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Understanding Comprehensive & Collision Coverage

Comprehensive & Collision Insurance Coverage in Safford, AZSomewhere along the way people started asking for “full coverage.” Usually this coverage refers to what an auto insurance policy refers to as collision and other than collision (comprehensive). These are pretty straight forward so we will take a look at these coverage options together.

Collision is defined as impact with another vehicle or object. Pretty straight forward, but it also includes upset, which is a roll-over accident. One piece as we will see in a second is that collision with an animal is actually covered in the other than collision section of the policy.

 COMMON OTHER THAN COLLISION (COMPREHENSIVE) COVERAGES

Other than collision is about the most comprehensive coverage package that is found in any insurance policy. It specifically states there are things covered, but then leaves the door open to a lot more. Things that are specifically covered under other than collision (comprehensive) included:

  1. Missiles or falling objects
  2. Fire
  3. Theft or larceny
  4. Explosion or earthquake
  5. Windstorm
  6. Hail, water, or flood
  7. Malicious mischief or vandalism
  8. Riot or civil commotion
  9. Contact with a bird or animal
  10. Glass breakage*

Again, not an all-inclusive list of what the comprehensive policy might cover, but rather things that are specifically covered under Other than collision (comprehensive)

* A comment on glass breakage. Today most companies make this an optional coverage and charge an additional premium for it. In the state of Arizona if glass coverage is purchased it comes with no deductible applied in most cases. Also if the glass breakage is cause by a collision in most cases you can elect to have it considered a loss covered by collision.

If it’s covered why split things into collision or other than collision? Well if you look at the other than collision vs collision in most cases there is not a lot of things that you can do to prevent the other than collision losses. On the other hand, collision is very much in your control. So the losses are treated differently when it comes to how the companies determine what your rate will be. It’s not to say that an other than collision loss with never have an impact on your rate, but it’s likely to have a LOT LESS of an impact.

A final thought on collision and other than collision coverage (comprehensive), these coverage options are subject to a deductible. The higher the deductible, the lower the cost, and the lower the deductible the higher the cost. What is a deductible? In the event of an accident the deductible is the part of the claim that you will be responsible for paying.

This is a general explanation of coverage and different companies may treat these coverage options differently for information on exactly how your policy will respond please refer to your policy declarations page as well as the terms and conditions of your insurance policy.

How to File an Insurance Claim

HOW TO FILE AN INSURANCE CLAIM

Insurance claims don’t have to be difficult. They are never going to be convenient, but they can go smoothly. Knowing what to expect is half the battle, and being proactive can help things move along. There are a few basic steps in the claims process.

  1. Preparing to call – Before you call to file your claim it doesn’t hurt to have a few things on hand to make the process go smoother.
    1. Your Policy Number
    2. The date the loss happened
    3. A description of what happened
    4. Your contact information
    5. Contact information for any witnesses or other people involved.
  2. Filing a claim – As soon as you have had a claim you will need to file it with your company. Today that can be done in a number of different ways. Sometimes the easiest is to simply pick up the phone. Below are phone numbers for each of the companies that we represent. How to file an insurance claim in Arizona
  3. Getting an Adjuster – Once you have filed your claim you will be assigned an adjuster that will handle your claim. Depending on the type of claim this could be a team or an individual.  Once you have filed your assigned adjuster will reach out to you to introduce themselves and explain the process related to your claim.
  4. Gathering information – The adjuster’s responsibility is to gather information about the claim, determine the value of the loss, make sure that coverage applies to the loss, and to settle the claim. They will ask lots of questions, explain coverage, and suggest ways to minimize further damage. If needed they might schedule an appointment to come review the damage.
  5. Estimating the damage – Once it has been determined that your loss is covered they the adjuster will work with you to get estimates for repair.
  6. Settling the claim – Once estimates for repair have been received, the company will then pay you for the loss (remember there will be a deductible).
  7. Closing the claim – Once the claim has been paid, the claim will be closed. If there are additional costs related to that claim, your claim can be reopened to investigate if coverage applies.

HOW LONG WILL YOUR INSURANCE CLAIM TAKE TO CLOSE?

It depends on how complex of a claim it is, so ask the adjuster when you talk to them. Staying on top of things, getting estimates in a timely manner can have a big impact on how quickly it takes to close the claim.

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Understanding Debris Removal

Debris Removal Insurance Coverage in Safford, AZSome coverage is hard to explain, it’s much easier to just say see! That is exactly the case with debris removal. Debris removal isn’t difficult to explain, it’s just the cost to remove the pile of trash your insurance claim just left. If there is a fire, it’s going to be the ashes and rubble, but also the mess the fire department caused while putting it out. Let’s be real they are great a putting out fires, but they aren’t exactly tidy. If there is a flood, we might be looking at all the damaged drywall and installation. Some of it might be moldy or muddy. The point is there is a cost to haul it away. But there is also going to be a cost for the demolition, which can get pretty costly.

Recently near my office there have been two fires. The first was in a second level apartment. The second was in a single-family home rented to a young couple. It was on one of my many strategy walks that I decided to explain debris removal through picture.

Debris removal is usually included in most property insurance policies, but like most things with an insurance policy there are limits. Depending on where it is commercial insurance or a homeowner’s policy it can vary, but here are some things to consider when it comes to debris removal.  How unique is your building? How old is your building? How much space is around your building. All of these and more can cause additional costs in removing debris from your property. Another consideration is building materials. Is there any asbestos in the building? The cost of asbestos disposal adds additional cost to debris removal.

As is not unusual, insurance policies provide coverage for a number of different situations that you probably hadn’t even considered. While we may often complain about insurance the truth is that the benefits provided by our insurance policies are amazing.