What Are Some Common Mistakes People Make With Umbrella Insurance?

Purchasing umbrella insurance is an excellent move if you have significant savings, assets, and income that you want to protect. However, it’s critical that you be careful when purchasing umbrella insurance not to make mistakes that can hurt you financially. Here are some typical mistakes people make with umbrella insurance that every resident of the greater Williamston, MI community, looking to purchase this policy should know. 

Common Mistakes People Make With Umbrella Insurance

1. Purchasing Way Too Much Coverage

What you don’t have can’t be taken from you. This means that even if it’s determined that you are liable for $3 million in damages, you don’t have to worry about losing much if your savings, assets, and income are way below that value. Many people usually make the mistake of purchasing millions of dollars worth of umbrella insurance, yet their net worth is below a million—this way too much coverage. At CG Insurance Agency, we advise that if your net worth is below a million dollars, only take a million dollars in umbrella coverage.

2. Purchasing Way Too Little Coverage

On the other hand, some people purchase way too little umbrella coverage. Let’s say you have $10 million in savings, assets, and income, and you only take a million dollars in umbrella coverage. This is way too little coverage, and it could lead to your investments, savings, and income being used to settle your liability. If you are a homeowner, you cant take the same amount of umbrella coverage as a renter since you have a valuable asset – your home – which can be seized to settle your liability. You need more umbrella coverage than a renter.

3. Overlooking Recreational Assets

When most people purchase umbrella insurance, they want to protect their homes, savings, investments, and other mainstream assets. However, they overlook recreational assets like their boats, motorbikes, and RV. This usually leads them to take way too less umbrella coverage, leaving their recreational assets at risk of being seized.

Contact CG Insurance Agency for umbrella insurance deals in Williamston, MI.

How to protect all the buildings on your property

CG Insurance Agency is here to meet the insurance needs of the Williamston, MI area. If you have questions, our team is here to help. Finding the right insurance policy to protect your property is worth the time and effort! 

Make sure that all buildings on your property are protected

Homeowner’s insurance comes in a variety of shapes and sizes and it can be difficult to determine which policy best suits your needs. This is especially true if you have a unique situation such as a work shed or heavy-duty shop on your property.

There are many situations where a primary policy is sufficient for all of your structures and buildings. However, this is not always the case. If you have a shop or shed on your home’s property that contains equipment, tools, or other valuable items, you may want to consider additional protection.

Because every situation is different, it’s impossible to take a "one size fits all" approach to any unique or exceptional circumstances. Protecting your property includes any unattached buildings that are located on your property. When it comes down to making sure that you are covered, it is worth the time to make sure that your policy includes the coverage you want and need.

Questions such as these are most easily answered by sitting down with your local agent to review your needs. Once your insurance needs are established, finding the right policy is much easier.

Call or stop by today!

The greater Williamston, MI area relies on the CG Insurance Agency for answers to their insurance questions. If you’re unsure which homeowner’s policy is the right fit for your unique needs, we are here to help. Get in touch with our office and schedule an appointment today!

Do I Need Umbrella Insurance?

Think of umbrella insurance as an extra safety net that kicks into gear when your existing liability coverage on your insurance policies is exhausted. In short, an umbrella policy protects your existing assets and future assets from the cost of losing a lawsuit because of a vehicle accident, incident at your home, or any other third party liability claim. Many people assume that you have to be wealthy to need an umbrella policy, but this is not true because, even if you don’t have any assets, your wages could be garnished if you are sued and lose. 

Let’s look at an example. You are in an automobile accident that results in significant injury to another person and damage to a home. In total, the damages that you are responsible for are $500,000. Your auto insurance policy has liability coverage up to $300,000 which means that you need to come up with the extra $200,000. If you have an umbrella policy, then you will be in the clear because it will pick up the tab after your auto insurance runs out. However, without an umbrella policy, you’ll be on the hook to find a way to pay the remaining $200,000.

In addition to covering personal incidents that you are fault for, umbrella coverage is also extended to your dependent children, rental properties, and personal lawsuits arising from slander, libel, defamation of character, or false arrest. Be sure to check with your insurance provider for specific information on what your policy covers.

For more information, schedule a no-obligation consultation with CG Insurance Agency in Williamston, MI where our friendly and knowledgeable team will answer all your questions and customize a policy that best meets your needs. 

What Type of Car Insurance Protects My Vehicle From Hail and Lightning Damage in Williamston, MI?

Comprehensive auto insurance coverage may pay for damage due to wind, fire, hail, smoke, theft, falling objects, vandalism, and lightning. However, every policy is different, and it’s a good idea to talk with your agent at CG Insurance Agency in Williamston, MI. We can help you understand what your current policy covers and make any needed adjustments to ensure that you are covered for hail and lightning damage.

Coverage for Dings and Dents Related to Hail Damage

When hail falls, it can be anywhere from the size of a pea to the size of a grapefruit or larger. Quarter-sized hail measures about one inch in diameter and can cause dents, dings, broken glass, and other damage that impacts your vehicle.

Comprehensive insurance often pays for severe weather events, including hail. It may also cover you for events such as hitting a large animal or falling branches that can damage your vehicle.

Comprehensive Insurance for Lightning Strikes

You can purchase optional comprehensive insurance to help cover damage to your car due to a lightning strike. Comprehensive coverage provides extra protection that can help prevent out-of-pocket losses. If your insurance includes lightning and hail damage, you may get reimbursed for damages minus the deductible.

Without comprehensive coverage, you may not receive reimbursement for repairs needed due to a lightning strike. You can receive a check for the damages for hail and lightning damage to your vehicle once your claim has been approved. It’s also important to understand how your payout works if your vehicle is a total loss.

Contact the pros at CG Insurance Agency in Williamston, MI to schedule an in-person meeting to receive a quote for comprehensive insurance covering your vehicle. We can also look at your auto policy to make sure that you’re covered for other potential events.

A Home Insurance Claim: To File Or Not To File

Insurance is meant to protect you against financial loss. But is it really meant to protect you from any and all financial loss? When it comes to filing a loss claim on your home insurance, there may be times when not filing may be the wisest course of action.1

According to one study, filing just a single claim could increase your monthly premium by 20 percent, depending on where you live.2

What About My Premium?

Some insurance companies may protect you against premium increases, and in Texas, insurance companies are even prohibited from increasing rates following a first claim. However, if filing a claim means your premium will rise, you may need to decide whether it makes sense to do it.

It may not pay to file a claim if:

  • The claim amount is small. Your policy will have a deductible, so even claims of $1,000 to $2,000 may not have a favorable long-term cost benefit.
  • You’re not covered for a loss. Read your policy first to determine coverage. The simple act of filing a claim (even for a claim that won’t be paid) may result in higher premiums.
  • You have filed a claim within the last seven years. Since previous claims are tracked by an industry database for seven years, it may result in higher premiums.

Another factor to consider: you may want to file a claim regardless of dollar amount if someone is injured on your property, in order to protect yourself in the event that you are sued by the injured party.

1. Several factors will affect the cost of homeowner’s insurance, including the location, size and contents in the home. You should consider the amount of your deductible and level of coverage before purchasing a policy. Any guarantees associated with a policy are dependent on the ability of the issuing insurance company to continue making claim payments.
2. National Association of Realtors, 2019

A Brief Guide To Condo Insurance

The ownership structure of a condominium unit is different from that of a single family house. Here’s what you need to know when purchasing insurance for your condo.1

1. Understand the Master Policy

Since the ownership of all common areas is shared with other condo owners, the association of owners typically purchases insurance coverage (a master policy) for the common areas, e.g., hallways, exterior walls, etc. The condo association’s policy will outline what is covered and what is not.

2. Three Types of Coverage

There are three basic types of coverage under a master policy.

  • Primary buildings and common areas
  • Your unit and any items within your unit, other than personal belongings
  • Building, unit, and any fixtures

The individual coverage you may consider depends upon the scope of coverage of the master policy. Start by determining what is and isn’t covered under the master policy – this can influence the coverage you may need.

3. Know the Master Policy Deductible

Generally, an association’s master policy has a deductible that is charged pro-rata among unit owners in the event of a claim. Determining that obligation is important because while it may never materialize, it could represent a meaningful financial commitment.

4. Consider Additional Coverage

Similar to any homeowner, you will need to make decisions about other coverage options, such as cash value or replacement coverage, adding personal liability coverage, and whether flood insurance may be appropriate.

1. Several factors will affect the cost of condo insurance, including the insurance coverage provided by the homeowners association. You should consider the amount of your deductible and level of coverage before purchasing a condo insurance policy. Any guarantees associated with a policy are dependent on the ability of the issuing insurance company to continue making claim payments.

The Eight Types of Home Insurance

The Eight Types of Home Insurance

When you purchase a home, whether an apartment, condo, townhouse, or house, if you take out a mortgage, the bank will require you to purchase homeowners insurance. At CG Insurance Agency serving Williamston, MI, we want you to understand your options when choosing coverage for your home.

Your humble adobe might not be very humble nor made of adobe, but it needs insurance. Until you completely pay off your mortgage, the bank actually owns your home. They kindly let you live there since you pay them a house payment each month and expect you to assume the risk to the home. You do that by purchasing home insurance.

The coverage your home gets depends on the type of home. For example, a historical home requires an HO-8 policy, while a recently built home purchased by a homeowner with no or few policy claims typically gets covered under a standard home policy, an HO-3.

A homeowner who has made many claims to their insurance policy typically won’t qualify for an HO-3 policy, so their home gets insured with an HO-1 policy, called dwelling insurance. This policy doesn’t cover as many perils, or natural hazards, as an HO-3 policy.

HO-2 covers more perils than the HO-1 policy. It adds perils such as accidental discharge of water and the weight of snow or ice on the roof. If you want open-peril coverage, meaning your home obtains coverage from any and every potential problem except flooding, you buy an HO-5 policy.

An HO-6 policy gets your condo or purchased apartment all the coverage it could need. While your landlord covers the public areas of the home or apartment building, your condo policy takes care of the interior of your home and your personal items. It also covers the liability you incur when others visit your home.

If you’ve been counting, you noticed HO-4 and HO-7 have yet to appear in the list. That’s because an HO-4 policy is renter’s insurance, so a homeowner won’t need it. You’ll only need an HO-7 policy if you purchase an RV or a trailer.

Contact CG Insurance Agency serving Williamston, MI, for more information on home insurance. Let us help you find the right insurance for your home.

Dog Bites Neighbor. Now What?

In 2020, there were 16,991 dog bite claims nationwide totaling aggregate damages of about $854 million, according to the Insurance Information Institute.1

For most homeowners (and renters), a standard policy generally covers any legal liability that may result from their dog biting or harming another individual. Typically, this coverage is designed to extend to places outside the home (e.g., a walk in the park), but may not include what happens inside a car.2

However, this coverage is not unlimited. There is a cap to liability coverage (check your policy for the limits of your coverage), and your policy may limit such coverage to one bite.

Canine Considerations

Many insurers may either cancel the policy or add a canine exclusion after paying such a claim, which means that you will be responsible for all damages in the event of a second bite.

Some policies exclude certain dog breeds from the outset, so be sure to review your coverage to ensure that your dog is not among the excluded breeds.

Also be aware of a business exclusion that may not pay on claims arising from a dog bite that occurs while you are conducting business in your place of residence.

Finally, it is important to let your insurer know if your dog bites someone or is declared dangerous under local law. Failure to inform them may affect liability coverage for subsequent injuries caused by your dog.

Auto insurance FAQs

In Williamston, MI, CG Insurance Agency has been bringing residents the benefits of an independent insurance agency since 2015. When it comes to auto insurance, you need to make sure that you have the right coverage. Not every person or even every vehicle needs to have the same auto insurance. Sitting down with your agent can end up saving you money while making sure that the coverage you have is correct. Independent agents are able to provide their customers with more choices and you should take advantage of that. 

Do I need to have auto insurance if I don’t have a loan on my vehicle?

In the state of Michigan, yes you do. You need to have a basic auto insurance policy, which means having liability coverage. The required amount in Michigan is 50/100/10. 

What type of auto insurance will cover my vehicle if it is stolen?

If you carry comprehensive coverage on your vehicle, it will be covered in the event that it is stolen. 

How many vehicles can I have on one auto policy?

Most auto policies are good for 4 or 5 vehicles. That is not a hard and fast rule, a lot will depend on the size of your family and the number of drivers. 

I need to rent a car. Will my auto insurance cover me?

Maybe. Whether or not your auto policy covers a rental car depends on exactly what type of auto policy you have. If you have a basic policy, then no, you won’t have the necessary coverage for the vehicle. If you have complete coverage, you will likely be covered in a rental vehicle. If in doubt, give your insurance agent a call. 

When you are in the market for auto insurance or need to review your coverage, call CG Insurance Agency in Williamston, MI. 

How Insurance Deductibles Work

An insurance deductible is an amount you, the insured, pay before any claim is paid by your insurance carrier. Depending upon the type of insurance, a policy may set the amount of deductible, or offer you the ability to select a deductible amount.

Deductibles serve a dual purpose: they save the insurance company money (including the administrative cost of processing small claims) and may help keep your premium costs lower.

Choosing the Right Deductible Amount

Generally speaking, the trade-off between deductible levels and insurance premiums is simple: The higher the deductible, the lower the cost of insurance. Conversely, the lower the deductible, the higher the cost of insurance.

Deciding how to make that trade-off is a function of math and your own comfort level with higher out-of-pocket costs if you choose a higher deductible.

Only you can decide if saving $65 a year in premiums for a deductible that is $500 rather than $200 is worth it to you. You may find that the relationship between deductible amount and premium cost is different depending upon the type of insurance. For instance, the savings with a higher deductible may be significant with auto insurance, but much less so with homeowners insurance.1

Not only will this relationship between deductibles and premiums differ based on insurance type, but it may differ based upon other factors, such as your age and the value of your car, for example.

When you consider the appropriate deductible level for health insurance coverage, remember that deductibles may be on each member of the family.

When shopping for insurance, you should always ask your insurance agent what the premium costs are at each of the available deductible levels. Knowing that information may help you make a sound decision regarding your coverage.