Many states require that drivers carry auto insurance, which is generally purchased through a private insurer. Many other types of insurance are also available, including homeowners’ and renters’ policies, workers’ compensation, property and casualty, and health and life insurance. Some of these are mandatory, while others are optional or required only for some businesses, such as those in specific industries or that hire employees. In addition to state requirements, insurance companies set their own coverage and premium rates.
In general, the declarations page of an insurance policy lists the name and address of the insured, the coverage amount, the premium and the deductible. It is important to read all of the terms and conditions carefully. If you have questions, consult with your agent or producer.
Coverage amounts are usually stated in the form of a percentage of replacement cost, or an amount that will repair or rebuild your home or replace personal contents without deducting for depreciation. Your producer can help you decide on a minimum % of replacement cost and a maximum limit for your dwelling, and also on the % or amount that will pay for other structures on your property, such as garages, sheds and barns.
Almost all US health insurance plans are required to cover a standard list of 10 essential benefits under the Affordable Care Act, known as the “10-essentials” or “minimum core.” These include prescription drug coverage, maternity and newborn care, dental and vision, and chronic illness management programs. Other benefits, such as mental health and substance abuse coverage are not required. Some employer-sponsored health insurance plans may have waiting periods of up to 90 days before new enrollees are eligible for coverage.
Business owners are often required to carry certain types of business insurance, such as workers’ compensation and commercial general liability. Some owners opt to buy additional coverage to protect against particular risks, such as environmental liabilities or professional liability.
It’s important to re-assess your business risks annually, and to consider whether you need to add or remove coverage as your company evolves. For example, when you open a new location or make changes to your operations, you should update your risk assessment. It is also a good idea to discuss potential risks with your producer, who can provide you with advice and a variety of options for covering your liabilities.
In some instances, an insurance company may attach an endorsement or rider to a policy that modifies its language or coverage. The insurer must send you a copy of any such amendments. Read them carefully to be sure you understand the changes and to determine if your current coverage remains adequate. A broker or independent producer is an individual who represents more than one insurance company and can offer you a choice of policies and rates. Some brokers are licensed to sell only a single carrier’s products, while others are authorized to sell multiple insurers’ policies. Some are also certified to perform actuarial analysis and review. 501(c)(3) insurance requirements