If someone were to ask you what was covered under your auto insurance policy, would you be able to tell them? Interpreting the various types of coverage offered under your auto insurance policy can be tricky, but extremely beneficial. The more you understand your policy, the more peace of mind you have knowing you are sufficiently covered in an accident. To help you develop a better understanding of your policy, here are six types of coverage that it may include.
Purchasing auto liability coverage can offer you financial assistance if you are found liable for a vehicle-related incident. In most states, you are required to have two forms of liability coverage to meet the state’s minimum auto insurance requirements. The two forms of liability coverage offered are:
• Bodily injury liability: Bodily Injury liability coverage pays for medical expenses caused by an incident for which you are found at-fault. If you or others listed on your policy were to injure a third party with your vehicle, it would be covered under your bodily injury liability coverage. Not only does bodily injury liability cover medical expenses, but it can also help cover lost wages of the injured party.
• Property damage liability: Like bodily injury liability, if you or someone on your policy collide with another person’s vehicle or property, your property damage liability coverage will assist you in paying for repair or replacement costs.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)Coverage
Unlike bodily injury liability coverage, PIP is designed to cover medical costs, lost wages and other expenses for you, drivers listed on your policy and passengers in your vehicle who may become injured due to a car accident—regardless of who is deemed at-fault. As such, it is also referred to as “no-fault” coverage. PIP coverage is not offered in all states. Since PIP requires your insurance company to help cover expenses regardless of who’s at fault for the incident, having PIP coverage typically results in higher premium costs.
Damage to your vehicle from a collision with another vehicle or object should be covered under your collision coverage. Collision coverage is typically required if your car is still being financed—but once your car is paid off, you often have the choice to keep or remove collision coverage from your auto policy. Although your policy may be cheaper without it, collision coverage can be beneficial in helping you cover damages to your vehicle for which you are found at-fault. If the damages were caused by a third party, it would be up to their insurance company to cover the damages.
Simply put, comprehensive coverage provides insurance for losses caused by anything that isn’t covered under your collision coverage, such as losses from natural disasters, riots, vandalism and contact with an animal. If a tree were to get struck by lightning and fall on top of your vehicle, your comprehensive coverage could help cover damages to your vehicle from the incident. Although comprehensive insurance tends to have lower premiums than collision insurance, the cost can vary depending on your deductible amount and policy limits.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
A recent study by the Insurance Research Council revealed that, in the United States, roughly 1 in 8 drivers are uninsured. Having uninsured motorist coverage can ensure you are protected if your car is involved in a hit-in-run or if you get in a car accident with an uninsured third party. Let’s say you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage—if an uninsured individual were to crash into your vehicle, resulting in major repair costs and medical expenses, you could be financially responsible for all your vehicle repairs and medical bills.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Much like uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage applies if you are involved in an accident with an individual who doesn’t have sufficient insurance to cover all the damage to your vehicle or your medical bills. For example, if your claim exceeded the other driver’s policy limits, underinsured motorist coverage would help cover the remaining balance of the claim after the third party’s insurance limit was reached. Both underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage are required in some states, while it remains optional in others.
If you are interested in learning more about how Martin Insurance Group can make sure you are properly covered please click HERE to fill out an online request for contact, or call our office at 970.963.6161.
With Fitbits, Apple Watches and other tracking devices becoming mainstream, Worksite Wellness is now more popular than ever. It’s easy to participate and fun to get competitive with others in your workplace. All customers of Pinnacol Assurance for workers compensation can now have a FREE Worksite Wellness Program at their company.Pinnacol’s Worksite Wellness Program underwent a study and key findings were:
Here at Martin Insurance Group, we have put Pinnacol’s Worksite Wellness Program to the test! We are all actively participating in the program recently we were 1 of 12 Colorado employers in our company size to earn a Wellness Award with cash prizes! Not only did our office win $500, but each employee earned $100 for their efforts. At Martin Insurance Group we are:
Amendment 69 will raise $25 billion in new tax revenue-nearly doubling the size of the current state budget - to support a government-run health care system. There are many important questions that Amendment 69 leaves unanswered, but here's how the taxes will work...as best as we can tell.Payroll Taxes: Employers will pay 6.67 percent on all payroll. Employees will pay 3.33 percent on all payroll income. This totals a new 10 percent tax on all wages and earnings.
Example 1: Jack earns $1,000 a week. Jack's employer must pay $66.70, and Jack must pay $33.30 each week in ColoradoCare taxes. If the employer so chooses, it may elect to pay Jack's share of the taxes.
Non-Payroll Taxes: In addition to the payroll taxes just described, a 10 percent ColoradoCare tax will be assessed on all non-payroll income. This includes:
Example 2: Jack receives interest income of $100 on his savings account and some dividend income of $200 on stock he inherited from his grandfather. Tim will have to pay ColoradoCare tax of $30 ($10 on the interest income and $20 on the dividend income) on his earnings.
Example 3: Jack has a gain of $18,000 on stock he purchased 10 years ago and sold this year. He must pay Colorado Care tax of $1,800 on the sales of the stock.
Example 4: Jill is an individual proprietor with a small print shop. She sells some antiquated equipment at auction for a $12,000 gain. Jill must pay $1,200 in ColoradoCare tax on the gain.
Example 5: Jack and Jill purchased their first home last year and, as a consequence, were able to itemize their deductions. Doing so generated a state income tax refund of $900 they have to include in income this year. They must also pay ColoradoCare tax of $90 on that refund income.
Example 6: Paul finally retired this year at age 68 and received a $96,000 lump-sum distribution from his retirement fund. Paul will have to pay ColoradoCare tax of 10%, or $7,200, on $72,000 of the distribution ($96,000 - $24,000 = $72,000 times 10% is $7,200).
Example 7: Jack and Jill are starting a new business and incorporate as a regular "C" corporation. Including themselves, the Corporation has ten employees with total salaries of $480,000 and makes a profit in the first year of $80,000. They re-invest the profit in additional equipment.
The corporation's total ColoradCare tax on salaries will be 10% of the $480,000 or $48,000 (6.67%, or $32,016 will have to be paid by the Corporation and 3.33%, or $15,984 will be withheld from the employee's wages). There is no ColoradoCare tax on the profits earned by the Corporation.
Example 8: Jack and Jill are starting a new business and decide to establish a partnership rather than a corporation. Including themselves, the Partnership has ten employees with total salaries of $480,000 and makes a profit in the first year of $80,000. They re-invest the profit in additional equipment.
The Partnership's total ColoradoCare tax on salaries will be 10% of the $480,000 or $48,000 (6.67%, or $32,016, will have to be paid by the Partnership and 3.33%, or $15,984, will be withheld from the employee's wages). However, Jack and Jill will also have to pay 10% or $8,000 ColoradoCare tax on the Partnership's profits and will only have $72,000 in reinvest. In short, starting out as a pass-through entity (partnership, LLC, LLP, or S corporation) will cost Jack and Jill an additional $8,000 in ColoradoCare taxes.
The only income excluded from this 10 percent non-payroll income tax is alimony, unemployment income and the exempted portion of retirement income, which typically is an amount less than $24,000.
Be aware of the facts before you vote this November in Colorado. Amendment 69 will change health care as we know it and not in a good way.FACT:Amendment 69 will likely destabilize the workers’ compensation insurance market.There are two parts of workers' compensation insurance: medical coverage and wage replacement (indemnity). Under Amendment 69, ColoradoCare assumes responsibility for the medical portion of workers' compensation, leaving the wage replacement piece to be covered by private carriers. An indemnity-only business is untenable because there is no opportunity to manage costs in Colorado.If you would like more information:Click Here to read the full amendmentClick Here to read Amendment 69 as it will be on the ballotClick Here for more information about Amendment 69
This November, Colorado will be voting on something that would change health care drastically. Please be aware of the facts before you decide how you will vote on Amendment 69.Because Amendment 69 only affects laws at the state level, Medicare will not be replaced by the program. Seniors will continue having to pay for their Medicare Part B plan AND may still need to pay for supplemental coverage. If that is not enough, seniors pay an additional 10% tax on their retirement savings!Given the uncertainty around what ColoradoCare will cover, it's unclear whether seniors will have much in the way of additional benefits, despite the fact that they are paying premiums twice.If you would like more information:Click Here to read the full amendmentClick Here to read Amendment 69 as it will be on the ballotClick Here for more information about Amendment 69
It can cost more to insure a second home than to insure your primary residence. Premiums are based on a variety of factors, like the amount of time that your home will be unoccupied, its location and the liability from renting the property.If you’re investing in a second home, we’ve gathered some insurance basics that will help you make the best buying decision when it comes to determining insurability and estimating your ongoing cost of ownership.Coverage OptionsAt a minimum, your lender will require that you carry hazard insurance to protect your property against damage from theft, fire, flooding or windstorms. It is also a good idea to add liability insurance, which covers you and members of your household for accidental injuries to your visitors. Opting for property plus liability insurance adds up to a standard homeowners insurance package. For an extra layer of protection, a personal umbrella liability policy extends your liability coverage for properties named in the policy.Dwelling Fire InsuranceSince most homeowner policies require occupancy as a condition of insurance, the fact that you visit infrequently may preclude you from obtaining full homeowners coverage. Dwelling fire insurance is an alternate coverage option for insuring residential rental or non-owner occupancy property, including vacant property.A dwelling fire policy continues to offer coverage for a home and other structures (detached sheds or garages, for example) for perils named in the policy. Named perils listed in a typical fire dwelling policy protect against damage caused by fire, collapse, lightning strike, wind, hail, explosion and smoke. For more coverage, consider adding personal property protection and liability insurance to a dwelling fire policy.Renting Out Your Home to Others?Whether your second property is an apartment unit or a family home, if you are renting the property, you will have little control over the physical damage that can occur. To mitigate your risks, tenant-occupied dwelling insurance will cover the costs incurred by damage, including fire, storms, burglary and vandalism. It does not cover your tenant’s personal property.Renting your property furnished or unfurnished also has insurance coverage implications. If you are renting your property furnished, let us know. We can advise you on the best coverage options and whether you should consider requiring longer-term tenants to carry additional renters insurance.As with all homeowners insurance, it is important to be sure that there is enough coverage to protect all of your property values and assets when you choose your policy.
Training Your Staff for an Active Shooter SituationAn active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area. To best prepare your staff for an active shooter situation, create an emergency action plan (EAP) and conduct training exercises. Together, the EAP and training exercises will prepare your staff to effectively respond and help minimize loss of life.Components of Training ExercisesThe most effective way to train your staff to respond to an active shooter situation is to conduct mock active shooter training exercises. Local law enforcement is an excellent resource in designing training exercises.Training components may include the following:• Recognizing the sound of gunshots• Reacting quickly when gunshots are heard and/or when a shooting is witnessed:1. Evacuating the area2. Hiding out3. Acting against the shooter as a last resort• Calling 911• Reacting when law enforcement arrives• Adopting the survival mindset during times of crisisAdditional Ways to Prepare For and Prevent an Active Shooter SituationBelow are steps you can take to improve preparedness:• Ensure your facility has at least two evacuation routes.• Post evacuation routes in conspicuous locations throughout your facility.• Include local law enforcement and first responders during training exercises.• Encourage law enforcement, emergency responders, SWAT teams, K-9 teams and bomb squads to train for an active shooter scenario at your location.Emergency NumbersIn addition, make sure to have the phone numbers on hand for the following:• Emergency services• Local emergency information line• Local police department• Local fire department• Local hospital• Local FBI field office• Facility securityFor more information on creating an EAP, contact the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Health and Safety Administration, http://www.osha.gov
Amendment 69 Will Hit Colorado Employers in the WalletLast month, we shared our general concerns about Amendment 69, the ballot initiative to create a single-payer health care system in Colorado.Let’s start with a quick recap of our broad concerns about Amendment 69’s impact on workers’ comp in Colorado. This new system, dubbed ColoradoCare, would absorb the medical costs now paid by workers’ comp. That would lead to the loss of myriad insurer services that help manage costs and the specialized care that can speed an injured employee’s return to work. The market would destabilize as a result, and costs could rise — demolishing Colorado’s stable workers’ comp system. Think of a few years back in California, where employers were leaving the state due to a broken workers compensation system. We DON'T want that to happen to Colorado. We've worked for too long to create an effective and fair system to let Coloradocare destroy all progress. Remember, no one works for Coloradocare yet, there are no provider contracts, the benefits haven't even been determined and yet they claim it will be less expensive. Sounds like an employee telling his boss he could run the company better when he's never owned a business before. The well being of Colorado's workers is at stake here. Let's not throw away all the progress we've made.Consider also that Amendment 69 would eliminate our ability to recover damages from the third parties that are responsible for your workers’ injuries, which could have implications for your premium.Currently, when a workplace injury is caused by a negligent third party, workers’ comp insurers can seek to recover funds from that third party through a process called subrogation. Subrogation entitles a workers’ comp carrier to recoup damages from the responsible party accountable for the claim. When a subrogation claim is successfully recovered, the payments are credited to you — which can positively affect your premium. For example, if one of your employees fell off a ladder at work, Pinnacol would pay for the injuries associated with the accident. However, if we determined the accident was caused by a defect in the ladder itself, then the manufacturer may be liable for the worker’s injuries. In this case, Pinnacol would seek reimbursement from the manufacturer or its insurance company on your behalf.We’re not talking peanuts here. In 2015, Pinnacol recovered more than $6.5 million on behalf of its policyholders. That’s millions of dollars that ColoradoCare, if approved, could prevent from reaching its rightful owner: you
This November, we will be voting to amend the constitution to change healthcare in Colorado. Here are four reasons from Coloradans for Coloradans to vote no on Amendment 69.
According to Colorado's Division of Insurance, the following changes to the Individual market are effective January 1, 2017:
Click here to read the announcement from DORA.These changes will impact approximately 90,000 subscribers.The Solution? Think about offering Group Benefits. The small group market is not expecting much change at all in 2017. Similar plans and very low increases (even some decreases) in premiums.Please contact April Trulove with Questions.