Frequently Asked Insurance Questions

  • What is PIP?

    This is a brief overview. For more information please contact our agency.

    PIP stands for Personal Injury Protection. It is the mandatory medical insurance coverage provided for personal automobiles. By signing a form you can opt out, but this is something we do not recommend.

    PIP covers all vehicles on your policy registered or principally garaged in the State of Washington. Who does it cover? The person(s) named on the policy, relatives living with you and other people in your auto at the time of an accident. This is regardless of who is at fault. It also covers an insured if injured a pedestrian or on a bicycle.

    The following are the benefits of PIP: Medical Expenses, Loss of Wages, Loss of Services and Funeral Expenses. Basic PIP coverage is $10,000 each person, but you can choose to increase it to $35,000 for an additional premium. You will be required to cover it on all vehicles listed on your policy.

    A person will often say, “Well I have good medical insurance, I don’t need it.” Do all of your possible passengers have good medical insurance? Perhaps, perhaps not. As you see this coverage provides more than just medical insurance.

  • What about Underinsured Motorist Insurance?

    Should I buy Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage? This insurance protects YOU. If you are in a not-at-fault accident and the negligent party has either no liability insurance or not enough to pay for your injuries or those of your passengers, you would look to your UIM to cover the loss up to the limits of the policy. In addition to Bodily Injury you can choose to have Property Damage as well to cover the damage to your vehicle.

    Even though it is mandatory in the State of Washington to carry Liability insurance, many opt not to or carry the state minimum of $25,000 per person, $50,000 for Bodily Injury and $10,000 for Property Damage. If you own a 2013 Porsche, would $10,000 replace the vehicle in the event of a total loss? How far would $25,000 go if you are in a Critical Care Unit for a few days?

    UIM is state mandated like PIP, but you can sign a form and opt out. It is something we do not recommend.

  • What is Comprehensive Insurance?

    Comprehensive insurance provides physical damage coverage other than Collision. This would include: Glass, Vandalism, Theft of the Vehicle and its factory installed equipment, Fire, Hail, Water, Flooding, Riot, Wind, Falling Objects and Damage caused by an animal.

  • What does Collision Insurance cover?

    Collision insurance will provide coverage for Physical Damage to your vehicle for an at-fault claim. Let’s say that you back your car into a post and damage the bumper and trunk. Your claim would be considered a collision claim.

  • What is Umbrella Insurance?

    Personal Umbrella insurance provides an additional layer of liability insurance over the underlying limits of an insured’s auto, home, boat, and rentals. The insurance companies have mandatory underlying limits to qualify for an Umbrella. Depending on an individual’s needs, Umbrella limits can range from $1,000,000 to $10,000,000. They can be a separate policy or separate coverage on an auto or a home policy.

    Do you have youthful drivers? Do you have assets you want to protect? Are you about to retire or are retired? Everyone should seriously consider this type of coverage.

  • What is a C.L.U.E. report and how do I obtain one?

    So you have found your dream house and are in the process of making the dream a reality. Then you are asked to obtain a C.L.U.E. report and you haven’t a clue what this is. C.L.U.E. stands for Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange. It is a five-year claims history for a specific address that insurance companies use to underwrite a residence.

    Your Realtor may tell you to call your insurance agent and you do. However, because of privacy issues, the agent will tell you that the only person who can ask for this information is the owner of the property. It has to be requested from LexisNexis Risk Solutions. They can do this online. Some of the claim information may or may not be correct. It is always a good idea to check with the property owner.

  • Why does my friend pay less for insurance?

    It would be hard to say exactly but the following factors contribute to the overall rate: credit (history, length, score, etc), insurance limits carried, driving history, youthful driver in household, payment history, account credit, mileage per year, use of vehicles, claims history, type of vehicles, deductibles, age of drivers, fire protection class, etc. It is not possible to compare between you and your friend as each have unique factors that make up an overall rate.

  • I am an artist and wonder if my paintings are covered under my Personal Homeowner's Policy?

    This is a great question as one would assume a painting would be covered under “personal property”. But if the artist has a painting not yet sold, how is a value placed on the unsold piece? One way is to compare it to a similar piece that has sold. But, likely the insured is reimbursed for the materials (paint, canvas, etc) used to make the painting—not the price tag they hope to get in the future for it.

    If the painting is in a gallery or other off premises venue then the artist needs to discuss the insurance carried by the gallery to see what their policy would cover. Off premises covered under the homeowner’s contents is often up to $1000 which may be much less than the artist could have sold it for.

    Once the painting is sold to a buyer, the piece now has a tangible “stated value”. This amount would then be covered under the buyer’s personal property under their homeowner’s policy (minus a deductible). They could choose to schedule the item and pay an extra premium for the option to not have a deductible should there be a loss.

  • Why is it important to review my schedule and update the appraisals?

    The reason to schedule valuables such as jewelry, camera equipment, art, and hearing aids are that by scheduling an item, this places a stated value to be compensated should there be a loss, plus it covers mysterious disappearance and does not require any deductible at the time of loss. A jewelry appraisal is required for any item over $10,000. The value of scheduled items needs to be reviewed and updated on a regular basis. We are happy to discuss with you and/or provide a quote for you should you want to consider scheduling a valuable.

Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of Washington

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