Have questions about auto insurance, homeowners’ insurance, or both? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.
How can I lower my month premium?
When should I consider a Health Savings Account (HSA) ?
The general rule of thumb for insurance is the higher the deductible, the lower your monthly premium. Think about it — if you’re paying more if something happens, then you pay less monthly. However, if you do anticipate high medical expenses, you may consider moving to a plan with a low deductible and low out-of-pocket expenses, but higher monthly premium.
Which health insurance plan is right for me?
Health Savings Accounts are becoming increasingly popular due to flexibility and immediate tax benefit. This plan is suitable for people who seldom need medical care but would like to prepare for any catastrophic ailments or injuries.
Who is eligible for Health Savings Account?
- People who are not entitled to benefits under Medicare
- People who can be covered under a high deductible health plan
- People who may not be covered under any health plan that is not a high deductible health plan
- People who cannot be claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax return
What are the advantages for a Health Savings Account?
- Contributions to the account are tax deductible
- Amounts in an HSA belong to the individual and are fully portable
- Amounts in an HSA earn tax-free interest
- Unused amounts in the account at year-end remain available for future years
- Distributions are not taxed if used for qualifying medical expenses
Are you a person who is healthy and not anticipating any heavy medical bills? If so, consider a high-deductible PPO that is compatible with a Health Savings Account. This option is great for those who seldom visit the doctor, and are looking for major medical coverage.
If you would rather have more comprehensive individual health coverage, such as preventative care, consider a PPO or HMO plan with a lower deductible. You may not be able to use an HSA with this plan, but you will have coverage for routine doctor’s office visits and other preventative care. Typically, you’ll pay between $10 and $40 for a doctor’s office co-pay depending on the plan you enroll in. With this type of plan, you will also get major medical coverage. <br/>
If neither seems to fit you well, there are many other options that are available to you. We have dozens of plans and are confident that we can find one that fits your needs. Get a quote or call our office today for more information at (626) 275-6795.
Is auto insurance necessary?
If I never get in accidents and am a safe driver, when will I ever have to prove that I have insurance?
Yes. Insurance is proof of financial responsibility, and is required on all vehicles operated on California roads.
What are the minimum liability insurance requirements?
First of all, you never know what’s going to happen. Regardless of how careful of a driver you are, insurance proof is required by law to be rendered when requested by law enforcement (even when pulled over for a broken tail light), to renew your vehicle registration, and when you get in an accident (even if it’s not your fault!)
So how much auto insurance do I really need?
In California, the coverage requirement is 15/30/5: $15,000 for injury and/or death to one person, $30,000 for injury and/or death to more than one person, and $5,000 for damage to property.
What's a deductible?
You never know how much coverage you’ll need if you’re involved in an accident or otherwise other situation that needs insurance coverage. This depends on how much you, personally, are able to pay of what exceeds coverage limits if you happened to be in this situation. If you’re able to pay, then less coverage is fine. However, if getting in a potentially fatal accident were to put you in major financial trouble, consider buying a more comprehensive policy. Call us and we can help you find the right plan.
Obviously, I don't want to pay more for a deductible. What's the point of getting a plan with a higher one?
A deductible is how much you have to pay before an insurer covers your costs. If your auto insurance policy has a $500 deductible but you caused an accident with $1,200 in damages, you’ll have to pay $500 first and your insurance company will pay the remaining $700. Different deductibles are available for different coverages.
Do I need collision and comprehensive coverage?
Higher deductibles will lower your insurance premium since you’re willing to pay a higher amount in the event of an accident occurring. However, always be prepared to pay this deductible amount — if at any time, you are financially unable to pay the deductible if you were to be involved in an accident, we recommend you change to a higher plan with a lower deductible to avoid any legal issues.
Car insurance is so expensive. What can I do to lower my insurance premiums?
Typically, if your car is leased or financed, it is required for you to carry collision and comprehensive coverage. Otherwise, consider the necessity of repairing/replacing your vehicle if you were to be involved in a car accident — if your car is old and the value is not worth the premium, you may not want to buy collision & comprehensive coverage. However, if you drive a relatively new car that is still high in value, it may be in your best interest to carry this policy.
What's the difference between collision and comprehensive coverages?
You are rewarded for having a good track record, showing that you are a responsible person, or otherwise proving that you are a lower risk to your insurance company. :) These discounts and value of discounts vary among providers. Some of these discounts include:
- Good Driver Discount: In California, this means you have three years of driving experience with only ONE minor ticket or ONE at-fault accident that caused no injuries (that means no claims by you, anybody in your car, or the other party.) You are automatically disqualified from this discount if you have had any major violations in the past five years (racing, speeding over 100 MPH, hit & run, etc.) or if you have a DUI or DWI from the past ten years.
- Mature Driver Discount: Drivers over the page of 55 may be eligible for this discount if they take a defensive driving course that will cover updated driving rules and other topics that relate to older drivers.
- Good Student Discount: It’s not a myth that younger drivers face grossly higher insurance rates than more matured drivers due to their proneness to accidents. Because statistics have shown that students who earn higher grades are less likely to get in accidents, insurance companies are willing to offer you a discount if you are a student with a B average (3.0 GPA.)
- Occupational Discount: Some jobs are considered “low-risk” from previous statistical studies, and therefore, insurance companies are more willing to offer lower premiums for people who are in those professions. Some of these occupations include engineers, scientists, teachers/professors, first responders, nurses, pilots, accountants, and more.
- Car Discounts: If your vehicle is equipped with certain safety features, such as airbags, anti-lock brakes, and anti-theft devices, you will be eligible for certain discounts.
There are other discounts that may be offered by different insurance companies. For help comparing and quoting different plans, please feel free to call us!
What isn't covered under my auto insurance policy?
Collision insurance covers the physical damages if you hit or something hits you — another car, a pedestrian, debris, a tree or fence, a shopping cart, among other situations. Comprehensive coverage will insure physical damages caused by “perils” to your automobile — fires, theft, hail, vandalism, animals attacking your car, etc. A few examples of what would be covered would be if your car was hit by a falling piece of debris, a tree falls on it, it gets submerged in water, it is maliciously scratched by a vandal, your tires get slashed, or your windshield gets cracked from a bear falling on it.
What kind of policy do I need if I also use my car for business?
Wear and tear, freezing, mechanical problems, tire damage from potholes or badly paved roads. Each policy is different, so check your policy or call us if you have questions about this.
If I lend a friend my car and they get into an accident, will my auto insurance policy cover the damages?
Driving to and from your workplace is considered personal use, and will be covered under your personal policy. However, if as a part of your job, you also need to drive a lot of places in between (like a traveling salesman, delivery of equipment to a job site, etc.) this is considered business use and may not be covered under your personal policy. If the latter sounds like something you may fall under, please don’t hesitate to give us a call and we’ll help you find coverage that’s right for you.
So what if my friend has insurance and he borrows my car, or I borrow my friend's car and I have insurance?
Yup! They’ll be covered under policy, unless you received payment for the use of your car. Be careful when lending your car, though, as your rates may increase or you may be sued if your friend caused the accident.
How about rentals?
The insurance on the car is used up first. If more damages are required, the secondary insurance will step in to pay. Different policies may vary.
What is Uninsured Motorists (UM) coverage and Underinsured Motorists (UIM) coverage, and why do I need it?
If you purchase a plan with Good Deal Insurance, you’re insured with the same coverages you have on your current insurance policy for any car you rent. However, if you don’t have collision/comprehensive coverage on at least one of your insured vehicles, you also might not have these coverages on a rental car (depends on state law.) Call us if you have questions about this. If you plan on purchasing a plan with another agency/provider, make sure you ask them first as this is not a universal policy.
If I make a claim, my insurance rates might go up. How should I decide whether to pursue a claim or not?
Uninsured Motorists coverage will protect you in the event of an accident with an uninsured driver. (Even though it’s illegal to not have insurance, some people still decide not to carry insurance.) In this case, they may not be able to pay for the damages. UM coverage protects you and your passengers from injury-related damages that are caused by either an uninsured or a hit & run driver. Underinsured Motorists coverage will protect you and your passengers in the event that the other party that caused the accident doesn’t have enough coverage to pay for the damages.
I got into an accident and the other driver was at fault. How do I file a claim against them?
Several factors weigh into the increase of your premium, including who’s at fault, amount of damages paid, state regulations, prior accident/violation history, type of accident/violation, and severity of accident/violation. If you need help regarding whether to file a claim, feel free to call us.
At the time of the accident, make sure you get all documentation — their driver’s license information, insurance information, photos of the damage, and license plate number of their vehicle. When exchanging information, be polite but do not admit fault. Filing a police report may quicken the process of your insurance claims later on. Contact the other driver’s insurance company or agent, give them your information, and tell them the type of claim you want to make. If you need help, we have claim professionals to better guide you.
What is Homeowner's Insurance and why do I need it?
What is Dwelling Fire Insurance?
Homeowner’s Insurance protects the place that you come to rejuvenate, where your family grows, where your biggest physical investments probably reside, where you call home. This insurance will protect you and your family financially should anything happen to your home — repairs or replacements of damaged property. Normally, this is reserved for residential properties that the owner resides in. Homeowner’s Insurance is a comprehensive policy that will insure both your property and your personal/family liability.
What is Condo/Townhouse Insurance?
Dwelling Fire Insurance normally protects residential homes that are not
owner occupied (but can be rented to others.) This will safeguard the structures and optionally cover personal properties like furniture and appliances.
What is Renter's Insurance?
Because condos and townhouses are normally somewhat protected by their homeowner’s association (HOA), this insurance covers what the HOA won’t. The HOA will usually cover the building structures, common area, and otherwise exterior damages, but will unlikely provide protection for the interior of your home. The Condo/Townhouse Insurance can cover you where the HOA policy doesn’t.
Do I need to show proof of what was in my house if I suffer damages?
Even if you live in a house that doesn’t belong to you, it houses your personal belongings, such as televisions, computers, jewelry, etc. This policy will protect damages or replacement for your things from theft, fire, wind, hail, airplanes, vehicles, etc. Renter’s Insurance provides basically the same liability protection as homeowner’s insurance, but at a fraction of the price since you don’t have to insure the exterior of the home.
I collect antique items and/or fine art. How can I adequately protect them?
You’ll be asked to provide a list of items that were destroyed or damaged. You should take the time now to make a room-by-room list of all the things you would need replaced in case of something happening, and include when you bought it and how much they cost. Another alternative to keeping this log would be to take pictures or videos of the belongings within your house. It never hurts to also retain receipts or credit card statements for higher value items, like furniture, appliances, rugs, etc.
Because of their high value, these items have limited coverage under basic home insurance policies. You should add a Scheduled Personal Property (SPP) endorsement to your policy in order to insure them properly. If you have questions about this, please give us a call.
What exactly is life insurance?
How much insurance do I need?
Essentially, life insurance ensures that your family will be able to be financially able to sustain themselves after your death, especially if you are the sole provider of the family — college tuition, estate expenses, additional income, etc.
How much will life insurance cost?
Consider how much money it would cost for your family to continue their day to day activities as well as their larger expenses comfortably & financially stable. Also factor in college tuition, retirement savings, etc. Inflation is also a substantial factor in considering how much life insurance you need. If you need any help with this, please give us a call at (626) 275-6795.
How do taxes work on life insurance?
Premium rates for life insurance will normally factor in age, sex, height & weight, health status, smoking, and if you participate in high-risk activities or occupations.The policy type you purchase will also affect the price. For example, term insurance rates are typically lower for younger ages. Premium rates for permanent policies (whole life) are usually higher at earlier ages, but then stay constant as you age. Lastly, if you decide to pay premiums montly or quarterly rather than annually will result in higher premiums.
Death benefits are tax-free. For permanent life insurance policies, cash values accumulate on an income tax-deferred basis. That means you wouldn’t have to pay income tax on any earnings in the policy as long as the policy remains in effect. In addition, most policy loans and withdrawals are not taxable. However, if you decide to surrender your policy, or it lapses, you may have income to the extent that distributions and/or withdrawals exceed your policy bases (for example, total premiums paid less prior distributions.)
What do I need to know about business insurance?
What are my coverage options?
Commercial insurance is designed to help you protect many of the risks your business may face. This could include damage or destruction to your property, business vehicles, office equipment, and inventory. This also covers loss of income in the case you have to close your business temporarily due to a covered loss/crime (robbery, burglary, or even employee dishonesty.)
What does Commercial Auto Insurance cover?
No matter how big or small your company is, we will find a policy that is right for you. We have experienced agents to help you with this, so please call us at (626) 275-6795 if you have any questions.
It would offer you liability coverage, in case you’re sued as a result of an auto accident, collision coverage, in case you got into an accident and had physical damage to your car, comprehensive coverage, covering physical damage due to fire, theft, or glass breakage, and rental reimbursement coverage, for a replacement vehicle when your vehicle is disabled due to an insured loss.