Is the Assigned Risk making a comeback?

Having been working in insurance for over 30 years, I can recall the days of using carbon paper and typewriters.  Back when I started, rating auto policies was done manually, with limited rating factors.  Nowadays, rates are done through the computer using algorithms and it’s almost impossible to determine one’s rate.  Rates are driven in a large part by credit, prior coverage history together with tickets, accidents and other claims going back as far as 5 years. Some companies even charge more for claims involving personal injury regardless of whose fault the accident was.

Interestingly, over all those years, the Assigned Risk really hasn’t changed it’s rating structure. The Assigned Risk is a state’s auto program that is designed to write people that have trouble getting insurance. Although I haven’t used the AR for years,  I am beginning to now find that the AR or NYAIP can be a good fit in certain circumstances. This is because the  AR does not base a rate on one’s credit or on having prior coverage.  Furthermore, only tickets and at fault accidents, going back just 39 months, are rated. Not at fault accidents, hit and run accidents and no seat belt tickets are not rated.  The AR also does not begin charging for a ticket or an accident until it is at least 3 months old.

Knowing the ins and outs of the Assigned Risk aka the New York Auto Insurance Plan has come in very useful.
Posted in Blog

Cyber Prevention is the Best Insurance


In today’s world, digital communication is the most prevalent and the most efficient way to communicate, utilized by countless individuals across the globe. With that being said, it also opens the door to hundreds of scam opportunities and gives way for the possibility of your devices and personal information to be violated without your knowledge. Even if you are aware that these types of scams exist, there is still a chance that a suspicious email masked as a company you know can show up in your inbox.

Here’s how to distinguish legitimate emails from scams:


1. Check the Sender’s Email Address: Verify if the email comes from a legitimate domain associated with the organization it claims to be from. Scam emails often use addresses that mimic legitimate ones but have slight variations.


2. Look for Generic Greetings: Scammers often use generic greetings like “Dear User” or “Dear [Email Address]” because they’re sending bulk emails. Legitimate companies often use your real name.


3. Scrutinize the Email Content: Look for grammatical errors, awkward language, or overly urgent calls to action. Legitimate companies typically have their emails proofread and rarely push for immediate action through fear or urgency.


4. Avoid Clicking on Links: Instead of clicking on any links within the email, go directly to the official website by typing the address into your browser or use a bookmark you have previously saved.


5. Hover Over Links to Check the URL: Before clicking, hover over any links to see the URL. If the URL looks suspicious, don’t click. Scammers can create fake websites that look very similar to the real ones.


6. Be Wary of Email Attachments: Don’t open email attachments from unknown senders. Attachments can contain malware that can infect your device.


7. Look for Unsolicited Requests for Personal Information: Legitimate organizations will not ask for sensitive information like passwords, PINs, or credit card numbers via email.


8. Verify the Information Through Official Channels: If the email is asking you to do something, confirm it by contacting the company through official means, such as their official phone number or website.


9. Check the Email’s Purpose: If the email’s purpose is to alarm you, ask for quick action, or seems too good to be true (like a large sum of money for little to no effort), it’s likely a scam.


10. Use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Even if a scammer gets your password, having MFA on your accounts can provide an additional layer of security.


Why is it Important to Protect Myself Digitally?

Falling victim to these scams can have serious consequences, both financially and personally. For instance, if you unknowingly provide sensitive information like your credit card details or social security number, you could become a victim of identity theft, resulting in financial losses and potential damage to your credit score. Additionally, some scams involve malicious software, such as ransomware, which can infect your devices and hold your data hostage until you pay a ransom. Beyond the immediate financial impact, dealing with the aftermath of a scam can be incredibly stressful and time-consuming, requiring you to take steps to secure your accounts, dispute fraudulent charges, and repair any damage to your reputation. By staying informed about common scam tactics, being vigilant in your online interactions, and taking proactive measures to protect your personal information, you can significantly reduce your risk of becoming a victim to digital scams and safeguard your financial and personal well-being.


Can I Get Insurance For My Digital Property?

Cyber insurance, also known as cyber liability insurance or cyber risk insurance, is a type of insurance coverage designed to protect individuals and businesses from the financial losses and liabilities associated with cyber-related incidents. These incidents can include data breaches, cyberattacks, extortion attempts (such as ransomware attacks), network outages, and other digital threats. The best aspect of having a cyber insurance policy is that they typically provide you with a resource to assist you during this often-difficult time.  Having a phone number to call to walk you through the process and provide the much-needed direction, is so valuable.  In addition, cyber insurance policies may cover expenses such as the costs of investigating a breach, notifying affected parties, restoring compromised data, legal fees, public relations efforts to manage reputational damage, and any regulatory fines or penalties incurred because of the incident. Cyber insurance can vary widely in terms of coverage options, limits, and premiums, depending on the insurer and the specific needs of the policyholder.  Consult with an Insurance Broker to secure the correct coverage and get the help that you need.  Avoid one size fits all offerings and remember that with insurance, you get what you pay for.




Posted in Blog

The 2024 Eclipse and Earthquakes: Can I Get Coverage For It?

As anticipation builds for the total solar eclipse, scientists are uncovering an unexpected link between eclipses and earthquakes. Studies suggest that the gravitational forces during an eclipse can influence seismic activity, raising concerns for earthquake-prone regions. In fact, even areas that haven’t experienced many earthquakes in the past have been affected—-such as New York and New Jersey on April 5th.

This connection underscores the importance of something many people might not have thought about: Earthquake Insurance.

Is Earthquake covered under my insurance policy?


The simple answer is that most insurance policies exclude coverage for earthquakes.  However, you may be able to add this coverage to your policy for an additional premium.  Earthquake coverage, deductible, and cost vary from company to company. Rating may be based on items such as building’s construction material, foundation type, year of construction, and location.


What does it cover?

Typically, Earthquake Insurance will cover a loss due to landslide, settlement, mudflow, or the rising/sinking of Earth. When you are purchasing Earthquake Insurance, some things you should consider is whether or not detached structures, such as a garage, and personal property  are included. Other important questions to ask yourself is if your policy will pay for additional living expenses. Exclusions and limitations should be considered before purchasing coverage.

As we marvel at the cosmic spectacle of the eclipse, let’s also recognize the importance of preparedness. By securing Earthquake Insurance, we can better safeguard our homes, businesses, and futures against the unpredictable forces of nature.


Posted in Blog

Why Should I get a Standalone Jewelry Insurance Policy?

Is there a benefit of having a standalone jewelry policy versus putting your jewelry on your homeowner’s policy? There are reasons to believe that keeping your jewelry off your homeowner’s policy will be better for you in the long-run if this worse-case scenario were to occur.

Think about your jewelry as an item in your home, if something where to happen to it, that means it would count as a homeowner’s loss. Any claims on your homeowner’s policy are never a good thing and can affect your policy in a negative way. It can be hard to get your homeowner’s policy back to the rate it was initially at once a jewelry loss is put on your policy. There can also be limitations on the homeowner’s policy that will have the jewelry claim hit capacity and it cannot be restored to what you originally paid for it. There are also a lot of carriers that do not support the higher-valued jewelry, which again means that there may be a problem when trying to get the exact money you paid for your item back to full capacity.

Some benefits to having a standalone jewelry insurance policy are the higher limits you can get for your jewelry as compared to having it listed on your homeowner’s policy. Even the most expensive of jewelry will be supported at a higher-value asset on your policy. You can also list a co-insured for the jewelry unlike a homeowner’s policy where you cannot list family members to be associated with your jewelry coverage. There are good perks available for having a standalone jewelry policy such as discounts for good appraisals, home alarm system and safe storage for when your jewelry is not being worn. Of course, let’s not forget the biggest savor of them all which is that on a standalone jewelry policy- jewelry claims do not impact homeowners’ coverage! So, you will not have to stress about these claims increasing your insurance premiums when they will be covered elsewhere.

Fun fact: According to a statistic from JIBNA Personal Jewelry Insurance, “70% of personal property theft losses are jewelry.” It goes without saying that jewelry is very important and even more so, expensive. All the more reason to protect it by designating a specific policy to help take care of a worse-case-scenario such as this.

Interested? Contact our office for a quote today!



Posted in Blog

Flood Insurance – The Facts

Don’t confuse Homeowners Insurance with Flood Insurance!

Here are some important facts about flood insurance.

  • Flooding can happen anywhere, at any time. In fact, according to FEMA, more than 40% of claims come from homes outside high-risk flood areas.
  • Flooding is not covered under a Homeowners Policy. A separate flood policy is needed.
  • There is a 15-30 day waiting period for new coverage to begin.
  • Contents must be purchased separately under a flood policy, and it has its own deductible. A detached structure would need a separate policy.
  • There are limitations to what is covered under a basement (exclusions include: finished walls, flooring and personal property is not covered).
  • Your home must be insured to at least 80% of its full replacement cost or you must carry $250,000 Dwelling coverage to avoid deduction for depreciation in the event of a claim.
  • Call us for a quote or to represent you on your existing flood policy that you insure elsewhere.
  • In addition to National Flood, we represent many private flood companies.

You can buy Water Backup coverage under a Homeowners policy.

Please do not hesitate to contact our office for any of your insurance needs!


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Are You Prepared for Winter Storms? Check out these tips:

Posted in News