IOA Frequently Asked Questions
We understand that the mere thought of insurance can spark many questions. As leaders in a multifaceted industry, we pride ourselves on being able to answer the most difficult questions. Just ask!
It is possible that someone else or many others have asked the very question that has crossed your mind. Click on the specific products and services links below and see if the answer you seek is there. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, please go to the Contact Us page and pose your question or call us at (800) 243-6899.
IOA Commercial Insurance FAQ
1. What is the purpose of Business (Commercial) Insurance?
Commercial insurance is designed to help protect many of the risks your business can face, including: damage or destruction to your business, office equipment and inventory. Loss of income in case you have to close-up shop temporarily because of a covered loss and crime coverage including robbery, burglary and even employee dishonesty.
2. What are my coverage options?
There are a wide range of coverages available, as well as an array of choices for limits and deductibles. If you own a small or large business, a tailor-made package can be created.
3. What are the benefits of Commercial Auto Insurance?
- Liability Coverage - In case you’re sued as a result of an auto accident.
- Collision Coverage - Helps cover physical damage to your vehicle due to collision or upset.
- Comprehensive Coverage - Helps cover physical damage to your vehicle due to fire, theft and glass breakage.
- Rental Reimbursement Coverage - Helps cover the cost of a replacement vehicle for a specified period of time when your vehicle is disabled due to an insured loss.
4. What are the benefits of Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Workers’ compensation insurance provides for the well being of your employees and promotes a positive work environment. Be aware that some states have passed laws that make workers’ compensation mandatory once a business expands to four or more employees on payroll. workers’ compensation Insurance was created in order to pay employees’ medical expenses and loss of wages in the event of a job-related injury or sickness.
5. What are the benefits of Business Owners Insurance?
Commercial insurance is designed to help protect many of the risks your business can face, including:
- Damage or destruction to your office equipment or inventory.
- Loss of income in case you have to close-up shop temporarily because of a covered loss.
- Certain business liability exposures related to bodily injury and property damage to others.
- Risks to your property while in transit or storage.
- Theft or loss of tools and equipment.
- Crime coverage including robbery, burglary and even employee dishonesty.
6. What are the Benefits of Liability Insurance?
General Liability Coverage includes:
- Bodily Injury Liability Coverage - Helps protect you in case injuries occur to other people resulting from your operations.
- Property Damage Liability Coverage - Protection in case damage occurs to the property of others.
- Personal Injury Liability Coverage - Helps provide you with protection for offenses such as false arrest, libel, slander and wrongful entry.
- Advertising Injury Liability Coverage - Helps cover your legal liability for a variety of offenses arising out of the advertising of your business’s goods and services.
IOA Group Benefits Insurance FAQ
1. What are Group Benefits Plans?
Group benefits plans are plans that cover more than one individual and are sponsored by an employer, association or other organization. Group plans are generally governed by state laws. Group benefits plans can include health, dental, vision, life and disability coverage that is extended to members in the group as well as their dependents.
2. Are there advantages to Group Plans verses Individual Plans?
There are some advantages to group plans. For example, members in a group health plan (generally employees of an employer) are not declined for coverage due to their existing medical conditions. If these same individuals applied for individual health coverage they would have to disclose medical information to the carrier and could be declined.
3. How is the cost of a Group Plan determined?
The demographics of the group (gender and age of individuals to be covered) are used to determine the monthly premiums. If you asked IOA for a group benefit plan quote, we would ask you for a census with the gender and age of all your employees. This information gets turned into the carrier and the monthly premiums are set.
4. As an employer, am I required to pay the cost of monthly premiums for the group plan?
Group benefit plans do require the employer pay a portion toward the coverage. For example, in group health, the employer is required to pay at least 50% of employee-only monthly premium. Depending on the size of the group, this requirement can be a higher percentage. For some of the other benefit plans like life, dental, disability and vision, the employer can contribute or chose not to do so.
5. As an employer will I have multiple choices for plan design and cost?
Yes, for all lines of benefit coverage, there are multiple plan designs and corresponding cost. IOA benefit consultants routinely go to multiple carriers on your behalf and present an employer with many options. For example, in health care there are fully insured plans: PPO plans, HMO plans, HAS plans, HRA plans, as well as self-funded plans.
IOA Individual Benefits Insurance FAQ
1. What is Individual Health Insurance?
Individual health insurance means that it is not connected to a business. You can purchase an individual policy for your whole family.
Under individual policies, the following rules apply in most states:
- Not Guaranteed Issue – Applicants can be turned down for coverage based on their health status.
- Guaranteed Renewability – Your health insurance cannot be cancelled if you become sick.
- Limits on Pre-existing Conditions – Insurance Companies can impose exclusion riders that eliminate coverage for pre-existing conditions.
Finding the right balance of coverage and cost can be challenging. The first step is to evaluate your needs and understand your health insurance options. Your budget, physician preferences and health requirements will all have a hand in deciding which type of plan is best for you.
An independent agent well-versed in individual health policies can help you sort through your options and find the policy that’s right for you and your family.
2. Is Life Insurance right for me? Is there more than one type of life policy? How much coverage do I need?
A life insurance policy helps to protect your family financially if you or your spouse should die. Insurance companies understand that life is constantly changing, so there are a variety of life insurance policies to meet your changing needs. Because many families depend on two incomes just to make ends meet, various companies offer policies that can insure more than one person, protecting the total family income. It is never too early or late to consider your life insurance options.
There are two major types of life insurance—term and whole life. Whole life is sometimes called permanent life insurance, and it encompasses several subcategories, including traditional whole life, universal life, variable life and variable universal life.
Term life insurance provides financial protection for a limited, specified period of time, at a lower cost than permanent life insurance. These policies expire without value if the insured survives the stated time period.
Universal life insurance provides death benefits and income tax-deferred savings to help you meet your financial goals while you are living. It has many flexible features and benefits that can change with your changing financial needs.
Whole life insurance provides the coverage amount to your beneficiary in the event of your death, as well as cash-value savings you can use during your lifetime, at a level premium.
Every person has a different idea of what financial security means. If so, should anything happen to you, how much money would your family need? You should consider:
Your current debt, expenses your family can expect to pay after your death and your families needs for the future. A general rule of thumb would be to calculate your life insurance needs by multiplying your annual salary by seven.
3. What is Long-Term Care?
Because of old age, mental or physical illness, or injury, some people find themselves in need of help with eating, bathing, dressing, toileting or continence and/or transferring (e.g., getting out of a chair or out of bed). These six actions are called Activities of Daily Living and sometimes referred to as ADLs. In general, if you can’t do two or more of these activities, or if you have a cognitive impairment, you are said to need “long-term care.”
4. What is Disability Insurance?
Disability Insurance is a line of insurance, which includes coverage that is designed to protect the insured against a loss of income resulting from illness or injury.
There are two types of disability policies: Short-Term Disability (STD) and Long-Term Disability (LTD). Short-term disability policies have a waiting period of 0 to 14 days with a maximum benefit period of no longer than two years. Long-term disability policies have a waiting period of several weeks to several months with a maximum benefit period ranging from a few years to the rest of your life.
IOA Personal Solutions FAQ
1. Does my car insurance provide coverage for a vacation rental car?
Yes. Most car insurance policies provide the same coverage for rental vehicles as provided for your own vehicles, for up to 30 days. An additional coverage that may be needed is “loss-of-rents.” This coverage allows the car rental company to recoup funds lost as a result of not being able to rent a car due to loss on your behalf.
2. What is the difference between Collision and Comprehensive Coverage?
Collision covers accidental loss or damage to your vehicle because of a collision with an object or another vehicle or if the vehicle rolls over. Comprehensive covers losses named in the policy that are not collision losses. Examples of comprehensive losses include: vandalism, theft, fire and hail.
3. Why must I list all household members if they do not drive my car?
For coverage purposes, all family members of driving age who are residents of the household must be listed on your policy to protect both you and the insurance company. In some states, exclusions are available for family household residents who do not require coverage.
4. Who do you consider to be a family member?
A family member is any immediate or extended family member of driving age. This includes parents, children, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, foster children, in-laws and stepfamily members.
5. What is Replacement Cost?
Replacement cost is the amount it would take to replace or rebuild your home or repair damage with materials of similar kind and quality without any deduction for depreciation.
6. What affects homeowner insurance premiums?
A number of factors influence the premium that you may be charged. Some of them are:
- Type of Construction - Brick houses usually have lower premium rates because they are less vulnerable to fire.
- Age of the House - Newer houses usually have lower premium rates than older ones. Some insurers may not want to cover very old houses at all or may provide only limited coverage.
- Fire Protection - Your home’s distance from a fire hydrant and the quality of your local fire department affect the price you will be charged.
- Amount of Coverage – The amount of coverage you buy will affect the price you pay.
- Deductible Amount - The higher deductible you choose, the lower your premium will be.
- Discounts - There may be discounts available for such things as smoke alarms or security systems.
7. If a tree falls on my house from my neighbor’s yard, who pays for the damage?
Homeowners insurance allows the policyholder to quickly make a claim regardless of liability. In other words, if a tree falls on your home, no matter where the tree came from, your insurance company can pay for your home repair.
However, if the damage occurred as a result of negligence; for instance, if the tree was dead before it fell, and you had proof that your neighbor knew the tree was dead. Under those circumstances, the damage becomes your neighbor’s liability.
If the claim is filed with your insurance company, it will attempt to recover their payment and your deductible from the at fault party.
For answers to your insurance coverage questions, go to our Contact Us page or call us at (800) 243-6899.