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Chicago Insurance Company - John E Horn | Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs

Questions, questions! We have answers, answers!

Let us know if you have any questions not answered here.

Why a Trusted Choice Independent Agent?

Choice!  We represent several top rated companies to match to your unique needs at a fair price.  Some of our competitors only have one company to choose from to meet everyone’s particular insurance needs. We get to know you, unlike an 800 number, and are there to give you advice and answer “what if” questions without going on record.

We will also do a risk analysis to uncover your exposures and design a custom program for you, your family, and/or your business.

Can your agency be contacted after hours in case of an emergency?

Yes.  Our office phones are forwarded after business hours.

Why do you ask so many personal questions?

Insurance companies now use very sophisticated risk predictors compared to even five years ago.  Companies now have as many as 50 rating tiers or even more.  More information is needed to underwrite new business and properly price policies.  This actually results in lower cost for most people.

How can I control what I pay for my auto insurance?

There are several things you can do.  First, make sure you are getting all the available discounts such as multi-policy for having your home insured with the same company, accurate mileage to work, alarm credits, loss free discounts, and multicar discounts.  Next, make sure you have a higher deductible, but make sure you can afford it if you have a loss.  Make sure your credit is as good as it can be.  Most companies now use a credit based Insurance Scores to get rates.

Why should I have higher liability limits than Illinois requires, especially if I don’t own property?

Illinois only requires coverage for injuries of $20,000 each person/$40,000 each accident if multiple people are injured and $15,000 for property damage.  An overnight stay in the hospital will cost well over $20,000.  The price of new cars now average over $30,000.  If you don’t have the cash to pay the difference your wages can be garnished to satisfy a judgment against you.

How can I control the cost of my home or renters insurance?

Make sure you are taking advantage of all discounts available such as multiple policies with the same company, alarm discounts, and loss free discounts.  Don’t forget your credit goes into your Insurance Score which is an important factor in your rate?

How come the insurance company wants to insure my home for more than I can sell it for?

What you can sell your home for is the market value. The market value depends on where your home is located and the condition of your home.  Insurance companies are interested in the replacement cost of your home.  This means the bricks, lumber, electrical, heating, plumbing and all the other building materials.  Much like the cost to build a car from parts is much higher than a new car, it cost more to fix a house because the contractor has to work around and through walls and they do not get volume discounts on materials for one job.  The replacement value will be approximately the same in a metropolitan area but the market value can vary widely.

Does my Homeowners coverage include Flood and Earthquake?

No and no.  Flood insurance is a separate policy and the rates are set by the federal government because it is a government program.  Please do not confuse flood insurance with Sewer Backup/Sump Pump Failure.  This coverage is readily available and must be added to your policy if you would like the coverage.

Earthquake must be added to your you policy to have coverage.

Why do I need Renter’s Insurance?

Renters insurance includes coverage for your personal belongings, will put you up in temporary quarters if you can’t live in your apartment due to a loss, and the often overlooked personal liability if you cause injuries or property damage.  This could be a dog bite, someone slipping in your apartment or running someone over in a golf car – true story.

What exactly is a Personal Umbrella Policy?

Person umbrella policies give you additional liability over your existing policies and also gives you coverage in some instances if you do not have a policy.  For example you may rent a boat on vacation and you do not own a boat so you don’t have a boat policy.

The personal umbrella is arguably the best insurance buy for your money.  You can purchase an additional $1 million coverage for $150.00-$300.00 depending on your circumstances.

I don’t have that much in assets to lose.  Do I still need a Personal Umbrella Policy?

Yes.  Jury awards are getting larger and larger and they don’t take into consideration your assets.  Remember, your most important asset is your ability to earn.  Wage garnishments to pay off judgments are always a possibility.

How much life insurance do I need?

It varies but please complete the link for the Life Insurance Calculator to give you an idea.

What is the difference between cash value policies like Whole Life and Universal Life and Term policies.

Cash value policies are designed to last your lifetime.  You pay more early in the policy than a term policy and the additional cash goes into a side fund that you can borrow against.  This side fund helps supplement the premiums later in life.

Term policies are like auto or home policies as they give you coverage only during the term of the policy.  These policies are relatively inexpensive compared to cash value policies.  Term policies are designed for liabilities of a certain term such as home loans, fund college if a parent dies, and help the survivor pay for living expenses.  Terms can be 10, 15, 20, or thirty years.