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How Insurers Determine Your Premium: An Interview with Tony Salvaggio of Twin Forks Insurance Agency, Inc

By Tony Salvaggio

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

Twin Forks Insurance Agency is an independent, full service insurance agency offering homeowners, automobile, life and business policies. We are a family run business with a dedicated friendly staff. Tony Salvaggio is the president and founder of the agency which started in 2010. Prior to that Tony was a partner in another insurance agency for 17 years. As an independent agent we can offer policies from many insurance companies. Agencies that represent State Farm, Allstate and similar companies are called "captive agencies" and can only offer products from that insurance company. Independent agencies usually have more options to offer clients.

First off, what is the definition of an insurance premium?

Insurance premium is the amount of money charged by an insurance company to provide coverage as per policy terms and conditions.

What factors do insurance companies use to determine your premium?

Factors which determine homeowner premiums are: size and age of the house, replacement cost, deductible and optional coverage selected, distance to tidal water, type of heat and previous claims submitted. Certain breeds of dogs or a trampoline on the premise may adversely affect the premium and availability. Homeowner's premium credits are available for central station burglar and fire alarms, wind storm mitigating features such as hurricane shutters, roof bracing, hurricane straps and double entry doors. If an insured "bundles" his homeowners with an auto policy some companies offer discounts up to 20% on both policies.

Why is my income not a factor in this process?

Insurance companies do not look at income to determine eligibility or premium, unlike banks do for mortgages. However some insurance companies will look at credit scores to determine eligibility and premium.

Is there any way to receive a reasonable premium with a low credit score?

If someone has a low credit score the best chance of getting a reasonable premium is to apply to an insurance company that doesn't use credit scoring in their underwriting evaluation process.

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

The best way to contact Twin Forks Insurance is to call or email us. Our phone number is 631-224-1000 and email is info@twinforksinsurance.com. Or visit our website at twinforksinsurance.com

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