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FAQ

FAQ


Q. Why do I need an agent?
 
A. Insurance is an important product. It is the tool that protects the things that matter most…our family, our home, our cars. Coverages and policies can change. Not everyone has time to become an expert on everything, so we trust our risk management to an agent who has our best interests at heart. As an independent insurance agency, Hosfeld Insurance will work hard to find the best products to meet your needs. Our goal is to find affordable solutions for the risks that challenge our clients.
 
Q. Can’t I just get cheaper insurance if I buy online or use an 800-number? Cutting the agent out of the mix seems like it would save me money, right?
 
A. Not always the case. With an agent, there is value. Yes, our income IS based on a commission structure. THAT insures you we will work hard to do a good job for you. The carriers we represent do very little national advertising, so our rates are still quite competitive. We’ve chosen our carriers VERY carefully. Remember, it’s about total value, not JUST price. Think about how much that national advertising costs the companies who use it. When you see the same commercial playing 6 times an hour, do you think that expense gets built into the premiums they will charge? You bet.
 
Q. I’m a good driver, that means I should have the lowest rates of all my friends, right?
 
A. Sorry, not always the case. Insurance rates are based on A LOT of factors. More now, than ever before! Different carriers weight factors that include driving record, type of vehicle, age of driver, financial responsibility and creditworthiness, the types of coverages you select … the list goes on.

Again, having a personal agent who knows your needs will help assure you that you have the right protection at the right price. We’re here to advise you, every step of the way. Shopping for a new car? Clients call us with their choices and we are happy to advise of the insurance cost implications.

 
Q. That makes no sense! What does my credit have to do with my insurance rates?
 
A. Well, we agents argued this one for a long time … until we reviewed the evidence. There truly IS a correlation between the “numbers” and the likelihood of future claims. Almost every carrier out there uses some form of the model to create their quotes.
 
Q. What should I do to make sure my credit is “OK”?
 
A. Being financially aware is a key element to making sure your profile looks good. Get a copy of your credit report. As of 9/1/05, Pennsylvanians are able to get one free report per year. Go to www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228. Review your report and make sure it is accurate. Pay your bills on time…or early if you can! Think about it; are you really making that much more interest by waiting until the last day to send the check? Be cautious about opening additional credit cards. Do you really need a special one for EVERY store within the mall?
 
Q. What about claims? If I have them, do I pay a higher rate?
 
A. Depends. Again, every carrier has a different way of doing things. Every claim is different. AT FAULT CLAIMS can do the most in regard to surcharges and/or non-renewals. That’s why it is important to be the best driver you can be. Being alert, aware, attentive and totally focused on your driving are all important. Whether you’re 16 or 60, make sure your full attention is on the road. Minimize distractions inside the vehicle (cell phones, food, music, over-chatty passengers) and be aware of your environment outside as well.
 
Q. Well, if I DO have a claim, maybe I should just keep it to myself … not report it?
 
A. NO, NO, NO. With any claim that involves another human being, there is always the chance they could later claim a bodily injury. If you haven’t reported that to your insurer from the beginning, there could be coverage questions down the line. You wouldn’t want to have that kind of problem when the suit papers arrive at your door. You have insurance to protect you. Unfortunately, we can never predict what will happen … or when.
 
Q. Someone told me if I take a high deductible, I’ll save a lot of money; true?
A. Pretty much, yep. Remember, however, the deductible NEEDS to be comfortable for you when claims time comes…if it is TOO high and you don’t have the available funds, you could be in trouble. You need to be able to afford the deductible you choose, or you didn’t really make a wise choice, did you? Again, with a personal agent, we can review various options for you and find the program that really fits YOU.
 
Q. I don’t really understand all the coverages; who could? I just pay the bill every year and hope that I have the right coverage.
 
A. Whoa! Let’s think about this! You’re paying the bill every year from now until forever … this is nothing you want to be “hoping” about! That’s a lot of money and you want to get some bang for your buck, right? Our agency reviews your policies with you EVERY year. Yep, that’s right. No charge. You can visit us in person or we can do it by phone…it will insure you have the RIGHT coverage and that you’re not paying for things you may not need.
 
Q. My last agent tried to sell me a whole bunch of extras … sewer and drain backup, sinkhole coverage … I’m not sure, but I think he was just trying to make more money on me. I don’t like to be pushed. What gives?
 
A. Well, we don’t ever “push”, so you need not worry about a “hard sell” with us. We DO educate our clients on the risks that are unique to them. As for sinkholes, did you know that Pennsylvania ranks 6th in the nation for these things? It might be a good endorsement to consider! We can even show you a state map to help you decide if you need it. Sewer and Drain often is as low as 11 cents/day … depending on your situation, it could be a bargain. We’ll tell you what we’ve got and you tell us what you want!
 
Q. What’s with Mortgage Protection? I thought I had that with my lender?
 
A. Many clients become confused about PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) which is something that protects the lender, in case you default on your loan. However, what many folks really need is a personal policy that pays a death benefit to their designated survivor. Generally, they are looking for a way to have the “house paid off” when they pass. It’s a great idea! We have traditional Mortgagecover products with decreasing death benefits, but we also have other programs that we can implement even more affordably and with better coverage! We’ll be happy to put together a program for you!
 
Q. Do you require a home inspection when I buy my house?
 
A. We conduct our own insurance inspection, which does not provide you with the kind of information a private home inspector would. Spending $300 or so on a home inspection is a bargain, depending on the information you learn from it. We recommend a home inspection for EVERYONE and we urge all buyers to attend it. The knowledge you will gain about the systems of your home will benefit you for many years to come. Plus, it gives you some bargaining tools if there are issues that require attention.
 
Q. My lender says I have to use a certain homeowner’s insurance he recommends … true?
 
A. NOPE! You get to choose; this is America! Many times we can do a better job for you if we have your home AND auto. Remember, it’s all about YOU. Ask lots of questions and be firm about what you want!
 
Q. I’ve had my insurance with you for years; I’m embarrassed to say I don’t know what I have or why.
 
A. STOP! No explanations needed. Just call us and say you want to schedule a half hour to review your policy. Even if we have explained it before, we’ll start fresh. This stuff isn’t that exciting and you don’t handle it every day. We get that. Come on in; we’d love to see you and catch up!
 
Q. We’re thinking about a wood stove … what does that mean to my insurance?
 
A. Any type of auxiliary heat presents a new risk in your home. Proper maintenance and use go a long way to insure that you’ll be safe. Proper installation is important. Extreme caution is needed if there are small children or pets in the household who could be unaware of the risk. Also, once you have it done, let us know. We actually have to come visit you, take a picture and take some measurements. It’s okay; it gets us out of the office.
 
Q. What’s the “newest” discount out there?
 
A. One of the newest discounts we’re seeing is the “PIF” (Pay In Full) discount. Many of our carriers are offering it or will be shortly. It’s not for everyone, of course. However, if you CAN pay your bill in full, there’s a good chance there’s a new discount for it. Call us and we can advise you!
 
Q. What can I do about Identity Theft?
 
A. Well, be careful and cautious and downright obsessive about your personal information! Unfortunately, a good number of these cases are committed by someone close to you…it’s not as random as you may think. Sometimes an ex-spouse or child can be the one causing the headaches. Get a copy of your credit report at least 1x/year www.annualcreditreport.com or 1-877-322-8228) and review it for inconsistencies. Report anything that appears as fraudulent activity to your local police. Shred or burn your discarded papers/bills. Put your outgoing mail in a public mailbox or take it to the post office; don’t assume your mailbox is safe all day long, with the flag up, waiting for the mailman. Wait for your server to take your signed credit card receipt away from the table before you leave; sometimes your WHOLE credit card number is on that receipt!
 
Q. What the heck is an umbrella?
 
A. An “umbrella” is a lot of extra liability protection. More clients are desiring them as they understand how common huge legal suits are becoming. They can also be called PCL’s (Personal Catastrophe Liability) policies. They can provide you with a million or multi-million) dollars of extra liability coverage. Most are $100-150/year. Clients who drive a lot, entertain a lot, have swimming pools, participate in sports/hobbies or have professional positions find them especially valuable…Ask us; they’re a great idea!