Monthly Archives: December 2011

Why Not Knowing about Liability Insurance Can Cost You

Not knowing about liability insurance can cost you even all the way to a bankruptcy. If someone is injured on your property, they will seek ecovery of their medical expenses and any legal expenses they incur due to that injury. Without general liability insurance, you will be footing all those bills. If you are a contractor and your workers do a poor job for a client, you may be sued for poor workmanship. If you do not have professional liability insurance, you pay for repairs and other claims.

Not knowing about liability insurance is no excuse. There is plenty of information available about types of liability insurance and who should have each type. Your insurance agent should be advising you about which types of liability you should carry. Then it is up to you to acquire the recommended coverage for your home or business. Even independent contractors should carry professional liability insurance; it is often required to obtain some job contracts.

Personal liability insurance protects you and your assets in case of a claim due to negligence, injury or property damage. It is reasonably priced and affordable; what you cannot afford is to go without it. Contact your insurance agent today to be sure that your assets are protected along with your home, vehicle or business. Otherwise, you are all alone when an accident or injury for which you are responsible for happens.

If you are uninsured for liability, all you own is fair game for legal action to provide fair compensation to an injured party. You could lose your property, your business and your livelihood. The prospects of this happening are real; it is a road you do not want to take. Contact your insurance agent today and get the proper liability insurance that you should have for protection.

Colorado Car Insurance Requirements

Each state has its own requirements when it comes to auto insurance, so it is imperative that you know your state’s own laws as there are strict penalties if you do not carry the minimum amount or correct type of insurance. Here is what you need to know about Colorado car insurance requirements to ensure you are on the right side of the road:

  • Auto insurance is required in the state of Colorado for any registered vehicle.
  • You must have liability insurance or self-service insurance. The latter is only available to individuals who have at least 25 vehicles registered in their name.
  • $25,000 is required in Colorado for bodily insurance liability per person.
  • $50,000 is required in Colorado for bodily insurance liability per accident.
  • $15,000 is required in Colorado for property damage insurance per accident.
  • Only land vehicles that are licensed need to have coverage. Private planes, ATVs, snowmobiles, go-karts and boats do not require insurance in the state of Colorado.
  • If you are found to not have proof of insurance, which is a misdemeanor, you will receive at least a $500 fine in addition to four points on your driving record and the possibility of having your license suspended on a first offense. On a second offense, you will receive a four-month suspension of your license and at least a $1,000 fine. On the third offense, you will receive at least a $1,000 fine in addition to an eight-month suspended license and community service.

Shedding Light on Colorado Car Insurance Requirements

Like other states in the union, the state of Colorado requires drivers to have auto insurance in order to be licensed to drive a car. But not only does the state require auto insurance, Colorado law also requires specific coverage amounts for an acceptable insurance policy and licensure. Here is a brief rundown of what the state demands.

  1. Minimum Coverage for All Drivers — Every driver in the state of Colorado, no matter the age of the driver or the car that the driver operates, must carry bodily injury liability and property damage liability. Minimum coverage is $25,000 per person for bodily injury and $50,000 per occurrence. Practically, this means that the insurance company will pay up to $25,000 per person involved in an accident but no more than $50,000 total for all the people involved in the accident. Property damage liability coverage is a minimum of $15,000 per accident. Drivers can and may want to purchase higher coverage, but state law does not require it.
  2. Comprehensive and Collision — State law in Colorado does not require drivers to have comprehensive and collision coverage to get a driver’s license, however, most banks that hold a lien against a car will require the driver to have comprehensive and collision insurance in order to get a car loan. This type of insurance covers the loss to the driver’s vehicle in the event of an accident, whether the loss is theft of the car’s contents, damage due to a collision, or so forth.
  3. Uninsured Motorist Coverage — In Colorado, drivers may refuse to buy coverage for damage done by uninsured motorists, but they must do so in writing.
  4. Medical Payments Coverage — Colorado requires insurers to offer at least $5,000 worth of extra medical payments coverage to insured drivers, but drivers do not have to purchase it in order to be licensed to drive.

The Consequences of Not Having Colorado Car Insurance

In Colorado, it is required that you carry automobile insurance if you are operating a motor vehicle. There are many consequences that can be very extreme if you do not follow the law and purchase the required state minimum coverage. The minimum coverage for Colorado is $25,000 for each person for bodily injury, $50,000 for each accident for bodily injury, and at least $15,000 for each accident for property damage coverage.

First, let’s say you are speeding and a police officer pulls you over. He will ask to see your license, registration and your insurance card. If you don’t have your insurance card in your vehicle, or if you are not covered, you will be given a ticket. If you repeatedly get stopped and caught without insurance, you could end up losing your license or even paying a minimum fine of $1,000!

In the next scenario, let’s say you are at fault for a car accident that injures both you and the other party involved. If you are not covered by car insurance, you will be required to pay for the repair of the other party’s vehicle, their medical bills, your medical bills, and any repairs needed on your vehicle.

Avoiding just these two scenarios can help you to avoid major financial troubles, keep your license, stay out of legal trouble, and help to keep your health, and your wellbeing protected from automobile accidents. Adding other coverage options to your plan, like medical payment, comprehensive and collision, and uninsured motorist coverage can all help you to save even more money in the event of an accident or even a theft or damage to your vehicle not related to an accident.

So get covered by at least the minimum Colorado insurance coverage limits, and keep your future safe.

Costly Insurance Mistakes

While there are many legitimate ways to save on your monthly insurance bill, there are just as many mistakes that can end up costing you more in the end – especially if the insurance company drops your policy after discovering fraudulent claims. Here are a few of the top mistakes that you should avoid making.

  1. Don’t lie to your insurance agent. While a lower price quote is attractive, intentionally fibbing about changes you’ve made to your car or negative marks on your driving record can cost you a lot in the end. In fact, being untruthful about either justifies the insurance company dropping your policy.
  2. Don’t forget to shop around. Request free quotes from more than one company, and always take the time to compare prices before making a purchase.
  3. Don’t sign without inquiring about discounts. There are many different kinds of discounts, including good student breaks. However, if you don’t ask you probably won’t be offered one.
  4. Always compare price vs. coverage. Sometimes the lowest price is the worst deal you can take because you’ll end up paying out of pocket for anything excluded from your policy, like medical and lawyer fees.
  5. Ask for a multi-policy price cut. Most insurers will discount the final price if you purchase multiple insurance policies at one time.
  6. Look at the big picture vs. the monthly bill. Many insurance companies offer some sort of price cut for a paying for your policy upfront as opposed to smaller monthly payments.

Shopping for an affordable insurance policy doesn’t have to turn into a nightmare, even if you are new to purchasing your own coverage. The most important thing you can do before signing the deal is to carefully read the fine print so you know what you’re really getting into.

What Should I Look for When I’m in the Market for Colorado Homeowners Insurance?

If you own a home and you live in Colorado, you need Colorado homeowners insurance. Here are some things to consider when you’re shopping for Colorado homeowners insurance:

Buy enough homeowners insurance to cover your home’s replacement value

One of the mistakes many homeowners make is to insure their home for its current rather than replacement value. Keep in mind that if something happens to your home and you’ll need to repair or even completely rebuild it, you’ll likely need more coverage than that notify your home’s current value. Therefore, when you buy Colorado homeowners insurance coverage, make sure you buy enough insurance to repair or even replace your home in its entirety.

Buy enough insurance to cover your possessions’ replacement value, too

As with your home, you also need to make sure you have enough money to re-buy your possessions in the event you lose them because of disaster, theft, etc. Again, remember that you need to buy enough insurance to replace them at what they’ll cost you at the time of re-purchase. In other words, don’t assess the value of your possessions at current market value. You won’t have enough money, likely, to replace everything you need to. Instead, ascertain what they’ll cost you to replace them and then buy enough coverage based on that.

Reassess possessions and home value on a regular basis

Every few years, go through and re-inventory your possessions, making note of new things you’ve bought or things you no longer have and things for which you no longer need coverage. Reassess your home’s replacement value on a regular basis, too. By doing this, things will be up to date so that if something should happen, you’ll be prepared and can file an accurate claim for your possessions and/or house in the event of disaster.

Why Your Insurance Company Matters

Whether you are in the market for auto insurance, homeowners insurance or any other kind of insurance, it makes a difference which insurance company you choose. Every insurance company is different, and they may look at individuals differently when it comes to issuing policies and assigning premiums.

Categorizing Risk

In general, all insurance premiums are based on the level of risk presented to the insurer by the party to be insured. The lower the risk you present, the lower your premiums will be. As a simple example, term life premiums are based primarily on age and health. A 20-year-old male in perfect health and physical condition has a far lower chance of dying than a 50-year-old with emphysema. The 20-year-old could probably get a million dollar 20-year term life policy for less than $100 per month in premiums while the 50-year-old with emphysema might not be able to qualify for a policy at any price.

Automobile Policy Premiums

Your insurance company matters when buying auto insurance because premiums can vary greatly depending on the category of risk you happen to fall into at the time you apply for insurance. Auto insurance rates are based on such factors as your age, sex, type of car you drive, where you live, your driving record, your credit record and many other variables. Some insurers place more weight on one category than the other, which can affect your personal risk assessment and result in higher premiums. Shopping around, you might find the exact same coverage for several hundred dollars less depending on the insurance company you choose.

Service Matters, Too

You should not shop for insurance based solely on the lowest premium you can find. Having a good insurance company that pays claims promptly and offers great overall customer service is well worth a few extra dollars in a monthly premium.

Multiple Lines of Insurance

For both convenience and bundled savings, if you purchase several different policies from a single insurance company, you can often get a substantial overall discount. If you go to an insurance firm that only sells auto insurance, you may be depriving yourself a better deal on all of your insurance needs.

Top 5 Steps to Take After an Accident Occurs

While it’s impossible to predict when an auto accident will occur, knowing how to proceed will help keep your head on straight – especially when tension may be running high between you and the other driver.

  1. Move the cars off of the road. If this isn’t possible, remain in the car until an officer comes to take the report or until the conditions are safe for you to leave the vehicle.
  2. Call the police to report the accident. If there are no serious injuries, remember to use the non-emergency number for the police station. If your state does not require law enforcement to respond to minor accidents, then you will need to manually fill out the report yourself.
  3. Obtain details from the other driver. You should always take the time to record their name, insurance company, phone number, and the make and model of their vehicle – they will most likely ask you to do the same. Refrain from admitting the accident was your fault while you are exchanging information.
  4. Take pictures of the scene and damage. In addition to documenting the damage while on the scene so that you can present it to your insurance company as evidence, you should also make sure you snap a few pictures of the entire scenario. This is especially helpful in the event that you cannot find any witnesses to vouch for your side of the story.
  5. Call your insurance company to report a claim. Most insurance providers have a 24- to 48-hour window for you to report an accident – the sooner you make the call, the more smoothly things will go.

The most important thing you can do if you are in an accident is to remain calm; panicking won’t help, and you may forget to take important steps, like exchanging information, if you don’t retain self control.