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Home Insurance and Your Options for Supplemental Coverage: An Interview with Alexander Elizarov of E & Y Insurance Agency, LLC

By Alexander Elizarov

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

E&Y Insurance Agency was established in 2007. Despite one of the hardest economic times in history our agency survived and grew into a multimillion-dollar agency. From a small street front office in Warren with a phone line and two laptops, and 1 carrier to sell through, to the prime location inside PNC Center in Troy with 7 full-time producers, 2 CSRs and an office manager, representing 20+ A-rated carriers and providing customer service experience second to none in our competitive industry. Owners, Alexander and Karina Elizarov, Troy residents and graduates of University of Michigan and Wayne State University, parents of three boys, pride themselves in building strong business and personal relationships with their clients over the years and stay committed to servicing their client's needs on daily basis.

The advantage of an independent insurance agency is being able to shop rates and coverage for our clients with multiple carriers as oppose to one. There is nothing our agency can't place with a carrier. From a simple insurance for an automobile, motorcycle or a rental property to a packaged policy with multiple homes, autos and umbrella, from insuring a small bakery or dry cleaners to a multi-state trucking operations or general contractors working on a multi-million dollar projects.

What is an example of typical/basic coverage for home insurance?

Basic insurance of your home should provide you with sufficient coverage for the structure and personal contents, loss of use, and liability protection in case someone gets hurt on your property and decides to sue you. We always advise our clients to think what would happen if their house got destroyed in the fire or any natural disaster. What if you are left with nothing? Wouldn't you want to be able to re-build a brand new house in place of the one you lost and replace all of your personal belongings?

When should a homeowner consider additional policies on top of their basic protection?

What if you are worth much more than what your liability limits are on the homeowner's insurance policy? Let's say you have liability protection of 100,000 which a state minimum. What if someone gets hurt and sues you for $300,000. Homeowners insurance would cover only amount up to the liability limit of your policy, which means that you would be on the hook for any additional expense over that limit. This is a perfect example of why you would want to consider higher liability limits included in your homeowners policy and possibly buying an umbrella policy that would cover you just like an "umbrella" would. Give you extra liability limits on everything insurable you own (automobile, home, rental, vacant and vacation homes, motorcycles, boats, RVs, etc.)

How should homeowners decide what supplemental coverage that they need?

The role of a good insurance agent consists of educating their clients and informing them of all options available. We ask a lot of questions to understand what type of supplemental coverage would be essential or beneficial in each specific situation. Do you have a basement? Is it finished? Is there a sump pump? How about a pool, trampoline, custom cabinets, countertops? Do you have a deck or a patio? This just an example of questions we ask to understand what kind of supplemental coverage our potential clients may need.

Can you briefly explain what flood insurance and earthquake insurance policies are?

Many people assume they have coverage for flood and earthquakes on their homeowner's policy. That is not true. Homeowners, condo, and renters insurance policies DO NOT provide coverage for damage caused by flooding and may not provide earthquake coverage. Flood insurance must be purchased separately and is available from the National Flood Insurance Program. A separate deductible applies. Earthquake coverage is available with the premium determined by the structure of your home or building. Be prepared for a high deductible, more often than not as a percentage of damage.

What does animal liability cover?

If you own a pet you are typically held liable for its actions. We too often read about the dog, which attacked a person causing serious bodily injury or death. This is unfortunate and the potential repercussions on the animal's owner can be costly. The question is asked when this happens: does my homeowner's insurance cover this liability caused by my pet's actions?

Typically a homeowner's insurance policy provides liability coverage for the animal's owner. However because many individuals are maintaining pets of breeds, which have been known to be unfriendly, vicious and bite and attack others, many home insurance companies are starting to exclude or limit Animal Liability coverage from home insurance policies. It is very important to discuss your animal with your agent at the time of shopping for proper coverage.

What are two or three of the most popular supplemental policies for homeowners?

Three most popular supplemental endorsements are:
1) Scheduled valuable items, which allows you to identify and insure special classes of property such as jewelery, silverware, fine arts, furs, musical instruments, etc.
2) Coverage for water back-up provides coverage up to specific dollar amount if water backs up through your sewer or drain, or if water overflows or is discharged from your sump pump.
3) Special coverage for contents provides broader protection for your possessions.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

We are located inside PNC Center in Troy but do majority of our business via phone, email or fax.

Office 248.362.1319
Alexander personal: 248.909.1331
Email: ey@eandyagency.com

755 W. Big Beaver Rd
Suite 450
Troy, MI 48084

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