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Most people rarely think about their property and casualty insurance until they really need it. For some, insurance doesn’t matter… until it does.

The experts at Marshall & Sterling Insurance, a Trusted Choice agency, recommend that you review your coverage now before you get caught in a situation that could result in dire consequences.

For example, let’s say you accidentally side-swipe a BMW 525, a popular vehicle in the Hudson Valley. You file a claim with your insurance company for the $19,500 worth of damage you caused to the BMW. However, the discounted policy you chose last year had just the state minimum for physical damage, and they will only pay $10,000 toward the repairs — the remaining $9,500 will have to come out of your pocket.

This is what happens when you don’t shop around to find the best type of coverage available. As a result, you could cripple yourself financially.

One solution is finding an independent agency that offers the best coverage.

“With an independent insurance agency like Marshall & Sterling, you can get several dozen quotes from different insurers based upon your unique needs,” says Detrick “Deke” Rothacker, a vice president at the firm. “We can find the insurance coverage that best fits the risks for each client. If people are really and truly looking to save money, this is the way to go. Users have to be more knowledgeable about protecting their assets.”

To better determine if you have the best coverage, take the following true/false quiz:

True or False: I can save as much as 25 percent off my insurance premiums by bundling my home and auto insurance with one company.
Answer: True. While different carriers provide varying discounts, there is substantial savings in bundling auto and home insurance with one company.

True or False: The state minimums for personal and property damage are sufficient for all drivers.
Answer: False. Just see the above example regarding side-swiping the BMW 525!

True or False: Comprehensive and collision coverage are basically the same things.
Answer: False. You can buy one or the other, or both. Collision coverage pays for repairs to your car in the event of an accident, no matter who caused it. Comprehensive coverage pays for damage suffered through other events, such as vandalism, flood, theft, or tree damage.

True or False: If my laptop and iPhone are stolen from my car, I’m covered by my auto insurance policy.
Answer: False. This type of personal property might be covered by a home insurance policy, depending upon the specifics of that person’s insurance coverage.

True or False: My personal auto insurance policy covers my vehicle when I use it for work.
Answer: False. If you are hauling building materials in a pickup or using a personal vehicle to perform business duties, you will need to have an auto insurance policy for business use. Your personal auto insurance policy will not cover losses and risks associated with commercial activities.

Having the proper insurance is an important aspect of managing assets. Policies for flood, personal umbrella, and other coverage are becoming more essential for anyone who owns their home, has a few dollars in the bank, and has children.

“We live in a litigious society, and living without the right insurance coverage is like jumping out of a plane without a parachute, hoping you land on something soft,” Rothacker says.

Marshall & Sterling Insurance
110 Main St., Poughkeepsie
845-454-0880 (fax)

Since 1864, Marshall & Sterling Insurance has been the name synonymous with outstanding insurance coverage and customer service. Marshall & Sterling provides exceptional insurance coverage with unparalleled service and support for its valued clients. 

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Hudson Valley Magazine editorial staff.