What To Know About Your Insurance Policy
Updated: Aug 21
BOOM recently interviewed Kevin Hamilton, with Alpine Insurance to discuss everything you need to know about your insurance policy. Alpine Insurance is a long-standing partner of BOOM Group, bringing great rates to BOOM Members.
How does insurance work?
Insurance is there to cover you for things that happen that are sudden and accidental. Not everything can be covered in an insurance policy and you need to be aware of that and what the exclusions are, so there's no surprises when something happens.
Auto insurance is broken down into 3 basic components:
Liability insurance- mandatory and everybody has to have it to be on the road.
Optional Coverage - Collision and Comprehensive (hail, fire, theft, vandalism, etc.)
Seasonal home or secondary home insurance
Boat insurance/trailer insurance:
This can sometimes fall under your house insurance policy but it's a good idea to get your own policy for them so you can get better coverage and its always better price too.
How are rates determined?
Rates are determined by several factors
Your driving record
Type of vehicle - Each car is assigned a rate group and that determines how much you're going to pay on it. A Lexus for example might end up having cheaper insurance than a Nissan because of its rate group. The rate group is designed to include things like cost to repair and how safe is the vehicle.
Some things to keep in mind is claims and convictions are very costly on an insurance policy. Minor convictions are things like speeding tickets and stop signs. Major convictions include school zones or construction zones and there's also criminal convictions like a DUI or leaving the scene of an accident.
Is there anything we can do to lower rates?
Traffic tickets have a big impact on your price, as well as claims. If it's less than a few thousand dollars I personally wouldn't make a claim, but it is a personal judgment call, everybody's different on when they want to do the claim. It’s helpful to have a broker to discuss all discount possibilities for you.
How do the claims affect my rates for the coverage?
One thing to keep in mind with claims is that it doesn't matter what the payout is. If it's one dollar or one million dollars, it affects your premium the same way. That's why it's not a great idea to do a claim for a small thing because you will have to pay your deductible and then your premiums go up because you lose that claims free discount.
How do I switch insurance companies?
You may get a quote from an insurance company and things could change, so you want to make sure with your new insurance company that you have a signed application and everything is confirmed before you go ahead and cancel the other policy so you don’t have any surprises.
Once you have that signed application with the new company you then contact your old insurance company and you're going to sign a cancellation form. One thing to keep in mind is that you can cancel a policy at any time, but if you switch there could be a cancellation fee.
Auto insurance typically does have a cancellation fee and property insurance may or may not so it's always a good idea to contact your old insurance company first and find out what their policies are.
How does group insurance work?
Group insurance is provided for larger organizations, associations, and employers. Because of the large numbers we are able to negotiate better rates.
They're going to get more insurance policies for that group, so they're willing to offer a little bit of a discount on the rates. There are also some other benefits to the group insurance not just through the premiums, but you can have no monthly service fee. You have 24/7 access to your policy and there's a 30-minute claims guarantee. Lastly, you have a dedicated sales and service team.
Do you have suggestions for BOOM members on how best to make sure they are protected through their insurance?
Contact your broker and make sure you discuss everything. We ask a lot of questions so that we unearth everything about you and your policy. We want to make sure we have adequate coverage for you. Just getting the best price does not always necessarily mean you're getting the best coverage as something could be missing. There are so many different endorsements out there and you want to make sure you have the proper coverage when something happens. You want to be covered properly.
To watch the full interview, click here!