PERSONAL INSURANCE
Frequently
Asked Questions
 

If I call or fill out the downloadable form to obtain a quote, what information will I need?
For Automobiles, we will need the following information for ALL operators in the household:

  1. Names, dates of birth, drivers’ license numbers
  2. Year, make, model and vehicle number for ALL vehicles in the household
  3. Month and year of all claims regardless of fault for any driver in the household
  4. Coverages (a copy of your current policy will have this information)

What information will I need to provide for a quote to insure my home?

  1. Year built, square footage
  2. Updated year of the roof, electrical, plumbing and heating
  3. The month and year of any claims with a brief description
  4. Coverages (a copy of your current policy will have this information)

Do claims and tickets affect my insurance premiums?
Yes. Claims for homes and claims and violations for autos do make a difference in the rating of your policy. The impact depends on the severity of the claim and if you were at fault. Tickets and accidents will impact your premiums for a three-year period while major tickets such as DUI’s and careless driving can impact your rates for five years.

What is the difference between comprehensive and collision coverages?
Comprehensive is fire, theft, glass breakage, and vandalism. In most cases, Comprehensive also includes deer/auto accidents and falling objects, such as trees, which damage the vehicle.
Collision coverage is when your vehicle makes impact with another vehicle or object. There are three types of collision available:

  1. Broadform – If you are not at fault in the accident, the insurance company will waive the deductible and pay the entire claim. If you are at fault, the deductible will apply.
  2. Basic/Regular – Whether you are at fault or not, you will be responsible for the deductible you select.
  3. Limit – Collision is only available when you are not at fault in an accident. If you are the cause of the accident, the coverage does not apply and the vehicle will not be repaired. This is generally used for an older vehicle that still has some value should there be an accident.

When should I add my teenage driver (or other licensed drivers)?
You should contact your insurance company/agent once your teenage driver obtains their Level 1 permit, as many carriers now require you to add them, at a discounted rate, at this level. Some carriers require this at Level 2, but the company/agent will advise you. Any other licensed driver in your household who may operate your vehicle should be listed as a driver, especially if that person does not have their own automobile policy and vehicle.

What does PLPD or No-Fault mean?
Both of these terms refer to required coverages in the state of Michigan. All Michigan policies must include Bodily Injury, Property Damage, Personal Injury Protection and Property Protection. It is recommended that you also include Limited Property Damage (Minitort) and Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverages. Note that these policies would not include coverage for repair of your vehicle. For this kind of coverage, make sure you include Comprehensive and/or Collision in your quote.

If my car or motorcycle is in my garage and it catches fire, am I protected by my home policy?
No. Your vehicles and motorcycles are not covered under your home policy, even if they are stored for the winter. Comprehensive coverage (i.e. fire) on any stored vehicle is available through your automobile policies – that same coverage would cover your vehicle loss, in this type of situation.

How is the replacement cost of my home determined?
VTC Insurance Group’s carriers use a “Replacement Cost Estimator”. Information, such as the square footage, number of stories, brick or frame construction, and other specifics, are used in the estimating. All factors are given a dollar value, which translates into the replacement cost of the home.

Why is there a difference between the estimated replacement value of my home and the market value, and do I have to insure it for the replacement value?
The market value of your home fluctuates depending on factors such as the economy, the area in which you live, etc. Insurance policies are written so that, in the event of a loss, you have adequate protection to put your home back in the condition it was prior to the loss. Most companies require you to insure your home for the full estimated replacement value.

What is an Umbrella policy?
This is a policy that adds an additional layer of liability coverage in the event of an accident with your automobile or on your home premises. (If you are sued, even future earnings could be at risk). With this policy, your automobile or home liability would respond first, and then the Umbrella policy would provide additional coverage. This policy also has additional coverages such as libel and slander, which are not covered by your home policy. Limits begin at $1,000,000 and increase by million-dollar increments.

Is my credit considered when rating my policies?
Yes. Your credit will be checked when an insurance company is rating a home or automobile policy for you. This is an insurance score, which is slightly different than your credit score. The insurance score does not show as a “hit” on your credit, like other credit inquiries (multiple credit inquiries can actually lower your credit score).

Is there a grace period for making the payments on my policies?
There is no stated grace period for home/automobile policies. If payments are not made by the due date, the company releases a cancellation notice that includes a late fee, which can be as much as $25. Payment options are available to make paying your premiums easier. There are also discounts with many companies for paying in full with a check or credit card. If a policy does get canceled, there is no guarantee that the company will reinstate or rewrite your policy.

If I obtain a lower quote with your company, do I have to wait until renewal to activate the policy?
No. In Michigan, you can cancel home/auto policies during the policy period without penalty. Should you cancel your policy to start a new one, you will receive the entire unused premium from your original policy.