Frequently Asked Questions

Personal Insurance

Business Insurance

Liability policies provide coverage for defense and settlement costs. Defense coverage is unlimited in most cases. There are a variety of settlement limits. Consider purchasing sufficient coverage to allow you to maintain your assets.

One important way to protect yourself is to learn how hackers invade data bases. There are many risk management tools available to assist companies, including firewalls and secure websites. Specialty insurance lines have developed Cyber Liability policies to protect businesses in the event protected information is invaded and made public.

Claims drive workers’ compensation costs. The best way to control claims costs is to identify how and why claims occur. A loss analysis can pin point the type of accident, location, time of day, occupation, etc. Once the causes are known, you can implement an employee safety program.

Business property insurance protects your building and the property within it, including computers, furniture, records and fixtures. You can purchase two different kind of business property insurance. The first kind insures you for the cost of the actual cash value of the property: the actual cash value is the purchase price of an item minus its depreciation. The second amount of insurance you can purchase is the cost to replace your property.

If you do not have any employees, you do not need to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. However, as soon as you employ an individual, you will need this type if insurance. State laws regarding workers’ compensation insurance vary, so talk to your insurance agent to learn about your responsibilities.

If there is an event that causes you to lose income, such as a natural disaster, business income coverage could reimburse you for the net income lost. This type of insurance typically may also cover business continuity expenses, such as the cost to rent an office while your building is repaired.

Vengeful employee insurance, also known as fidelity insurance, offers coverage in the event your business experiences a loss by a dishonest employee or one who commits a fraudulent act that causes a financial loss. Financial calamities that fidelity insurance can offer protection against include loss of securities or inventory, embezzlement, robbery, forgery, computer fraud, counterfeiting and safe burglary. If you have fidelity insurance, money and security coverage pays for property that is damaged or physically stolen by an employee. Employee dishonestly coverage pays for employee acts that result in the loss of money.

This type of insurance is called employment practices liability insurance. This type of business insurance protects employers when there are claims of discrimination, harassment or wrongful termination. This type of business insurance policy is usually one you must purchase as a stand-alone policy or as part of a directors and officers liability policy.

Risk Management

What you received is also known as a Code Rule 59 request. This is a mandatory New York State program if your experience modification is 1.21 or greater.  A comprehensive safety program audit needs to be completed and you need to comply with the recommendations submitted or be subject to a penalty imposed by the State.  We can help you navigate this requirement with assistance ranging from requesting your carrier to do the audit to providing the audit and summary report ourselves. Visit our Claims Management Services section for details and contact information.

New York has recently established the Workplace Safety and Loss Prevention and Incentive Program (WSLPIP).  You can receive premium credits for having qualified Safety, Return to Work and/or Drug and Alcohol programs.  Lawley is certified to perform the evaluations of all three programs and can assist in submitting your application to the State.

Lawley's Risk Management services can do a number of things including a mock OSHA audit and report, written program review, and physical hazard assessment.  These and other OSHA services can help bring your company into compliance with the latest OSHA requirements. Visit our Safety & Environmental Services section for further details.

The claim settlement is initially based on actual cash value. Once the damaged item or items are repaired or replaced the carrier will pay the amount held back at the time of the initial settlement. Note if the item or items are not replaced the carrier will not make any further payment.

One important way to protect yourself is to learn how hackers invade data bases. There are many risk management tools available to assist companies, including firewalls and secure websites. Specialty insurance lines have developed Cyber Liability policies to protect businesses in the event protected information is invaded and made public.

Claims drive workers’ compensation costs. The best way to control claims costs is to identify how and why claims occur. A loss analysis can pin point the type of accident, location, time of day, occupation, etc. Once the causes are known, you can implement an employee safety program.

If you do not have any employees, you do not need to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. However, as soon as you employ an individual, you will need this type if insurance. State laws regarding workers’ compensation insurance vary, so talk to your insurance agent to learn about your responsibilities.

Personal Insurance

If you have a New York auto policy insuring your own car for comprehensive and collision there is no need to purchase insurance from the rental agency. By law, your policy must cover you for all obligations assumed by you for damage to the rental vehicle.

The liability insuring agreement under nearly all homeowners policies pays for damages arising only from bodily injury or property damage, not from any type of personal injury, such as libel. In most cases, the only way that these claims might be covered is if the insured’s homeowners policy includes a personal injury endorsement. You should check with your agent to determine if your insurance company offers this type of coverage.

Here are 7 do’s and don’ts if you are involved in an auto accident:

  1. Warn approaching traffic.
  2. Get help for anyone injured.
  3. Get witnesses' contact information before they leave.
  4. Do not discuss details of insurance coverage.
  5. Do not argue over who is at fault.
  6. Get details concerning the other vehicle and driver from the registration and drivers license.
  7. If a police report is required, obtain a copy and the report number.

The insurance follows the vehicle; the accident follows the driver. Therefore, the owner’s insurance will respond and the accident will be attributed to the driver and will appear on their motor vehicle record.

Your homeowner’s policy includes off premises coverage of 10% of personal property limits. If your student will be living in a dorm, this coverage limit may be sufficient to cover all of your clothing and personal belongings. Laptops and other expensive electronics can be insured under a personal articles floater.

If the student is living off campus, you should consider a tenant’s policy, which will cover personal property and liability. If a visitor is injured while visiting your student, you may be subject to a lawsuit. Tenant’s liability covers defense and settlement costs.

In general, you should always select as high a property deductible as you can afford. If you do not intend to submit a claim for under $500, then you should elect a $500 deductible.

Liability policies provide coverage for defense and settlement costs. Defense coverage is unlimited in most cases. There are a variety of settlement limits. Consider purchasing sufficient coverage to allow you to maintain your assets.

Many homeowner's policies include a limited amount of coverage for identity theft. Coverage includes the cost to correct your records and restore your credit rating. The coverage does not replace your lost funds, as banks and credit card companies will work with you to restore these funds or remove the incorrect charges.

Property coverage limits are based on the cost to replace or repair damaged structures. Replacement cost policies give you “new” in exchange for damaged “old”. The insurance values are based on construction costs in your region. There is no correlation between an insurance valuation appraisal and a market appraisal done for real estate sales or financing.

The company will usually pay the actual cash value, which is replacement cost minus depreciation, for the loss or damage- until the property is replaced. Once the insured replaces the damaged property and provides receipts to the company, the company should reimburse the difference.

Generally, homeowner insurance policies do not offer protection against flood losses. Check your policy under Section I- Exclusions; it would be listed under “water damage”.

A credit score is a snapshot of your credit at one point in time. The credit information from your credit report is put through a mathematical formula (credit scoring model) that assigns weight to the various factors and summarizes your credit information into a three digit number ranging from 0 to 999.

If your insurance company relies on credit scoring, they may use it in two ways. First there is underwriting: deciding whether to issue you a new policy or to renew your existing policy. Second is the process of rating, which is deciding what price to charge you for your insurance by placing you into specific rating “tier” or level. Some insurers use credit information along with other more traditional rating factors, such as claims history. Other insurers may use credit alone to determine your rate; Insurance rates based on credit information can vary from company to company: if you think your rate is too high, shop around.

Several factors determine credit scores. Each factor is assigned a weighted number that, when applied to your specific credit information and added together, equals your final three-digit score. Following is a list of common factors: Major negative items (bankruptcy etc), past payment history, length of credit history, homeownership, inquires for credit, number of open credit line, type of credit in use and outstanding debt.

Collision coverage is when you have a collision with something like another car. Comprehensive coverage is when it is anything else other than a collision such as fire or theft. Most people would have both coverage’s when using the car on a regular basis.

The premium you pay is a direct reflection of your driving record for the past three to five years depending on the insurance company. Insurance companies order driving records from the DMV of your residence state and from other states where you have been licensed. Statistics show that drivers with tickets and accidents are more likely to have accidents than drivers with clean records.

In most cases, yes. Automobile insurance policies require every licensed person in your household to be listed on your insurance policy unless they have a completely separate policy of their own. This includes a teenager who just received this license or a college student who still uses your address as their residence and/ or visits regularly on weekends, vacations, etc.

Personal liability coverage protects you and all family members who live with you against a claim or lawsuit resulting from (non-auto and non-business) bodily injury or property damage to others and for which you become legally obligated to pay. Defense costs are included, but the insurance company has no duty to defend you after the limit of liability on the policy has been exhausted.

Regardless of fault, this coverage pays the reasonable expenses for others accidentally injured on your premises or the areas immediately adjoining your property such as sidewalks or alleys. Medical payments coverage does not apply to your own injuries or those of family members living with you or injuries arising out of activities involving a business that you operate out of your home, your intentional acts, or rental use of your premises.

Replacement cost is the amount necessary to replace or rebuild your home or repair damages with materials of similar kind and quality without deducting for depreciation.

Actual cash value usually means amount needed at the time of the loss to repair or replace the property destroyed, less depreciation. Most standard home insurance policies cover the contents of your home (i.e., personal belongings) on an actual cash value basis, but it is possible to buy replacement cost coverage.

When shopping around, try to get all your quotes in a two-week period. Shopping around for insurance coverage can now damage your credit score because each insurer may run a credit check. And best we can tell, getting all your insurance quotes and buying a new policy in a two-week period increases the chance that you can keep damage to your credit score at a minimum.

Strongly consider a higher deductible so you can cut your premium. In the current insurance market, do not tempt yourself with the possibility of a small claim, considering that many insurers now refuse to renew polices with a claim history and refuse to accept new customers with prior claims. View your homeowners insurance as catastrophic coverage only, and set aside your premium savings to cover minor repairs.