Boston, MA

Frequently Asked Questions

Some of the most common questions and answers can be found below. However, each insurance scenario is wildly unique. Contact an Ironside Agent today for a more tailor-made approach to your risk management planning.
What types of insurance do I need for my business?

Depending on the nature of your business and any insurance which you are legally obligated to carry, the following types of commercial insurance should be considered necessary:

  • General liability insurance: Coverage against accidents, injuries and negligence claims
  • Professional liability insurance: Covers professionals against malpractice, negligence or errors
  • Commercial property insurance: Covers against damage to your business property, such as from fire or a severe storm
  • Workers compensation: Covers for lost compensation and other benefits if an employee is insured on the jobIf your company has employees, you are typically required by law to carry this coverage.
  • Commercial auto insurance:  If you own any vehicles in the name of your company or use the them predominantly for the benefit of the company, you will generally need to register and insure the vehicle commercially.

Because commercial insurance needs to be tailored to each business based on risks, industry, number of employees, etc, it is important to consult an insurance professional that can learn more about your particular organization and assist in determining which coverage is applicable for you and your staff.

What is "E&O" insurance?

Errors and omissions insurance (or “E & O”) covers a business for a service rendered that resulted in an unintended or negative consequence, or that results in a loss or injury suffered by the person receiving your services. It also covers situations where an individual or the company as a whole, failed to proved a service previously promised. 

This type of insurance may also be referred to as malpractice insurance (for medical professionals) and professional liability insurance for practicing lawyers and other professionals.

What does a general liability policy cover?

General liability insurance provides protection for a business’s assets, financial obligations, costs of an attorney, and any settlements or judgments awarded to the injured party. It may also include claims for copyright infringement, false or misleading advertising, or libel and slander. If a patron is injured in some way in the course of doing business with your company, your general liability insurance will provide coverage.

Are there different types of home insurance?

There are many types of property insurance and each will provide different levels and forms of coverage.  In the most basic of terms, some of the main categories are Renters (HO-4), Condo (HO-6), Home (HO-3 or HO-5) and Dwelling/Fire (DP).  Each of these forms are quite unique from one another and offer many customize-able coverage options, riders and deductibles.  Ask your Ironside Agent for more details.

Am I required to carry home insurance?

For many of us, a house will be one of, if not the biggest investment made in our lifetime.  Property insurance is an important factor in protecting this investment and is therefore obviously highly recommended.  In addition, if you have a mortgage on this property, it is almost certain that your lender will require you to have homeowners insurance to protect their collateral.  In addition to simply covering the structure/building, property insurance policies also cover a wide array of additional important components.  Ask your agent for details about the different levels of protection and optional coverage available.

How much home insurance coverage do I need?

For a typical single or multi-family dwelling, the insurance coverage is heavily dictated by your mortgage company since they are issuing you the loan to purchase the home. Many times your mortgage company will require your coverage to be equal to or greater than the amount of the loan. You also want to ensure that your home is covered against a total loss. For example, in the event of a fire and the property needing to be rebuilt from the ground up, you would need enough coverage for materials and labor to rebuild a house of similar size, features, etc.  This is known as the “Replacement Cost” and our licensed agents can help you determine this value with a few simple questions about your home.

Is insuring a condo different than insuring a traditional house?

Condo insurance coverage can also be dictated by your mortgage company. Lenders typically require 100% replacement cost or coverage up to a certain percentage of the loan amount. Condo insurance can be a bit more complicated than other forms of property insurance, as you are generally working with 2 different policies, i.e. 1.) your own HO-6 individual policy and 2.) the Condo Master Policy that is shared by all of the unit-owners/condo association.  These two policies should always be complimentary.  Therefore it is a good idea to review your Master Policy prior to obtaining your individual policy to ensure that you are not over-insuring or leaving any gaps in coverage.

I currently rent an apartment - why do I need insurance?

Renters insurance primarily covers the personal property you own within your apartment unit, such as your clothing, furniture, electronics, etc.  The amount of coverage needed varies depending on the type and quantity of possessions that you own.  It is easy to take for granted the amount of “stuff” we accumulate and in turn the amount of money it would take to replace it all in the event of a total loss, such as an apartment fire.  Long story short, even if you don’t own the building – you still have a lot to lose.

What If I am involved in an accident?

Once confirming all parties are OK, it is important to notify your specific insurance carrier directly as promptly as possible after the incident has occurred.  A claims specialist will walk you through the process from there to ensure that your claim is handled as quickly and efficiently as possible.  As your local independent agent, we are naturally here for you every step of the way, so never hesitate to contact us with any claims questions, before, during or after one has been initiated.

What does "full coverage" mean?

This is an often misused term, and doesn’t necessarily refer to a policy that covers “everything.” Rather, full coverage typically refers to a policy that includes both liability coverage and coverage for damage to your property (Comprehensive & Collision coverages).

It’s always a best practice to review your coverage selections page to see what your policy does and does not cover and when in doubt, always feel free to ask your agent.

What if I move and need to make an address change?

It is very important that your policy reflects your current address.  If you move within the state of Massachusetts, please email [email protected]  and we can update your address on the date you plan to move.  Please be aware that your policy premium could increase or decrease as a result of the address change.

Can my friends/family drive my vehicle?

Any person who regularly drives your vehicle must be listed as an operator on your policy to receive coverage.  In addition, typically any person in your household that is licensed must be listed on your policy – they may be listed as “deferred” if covered by their own insurance policy, or specifically excluded from coverage.  Otherwise, any non-household member that does not regularly drive your car would be covered by your policy, as long as they were driving with your granted permission.

Am I covered if I am driving a rental vehicle?

In most instances, your rental car would be covered in the same way your insurance policy covers your own personal vehicle.  Since all policies are different, this may or may not be enough coverage depending on what you have chosen to carry on your personal insurance policy.  Make sure that your personal coverage is sufficient prior to declining the rental company’s coverage and also keep in mind that you are subject to the same deductibles on your personal policy.

Many credit cards also offer coverage while renting a vehicle.  Please check with your credit card companies to see what coverage they offer for rental vehicles.

**Loss of use is almost always excluded from coverage by your personal insurance policy.   Loss of use is the revenue (daily rate) the rental car company loses while the car is being repaired as a result of a claim.  This can certainly become costly in the event that the repairs are lengthy.  It is recommended to ask the rental car company if this is their policy and if so, if they offer coverage against this.

Doesn't my home insurance policy cover me against flooding?

While this is a common misconception, a standard home insurance policy typically does NOT include coverage for a flood related incident.  For that you will need a separate flood insurance policy to protect both the building and its contents.  There are now multiple options available to obtain this valuable coverage, depending on your lender’s requirements – each with their own pricing.   

How do I know if flood insurance is required for my property?

Many lenders will require that you carry a separate flood insurance policy, depending on the flood zone in which your property is located.  Our agents can help you determine which zone you’re in and explore your options for securing coverage and ensuring you comply with your mortgage requirements.  

Do I need to consider obtaining flood insurance, even if it's not "required"?

A flood can happen to properties in any zone.  If your home is located outside of the higher risk areas, you may not be required to obtain this additional coverage but it is still an important consideration, as water damage can be incredibly costly.  Coverage in lower risk zones can also cost significantly less than high risk areas, meaning the “better safe than sorry” approach can be easy on your wallet.

It's only water - how much damage can it do?

Most people may think that fire is the biggest threat to their property and while a fire is certainly an incredibly destructive force in its own right, water damage can be just as serious and expensive to repair.  Not only can the initial water exposure damage and destroy whatever is in it’s path, the resulting possibility of mold and mildew can lead to many additional (and sometimes hidden) perils.  All of which means more expense and a higher likelihood of health and safety issues.