Comprehensive Coverage:

What does the term "comprehensive coverage" refer to on my auto policy? 

Another commonly used term for comprehensive coverage on your auto policy is "Other than collision" which is a more apt term. Comprehensive coverage refers to physical damage coverage that occurs to your auto from means other than collision with an object. 

Fire, theft, vandalism, hitting an animal, hail, a tree limb falling on the car and glass (windshield) all fall under the term "comprehensive." We have even had comprehensive claims over mice getting in the air conditioning system of the vehicle and chewing wires. 

If you have comprehensive coverage on your vehicle (which is optional coverage if you do not have a loan or a lease), it is generally subject to a deductible ranging from $50 to $1,000 (you choose the deductible at the time you purchase the policy. You may change it any time by speaking to, then e-mailing one of our Agents) . 

All of our companies (except for Union Mutual) allow for comprehensive coverage with a 0 deductible for glass repair/replacement. Since glass claims are our most frequently reported claims in New England, we recommend that you choose a 0 deductible for glass coverage for the comprehensive coverage on your vehicle. 

Water Backup

The backup of sewer and drains as well as the failure of a sump pump is excluded from any standard home insurance policy. The damage you sustain from either of these problems will not be covered and you'll be responsible to pay for the loss and the clean up. If you have a finished basement, or use your basement area for storage, you shouldn't go without this coverage endorsement. 

Heavy rains can trigger a backup. A storm sewer or sanitary sewer backs up into your home and usually comes in through a sump well, washtubs in the basement, or toilets in the basement. However, the damage can happen anywhere in the house. Sump pump failures normally occur from power outages or motor failures. Sump pumps run on electricity and during a bad storm many times the power goes out. That's when you need the sump pump the most, to pump the heavy water from the rain out of the basement. 

The damage can be quite costly. Normally damage occurs in the basement, which houses the mechanical systems of the house such as: washer and dryer, furnace, hot water tank and the numerous items people store there. Water or sewage usually destroys anything it comes in contact with. For the thousands of dollars in damage, it would be well worth purchasing the additional coverage with your homeowner's policy to cover such an event. 

Ordinance or Law

One of the most needed types of insurance coverage by many consumers is also one of the most commonly overlooked, or even known about. As your home becomes older certain changes in your county's building codes and ordinance change to reflect new standards for home construction. If your older property suffers a substantial loss, fixing it may require a higher construction standard to reflect new laws, therefore simply replacing your home as it was just isn't good enough to meet these new laws and codes. 

Let's say, for example, your home was built in 1972 and the building code called for your home to be built 5 feet off the ground, and in 1993 the building ordinance was upgraded to call for the same building to be 10 feet above the ground following a minor flood a few years earlier. Complying with this code requires a change in design and building materials, and will incur substantial additional costs for labor and materials. 

As this occurs the cost of replacing your dwelling is greatly increased. If these new laws are not met during re-construction the codes inspector must stop construction and name the dwelling as uninhabitable until such time as these building standards are properly met.  

Auto Policy and Rental Cars

Does my auto policy provide coverage for a rental car rented for a vacation? 

Your NH, ME and MA private passenger auto policy extends the coverages listed on your declarations pages to a rental vehicle used on vacation in the United States and Canada. We recommend liability coverage of at least $100,000 per person, $300,000 per accident and $100,000 in property damage. If your coverage is less than that, you may wish to purchase additional liability coverage from the rental car company. 

If you have coverage for collision and comprehensive (fire, theft, vandalism, hitting an animal) the deductibles on your policy would apply to the vacation rental vehicle. Such coverage is typically as much as 10% of the dwelling policy limit. Therefore, if your dwelling limit is $170,000, your personal property coverage away from home would be $17,000. Again, know your home contents insurance coverage limits on such things as expensive cameras or electronic equipment such as computers! 

Coverage that is not included on a NH, ME and MA auto policy is called "Loss of Use". This would be the amount that the rental car company loses while that vehicle is being repaired due to an accident. Another coverage not included in your auto policy would be theft of your personal property while in the rented car. Some rental car companies offer coverage for this. If you rent a car for business, your private passenger auto policy does not provide any coverage for the rental vehicle. 

Home Contents Insurance

Home Contents insurance coverage is a typical component of all homeowners insurance coverage

. Personal property refers to all tangible goods commonly found inside your residence and owned by you or family members who live with you. Examples of personal property include your clothes, furniture, and appliances. Coverage for automobiles, aircrafts, and other vehicles is typically excluded from home contents insurance. 

Your home insurance coverage will have an overall limit on how much it will pay for all personal property involved in a single claim. The policy, however, will have separate limits on such items as computers, antiques, silverware, cash, firearms, works of art, furs, and so forth. 

For example, if you have a diamond ring valued at $10,000, the policy might have a limit that only covers $2,500 total. If you have items that fall in this category, discuss the value with us in order get advice on how to insure these items separately. It may be necessary to add a home insurance rider to your policy to cover your expensive items. The valuable items rider will raise the basic policy limits on these items to an amount declared after an appraisal of each item or collection confirms the value. This coverage also removes some loss exclusions, so if the diamond in that same diamond ring is lost (not stolen) it would be covered.

Insurance for Items Stolen from Outside the Home

Most homeowners do not know that their home and contents insurance coverage usually includes loss or damage to personal property while you are traveling

. If your personal property was stolen while staying at a hotel, or while you are in transit then you may have coverage. If you lose your suitcase during travel, the items in your suitcase would be covered under your homeowner's policy, subject to the deductible on your home owner policy. 

Such coverage is typically as much as 10% of the dwelling policy limit. Therefore, if your dwelling limit is $170,000, your personal property coverage away from home would be $17,000. Again, know your home contents insurance coverage limits on such things as expensive cameras or electronic equipment such as computers!

List Your Home Contents for Insurance

It is important to make a list of all your home's content. This might seem like a daunting task, but you will be so glad you did in the event of a loss. When you file a home insurance claim, you will need to show proof that you owned the items you claim. It is hard to imagine that anyone can remember every tool in their garage or how many pairs of socks they have, so you need to make a detailed inventory complete with receipts and photos of high dollar items. An inventory list for an insurance claim can get very detailed! Take your time, do it right, and make sure your items are protected 

TIP: Inventory your entire home's content to ensure you have a proper record of items lost or damaged. Scan receipts and take pictures of high dollar items and store them on a CD. This will be invaluable in the event of a homeowners insurance claim. 

There are a few things you can do to make the inventory process easier:

  • Use a home video camera
  • Keep your home inventory list stored outside your home, and avoid losing it with the rest of your possessions