FAQs

General Questions
  1. What is insurance scoring?
  2. My policy is being cancelled or non-renewed.
  3. I have multiple policies with the same company.
Automobile Insurance
  1. What can I do to lower my insurance premiums?
  2. Who is covered by my policy?
  3. Do I have rental car coverage, and who is covered as a driver?
  4. How long to do I have to add a newly purchased vehicle to my policy?
  5. I would like to learn more about the coverage on my policy.
  6. How do I register my vehicle or turn in my license plates?
  7. When should my child of driving age be added to my policy?
  8. What do I do after an auto accident?
  9. Where can I learn more about Automobile Insurance?
Personal Catastrophe Liability (PCL) Umbrella Insurance
  1. Why do I need a PCL or umbrella policy?
  2. Do I need to make changes to my PCL or umbrella policy?
Homeowner’s/Renters Insurance
  1. What can I do to lower my insurance premiums?
  2. I don’t feel my policy coverage is adequate. What can I do?
  3. Does my policy cover damage from flooding?
  4. Does my policy cover earthquake damage?
  5. I’ve installed a swimming pool. How will it affect my coverage?
  6. I’ve installed a trampoline. How will it affect my coverage?
  7. Where can I learn more about Homeowners Insurance?
Business/Commercial Insurance
  1. What is an Insurance Workers Compensation Audit?
  2. Do I need Worker’s Compensation coverage if I only have two employees?
  3. Why am I being audited?
  4. What happens if I do not comply or respond an audit?
  5. What do I do after a commercial insurance claim?
  6. How can insurance help with Risk Control and Safety Training?
  7. How many payments do I have to make while on account billing?
  8. Where can I learn more about commercial insurance?

General Questions

What is insurance scoring?

An insurance score is a numerical ranking based on a person’s credit history. Studies show that how a person manages his or her financial affairs is a good predictor of insurance claims. To get a better understanding of how this affects you please read the following links, here and here.

My policy is being cancelled or non-renewed. Who can I send my complaints to?

The Bureau of Insurance will respond to your written complaints. To be taken to their website, please click here.

I have multiple policies with the same company. How can I receive one bill for all my policies?

Some companies do offer account billing. Contact your agent to see if you can be set up on this payment plan.

Automobile Insurance

What can I do to lower my insurance premiums?

Premiums are the result of many different factors. There are a few which you can control such as keeping a clean driving record, making sure you have the best coverages for your situation, or handling small claims yourself. The vehicle you choose to drive also has an effect on premiums, so call in with the VIN before you buy and get a quote. Speaking with an agent can help you decide what is best for you. Please call an agent about any accident that you have.

Who is covered by my policy?

If you have a specific situation please contact your agent for the best information.
Most policies cover the Named Insured and their resident spouse and any other driver listed on your policy declaration page. Most insurance companies do require that any/all residents of your household of driving age be listed on your policy, at least as a non-driver. If you give permission to a friend or other family member to operate your vehicle there is coverage under your policy. Most insurance companies do investigate these situations if a loss arises.

Do I have rental car coverage, and who is covered as a driver?

If the Named Insured on a policy rents a vehicle, his policy will forward the same overage he has on his vehicle to the rented vehicle. Contact an agent for what our policy specifically covers or may not cover.

How long to do I have to add a newly purchased vehicle to my policy?

Please contact your agent as soon as possible for the best coverage.
In the state of Virginia you have 30 days or until your policy renewal date (whichever comes first) to add the vehicle. The vehicle will be added back to the date of the purchase.
If you do not call immediately you only have the same coverages as your current policy. Other Than Collision/Comprehensive or Collision coverage is not automatic if it is not already on your policy.
If a call is made to add the vehicle after your renewal, the insurance company can deny you coverage from the date of your purchase until the date of your phone call.

I would like to learn more about the coverage on my policy.

Bodily Injury – pays the injured person in the car hit by you (the insured).
Property Damage – pays to repair the damage to the property owned by the other person involved in the accident with you.
Medical Expense – pays all reasonable and necessary medical/funeral expenses for you or others injured/killed in an accident while riding in or driving your vehicle.
Loss of Income – pays you, your family, or others in your auto for loss of income due to an accident.
Uninsured/Underinsured Bodily Injury – pays you if you are injured by a driver who has NO insurance or does not carry high enough limits to cover your injuries. It also covers hit and run accidents.
Uninsured/Underinsured Property Damage – pays to repair damage to your vehicle caused by a driver who has NO insurance or does not carry high enough limits to cover your property damage. It also covers hit and run accidents.
Rental Reimbursement – reimburses you for the expense of renting a substitute vehicle if your vehicle is not usable for more than 24 hours due to a covered loss.
Comprehensive/Other than Collision – pays for damage to your auto for causes like fire, vandalism, water, hail, glass breakage, falling objects and theft.
Collision – pays if your auto collides with most objects or if it overturns.

How do I register my vehicle or turn in my license plates?

Please contact the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. You can access their website by clicking here.

When should my child of driving age be added to my policy?

Contacting your agent when your child receives his permit is the only way to be sure of your insurance company’s policies. However, most of our companies now require that your child be added to the policy once they receive their driver’s license. Please contact your agent with any other questions.

What do I do after an auto accident?

This brochure from Erie Insurance will help you know what information to collect at the scene of an accident.

Where can I learn more about Automobile Insurance?

The State Corporation Commission has published a guide to help consumers. You can access it by clicking here.

Personal Catastrophe Liability (PCL) Umbrella Insurance

Why do I need a PCL or umbrella policy?

This type of policy is designed to give you excess liability coverage above and beyond a covered loss on the underlying policy or policies.
For example: You own a home, an automobile, and a boat. Each of those policies includes liability coverage. You have purchased a $1,000,000 PCL/Umbrella policy because you have a lot of assets that might be lost if you have a major liability claim.
If you have a $1,000,000 liability loss on your homeowner’s policy, but your homeowner’s policy only covers up to $300,000 of that loss, a $1,000,000 PCL/Umbrella policy will pay the $700,000 remaining in excess of your homeowner’s coverage.

Do I need to make changes to my PCL or umbrella policy?

Anytime you purchase or sell a vehicle, boat, motorcycle, RV or house please advise your agent to make a change to your PCL/umbrella policy.

Homeowner’s/Renters Insurance

What can I do to lower my homeowner’s insurance premiums?

Handling small claims that do not involve other persons is one way to keep your costs down. Contacting your agent is always the best way to discuss the situation and see if you should handle a claim yourself. Increasing your deductible is another way to reduce your premium. Most people carry a deductible of $500-$1000.

I don’t feel my policy coverage is adequate. What can I do?

Please contact your agent so they may review your coverages with you. The agent should ask you some questions regarding your home. Please have your room dimensions or total square footage of your home ready when calling.
Remember your homeowner’s insurance covers the house and other structures on your property. It is not designed to cover the sales price of your home, your mortgage loan, or the land you purchased with the home or the amount of your tax assessment.

Does my policy cover damage from flooding?

No, your homeowner’s policy does not give any flood coverage. A separate policy is needed. For an additional premium you can add sewer and drain backup coverage to your homeowner’s policy. This can allow some coverage for water that backs up through your home’s drainage system. Contact your agent for a flood quote or to add sewer and drain backup coverage.

Does my policy cover earthquake damage?

A basic homeowner’s policy does not give earthquake coverage. Check your declaration page to see if you purchased this coverage. If you would like earthquake coverage contact your agent for a quote.

I’ve installed a swimming pool. How will it affect my coverage?

Most insurance policies cover a swimming pool under “other structures”. Make sure you have adequate coverage to replace the pool and any other structures (i.e.detached garages, sheds, fences, etc.) on your property. Call your agent to verify that you have met the safety standards of your insurance company. This is also a very good time to ask about getting a Personal Catastrophe Liabilty or Umbrella policy.

I’ve installed a trampoline. How will it affect my coverage?

Please contact your agent, as different companies have different requirements for coverage on a trampoline.

Where can I learn more about Homeowners Insurance?

The State Corporation Commission has published a guide to help consumers. You can access it by clicking here.

Business/Commercial Insurance

What is an Insurance Workers Compensation Audit?

An insurance audit is an examination of your business operation and some records to ensure that you are paying an appropriate premium for your insurance exposure. For more information from Erie Insurance please review this brochure.

Do I need Worker’s Compensation coverage if I only have two employees?

Yes, if you have three of more employees it is mandatory. However, even if you have only one employee you are not relieved of your obligation.

Why am I being audited?

An audit is an annual review of different parts of your business to ensure that you are not being incorrectly charged for your insurance. The audit will review things such as payroll, sales figures, and employees. An audit usually occurs at the expiration of the policy term and is a review of that policy term.

What happens if I do not comply or respond an audit?

If you choose not to comply with an audit you are taking a risk that your insurance coverage will be cancelled by your insurance company. Some companies will increase your premium basis by a certain percentage and set the policy up for cancellation.

What do I do after a commercial insurance claim?

This guide from Bureau of Insurance will be helpful for commercial property owners.

How can insurance help with Risk Control and Safety Training?

Erie Insurance group offers clients risk control consultants and safety program development for their commercial clients. For more information review this brochure or contact your agent.

Where can I learn more about commercial insurance?

The State Corporation Commission has published a guide to help consumers. You can access it by clicking here.