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An automobile is an expensive asset used in daily life, and there are a lot of auto insurance policies out there to help you protect it. Regardless of the type of vehicle you purchase, it’s important to know how auto insurance works.

Auto Insurance: Required by Law

According to a study conducted by the Insurance Research Council, in 2019 up to 13% of drivers were uninsured. The state of North Carolina is clear-cut and dry regarding auto insurance; if you live here, it is required by law to have it. The exact terminology is known as a continuous liability insurance policy. Failure to procure this can result in fines and other forms of legal action, such as the forceful revocation of your license plate. Insurance companies are also required to report drivers who fail to abide by these laws and policies. 

Out-of-state policies are not accepted as a substitute. In short, without auto insurance, you’re risking legal ramifications and the well-being of other drivers on the road. At the very least, it’s negligent and reckless. 

But what sort of insurance policy should you purchase to cover your vehicle? And what should you expect?

Know Your Coverage: What’s Included in North Carolina Auto Insurance

When purchasing an auto insurance policy, it’s necessary to know what it covers. You don’t want to be saddled with a policy that doesn’t apply to your situation or vehicle. Each of the following policies is important in helping you protect yourself, vehicle, passengers, and other drivers. Accidents can happen at any time, but with the right plan, you’ll be better prepared.

The following are typical components of basic auto insurance:

  1. Coverage For Accident Accountability

You are required by law in North Carolina to purchase a minimum amount of liability coverage, or accident accountability. This type of coverage includes two different sub-policies such as one for bodily injury and another for property damage. Both are intended to protect the lives and property of other drivers.

  1. Coverage for Drivers with Minimal or No Insurance

While it’s lawful for a driver in North Carolina to have insurance, you still run the chance of being hit by someone that has no insurance at all or has insurance that just isn’t enough to take care of all costs. This is where Underinsured Motorists Coverage can step in to lighten the financial load.

  1. Comprehensive For Non-Collision Incidents

Out of all the different policies filed under basic auto insurance, this is one of the most popular. In the United States, 78% of insured drivers usually choose to buy this style of coverage in addition to Liability Coverage. Officially known as “Comprehensive Coverage,” these policies deal with replacing or repairing a vehicle that is damaged in a non-collision incident.

  1. Collision Incident Coverage

This policy is straightforward; If you get into a collision with another driver or hit hard objects in a collision, it helps you cover the cost of any procured damages.

  1. Coverage For Medical Care

In the case of any physical injury to you, your passengers, and other drivers in an automotive accident, coverage for medical payments can help associated costs. This can include physical therapy, surgery, and other medical procedures.

What Auto Insurance Doesn’t Cover

The point of auto insurance is to give you peace of mind when you’re on the road, rather than be a burden. Just as it’s important to know what is included in a basic auto insurance policy, it is equally vital to know what it doesn’t include. You don’t want any unexpected twists when you least expect them.

Auto Insurance does not cover you in the following instances:

  • Damage due to normal wear and tear
  • Intentional damage
  • Damage due to another reckless driver in control of your vehicle
  • Personal property stored inside the vehicle that might be stolen
  • Added modifications
  • Getting in an accident while driving a vehicle not registered to you
  • Rental car reimbursements
  • Damage due to natural disasters

Each of these has its reason for not being fully covered by automotive insurance. For example, items or modifications to your car would be considered personal property. Natural disasters like hurricanes would be considered weather conditions where it’s up to the owner to protect their asset. Just because your policy says you have “full coverage,” doesn’t always mean you’ll be protected in every scenario. It’s critical for you as a driver to know what you’re getting into before purchasing.

The Huneycutt Group Insurance Can Help

Choosing the right auto insurance policy takes knowledge and guidance. The Huneycutt Group is one agency you can depend on to help you decide on the right course of action. We know that auto insurance must be customized to fit your individual needs and work with you to make sure your assets are properly protected. Our team also specializes in auto insurance for Motorcycles and R/Vs too! Regardless of if it’s on the phone or face-to-face, we will take care of you.

Purchasing a Boat? Start Thinking About Insurance

If you live in a coastal environment, chances are you might be thinking of buying a boat. Purchasing boating insurance is not quite the same as purchasing automotive insurance, and maritime regulations vary depending on where you live. For someone in the Wilmington or Wrightsville Beach locales, it’s important to know what you’re getting into before purchasing a boat. 

Hard Facts: North Carolina Boating Laws

Contrary to belief, the state of North Carolina does not require boater’s insurance for purchase. The only states that require boating insurance to purchase are Utah and Arkansas. For aspiring boat owners living on the Carolina coast, that might seem like a sigh of relief. But it’s still a wise choice to have some sort of insurance. Marinas and privately owned docks will require you to have some sort of liability coverage to moor your boat with them. 

Basic boating insurance covers two primary aspects of boat ownership: bodily injury and watercraft property damage. Property coverage does what you would expect it to, protecting your boat from theft or damage due to an accident. Bodily injury protects you and your passengers from physical harm that may come from boat usage.

Don’t Let Figures Anchor You Down

Cost can be a primary reason why you might not consider purchasing boater insurance, especially if it isn’t required. But boating insurance does not have to break the bank, and often ranges anywhere from $200 to $500 per year according to sources like Forbes Advisor. Other sources such as Ramsey Solutions include that boat insurance costs one to five percent of a boat’s value. You might pay $2,500 a year to insure a $100,000 yacht, for example. Typically, this amount increases the more coverage you purchase. Factors that would increase costs include:

  • Value of the boat
  • The boat’s length, age, and classification category
  • Engine type
  • Placement of anchorage
  • Location of boat use
  • Boating experience of the owner
  • Owner’s past insurance claims

Knowing policy price is important because an owner should be educated on what they need and what can be omitted. Buying a boat doesn’t have to equal a financial burden. Do your homework and ensure your insurance suits your needs.

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Do I Need Boat Insurance? The Bottom Line

While some states require boating insurance for purchase, North Carolina is not one of them. However, there are plenty of reasons why having coverage is important, such as:

  • Investment protection
  • Protecting yourself and your passengers
  • Cost effective
  • Total loss replacement
  • Environmental protection

There are a lot of important reasons to purchase boat insurance. In 2019 alone, Ramsey Solutions reported that $55 million in property damage was caused by boating accidents. Anything can happen out on the water and being prepared or covered properly can give you peace of mind while enjoying your boat. If you’re a fan of personal small watercraft, kayaks, canoes, or paddleboats, home insurance typically covers these. This coverage also includes boats that have low-horsepower engines, such as Jon Boats. For anything greater than that, you run the risk of being held liable in an accident. 

Boater’s insurance also covers named storms like hurricanes unless stated otherwise in your purchased policy. It’s important to note that boat insurance will also cover any damage to your trailer during transport, but not damages to another driver’s vehicle. A boat that’s in storage for the off-season is also still at risk for accident. Therefore, boat insurance is still needed even if your vessel is stored away for winter. Overall, the greatest determining factor here is safety, and what the boat owner is willing to risk.

The Huneycutt Group Insurance Agency Makes Protecting Your Boat Easy

It’s important to have the right team to help you make the right decisions. The Huneycutt Group has been assisting boat owners in the Wrightsville Beach and Wilmington locales for over 40 years. As a family-driven agency, they insure all types of vessels from yachts to speedboats. Regardless of if you prefer to text, phone call, or face to face meetings, you can count on our team to take care of you. For more information regarding boat insurance, contact us today.

One thing a homeowner shouldn’t underestimate is the importance of good coverage, or rather, the right coverage when you need it most. It’s important to protect what you have with the right insurance plan. Protecting the physical structure of your home is not the same as guarding the valuables inside of it. That’s why home insurance is split into three pieces of coverage: Dwelling Coverage, Personal Property Coverage, and Personal Liability. The two most important are Dwelling Coverage and Personal Property Coverage.

Don’t Dwell on Being Unprotected:

Dwelling Coverage covers the physical parts of your home. It covers items like walls, floors, built-in appliances, ceilings, and structures attached to your home. Basic hazards like fire, hail, smoke, vandalism, and theft are also covered under dwelling insurance.

But as with any policy, it’s important to know what Dwelling Coverage does NOT cover. If you have structures on your property that are not attached to your home, such as a shed, Dwelling Coverage will not insure it.

Dwelling Coverage can help you rebuild your home in case of a total loss, depending on the limit of your policy. Be it damage due to adverse weather or otherwise, Dwelling Coverage makes sure the physical parts of your home that can be replaced, repaired, or rebuilt are covered.

Take Your Protection Personally:

Personal Property Coverage is the part of home insurance policies that cover your actual personal belongings. Such items include clothing, furniture, and electronics that could be lost in a worst-case scenario. It’s important to be prepared for tragic and unexpected events, where valuable, material assets can be lost or damaged.

Most typical types of home insurance include Personal Property Coverage. There are also two types of Personal Property Coverage: replacement cost and actual cash value for homeowner compensation.

In the case something valuable is lost, the replacement cost policy typically pays the dollar amount of what it would take to replace an item. Cash value policies determine value by taking the actual cost of your belongings and automatically factor in depreciation over time. Even Personal Property Coverage has limits however and may not always replace the full value of an item. Jewelry for example, while technically considered personal property, requires a separate policy of protection.

You may have invested a lot in your belongings. It’s important to protect these items so that they can be replaced if they are ever lost in a tragic event or accident.

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The Bottom Line:

It’s important to have clear communications with a credible agency that can provide you with the right coverage for your situation. Dwelling Coverage and Personal Property Coverage are two important halves of a whole, and your home isn’t truly protected without either. With all the moving parts in the real estate and insurance industry, it helps to have experts there to cut through the excess and tell you exactly what you need to know. The Huneycutt Group has the experience to protect your assets and give you the peace of mind you deserve. For more information regarding your home insurance, contact us today.

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