What is the difference between general liability and professional liability?

If you own a business, you’re forced to sort through a veritable storm of insurance requirements and documents each year. But many business owners understand exactly what they’re paying for. It’s easy to confuse general liability and professional liability insurance, but these types of coverage are drastically different–and they’re not interchangeable. Here’s what you need to know to make the right choice.

General Liability Policies

General liability policies generally pay claims for bodily injury or property damage. That could include a customer in your store slipping on wet tile and spraining an ankle, for instance. Your general liability insurance would likely pay for that claim. If your business employs on-site contractors, a general liability policy covers the damages that contractors cause to a client’s property, as well.

Professional Liability Policies

Unlike general liability insurance, professional liability policies cover claims of financial damage due to your company’s negligence. Often called Errors and Omissions Insurance as well, this type of policy is more geared toward intellectual problems errors or misinformation that results in a financial loss–this could include something like a data breach in which clients’ files are compromised.

Depending on the industry of your business in the Mastic, NY area, it may be vital to carry both types of liability insurance. Because small and mid-sized businesses face a plethora of risks, just one claim for which you don’t have coverage can spell financial ruin, no matter how well your business is doing otherwise.

To determine whether or not you need both general and professional liability policies, your best bet is to talk to an independent agent in NY; they’ll be able to ask questions about the type of business you run and suggest the best types of policies to keep you covered and to stay within your insurance budget.

Who’s auto insurance company will cover car damage if I hit a deer while driving another person’s car?

Buying auto insurance for your personal vehicle does not mean that it will necessarily carry over to any vehicle that you drive. If you are borrowing a car and accidentally hit a deer, then the policy that will usually cover the damages to the vehicle may not be your policy. In many cases, the auto insurance policy that protects the specific car will handle the damages.

Coverage on the Car

Generally, the coverage on the car that you are driving will pay for the damages to the vehicle after you hit a deer, even if you are not the owner of the vehicle. As long as the owner gave you permission to drive the car, that individual is accepting responsibility for any accident that may occur.

Your Coverage

Keep in mind that every policy is different and the owner of the vehicle may not have the coverage to pay for the damage to a personal vehicle. If the car only has liability protection, then you may be able to make a claim on your personal policy in some situations.

Every insurance policy and company is different, so you may or may not be able to make a claim on your policy. Some insurers will allow you to make a claim to cover damages that extend beyond the coverage on the vehicle if you borrowed a car and got into an accident, but the details of your plan may limit your options.

It can be difficult to identify when to make a claim on your policy or the policy of another individual, but it is also important to recognize the details of your specific policy. Contact us to talk to an agent to learn more about your options.

How do I get the most money from my insurance company after my car is declared a total loss from a flood damage?

After a flood in which your car was declared a total loss, it is naturally important to you that you get enough money to replace the vehicle. Your car insurance company will give you a figure that they are willing to give you for this total flood damage loss, but this figure is calculated based upon a couple of different things.

First, the insurance company will usually look at the Kelley Blue Book values for your vehicle, paying particular attention to current prices in your area of Mastic, NY. The Kelley Blue Book does have several different values listed for each vehicle, and the insurance company will typically combine two of these valuations to arrive at the number they quote you: The wholesale value and the retail value.

The wholesale price is basically what the vehicle would actually cost a dealer. This is the "before markup" price of a car and is considered to be a bare bones value. The retail price is equivalent to the cost that you’d pay if you went to a car dealership to buy that same vehicle today. This is a much higher value because the dealer’s costs and markups are included in it.

As a general guideline, you will usually find that you get at least the wholesale cost plus some extra but you usually won’t get an offer as high as the retail price from the insurance company. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t let your insurance provider know that you feel this figure is not high enough to get a replacement car.

Your insurance agent may be willing to negotiate with you, so do a bit of research for what comparable cars are going for in your area and present it to them. It is vital that you have an insurance agency that will be willing to really listen to you as the client in cases like this. Our independent agency works with all the major insurance providers to give you live comparative quotes online. Feel free to try us out using our comparison tool!

If a pedestrian is found at fault for an accident involving a car can they be sued for an auto insurance deductible?

There are situations when a pedestrian can cause damage to your car and is considered the at-fault party in an accident. When a police officer and a court determines that the pedestrian caused the accident due to his or her lack of attention or purposeful actions, you may be able to sue the individual for our insurance deductible.

Who Pays for Damages

As a general rule, the person who is considered at-fault in an accident is responsible to pay for the damages to your vehicle. Unfortunately, pedestrians may not have coverage to pay for the damages and you may end up making a claim on your personal policy to pay for the repairs to your vehicle. While your plan may pay for the damages, you are still expected to pay your deductible.

Suing for the Deductible

The at-fault party, or the pedestrian who caused the accident, can be held responsible for the deductible, even if your insurance policy is paying for the repairs to your vehicle and the cost of your medical bills.

While you may be able to sue for the deductible, keep in mind that the cost of going to court may be more expensive than it is worth if you have a low deductible. Consider the cost of the deductible before you file a civil suit to ensure that you are not going to pay more for the court case than the cost of the deductible.

It can be hard to determine the appropriate solution when an accident involves a pedestrian because you may feel uncomfortable asking for the individual to pay for the damages. Contact us to speak to an agent to learn more about your options.