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Insurance FAQs

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions. This FAQ page was created with the help and the feedback of some of our existing customers. Its purpose is to save you valuable time by providing answers to commonly asked questions. Feel free to contact us with any additional questions.

I’m just getting my business started. Do I need insurance right away?

Yes, because the chance that you could suffer a loss begins with the first day of business. You cannot get help after the incident. If you suffer a loss and have no insurance, there is nothing your Liberty United Insurance agent can do to help you. Part of the risk of any small business is the loss of critical tools and property or liability to others either of which can cause loss of income or even force you to close your business.

Also many states and local jurisdictions require that businesses be insured to begin operating, especially General Liability Insurance. Also if you rent or lease space for your business, your landlord will probably require that you to be adequately insured as well.

Why do business with an independent agency?

Independent agents work for you, the customer; we are not employees of the insurance carriers and therefore we can offer our customers greater customization of insurance policies. We pride ourselves in having access to several of the best specialty insurance carriers available in the marketplace and get to shop around for our customers for the best insurance values.

What is the difference between an Admitted Company and a Non-Admitted Company?

Admitted carriers are companies that are licensed to do business in their particular state. They are to follow guidelines set by the department of insurance regarding rates, forms, cash reserves, advertisements, etc. They cannot deviate without approval. They are part of their state’s insurance guaranty program, which pays claims if the company should become insolvent.

Non-Admitted carriers are licensed also, but are not required to follow the same state regulations as far as filing rates, forms, etc. They do have to prove to be financially able to do business. As they do not have to file or report, they can be more flexible in rates and forms than admitted carriers, allowing them to take on risks with higher loss potential. They are not part of the state’s guaranty program, and are not reinsured under the state’s insolvency laws.

What is a "rating"?

A "rating" is a letter grade system assigned by a 3rd party company such as A.M.Best and Co. Insurance companies receive their rating based on their financial strength, time in business, and customer claims history satisfaction.

An (A++) Rating is the best yet, A++ or A+ (Superior), A or A- (Excellent), B++ or B (Very good), B or B- (Fair),C++ or C (Marginal), C or C- (Weak), D (Poor), E (Under regulatory supervision), D (In liquidation), S (Rating suspended). Link for AM Best

Why do business with a non-admitted carrier?

A standard (admitted) company has designed their policies, rates and forms for customers with average or better than average exposures. There are several reasons a risk may not fit within a standard company’s appetite. Just a few are classes of business:

Unusual or high risk classes
Poor prior loss experience
Higher potential for loss
Lack of experience in the field
There also could be the need for broader coverage than an admitted carrier can offer

I keep one auto strictly for business. Do I need a separate policy?

Yes. Whether you have one vehicle or several, you will need a business automobile policy. Such a policy covers any motor vehicle used in your business including cars, vans, trucks and trailers pulled by trucks, and offers coverage if they are damaged or stolen. It also covers liability if the business vehicle is in an accident and the driver is at fault.

This policy is not for truckers or commercial garages. They have special liabilities and must secure special policies that deal with their different needs. Businesses that have a fleet of vehicles will of course have different needs than a business with one or two, and their policies will reflect these differences. See definition

What is business income insurance?

This insurance may reimburse you for the net income that would have been earned if, for example, a fire or other covered causes of loss had not occurred. Losses due to down time or extra expenses needed to restore operations (such as additional property rental) also may be covered.

How does an umbrella insurance policy work?

A policy designed to provide protection against catastrophic losses, the umbrella insurance policy is generally written over various primary liability policies, such as a general liability insurance policy, business auto policy and employers' liability coverage. Once the underlying limits of these primary policies are exhausted, the umbrella liability policy would provide further coverage beyond the limits of those policies.

The above explains some general insurance terms and recommendations which may help you minimize losses and understand your policy better. Your policy should be closely read for specific definitions, limitations, and exclusions.