personal property damage and water removal.  Not all insurers offer this coverage, so be sure to ask that it be included in a home insurance quote.

Personal injury can cover you from other lawsuits and instances that are not included in your liability coverage.  Personal injury can protect you from:

  • Libel or slander lawsuits
  • False arrest or imprisonment
  • Wrongful eviction

Confirm with your insurer the extent of your personal injury protection.  As always, make sure you ask your insurance provider to include any extra coverages you would like in the home insurance quote, so you can compare rates.

 

 

Whether you are in Springdale, Arkansas or elsewhere, home insurance can seem complicated and confusing.  That’s why we’re here!  If you have questions or would like a quote, please call G&G Independent Insurance at 479-802-0086!

The Great Face-off: RV Insurance vs. Car Insurance

rv insurance, car insurance

The great face-off.  Rocky vs. Creed.  Darth Vader vs. Luke Skywalker. Chuck Norris vs. anyone.  RV insurance vs. car insurance.

We don’t like to pick sides, but if you have an RV and are getting it insured, G&G recommends having a dedicated RV insurance policy.  Why?  Most people treat their RV, motorhome, or camper van like a car, so they figure their RV is fine on their auto policy.  However, there are many benefits to having an RV insurance policy that you wouldn’t have access to with your traditional car insurance.  RV insurance, whether you are from Bella Vista, Arkansas, or elsewhere, is designed to give you specific insurance coverage that protects you from the various situations you could find yourself in while traveling down the road in your RV.  So, what’s all the hoopla about this RV Insurance?  Now it’s time for the face-off:  RV insurance vs. car insurance.

RV Insurance vs. Car Insurance

Besides the size of the vehicle, you can find many differences between cars and RVs.  Typically, RV insurance offers higher liability limits than your normal car insurance policy.  This is no surprise, since owning and maintaining an RV is often more expensive than a car, which is why having the right insurance coverage for your RV is so crucial.

RV Insurance Coverage Options

If you have a custom RV insurance policy, it usually will provide you with more coverage as compared to an auto insurance policy, since the insurance is designed specifically for your unique RV needs and specifications.  Not only do you get the specialized coverage with RV insurance, but it costs roughly the same as auto insurance.  There are some special coverage options offered for RVs, which may include:

Full-Timers RV Insurance

If you camp under the stars at night and park your bed somewhere new each day, you might be a full-time RVer!  Full-time RV insurance is for RV owners that don’t have another dwelling option and use their camper van or motorhome as their primary residence.   Full-time RV insurance acts more like a homeowner’s policy since full-time RVers use it as their home as well.

Roadside Assistance

While roadside assistance is a common add-on option for car insurance, it tends to be more extensive coverage for a camper van.  Considering the time you spend in your RV, especially if you live in it, towing and roadside assistance can be very important.  Given the large vehicle size, many insurance companies will have higher limits on roadside assistance coverage as compared to car insurance limits.

Belongings/Personal Items

Some insurance providers offer coverage for your belongings or personal items in your motorhome, such as camping gear, furniture, and satellite dishes. This a unique add-on option, since traditional auto insurance doesn’t cover your belongings. Each insurance company is different, so be sure to ask about the exact deductibles and limits that would be included in your RV insurance policy.

Vacation Liability

Vacation liability pays for bodily injury and property damage losses that occur at your vacation site, such as at a park or at your campsite.  This coverage is similar to standard RV liability coverage, except that it is meant to be used for vacation purposes, as opposed to accidents that happen on the road, which is not a coverage option available on auto insurance.

rv, camper van, motorhome

RV and Car Insurance Similarities

Like your car, collision and comprehensive are coverage options for your RV.  Collision coverage protects you when your RV hits another vehicle or object, while comprehensive covers instances where your RV is damaged in other ways, such as theft, falling objects, and vandalism.

Another option for both RVs and cars is Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Coverage.  This coverage is for instances when your vehicle is involved in an accident and the other party does not have insurance or does not have enough coverage to pay for all of the damages and injuries caused by the accident.  In Arkansas, UM/UIM coverage is not required, but in 2015, Arkansas is also ranked 9th for the most uninsured motorists in each state.  Given the risk, having Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage is recommended for your car or RV insurance policy.

There are many differences between RV and car insurance.  No matter what you’re driving down the road, you want to make sure you are protected with the right coverage.  You may be able to insure your RV on your auto insurance policy, but you will be missing out on coverages that would benefit you while you are cruising down the road. That is why G&G recommends having personalized insurance policies that fit your needs, whether it is an RV or car insurance policy.

 

Got questions before you hit the road in Bella Vista, Arkansas?  Feel free to ask them or get a quote by calling one of our Insurance Advisors at 479-802-0086!  We offer one of the best RV insurance providers, Progressive RV Insurance.

 

How Much Car Insurance Do I Need?

car insurance, auto insurance, car insurance coverage

Whether your son accidentally runs into the mailbox, you hit a tree while avoiding “Bambi” in the middle of the road, or you are in a fender-bender while on a drive through Fayetteville, Arkansas, we know that accidents happen.  And after being involved in an accident is not the time you want to start reviewing your car insurance policies.  However, car insurance can be confusing to most people, so we wanted to answer one of your most pressing questions:  “how much car insurance do I need?”. When deciding on your car insurance, the first place to start is understanding your liability coverage. 

What is liability coverage on my car insurance?

Liability coverage is what protects you from injury and damage costs caused to others by you in a car accident.  This coverage option doesn’t pay for your car’s damage or medical treatment for you or any passengers with you.  However, it is very important that you have liability since depending on your coverage amount, it protects your assets from a lawsuit.

Your liability limits are the maximum dollar amounts your car insurance policy will pay for an accident.  If the costs increase beyond your limits, you are responsible for the remainder of the costs (ouch!).

When you are looking at your liability limits, it is usually broken down into three numbers.  Each number represents how much will be paid for bodily injury and property damage if you are the cause of a car accident.  For example, in Arkansas, you are required to have a car insurance policy that has at least 25/50/25 liability coverage.  This means that your coverage will pay up to:

  • $25,000 for injuries per person
  • $50,000 for injuries per accident
  • $25,000 for property damage per accident

When you are comparing car insurance quotes, make sure to check your liability limits.

car, car insurance, auto insurance

So how much liability do I need for my car insurance?

While the state-mandated liability limits may seem like a lot of money, G&G recommends having higher liability limits than the state requirements.

Let’s think about this:  if you cause a car wreck in Fayetteville and the other driver has fatal injuries, would you be protected from lawsuits and their costs?  No one wants to ever be in this situation, and on top of it all, face piling expenses and lawsuits.  When you only have the state-mandated liability limits, what you owe for a car accident can grow out of control.  Owning and driving a car is a big deal and can lead to tough circumstances, whether it is a fender-bender or something much more.  This is why you need to consider how much car insurance you need, so you are prepared as you head down the road.

The state minimums are just not enough to truly protect you in the case you are involved in a car accident, which is why you should have enough liability insurance to protect you financially.  You might not need much liability coverage if you have few or no assets, but if you do have assets to protect, we recommend having liability coverage greater than the value of those assets.  The more assets you have, the greater your coverage should be. Typically, insurance companies offer up to 250/500/100 liability coverage.  If you need more coverage than the company’s maximum limits, think about buying umbrella insurance.  Just like an umbrella covers you from the rain, an umbrella insurance policy covers you from extra costs exceeding your liability limits that you’re on the hook for due to either a home or car claim.

What other car insurance coverage options do I have?

car insurance, auto insurance, car insurance coverage

 

There are other coverage options besides liability that can help protect you and your vehicle.  While liability is required, these coverages are optional.

Collision Coverage

Collision covers your car for damage sustained during a wreck, whether the accident is your fault or not.  Liability coverage doesn’t cover your own car in the case of an accident, so collision is very common to have included on your car insurance.

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive covers damage to your car due to non-collision situations such as fire, theft, flooding, and vandalism.  As your car ages, you can always adjust your coverages if the vehicle is no longer worth enough to justify having comprehensive or collision coverage.  However, if your car is financed, most car loan lenders require you to have collision and comprehensive, because it is the only coverage that specifically protects your own car.  Check with your lender to see what car insurance coverages are mandatory.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage

UIM coverage is all about protecting you no matter who is involved in the car accident.  If you or your passengers are injured by an uninsured or underinsured driver, this coverage pays for medical expenses or property damage costs you incur.  While this is not required, we recommend UIM Coverage since one in eight U.S. drivers are uninsured.  That’s a lot of risks while on the road!

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage

Often called no-fault insurance, PIP coverage helps with costs that come from a car accident, no matter if you were at fault or not.  There are several options offered through PIP coverage, including:

  • Medical payments coverage – helps with injury-related expenses
  • Lost wages coverage – helps with lost wages caused by a car accident
  • Death benefits coverage – helps with funeral or death-related costs due to a car accident

What if I have too little coverage?

While doing what you can to save money, don’t forget why you have insurance in the first place:  to protect you and your finances.  When you don’t have enough coverage, you can be personally liable for damage that you cause.

When deciding on how much car insurance you need, consider the overall value of any assets you have, such as a house, savings, or investments.  One of the major reasons for having car insurance is actually to protect you from any lawsuits due to your vehicle.  If you have more assets, then you have more to protect from a lawsuit, so you should invest in a car insurance policy that has sufficient coverage.

 

 

Car insurance can be complicated and confusing.  If you have questions or want a car insurance quote, give a G&G Insurance Advisor a call at our Fayetteville, Arkansas office at 479-802-0086!

How Boat Insurance Can Keep You Afloat

boat, boat insurance

It’s going to be a warm September weekend in Rogers, Arkansas, which can mean only one thing: it’s time to get out on the water! Whether it is a fishing boat, a yacht or anything in between, you may have questions on how you can be best protected as you set sail. 

Here are 5 common questions watercraft owners have about boat insurance.

Do I need boat insurance?

Boat insurance is mandated by the state, so it depends on your location.  While each state has different requirements, Arkansas requires boat owners to have proof of boat insurance if the vessel has an engine with 50 horsepower or more.  If your boat meets that standard, you must have liability insurance worth at least $50,000 from an insurance provider licensed to write in Arkansas.  If you live in a state that does not require boat insurance, you may still consider protecting your prized boat in case of damage or theft.  Plus, some marinas require boat insurance just to use their facilities. It is better to be safe than sorry!  While some homeowners’ policies provide coverage for boats, it tends to be lacking for larger, motorized boats.  Also, many homeowners’ policies will only cover your boat if it happens to be damaged on your property, not in the water.  If you have a boat larger than a canoe or kayak, we recommend insuring your vessel with a separate insurance policy.   

Are there types of boat insurance?

There are two basic types of boat insurance – Agreed Value and Actual Cash Value. What sets these two apart is how depreciation is handled. In a boat insurance policy that is covered based on the Agreed Value, your boat is covered based on its value agreed upon by the insurer and the insurance company when the policy was written. While it’s possible that this could cost more up front, there is no depreciation for a total loss of the boat. Actual Cash Value coverage will cost less up front, but this policy does factor in depreciation. In other words, the policy will only pay up to the actual cash value of the boat at the time it is declared a total or partial loss. Since each insurance provider is different, when you are quoting boat insurance, confirm how the coverage value is determined by the insurance company.

What does boat insurance cover?

Like auto or homeowner’s insurance, you have many options when it comes to having boat insurance!  Some policy add-ons include:

  • Roadside assistance and on-water towing
  • Coverage for fishing equipment or carry-on personal property
  • Mechanical breakdown coverage
  • Ice and freezing damage coverage
  • Trailer trip interruption

What losses are covered by boat insurance in Arkansas?

boat accident, boat insurance

Damage to your boat

One of the main reasons boaters purchase insurance is to protect their investment. Boats can easily sustain damage, between docking, launching, or unfamiliar waters and unexpected weather. Whatever the case may be, most insurance policies will provide coverage for the damage sustained by your boat.

Damage caused by your boat

In most cases, boat insurance will be able to cover damage caused by your boat. This is why our insurance advisors at G&G Independent Insurance recommend all boaters consider insurance. Your boat does not have to be expensive to cause extensive damage! Whatever may happen, you will be glad you purchased insurance.

Injury due to your boat

Liability coverage provides protection if a passenger or other boater is injured. Liability also protects against costs if you are responsible for property damages or injury to someone other than yourself or a family member. This is the “just-in-case” component of the insurance policy that could be needed if a passenger was injured trying to jump a wake on skis, or if someone fell between your boat and the dock while boarding. Something you hope will never happen, but you will want to have these situations covered!

What are some claim examples you can file on your boat insurance?

While paying on claims is based on your policy’s coverage, there are some common claims that insurance companies receive for boats.

When your boat is struck by underwater elements

Underwater hazards are not only common, but they pose a significant risk to your boat. These occurrences are prevalent not only in Arkansas but in other states as well. However, if you have comprehensive and collision coverage, you can rest assured knowing your boat is covered, that way you can make a claim if your boat happens to face damage from underwater objects.

When a collision occurs

Even though school is starting back up here in Rogers, Arkansas, there is still plenty of time to hit the water. With this in mind, lakes are still busy with boaters trying to soak up the last few weeks of warm weather. With so much activity on the water, accidents are bound to occur, and boat collision is at the top of the list. Luckily, boat insurance here at G&G Independent Insurance typically covers you against boat collisions. If your boat is insured and includes collision coverage, you are always able to make a claim should your vessel happen to face damage as a result of a collision with other boats.

When your boat is damaged by weather

Extreme weather conditions can also pose a significant risk to your boat. At any time, lighting, wind, hail, or severe storms can damage your boat. Luckily, with a boat insurance policy that includes weather damage coverage, you can always file a claim in case your boat is damaged by extreme weather.

 

If you’re looking for boat coverage in Rogers, Arkansas, or just have questions about insuring a boat, contact G&G Independent Insurance today at 479-802-0086.

Common Jewelry Insurance Myths

jewelry insurance

It’s time to set the record straight. 

We’ve written policies, filed claims, helped customers, and answered questions, so we believe it’s our duty to demystify jewelry insurance and lay down some truth on commonly misunderstood ideas about jewelry insurance.  We have picked up a few tidbits of knowledge as we have worked with clients in Bentonville, Arkansas, and the surrounding Northwest Arkansas area, and we want to share them with you!  So here it goes:  jewelry insurance, debunked.

Myth #1:  My homeowner’s policy includes jewelry insurance

Not necessarily.  Your home insurance covers all of your personal property up to a certain limit, which is usually 50 to 75% of your dwelling coverage.  For example, if your home is covered for $200,000, your personal property coverage would be approximately $100,000 to $150,000.  While this seems like a lot of money, your belongings in your home add up and the average coverage limit is usually not enough to cover high-value items, such as jewelry.  Plus, most insurance companies will set a limit on jewelry value that is can be covered by personal property coverage.  For example, your insurance provider may only allow $1,000 of coverage on your home insurance policy for one piece of jewelry.  This coverage limit is great if you only have a $100 necklace, but it is impractical if you have a $10,000 engagement ring.  Another consideration is that your homeowner’s insurance covers jewelry that is in your residence only.  If your jewelry is stolen while traveling in a crowd, you leave your ring at your hotel, or your prized necklace falls off while on a roller coaster (trust us, stranger things have happened!), you would probably not be able to have your home insurance cover any occurrences like these that happen outside of your home.

Myth #2:  Jewelry insurance is really expensive

Jewelry insurance can actually be very affordable.  While your rates do depend on where you live, they typically are 1 to 2% of your jewelry’s value.  For example, let’s say your engagement ring is worth $10,000.  That would mean you can expect to pay approximately $100 to $200 a year, which is less than $16 per month.

Your jewelry insurance premium to protect one of your most prized possessions is the equivalent of 3 sugary frappes at a coffee shop per month (that’s pretty reasonable, right?).

Jewelry insurance is definitely worth it if you want to protect your jewelry.

If the price is a problem, however, to keep your rates low and give you peace of mind about your jewelry, there are steps you can take, which include:

  • Make sure your jewelry is insured for the correct amount that it would take to replace
  • Keep a copy of the receipt and take a picture of the jewelry
  • Keep your jewelry in a secure location, such as a safe or safe-deposit box
  • Have your jewelry inspected regularly
  • Never leave jewelry unattended and only bring the essential jewelry while traveling

Myth #3:  I won’t lose it, so I don’t need jewelry insurance

Loss and disappearance are actually not the most common claims for jewelry – theft is.  Four out of 10 claims on jewelry are theft.  In fact, theft and burglaries tend to be most common in the summer and usually increase during holidays, tax season, and back-to-school months.  Yes, you may be the responsible type and feel confident in keeping up with your jewelry, but theft is common and is primarily outside of your control, so jewelry insurance can be a good option to protect you from these circumstances.

rings, jewelry insurance

Myth #4: It’s only jewelry insurance – I don’t need to update it

While you can, as we like to say, “set it and forget it”, we would not recommend this.  Unlike other items, your jewelry could actually increase in value over time.  For example, imagine that the price of gold skyrockets for a few years.  If your wedding ring is a gold band, then it might have appreciated in value and your jewelry insurance does not cover it fully.  Whether it is an increase in the price of gold, silver, or even gems, your jewelry insurance may not be accounting for your jewelry’s gain in value, since you are only covered based on the jewelry’s worth when you first added jewelry insurance coverage.

To find out your jewelry’s actual value, have it appraised and include these details:

  • A description of the jewelry
  • The type of metal
  • The stone’s information (such as the cut, color, clarity, and carat weight)
  • The value of the jewelry

You won’t be protected for the full replacement value unless you periodically update your coverage.

Myth #5:  Jewelry insurance covers normal wear and tear

Sorry, but that’s not the case.  Insurance providers only cover situations that are unexpected or not supposed to happen.  If your jewelry is tarnished or scratched over time, that’s expected.  Let’s say your 25-year-old wedding ring has a few scratches and is just a bit rough around the edges.  That is normal wear and tear and is not part of jewelry insurance coverage.  However, jewelry insurance does offer some great coverage options, which includes protecting against:

  • Theft
  • Unexpected Damage (whether it’s total or partial)
  • Loss and disappearance

Theft, damage, and loss are all unexpected and are covered in most jewelry insurance policies.

 

Now that you know all of the ins and outs of jewelry insurance, if you live in Bentonville, Arkansas, or the surrounding area, give one of our G&G Insurance Advisors a call at 479-802-0086 for more jewelry insurance tidbits or a quote!

Why You Need Full-Time RV Insurance

RV insurance, full time RV insurance, motorhome insurance, campervan insurance

The open road – miles and miles of opportunities for new adventures, dazzling sights, camera shots, and memories.  Can it get any better? 

We don’t think so!  If you’ve taken to the open road in your RV full-time, you will want to check into an insurance policy that specifically covers you as a full-time RVer.  Following these guidelines will give you peace of mind while traveling, so you can enjoy the drive from Bella Vista, Arkansas, and beyond.

Why RV Insurance for Full-Timers?

Even though RV insurance for full-timers tends to be pricier than for part-timers, it acts as both home and auto insurance for you.  Your RV is much more elaborate than a car, so you want to be protected for your particular situation, which is why you should have a sufficient RV insurance policy.  Full-time RV owners need coverages that fit their traveling lifestyle and can protect them on their journey ahead.

In Arkansas, RV insurance is required, so you must have minimum liability limits on the RV.  In general, most states require you to have RV insurance if:

  • You have a Class A or Class B motorhome (the RV is driven, not towed behind a vehicle)
  • Your RV is financed (you don’t own it outright)
  • You are renting the RV

Whether you live in Bella Vista, Arkansas or elsewhere, G&G Independent Insurance highly recommends you have RV insurance, especially if you are a full-time RVer.  When deciding on your RV insurance, think about the lofty investment you’ve committed to the RV and whether you are financially comfortable with covering costs associated with RV damage or liability.

Full-Time RV Insurance

Typically, insurance providers define full-time as people who use their RV as their primary residence and do not own or live in another dwelling.  However, if you are receiving RV insurance quotes, check with the Insurance Advisor on whether you would need full-time RV insurance.  If you don’t need full-time coverage, you can have a standard RV insurance policy (and enjoy lower rates, too!).  Since one of the factors that impacts RV insurance rates is how frequently you use your RV, checking the full-time requirements could affect your policy.

Full-Time RV Insurance Coverage

While each insurance provider is different, here are some common types of coverage specific for full-time RV insurance:

Full-Timer Personal Liability

It is similar to vacation liability and pays up to your policy’s limit for injury and property damage for which you are responsible, whether the incident occurs around your RV or on your property.

When you live in your RV full-time, your liability coverage will be a bit different.  Why?  Your RV is now your home, so coverages that are typically included on a homeowner’s policy now must be covered on your RV insurance.   Be sure to ask your Insurance Advisor if you’re covered while your RV is parked as well as when you are driving on the road.

This coverage is extremely important, so don’t just settle with the state-required minimums.  Costs can quickly grow and exceed low limits, which could leave you in a financial mess.  Make sure your coverage, whether it is liability or another coverage option, properly mirrors your financial situation.

motorhome insurance, RV insurance, campervan insurance

Medical Payments for Others

This coverage pays for medical costs incurred by those who are injured while on the property where your RV is located.  For example, if your RV neighbor’s kid trips on your property and breaks their arm, your medical payments coverage will cover the costs up to your policy’s limit.

Full-Timer Loss Assessment

If you are a tenant of property in a particular association, loss assessment coverage will help cover certain assessments that are charged to you.  For example, Progressive RV insurance includes up to $5,000 in coverage for charges or fines you face from RV/homeowners associations.

Storage Shed Contents for Full-Timers

If you have a shed for storage at the time of a loss, this coverage pays up to your policy’s limit for the contents inside the shed.

Not all policies will include the above coverages and they may have different coverages specific for full-timers, so make sure to ask the Insurance Advisor about the coverage details.  If you’re interested in other coverages offered from most RV insurance providers, find out more here.

Full-Time RV Insurance Discount Options

Many insurance providers offer discounts and built-in savings options to make insurance more affordable.  Some discounts you may be qualified for include:

  • A multi-vehicle discount when you insure your RV and other cars with the same company.
  • A discount if you have a clean driving record and/or you have no at-fault claims. Typically, insurance companies look at the last three years of your driving history at the least to determine any accidents or violations.
  • A discount option if you pay your insurance premiums in full.

 

As you travel from Bella Vista, Arkansas, and beyond, make sure you have the RV insurance that can go the distance with you.  We offer Progressive RV Insurance, one of the best full-time RV insurance coverage options.  If you have RV insurance questions or you would like a quote, give one of our G&G Insurance Advisors a call at 479-802-0086!