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InsuranceAfter an Accident Insurance ClaimsMake the insurance claims process easier by following these steps.Am I Covered? Car Insurance QuestionsAsk your insurance agent these questions. It helps to understand the types and extent of coverage you have. There are a lot, but you're paying a lot.Appealing an Insurance SettlementIf you have a difference of opinion on your insurance settlement, you can begin an appeal process, starting with your agent, moving to the claims adjuster at your insurance company, or your state's watchdog agency for insurance consumers. What's Your Insurance Score?Like a credit score used by banks, insurance scores rate your risk (how financially stable you are). Research has shown that people who are in better shape credit-wise tend to file less insurance claims. Working With a Claims AdjusterOnce you have notified your insurance company of your loss, you will meet with a claims or field adjuster employed by the company. If You Have No InsuranceIf you have no insurance (or less insurance coverage than you thought), your recovery will be based on your own resources and help from friends, relatives and your community. Estimating Your Home's ValueDo you have enough insurance on your home to rebuild it if it is destroyed? Do you even know how to calculate the amount of insurance you need? Key Insurance Terms Determining ValueKnowing these terms helps to understand the process insurance agencies and relief organizations use to determine the value of your loss. Your tax accountant can also help you when claiming your losses. Top Homeowners Insurance MythsHomeowner's insurance can be a bit complicated. William S. Coffman, Jr., WHN's Guest Columnist, provides some common myths about insurance and insights into the realities of insurance and the claims process.Property Damage Questions for Your AgentThese are some questions to ask your insurance agent. These may confirm what you already know or may help you understand the extent and specifics of your coverage.Insurance Riders Do I Need One?You pay your homeowners premiums on time and feel reasonably comfortable that you are well covered should disaster ever strike, right? Wrong. Even if you think you have adequate coverage, you could be drastically underinsured.Life Insurance and Healthcare CostsIf you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with a serious illness, you may have already discovered that dealing with actual health issues is just part of the individual puzzle you must reassess and reassemble. Am I Covered? Home Insurance QuestionsThe more you know and understand about home insurance, the better you can insure yourself and your family in case of loss. Am I Covered? Life Insurance QuestionsHere is a 'starter' list of things to consider and questions to ask your agent. You'll probably come up with questions or ideas that best fit your needs. Choosing a Life Insurance BeneficiaryIf you own assets, from bank accounts to life insurance, it's important that you choose a beneficiary. Filing an Insurance ClaimA few tips on how to file a claim after a natural disaster, fire or theft. Motorcycle InsuranceThe more you know and understand about motorcycle insurance, accident coverage, and your own policy, the better off you are. Pet InsurancePet insurance is similar to health insurance: you may be reimbursed if the unexpected occurs. Property Damage What to Expect from Your AgentHere is a list of actions an insurance agent may follow after a claim. If you receive money from your agent or arrangements are being made for you, be sure to ask your agent what is covered under your policy and how much you are covered for. Reviewing and Updating Your Homeowner's InsuranceWhen was the last time you reviewed your home insurance policy? According to Loretta Worters, vice president of the Insurance Information Institute, there are six events that should trigger a review.Flood InsuranceOne of the most important things that you can do to protect your home and family before a flood is to purchase a flood insurance policy - even if you don't live in a flood-prone area. Earthquake Insurance ResourcesUseful links to information about disaster-related insurance resources.

Motorcycle Insurance

The more you know and understand about motorcycle insurance, accident coverage, and your own policy, the better off you are.

Visit your insurance company's site for background information, descriptions and definitions of insurance terms. Then meet with your agent to discuss available options, coverage types and factors that can increase or decrease your rates.

Here are some "starter" questions, but feel free to ask others.

WHN Expert Tip: What Does That Mean?!
"
Have the agent take the time and walk you through the insurance process. Ask them to go through the coverage terms and options for you to choose from. Don't understand terms? Ask questions!" Thom D'Angelo, Motosport Brokerage

Questions About the Company

How long have you insured motorcyclists or scooter riders?

WHN Expert Tip: History Matters
"
Make sure that this insurance company has a history with insuring motorcyclists. Do they know the difference between a hard bag and a soft bag? Are their customers satisfied?" Denise Maple, founder of VaVaVroom, designers of motorcycle wear for women riders

What discounts do you offer? Many insurance companies offer a discount if you have multiple policies (home, theft, auto, business, etc.) or multiple bikes.

WHN Expert Tip: Safety Courses
"
Many insurance companies offer discounts if you take a motorcycle safety course such as the ones offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF)." Denise Maple, founder of VaVaVroom, designers of motorcycle wear for women riders

WHN Expert Tip: Winter Months
In many northern states, riders may save money by buying a "lay-up" policy. With a lay-up policy, all coverage except comprehensive is suspended during winter months. Ask your agent about this option. Insurance Information Institute

What is the length of time that a policy is in effect? What can result in the policy being canceled or premiums raised?

Questions About Motorcycle Insurance

What are the levels of coverage that are available for my motorcycle's make and model?

What is included in the basic coverage?

What are the costs and coverage details for these types of insurance: liability, comprehensive, collision and full coverage?

WHN Expert Tip: Liability Insurance
Pay particular attention to liability. Many states only require that you have a minimum of $20,000 of coverage. That's not very much. If you ride your bike into a crowd of people and cause injuries, you will be held liable for their medical bills, which could be a lot more than $20,000." Dean Akey, Allstate insurance agent and founder and president of Rescue Riders

"You should be more concerned about liability insurance then protecting your motorcycle. If you're held liable for damages, you have more to lose and your assets could be in danger." Thom D'Angelo, Motosport Brokerage

Are there certain models that cost more to insure?

What motorcycles/scooters get the lowest insurance rates?

WHN Tip: Costs May Vary
"
Your policy costs may vary depending on your age, the type of bike, your zip code, driving record, if it's parked in a garage or carport, if it is financed or owned outright, and deductible levels. The bottom line is to do lots of homework and shopping around with various insurance companies or a good independent agent that represents multiple companies."  Ron Arieli, president and owner of T.E.A.M. Arizona Motorcyclist Training Centers.

What factors increase a policy cost?

WHN Tip: Super Bikes
"
Do you really need a high-performance machine? If so, you'll pay a ridiculously high rate just for basic coverage. A more sensible motorcycle may meet your needs." Dave Mannato, sales agent at the Matador Insurance Agency, Latham, NY.

Questions About Your Current Coverage

Who or what is covered under my motorcycle insurance? Are other licensed drivers (friends, family members) covered if they drive my motorcycle?

WHN Expert Tip: "Ask about 'guest' liability. Will passengers be covered?" Dean Akey, Allstate insurance agent and founder and president of Rescue Riders

Does my model cost more to insure than other types?

How much it cost to insure myself at the level I'm comfortable with?

Does my policy include roadside assistance?

If so, what geographic areas does it include?

If not, does the company offer it and how much does it cost?

Are there certain times and services (flat tire, towing, accident, etc.) that are/aren't included?

Does this insurance policy cover me anywhere in the country? What about outside of the country?

Are personal items/features on my motorcycle covered in case of an accident or theft? Do I need a rider on certain items if I'd like that option?

WHN Tip: Add-Ons
"
If you make improvements or add extra features to your bike, upgrade your policy. I bought a new Road King for $17,000 but with all the work I put in, it's probably worth close to $40,000 today. Unless you add the new features to your policy, they won't be covered" Dean Akey, Allstate insurance agent and founder and president of Rescue Riders

Tell me where I fit in with national averages – am I paying average, more, or less, and what factors into your answers?

What are my payment options and related discounts? Annual payments, bi-annual, monthly, etc.?

The information provided here is not meant to be a substitute for professional advice. These tips are from experts and people who have shared their real life advice; always check with appropriate professionals you trust in making your purchasing or life-related decisions.

InsuranceAfter an Accident Insurance ClaimsMake the insurance claims process easier by following these steps.Am I Covered? Car Insurance QuestionsAsk your insurance agent these questions. It helps to understand the types and extent of coverage you have. There are a lot, but you're paying a lot.Appealing an Insurance SettlementIf you have a difference of opinion on your insurance settlement, you can begin an appeal process, starting with your agent, moving to the claims adjuster at your insurance company, or your state's watchdog agency for insurance consumers. What's Your Insurance Score?Like a credit score used by banks, insurance scores rate your risk (how financially stable you are). Research has shown that people who are in better shape credit-wise tend to file less insurance claims. Working With a Claims AdjusterOnce you have notified your insurance company of your loss, you will meet with a claims or field adjuster employed by the company. If You Have No InsuranceIf you have no insurance (or less insurance coverage than you thought), your recovery will be based on your own resources and help from friends, relatives and your community. Estimating Your Home's ValueDo you have enough insurance on your home to rebuild it if it is destroyed? Do you even know how to calculate the amount of insurance you need? Key Insurance Terms Determining ValueKnowing these terms helps to understand the process insurance agencies and relief organizations use to determine the value of your loss. Your tax accountant can also help you when claiming your losses. Top Homeowners Insurance MythsHomeowner's insurance can be a bit complicated. William S. Coffman, Jr., WHN's Guest Columnist, provides some common myths about insurance and insights into the realities of insurance and the claims process.Property Damage Questions for Your AgentThese are some questions to ask your insurance agent. These may confirm what you already know or may help you understand the extent and specifics of your coverage.Insurance Riders Do I Need One?You pay your homeowners premiums on time and feel reasonably comfortable that you are well covered should disaster ever strike, right? Wrong. Even if you think you have adequate coverage, you could be drastically underinsured.Life Insurance and Healthcare CostsIf you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with a serious illness, you may have already discovered that dealing with actual health issues is just part of the individual puzzle you must reassess and reassemble. Am I Covered? Home Insurance QuestionsThe more you know and understand about home insurance, the better you can insure yourself and your family in case of loss. Am I Covered? Life Insurance QuestionsHere is a 'starter' list of things to consider and questions to ask your agent. You'll probably come up with questions or ideas that best fit your needs. Choosing a Life Insurance BeneficiaryIf you own assets, from bank accounts to life insurance, it's important that you choose a beneficiary. Filing an Insurance ClaimA few tips on how to file a claim after a natural disaster, fire or theft. Motorcycle InsuranceThe more you know and understand about motorcycle insurance, accident coverage, and your own policy, the better off you are. Pet InsurancePet insurance is similar to health insurance: you may be reimbursed if the unexpected occurs. Property Damage What to Expect from Your AgentHere is a list of actions an insurance agent may follow after a claim. If you receive money from your agent or arrangements are being made for you, be sure to ask your agent what is covered under your policy and how much you are covered for. Reviewing and Updating Your Homeowner's InsuranceWhen was the last time you reviewed your home insurance policy? According to Loretta Worters, vice president of the Insurance Information Institute, there are six events that should trigger a review.Flood InsuranceOne of the most important things that you can do to protect your home and family before a flood is to purchase a flood insurance policy - even if you don't live in a flood-prone area. Earthquake Insurance ResourcesUseful links to information about disaster-related insurance resources.