Ayotte-Cabral Insurance Agency is an independent insurance agent, which means we show our commitment to the community by not being yoked to one insurance provider. We gather all your information, then compare price and coverages with 20-30 different insurance companies, assuring you get the best coverage for your specific needs at the most affordable price available.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: “Why were you able to save my friend $700 on their insurance policies, but the prices you are giving me are around what I am paying now?”

A: Everyone tends to compare insurance rates with what their friends, family and loved ones are paying, but different factors come into play when calculating individual insurance rates. Depending on the type of policy you are using for comparison — whether home, automobile or even business insurance policies — insurers look at a list of factors that differ from one person to the next.

Let’s look at an automobile policy, for example. First, automobile insurance rates are calculated based on a number of factors, including the town or area an individual lives in. Rates are different from town to town, so if you live in a different town/city than your friend, you’ll probably see a difference in rates.

Next, you need to look at the type and number of vehicle(s) you each have. Do you have the same number and types of vehicles as your friend? One policy may include multi-car credits, and the type of vehicle being insured could put a policy into a different rating tier/rating structure than someone else’s.

Depending upon the state, other considerations an insurer may take into account are: How are the vehicles used? Is the vehicle used for pleasure, business or driving back and forth to work? How many miles one way is the vehicle driven to work?

Are there any alarms or passive restraint discounts on any of the vehicles?

What do you carry for liability limits? Do you have minimum limits or higher limits? Believe it or not, this could have an effect on your insurance rates and premiums. Insurance companies prefer that you carry better limits of liability, so you if you and your friend do not have the same limits of liability, and your friend increases their limit, they may find that they get better coverage and save money.

Another factor that changes a policy is whether or not you carry comprehensive, collision, towing and/or rental coverages. Did your friend start with this coverage, then after obtaining comparison quotes, make some changes by deleting coverage or increasing deductibles and that is why they saved more money?

Who are the drivers listed on the policy? Do you have inexperienced youthful operators in your home, while your friend does not?

Finally, Massachusetts and Rhode Island have “competitive rating,” which means every insurance company has different rates. So, even when comparing your own insurance policy between two different companies, you will find a difference in rates which means a difference in the price you will pay.

As you can see, there are many factors to consider which can affect the bottom line.

Q: “Why should I buy insurance with you rather than another insurance agent?”

A: You need to purchase insurance from an insurance company or agent that you feel comfortable working with. No matter which insurance agent or provider you work with, they should be knowledgeable, experienced and able to answer any of your questions. They should know how to solve your problems, if not predict them beforehand, and give you solutions ahead of time to avoid problems later.

Dealing with a knowledgeable, experienced insurance professional is key. Anyone can get you an insurance policy, but helping to protect and guide you along the way is paramount. As a consumer, you may not know the questions to ask or what you need to know. I would ask myself, “Does my insurance agent go the extra mile? Do they know the insurance policy and take the time to inform me of what is covered vs. what is not covered?”

I love knowing everything in an insurance policy so I can show the consumer – whether individual or business — what exclusions and/or limitations exist in a policy. I am not concerned with selling you the product; I am concerned with educating you on your options so that you can make an informed decision, a decision that is right for you.

I stated earlier that anyone can get you an insurance policy. My question to you is, has that policy been altered to meet your needs and not the needs of what the insurance provider thinks you need? I have been in the insurance business for over 23 years, and I will never claim to know what people need because I do not know 100% about what goes on in their lives. What I do know is insurance policies, and by taking the time to explain your exclusions to you, you can tell me if you are concerned with a particular exclusion or not. If you are not concerned with that exclusion because you don’t believe it will affect you, then we can move forward. If you feel that the exclusion can adversely affect you, then I can tell you how much it would cost to add the coverage, advise you that you need to purchase a separate policy, or explain that you’ll need to fund the exposure on your own because coverage cannot be purchased.

Remember, you cannot get coverage for everything, so I believe knowing all your options beforehand allows you the opportunity to prepare for that uninsurable loss.

Q: “Give me an example of a coverage that I might want to know about?”

A: I’ll give you two different examples from a homeowner’s and a business owner’s exposure.

Let me start with the Business Owner. I have been finding more and more that business owners are unaware of exclusions that exist in their insurance policy. If a business owner knows beforehand that an exclusion is present in the policy, he/she could state that the exclusion is a problem for his/her business and he/she needs the coverage.

Let me give you an example. I wrote a policy recently and explained to my client all of the exclusions for both the property and the liability sections of the policy. I told him that the liability section of the policy specifically excludes coverage for property of others that is in his care, custody and control. When I informed him of the liability exclusions, he became alarmed. He stated that he services and repairs appliances for residential clients, and the property would be in his care, custody and control while he is working on an appliance. Even though he does not bring any appliances back to his office — which would be another

issue to address — he does have property of others in his care, custody and control when he is at his client’s home.

Now someone might say, “But the homeowner has coverage,” and the answer is, “Maybe, maybe not.” Even if the homeowner has coverage, the insurance company would subrogate against my client and his current policy would not provide the coverage. If I did not take the time to bring this issue to his attention, the business owner may have put himself at considerable risk without being aware of it.

To further show the value of my knowledge and experience, when I emailed the insurance company, they replied with their definition of “Business Personal Property.” They stated that the client’s property would be included in this definition. I confirmed that they were correct IF the client’s property was at my client’s place of business or within so many feet of my client’s business location. I explained, though, that based upon the definition they had given me of “Business Personal Property,” the scenario I was asking about would be a Liability issue, not a Property issue.

Since my client goes to the consumer’s residence, while his client’s property is in his care, custody and control during repair, it is NOT AT HIS BUSINESS LOCATION, and therefore any damage done to the appliance would not be covered under his policy.

Knowing what I know, I asked some more questions and found that with this particular insurance company, if the insured had a Business Owner’s Policy (BOP), he could not add coverage for property of others that is in his care, custody and control. However, this particular company did have an endorsement that could be added to a Commercial Package Policy (CPP), and even though it was for only $5000 of coverage, the coverage is still more than he would have had under his existing policy.

My client now has many options. Does he keep the Business Owner’s

Policy that does not provide the protection he needs (I would advise not to), or does he have me quote the Commercial Package Policy (CPP) with this company as well as with other companies, and have them add this endorsement to provide the protection he needs? I would advise the business owner to pursue the latter solution. The reason I suggest getting quotes from other companies is because other companies may offer higher coverage limits in their endorsement, and if that is what my client needs and wants, then that is what he should purchase.

By the way, I should mention that I originally asked the insurance company to include this coverage, and it was stated on the application. However, after they gave me the quote and went to issue the policy, they noticed that they forgot to include the coverage and actually quoted it on the wrong type of policy form.

This is my own disclaimer, to clarify that while I know to ask for the right coverage, it is ultimately the insurance company that knows their products and what each product is capable of doing. I say this because each company is different, especially with businesses, as they pre-select what coverages and clients meet their guidelines for that particular policy.

If a client does not fit in the guidelines of that policy, they would have to purchase a different policy. I agree that price is important, but why are you buying a policy in the first place? Don’t you want the coverage to be there when you have a loss?

The answer is up to you.

In regards to homeowner’s insurance, do you know that you could have issues with Flood, Earthquake, Ordinance and Law, just to name a few? Did you know that these exclusions are in your homeowner’s policy? Do you know what they are, what they mean and how you can buy the coverage back?

We are hearing more and more about flooding, earthquake and other catastrophic losses. What happens if you have a mortgage, but do not have coverage? Do you think the mortgage company is going to care? The answer is NO — they want their money. They are sad to hear that you do not have the coverage, but they still want the money you borrowed from them, so where are you going to go?

Do you have investments? Do you want to dip into that pool of money and upset your other goals that you were trying to achieve?

The bottom line is, if you did not add the coverage to your homeowner’s policy, or if you did not purchase a separate policy like a flood policy, then you are not going to get any money from your insurance company, regardless of how much you have paid them and regardless of how long you have been insured with them. Know your options, and know whether you can purchase the coverage or if you have to buy a separate policy.

Again, not all coverage is available, but knowing beforehand allows you the opportunity to put things in place to protect yourself. However you choose to fund an uninsured exposure is up to you, and there are many professionals available to help you find ways.

Ordinance and Law has to do with the city or town’s codes, and they vary from town to town. No insurance professional will know what those codes are, and they are not expected to know. The insurance professional’s job is to educate you on the exposure, tell you if you can buy the coverage, and if so, at what additional cost. Insurance is only required to return your property to the condition it was in before the loss, so if there is a code issue, your current policy will only provide 10% of your “Coverage A, Dwelling” limit.

If the code loss exceeds that 10% additional coverage provided by your policy, I hope your insurance professional told you about the limitations in coverage beforehand, so you could make an informed decision as to whether or not to purchase the additional coverage.


Q: “Should I purchase a policy on price alone?”

A: NEVER! Everyone needs to be concerned with the bottom line, but based on the information I provided above, I strongly believe that the consumer should never buy based on price alone. Hopefully they are able to trust and believe in their insurance professional, and know that they are doing the best they can with the insurance companies they have available to them. I always explain to my clients that I am consumed with giving them the best price I can, but that means making sure they have the appropriate coverage in place.

Buying a policy because it’s the cheapest price around may leave you with exactly that — a CHEAP POLICY! When you have a claim, you may find there is no coverage in effect. Well, what did you pay for? You paid the cheapest amount you could, probably without knowing what you did or did not have for coverage.

In the Business Owner’s example above, he may have originally obtained a quote that appeared to be cheaper than other policies, but found that it lacked the coverage he needed. Therefore the policy would have been worthless to him in the event he ever needed the coverage.

Why would someone do that?

With the extensive knowledge I’ve gained from 23 years of experience in the insurance industry, I provide individual and business consumers with insurance policies that meet their very specific needs, from homeowner and automobile policies to Business Owner’s, Commercial Package Policies, Worker's Compensation, Professional Liability, and the rest. The knowledge I share with my clients and potential clients is as important as price, because my clients benefit from and appreciate the understanding I offer of what each policy provides in coverages, exclusions and limitations, giving them the ability to make informed decisions that are right for them.

I am Charlene A. Cabral, owner of Ayotte-Cabral Insurance Agency, where we hold the torch to light your way, helping to keep your dreams a reality!