McCurdy Group - Insurance and Financial Consultants

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Replacement Value vs. Market Value as it relates to Homeowners Policies

Many people wonder why their Homeowners Coverage A - Dwelling - amount may increase even though the current market value of their home is decreasing. What most people don’t understand is that the amount your home is insured for is not a reflection of market value, but rather replacement value – the cost to rebuild your home from top to bottom in the case of a total loss.

There are many factors that go into determining the replacement value of a home, some are more obvious than others. Although you may immediately think about the cost of lumber, fixtures, or other materials required to rebuild, you may not think about the rising costs of transporting those materials, the cost of new technology, new building codes and regulations or even the cost of labor and energy.

So, the next time you see your homeowners premium increase keep in mind that you are purchasing coverage needed to rebuild your home and not simply to purchase a new home.

The Etiquette Corner

Simply getting where you’re going every day raises a few questions for the manners-minded.

A tip on “At the Gas Pump”

At multi-island gas stations, drive slowly and carefully to accommodate people who are standing at the pumps or walking back & forth to the store. When possible, pull up to the gas pump that will allow other drivers easy access to unused pumps. Pay special attention to any “cash only” or “credit card only” signs on the pumps so that you won’t waste others time by having to move from one pump to the other.

Shop for items or attend to other business inside only if you’ve parked your car in a parking spot (leave it at the pump only when paying your bill inside). Remember, too, that you’re in a potentially hazardous environment. Avoid danger by turning off your engine before pumping gas and waiting until later to light a cigarette, cigar or pipe.

The difference in deductibles

Most people chose to have standard $500 collision and $300 comprehensive deductibles. The thing you need to know about deductibles is you may be paying more for the coverage than you will receive in the event of a claim -- or you may be saving very little money if you chose a higher deductible. Young drivers can pay about $500 a year for collision coverage. If they have a car that is valued at $2000, they will have paid more than they will receive if they pay that premium for four years. If they saved this $500 a year, plus the $500 for the deductible, they would have the money to replace the car themselves rather than a promise that they will receive this money if anything happens.

There is also the option of taking a $1000 deductible over a $500 deductible which can sometimes save money if you have a newer or more expensive car. The downside to this is that in some cases there is not much of a savings and you end up paying the higher deductible if you have a claim.

This is why having an agent is very important. He or she will work with you to help you decide what is best for you. Someone who knows the ins and outs of insurance is a very valuable asset to any consumer.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Why it's important to have high property damage limits on your Mass Auto policy

State minimum coverage for property damage on a Massachusetts auto policy is $5,000. This is a section of the policy that is frequently used in everyday accidents and needs to be carefully reviewed by the agent and insured alike.

When you get into an accident with another vehicle, if you are at fault, your property damage extends to fix the other vehicle. Suppose you are in an accident with a new Mercedes or BMW and that vehicle is totaled; chances are that $5,000 property damage will not be enough to cover a bumper, never mind the entire vehicle. Another thing to consider when choosing these limits is the possibility of a multi-vehicle accident and accidents caused by poor weather conditions.

We cannot always plan for or predict what will happen, which is why we have to be prepared with adequate limits on our insurance policy. McCurdy Insurance suggests having a property damage limit of $250,000, but definitely no less than $100,000.

Who does your insurance agent work for??

Do you know who your local insurance agent works for? What's your first thought? The insurance carrier who you have your policy with? Well ,you are wrong if that is what you think! Your agent works for YOU; they are the liaison between you and your insurance company.
The job of an insurance agent is to service your account, make sure your policy limits are where they should be, make recommendations when need be, ensure you are receiving all the discounts you apply for and, most importantly, answer your questions and ease your concerns and problems.

The insurance agent is not responsible for creating the insurance companies policies and procedures. We must follow their standards, but by no means do we set those standards. Agents aren't the ones charging billing fees, late fees, or increasing your premium due to getting in an accident or receiving a speeding violation. When inconveniences occur in regards to any of your insurance policies, your agent is going to help you fix it, get in touch with who needs to be spoken to and get answers for you and, more often then not, resolve it.

The insurance agent is there for you, has your best interests in mind and wants to do nothing more then to make your insurance experience positive, reassuring and stress free!