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Frequently Asked Questions

INSURANCE TERMS

HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE

HOME & AUTO INSURANCE

CLAIMS


INSURANCE TERMS

What is basic coverage?
Basic coverage protects your valuables against fire, lightning, explosion, windstorm, hail, and several other causes of loss.

What is broad coverage?
Broad coverage protects your covered property against direct loss arising from one of the specific “hazards” listed in the policy.

What is specific coverage?
Specific coverage protects your covered property against direct loss arising from any cause not specifically excluded by the insurance company.

What is a peril?
A peril is a condition that can cause a loss. Three examples are fire, windstorm and theft.

What is a deductible?
Your deductible is the amount you must pay out of pocket before your insurance pays for any covered losses.

What is an endorsement?
An endorsement is a change to an existing policy that amends (adds or deletes) previously listed coverage.

What is actual cash value (ACV) vs. replacement cost coverage?
ACV is the value of an item (including depreciation) at the time of loss. Replacement cost equals a new item’s cost without depreciation. Replacement cost value is not paid until the item is actually replaced.

Most auto policies are written for ACV because with the large availability of used vehicles, auto settlements can be determined by similar vehicles available in the market.

Homeowners can endorse their policy to change ACV to Replacement Cost.


HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE

What does property damage insurance cover?
Property damage coverage helps repair your home and personal property when damaged by perils. The perils of flood and earthquake will only be covered if you have added them as additional coverage to your policy. If Flood insurance is not available from your insurance carrier because of the area in which you reside, you may obtain coverage through the federal government’s National Flood Program (NFP). Apollo can assist you with obtaining NFP coverage or you can contact them directly at 800.638.6620.

What does personal property insurance cover?
Personal property insurance covers the contents of your home and other personal belongings owned by you or family members who reside in the home. Keep in mind that high valued personal property such as jewelry, cameras, computer equipment, etc. should be listed separately so that you are adequately protected.

What does medical payments insurance cover?
The coverage pays the reasonable expenses for others accidently injured on your premises or the areas immediately adjoining your property such as sidewalks or alleys. This coverage does not apply to your own injuries or those of family members living with you or injuries arising out of activities involving a business you operate out of your home, intentional acts or rental use of your premises.

What does additional living expense or loss of use cover?
Most policies include this to cover extra costs you may incur if your home is damaged by an insured peril and you cannot live there while repairs are made or the government denies you access. Review your policy to make sure this is included.


HOME & AUTO INSURANCE

How much Homeowners insurance do I need?
It depends on many things. What is the value of your property? How much can you afford to pay out of pocket in the event of a disaster or a lawsuit? Does your lender require you to cover the house for at least the amount of the mortgage? How much property can you afford to replace after a disaster or theft? All of these factors should be taken into consideration in determining how much coverage you need. Apollo’s knowledgeable, licensed insurance consultants are here to help.

Taking an inventory of your possessions is invaluable in determining how much you insurance you need, and keeping it up-to-date will assist in the event of a loss. An extensive California Home Inventory guide can be downloaded from the CA Dept. of Insurance’s website – http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0100-consumers/0060-information-guides/0040-residential/upload/HomeInventoryCombined2008.pdf

If I’m renting an apartment and I have a loss, is my landlord liable?
No. As a renter it is your responsibility to secure insurance for your personal property. Many building owners now require it as a condition of renting.

If I’m in a car accident and it wasn’t my fault, do I have to pay the deductible?
Yes. However, during the claim investigation if it is determined you were not at fault, the other party’s insurance may be held responsible and you’ll get your deductible back.

Can an insurance company write an estimate using salvage parts or parts not made by the original manufacturer?
Yes. An insurance company only has to return the vehicle to its condition before the damage.

If I have a total loss on my vehicle, how do I know I’m getting a fair shake on the settlement?
Sources outlining book value and dealer quotes can be considered. The condition of your vehicle, mileage and options are all used in determining the value.

Can you backdate insurance if I pay extra?
No.

Is the insurance company required to give me a 10-day grace period to pay my premium?
Every state has different statues regarding grace periods.  Please check your policy.

If I cancel my policy, do I get my money back?
Yes. However you will be charged for any premiums due prior to the cancellation date.

Can an insurance company cancel my home or vehicle policy?
Yes. If you fail to pay your premium for your vehicle, or if your permit/license to operate the vehicle has been revoked during the term of the policy, the company can cancel your coverage.  A homeowner’s policy can be cancelled for non-payment of premium if there is fraud or serious misrepresentation when completing the application, if the policyholder is convicted of a crime or if changes are made to the property that increase the risk of loss. An insurance company can cancel a new policy for almost any reason within 30 - 60 days of the issue date.


CLAIMS

How long does it take to process a claim?
The Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act allows an insurance carrier 30 days to investigate a claim, with some exceptions.

If I’m unhappy with the claims settlement from the insurance company, what can I do?
Insurance companies are required to follow all insurance laws and regulations. In California , the  Department of Insurance has a specific set of Fair Claims Settlement Practices Regulations that you can access through the Department’s website or by calling  800.927.HELP for a copy.

Will my insurance premium go up if I file a claim?
Every situation is unique. Depending on your circumstances, your premium may be affected.

 

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