Some Common Questions From Our Clients

At Carlson & Carlson, we are dedicated to helping individuals and businesses protect their assets and minimize their exposure to risk.

We will examine your current insurance coverage and make recommendations on the best possible protection plan.

We look forward to providing you with information and the answers you need to make well-informed decisions.

We are professional insurance advisors and see you as more than just a policy number. As an independent insurance agency, we provide risk management with personalized service and support. We get to know you and your situation so we can better answer your questions and suggest the best coverage for your needs. Our access to multiple insurance companies allows us to explore different policies and pricing structures, versus a captive agent who represents one company and only one solution.

In 2010, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) remapped the United States coastline, changing many flood zones and impacting millions of people. You do not have to live on the water to be in a flood zone, however.

Do not wait until flood waters are rising or pipes have burst to find out what your policy may, or may not, cover.

It’s best to have clarity about who is responsible for the interior of your condo or co-op before you sign a contract or before any work or repairs are initiated. Read the association bylaws; they should specify responsibility or ‘ownership’ of care, maintenance, repair and damage to the interior structural features.

Some agreements are unclear or are open to interpretation. If the answers are not clearly stated or understandable in your agreement, you may be held liable beyond your limits of insurance coverage. Be proactive, rather than reactive; it is important to discuss and confirm responsibility with your attorney before closing.

Jewelry is commonly covered under a basic homeowners policy, typically with low limits of $5,000 or less and subject to the deductible. Unique or highly sentimental pieces of jewelry, such as works of art, collectibles and other valuable possessions, should be appraised and specifically scheduled on a Valuable Items Policy (aka Collections or Personal Articles) if you want to receive their full agreed value in the event of theft, fire or other loss. Scheduled items and Blanket valuables coverage are not subject to a deductible.

It is advisable to periodically update the value of your jewelry, fine art, silverware, collectibles and other high-valued possessions with a new appraisal.

If your car is used for pleasure, the vehicle itself is covered by your personal automobile insurance policy. However, if you use your car for business (as many people commonly do) and an accident occurs, your business assets may be vulnerable.

This coverage gap can be alleviated by purchasing Hired and Non-Owned Automobile Liability Insurance for your business.

Yes, Estate Planning considerations should be utilized in conjunction with other trusted advisors, including your attorneys, accountants and financial advisors. Protection of your assets is essential and we have specialists available to offer their expertise on your Estate Planning needs.

Too often we hear the phrase, “You get what you pay for.” Many factors other than cost should be considered when making any insurance related decisions. You should never purchase less protection than you actually need solely based on price. Increasing your deductible(s) is a better way to save than reducing your coverage limits.

The typical Homeowners policy does not include Earthquake coverage. However, it may be added via endorsement or through a separate policy.

You purchase a work of art today for $10,000 and insure it under your homeowners policy. Five years later, the artist passes away. You take the same piece of art to an appraiser and learn it is now worth $50,000. You immediately call your insurance broker and increase your coverage to reflect your asset’s increased value.

Unfortunately, this happy ending is a relatively uncommon occurrence. Why? It’s hard to assess the value of art simply because it is a work of art. And, human nature being what it is, people forget or don’t include Valuable Articles** coverage in their insurance policies. They don’t get regular appraisals or properly document and itemize their fine arts and valuables collections.

**Fine arts fall under the “Valuable Articles” coverage, often referred to as a Personal Articles Floater (PAF), Collections or Inland Marine, depending on the insurance carrier’s definition. Valuables typically include jewelry, furs, silverware, fine arts, antiques, musical instruments or collectibles such as coins, stamps and wine.

Excess Liability Insurance (aka Umbrella Liability) protects you for claims that exceed the limits of liability provided by the primary personal or business policies. It provides additional liability protection over and above your Automobile, Homeowners, Boat, Business and Workers Compensation policies.

Let’s say you have an automobile policy with $500,000 of liability protection and you hit a pedestrian with your car. If the victim suffers a traumatic brain injury and is permanently disabled for life, is $500,000 in liability protection enough coverage? Likely not. It is possible that your assets are exposed or your wages may be attached to this claim for the rest of your life. Excess Liability is inexpensive for the valuable coverage it provides and will help protect your assets in the event of a large lawsuit.

Exposure is another relevant issue. If you are a policyholder with young drivers included on your auto policy, if you own a dog that bites a neighbor, or if you have a pool or pond, your risk is greater than someone without those exposures.

A typical General Liability policy does not include coverage for the rendering of your Professional Services. Professional Liability policies, sometimes referred to as Errors & Omissions Insurance, must be purchased separately to cover this exposure. The Professional Liability Policy addresses claims for economic damages that are a result of the improper rendering of professional services, errors in judgment or omissions.