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Bellingham Bulletin

Four Insurance Coverages You Should Consider

Sep 27, 2018 07:00AM ● By Pamela Johnson
Following are four coverages you should consider adding to your home/auto insurance policy:
 
Personal Injury Protection:  This coverage extends your homeowner’s liability coverage to include personal injury. Although the coverage protects against a variety of items, the most frequent exposure is for libel, slander or defamation of character. For example, a child hates their math class and the teacher too.  The child posts false information about the teacher on social media and hurts the teacher’s reputation. The math teacher sues the parents for the actions and consequences of their child’s behavior. In an actual case similar to this, the math teacher was awarded over $500,000.  Adding this coverage costs about $18 extra per year.
 
Accident Forgiveness: This may be the most flaunted coverage on TV commercials, but very few people carry it. When added to your policy, this coverage protects you against future surcharges being rated against you by only your current auto insurer. Although “points” will be added to your official MA driving record, the insurer who offered you forgiveness won’t charge you as long as you remain their customer. Any other carrier would charge you points. Typically you need a good driving record to qualify for this coverage, which adds about 5% to your policy cost.

Umbrella Insurance: Although umbrella insurance is traditionally its own stand-alone policy, it incorporates both the homeowner and auto insurance policy. Umbrella insurance is an extra layer of liability coverage that is activated in the event that your underlying home or auto policy liability limits are exhausted.  Without this extra layer of protection, your home, investments, and future wages can become compromised in the state of MA. Coverage limits start at $1 million and can go as high as $10 million. For customers with qualifying liability limits on their home and auto insurance, a $1M umbrella can cost as low as $280 a year—less than $1 a day.
 
Substitute Transportation: This is better known as “rental car” for your auto insurance policy. This coverage is activated in the event that your vehicle is rendered undriveable from a covered loss. The most common coverage limit is $30 per day and $900 total; this pays up to $30 per day for a rental vehicle and will not pay more than a total of $900 for the total expense. Beware: the insurance company can set an allotted number of days for this coverage depending on the accident. For example, your 2002 Honda Civic is in an accident and you rent a 2017 Ford Mustang for $28 per day. The Honda Civic needs to be in the repair shop for only 5 days. The insurance company may grant an expense for the rental car for only 7 days (two extra days for pick-up and drop off of the vehicle). That means that you would be on the hook for any extra time while driving the fun little sports car around town.

Article written by Paul Ostrander of Ostrander Insurance, located at 94 David Road (across from the post office), Bellingham, MA. For additional information, contact Ostrander at 508-966-1116 or paul@ostranderinsurance.com, or visit OstranderInsurance.com.

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