All Questions & Answers

  • What is Risk Management?
    • Risk management involves a number of important considerations. The objective of risk management is to conserve the physical assets of the business using techniques and procedures that do not necessarily include purchasing more insurance. The first step is to identify all the potential exposures a business faces. Exposures could include being sued by a former employee, having a current employee file a complaint with the Department of Labor, or losing a key customer. It could also be OSHA showing up for an inspection, or not knowing the most recent changes in Federal regulations. In every case, the potential exposures are unique and can only truly be uncovered with a thorough understanding of the management and operations of a business. When done properly, risk management will go beyond insurance and those who implement the techniques generally see a reduction in premium costs as well as a positive impact on their bottom line.

  • How can I plan for college tuition?
    • You can open a fund specific for college funding which allows you to set aside funds for future use in paying educational expenses. The money is usually invested in mutual funds and grows on a tax free basis.

  • What does asset allocation mean?
    • Asset allocation is a term used to refer to how an investor distributes his or her investments among various vehicles (stocks, bonds, mutual funds).

  • What is the difference between a retirement plan and investing?
    • A retirement plan refers to the arrangements you make during your life time to plan for a steady income during your retirement. Investing can be part of that retirement plan, and is a term relating to saving and earning additional income usually through purchasing assets (stocks, bonds and mutual funds), in hopes of getting a future return on interest from it.

  • What are the key pieces to a retirement plan?
    • The first piece is to finding the person you are comfortable with who can help you develop your financial strategies and determine what is appropriate for you given factors such as your age, and appetite for risk. You then need to look at several key parts of your plan to protect your life, your investments, and to handle future costs such as college tuition or long term care. 

  • Who should consider a personal umbrella policy?
      • Anyone with substantial assets
      • Anyone with high income, either now or anticipated in the future
      • Public office holders (Selectman, Mayor, City Councilor, State Rep…)
      • People with a "high" profile in the community
      • People with a visible occupation (attorneys, doctors, accountants…)
      • People with a high position at their place of work (President, CEO, CFO…)
      • Normal family with youthful drivers
      • People with a residential farm
      • Anyone who wants to protect their home and assets from being taken away from them

      In general, public attitudes have changed, and the public is much more prone to filing a law suit and juries want to compensate the victims, thus there is a large increase in judgements being awarded.

      An umbrella policy can give you the added protection you need in today's society.
  • Does my auto policy cover my recreation vehicle?
    • No, all recreation vehicles require special insurance policies to adequately protect you. Only in rare circumstances is any coverage extended from your home or auto for a recreational vehicle. 

  • What is a recreational vehicle?
      • Watercraft: Boats, Jet Skis, Hovercraft
      • Snowmobiles
      • Motorcycles (both on and off road)
      • ATV's
      • Campers and RV's
  • What is the difference between the benefit period and the daily benefit?
    • The benefit period is the length of time you will receive payments from the insurance company once you begin using your long-term care policy.  You select a specific number of years (some plans have a lifetime option.) depending upon your specific resources and needs. The daily benefit is the amount of money you will receive from the insurance company on a daily basis for your care. Again, you can  select daily benefits you feel will be appropriate for you, and our professionals can help you to determine just what those might be.

  • What is an elimination period?
    • You can think of the elimination period as another way to describe long term care insurance deductible. This is the number of days that you will be responsible for paying for your care before the insurance begins to pay. Other insurance plans have deductibles that are measured in dollars. Long term care insurance policies have deductibles measured in days with options like: 0 days, 20 days, 60 days or 100 days. 

  • When should I purchase long term care insurance?
    • The optimum age for purchasing long term care insurance is between the ages of 45 and 50 because this is the age when you will get the most value for your premium dollar. Most people don't think about purchasing the coverage until they are in their 60's. Although you can still obtain coverage at that time, it will be more expensive and if you have developed health issues, it may increase your premium or even keep you from securing coverage at all. Contact the professionals at Clark-Mortenson now to discuss how long term care insurance fits into your financial strategy for a secure retirement.

  • What is a catastrophic health plan?
    • This type of health insurance plan pays hospital and medical expenses once they have exceeded a higher deductible. The cost for these plans is usually substantially less than "first dollar" plans, with lower deductibles.

  • What is a co-payment?
    • The co-payment is a small fixed dollar amount that you pay ($10 or $15 dollars for example) at the time services are rendered. Typical co-pays are for office visits, prescriptions, or hospitalizations.

  • What is a deductible?
    • A deductible is the portion of your health care that you pay before insurance starts to cover the expense. Usually, the higher the deductible, the lower the premiums.  You can have more than one deductible on your policy ~ for example, one for a hospital stay and one for prescriptions.

  • What are the most common types of life insurance policies?
    • Term Insurance provides protection for a specific period of time (5, 10, 20 years), and pays a benefit only if you die during that term. Often, this type of insurance can be renewed when you reach the end of the specified time period. The yearly premium usually increases as you grow older and continues as long as stated in the policy.

      Permanent Insurance (unlike term insurance) enables you to accumulate a cash value while you are still alive. This cash value grows tax-deferred until withdrawal of the cash value during your life. Normally, permanent life insurance passes to your beneficiary as a tax-free death benefit.

      Universal Life Insurance (a form of permanent insurance) is a flexible plan that has the added option of tax-deferred earnings on your accumulated cash value. Both the insurance and cash value components of Universal Life are designed to allow adjustments in contribution amounts as financial needs change.

      Mortgage Life Insurance:  Mortgage protection life insurance is simply insurance that is meant to pay off your mortgage in case of your death while the mortgage is not fully paid. The original type of mortgage life insurance followed the amount of the mortgage balance so, as your mortgage obligation decreased, so did the amount of insurance. Today it usually makes more sense to get mortgage life insurance equal to the original mortgage amount but instead of a decreasing amount of insurance, you simply get the most inexpensive level term insurance.

      Return of Premium Life Insurance  is term life insurance that gives you all your money back if you keep it? Yes, it's true. You are under no obligation to keep the policy for the entire term, but if you do, you are guaranteed to get your money back from the insurance company, tax free. Contact one of the professionals at Clark-Mortenson to learn more!

  • How much life insurance should I have?
    • In order to determine how much protection you need, a number of factors, such as immediate needs, funds for a re-adjustment period and ongoing financial needs, need to be considered. In addition, determining what type of life insurance you need is just as important.  This is where the trusted advisers at Clark-Mortenson can help. There are many variations of life insurance.  We can review these, along with the considerations above and help you determine what would be best for your personal needs and budget. To come up with your own estimate ~ got to tools and check out our life insurance calculator. 

  • How do I insure my mobile home?
    • If you own a mobile home, it may need to be on a special policy as well, depending upon the age of the home and it's installation. A call to one of the professionals at Clark-Mortenson allows you to review your specific situation and assure you are properly covered. 

  • How do I insure my condominium?
    • Owning a condominium or a mobile home puts you in a unique position. If you own a condo, your condominium association probably has an insurance policy for the common areas, but you are still responsible for insuring your own interests such as your personal property and liability. Sometimes you are responsible from the studs in ~ which can include appliances, wall to wall flooring etc. You also may want additional protection for special assessments. Because they are unique the best way to Be Ready is to speak with one of our insurance professionals so they can review the unique coverage's involved when owning a condominium.

  • Are there disasters my property insurance will not cover?
    • Even though "all risk" property insurance contracts do extend to cover a variety of calamities, there are standard exclusions where, in some cases, coverage is simply not available. For example, if you think in terms of natural disasters that may occur, like flood and earthquake, there are standard exclusions regarding these perils on most property policies. There are ways to purchase this coverage, however. More recently, the Federal Government passed legislation involving loss due to terrorism. Terrorism is now excluded from most commercial policies, but in some case may be bought back for an additional premium. Another more recent exclusion is damage or injury resulting from mold and fungi. As always, our recommendation is to discuss specifics with your agent, so that your needs may be properly addressed.

  • What is the difference between actual cash value and replacement cost?
    • If you have replacement cost coverage on either your dwelling or your personal belongings, in the event of a covered loss you would be reimbursed for the cost you incur to replace your damaged property, or items, brand new. If you were to have Actual Cash Value, this means you would be paid the current replacement cost of whatever you lost, minus depreciation. (Depreciation usually means the estimated wear and tear). In either case, the actual total amount you are reimbursed is subject to the terms and conditions of your particular policy, including deductibles and coverage limits.

  • What is coinsurance?
    • Coinsurance is a contractual requirement that the insured carry agreed upon insurance-to-value, as specified by a percentage (usually 80%, 90% or 100%). If, at the time of loss, the limit of insurance is less than the value of the property times the coinsurance percentage, the insured will become a "co-insurer," along with the insurance company, when a loss occurs. The purpose of coinsurance is not to punish an insured for carrying inadequate insurance-to-value, but rather to provide a financial incentive that: (1) encourages them to carry adequate limits in the event of major losses, and (2) rewards them (in many instances) with a significant premium reduction for doing so.

  • What important things are not covered under my basic homeowners policy?
    • Flood and Earthquake: homeowners insurance doesn't cover is damage from floods or earthquakes. So if you have a home in an area vulnerable to rising water or flooding, or are concerned about earth movement, ask us about how you can purchase flood or earth quake insurance.

      Jewelry: although jewelry would be considered part of your personal property or contents coverage ~ higher valued items should be specifically scheduled under your policy. This provides broader coverage, including mysterious disappearance, and assures that a proper value is set on the item.

      Home Business: business exposures in your home are not automatically covered by the basic homeowners policy. In some cases, the policy can be endorsed to cover your exposure; however, depending upon the exposure ~ you may need to have a seperate business owners policy. If you have a business in your home, contact our office for a thorough review. 

  • What does a tenant/renters policy cover?
    • A tenant/renters policy covers your contents and liability (The landlord is responsible to cover the actual building).

      • Contents - (Tenants and Homeowners) your belongings that are not permanently attached to your home.
      • Loss of Use - (Tenants and Homeowners) extra expense coverage such as hotel room expense, if you suffer a covered loss and cannot stay in your home.
      • Liability - (Tenants and Homeowners) coverage and legal defense for physical injury caused to others accidentally for which you are deemed liable.
      • Medical Payments - (Tenants and Homeowners) a good will type of coverage. Provides payment for injuries to non-household members regardless of fault.
  • What does a homeowners policy cover?
    • A homeowners policy is intended to cover your buildings, contents, and liability.

      •  Your Dwelling - the main structure and all attached structures.
      •  Other Structures - structures detached from your home, i.e., garages, sheds, barns.
      •  Contents -  your belongings that are not permanently attached to your home.
      •  Loss of Use -  extra expense coverage such as hotel room expense, if you suffer a covered loss and cannot stay in your home.
      •  Liability - coverage and legal defense for physical injury caused to others accidentally for which you are deemed liable.
      •  Medical Payments - a good will type of coverage. Provides payment for injuries to non-household members regardless of fault.

       IMPORTANT NOTE: There are several things a basic homeowners policy either does not cover at all, or has very limited coverage available for (eg Flood, EQ, Jewelry).  Please check out additional FAQ's for more information.

  • What are the income options when on disability?
    • There are three basic ways to replace income:

      • You may have short term sick leave through your place of employment ~ or they may provide a group disability plan. You should check with your employers benefits coordinator.
      • Social Security disability benefits can be paid to workers whose disability is expected to last at least twelve months and prevents them from being gainfully employed.
      • An individual disability income insurance policy will replace between 50% and 70% of your income. Although less than your normal income, the benefits under this policy are not taxable as income.
  • If items on my property cause damage to my neighbor’s property in the event of a storm, will my homeowners policy cover the cost?
    • No, your homeowners policy does not cover damage done to your neighbors property.  A windstorm is considered an "Act of God" loss. Your personal liability responds to losses you are legally liable for. Your neighbor needs to contact his insurance carrier for possible coverage.

  • Will my homeowners insurance cover sewer and drain backup?
    • No, unless your policy is endorsed to provide backup of sewer and drains. This endorsement usually provides coverage for a set dollar limit of either $2,500 or $5,000. and must be specifically requested.

  • What will my policy pay if my television is struck by lightening?
    • A basic homeowners policy will pay you the depreciated value of your television less your deductible if struck by lightening. A policy endorsed with personal replacement cost coverage will reimburse you for a brand new TV of like, kind, and quality less your policy deductible as long as you do replace the TV.

  • What is PPO?
    • "PPO" stands for Preferred Provider Organization.  This is a managed care arrangement consisting of a group of hospitals, physicians, and other providers who have contracts with an insurer to provide health care services to enrollees at a predetermined rate. PPO's also allow members to see physicians and hospitals out of the insurance company's network however, these visits will require higher out-of-pocket costs for the member.

  • What is HMO?
    • HMO stands for Health Maintenance Organization. This is a network of health care providers, such as doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and other medical professionals. If you are a member of an HMO, you will select a primary care physician from a network directory. This person will coordinate all of your health care needs and refer you to a specialist within the HMO network.

  • Are there disasters my property insurance won’t cover?
    • Even though "all risk" property insurance contracts extend to cover a variety of calamities, there are standard exclusions where in some cases, coverage is simply not available. For example, if you think in terms of natural disasters that may occur like floods and earthquakes, there are standard exclusions regarding these perils on most property policies. However, there are ways to still purchase this coverage. More recently, the Federal Government passed legislation involving loss due to terrorism. Terrorism is now excluded from most commercial policies, but in some case may be bought back for an additional premium. Another recent exclusion is damage or injury resulting from mold and fungi. As always, our recommendation is to discuss specifics with your agent so that your needs may be properly addressed.

  • Why are some general liability policies rated on area and others on payroll and receipts?
    • Different rating methods are used to more accurately reflect the exposure. For example, a restaurants exposure is more accurately defined by using receipts rather than area, because it better determines the volume of customers (exposure) that comes into the restaurant. However, an apartment building is rated by units or number of apartments, and an office building is rated on the area or square footage of the space. Contractors use payroll because this more accurately reflects their particular exposure.

  • What does Commercial Property Insurance cover?
    • A Commercial Property Insurance policy covers a business for loss to its "real" property - buildings; personal property - contents, equipment, furniture, fixtures, and inventory and business incomes/extra expense coverage. The coverage can be written in a variety of ways, based upon actual cash value, or replacement cost, basic or broad form coverage, specific of blanket insurance. It pays to seek the advice of an insurance professional to help you identify your specific needs.

  • How do I know what to carry for limits of coverage?
    • There is no single answer to this question; however, no business can afford to be unprepared for a lawsuit. Liability insurance protects your business assets when the business is sued for something the business did (or failed to do) that contributed to injury or property damage to someone else. Liability coverage extends not only to paying damages but also to the attorneys' fees and other costs involved in defending against the lawsuit-whether valid or not. The limits of liability that you carry will depend upon the assets that you need to protect, and what type of protection your business structure offers you (for example, a corporation versus a sole proprietor). Discussing your particular situation with your insurance professional will help you identify limits.

  • How do I determine if someone is an independent contractor or an employee?
    • Most State Labor Departments have written criteria to determine if someone is a contractor or an employee, and they should be specifically checked; however, here are some of the more significant indications that an individual is an employee and not an independent contractor:

      • They have their own federal employer identification number.
      • They have control over the performance of their work.
      • They have control over the time their work is performed.
      • They are not required to work exclusively for one employer.
  • Why am I being “charged” so much payroll for my general liability policy?
    • Sole proprietors and partnerships are rated on a set minimum payroll figure, no matter what you actually make. This figure is established by the National Council of Compensation Insurance and cannot be reduced.

  • How can I save money on my business insurance?
    • Work closely with your insurance professional in order to save money on your business insurance. As your Trusted Advisor, we can work with you to make recommendations based upon your specific needs. We can make policy adjustments, such as choosing higher deductibles, or placing your coverage on a package policy, as well as work with you on ways to prevent loss.

  • Does my company’s accident record affect my premium?
    • Yes. Your ability to control workplace accidents can affect your insurance premium. When you apply for Workers Compensation insurance, we can perform a Workers Compensation Claims Review. We review insurance company reserving practices, because every dollar of overstated reserves will ultimately find its way into your Experience Modifier. If your safety record is better than the average for your industry, your premium could be decreased. Worse than average loss history could result in increased premium.

  • Do I need to worry about Tenants Improvements and Betterments as the building owner?
    • Both the tenant, and the building owner need to be concerned about improvements and betterments. In most cases, when an insured installs improvements and betterments at their own expense, they have an insurable "use" interest in that property, and this can be covered by insurance, but legally, once they become part of the real property, they become the property of the building owner. The biggest danger here is that the building owner could suffer a coinsurance penalty (see what is coinsurance) if they have not included them in their insured building value.

  • Am I required to carry workers compensation on my employees and myself?
    • This depends upon the state in which your business is located; however, all states require workers compensation on employees. You are not required to carry it on your self as a sole proprietor. You can also choose not to carry on the partners in a partnership. Corporations may also exclude up to three officers, while covering all other employees. 

  • What is “Drive Other Car” Coverage?
    • Drive other car coverage provides liability, medical payments, uninsured/under-insured motorist, and physical damage coverage for the personal use of a non-owned automobile by the individual wished to protect. If an individual, for example a company officer, does not have their own personal auto policy and drives a corporate car, you would want to add this coverage to protect them from exposures such as borrowing a neighbor's vehicle or renting a car on vacation with their family. If your business is a sole proprietorship, you should have the Individual Named Insured endorsement attached to your business auto policy to provide you with the same coverage.

  • Why does my private passenger vehicle have to go on my commercial policy?
    • If a private passenger auto is not a pick up or a van and is registered in the name of a business, it needs to be covered under a business auto policy. If the vehicle is registered in the individual's name, but is used for business use, some uses may be covered under the personal auto policy (for example a sales person). However, the personal auto policy must be designated as business use.

  • What is non-owned auto coverage?
    • Non-owned auto coverage is liability that covers a vehicle owned by any party other than the company, however it is utilized on the company's behalf. An example of when non-auto coverage is necessary would be when an employer sends an employee out on an errand for the company and is involved in an accident while out traveling.

  • What is hired auto coverage?
    • Hired auto coverage is liability that covers autos that are hired, rented, or borrowed by the named insured business.

  • What is Discontinued Operations & Products Coverage and why would I need it?
    • Discontinued Operations and Products Coverage is a necessity for most contractors and manufacturers. This coverage is intended to provide completed operations and products coverage, either after retirement or after a business is no longer in business. Under the CGL policy, the claim must arise out of an occurrence that takes place during the policy period. If you close your business or retire, and no longer have a CGL policy in effect, you would be without coverage. The Discontinued Operations and Products Coverage would continue to provide you with the protection you need.

  • What is Professional Liability Insurance?
    • Professional Liability Insurance is insurance that protects professionals against negligence and other claims initiated by a third party, such as their clients.  Doctors, lawyers, accountants, realtors, and other licensed professionals purchase this coverage to address any losses not covered under their general liability policies.  This insurance covers the professional in the event that a client is harmed from advice or services that the professional has provided which renders said professional to be held legally liable. These can be for an error or omission, neglect or breach of duty, a misstatement or misrepresentation or inadequate services rendered. 

  • What is Completed Operations Insurance?
    • Completed Operations Insurance responds to bodily injury or property damage claims that would occur after the completion of a project, resulting from the negligence of the work performed. For example, if a contractor were to build a deck, and fail to secure the railing property and someone were to lean on the railing and suffer bodily injury, the completed operations portion of the general liability policy would respond. It is important to note however, that this does not cover the faulty work itself, just the resulting bodily injury and/or property damage.

  • What is Products Liability Insurance?
    • Products Liability Insurance may be included in the basic general liability coverage form, or be written on its own. It protects manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors against exposure to lawsuits by people who may have been injured or suffered other losses due to their product. It provides coverage for the policyholder against claims stemming from products sold, manufactured, or distributed.

  • What is General Liability Insurance?
    • General liability insurance covers businesses against liability for bodily injury, property damage, or personal and advertising injury. This can include things like, accidents on the policy holders premises, business operations in progress, products that are manufactured or sold, completed operations in buildings of others, and publications that slander or libel a person or organization.

  • What is section 125?
    • Section 125 was regulated by both the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), allows employees to contribute premiums for medical coverage on a pre-tax basis. Commonly referred to as a "Cafeteria Plan," Section 125's can produce huge fines and tax penalties becoming a major liability if not installed and maintained properly.

  • What is records retention?
    • Federal record keeping requirements are extensive and often repetitive, but it is not simply an onerous unimportant task. In the case of an employee complaint or lawsuit, good records are your best defense. An employer must be able to answer common questions like, "Which records?" and "For how long?"

  • What is sexual harassment?
    • Sexual harassment occurs in a workplace, or other professional or social situation. It involves making unwanted sexual advances or obscene remarks to an individual. This is a genuine concern of employers. Sexual harassment has become one of the most widely publicized issues in the workplace today. No business is immune to sexual harassment charges.

  • What is ADA?
    • The American's with Disabilities Act makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against people with disabilities in regards to any and all employment practices. With one out of every six Americans having a disability, a businesses risk is great in this area.

  • What is EEOC?
    • EEOC stands for Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. When it comes to discrimination and wrongful termination, nothing is clearly defined for an employer. An employer's conduct in the workplace is most often times open to interpretation. Across the nation, juries are increasingly finding in favor of the alleged "victims."

  • What is FLSA?
    • The Fair Labor Standards Act sets minimum wage, equal pay, record keeping, and child labor standards. The Department Of Labor spends considerable time scrutinizing employee status, part-timers, independent contractors and temps.

  • What is OSHA?
    • Every employer is required by law (Labor Code 6400) to provide a safe and healthful workplace for his/her employees. These safety standards are governed by OSHA, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration. As an employer you must ask yourself if you have a safe enough workplace and if you also have the documents necessary to meet OSHA requirements.

  • What is FMLA?
    • The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) requires companies with 50 or more employees to allow eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave within any 12 month period.

  • What is COBRA?
    • The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act is a federal requirement that ensures a temporary extension of health insurance for former employees. Complicated in design, COBRA compliance is an arduous task of administration and paper pushing. Often times, employers subject themselves to risk by 'forgetting' to send a seemingly unimportant notification.

  • What is HIPPA?
    • The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act regulates group employer sponsored health plans, insurance companies, and health maintenance organizations. Regulations affect issues such as pre-existing conditions, discrimination on the basis of health status, renewability of coverage, and access to individual health insurance.

  • What is the difference between Short Term and Long Term Disability Insurance Plans?
    • Short Term Disability Insurance (STD) will have a waiting period of 0 to 14 days and a maximum benefit period of two years.

      Long Term Disability Insurance (LTD) can have a waiting period from several weeks to several months (often to coincide with the ending benefit of the short term disability policy) to a maximum benefit period ranging from a few years to your life time. By meeting with an advisor at Clark-Mortenson, we can help you best determine what your specific needs are.

  • How are disability premiums determined?
    • Disability premiums are determined based upon your age, sex, occupation, the percentage of potential income you are looking to insure, and the length of the waiting period and benefit period. Contact us to get specific pricing for your personal needs.

  • What type of savings and discounts are available?
    • Insurers discount their rates for good drivers and those who take  safety and security precautions. Depending on the insurer, you can often lower your rates from 5 to 35 percent. Insurers generally offer discounts for: 

      • Clean Driving Record - No violations or accidents. 
      • Safety Features - Anti-lock brakes, air bags and passive restraint systems (i.e., automatic seat belts).
      • Defensive Driving - Clean violation record, driver's education courses for teenagers and defensive driving or accident prevention courses for adults (insurance discounts for the latter are required in some states).
      • Security Systems - Alarms, electronic locks and disabling devices.
      • Changing Driving Habits - Commuting by public transit, using a company vehicle for work-related travel and car-pooling.
      • Buying Home Owners and Auto Policies from the Same Company - If you own a home and an automobile and you are insured by two different companies, check into the cost of carrying both policies by one insurer.
      • Higher Deductibles: You can also lower your insurance rates by requesting higher deductibles. Increasing your deductibles on collision and comprehensive coverage from $100 to $250, or even $500, will bring your rates down. Moreover, you may not need collision and comprehensive coverage if you drive an older car.
      • Multi-Car and Multi-Policy Discount:  Companies give additional discounts for multiple vehicles under the same policy, and for combining your home or tenants policy.
  • What is included in auto insurance?
    • Auto Insurance policies are broken down into the following coverage areas:

      Bodily Injury - covers injury to others you are liable for.

      Property Damage - damage to property of others

      Medical Payments - covers medical expenses for injury to you and anyone in your vehicle, regardless of fault.

      Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury - covers injury to you and everyone in your vehicle caused by someone not insured or someone that does not carry adequate coverage limits.

      Comprehensive/Other than Collision - covers the vehicle for losses other than collision, upset, overturn, or hit-and-run, i.e., fire, theft of vehicle, vandalism, crime coverage, falling objects, glass breakage, water damage.

      Collision - collision, upset, overturn, hit-and-run.

      Towing and Labor - towing due to breakdown and labor for jump starts, or tire changes.

      Rental Reimbursement - Extended transportation-provides coverage for a rental vehicle if your vehicle cannot be drive due to a covered loss. Mechanical breakdown is not covered.

  • Why does my private passenger vehicle have to go on my commercial policy?
    • If a private passenger auto is not a pick up or a van and is registered in the name of a business, it needs to be covered under a business auto policy. If the vehicle is registered in the individual's name, but is used for business use, some uses may be covered under the personal auto policy (for example a sales person). However, the personal auto policy must be designated as business use.

  • What is lease gap coverage?
    • If an auto you lease is totaled in an accident, this provision will pay the outstanding balance of the lease if it exceeds the car's actual cash value.

  • What happens when I add my teen driver to the policy?
    • Some things to think about are...

      Teenagers are expensive to insure because they are the least experienced drivers. A driver's education course can help ease the burden of insurance costs since it teaches your teenager defensive driving techniques. If your child's high school does not offer driver's education, try to find one offered by another school or a private firm in the area. After all, the cost of driver's education could be cheaper than the extra cost of your insurance.

      • Many insurers offer "good student" discounts, if your child is on the honor role or has a B average or better. This can result in a substantial savings.
      • Teenagers are easily distracted by passengers, cell phones etc. Take time to talk with your teen and set rules when they start out on their own.
      • Safe Driving: Accidents do happen, but accidents and violations are going to increase the cost of your young driver's insurance substantially.

      Clark-Mortenson is an active participant in educating new drivers about the insurance process. Have your child give us a call and we will be happy to review the key areas that can effect your child's insurance one on one with them.

  • What do I do after an auto accident?
    • Make sure you and your passengers are safe. Move as far off the roadway as possible, but stay at the scene of the accident. Warn oncoming traffic by activating your hazard warning lights or setting flares.

      Stay calm and call the police to report the accident and emergency personnel if anyone is injured.

      Contact your insurance company. At Clark-Mortenson we have live, 24/7 claims service.

      Do not admit fault for the car accident or discuss the car accident with anyone other than the police and your claims representative.

      Exchange vital information with the other driver involved in the car accident. Write down the name, address, phone number and license numbers for all drivers and witnesses, particularly those who were not riding in a vehicle involved in the accident. Ask for the insurance companies and policy numbers for drivers involved in the car accident.

  • How are auto premiums developed?
    • The cost of your automobile insurance depends on a number of factors: your age, sex, driving record, limits of liability, specific coverages chosen, age, and make and model of your vehicle are all considered when rating auto insurance. Youthful drivers for example, are more costly to insure due to their inexperience (which statistics shows results in a greater chance of an accident).  When you increase your limits of coverage, the cost increases as well.  And different cars are rated on variables like safety and frequency of theft of specific makes and models. Some cars are safer than others to drive and some are less apt to be stolen. Choosing one of these will help lower your insurance rate. We can help you estimate your insurance needs and premiums. Give us a call today at 603-352-2121.

  • Is legal representation included in my automobile insurance?
    • Your automobile insurance provides you with legal defense automatically at no additional cost to you up to your policy limit. This protection is in addition to and does not reduce the limit of the policy.

  • When should I no longer carry collision coverage on my car?
    • We first need to get an approximate idea of what your vehicle is worth. Once we have a general idea of that, we now need to look at what your deductible and premium is for collision protection. If the combined cost of collision and the deductible amount is close to or exceeds the value of the vehicle, we recommend you eliminate this coverage.

  • How do I make an appointment to obtain more information?
  • What states are eligible for the program?
    • New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Maine

  • What if my company has multiple locations and different payroll types?
    • Our program can handle multiple payroll types and unlimited number of employee and locations. We can offer a billing breakdown by location and bill to one location or multiple locations.

  • What types of companies offer this benefit to their employees?
    • We have very diverse companies that participate in our program from school districts, hospitals and nursing homes to service industries, manufacturers and credit unions. They are progressive businesses that truly consider their employees to be their most valuable asset. We gladly will provide references upon request to explain the success and simplicity of the program from our clients' perspective.

  • Is there an annual sign-up time?
    • Employees can participate any time during the year for their home, auto or recreational vehicle insurance. Life and disability benefits do have an annual enrollment; however new employees qualify to sign up after their introductory period with the company.

  • Does my company have to have a minimum number of employees?
    • No, however we recommend at least 10+ employees for it to be most successful. We do have groups on this program with less however, so give us a call and see if it makes sense for you.

  • What if an employee leaves my company?
    • We bill them directly. Your company is under no obligation to pay the employees premiums.

  • How much of my employee’s time is required during work hours to enroll in benefits plus?
    • That is totally up to you! We do offer promotion of the program through on-site visits; payroll stuffers; poster; newsletters and e-mail. You pick which promotional campaign works best for you!

      On-site visits can be structured during break times and shift changes or at benefit fairs.

  • How much time is involved in obtaining the Clark Mortenson Agency Benefits Plus Program for my company?
    • Very little… call us to set up a short 20 minute introduction appointment to fully explain our program.

      There is virtually no cost to implement the program.

      We offer all marketing materials to promote this program to you free of charge.

      We custom tailor our program to meet your companies needs.

  • How does benefits plus benefit employees?
    • Provides them with…

      Friendly, knowledgeable representatives to help them understand complex insurance issues.

      Offers the employee a unique budgeting tool to simplify their lives.

      Provides them with a one-time low 10% deposit to activate coverage. (Most carriers require at least 20 to 25% deposit) annually at renewal.

      No finance or installment charges.

      Savings - we compare a number of insurance companies to find coverage and prices custom tailored to meet each individual employee's needs.

      Toll-free 24-hour, 7 days a week, claims service.

  • What are the benefits for my company when using benefits plus?
    • Promotes good employer/employee relations.

      Attracts and retains qualified employees by providing unique benefits.

      Offers a new benefit at virtually no cost to the company.

      Makes your employees lives a little easier.