ASK CHARLIE

Auto

My elderly mother just moved in with us. We want her to be able to drive one of our cars. Will she be covered driving either car?

Charlie: Yes, but technically she should be added as an operator which will probably cost extra and the older you get the more expensive it is.

Does my own car insurance cover me in a rental car?

Charlie: You are covered, but there are drawbacks to relying on your own insurance. They have your credit card info, so if you are in an accident and they determine there is $10,000 damage; that amount will be charged to your credit card. I only rent a car one week out of the year, so I buy their insurance. But if you rent all the time, it’s not cost effective. You have to decide how much risk you are comfortable with.

My husband and I go to Florida for four months every winter. We leave both our cars garaged at our house in New Hampshire. Can we suspend our car insurance while we’re not driving them?

Charlie: You can put your car on vacation too, which means you keep comprehensive insurance to protect against fire, theft and trees falling on it. Tell your agent if you’ll be driving another vehicle in Florida. If you’ll be driving a rental, you will want to keep your full coverage to cover you in that rental vehicle.

Do I need to contact my insurance agent when I buy a new car?

Charlie: Yes. Alert your agent to any vehicle changes, so you know the vehicle you’re driving is insured.

Business

I’m starting a new landscaping business and will have lots of crews and equipment on the road daily. How do I protect my equipment assets wherever they are?

Charlie: Like any business with a fleet of equipment that’s on the go, you’ll need a contractors equipment floater so your equipment is covered wherever it goes—against fire, theft, collision, vandalism, upset, overturn. We write policies to cover anything from lawn mowers to an 80,000 lb. excavator.
Don’t forget workers comp, general liability, commercial property and auto. We can handle all your business insurance needs.
Consider professional insurance as well. This protects you against “slip of the pen” liability — not “slip and fall.”

I have a part time employee a few hours a week. Do I need workers comp?

Charlie: Yes, all businesses with employees must have worker’s comp– even if payment is a barter situation.

I work out of my house. Is my office covered if it burns down?

Charlie: Talk to your agent, because your basic homeowners policy will not cover home businesses for liability or contents.

Boats and Toys

I like to loan my ATV and jet ski to my buddies when I’m not using them. Will my insurance cover them if the machines get hurt, or they do?

Charlie: ATV’s, snowmobiles, jet skis are not covered under your homeowner policy for liability. So if your friend gets injured while using your jet ski and also hurt others, you would be responsible as well as the operator. You’d only be covered if you had a specific watercraft policy on that jetski. Same for ATV”s and snowmobiles. Policies for each craft are needed to cover liability and physical damage.

I have a boat and plan to use it in North Carolina for two weeks. Am I covered?

Charlie: Call your agent and adjust your policy covering your boat for use outside the state in which you are insured. You also need to tell your agent if you plan to put your boat in the ocean.

My family and I take our kayaks and bikes with us on every vacation. Are they insured wherever they go with us?

Charlie: Bicycles are covered when you’re away from home on vacation but not boats of any size.

If a boat is on your premises– kayaks, canoes, rowboats, pontoon boats, jet skis — it is covered for fire and theft up to $1000. But remember your deductible.

Dogs

My dog is getting cranky as she gets older, and has nipped at some of the neighbor children. Nothing serious, but I wonder if something more serious happened– would I be covered?

Charlie: If your dog hurt someone and they sought medical attention, you would call your insurance agent to report the incident. Your homeowner insurance covers those medical expenses, unless the dog bite happens in your car; then your auto insurance will cover it.

Water Woes

We live near a brook that sometimes floods. So far our sump pump has kept the basement mostly dry. But what if it really floods, am I covered?

Charlie: If it’s a true flood your homeowner insurance will not cover it unless you have flood insurance with the National Flood Insurance Program. We can help you get this coverage if it’s available.

My pipes burst because the power went out, ruining ceilings, wood floors and more. Am I covered?

Charlie: Your homeowner policy covers this kind of loss. Every policy includes due diligence which requires that you attempt to maintain your heat at a reasonable rate.
A low-temperature alarm is a must for anyone leaving their home in a cold climate, unattended. It will alert you and your plumber or caretaker once the temperature drops below a safe degree.

Family Treasures

My grandmother’s wedding ring and some favorite antiques were passed to me when I was married. I’d be heart broken if anything ever happened to them. Do I need special insurance for these?

Charlie: You need to schedule these items to be covered against theft and fire, mysterious disappearance. What’s a mysterious disappearance?
“My dog ate my diamond when it fell out of my ring. I followed him around for days thinking I’d retrieve it after he passed it. I never found it.”
It is best to itemize anything of specific value due to age and value. Common items to schedule include jewelry, oriental rugs, antiques, fine arts, books and other collectibles.
Art is covered under contents in the event of theft or fire. However, if your roof leaks, the wall and ceiling damage is covered, but not the water-damaged painting.

 
IMPORTANT: Coverage differs from company to company. If you have questions, contact your agent.

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Contact Us

The Frank Massin Agency, Inc.
32 NH Route 119W
Fitzwilliam, NH 03447

603-585-3411

info@massin-ins.com