General Liability Insurance

General Liability Insurance

General Liability Wordcloud

Choosing Liability Coverage For Your Business

No matter what type of business you run, you need to protect your interests with the right insurance policy.  Every company needs a variety of different types of insurance; some of these policies are the same no matter what kind of business you have, while others might be specific to your industry.  One of the coverages that remains the same across the board is general liability coverage.

What General Liability Is For

There are a number of different types of liability policies you can purchase to protect yourself from potential financial responsibility.  General liability is one of the less specific forms of coverage and provides a generalized, overall coverage for liability claims resulting from a wide array of possible incidents.  While it will not protect you from everything, a good general liability policy provides you with a solid foundation.

A general liability policy gives you coverage for defense from lawsuits and to pay out financial claims when negligence on your part can be proven.  It prevents your company from facing potentially serious financial damage due to property damage, injuries, or any other claim that can be proven to be a result of your company’s actions or products.

Choose Your Policy Carefully

When you select a liability policy for your company, you should first make certain that the policy covers you from all angles.  If you have specific risks that are not covered by general liability, you may want to purchase additional policies to provide that coverage.  It is important to understand what is covered by your general liability policy and what is not; waiting until a claim occurs is not the best time to discover the exclusions in your policy!

Be certain that a few basics are being covered by your general liability policy.  You want to be sure that you have good public liability coverage—meaning that members of the general public who might sustain injury or loss as a result of negligence on your company’s part can be compensated.  You also need to be sure that you have enough coverage to protect yourself properly.

Your general liability policy is one of the most important you will select as a business owner; it takes only a quick look at the news to see the array of claims consumers have made against companies in recent years.  Many of these lawsuits ended in favor of the claimant.  Without good liability coverage, your company could wind up paying these claims out of pocket.  Take the time to make sure you have selected liability coverage that meets all of your needs and potential risks.

Give one of our offices a call to discuss all your Business Insurance needs!

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Vogedes Insurance Agency, Inc – A Trusted Choice Agency

Vogedes Insurance Agency, Inc – A Trusted Choice Agency

Trusted Choice agencies are insurance and financial services firms whose access to multiple companies and commitment to quality service enable us to offer our clients competitive pricing, a broad choice of products and unparalleled advocacy.

As a Trusted Choice agency, we are dedicated to you and are committed to treating you as a person, not a policy. This commitment means we shall:

  • Work with you to identify the insurance and financial services that are right for you, your family or your business, and use our access to multiple companies to deliver those products.
  • Guide you through the claims process for a prompt and fair resolution of your claim.
  • Help solve problems related to your coverage or account.
  • Explain the coverages and options available to you through our agency, at your request.
  • Return your phone calls and emails promptly and respond to your requests in a timely manner.
  • Provide 24/7 services for our customers, offering any or all of the following: emergency phone numbers, Internet account access, e-mail and call center services.
  • Use our experience and multiple company relationships to customize your coverage as needed.
  • Commit our staff to continuing education so they may be more knowledgeable in serving you.
  • Treat you with respect and courtesy.
  • Conduct our business in an ethical manner.

Call us or stop by one of our offices – Edenton or Kitty Hawk.  We are here to help you with all of your insurance needs!

 

Auto Claims: A Step By Step Process

Auto Claims: A Step By Step Process

Driver Making Phone Call After Traffic AccidentWhen you have been in an accident or your car has been stolen or vandalized, you may not know where to start or what to expect.  The call to your insurance agency or claims department to open a claim starts a process that can be confusing.  While the details of the claims process may differ from company to company and depending on the type of claim, the basic process is similar for every claim.  This step-by-step guide will get you through the claims maze.

The First Step: Filing A Claim

When you call your insurance agency to file a claim you may be understandably upset, and it can be easy to forget some of the details.  Before calling, sit down and write out the details of what happened as best you can recall.  If you were able to take photos of the damage to your vehicle, have them on hand to use as a reference.  Your call to submit a claim might take a while, so be prepared to be on the phone with no distractions, and ready to answer all the necessary questions.

The Second Step: Meeting The Adjuster

Depending on the type of claim and how your insurance company handles claims, you may need to meet with the assigned adjuster to view the damage to your car.  There may be more questions at this time regarding the incident, so keep your notes and photographs handy.  If there was a police report filed on the incident, the adjuster may wish to go over the details of the report with you.  In the case of a theft, you might also be asked for a list of what was taken from or off the vehicle.

The Third Step: Determining Fault And Value

After the adjuster has seen the damage, spoken with all parties, and reviewed the police report, a decision will be made as to who was at fault in the incident.  If it was not an accident, but a theft or vandalism, obviously no fault will be assigned.  At this point in an accident scenario, your adjuster will also be working with the adjuster from the other company on behalf of the driver of the other vehicle.  If they agree on fault, the claim goes forward.  If not, mediation may occur.

Finally, a value will be assigned to the damage done to your vehicle, deciding how much it will cost to repair and how much the insurance company will pay.  If the cost to repair the car exceeds the value of the car, then a total loss may be declared.

Final Steps: Closing The Claim

In a straightforward claim, payment will be made, the car repaired, and the claim will be closed.  More complicated claims involving bodily injury or multiple drivers may take longer.  In most cases, however, the claims process is completed relatively swiftly.

Condo Insurance

Condo Insurance

Condo Coverage

As a homeowner, obtaining a good home insurance policy that protects your home and family is one of the essential costs related to purchasing a home.  But if you own a condo there may be some additional considerations in selecting a home insurance policy that is right for you.  Here is a breakdown of the kind of coverage you need as a condo owner, and some tips on finding the right policy.

Ownership Issues

Since the actual property ownership of condos includes both private and shared property, condo insurance must cover both.  In the case of shared property, the major concern is liability insurance that will cover any damage that may be caused by your negligence or an accident that would damage shared property or the property of another condo owner.

Condo Association Coverage

Another issue to consider is whether your Condo Association has blanket coverage that will protect you from damages that may be caused by other condo owners who do not have liability insurance, or have limited coverage.  Since condo owners pay fees that include a number of shared costs, such as property maintenance and some utilities, insurance should be offered by your Condo Association to protect you in these cases.  If yours does not, you may want to check out ways to include it.  In most cases this type of shared coverage will cost each owner less than individual liability insurance and will keep all condo owners protected.

Content Coverage

Living in a gated community or secured building, as most condo complexes are, may give you a false sense of security.  If your condo insurance does not cover your unit’s contents from theft and other damage you could be leaving a huge gap in your coverage.  Also, if you own valuable items such as jewelry or antiques your content coverage may not protect the full value of these items and a rider may be necessary.

A qualified insurance agent can give you all the information you’ll need to keep your condo protected, and keep you protected from liability.

 

Protect Yourself: Professional Liability Insurance

Protect Yourself: Professional Liability Insurance

professional-liability
Whatever your profession, protecting yourself with professional liability insurance is not just a smart thing to do, but a necessity in today’s litigious society.  You have worked hard and put in years of education and work to get where you are in your career.  Without the right coverage for potential negligence suits, you could lose everything you have worked so hard to achieve.

What It Covers

General liability insurance can protect you from a wide variety of claims against you and your business, but will not protect you from the type of lawsuit that can result from the simple errors we are all capable of making.  Nor will it protect you from claims made against you that are unfounded.  Remember that even if there is no truth to the accusations against you, you can still find yourself in court defending yourself and your professional reputation against them at a very high cost to you.

Those who provide a service or advice, or in any other way use their knowledge and experience to help others are in need of professional liability insurance.  This includes things like errors and omissions insurance and malpractice insurance, both of which are types of professional liability.  The similarity is that the types of lawsuits brought against professionals are usually based on actions, advice, or services that may not have caused property damage or direct injury but nonetheless can in some way be shown to be a result of the negligence of the professional.

Don’t Take Chances

You do your best to provide good advice, to make sure that everything you do and offer to your clients is as accurate and helpful as possible, but everyone makes mistakes.  And even when you didn’t make a mistake, all it takes is someone who is unhappy with the outcome to turn on you and put the blame at your feet.  These lawsuits can cost professionals incredible amounts of money, even if you win.  Having to pay out on such a lawsuit can easily bankrupt even the most well off professional.

Professional liability insurance provides you with the means to defend your good name in court against accusations as well as to pay out on settlements when you are found to be negligent.  Without it, you could find yourself not only out a lot of money, but your reputation could be on the line because you are unable to fight an unfounded lawsuit.  Don’t take chances; protect everything you have worked so hard for with the right professional liability policy for your industry.  Your insurance agent can help you to ensure you have the coverage you need to have complete peace of mind.

Home Inventory

Home Inventory

home-inventory

Have you ever thought what would happen if you fell victim to a burglary, fire or any other catastrophic event that would cause you to lose your possessions?  This is something most people do not think about on a regular basis.  Most can name the big items – furniture, clothes, jewelry, electronics; but how about the little items?  Also included in this is the consumables – items in your pantry, items in your refrigerator/freezer and dry goods.

Whether you own your home or you are renting, you need sufficient insurance coverage to protect you from the events listed above.  To help determine the amount of coverage you need, it is a good idea to conduct a Home Inventory.  Please find a Home Inventory PDF fillable form here.  This can be an overwhelming task to complete at once – start it now and work on it as you make new purchases, when time allows add the older items.

When completing your home inventory be specific as possible; including but not limited to, the serial number and model number.  The more detail provided the more likely you will receive a like replacement – less detail may mean a lower priced replacement.  For the more expensive items (TV, Appliances, Stereo) take pictures or a video.  Since we are in the age of technology you may prefer to take pictures or videos of all of your possessions. Some items you may not think of are items you take with you everyday – cell phone, laptop, tablet, mp3 player, cameras and jewelry.  These items should also be listed on your personal inventory.  Remember to update your inventory with new purchases and remove items you have disposed of.

Once your inventory is completed you can discuss your current coverage with your agent to see if you have adequate insurance and you will also have peace of mind that you have the coverage you need.  It is also recommended to keep your inventory, pictures and videos in a safe place such as a safe deposit box.  If you do have a loss it will make it easier to file your claim.

We are happy to help with any questions you may have about your current insurance coverage and discuss if there are any other options available.  Stop by one of our offices – Edenton or Kitty Hawk and ask to speak with a Personal Lines Agent.

By:  Jen Tighe

 

Auto Insurance Tips

Auto Insurance Tips

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Tips For Lower Rates Without Sacrificing Coverage

Everyone is looking to save money these days, and auto insurance is one of the most common expenses people shop around for in order to reduce costs.  There are some great ways to save money on your auto insurance, and the good news is you may not even need to switch insurance companies to save money—nor should you have to give up any of your coverage.  Here are some of the easiest and most common methods of saving money on your auto insurance.

What Are Your Deductibles?

The deductible is the amount that you would have to pay out of pocket in the event of certain types of claims.  Most people opt for low deductibles so that they won’t be responsible for coming up with much cash.  This isn’t always the smartest way to go, however.  Higher deductibles can save you a lot of money in the long run, even if you do wind up having a claim in which you have to pay that amount.

If you are a good driver, the odds of having an at-fault accident are relatively low.  If increasing your deductible saves you hundreds of dollars a year, you won’t have to go many years without an accident before you have already saved more than enough to cover that increase in the deductible.

Are You Getting All The Available Discounts?

One of the things many people don’t consider when shopping around for car insurance is shopping for homeowner’s insurance at the same time.  Why should you do this?  Most companies offer a hefty discount on both policies when they insure your home and auto together.  Check if your current auto insurance company offers homeowner’s as well, and you might not even have to bother shopping around.  In addition to the savings, you will also have the convenience of everything being in one place.

There are other discounts you may be missing out on as well!  Be sure to check regularly with your agent or insurance company to find out if all the discounts you qualify for are being applied to your policy.

Are Your Cars Rated Correctly?

Auto insurance rates are calculated based on a number of factors, including the number of miles you drive each day.  If you are a stay at home parent but your car is being rated as a commuter vehicle, you could be paying too much.  If you have changed jobs and now commute only five miles each day rather than 30 miles, your yearly average will drop, which could have an effect on your rates.  Be sure to advise your agent when changes in your driving habits occur!  You could be reaping the benefits.