Frequently Asked Questions.
Your not the only one with questions on insurance. Chances are others have the same ones as you. Our FAQ section contains frequently asked questions and answers to many of the most common.
- 1. How does the coinsurance penalty apply??
Answer The coinsurance penalty is determined by the ratio of the limit of insurance you are carrying on the building or property to the limit the policy requires you to carry. For example, if the cost to replace a building is $100,000 and the policy requires you to insure to 100%, you should carry $100,000 on that building. If you have chosen to insure the building for $80,000, the policy will only cover 80% (80,000/100,000) of any covered loss, less the deductible:
Example: Inadequate Insurance
The value of the property (cost to replace it) at the time of loss is $250,000.
The coinsurance percentage required is 80%.
The amount of insurance you have (HAVE) is $100,000.
The deductible is $500.
The amount of the loss is $40,000.
Step 1: $250,000 x 80% = $200,000 – amount required by your policy (SHOULD).
Step 2: $100,000 ÷ by $200,000 = .50 (HAVE ÷ SHOULD).
Step 3: $40,000 (loss) x 50% = $20,000.
Step 4: $20,000 - $500 (your deductible) = $19,500.
The insurer will pay $19,500 and you become a co-insurer for the remaining $20,500 of the loss because you didn’t meet the requirement of your policy to insure for at least 80% of the value at the time of loss ($200,000). Instead of having a policy for $200,000 of coverage, your policy was only $100,000, which resulted in you paying more out of pocket.
- 2. What does "permanently installed fixtures, machinery and equipment" include??
Answer This term includes such items as fire extinguishing equipment, heating and air conditioning systems, refrigeration equipment; items that are owned by you and used to maintain or service the building or structure or its premises, even if not permanently installed. "Fixtures" are components that are attached to the building and cannot be removed without affecting either the value of the structure or its aesthetics. These can include intercoms, floor coverings, permanently installed blinds, drapery fittings or hardware, etc. Machinery or equipment may be considered "permanently installed" if it is set up for use in the insured's building with the intention for it to remain there as long as the insured is in business in that location.
- 3. What limit of insurance is adequate for my property??
Answer A separate limit must be determined for each building or structure, and for the business personal contents of each building or structure. Most companies require you to fully insure the value of your building at either the actual cash value (ACV) or the cost to rebuild. An ACV basis takes into account depreciation of the building, whereas Replacement Cost is the cost to repair or replace without applying depreciation. The building limit also includes the value of permanently installed fixtures, machinery and equipment, so be sure to consider those items when determining the value of the building. If a building is not insured to the extent required by the policy, you can be subject to a coinsurance penalty at the time of a loss.
- 4. What type of insurance do I need to cover my business??
Answer Commercial insurance includes two main categories of insurance to cover the various coverage lines, property insurance and liability (casualty) insurance. Your business may not need all of the types of coverage that are available. Your insurance agent or producer should be able to advise you as to the exposures that are typical in your industry and propose coverage options that address your circumstances. It is your responsibility, however, to select the options you need to adequately cover your business exposures.