Are you covered if you have a jewelry claim? Not all policies are created equal.

May 12, 2022 10:22:29 AM / by Plexus Communications posted in Personal Lines, The Plexus Groupe

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Florida- The Nation's Leader in Uninsured Drivers

May 27, 2021 3:20:19 PM / by David Miller, Vice President, Client Executive Private Client Solutions posted in Personal Lines, The Plexus Groupe, Private Client Solutions, Property & Casualty, Investment, Strategic Insurance, Insurance, Homeowner's Insurance, Plexus Experts

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In an attempt to end Florida’s title as the state with the greatest percentage of uninsured drivers, the Florida legislature has introduced bills that would establish the Uninsured Vehicle Enforcement Program under the management of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

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Personal Insurance Ramifications of Buying or Selling a Home

Mar 23, 2021 7:30:00 AM / by David Miller, Vice President, Client Executive Private Client Solutions posted in Personal Lines, The Plexus Groupe, Private Client Solutions, Property & Casualty, Investment, Strategic Insurance, Insurance, Homeowner's Insurance, Plexus Experts

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If you are thinking of buying or selling a home, you are probably aware of the current conditions making this a seller’s market. Like almost every other industry, Covid rocked the real estate world, and its effects are still ongoing. The inventory of new and existing homes is down about 20% from the prior year, mortgage rates are historically low, and home prices rose 15%.

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Carjacking's On The Rise- Being Prepared Is The First Step In Reducing Your Risk

Mar 22, 2021 11:42:42 AM / by David Miller, Vice President, Client Executive Private Client Solutions posted in Personal Lines, Private Client Solutions, Property & Casualty, Insurance, Homeowner's Insurance

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In 2020 Carjacking's more than doubled, 2021 is even worse

Last year, Chicago had over 1,400 carjacking's, which is more than double the amount from 2019. Unfortunately, 2021 is off to a worse start, with 174 carjacking's in January and only two arrests. According to Neighborhood Scout.com, your odds of becoming a victim of a property crime in Chicago are 1 in 33, which is nearly 40% greater than the state of Illinois as a whole.

Carjacking perpetrators focus on people who are unaware or unprepared. Some common-sense tips offered by police departments include:

  • Always drive with your doors locked and windows up. Try not to leave your purse, phone, laptop, or other valuables on the front seat, which could lead to a “smash and grab” robbery.
  • Do not use a stop light as a reason to check your email, text a friend, or rock out to your favorite song. Keep your head on a swivel.
  • Make sure you have enough distance between your car and the car in front of you to escape if needed. Try to drive in the lane closest to the center of the road whenever possible. This will give you more time to react if approached by pedestrians.
  • Avoid parking near tall vehicles that can conceal a suspect and be prepared to enter your parked car as quickly as possible.
  • Be aware of your surroundings when getting gas. Are there any people loitering near the gas station mini-mart? Use the reflection in your vehicle’s windows to look behind you when you’re at the pump.
  • Carjacking crews will sometimes stage accidents by bumping into the back of your car. When you get out to check the damage, a passenger in the car that hit you will get out and steal your car. If you have any suspicions about the person who hit you, stay in your car and insist that they follow you to a police station. This is no time to worry about offending someone by insisting that you go to a safe place.
  • Do not try to be a hero. If the perpetrator enters your vehicle or displays a weapon, let them take your car.

Unfortunately, the risk of a carjacking cannot be eliminated entirely

If you are a victim of a carjacking, cooperate with the police and file a claim with your insurance company.

Some insurance companies have also started to offer an endorsement to their home insurance policies that address the mental and physical trauma that can occur from a carjacking or other violent property crime. For approximately $100/yr. these endorsements may cover such items as:

  • Medical expenses related to injuries suffered during the event.
  • Rest and rehabilitation expenses as prescribed by a psychiatrist, physician, or other health professional.
  • Loss of salary as a result of missed days of work, usually capped at 30 to 60 days.
  • Other reasonable expenses as approved by the insurance company.

The exact coverages offered, and premium charged will vary from one company to the next, so contact a Plexus representative for more details.

Criminals feel remorse for being caught and not for the crime itself, so they prefer easy targets. Being aware of your surroundings and listening to your inner voice won’t guarantee your safety, but it will make you less likely to becoming a victim.

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Be Prepared And Informed When Comparing Homeowners Insurance Quotes

Dec 15, 2020 9:21:20 AM / by Plexus Communications posted in Personal Lines, Private Client Solutions, Property & Casualty, Homeowner's Insurance

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How do regulations and laws in your state impact your homeowners insurance?

Every state has its own rules and regulations but, every insurance company is audited by each state's department of insurance (DOI). DOI audits look for irregularities and ensure the insurance company isn't discriminating. Insurance companies cannot grant their clients "favors" or "exceptions" no matter how long that client has been with the company. This is why it is critical to thoroughly understand your policy coverages and exclusions. The Plexus Groupe is always focused on client relationships and satisfaction so our associates ensure our clients understand their policies and are aware of any exclusions. 

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Dog Bites and Your Homeowner’s Insurance

Dec 3, 2020 11:22:49 AM / by Plexus Communications posted in Personal Lines, Private Client Solutions, Insurance, Homeowner's Insurance

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According to the American Pet Products Association, American households include almost 90 million dogs. And even though most dog owners will swear their dogs are friendly (myself included), a 2015 study by the CDC estimated 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year.

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Firearms and Homeowner’s Insurance – A Coverage Discussion

Nov 11, 2020 12:10:00 PM / by Plexus Communications posted in Personal Lines, Private Client Solutions, Firearms, Homeowner's Insurance

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Author’s note: This article will not delve into the reasons why people purchase a firearm, nor will it provide commentary on the Second Amendment. Instead, it will focus on the personal insurance ramifications of firearm ownership.

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Is My Property Covered?

Jun 11, 2020 8:01:00 AM / by Plexus Communications posted in Personal Lines, Private Client Solutions

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In the aftermath of widespread and continued looting, we have received inquiries from clients regarding potential damage to their property. Most want to know if their homeowner’s insurance will pay for property that is damaged or stolen during the course of a riot or other forms of civil unrest.

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Coronavirus and Your Homeowner’s Insurance

Mar 5, 2020 11:42:00 AM / by Plexus Communications posted in Personal Lines, News, Health Insurance, COVID-19

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With the Coronavirus dominating the headlines, there is an increased awareness of activities that cause infectious diseases to spread. Hand sanitizer and surgical masks are virtually impossible to find anymore, whether online or on retail shelves. Conventions and other large public gatherings are being canceled or scaled-back, and employers are paying more than lip service to the idea that sick employees should stay home. 

But what happens if you stay home with flu-like symptoms and a visitor gets sick a few days later?  Maybe a neighbor stops by and asks if you will get their mail while they are on vacation, or maybe you run out to the drug store because you’re out of tissue and you infect the cashier. Are you liable for their illness, and if so, does your homeowner’s insurance provide you with any coverage?

Home insurance policies can vary widely from one insurance company to another, so you have to read your policy first. Note that there’s a difference between your policy declarations page(s) and your policy. 

The policy declarations page(s), also known as the “DEC page,” is a summary of your limits of coverage and any endorsements added to your policy. Think of the DEC page as the car you want to buy and the endorsements as the options you want on the car. 

The policy is the actual contract between you and the insurance company. Taking the car analogy, a step further, the policy is the owner’s manual. The policy tells you what is covered and what is not covered, and includes specific definitions to key words in the contract. Much like an owner’s manual tells you what you must do to maintain your car, the policy also tells you what you must do to maintain your coverage.

There are two broad sections of coverage in a home insurance policy. The first section provides coverage for your property – the home and other structures attached to the land and all your “stuff.” The second section provides coverage for liability and medical expenses.

The liability section of a home insurance policy basically says, “If someone else gets injured, and it’s your fault, we’ll pay up to X amount of dollars for their injuries.” 

The medical expenses section of a home insurance policy basically says, “If someone else gets injured on your property, we’ll pay up to X amount of dollars for their injuries, even if it’s not your fault.” Because medical expenses cover not-at-fault injuries, the amount of coverage provided is much less than what is paid by a liability claim – usually $5,000 to $25,000, depending on the company providing the coverage.

So, is there coverage? You’re home sick, someone stops by to see you, and now they’re sick. They call you and say, “I’ve been diagnosed with the Coronavirus and you coughed without covering your mouth when I visited you. How do I file a claim with your insurance company?”

The answer is “it depends.” As noted above, home insurance policies tell you what is covered and what is not covered. The items not covered are in a section entitled “Exclusions.” Let’s use the contract language from Company X as an example:

B. Section II – Exclusions

1. Applicable to Coverage E- Personal Liability

The following exclusions apply to Coverage E – Personal Liability:

This insurance does not apply to:

From here the policy lists 10 exclusions before they reach this one:

k. Communicable Disease

Bodily injury, personal injury, or property damage arising out of the actual, alleged or threatened transmission of a communicable disease by an insured.

So, there’s no liability coverage for communicable disease. In fact, the exclusion takes it a couple of steps further and says there’s no coverage “…arising out of the actual, alleged or threatened transmission….”  This means not even the fear of possibly getting sick is covered. 

What about medical expenses? Is there any coverage under that section? Let’s see…

2. Applicable to Coverage F – Medical Payments to Others

The following exclusions apply to Coverage F – Medical Payments to Others:

This insurance does not apply to bodily injury:

a. Excluded Under Coverage E – Personal Liability

No coverage there, either. Basically, this exclusion says, “If we excluded it from liability coverage, we’re going to exclude it under medical expense, too.”

And here’s the contract language from Company Z:

Exclusions

These exclusions apply to your Personal Liability Coverage, including the Extra Coverages, unless stated otherwise.

Company Z lists 32 different exclusions, but none of them are for communicable disease.  There is one exclusion for “illness,” but it is limited to illness “…resulting from any sexually transmitted illness, sickness or disease….”

So, it appears there may be coverage from Company Z, but as with all claims or possible claims, the coverage determination rests with the company. Every claim is unique, and one that involves something new or unusual like the Coronavirus would likely require an in-depth examination of the facts before confirming or denying coverage.

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DID YOU KNOW? Back to School Insurance Needs

Aug 18, 2019 10:59:57 PM / by Plexus Communications posted in Personal Lines, Private Client Solutions, Insurance

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Most parents can clearly remember their child’s first day of school and the mix of emotions as they got on the school bus. Will they like their teacher? Will they make friends? Did I remember to put everything in their backpack?

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