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FAQ’s

At Bellows-Nichols Insurance, we want to provide our clients with an extra layer of protection beyond their insurance policy. That’s why we’ve provided the following information and resources to keep you informed, confident, and prepared.

Whether you’re looking for Business, Homeowners, Auto, Umbrella, Health or Disability insurance, our agents in Peterborough, Hancock, New Ipswich, Jaffrey, and Antrim, NH, are ready to help you find coverage with the best insurance companies. We’re happy to answer any of your questions, and we encourage you to reach out to us today!

Call 800-974-7155 or contact our locations today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I prevent damage to my home or commercial property?

Nobody likes a “to-do” list. But did you know that tidying up  and taking care of routine chores around your home or business can help prevent damage to your property? To make the process as easy as possible, we’ve made a simple checklist to help you get you started:

  • Trim back tree branches & bushes from buildings to prevent overgrowth
  • Remove moss & mildew from the roof & siding
  • Clean gutters of leaves & debris
  • Position downspouts away from the building
  • Clean outdoor light fixtures of dead bugs, cobwebs, nests, & debris
  • Clean out your dryer vents
  • Replace air conditioner filters
  • Tighten handrails & stair treads that may have come loose from heavy snow & ice
  • Store objects in your basement on concrete blocks or wood pallets to prevent water damage
  • Schedule a cleaning for your heating system
  • Have your chimneys cleaned of soot & creosote build-up
  • Change batteries in all smoke & carbon monoxide detectors
  • Use an open bag of charcoal to deodorize damp spaces & absorb musty smells
  • Begin using a dehumidifier to dry out damp areas, such as your basement or garage

Q: What is the difference between Replacement Cost valuation and the Town/City Assessment on my home’s value?

Replacement cost is replacing your covered building with materials and labor at today’s cost of construction. This valuation also includes the cost for debris removal. The city/town assessments are valuing your building(s) “as-is” and includes depreciation. This is the reason your insurance company has a higher value on your home or building than the tax assessment does.

Additionally, if you do not insure to the replacement value calculated, a co-insurance penalty could apply to a loss, causing a considerable decrease to the amount the insurance company pays towards a claim.

Q: I moved out of my house & a family member stays there. Can I keep my homeowner policy?

No, standard market insurance companies will only write a homeowner policy for a house that is occupied by someone other than yourself. If your owned home is occupied by someone other than yourself, companies will require you to purchase dwelling fire insurance (“landlord” insurance) to comply with the occupancy guidelines. This applies even if no rental payment is collected.

Q: What is the difference between a home that is vacant & a home that is unoccupied?

All insurance companies have their own definition of “vacant” and “unoccupied.” The general idea is that a vacant home has nothing in it; all contents are removed and no one lives at the residence. An unoccupied home is still furnished, but lacks a resident. An unoccupied home indicates that there are enough contents in the house to be considered a residence, but no one is currently living there.

Q: What does your personal automobile insurance cover when you drive a rental car?

Your personal automobile coverage does not cover everything a rental car company would charge you for in the event of an accident. Your personal automobile coverage does extend to a rented private passenger auto, and if applicable, will provide liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage to your rented vehicle, but will not cover:

  • Loss of value to the rental car
  • Immediate damage payment
  • Loss of rental income
  • Administrative expenses

Q: How will a claim affect my insurance policy?

Submitting a claim to your insurance carrier is likely to result in higher premiums when your policy comes up for renewal. Your current policy may no longer qualify for a loss free credit.
Many companies look at the frequency of submitted claims and the amounts paid out to determine if you are eligible for coverage. If several claims (2-3 or more) are submitted within a few years’ time, the company may non-renew coverage.

Q: What is a CLUE report?

A ‘CLUE’ Report is a Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange report. It shows prospective insurance companies your claim history.

Q: What is Scheduled Personal Property & why do I need it?

A personal schedule of items (personal articles floater) is specialized coverage for high value items such as jewelry, antiques, fine arts, coins, collections, etc. It is important to consider scheduling valuable items in order to benefit from the broader coverage that this endorsement provides. If you decide not to schedule items and a covered loss occurs, it is important to note your policy caps special items under the “special limits of liability” coverage. The perils insured against are not as broad, your policy deductible will apply, and depreciation could be factored in a claim settlement.

Q: Does the color of my vehicle affect my automobile premium?

No, the color of your vehicle does not affect your insurance premium. Companies use the vehicle ID number to identify its specifications (alarms, air bags, weight, engine type, etc.). These specifications contribute to the overall premium.

Q: Are floods covered on my homeowner policy?

No, flood is not a covered peril on your homeowner policy. In some cases it can be added by endorsement, but in the majority of cases you will need to purchase a separate policy in order to have flood damage covered.

Q: Who can make a change to my insurance policy?

In most cases, only a named insured can make a change to an insurance policy. The named insured(s) are on the front page of your policy (also called “the policy declaration”). In certain situations, other individuals may have authority, such as a POA (Power of Attorney).

Q: What happens if I purchase a vehicle over the weekend? Am I covered?

If you purchase a car over the weekend, most insurance companies allot an automatic four days of coverage for a newly acquired vehicle. Your current coverage transfers over, so it’s best to know what your limits of coverage are, and what the coverage requirements are from the dealership prior to signing a purchase agreement. Additionally, if you have a “liability only” policy and your new car requires full coverage, most companies will automatically include physical damage coverage with $500 deductibles for the four-day period. It is always important to call your agent ahead of time, or contact your carrier directly.

Q: My child is 15½-years-old and in Driver’s Ed. Do I add him/her to my policy now?

Your child is covered while driving your insured vehicle with an appropriate adult (refer to state requirements). Your child is not added to the policy until after he/she is issued an official driver’s license.

Q: Is it beneficial to combine your home & auto insurance policies with the same insurance companies?

It is generally beneficial to combine your policies with the same insurance company to take advantage of the “multi-policy” discounts. These discounts range from 10-20% depending on your insurance company.
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Reach out to us with any additional questions you may have!

Bellows-Nicols Insurance, Peterborough & Hancock, NH

Bellows-Nichols Insurance

Phone:
800-974-7155

Email:
reception@bellowsnichols.com

Bellows Nichols Agency is committed to caring for the health and well-being of our staff and customers. All locations are staffed during our normal hours. However, we remain closed to walk in traffic. Appointments may be arranged and vary by office location.  If you require an in person meeting, please discuss with your agent.  All who enter our office locations are required to wear a mask.  We thank you for your patience and understanding during this challenging year and we look forward to serving you.