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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of our frequently asked questions. If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.

  1. What auto coverages are mandatory?
  2. What other auto coverages are available?
  3. Are there any auto discounts that must be offered?
  4. Why have my rates gone up when I haven’t had an accident and/or claim?
  5. Why haven’t my physical damages premiums decreased as my vehicle ages?
  6. Will my policy cover me if I rent an automobile?
  7. How is the cost of my automobile insurance calculated?
  8. Who is covered under my automobile insurance policy?
  9. What homeowner coverages are mandatory?
  10. What is the difference between collision coverage and comprehensive coverage?
  11. What is a deductible?
  12. What different types of homeowners coverages are available?
  13. Can insurance companies use my credit information to deny me insurance or to increase the premium I pay?
  14. What is a public protection classification
  15. Who determines a public protection classification
  16. How does it effect my HO premium?
  17. What is the difference in replacement cost (RC) and actual cash value (ACV)?
  18. How do I know what type of policy I have (RC or ACV)?
  19. What part does the insurance department play in workers compensation issues and claims?
  20. Does the Insurance Department set insurance rates?
  21. What is “Surplus Lines” and when can I buy insurance from a surplus lines company?
  22. When do I need to buy workers' compensation insurance?
  23. How much does workers' compensation insurance cost?
  24. What does workers' compensation insurance do
  25. I subcontract work to other contractors, but I have no employees — just my partner (half-owner). Do we need workers' compensation insurance on ourselves?
  26. How is the cost of boat insurance calculated?
What auto coverages are mandatory?

Every automobile owner must have liability coverage.  Liability coverage pays for any claims when you are at fault in an accident. Property damage coverage is to cover property damage to other’s property.  When you apply for liability coverage, you must be offered an opportunity to purchase coverage for uninsured motorist bodily and property damage, underinsured motorist coverage for bodily injury and personal injury protection coverage.

Uninsured motorist coverages cover you and your automobile if the other driver is at fault and does not have liability insurance. 

Underinsured motorist coverage gives you additional protection if the other driver is at fault and doesn’t have enough coverage to cover your injuries.

Personal injury protection provides you with wage loss, death benefits and medical coverage regardless of fault

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What other auto coverages are available?
You may also purchase comprehensive and collision coverages.  Comprehensive coverage protects against damage to your automobile from acts of nature or other events not associated with operating the automobile.  Collision coverage protects against damage to your automobile when it is involved in an accident.

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Are there any auto discounts that must be offered?
Yes,  There are many discounts available. There is an Account Credit discount that if applied when you have both your home and auto with the same agent. Also the College Graduate Discount and Defensive Driver Discount for those insureds 65 and over who have successfully completed a course approved by the Office of Driver Services.  Check with your agent for any other discounts your insurer may offer.


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Why have my rates gone up when I haven’t had an accident and/or claim?
Probably because the insurer increased its overall rates because it has paid out more losses than expected.  You may personally receive a lower or higher rate based upon various factors.

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Why haven’t my physical damages premiums decreased as my vehicle ages?
The price of repairing vehicles does not go down as a vehicles ages.

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Will my policy cover me if I rent an automobile?
This can vary by company.  You should ask your agent if your policy covers you, those you might injure if at fault, and the rental agency’s automobile.

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How is the cost of my automobile insurance calculated?
The cost of your automobile insurance is determined by a number of factors, including where you live, your driving record, and the type of car you drive.

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Who is covered under my automobile insurance policy?
If you knowingly loan your car to a friend or an associate, they will be covered under your automobile insurance policy.

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What homeowner coverages are mandatory?
If you have a mortgage on your home, you may be required by your mortgage agreement or loan agreement to carry full coverage or be in breach of your agreement.  Your lending institution may have more information on what levels of coverage it requires you to maintain.

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What is the difference between collision coverage and comprehensive coverage?
If you have a mortgage on your home, you may be required by your mortgage agreement or loan agreement to carry full coverage or be in breach of your agreement.  Your lending institution may have more information on what levels of coverage it requires you to maintain.

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What is a deductible?
A deductible is an amount that you agree to be responsible for in the event of a loss under the physical damage (collision or comprehensive) coverages of your policy. Deductibles are offered on some coverages to give the customer flexibility in the cost of insurance and the amounts they wish to be responsible for. You may reduce your auto insurance costs by raising the deductibles on physical damage coverages. Here at Durso & Jankowski Insurance we can provide you with information about how much you can save by adjusting your deductibles.

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What different types of homeowners coverages are available?
There are several different types, but most homeowners carry full coverage for all perils including losses associated with any sudden and accidental event.  In the case your home is totally destroyed, you may wish to consider having replacement cost coverage so that you can rebuild your home.  The all perils coverage usually includes coverage for your liability to your guests.

Other types of homeowners insurance cover only fire and weather events.  Some are designed specifically for renters.

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Can insurance companies use my credit information to deny me insurance or to increase the premium I pay?
An insurance company may use credit AS PART of the process of determining whether coverage will be provided and what it costs.

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What is a public protection classification
A rating determined by the equipment, manpower, water source and other factors of a fire district.  Ranges from 1-10 with 10 being a very rural area with very little fire protection

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Who determines a public protection classification
The Insurance Services Office, or ISO, inspects local fire departments and sets the classification.

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How does it effect my HO premium?
Generally, the lower the protection class rating the lower the base premium. You can contact your local fire department and ask them for their “ISO public protection class rating”.

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What is the difference in replacement cost (RC) and actual cash value (ACV)?
ACV allows for depreciation in determining how much to pay you on your claim while replacement cost does not.

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How do I know what type of policy I have (RC or ACV)?
You may wish to contact your agent.  You can also read the loss settlement provision of your policy.

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What part does the insurance department play in workers compensation issues and claims?
The Insurance Department is only involved in approving what rates and forms insurance companies use to insure the employer.  We have no part in the determination of whether a claim is covered under workers compensation.  That responsibility rests with the State Workers Compensation Commission

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Does the Insurance Department set insurance rates?
The Property and Casualty Division, with some exception reviews insurance policies prior to distribution and use by insurance companies. These policies are reviewed to ensure compliance with State law.  Forms must be approved prior to use except for some limited exceptions.

Proposed rate changes by insurers must be filed with the State Insurance Department at least twenty (20) days prior to the effective date. If the requested rate change is determined to be neither excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, it is marked as "filed" by the Insurance Department and the insurer may begin to use the new rate twenty (20) days after the "filed" date.

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What is “Surplus Lines” and when can I buy insurance from a surplus lines company?
When licensed insurers are unwilling or unable to provide needed coverage, you may secure coverage with an approved surplus line insurer through a licensed surplus line broker. Individuals or corporations may secure insurance coverage directly from a non-admitted insurer. This coverage is considered "self-procured."  Your agent can help you if surplus lines coverage is required.


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When do I need to buy workers' compensation insurance?
In most states, workers' compensation insurance is required when you have one or more employees.1 Usually, the state penalties for employers who do not purchase workers' compensation are very stiff. A few states do not require employers to carry workers' compensation insurance coverage.

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How much does workers' compensation insurance cost?
Workers' compensation insurance pricing is based upon your employee payroll, the number and job classifications of the employees, classification of your business and past loss experience. The employer pays for the cost of the workers' compensation insurance.

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What does workers' compensation insurance do
Workers' compensation insurance pays for the rehabilitation, recovery or medical bills of employees' work related injuries, as well as lost time when they are off work due to a work related injury. Workers' compensation insurance is not a substitute for health or medical insurance, since employees are only covered for on-the-job injuries.

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I subcontract work to other contractors, but I have no employees — just my partner (half-owner). Do we need workers' compensation insurance on ourselves?
Yes and no. The contractor to which you subcontract is required to have proof of workers' compensation insurance for all workers (including you) in case a claim is submitted. However, your contract for subcontract work and proof of sufficient liability coverage may suffice as a substitute to carrying workers' compensation insurance. The contract should include that you have no employees, you are sole proprietors and that it is a valid sub-contract.

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How is the cost of boat insurance calculated?
There are many factors that go into determining the premium for your boat.  These include your ownership and operating experience, as well as the amount of coverage you want, your boat's location, size, age, power type, and use.  Contact us for more information on insuring your boat.

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