Frequently Asked Questions

There are a number of questions you probably have when it comes to deciding on the proper amount of insurance and types of coverage you or your business may need. This list of insurance FAQ’s should help answer many of your questions, but for additional information, feel free to contact our team today.

Disclaimer: All data and information provided is for informational purposes only. KS Roth Insurance Agency Inc makes no representations as to the completeness and suitability of the information for you or your organization. KS Roth Insurance Agency Inc cannot be held liable for any errors, omissions or delays in this information, as well as any losses or damages arising from its display or use.

 

Commercial Insurance FAQs

How much liability insurance do I need?
Liability policies provide coverage for defense and settlement costs. Defense coverage is unlimited in most cases. There are a variety of discretionary limits available. Consider purchasing sufficient coverage to allow you to maintain your assets.
How do I protect my company against identity fraud?
One important way to protect yourself is to learn how hackers invade data bases. There are many risk management tools available to assist companies, including firewalls and secure websites. Specialty insurance lines have developed Cyber Liability policies to protect businesses in the event protected information is invaded and made public.
What can I do to control my workers’ compensation costs?
Claims drive workers’ compensation costs. The best way to control claims costs is to identify how and why claims occur. A loss analysis can pin point the type of accident, location, time of day, occupation, etc. Once the causes are known, you can implement an employee safety program.
How much business property insurance do I need?
Business property insurance protects your building and the property within it, including computers, furniture, fixtures, and personal property used to conduct normal business operations. You can purchase coverage sufficient to replace your property.
Must I have workers’ compensation insurance?
All states require workers’ compensation coverage for businesses that have employees. State laws regarding workers’ compensation insurance vary, so talk with a member of our insurance team to learn about your responsibilities.
What is business income coverage?
Business income insurance covers the loss of profits and continuing operating expenses. The purpose is to make you whole in the event of a covered loss.
I’m afraid an employee might sue me. Is there insurance for this?
This type of insurance is called employment practices liability insurance. This type of business insurance protects employers when there are claims such as discrimination, harassment or wrongful termination. This type of business insurance policy is usually one you must purchase as a stand-alone policy or as part of a directors and officers liability policy.
How do I protect all the information stored on company computers?
Cyber coverage protects your stored information in the event it is compromised or destroyed. Cyber liability coverage protects you in the event you are sued for being legally liable should personal information of others be compromised or destroyed.
I’m not a major corporation, do I really need data protection liability insurance?
The 2012 Data Breach Investigations Study by Verizon shows that in 855 data breaches they examined, 71 percent occurred in businesses with fewer than 100 employees. You do not need to be a large company for a data breach to happen. Every company is susceptible to cyber security issues, and small companies may be a bigger target based on limited resources to protect data.
Do I need D&O insurance?
Directors and Officers insurance is a form of managerial malpractice liability insurance. It covers wrongful acts or decisions by those who run a corporation. Potential suits can come from employees, customers, or competitors.
How can I protect myself from lawsuits related to the NYS Scaffold Law?
Consider consulting with legal counsel to make sure that you have enforceable hold-harmless language in your contracts. Additional insured status should be requested from those who are required to indemnify and defend you in the event you are made part of a lawsuit.
How do I insure my customers’ vehicles while they are in my shop for service?
Garage keepers legal liability coverage is designed to protect you if you are found to be legally liable for damage to your customers’ vehicles while in your care, custody or control.
Why should I work with KS Roth Insurance instead of my insurance carrier directly?
KS Roth Insurance provides consultative services in evaluating your insurance and risk management needs and recommending coverages that respond to those needs. We have relationships with several national and regional insurance companies and act as your advocate in negotiating the best terms, conditions and pricing available.
Does property insurance cover me in the event of a flood, fire or earthquake?
Most property policies exclude flood and earthquake, depending on the location of the insured property. FEMA provides flood coverage up to $250,000 for buildings and $100,000 for contents. Some carriers will provide excess flood coverage under their standard policies.
What if a tenant causes damage to my building?
Your coverage should insure the entire building shell (drywall and out). If property damage is caused, it is most likely the owner’s policy would respond and then the insurance carrier would subrogate against the tenant’s policy. You should review your lease to determine your responsibilities.
Does my small business need insurance?
Yes. Not having insurance – or not having the right kind of coverage – can put your small business at serious risk. Without the adequate levels of insurance, a fire, theft, cyber security breach, employee accident, or lawsuit could cause your business to close and could possibly even consume your personal assets.

Depending on the type, your business may be legally required to carry certain kinds of insurance. For example, if you have employees, your state may mandate that you carry workers’ compensation coverage, or you may have to prove you have specific types of coverage in order to get a state or local business license. Also, business people such as landlords or suppliers may require you to have and show coverage as part of a contract.

How often should I review my insurance policies?
A business’ insurance needs can change frequently. As you add staff or locations, your coverage needs will change as well. You want to protect your business by not being underinsured or by paying for excess coverages. KS Roth Insurance recommends reviewing your insurance policies and premiums at least annually to ensure they still meet your growing needs.
Isn’t cyber liability insurance covered by my general liability policy?
No. Most property policies will cover direct physical loss to your computers, but not any data stored within them. Intellectual property rights are usually excluded as well.

Many states require a breach to be reported should any personally identifiable information be leaked. Companies who fail to report that data breach are subject to large fines. For an assessment to determine if you are properly covered for cyber liability, contact the professionals at KS Roth Insurance today.

Is a construction bond anything like insurance?
A bond is NOT insurance. Insurance is a 2-party obligation between the insured party and the insurance company. Insurance assumes risk determined by a “risk factor” or class of business. A surety bond, although issued often by a division of a large insurance company, is a three-party obligation between the Contractor, Surety Company and Oblige (the entity requiring the bond such as the city or state) and is underwritten with zero risk factor and determined on an individual basis rather than a pool. Basically, the surety is “guaranteeing” that the contractor requesting the bond on behalf of the oblige will perform the job and pay all parties involved.
Can Small, Minority or Women-Owned Businesses benefit from a Surety Bond?
ALL Contractors can benefit from obtaining a bonding line. This shows the oblige or potential client that they have been thoroughly evaluated and have the ability to post a bond to protect the owners project. This often gives small contractors the advantage they need to compete against larger contractors.
What is indemnity under a surety bond?
The indemnity agreement is the legal document that fully discloses the Principal’s obligations in a surety relationship, which allows the Surety the right to recover any losses paid out on behalf of a Principal. Under the bond, the Principal is the primary responsible party and must agree to reimburse the Surety for any claims or expenses they incurred because the Principal has not lived up to their agreement.

Personal Insurance FAQs

Should I buy insurance from the rental car agency when I rent a car?
If you have a New York auto policy insuring your own car for physical damage (comprehensive and collision) there is no need to purchase insurance from the rental agency. By law, your policy must cover you for all obligations assumed by you for damage to the rental vehicle.
I’ve heard that there are a growing number of lawsuits targeting individuals who blog or post allegedly libelous material on the Internet. Are these types of claims covered under a standard, unendorsed homeowner policy?
The liability insuring agreement under nearly all homeowners policies pays for damages arising only from bodily injury or property damage, not from any type of personal injury, such as libel. In most cases, the only way that these claims might be covered is if the insured’s homeowners policy includes a personal injury endorsement. You should check with your agent to determine if your insurance company offers this type of coverage.
What should I do if I am involved in an automobile accident?
Here are seven dos and don’ts if you are involved in an auto accident:

  1. Warn approaching traffic.
  2. Get help for anyone injured.
  3. Get witnesses’ contact information before they leave.
  4. Do not discuss details of insurance coverage.
  5. Do not argue over who is at fault.
  6. Get details concerning the other vehicle and driver from the registration and driver’s license.
  7. If a police report is required, obtain a copy and the report number.
If I let someone drive my car and they have an accident, who is responsible?
The insurance follows the vehicle; the accident follows the driver. Therefore, the owner’s insurance will respond and the accident will be attributed to the driver and will appear on their motor vehicle record.
My children are going away to school and will be living off campus. What insurance coverage will they need?
Your homeowner’s policy includes off premises coverage up to 10% of your personal property limits. If your student will be living in a dorm, this coverage limit may be sufficient to cover all of your clothing and personal belongings. Laptops and other expensive electronics can be insured under a personal articles floater.

If the student is living off campus, you should consider a tenant’s policy, which will cover personal property and liability. If a visitor is injured while visiting your student, you may be subject to a lawsuit. Tenant’s liability covers defense and settlement costs. Talk to one of our personal insurance associates who can help you with this.

How do I choose an insurance deductible?
In general, you should always select as high a property deductible as you can afford. If you do not intend to submit a claim for under $500, then you should elect a $500 deductible.
How much liability insurance do I need?
Liability policies provide coverage for defense and settlement costs. Defense coverage is unlimited in most cases. There are a variety of settlement limits. Consider purchasing sufficient coverage to allow you to maintain your assets.
Can I purchase coverage for identity theft?
Many homeowners’ insurance policies include a limited amount of coverage for identity theft. Coverage includes the cost to correct your records and restore your credit rating. The coverage does not replace your lost funds; banks and credit card companies will work with you to restore these funds or remove the unauthorized charges.
Why does the insurance company require me to carry more coverage than my home is worth?
Property coverage limits are based on the cost to replace or repair damaged structures. Replacement cost policies give you “new” in exchange for damaged “old”. The insurance values are based on construction costs in your region. There is no correlation between an insurance valuation appraisal and a market appraisal done for real estate sales or financing.
I have replacement coverage for contents under a homeowner’s policy. Some of my property has been stolen. Can the company settle for an amount less than replacement?
The company will usually pay the actual cash value, which is replacement cost minus depreciation, for the loss or damage- until the property is replaced. Once the insured replaces the damaged property and provides receipts to the company, the company should reimburse the difference.
Does my homeowner insurance policy cover flood damage?
Generally, homeowner insurance policies do not offer protection against flood losses. Unfortunately, many homeowners do not find out until it is too late that their homeowners’ policies do not cover flooding. Check your policy under Section I- Exclusions; it would be listed under “water damage”. You can purchase a separate policy for flood damage. To see if you need a flood insurance policy, contact our office today.
Won’t federal disaster assistance pay for flood damage?
Not really. Before a community is eligible for disaster assistance, it must be declared a federal disaster area. Federal disaster assistance declarations are issued in less than 50 percent of flooding incidents. Most federal disaster assistance is in the form of loans. The premium for a National Flood Insurance Program policy, averaging a little more than $350 a year, is typically less expensive than a single monthly payment on a federal disaster loan. Furthermore, if you are uninsured and receive federal disaster assistance after a flood, you must purchase flood insurance to remain eligible for future disaster relief.
What type of flooding does National Flood Insurance cover?
The program defines covered flooding as a general and temporary condition during which the surface of normally dry land is partially or completely inundated. Two properties in the area or two or more acres must be affected. Flooding can be caused by:

  • The overflow of inland or tidal waters
  • The unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source
  • Mudslides, i.e., mudflows, caused by flooding, that could be described as a river of liquid and flowing mud; or
  • The collapse or destabilization of land along the shore of a lake or other body of water, resulting from erosion, the effect of waves, or water currents exceeding normal, cyclical levels.
Can National Flood Insurance Program flood insurance be purchased through private insurance agents?
Yes, this flood insurance is sold through private insurance companies and agents, and it is backed by the federal government. To find out more, talk to one of our insurance professionals today.
Is wind-driven rain considered flooding?
No. Rain entering through wind-damaged windows, doors or a hole in a wall or the roof, resulting in standing water or puddles, is considered windstorm, rather than flood damage. National Flood Insurance covers only damage caused by the general condition of flooding, typically caused by storm surges, wave washes, tidal waves, or the overflow of any body of water over normally dry land areas.
What is credit scoring?
A credit score is a snapshot of your credit at one point in time. The credit information from your credit report is put through a mathematical formula (credit scoring model) that assigns weight to the various factors and summarizes your credit information into a three digit number ranging from 0 to 999.

Several common factors include: Major negative items (bankruptcy, etc.), past payment history, length of credit history, homeownership, inquires for credit, number of open credit lines, type of credit in use and outstanding debt.

How is credit scoring used by insurance companies?
If your insurance company relies on credit scoring, they may use it in two ways. First: underwriting; that is, deciding whether to issue you a new policy or to renew your existing policy. Second: the process of rating, which is deciding what price to charge you for your insurance by placing you into a specific rating “tier” or level. Some insurers combine credit information with other more traditional rating factors, such as claims history. Other insurers may use credit scoring alone to determine your rate. Insurance rates based on credit information can vary from company to company. If you think your rate is too high, shop around.
What is the difference between comprehensive and collision?
Comprehensive and collision are components of physical damage coverage. Collision coverage is activated when your vehicle is damaged while in motion, such as hitting a post in a parking lot or colliding with another vehicle. Comprehensive coverage is activated when the vehicle is not being driven, such as fire or theft. Physical damage coverage applies to your vehicle.
How does my driving record affect my insurance premium?
The premium you pay is a direct reflection of your driving record for the past three to five years, depending on the insurance company’s underwriting rules. Insurance companies order driving records from the DMV of your resident state and from other states where you have been licensed. Statistics show that drivers with tickets and past accidents are more likely to have accidents than drivers with clean records.
My teenager just got his license, but I do not allow him to drive my car. Does he need to be insured?
In most cases, yes. Automobile insurance policies require every licensed person in your household to be listed on your insurance policy unless they have their own vehicle and are insured under a separate policy of their own. This includes a teenager who just received this license or a college student who still uses your address as their residence and/or visits regularly on weekends, vacations, etc.
What is personal liability insurance coverage?
Personal liability coverage provides defense in the event you are alleged to be negligent and damages if you are found negligent in causing a third-party to suffer bodily injury or property damage. Those covered include yourself and all residents of your household.
What does medical payments insurance cover?
Regardless of fault, this coverage pays the reasonable expenses for others who are accidentally injured on your premises or the areas immediately adjoining your property such as sidewalks or alleys. Medical payments coverage does not apply to your own injuries or those of family members living with you or injuries arising out of activities involving a business that you operate out of your home, your intentional acts, or rental use of your premises.
What is replacement cost?
Replacement cost is the amount necessary to replace or rebuild your home or repair damages with materials of similar kind and quality without deducting for depreciation. You receive new materials that replace old, damaged items or property.
What is actual cash value?
Actual cash value is the cost at the time of the loss to repair or replace the property destroyed, less depreciation. Most standard home insurance policies cover the contents of your home (i.e., personal belongings) on an actual cash value basis, but it is possible to buy replacement cost coverage.
What should I do if my premium increases and I want to get quotes from other companies?
KS Roth Insurance represents many insurance companies and will survey the market on your behalf .
How can I get a lower premium?
Strongly consider a higher deductible. You are best served by absorbing small claims. In the current insurance market, many insurers now refuse to renew polices or accept new customers with a history of several small claims. View your homeowners insurance as catastrophic coverage and set aside your premium savings to cover minor repairs.

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