Home & Auto Insurance FAQ

Your home and vehicles are among the largest investments you will ever make. Here are answers to some common questions that many of our customers have asked. Please contact our Hagan Hamilton team for any other questions you may have.

These are brief responses to complex questions. Please contact an agent for more information.

Home Insurance FAQ

Q : “How much insurance do I need on my house?”

A : Aside from the value of your personal belongings, your home is insured based on building costs in your area. Currently building costs are about $100-$120 per square foot in Yamhill County.

Q : “Are there discounts for home insurance?”

A : Yes. Having an alarm, deadbolt locks, fire extinguishers and using a higher deductible will offer savings on home insurance.

Q : “Can I save money by insuring my home and auto with the same company?”

A : Yes. Most companies offer a combined discount of up to 10 percent.

Q : “What are the advantages to schedule personal property?”

A : It protects your personal property from theft or loss for such items as jewelry, firearms and silver. You set the limit, and there are no deductibles.

Q : “How much coverage do I have for business personal property on my homeowner’s policy?”

A : You do have a limited amount of coverage for personal business property. Coverage for property on premises is limited to $2,500, and coverage for property off premises $500. There are exceptions, such as day care facilities are not included, and there are limits on electronic devices. Please contact us for more information.

Q : “Why do I need umbrella coverage?”

A : Homeowners are particularly vulnerable to lawsuits. An umbrella policy extends the coverage for your home and vehicles and protects your assets.

Q : “What is insurance scoring and can it help me or hurt me?”

A : For the last few years, insurance companies have used a new scoring practice based on credit ratings. Your score will influence your rates. It can be confusing since each company has its own criteria. With these new practices, it’s even more important to have Hagan Hamilton research various companies and compare. Please contact our office if you would like a brochure answering frequently asked questions regarding insurance scoring.

Q : “Why should I carry renter’s insurance?”

A : If you rent, your landlord is responsible for the structure, but the insurance may not cover your personal property in case of fire or theft. Renter’s insurance also protects you in case someone is injured on the property while you occupy it.

Q : “Is coverage available for my rental homes?”

A : Yes. Typically you can insure up to four locations with your primary homeowner’s policy. Using the same company also affords you their very best rates. If you need to insure more than four locations, Hagan Hamilton’s Business Department can help you.

Q : “What is protection class and how does it affect my rate?”

A : Protection class refers to the size of the fire department in your area, your distance from it and your distance from a fire hydrant. The lowest rates are available to homes within five miles of the fire department.

Auto Insurance FAQ

Q : “Are there any options I can get on my car that actually lower insurance rates?”

A : Yes. Passenger and driver airbags, an automated alarm system and anti lock breaks all help discount your auto insurance. Typically, the more expensive the car, the more it will cost to insure. If you are comfortable raising the deductible, that can help reduce costs. Don’t skimp on coverage, however. Although the state requires only $25,000 in liability coverage, if someone is injured in an accident and medical costs exceed $25,000 (which can easily happen today), you may be forced to sell your home to cover costs. We recommend at least four times the state recommended coverage. Remember, even though it’s auto coverage, you’re also protecting your largest asset – your home.

: “Is there anything else I can do to lower my rates?”

A : Companies usually offer a combined discount if you insure both your home and car with them. Also lower rates are offered for homeowners, those who have a college education and those with good credit. For seniors, participating in a 55 Alive driving course will also reduce your rates.

Q : “My teenager will be driving soon. Is there a way to keep our auto insurance costs in check?”

A : Encourage your children to focus on their schoolwork. Most companies offer discounts for students with a 3.0 grade point average or better. Also, having your child attend a driver’s training course that includes time behind the wheel is another way to earn a discount.

These are brief responses to complex questions. Please contact an agent for more information.

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