Personal Insurance Policy Review

Insurance is a complicated subject. Life changes, and it’s important to make sure that your insurance protection plan changes with it. Oftentimes, we purchase insurance and then despite various life changes, it can be years before we review it.

While Kovalev Insurance conducts a complimentary review for each of our clients every few years, we feel it’s important to have an educated clientele. As such, we have included this handy reference page, which helps explain the primary things we look for. In addition, you will be able to request a review from right here. One of our seasoned professionals will get back to you with comments and suggestions post haste!

Kovalev Insurance Provides a variety of homeowners protection policies including:

  • Liability Protection: This is the most important coverage and protects you against lawsuits if someone is injured as a result of an accident. We recommend a minimum coverage of $100,000/person and $300,000/accident. If you have any valuable assets, such as a home/condo/business, you should carry $250,000/person and $500,000/accident.
  • Property Damage Coverage: This covers damage to property as a result of an accident. We recommend a minimum coverage of $250,000/accident. While state minimums can be significantly lower, the difference in premiums is minimal. It's worth bearing in mind that many of today's cars are designed to crumple on impact and it's not unlikely that a car may cost upward of $100,000.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: This coverage protects you from everything other than a collision- including acts of God, damage caused by animals, flood, fire, theft, vandalism, a tree falling on your car, a broken windshield and more. For most vehicles we recommend comprehensive coverage.
  • Collision Coverage: This protects your vehicle when involved in a collision. If the accident is your fault or you do not know who the at-fault party is ( i.e., in a hit-and-run accident), collision coverage will help pay for the damages. If your vehicle is financed you will be required to carry collision coverage. When considering your collision coverage it is important to select the right deductible for you. The higher the deductible the lower the premium will be. We will be happy to help you with this choice.
  • Substitute Transportation Coverage: this pays for the cost of a rental car while your vehicle is in the shop following an insurable loss. We recommend $45/day coverage.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: We recommend you match this coverage with your liability protection coverage. $100,000/person and $300,000/accident minimum with $250,000/$500,000 recommended.
  • Loan/Lease GAP Coverage: This will pay for any difference between a total-loss payout from the insurance company and the balance of your loan/lease.
  • Coverage Enhancement Packages: Many carriers offer additional enhancements that provide benefits such as disappearing deductible, accident forgiveness, new car replacement, pet injury coverage and more. We typically recommend all policyholders carry this coverage, but it can be situation dependent.
  • Other Factors: When reviewing your policy be sure to list all vehicles (e.g., motorcycles/trailers/etc.) as well as all licensed household members who may use the vehicles. Also, it is important that the information regarding garaging is correct.
  • Discounts: Finally, make sure you are getting all of the discounts you are eligible for including but not limited to:
    • Homeowners Bundling Discounts
    • E-Customer
    • Good Student
    • Multi Car
    • Paid in Full/E-payment Discounts
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  • Dwelling Coverage: This provides coverage for the actual “box” or building. Typically coverage is determined by replacement cost calculators and appraisers but it is always good to double check. Please remember that replacement cost and market value are two different and unrelated things. If you have a condo, please visit our condo page for more information on how to properly choose a dwelling limit.
  • Personal Property: This provides coverage for the “stuff” inside your home. Imagine flipping your home upside down and shaking it. Everything that falls out is your personal property. The limit should be sufficient to cover the replacement (new) value of everything. Remember that there are sub limits and restrictions on certain classes of property such as jewelry, musical instruments, fine arts, furs, firearms, gold/silver, etc. These items must be insured separately. Contact us for a consultation on what is and is not covered and the costs associated with making sure you are properly protected.
  • Liability Coverage: We recommend always purchasing the highest amount of liability possible- usually $500,000 or $1,000,000. This is affordable coverage and is your primary liability protection against lawsuits such as slip and fall situations, dog bites, fights at schools, skiing injuries and more. Please note that issues related to a motor vehicle such as a car/boat/plane will not be covered by a liability policy but will require auto insurance.
  • Replacement Cost Provisions and Special Coverage: We recommend making sure your dwelling and personal property have both special coverage, which expands the range of perils insured against, and replacement cost provisions, which provides coverage to replace the damaged property rather than paying for the property minus depreciation. With these two coverages, you will be insured against the widest possible range of risks and, in the event of a loss, your damaged property will be replaced “as new.”
  • Additional Coverages: We highly recommend the purchase of endorsements for coverage against water/sewer backup, ID fraud, personal offense, ordinance and law and more. Such additions are often offered as part of a package, offering both convenience and good value.
  • Deductibles: Homeowners insurance is not a maintenance plan and in most cases it is not worth filing a claim for the small stuff. As with auto, the higher your deductible the lower your premium so you should choose the highest deductible you can afford in the event of a claim.
  • Catastrophe Coverage: It’s important not to just sign up for catastrophe coverage for such events as flood or earthquake but to look into your situation and the policy details carefully. As always we will be happy to advise on the benefits and costs of such packages.
  • Other Factors: Do you have a new dog that should be insured? Have you made major renovations or built additions to your home? Is your home still owner-occupied? Have you purchased any boats? All such changes can impact your homeowners insurance and you should contact us to make sure you are properly covered.
  • Discounts: Make sure you are getting all of the applicable discounts including:
    • Auto & Other Bundling Discounts
    • Fire/Burglar Alarm Discounts
    • New Roof and Safe Property Discounts
    • E-Customer Discounts
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Please visit our Condo Insurance page for advice on specific coverages.

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Please visit our Renters Insurance page for advice on specific coverages.

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Picking the right umbrella coverage is both subjective and difficult. An easy rule of thumb is to add up all your assets including property, investments, income, etc. and then round up to the next million. Unfortunately, when faced with a catastrophic event, the amount for which you can be sued is limitless, so finding catch-all coverage is nearly impossible. You should purchase as much insurance as possible within your budget. The typical premium for a $1,000,000 umbrella policy is around $200/year while a $5,000,000 policy will cost approximately $1,000/year.

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Please feel free to contact us at any time to schedule a full review of your policies. Life changes and your insurance policies should change accordingly.

We are always here to help you choose the right coverage for your specific circumstances.


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