Understanding your commercial car insurance policy is critical to protecting your business. We have provided an outline of the fundamentals of commercial auto insurance below.
What is commercial car insurance?
Commercial car insurance provides a selection of coverages for cars, vans, trucks, and other vehicles used in business. There are three fundamental parts of every commercial car insurance policy:
Bodily damage insurance − includes accident and comprehensive coverage
Liability insurance − includes property damage, bodily injury, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
Other coverage − includes towing and labor, medical payments, rental vehicle reimbursement, and car, truck, van, or other vehicle loans/lease gap coverage.
What does commercial car insurance cover?
Collision covers damage to your vehicle if your vehicle hits another vehicle, your vehicle incurs damage accidents not involving another vehicle, or you are hit by another vehicle, regardless of fault. Collision insurance is generally required by a loan or finance company, but maybe optional if your commercial, car, truck, or van is paid in full.
Comprehensive car insurance compensates you for damage to your car, truck, or van for issues other than a car accident. Issues such as flood damage, fire damage, earthquake damage, vandalism, theft, or damage from collision with an animal.
Liability insurance pays for bodily injury to others involved in the accident, and property damage to the other vehicle when you are at fault for the accident. Bodily injury compensates others for their medical costs, lost wages, and potential legal expenses if a claim is brought against you because of the accident.
Uninsured motorist coverage
Especially in Louisiana, underinsured motorist coverage compensates you for your injuries and property damage if you are involved in an car wreck with an individual that does not have insurance.
Underinsured motorist coverage
Underinsured motorist protects you when the at-fault driver’s insurance policy limits are insufficient to cover your losses, both medical expenses, and property damage.
Options & add-ons
In addition to the fundamental components of commercial car insurance, you can modify your business car insurance policy with the following endorsement:
Roadside assistance provides coverage when a problem occurs that is not naturally covered by your commercial car insurance policy. Situations such as - locking your keys in your car, the car will not start, and the occasional flat tires.
Replacement cost coverage for new vehicles.
New vehicle replacement cost coverage compensates you when your new vehicle is deemed a total loss. Also called gap insurance, replacement cost coverage can protect you in the event you owe more on your vehicle than your vehicle’s actual cash value.
Hired vehicle physical damage with loss of use coverage
Hired vehicle coverage provides comprehensive and collision coverage for damage incurred on a leased or rented vehicle, in addition to other pledged commitments to the leasing or rental company.
Car loan or lease coverage
Car loan or lease coverage compensates the lender for the difference between the outstanding balance on your car lease or loan and the actual cash value (ACV) of the car if your accident results in a total loss.
Expanded towing coverage is an endorsement beyond a standard business car insurance policy. It provides coverage for minor roadside repairs, towing, and jump-starts in the case of a faulty battery.
Rental reimbursement compensates you for a rental vehicle after an accident. The length and amount per day are determined before you sign your commercial car insurance policy. Options may be available, be sure to understand your daily amount and the length of time your provider will cover a rental when signing your insurance policy.
Personal injury protection, medical payments coverage
Personal injury protection coverage pays for the medical expenses of you and your passengers if you or your passenger's health insurance does not cover the costs.
If you still have questions regarding commercial car insurance in Lake Charles La, call to speak with a knowledgeable insurance agent 337-656-2890.
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When you are shopping for insurance in Lake Charles Louisiana vocabulary is essential to understanding who you are purchasing insurance from. This article aims to define one of the most common terms in the insurance sphere, “insurance carrier.” We explain the difference between an insurance carrier and an insurance provider.
An insurance carrier
An insurance carrier is a company that sells insurance. The term insurance carrier is often confused with an insurance company, insurance provider, insurance agency, or insurance brokerage. However, insurance carriers sell the policies, such as homeowners, business, life, and car insurance, directly to policyholders. Two of the more well-known insurance carriers companies are Nationwide and Progressive Insurance.
How an insurance carrier differs from an insurance agent
Insurance agents are usually employees of the carrier that sell policies on the insurance carrier’s behalf. Most policyholders work through an insurance agent to manage their policy (file claims and make changes to their policies).
However, the carrier is the one that insures your possessions, collects your premium, and pays you for a covered loss.
How insurance carriers work
Most carriers sell their products online or through an agent in today's marketplace. Simply visit their web address, click on a product-specific quote form (example, auto quote, homeowners quote, etc), fill out the requested information, choose your coverage and deductible, and bind your policy with a payment. Another option is to work with a Lake Charles insurance agent employed by the carrier. Most carriers have a local office with insurance agents on-premise.
If you choose to meet with a Lake Charles insurance agent, you will have the opportunity to ask product-specific questions, discuss options and endorsements, and discover if you qualify for additional discounts. Working with an insurance agent affords you the ability to provide personal details that can help the agent tailor your insurance to your specific needs. Agents can also bind and print your policy while you are in the office. Please note that online quote forms and in-person quotes do not bind your insurance, you need to make a payment before exiting the website or leaving the insurance agent's office to secure coverage.
Should you need to file a claim, your agent will pair you with an insurance carrier’s underwriter. An underwrite works for the carrier and is the one responsible for determining the value of your loss. The underwriter then submits his findings to the insurance carrier for payment. The payment comes from the insurance carrier, not the underwriter or insurance agent.
Insurance carrier vs. insurance provider
The terms insurance carrier and insurance provider are interchangeable. Both terms are used when describing the company that is responsible for paying for a covered loss. Both identify the entity that sells insurance products to the public, either directly or through an agent.
If you are researching car insurance in Lake Charles Louisiana or homeowners insurance in Lake Charles, La, and would like to shop for the best insurance rates, consider calling an independent insurance broker. Independent insurance brokers usually write insurance policies for more than one insurance carrier. By offering more than one carrier, the brokerage is able to shop multiple policies to help their clients find the coverage they need at the best price, often saving you money on your policy. When you work with a single insurance carrier, they offer one rate. And while shopping with an independent agent may not yield the cheapest car insurance in Lake Charles La, you can be sure that they have vetted the companies they work with to ensure their clients will be taken care of should an incident or accident happen.
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Car Insurance in Lake Charles, LA - Car insurance laws vary from state to state, but every state requires some form of car insurance (or proof of financial responsibility) to drive legally. While it can seem like just another way to take your money, car insurance is actually designed to protect you and those traveling with you as much as other drivers if you are involved in an accident.
Overall, Louisiana car insurance laws require a minimum level of auto coverages listed below. For additional information about car insurance in Louisiana, you can visit our state's department of insurance website.
Bodily injury liability
Liability Insurance is intended to cover injuries that you, a designated driver, or the policyholder, inflict on another. For example, if your policy lists additional drivers in your family, your policy will also cover their liability should they be involved in an accident.
Medical payments or (PIP) personal injury protection
Louisiana car insurance laws require medical coverage. PIP reimburses for the treatment of injuries to those in the policyholder's vehicle. Medical payments coverage will cover medical payments, lost incomes, and other expenses that resulted from the accident.
Property damage liability
Property damage liability compensates for damage you (or a driver with your permission) cause to another driver's property. In additional to car damage, property damage liability can include damage you cause to fixed objects, such as, fences, a home or building, or other structures your car strikes.
Collision coverage safeguards you in the event your auto is damaged in a wreck with a vehicle, objects in the road, or if your auto flips over. In addition, collision insurance can cover damage incurred by potholes or damaged roadways.
Comprehensive coverage compensates you for a loss due to robbery, falling objects, fire, floods, earthquakes, windstorms, hail, vandalism, or imapct with animals. Louisiana, like most states, doesn't require comprehensive insurance coverage. However, if you financed your car, your lender will require you to carry comprehensive insurance until your loan is satisfied.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage
UI uninsured motorist coverage is designed to compensate you for damages you incur if an uninsured driver hits you, or you are involved in a hit and run.
Underinsured motorist helps you when an at-fault driver doesn't carry enough insurance to cover your losses from an accident. Underinsured coverage can also safeguard you if you are hit by a vehicle as a pedestrian.
Not sure you are meeting state requirements with your insurance in Louisiana? Call Kelly Lee Insurance to speak with one of our knowledgeable insurance agents; we will ensure you have the coverage that best meets your needs.
Kelly Lee Insurance works with over 50 insurance underwriters to provide car insurance in Lake Charles, Louisiana. We may not be the cheapest car insurance in Lake Charles, Louisiana, but we will ensure your assets are covered.
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With many teenagers head off to college, parents often have concerns over their car insurance in Lake Charles Louisiana. We attempt to answer several common questions about your car insurance in Lake Charles Louisiana and your out of state college student below.
Question 1. Will your college student be covered when they attend an out-of state-college?
Answer: Unless your child is planning a permanent move to the other state, most insurers will not require you to make a change, but it is a good idea to check with your agent just in case changes in policy coverage are needed.
Question 2. Is there a way to shop insurance without contacting multiple companies?
Answer: Try looking for a local company that writes for multiple companies. By doing this, you can give your information to one agent and allow them to shop their multiple carriers.
Question 3. If you let another person drive your car and they are involved in an accident, will your car insurance in Lake Charles Louisiana cover the accident?
Answer: Most insurers will cover an accident as long as the person had your permission to drive the car and has a valid driver’s license. There are exceptions to accident coverage, always check with your agent if you are concerned. A couple of notable exceptions are the living arrangement - whether the person you loan the car to uses it regularly, and your choice in car insurance coverage.
Louisiana law requires liability coverage on all cars driven.
Liability covers property damage or personal injury that you can be held liable for, up to your chosen policy’s limits. Louisiana state law requires vehicles to have a minimum of 15/30/25 liability limits.
Those numbers represent coverage of $15,000 payment for bodily injury per person, with a $30,000 maximum for bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 of coverage for damage to the other vehicle or property.
What Liability insurance covers.
Liability insurance protects bodily injury or property damage caused by the driver of your car, whether it is you, a family member, or friend driving your car/truck/motorcycle with your permission. You and those listed on your policy may also be covered when driving another person’s car/truck/motorcycle including rental or personal passenger vehicles. If you drive a non-owned car or company car regularly, your personal car insurance will not cover an accident or incident.
Medical payments coverage reimburses for medical expenses derived from an accident up to a designated period, up to your chosen policy’s limits. Medical payments coverage can include, God forbid, funeral expenses. These medical payments are made irrespective of who is responsible for the accident. Medical payments cover you, family members, and passengers in your car at the time of the accident.
Something to consider whether sending your child off to college or not, is adding Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage. UIUM pays benefits to if your car/truck/motorcycle is hit by a driver who with no insurance or has too little insurance to cover the cost of your injuries or property damage from the accident.
Do you still have question about your car insurance in Lake Charles Louisiana? Call Kelly Lee Insurance and allow one of our knowledgeable agents to answer your questions
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Whether you are insuring your first vehicle or you simply have not shopped your car insurance in Lake Charles, La. a while, the goal is the same: You want to be sufficiently covered if you are involved in an accident, without paying more than you need to. Unfortunately, individuals do overpay because they lack the time to shop for their car insurance. However, shopping your auto insurance can save most individuals could save hundreds of dollars a year.
Kelly Lee Insurance in Lake Charles, Louisiana, represents over 50 insurance carriers; allow us to do the shopping for you.
Step 1: How Much Insurance Coverage do You Need?
To find the best auto insurance policy, start by figuring out how much insurance coverage you will need. In Louisiana, every vehicle is required to have minimum liability limits of 15/30/25. The payments, or numbers, break down as follows: $15,000 for bodily injury to one person, $30,000 for bodily injury to more than one person per accident, and $25,000 liability coverage for damage to the other vehicle if you were at fault.
Determining How Much Car Insurance Do You Need
Knowing Louisiana State Minimum Insurance requirements will help decide the amount of coverage you need. This decision is based on the level of personal risk you are willing to assume.
Industry authorities recommend obtaining enough liability coverage to protect your personal assets in the event of an accident. If you obtain an insurance policy with $50,000 of bodily injury liability coverage and your personal assets are worth $100,000, in an at-fault accident (you caused the accident) that exceeds your $50,000 insurance coverage, the injured party can be awarded money from your personal assets (personal assets can include your savings, retirement and even your home).
The type of vehicle you drive carries weight on your insurance needs and requirements. If you currently drive an older model vehicle and do not own assets, your requirements will be less than if you purchased a top-of-the-line new vehicle, own a home, and have a large savings or retirement account. Your vehicle's insurance coverage should reflect how much you stand to lose if you cause an accident.
Step 2: Review Your Current Insurance Policy
As dull as it is, read your current policy thoroughly or contact your insurance agent in Lake Charles, Louisiana, to obtain the information you need. Take notes on the amount of coverage you currently carry and the amount you are paying for it. Examine the monthly and yearly cost of insurance; most insurance companies quote policies both ways to compare policies.
Step 3: Know Your Driving Record
Most individuals know if they have had any tickets or accidents in the last three years; if you can't remember, check with the Louisiana department of motor vehicles. If a ticket is about to roll off your driving record, consider waiting to shop insurance or purchase a vehicle until it does. Your improved driving record will help you find the best auto insurance rates.
Step 4: Research Competitive Quotes
Now you are ready to shop your car insurance in Lake Charles, La. Schedule time to speak with several agents or find an office that writes for many carriers. You should have a copy of your current insurance policy in hand, your driver's license, and your current vehicle registration. Keep in mind, not all insurance companies over multiple insurance carriers. You can save valuable time by working with an agency that writes for and can shop multiple carriers by giving your pertinent information to one agent.
Step 5: Gather Company Information
Once you have your competitive quotes, carefully review the coverage and rates to ensure the coverage limits are the same and inquire about the insurance companies' payment policies (when payment is due, paid in full discounts, what happens if your payment is late).
Step 6: Ask for Discounts
When you shop for insurance, ask if the various companies offer discounts. For example, many insurance carriers offer good drivers, good students, vehicle safety ratings, security equipment, multi-policy, and other occupational or professional affiliation discounts.
Step 6: Ask for Discounts
When you shop for insurance, ask if the various companies offer discounts. For example, many insurance carriers offer good drivers, good students, vehicle safety ratings, security equipment, multi-policy, and other occupational or professional affiliation discounts.
Step 7: Assess the Companies
Now you should have the insurance policy price and coverage information you need to decide. You can look at which company offers the best insurance coverage at the best price, but price should not be the only basis for choosing an insurer. A company's financial stability should be considered. A history of taking care of their clients should be evaluated as well. You can find how an insurance company treats its clients by visiting the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' Consumer Information Source to assess a company's performance. The NAIC provides licensing information and critical financial data about insurance carriers. You also can visit the Louisiana State Insurance Commissioners website to view consumer complaints and rate comparisons auto and homeowners insurance.
Step 8: Cancel Your Previous Policy
Once you have selected the new auto insurance policy you want and have your proof of insurance, you need to cancel the policy with your existing insurance company.
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How much does homeowners insurance cost is a popular question. For most people, their home is their largest asset, and protecting that asset can be pricey. Homeowner's insurance can vary widely based on many rating factors, such as condition, location, size, features, furnishings, and your marital status and credit score.
The answer to the question of "how much does a homeowners insurance policy cost" is based on many factors, a few of which are listed below.
The short answer - it depends.
As technology progressed so did the rating factors. Software systems are getting more sophisticated, and historical data has allowed policy underwriters to more accurately calculate rates based value, location, and condition of the home, along with the extent of coverage, deductible, and the homeowner's credit and claims history.
Understanding How to Choose Coverage and How Much You Need
Home Insurance has three fundamental types of coverage that determine the amount of compensation you receive following a covered disaster.
Actual cash value (ACV) - Protects your structure and contents based on their current value, not to be confused with what you paid for them.
Replacement cost (RC) - Protects the structure and contents based on what they cost now up to the policy's value.
Guaranteed or extended replacement cost/value (GRCV) - Protects the structure and contents based on the present-day cost to replace and/or rebuild your property at a designated percentage above the policy limits.
The cost of the policy is also based on the dollar amount you insured the dwelling, liability coverage you agreed to, in addition to other factors.
Many individuals find they are underinsured when catastrophe strikes, and is especially true of individuals that maintain enough coverage to satisfy the mortgage company. Policyholders should understand that mortgage companies are only concerned with protecting their investment; your contents and additional property are not their concern.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners' most recent data (from 2017 – 2018) reported increased premiums of 3.3% across the country. The report also revealed that homeowner's insurance premiums are higher in areas with greater population due to real estate values and construction costs.
Increased insurance rates is also the case for popular vacation and retirement areas, areas prone to natural disasters such as tornadoes, wildfires, earthquakes, and hurricanes
When researching homeowner's insurance in my area, it would be beneficial and save time if you have the following information handy:
The dollar amount and specific coverage are the most significant determinants of policy price; other factors come into play. Condition and age of the home (has it been reasonably maintained), materials used to build the home, and the age and condition of the roof.
Underwriters also consider:
Most states allow the credit history of a homeowner to factor into rates.
Proximity to a fire hydrant, police, and fire station can also positively impact your homeowner's insurance.
Your neighborhood and claims history in the community, along with the crime rate in your area, can impact your rates.
Additional endorsements to cover particular circumstances or personal property also impact rates.
When trying to find a cost-benefit balance, ensure your liability coverage is enough to protect your personal assets, in the event an accident and the injured party sues you. If you fail to carry enough liability insurance, courts can attach an award to your personal assets. If your assets are substantial, consider adding an umbrella policy, the cost is minimal, but the liability coverage can be significant.
A leading liability claim is dog bites – most homeowners insurance and liability policy coverage extends to your children and pets.
Shopping insurance in Lake Charles La can save money.
Considerations for Lowering Your Homeowners Insurance Rates
If premiums for your homeowner's insurance are coming in too high for your budget, consider the to lower your rates. Keep in mind, higher deductibles mean more out of pocket expense if an incident or accident happens.
Increasing your deductible. Increasing the amount of money you are willing to pay out-of-pocket before your coverage kicks in can lower your premiums. Increasing from $500 deductible to $1,000 deductible can decrease your premiums by as much as 25%.
If you are going to increase the deductible, you should have a savings account with the $1000 set aside in the event of an incident or accident.
By raising your deductible, it will also mean that you will need to absorb the costs of repairs you may have otherwise claimed. Claims such as repairing a broken window, or replacing flooring from a leaky pipe will likely cost less than or come in just above the cost of your deductible.
Insurance policies may also include different deductibles for distinct perils. For example, hurricane deductibles on homes along the coast are generally a percentage of the insured value of the home, where other peril deductibles like fire is most often a fixed dollar amount.
Adding security features and making certain repairs can also lower premiums. Types of additions and repairs that can lower your homeowner's insurance can include:
When renovating, consider using materials with a higher safety rating. Examples are steel framing and cement; while these items can cost more upfront, they are more cost-effective to insure due to their flame-resistant qualities.
A claims-free discount may be available if you have maintained insurance through the same company for years. Additional savings may be available if you carry multiple policies with the same insurer (think of bundling your auto and homeowners with the same provider).
Being prudent with your claims is another way to save money on your homeowner.
Your insurance is there to protect you from financial disasters; think carefully before filing a claim that is worth very little after paying your deductible. Your claims history has an impact on your insurance rating and can cause premiums to increase at renewal.
Don't treat your homeowner's insurance policy as a maintenance plan. Home insurance is for accidents or incidents that are unexpected, and you can't afford to pay for out of pocket.
Claims free individuals and households benefit from being a low-maintenance customer. The rewards are reflected in lower premiums. Owning your home outright can also lower rates with some underwriters.
When shopping for homeowners insurance in Lake Charles Louisiana, look for a reputable company with access to multiple insurance underwriters; this will allow you to fill out one quote form and your agent to do the shopping for you.
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Unsure whether you need a personal auto or commercial auto insurance policy? Below are a few considerations when deciding which type of insurance policy best suits your needs.
Who Owns and Drives the Vehicle
If your business owns your auto, you most likely need a commercial vehicle insurance policy. If you are sole owner of the company, you may only need personal auto insurance. The type of insurance policy you need depends on what you use the vehicle for and how often you use it.
How the Vehicle is Used
If your vehicle is used for business purposes, most individuals need a commercial auto insurance policy. If, however, you are a sole owner traveling to a couple of job sites a day or only use your company car for commuting, you may only need a personal auto policy.
The Type and Weight of the Vehicle
If your work vehicle is heavier than a traditional pickup or SUV, such as a tow truck, dump truck, or 18-wheeler with a commercial trailer, you will probably require a commercial vehicle insurance policy. Heavy-duty vehicles typically cause more damage when involved in an accident and often require special insurance coverage.
Required Business Liability Limits
If your business by trade or clients require higher liability limits, you will generally need a commercial vehicle insurance policy. Commercial vehicle insurance policies generally offer higher limits than personal auto insurance policies.
How do you determine if you need auto or commercial insurance?
Personal auto insurance policies limits generally provide high enough auto insurance coverage for some businesses, particularly if you drive your vehicle for personal use. However, if you require specific commercial auto insurance coverages, high Liability limits (limits exceeding $300,000), operate an a unique vehicle, haul heavy or special equipment, transport people or goods, or have additional special needs, then you will want a commercial vehicle insurance policy.
COMMERCIAL VEHICLE COVERAGES
Liability Coverage is essential coverage that includes injuries or damage you cause to other people or property if you're at fault for an accident.
Bodily Injury - Property Damage - Uninsured Motorist - Driver protection
These four coverages can help pay for your medical expenses if you or your passenger(s) are injured while driving a commercial vehicle.
Medical Payments - Personal Injury Protection - Pet Injury Coverage - Vehicle protection coverage
Protects your investment against damage to your vehicles caused by collisions and a wide array of additional mishaps that can happen to your vehicle.
Physical Damage - Collision - Comprehensive - Individual Named Insured Endorsement - Fire and Theft with CAC
Large trucks share many of the same insurance coverages as other commercial vehicles, here is where's it gets more specific to trucks.
Non-Trucking Liability - Trailer Interchange - Motor Truck Cargo - Motor Truck General Liability - Rental Reimbursement with Downtime - Specialty coverage
Some businesses occasionally need specialized protection in addition to basic liability and truck damage coverage.
Any auto - Non-Owned Car - Hired auto - Drive Other Car - Single Deductible Endorsement - Tow specific coverage are a few examples.
TOW SPECIFIC TRUCKS
While tow trucks share many of the same coverage as other commercial vehicles. Tow-specific coverage is geared towards tow trucks are
Garage keepers Legal Liability Insurance - On-Hook Towing Insurance
Still need help deciding? Call Kelly Lee Insurance and allow one of our experienced commercial vehicle insurance agents to guide you.
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Necessary Steps to Take After Being Injured At Work
Even if you have been trained to take every precaution during work, still situations can arise where you might get injured. Accidents related to snow, rainy weather, inexperienced co-workers, equipment failure or unexpected incident while at work or on the clock can result in injury. When an accident happens at work, several steps should be taken to ensure the accident's safe and smooth management.
You find a list of steps in the preferred sequence below.
Report your injury
Report the injury to your employer or supervisor as soon as possible. There have been cases when the employers or the injured person's insurance provider denied the claim because it was not reported. Therefore, we suggest reporting the incident within 24 hours of happening, if immediately is not possible.
Letting the health care provider know that the injury is work-related
When you seek medical treatment, you should inform your doctor the injury was work-related and how it happened. Additionally, the doctor should refer to the injury as work-related in your medical reports. If your medical reports do not have the reason mentioned, most workers' compensation claims will deny financial responsibility. Check Louisiana workers' compensation benefits for more details.
Provide your employer with a notice of the incident
Every company has a standard injury reporting policy; however, each may vary. You should contact your employer as soon as possible and inform them about the incident. Explain in detail the events surrounding the accident and take notes, including whether an official accident report is created to prove the incident for future needs. The report will act as proof that you reported the case on time. Also, please obtain a copy of the report to keep it secured.
Keep track of your incurred expenses
Start and keep a diary of all missed days of work, all travel to and from doctors, physical therapy, pharmacy, and additional out-of-pocket expenses, including prescriptions.
You can qualify for a worker's compensation benefit, but that largely depends on the severity and the nature of the injury you incurred. In most cases, you can obtain reimbursement for your medical and prescription expenses, lost wages, the number of days you could not work, and travel expenses.
Contact your workers' compensation insurance broker for help
The process of claiming compensation be daunting and time-consuming. There are less reputable insurance adjusters that may use your given statements against you when you claim compensation. You will need to ensure you have someone to guide you. You will need to file an injury incident form, and a broker will be able to guide you through the paperwork.
You can follow all work-related safety measures, be very careful with what you do at work, and still find yourself in precarious situations. Knowing what to do after a work-related accident is crucial to compensation. Kelly Lee Insurance can guide you through Louisiana workers compensation claims benefits with an experienced hand.
Contact Kelly Lee Insurance if you need to obtain a policy or assistance with a current Louisiana workers compensation insurance policy.
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A bi-yearly or yearly, depending on where you live, inspection of your property and home is good practice to create. The seasons can be rough on your home's exterior and interior. Winter freezes can be especially rough on roofs and chimneys and affect the interior and exterior walls, windows, foundations, and decks.
Taking the following precautions can save money, time and the headache of a homeowners insurance claim.
This does not require you to climb up there, you can inspect and spot potential trouble with binoculars and a keen eye. If you see shingles that appear to have shift, or not inline, it could indicate that fasters have failed and need to be replaced. You might also spot cracked and missing shingles, or lumps where the nails have come loose and pushed the tabs of the shingles up, this can allow water to drip through.
No matter if you have brick, stucco, or wood siding, occasional inspection is essential to ward off expensive future repairs. Look under gutter downspouts and eaves. Water stains typically indicated your gutters are not sufficiently containing water runoff. If your home has wood siding, check wood spacing for openings, look at the knots in the wood, have the knots popped out? Openings in a wood exterior allow carpenter ants and bees and other critters, to burrow and nest.
When conducting your yearly or twice a year home inspection don't forget your homes foundation. You are looking masonry cracks. If you discover cracks, household caulking will not do the job.
You will want to employ a foundation specialist that can utilize an epoxy injection system that chemically bonds the cracks.
Your windows were installed with weather stripping and caulk, over time these products erode, leaving space for air leakage. During the summer months, you might not notice as much, but cool air flowing in is usually detectable during the winter and indicates a new seal is needed. If the caulk around the window needs replacing, this is an easy fix. Simply strip the old caulk, clean the area, and apply a fresh caulk seal. If your windows are double pane and you experience condensation inside the double pane, your weather seal has been compromised and needs repair. Generally, you will need to consult a window repair company.
HVAC (Twice a Year)
You should check your HVAC system twice a year. In the fall, before using the heating system and in the spring before engaging air conditioning. You want to check hose connections for leaks and that the drip pans drain freely. Your HVAC unit endures all the hardships the seasons have to offer. Over time, the HVAC unit acquires dust and leaves, and debris can find its way past the exterior screening. Vacuum dust and debris from the unit and connections; if you notice a cooling or heating performance issue, you will need to call in a professional for assistance.
Inspect your attic for signs of intrusion. Have insects, rodents or other critters set up house. Look for mold growth; mold can look like patches of black or gray stains. Adequate ventilation and insulation deter mold and immediately address mold issues to prevent a problem from developing in the summer months.
Checking leaky faucets, slow drains, and sweaty pipes, inside and outside your home, can save you money and headache. Check under the bathroom, utility room, and kitchen sinks for any discolored buildup on the lines. Discolored buildup running down the pipes indicates a leak. A steady leak can erode the wood below and turn a quick fix into an expensive remodel in a very short time. Check your refrigerator ice and water hoses, especially when spring cleaning, after pulling it away from the wall. Puddled water around the dishwasher, washing machine, water heater flooring indicates a hose problem exists and needs addressing before a full-on flood event occurs. While checking the dishwasher hosing is not as easy, checking the water heater and washing machine hoses for deterioration, corrosion, and cracking is easier. You might feel more comfortable calling a plumber to address these items.
Outdoor water systems
Faucet pipes and sprinkler systems should be checked before engaging them in the spring.
Decks and Patios
Inspect your deck for loose, warped, or splintered boards and, if found, repair or replace them as soon as possible. Regardless of the type of material used to build your deck, cleaning and removing debris from your deck, especially between the boards, maintenance must be done yearly to extend the material's life. If your deck is starting to look faded and worn, consider deep cleaning and reapplying stain and sealant, splintering wood can be sanded first. Slip and trip accidents on decks and patios happen fairly frequently. To help keep your homeowners insurance in Lake Charles, Louisiana injury claim-free, deck maintenance remains at the top of our list of bi-yearly maintenance chores.
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Make sure your car insurance coverage reflects your individual needs and budget. The following are questions you need to ask and know when shopping for car insurance in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
The car or truck you own, your priorities, and your finances factor into your distinctive car insurance needs. Before evaluating insurers and policies, consider how you use your car and the risks you face to understand the options that make sense for you.
1. What type of car do you drive?
Insurers have compiled data on every model of vehicle and know the precise details of which brands, makes, and models are likely to encounter frequent claims. The powerful sports car is more likely to be stolen and is more expensive to repair than a mid-sized sedan, and your insurance premiums will be levied accordingly. Certain models of cars, such as modified motorcycles, trucks and classic cars require additional or specialty insurance. While discounts are offered for newer cars with high safety ratings and features.
2. Is your car financed or leased?
If you have financed or leased your car, the lending and leasing institution usually requires you to carry insurance for the vehicle's full value and may require you to purchase gap insurance. Gap insurance is specialty insurance that covers the difference between the market value of the vehicle and what you owe on the vehicle. Comprehensive/Collision insurance will cover up to the market value of damage to your vehicle in the unfortunate event of incident or accident, where specialty (or supplemental) gap insurance covers anything above market value.
3. How many miles do you drive?
Do you drive to and from work, pick up children from school and after school activities? Are your accumulated miles driven 100 miles a month or closer to 500 plus miles a month? Your insurance policy should reflect how often you drive your vehicle. If you drive infrequently, you might qualify for a lower cost mileage-based insurance.
4. Additional car drivers?
In most cases, your insurance policy covers an occasional driver. However, if someone in your household drives your car more than occasionally, they should be added to your policy.
5. Do you use your vehicle for work?
If you are paid to perform duties that require you to drive after arriving at work, chances are you need a commercial vehicle insurance policy. For example, if your full-time or side business is as an uber driver or pizza delivery, personal insurance does not cover commercial activities.
6. Is vehicle appearance important to you?
If your chosen vehicle is something you take pride in and appearance is important, you will likely wish to restore it to pre-accident condition. In this case, full coverage auto insurance that includes comprehensive and collision is the correct choice. However, if you purchased a cash car and view your vehicle mean-to-an-end you could consider starting a savings account to bank the additional premiums you could save by purchasing liability only. Keep in mind liability only covers the other vehicle or incident up to policy limits; your vehicle repairs will be out of your pocket.
7. Where does your vehicle reside?
Where you keep your vehicle impacts your insurance premiums and it factors into the coverage you choose. If your parking space is on an urban street, you face a more considerable risk of vandalism, theft, or accident, and comprehensive collision might be a better choice for you. Your address and parking play a large role in premiums.
8. What is your state legal obligation
Every state has a legal insurance requirement, and the legal policy limit varies from state to state.
To maintain your license and drive a vehicle, you must carry your state's minimum liability insurance. But, If you choose to carry only your state's minimum liability, you run the risk of litigation for the difference between the accident's value, including medical bills, against your personal assets.
Many Louisiana residents find that carrying a higher level of coverage is worth the minimal difference in premiums to protect their personal assets. Once you have answered the questions above, you should better understand your car insurance requirements; then, all you need is an agent's assistance to find the coverage you need at the best price. Are you looking for car insurance in Lake Charles, Louisiana? Call the team at Kelly Lee Insurance; their firm represents over insurance carriers across the United States.
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