800.400.2436
Northway Insurance, Bemidji
Frequently Asked Questions
General FAQ's | Auto FAQ's | Homeowner FAQ's
Renters FAQ's | Umbrella FAQ's | Life FAQ's

GENERAL FAQ's
Q: What kinds of questions should I be expected to answer when I am applying for an insurance policy? Why do insurers need so much information?

A: When you apply for an insurance policy, you will be asked a number of questions. For example, the agent might ask you your name, age, gender, address, etc.

When an insurance company is deciding whether or not to offer automobile insurance to a potential customer, it will want to know about the person's previous driving record, whether they have any recent accidents or tickets, and what type of car is to be insured.

Insurance companies have different programs for different customers. Adults with good driving records will generally pay less for auto insurance than will a young driver with traffic tickets. In order to determine which program you qualify for, an insurance company needs basic information about you.

In addition to your age, gender and driving experience, information about the vehicle you drive, and how you drive it, is also needed to determine a fair price. For example, a large luxury car costs more to repair or replace than a sub-compact; and, someone who commutes 30 miles each way is more likely to be in an accident than someone who rides the bus to work and drives only on weekends.

Q: What are the advantages to using an agent to purchase insurance?

A: By using an agent to purchase insurance, the policyholder receives more personal service. An agent with whom there is direct contact can be vital when purchasing a product. A local, independent agent is able to deliver quality insurance with competitive pricing and local personalized service.
AUTO FAQ's
Q: I have an older car whose current market value is very low - do I really need to purchase automobile insurance?

A: Most states have insurance laws that require drivers to have at least some automobile liability insurance. This is true for the state of Minnesota. These laws were enacted to ensure that victims of automobile accidents receive compensation when their losses are caused by the actions of another individual who was negligent.

It is often the case that the cost of repairing the damages to an older car is greater than its value. In these cases, your insurer will usually just "total" the car and give you a check for the car's market value less the deductible. Many people with older cars decide not to purchase any physical damage coverage.

Q: What is the difference between collision physical damage coverage and comprehensive physical damage coverage?

A: Collision is defined as losses you incur when your automobile collides with another car or object. For example, if you hit a car in a parking lot, the damages to your car will be paid under your collision coverage.

Comprehensive provides coverage for most other direct physical damage losses you could incur, including theft. For example, damage to your car from a hailstorm will be covered under your comprehensive coverage.

Q: What factors can affect the cost of my automobile insurance?

A: A number of factors can affect the cost of your automobile insurance -- some of which you can control and some that are beyond your control.

The type of car you drive, the purpose the car serves, your driving record, and where the car is garaged can all affect how much your automobile insurance will cost you.
HOMEOWNER FAQ's
Q: What are some practical things I can do to lower the cost of my homeowners insurance?

A: There are a number of things you can do to lower the cost of your homeowners insurance. The easiest thing to do is get a comprehensive review of your policy and needs from your local agent.

It is not surprising to find quotes on homeowners insurance that vary by hundreds of dollars for the same coverage on the same home. When you shop, be careful to make sure each insurer is offering the same coverage.

Another way to lower the cost of your homeowners insurance is to look for any discounts that you may qualify for. For example, many insurers will offer a discount when you place both your automobile and homeowners insurance with them. Other times, insurers offer discounts if there are deadbolt exterior locks on all your doors, or if your home has a security system. Be sure to ask about any discounts for which you may qualify.

Another easy way to lower the cost of your homeowners insurance is to raise your deductible. Increasing your deductible from $250 to $500 will lower your premium, sometimes by as much as five or ten percent.

Q: What is the difference between "actual cash value" and "replacement cost"?

A: Covered losses under a homeowner's policy can be paid on either an actual cash value basis or on a replacement cost basis. When "actual cash value" is used, the policy owner is entitled to the depreciated value of the damaged property. Under the "replacement cost" coverage, the policy owner is reimbursed an amount necessary to replace the article with one of similar type and quality at current prices.

Q: Where and when is my personal property covered?

A: Personal property (except property that is specifically excluded) is covered anywhere in the world. For example, suppose that while traveling, you purchased a dresser and you want to ship it home. Your homeowner's policy would provide coverage for the named perils while the dresser is in transit -- even though the dresser has never been in your home before.
RENTERS FAQ's
Q: Why would I want to buy renters insurance?

A: If you live in an apartment or a rented house, renters insurance provides important coverage for both you and your possessions. A standard renters policy protects your personal property in many cases of theft or damage and may pay for temporary living expenses if your rental is damaged. It can also shield you from personal liability. Anyone who leases a house or apartment should consider this type of coverage.
UMBRELLA FAQ's
Q: What is a personal umbrella liability policy?

A: The personal umbrella liability policy is designed to increase your liability protection. This single policy acts as an "umbrella" over all of your other personal liability policies -- home, auto, boat, RV, etc. -- so you have a higher personal liability limit than what would otherwise be available. In certain circumstances, an umbrella policy may provide personal liability coverage that is otherwise excluded from your other policies. For example, an umbrella policy provides coverage anywhere in the world, whereas your auto policy usually provides coverage in the US and Canada only.

Q: How do I know if I need a personal umbrella liability policy?

A: It used to be that the only people who needed personal umbrella liability policies were wealthy individuals who had sizable amounts of personal assets that would be at risk in a lawsuit. However, in today's society you are seeing more and more individuals with modest incomes and assets often being the subjects of large lawsuits. Since they are even less able than a wealthy individual to pay large damage awards, they recognize the need to have coverage limits greater than what can be obtained from their homeowner or auto policies.
LIFE FAQ's
Q: How much life insurance should an individual own?

A: "Rule of thumb" suggests an amount of life insurance equal to 6 to 8 times annual earnings. However, many factors should be taken into account when determining the right amount of life insurance for you and your family.

Important factors include:
• Income sources (and amounts) other than salary/earnings
• Whether or not you are married and, if so, what is your spouse's earning capacity
• The number of individuals who are financially dependent upon you
• The amount of death benefits payable from Social Security and from an employer-sponsored life insurance plan
• Whether any special life insurance needs exist (e.g., mortgage repayment, education fund, estate planning need, etc.)
Remember that this is just a "rule of thumb" for purchasing the right amount of life insurance.
307 3rd St. NW
Bemidji, MN 56601
218-751-0821
Northway@paulbunyan.net
Providing your insurance needs for:
• Auto
• Home
• Life
• Health
• Business
• Motor Home
• Motorcycle