Monthly Archives: October 2014

Keep Your College Student Healthy With These 3 Insurance Tips

It’s important to do your research as your child goes into the college years to make sure that they have health insurance.

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Regulations regarding health insurance coverage tend to vary by state, but in general you should be able to ensure your kids until they turn 31 if they are still in school. However, you need to check the particular state’s individual regulations to make sure. You also need to check with your particular policy, because sometimes state laws leave coverage options up to insurance companies.

The following insurance tips for college students will help you to provide insurance coverage for your children regardless of what state you live in and what insurance provider you rely on for coverage:

  1. Be aware of rules regarding school enrollment- Health insurance policies can differ widely in terms of offering coverage for dependent children. While some will offer coverage to graduate students or students enrolled part time, others might only cover full time undergrads.
  2. Know what Michelle’s Law stipulates- Michelle’s Law is applicable in every state, and it requires insurance policies to cover full time students for up to 12 months if they need to take medical leave from attending university.
  3. Save up for co-pays and deductibles- Health insurance benefits aren’t usually completely free. Rather, they usually require those enrolled to pay co-pays for various types of doctors appointments and deductibles on certain expenses.

Consult with one of our insurance professionals at Schumacher Insurance Group for more insurance tips for college students. Contact us with your questions.

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What Are the Differences Between Commercial and Personal Auto Insurance?

It’s important that those who are on the market for the right auto insurance policy know the differences between commercial and personal auto insurance. Consumers may wonder whether a commercial or a personal policy is right for them. Many small business owners use their personal vehicles in business activities, so they’ll want to be aware of any advantages to having a commercial policy.

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As a general rule, a personal policy is probably adequate if you don’t use your car for business purposes on a regular basis. However, if you use your vehicle for work often, a personal policy might not cover all of your liability needs.

If you transport clients or passengers as a part of your job, you probably will need a commercial insurance policy to ensure that all of your business assets and liabilities will be covered in the event of an on-the-job accident.

Other than some differences in what they cover, commercial policies and personal policies work very similarly. Premiums are determined on both commercial and personal policies by looking at how much a vehicle is driven, who is driving the vehicle, and whether or not there are any accidents or mishaps on the drivers’ records.

The most important thing to remember when considering the differences between commercial and personal auto insurance is that you want to make sure all your liabilities are covered. If you are using a personal vehicle for business tasks on occasion, you might want to verify with your insurance company if accidents would be covered if they occurred during work tasks. Be wary of low liability limits that could leave you in serious financial trouble if you experience an accident.

For more information on meeting your auto insurance needs, contact us at Schumacher Insurance.

3 Common Insurance Claims That Occur During the Holidays

Before we know it the holidays will be here. There will be plenty of office parties, holiday happy hours, games of touch football and big meals with family and friends. But unfortunately the holiday season is also filled with events that often end up resulting in a call to your insurance agent. Some of the most common insurance claims that occur during the holidays include:

Common Insurance Claims That Occur During the Holidays

Source: Wikimedia

  • According to the National Fire Protection Association  the majority of Christmas Day fires are started by unattended candles. Often dining room table centerpieces, fireplace mantel decorations and other tablescapes include candles which aren’t meant to be lit. But someone decides to take a chance, the dry greenery catches fire and now Christmas is ruined.
  • Another one of the most common insurance claims that occur during the holidays is from electrical fires caused by overloaded electrical outlets. Because the weather is colder more space heaters are being used. These appliances can put quite a load on electrical wiring, causing a fire. Then there are also all the holiday lights hung both inside and out, along with more fireplaces in use, both which can very easily become fire hazards.
  • Speaking of colder weather, another common insurance claim is from water damage caused by frozen pipes which have burst. Depending on the location of the pipe or pipes, damage can easily be costly and extensive. Rugs, carpeting and furniture may be ruined and depending on how long the water is left standing, drywall can quickly wick up the moisture causing considerable and expensive damage.

We here at Schumacher Insurance hope you have a disaster free holiday season and we encourage you to double check your policies to make sure you have adequate coverage just in case the unthinkable happens.

5 Tips for Understanding Your Insurance Contract

It’s important to understand the key terms of your contract to be sure your policy truly protects you. To help you, we’ve put together these five tips for understanding your insurance contract:

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  1. Understand the offer and acceptance relationship. When you pay premiums, you are making an offer for coverage. When companies take your money, they’re accepting your offer. However, companies may accept with certain considerations – like requiring more premium because you’re a smoker or restricting drivers on an auto policy. Always read the fine print to understand your offer and acceptance relationship.
  2. Indemnity protects against financial loss. Insurance contracts operate under the principle of indemnity. This means that when losses can be measured in terms of money, they’ll make you whole financially.
  3. The Good Faith Doctrine applies. The good faith doctrine means you’ve entered into an insurance contract without withholding key information – like a past illness or illegal business activity – that would make the contract unattractive to the insurance company. If they find you’ve not acted “in good faith”, your contract may be voided.
  4. Subrogation happens. Subrogation means your insurer can sue a third party who caused you a loss – even if it’s a friend, neighbor, or relative. Be prepared that even if you’ve received a check, the company may involve you in pursuing those they view as truly responsible to recoup their money.
  5. Legal capacity matters. The law requires good legal capacity for insurance contracts. This means you must be of sound mind to sign an agreement, and also that your insurance company is current on all their licenses in your area. It’s a great reason to only work with the most reputable firms.

For more tips for understanding your insurance contract or to adjust your coverage based on these tips, reach out to our team now.

The 3 Worst Kinds of Tickets for Your Insurance Rates

While a clean driving record is the best thing for guaranteeing low car insurance, there are certain tickets that will impact your insurance rates more than others. It all boils down to how much of a risk it is to insure you, and certain tickets throw up a red flag as far as your insurer is concerned. Here are the worst kinds of tickets for your insurance rates.

Car Accident

Source: Edmunds

  • Driving under the influence: A drunk driving ticket has the most impact on your insurance rates. Besides having a serious impact on your driving record and perhaps even the status of your license, this ticket can result in your insurance rates being nearly doubled: the average increase is 93 percent. And if you get too many of these tickets, your insurance company may refuse to continue to cover you altogether.
  • Reckless driving: Your state’s definition of what it takes to get a reckless driving ticket may vary from other states, but insurers all agree on one thing, and that is that a reckless driving ticket makes insuring someone almost as big a risk as a driving under the influence ticket. A reckless driving ticket, therefore, results in an average of an 82 percent increase in insurance rates.
  • Careless driving: Getting a careless driving ticket usually means that there was less intent involved than in a reckless driving incident. Likewise, your insurer isn’t usually as concerned, and as a result the average increase in insurance rates is 27 percent for a careless driving ticket. Of course, paying that much more for your car insurance is nothing to sneeze at, either, and this is still one of the worst kinds of tickets for your insurance rates.

How much of a risk are you? Find out by contacting us for a quote on insurance rates.

Planning On Giving an Expensive Gift This Season? Be Sure to Have It Insured With These 3 Tips

If you’re planning to buy expensive and valuable gifts this festive season you need to think carefully about protecting them while they are in your home. Insuring the presents will mean you have peace of mind as you know your valuable gifts are covered, in the event of loss or damage.

Planning On Giving an Expensive Gift This Season

Source: Wikimedia

Insuring Expensive Gifts

Insuring your expensive gifts is not difficult and may only involve a quick telephone call to your insurance agency, but it should be high on your priority list of things to do just as soon as you take delivery of the present.

No matter whether the expensive gift you have bought is a work of art, antique treasure or modern TV or sound equipment, the moment it arrives within your home it becomes your property. Follow these three simple tips to ensure your valuable items are covered while they are in your possession:

  1. You may consider your gifts are covered by homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policies but just take time to call your insurance agency to check on whether or not this is really the case. You may be surprised to learn that your items are only covered up to a maximum value of $1,000 or $2,000.
  2. Arrange extra coverage from your insurer for the item while it is in your possession. Thieves love the run up to the festive season because household pickings can be so lucrative, ensure your valuable gifts are protected by valid insurance cover from the moment they arrive in the home.
  3. Pass on the information gained from your insurer to the gift’s recipient so the item is fully covered no matter where its eventual home happens to be.

Contact Schumacher Insurance Agency if you’re looking for details on insuring expensive gifts in the New Jersey neighborhood.

5 Easy Ways to Become a Better Driver

Driving is something we do so regularly, we don’t always stop to think about it. Yet, driving safety is always important to consider whether you’re a new driver or have years of experience. Here are five easy ways to become a better driver that everyone can use.

Young Driver Insurance

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Take a look at the rules of the road driving manual. Brush up on your knowledge of driving laws. Keep yourself sharp by knowing the right thing to do on the road.

Take it easy behind the wheel. Driving in a calm, smooth fashion is much safer than jerking a vehicle around. Smooth driving keeps the driver in control when they’re behind the wheel. It will help keep your car running well for years, too.

Stay alert by avoiding fatigue. It’s a good idea to pull over for coffee every couple of hours. Get out, stretch your legs, and focus your eyes on the scenery to help them adjust from the road zone. When you’ve reached your limit, stop and rest for a while.

Keep a buffer distance between your car and others. A good rule to go by is to keep one car length of space for every 10 mph between you and the vehicle in front of you. For example, if you were driving 60 mph, keep a distance of about six cars between you and the person in front of you for any sudden stops or quick maneuvers.

Distractions are a major cause of accidents, so cut them out. Put the cell phone on silent so you’re not tempted to answer if someone calls. Turn the volume on the radio down, or turn the radio off so that you can focus on driving.

Contact us today and let’s discuss how Schumacher Insurance Group can take care of your insurance coverage.

3 Things You Need to Know About Employment Practices Liability Insurance

If you run a business then you should be aware that your human resources policies on hiring and firing employees and the way employees claim to be treated in the workplace can develop into legal minefields, causing potential liability claims that could even bankrupt the business in worst case scenarios. When you take out Employment Practices Liability Insurance you have the knowledge your business is covered against some job-related claims made by employees or former employees.

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Three important aspects of  Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) that you need to recognize are:

  • it is sometimes included within your standard business owner’s insurance policy or any other liability insurances you may have. The cover given under these policies may not be adequate, however. The questions you need to ask yourself are whether any cover you may have would be adequate if you were faced with liability claims from disgruntled former employees claiming workplace discrimination or wrongful dismissal
  • EPLI usually covers workplace harassment and discrimination, emotional distress suffered by employees, wrongful discharge and possibly privacy-based or reputation-based claims. It does not usually cover OSHA violations or other regulatory violations, such as State Employment Law or Fair Labor Standards Act violations
  • terms of EPLI cover can vary and will need to be negotiated for every state where your business operates.

When you take out EPLI you should be able to access expert legal counsel advice to assist in the unfortunate event of claims against your business. Your best defense against any claims of this nature, however, is to know the employment law in the states in which you operate your business and to ensure you have rigorous business practices in effect.

Contact Schumacher Insurance Agency to find out more about Employment Practices Liability Insurances and to discuss your business insurance needs in greater detail.

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