Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Renting a car…ring is stolen…using my car for business… tree blew down – what’s covered by insurance – what’s not?

More answers to some of the most common insurance questions Tennessee car and home owners have:
Q: “If I rent a car to drive somewhere for a vacation, is it covered by my regular auto policy?” B.L. – Franklin TN 
A: Some policies do cover this, some don’t. It depends on the company you’re insured by. This is definitely a question to ask your agent before you turn down the car rental company’s insurance. Please note that we’re talking about renting a car to take a leisure trip, not if your car’s in the shop because of an insurance claim. That’s a totally different kind of coverage.
Q: “We have an expensive ring, worth over $10,000. Does our home policy cover it, no matter what?” B.K. – Nashville TN
A: No. Your policy fully covers it for fire, tornado, lightning, and lots of other events, but has strict limits on what it will pay for specific classes of items, if stolen. What kinds of items? The list includes jewelry, paintings, furs, money, paintings, guns, silverware, and more. You may only receive $1,000 for that $10,000-valued ring under your basic policy, if stolen. Remember, this restriction is for theft-only. If you lose it in a fire, for instance, you just need to provide reasonable proof of the ring and its value, and you’ll get the full reimbursement. Since theft is the most likely thing to happen to your expensive items, how can you protect them? With a scheduled personal articles endorsement (also known as a “floater”). It requires a receipt or appraisal, plus an extra premium, but will then fully cover your item(s) against theft and virtually everything else.

Q: “I use my car for business. Does my personal auto policy cover me if something happens?” J.S. – Franklin TN
A:Your personal auto policy is for just that, personal use. If you regularly use your car in yours or your employer’s business, you might be crossing the line. And, if something happened during that “business usage”, your insurance company MIGHT not cover it. Read your policy. I promise you it excludes coverage for anything except “personal usage”. So, if you’re a Realtor who drives clients around, or a home health nurse who visits clients’ homes, you need to add “Business Usage” to your policy. Doing so then takes away that “exclusionary language” from your policy. Can you do this for any business? Absolutely not! I don’t know of any personal insurance policy that covers you if you’re using your vehicle for pizza delivery or a paid-taxi service. It depends on what your business is, and what policy you have. Please talk with your agent and sleep better at night!
Q: “Last night’s windstorm blew down the Willow tree in my backyard, but it didn’t hit my house. Is this covered by my homeowners policy?” G.G. Franklin TN
A: Sorry, but no. Policies don’t cover trees for wind damage, but do for lightning, fire, theft, vandalism, and more. Now, if the wind blew your tree into your house, that’s a different story, and you would be covered.

David Yates Insurance Agency
1881 General George Patton Dr, Suite 103
Franklin, TN 37067

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