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Insurance News


May 2018

Updates from Travelers

Claim Pre-Consultation
Travelers Pre-Claim Consultation is available for customers or agents who would like additional information before filing a Property claim.
Travelers is now offering pre-claim consultation if you’d like additional information before filing a property claim.
 

How it works
Travelers consultants will:

  • Review your policy and discuss the details of the loss
  • Help you make an informed decision
  • Take your claim if the decision is to file one

Contact
800.252.4633 and ask for a Property Pre-Claim Consultant
The service is available 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. EST, Monday- Friday    

        
MyTravelers.com Self-Service 

Travelers customers whose auto ID cards state “Travelers Personal Insurance Company” can now do quotes and issue policy changes to add, replace, or remove a vehicle via Travelers’ smart phone digital app for iOS or Android.

 

Other news from Travelers:

Travelers offers responsible driver plans. Ask us if these policies are right for you.

Ask us how you can set up EFT or recurring credit card payments and go paperless!

Download the Travelers’ smart phone digital app for iOS or Android to review your policy, pay your bill, file a claim, call roadside assistance or view your policy ID card.

June 2017

Ridesharing is Legal in New York as of June 29, 2017, but Not Wise

Insurance coverage is not yet available to protect you. Yes, the ridesharing networks offer liability coverage for when the passenger is in the car, however, the liability coverage provided when the app is on, but the passenger is not in the car, is minimal, and there is no provision for damage to your car.

Your personal auto policy specifically excludes coverage when your vehicle is used to transport people or goods for hire. Your personal umbrella or excess liability policy may also exclude coverage in these circumstances. When you sign into the ride-sharing app, you are immediately suspending your own insurance policy, in its entirety, and relying upon the ridesharing network’s liability-only policy instead.

In other states, insurance companies have had time to analyze the law and the ride-sharing coverage, to determine what coverage endorsements to offer drivers, to help fill the gaps. New York State rushed their version of ridesharing laws into existence with only a month for policy language to be customized around the law. There is currently no way to fill the gap with your personal auto policy, though some insurance companies are working on it. The only alternative, at this time, is to purchase a commercial policy, the same as a taxi owner.

  • Your personal auto policy specifically excludes all coverage when you transport people or goods for-hire.
  • Your umbrella or excess liability policy may have the same exclusion.
  • The transportation network company (Uber, Lyft, etc.) must provide $1.25 million in liability coverage while the passenger is in the vehicle. This may sound great, but pay attention to what it says:  only while the passenger is in the vehicle.
  • The transportation network company must provide $75,000 per person, $150,000 per accident bodily injury liability and $25,000 per accident property damage liability while the app is on, but a passenger is not yet in the car.  So if you send someone into intensive care, or total their new car, you are likely to have to look in your own bank account to help pay the liability claim.
    • Notice the absence of coverage for damage to your car in the coverage provided by the transportation network company.
    • When your bank account doesn’t have enough in it to pay your uncovered liability claims, expect to have your wages garnished.
    • You will need to look in your own bank account for funds to fix damage to your car.
  • The extra income generated by ride sharing won’t go very far in filling the current gaps in available insurance coverage.
  • Some insurance companies are working to create endorsements to help fill these gaps, and you will need to ask for them and pay a little extra for them.
  • The only way to fill the gap now is to insure on a commercial auto policy, like a taxi owner.

Contact us to discuss your policy before you become a ridesharing driver. And share this information with your friends and family members before they become drivers.

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Watercraft Coverage

Purchase Proper Watercraft Coverage for Your New Boat

This is the time of year when many people start to consider purchasing a sailboat or powerboat. Many people, however, are unaware of the significant loss exposure this creates, and some people mistakenly believe that there is coverage available under their personal auto policy. The auto policy, however, does not provide any liability or physical damage coverage for boats. Other people may look to their homeowners policy for coverage. Most homeowners policies, however, only cover certain low-valued or low-powered boats. Thus, you should contact us before buying a boat to discuss the proper insurance protection for it. The following tips will assist you in this process.

  • If you purchase a boat valued over $1,500, you probably lack proper coverage under your homeowners policy for physical damage losses to the boat itself. A separate watercraft or boatowners policy is necessary to cover boats over this value.
     
  • If you are considering the purchase of a sailboat, inquire about its length. If the length is 26 feet or more, there is no liability coverage under your homeowners policy. For motorboats, there are severe horsepower restrictions for liability coverage. For example, only boats with outboard motors of 25 horsepower or less have liability coverage under most homeowners policies. Yet normally any type of powerboat will have a motor with horsepower way beyond this amount. This liability restriction also necessitates the purchase of separate watercraft insurance.
     
  • Ask us about the types of boats you are considering. For example, some insurance companies decline to insure personal watercraft such as jet skis and wave runners, since some of these crafts can reach speeds of 60 mph. The U.S. Coast Guard reports that these crafts account for a disproportionately high number of accidents. Many insurance companies also refuse to cover houseboats, homemade or kit boats, competition bass boats, and speedboats. You may have to pay a steep premium through a specialty insurance company to insure these types of craft.
     
  • Be wary of purchasing older watercraft. Many insurance companies reject boats over 15 or 20 years of age because they normally account for more losses than newer boats. You may have trouble finding insurance coverage for older boats or end up paying an extremely high premium.
     
  • If you do purchase an older boat, consider ordering a marine survey or inspection of it prior to the sale. This survey will point out deficiencies in the boat that may cause you to reconsider the purchase or renegotiate its price.
     
  • Ask us about procuring a personal umbrella policy in addition to a watercraft policy, particularly if you purchase a speedboat, a boat designed for water skiing, or some other craft with a higher potential to cause damage or loss of life. The personal umbrella policy provides excess liability limits above those offered by a watercraft policy. In addition, the watercraft liability limits should meet the underlying limits requirements of any applicable personal umbrella policy. It is usually best to use the same insurance company that writes your homeowners and personal auto policies for your personal umbrella policy.
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Going to Canada?

Ask us for a Canadian ID card. "A U.S. traveler in Canada is required to carry a motor vehicle liability card, plus vehicle ownership papers. A copy of the automobile policy is recommended to be carried. And a Canadian Non-Resident Inter-provincial Motor Vehicle Liability Card is strongly recommended. U.S. travelers who do not carry a Canadian Non-Resident Inter-provincial Motor Vehicle Liability Card and are stopped by Canadian police or are in an accident while driving in Canada risk being fined or having their vehicle impounded until proof of proper coverage is obtained."