Monday, December 5, 2011


Insurance Deductible in Relation to Policy Premium and Claims.

This article discusses an insurance policy deductible as it relates to a claim involving your insured automobile.

What is an insurance policy deductible?

A deductible is an option which may be selected by an insured if their automobile policy includes physical damage coverage. If the insured has a physical damage loss which is covered by the policy, the deductible represents an amount of money the insured agrees to pay to repair damages to their auto before the insurance company has any liability for additional damage. Many insurance companies offer several deductible options. For example, an insured may choose a $500 physical damage deductible. This means that in a covered loss, the insured will pay the first $500 to repair damages to their insured auto and only then will the insurance company consider additional payment for any damage exceeding $500. Deductibles do not apply to liability or medical coverage. Some people refer to deductibles as self-insurance.

Why would an insured choose a deductible?

By selecting a deductible, an insured accepts responsibility for some of the cost of repairing damage in a covered claim, up to the amount of the deductible. In return, the insurance company charges a lower premium for the coverage since they are not responsible for the entire loss amount in a covered claim. The higher the deductible selected by the insured, the lower the cost of insurance (premium).

The cost of insurance is also reduced because the administrative expenses associated with processing a claim may be avoided. If the loss (and claim) is less than the policy deductible an insured may personally pay to repair the damages and not involve the insurance company. In this instance the deductible eliminates both the amount the company would have paid for repairs and the administrative costs, thus allowing for a lower premium.

For example, if an insured loss is less than the deductible, some of the administrative costs that may be avoided by the insurance company include:

- The labor cost for the carrier to take the claim report and set up a file.

- The cost to have an inspector examine the vehicle and write up an estimate.

- The cost to prepare and mail paperwork necessary to resolve the claim.

- The cost to comply with state regulations on claims handling.

- The cost for the adjuster to collect the facts of loss, review documentation, determine liability and damages.

- The cost to issue and mail payments.

- The administrative cost to manage payments and the required financial documentation.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Cheaper is Not Always Better ... A Break Down of Auto Insurance Coverages.

                 If you have a car then you have probably bought insurance. Gone thru the rigorous task of calling (or walking in) different agencies to try and find the cheapest insurance possible and finally came to a decision for your insurance carrier. How ever do you know what kind of insurance that you actually purchased? Your insurance Agent/Broker should have gone thru with you the different options you have from Liability to full coverage and what that covers. If your like most people it went in one ear and out the other. Not really listening to what you are purchasing but more to what it COST. Some times cheaper is NOT better.

 For example when you tell your agent you want the “CHEEPIST" bare minimum insurance you need to be legal. Don't expect to be insured when the insurance company doesn't cover the accident next week when you are hit and the driver of the other car doesn't have insurance. This is a UN Insured motorist claim. The CHEEPEST bare minimum insurance DOES NOT COVER! So lets break down the coverage one by one. Maybe the next time you go get insurance you have a better idea of what you are purchasing and if it's going to be worth it in the long run.

 According to State of California law you must have the basic liability limits of 15/30/5. This covers in the event you hit some one (does not cover you, your passengers or your vehicle). It will pay the other parties bodily injury $15,000 per person in their vehicle no more than $30,000 per accident and $5,000 for property damage. So if you hit somebody and the claim is more than these limits you will have to pay out of pocket for the excess in damages. Insurance professionals will usually recommend you have higher limits if you are a home owner, a business owner or have assets that can be taken if your limits are not sufficient.

 Un Insured Motorist is not required by law. It is required that your agent at least OFFERS you and explains to you what it is. Un Insured Motorist covers in the event that some one hits you and they do not carry insurance. This covers you, your passengers and your vehicle. Bodily injury $15,000 per person in your vehicle, no more than $30,000 per occurrence and $3,500 in property damage. If you have full coverage Un Insured Motorist will wave your deductible. Remember to be covered for property damage you do have to get some form of identification from the person who hit you.

 Comprehensive and Collision are what you would typically call your “Full Coverage". You will usually have a deductible with this type of insurance. A deductible is your co payment of the damages that needs to be paid before your insurance company pays for your claim. Collision will cover in case your car collides with another solid object, regardless of who was at fault. Comprehensive is any thing OTHER than collision I.E fire, vandalism, theft. Keep in mind that the higher your deductible is the lower your insurance will cost. The Lower your deductible the higher your insurance will cost.

 Having this coverage on your insurance policy will insure that you will be covered in any circumstance. Of course you have extra coverage’s such as excess medical payments, rental insurance and towing. Those types of coverage’s can be added usually at a fair price and are extras not all insurance companies offer. Remember that the higher the limits the more your insurance cost. You get what you pay for! if you go with the cheapest insurance to save a buck at the moment you might end up paying hundreds or even thousands in the long run if you don't have adequate coverage.

 As always discuss with your Insurance Agent/Broker about your policy. What is best for you might not be what is best for some one else. Take your time!

 For more information check out our web site for some useful tips and a free quote from one of our experienced agents.
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Friday, September 23, 2011

What is an SR22? And why you need it.

As Insurnace professinals we like to inform our clients. We have noticed that the majority of our clients who need an SR22 don't quit understand WHAT it is or WHY you need it. In this Blog I will briefly explain the purpose of the SR22 Why you need it and how it works. You can get your license back and get on the road!

What is a SR22 form?

In a nutshell “LIABILITY INSURANCE “ California Insurance Proof Certificate, SR-22 form is the mechanism in California use to monitor the status of your insurance policy and authorize the DMV to suspend upon cancellation (SR-26) or expiration of that policy. An SR-22 is a certificate issued by an insurance company and kept on file at the California Department of Motor Vehicles. This document is a guarantee that at least the California required minimum liability $15000, $30000, $5000 coverage has been obtained by the respective person.

The conditions of this form

The insurance company will notify the DMV if the insurance coverage should lapse or be canceled for any reasons. If this should happen, California DMV will immediately issue an order of suspension. Proof of insurance by way of SR-22 must be maintained for a period of three years (from the date the original 4 month suspension would have been up). As long as proof of insurance stays active you will not need to resubmit another SR-22 form.

Compare SR-22 Auto Insurance Rates

Since you are going to have your SR-22 insurance for a period of three years, it is important to find the cheapest policy you can before choosing one. Epitome Insurance Solutions, Inc has partnered with the largest and most trusted SR-22 insurance providers in the state of California in order to offer you the best and least expensive options available. Comparing quotes is the best way to get the coverage you need at a price you can afford.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Did You Feel It ?

Last Tuesday I attended an earth quake class for my insurance license. It made me realize just how many of my clients don't have earthquake insurance. I think most people have the false sense of security that their home will not be the one destroyed by a major earthquake. A lot of them are also ward off by the price of insurance and the fact that you have to pay 10% - 15% of your homes dwelling value as a deductible. I.E if your home is insured for $300,000 then your deductible is 15% or $45,000. Sounds like way too much to pay all at once right? As expensive as that sounds earthquake insurance will only cover a claim where the damages exceeds the deductible. You will receive a check for the value of your home minus the deductible .So there is never an out of pocket expense.

Earth quake insurance is something that you need to discuss with your insurance agent and find a plan that suits you and your families needs. In most cases, EQ insurance cost about the same as your payment for your car insurance. Whether you’re a home owner or a renter, earthquake insurance can help pay and minimize the expenses of rebuilding, relocating and restarting after a major shake.

I've been an insurance agent for almost 4 years now and I too failed to see the importance of this type of insurance until I took a good look at the facts.

Fact1. There where 819 earthquakes in the U.S alone in the past week

Fact2. California has the most earthquakes any where in the U.S. Out of the 819 that happened in the last week roughly 400 of them where in California.

Fact3. 3 out of 5 home owners do not have earthquake insurance.

Fact4. The most comprehensive statewide analysis of earthquake probabilities determine that the chance of having one or more magnitude 6.7 or larger quakes is 99.7 %

Fact5. One of the largest fault lines runs straight in the middle of Riverside.

Looking to the past is a good way to prepare for the future. In California earthquake history it is evident that we are due for a major shake. The California Earthquake Authority has come up with 7 steps to prepare you and your love ones for this inevitable event. Not only home owners should take this advice. It’s for every one living in Earthquake Country.

1. Identify potential hazards in your home/apartment and begin to fix them. Baby safety latches work great for cabinets. Make sure your fridge, china cabinet, water heater and other heavy objects are strapped to a wall ect ...

2. Create a Disaster Preparedness plan. Make sure you teach all children in the home the "drop, cover and hold on”. Select a safe place for you and your family to meet after a major earthquake. One place that every one will meet up no matter where they are at the time of the quake.

3. Prepare Disaster Supplies Kits. Keep a kit where you spend most of your time home, car and work. Keep any important medications in it, first aid, bottle water, snack foods, flashlight or sticks. Also any other important documents you might need in an emergency.

4. Identify your buildings potential weaknesses and begin to fix them. Inadequate foundations, UN braced cripple walls, soft first stories and UN reinforced masonry. Consult a professional to determine if your chimney is safe as well. Doing these kind of repairs to your home may also get you some discounts on your home and earthquake insurance.

5. Protect your self during an earthquake. Remember that old school “drop, cover and hold on” It is still the best thing you can do if you are indoors. If your out doors move to a clear area. Learn more at

6. After the earth quake check for injuries and damages. If you’re bleeding put pressure on the wound and locate your first aid kit. Check for gas leaks, damage to wiring and be careful with broken glass.

7. When safe follow your disaster preparedness plan.

Experiencing a major earthquake is nothing to take lightly. However if we all take the steps to be better prepared we can help minimize how much it effects us and our loved ones.

Learn more at:

California’s earthquake history:

Be prepared:

Be aware:

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The 2 Dirty Words in Insurance ...

Well it's time to talk about those dreaded dirty little words of the insurance industry. That when mention, it could end a deal before it even begins “The Broker Fee”. What is a Broker Fee? A Broker Fee is a non regulated fee that only your insurance broker can charge for writing your insurance policy. The reason for a broker fee is simply a service charge. Think of it this way, when you go get your car looked at for a tune up they have an inspection fee, just to see what’s wrong with your car. When you change your oil they charge a service fee, Plumbers have estimate fees, there is start up charge for cable Etc. Broker Fees are just that! A fee you pay for a service rendered.

So why is the broker fee so bad in insurance? Well it all depends on how much it is. The Broker Fee is a little tricky because it really is up to your insurance agent how much to charge you. A lot of brokers these days try to hide this fee because they know that it is NOT very appealing when your insurance is only $350.00 a year for a basic liability plan and your Brokers Fee is $300.00. That by the way has to be paid up front. Does that seem a little unreal to you? Well believe it because hundreds of people really do pay up wards of $300.00 to $500.00 in broker fees. From a sales point of view there is an acceptable reason to charge a fee. Some insurance brokers are taking advantage of the fact that they can charge what ever they like. Here are some tips to make sure you are getting a fair price for what you’re buying.

First look at what kind of insurance policy are you buying? If it's the basic liability required by law an acceptable fee would be around $50.00 to $65.00. When you need more coverage such as full coverage uninsured motorist then you can expect to pay $70.00 to $85.00. Commercial Insurance, depending on what kind of business you have the fees are a bit more. Between $100.00 and $250.00. These are not standard fees that every insurance company uses. How ever they would be more acceptable for the services that an insurance broker will be doing for the life of the policy. Second if you have a bad driving record you can expect to be charged more. A bad driving record means you are a high risk to insure and more likely to cost the company a lot of money in claims. Last if you are a good driver ask to be put with a preferred carrier such as Mercury, Safeco, or Travelers. Preferred companies DON’T charge broker fees.

Now the next time your going to buy insurance and you seem to be paying a bit too much to start the policy ask your agent what the broker fee is, you can also ask to see the Broker Agreement. Every insurance broker should have a broker agreement that you sign. It should list any and all fees that the broker charges for services. Please try to remember as well that your broker will be servicing you for the life of the policy and a fee is acceptable. Just make sure it is one that you are comfortable with and reflects the kind of policy you will be purchasing.