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Complete Book of Insurance
Cover of Complete Book of Insurance
Complete Book of Insurance
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Do you have the protection you need?

INSURANCE. You have to have it, but do you really know what you have? It is the one purchase that you hope never to use, but when you do, it is all too common to learn that what you thought was covered is not. Do not let your car, home or health suffer because that long, dry policy document is too difficult to understand. Instead, let The Complete Book of Insurance guide you through all of your major insurance needs.

v If you are concerned with the other drivers and want to know just exactly what uninsured motorist coverage is—use The Complete Book of Insurance to evaluate what limits you really need if you are involved in an accident.

v Whether you just bought your first house or are moving to a region prone to earthquakes, flood or mold—use The Complete Book of Insurance to learn what is really protected under your standard policy.

v If you believe that you are too young to worry about life insurance—use The Complete Book of Insurance to plan for your family's future security.

We all want the best coverage with the least expensive rates. However, finding the right insurance company and the right agent is actually your second step to making it happen. Your first step is to understand the type of coverage you truly need.

Do you have the protection you need?

INSURANCE. You have to have it, but do you really know what you have? It is the one purchase that you hope never to use, but when you do, it is all too common to learn that what you thought was covered is not. Do not let your car, home or health suffer because that long, dry policy document is too difficult to understand. Instead, let The Complete Book of Insurance guide you through all of your major insurance needs.

v If you are concerned with the other drivers and want to know just exactly what uninsured motorist coverage is—use The Complete Book of Insurance to evaluate what limits you really need if you are involved in an accident.

v Whether you just bought your first house or are moving to a region prone to earthquakes, flood or mold—use The Complete Book of Insurance to learn what is really protected under your standard policy.

v If you believe that you are too young to worry about life insurance—use The Complete Book of Insurance to plan for your family's future security.

We all want the best coverage with the least expensive rates. However, finding the right insurance company and the right agent is actually your second step to making it happen. Your first step is to understand the type of coverage you truly need.

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Excerpts-
  • From the book Choosing Your Liability Limits Excerpted from Complete Book of Insurance by Richard Zevnik ©2004 Liability coverage under homeowners’ policies are commonly offered at the following levels, all on a per-occurrence basis: $100,000; $300,000; $500,000; and $1,000,000. If a person wishes to purchase liability coverage with limits in excess of $1,000,00 per occurrence, he or she must often purchase a separate, personal liability umbrella policy. Annual premiums charged for higher liability limits are usually quite modest. In light of the relatively low cost of increased liability limits and the magnitude of potential jury verdicts that can result in today’s world, the average person should not purchase less than $500,000 in liability limits as part of his or her homeowners’ policy. Limits of $100,000 and $300,000 simply do not afford sufficient protection in the event of a serious loss. A good way of helping you to decide how much to purchase in liability limits is to assess the value of your assets—in other words, how much are you at risk of losing? In several major urban areas, the average value of many middle-class families’ homes exceeds $300,000. Many insureds would be surprised at the resulting figures if they were to conduct a complete inventory of their possessions to total what it would cost to replace all of them. When you envision the value of your home, personal possessions, and savings, you can readily see the need for substantial liability limits. The greater your liability limits, the more protection afforded from a judgment creditor’s attempt to seize your assets to satisfy a judgment. In the commercial liability insurance business, risk managers for insured companies, their agents or brokers, and the underwriters for insurance companies often refer to high level excess liability policies as sleep insurance. This means that the company management and shareholders of the insured need not lose sleep over the possibility that a catastrophic loss might exceed the company’s liability insurance limits and thereby potentially threaten or impair the future financial liability of the company. The same concept applies to individuals. It is preferable to have the peace of mind that comes with the knowledge that you have taken reasonable and prudent steps to obtain the financial security and protection that comes with paying a small amount of additional premium for increased liability insurance limits.

    For example, the annual personal umbrella liability policy premium, covering three cars and a homeowners policy, with limits of $1.5 million, can be found for a little over $300 annually, applying over a $500,000 homeowner’s liability limit and a $250,000 per person/$500,000 per accident auto liability limit.

    If you purchase higher liability limits on your homeowners policy (and auto policy), the premiums for a personal umbrella policy will be reduced. This is because as the limits of the underlying policies are higher, the personal liability umbrella policy insurer’s exposure to loss is lower.
About the Author-
  • Richard Wm. Zevnik has over twenty-five years of experience in the business of insurance and the practice of law. From 1979 through mid-1985, Mr. Zevnik was a commercial property insurance and reinsurance underwriter for the Kemper Companies and the former Prudential Reinsurance Company (now known as Everest Reinsurance Company).
    Mr. Zevnik attended Loyola Law School in Los Angeles in the evenings while working full-time at Prudential Reinsurance. He graduated in June 1985 in the top twenty percent of his class. After graduation, Mr. Zevnik entered private practice, and was admitted to the California State Bar in December 1985. He is admitted to practice before all federal courts in California and Arizona.

    His practice has included defense of professional liability lawsuits and, since 1994, his practice has concentrated exclusively on insurance coverage advice, insurance coverage, and bad-faith trial court and appellate litigation. He presently practices law in Irvine, California, principally representing insurers on insurance coverage issues.

    Mr. Zevnik has authored articles on legal ethics issues for the International Association of Defense Counsel and has lectured on insurance coverage and risk-transfer issues. He also authored legal ethics opinions while a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Professional Responsibility and Ethics Committee.

    Mr. Zevnik currently lives in San Clemente, California with his wife, Susan.
Table of Contents-
  • Foreword

    Introduction

    Part I: Insurance and You
    Chapter 1: The Role of Insurance in the Economy
    Brief History of the Business of Insurance

    Chapter 2: The Structure of the Business of Insurance
    Kinds of Insurers

    Chapter 3: The Marketing and Selling of Insurance
    Independent Agents
    Captive Agents
    Direct Writers
    Retail versus Wholesale Brokers
    Guaranty Funds
    Choosing What is Best for You

    Chapter 4: Insuring Other Interests
    Mortgages or Trust Deed Holders
    Auto Lessors and Lenders
    Other Secured Parties
    Additional Insured Interests under Liability Coverages

    Part II: Your Home
    Chapter 5: Homeowners Insurance
    Property Coverages under Homeowners Policies
    Insured Capacity: Named Insureds

    Chapter 6: Loss of Use and Additional Coverages
    Loss of Use Coverages
    Additional Coverages

    Chapter 7: Exclusions
    Section 1 Exclusions
    Additional Exclusions
    Comparison Shopping
    Exclusions Added by Other Insurers

    Chapter 8: Conditions
    Conditions Applicable to Property Coverages
    Duties after Loss
    Loss Settlement
    Policy Limits and Insurance-to-Value
    Loss to a Pair or Set
    Appraisal
    Other Insurance and Service Agreements
    Suits Against Us
    Our Option
    Loss Payment
    Abandonment of Property
    Mortgage Clause
    No Benefit to Bailee
    Nuclear Hazard Clause
    Recovered Property
    Volcanic Eruption
    Policy Period
    Concealment or Fraud
    Loss Payable Clause

    Chapter 9: Liability Coverages
    Insured Capacity Issues
    Insured Locations
    Insuring Agreement
    Personal Injury
    Bodily Injury
    Property Damage
    Duty to Defend and Related Issues
    Duty to Indemnify
    Medical Payments Coverage
    Additional Coverages

    Chapter 10: Liability Coverage Exclusions
    Motor Vehicle Liability Exclusion
    Expected or Intended Injury
    Business Exclusion
    Professional Services
    Insured’s Premises not an Insured Location
    War
    Communicable Disease
    Sexual Molestation,...
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 1, 2004
    Does "all-risk" homeowners insurance really cover all risks? What are the "exclusions" and why are they excluded? Anyone who's ever tried to navigate the maze of homeowners or auto insurance will welcome this clear, businesslike guide by Zevnik, a lawyer who specializes in insurance issues. Granted, the prose is dry and legalistic (a glossary helps), but the book nonetheless demystifies a complex business as much as possible and helps consumers find the best insurance for their needs. Focusing primarily on homeowners and auto insurance (with brief discussions of health and disability), Zevnik walks readers through the process of reading a typical policy and answers such questions as whether it's worth paying a higher premium to get a higher liability limit. This isn't engaging reading, but Zevnik's useful book could save readers from future financial losses.

  • Library Journal

    October 1, 2004
    Attorney and former insurance underwriter Zevnik here focuses on property and casualty insurance, including automobile, homeowners', renters', and small business owners' policies. Health, life, and disability insurance are also discussed briefly. Zevnik begins with the history, economics, and structure of the insurance industry, outlining each type of insurance and explaining the common elements of the policies. He emphasizes what is typically covered and what is typically excluded from coverage, with extensive discussion of the meaning of the terminology found in insurance policies. The information is presented logically and clearly, and while this is not an engaging cover-to-cover read, it will be useful to readers trying to understand a policy they own or one they contemplate purchasing. Recommended for public libraries where there is interest in self-help consumer titles.--Joan Pedzich, Harris Beach LLP, Rochester, NY

    Copyright 2004 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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