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Frequently Asked Questions

Quick answers to common information needs


Billing Questions

What billing options are available?

DCU Insurance policies are billed directly by the insurers. Each insurer has its own direct bill payment options. Most payment plans other than full payment up-front include nominal per-installment fees. The fees are often waived or reduced under EFT (electronic funds transfer) plans. When we quote insurance for you, we will explain the available billing options.

Is payroll deduction a payment option?

There is currently no payroll deduction option available for members. The insurers' EFT plans or the use of DCU Bill Payer are encouraged

What is the down payment requirement?

Most often the down payment is 20% of the annual premium for the policy. With some insurers' EFT, plans, there is no down payment required.

When an insurance binder is required for the closing on a mortgage, the lender will typically require that 12 months premium be prepaid.

For MA automobile policies only, if you were previously canceled for non-payment of premium, you must pay 100% of the annual premium, and if there is still money owed to the prior insurer that must also be paid.

I have a payment due; where do I send it?

Because DCU Insurance policies are billed directly by the insurers, payments should be made to the insurer, not to the DCU agency. Bills from the companies come with payment stubs or envelopes that provide the remittance address. You can mail a check with the stub or direct a payment from DCU Bill Payer to that address. On-line payment options may also be available on the insurer web sites. The remittance addresses and/or online payment options for our insurers can be found through the following links:

Please be sure to note your name and policy number if mailing a payment without the stub.

Changes Questions

How do I make changes to my policy?

Contact DCU Insurance by phone, email, or fax. Please provide your name, policy number, effective date of the change, a description of the change you are requesting, and the best way to contact you during the day if we have questions. We'll take it from there!

Please note that changes to coverage requested via voicemail, email, or fax are not bound until confirmed by one of the DCU Insurance agents.

For changes to Travelers or Liberty Mutual policies in other states, please contact their service centers directly. Travelers can be reached at 800.842.5936, or Liberty Mutual at 888.380.9287.

When should I make changes to my policy?

You should consult with us about changes to your policy at any time when something that affects the policy has changed. Examples include: change of address; additions, improvements or modifications to your home; purchase of new high-value possessions; adding or deleting drivers; adding, deleting or replacing a vehicle; or any change in coverage that you may be contemplating.

When can a member change agents or insurers?

While it is possible to change at any time, it is usually in your best financial interest to change as of the date your current policy expires. The best time to look at alternatives is about 45 days before the current policy expires.

An exception to this rule is when you are closing on a new house. Then, you have an opportunity to buy the new policy through any agent or insurer of your choice. It doesn't have to be placed through your current home insurer.

It is not advisable to change insurers frequently, as stability counts in underwriting insurance.

Claims Questions

What losses are covered?

The simple answer is – whatever your insurance policy says is covered. Insurance policies are complex contracts that define what is covered, under what conditions, and to what extent. Generally, loss coverage answers are quite clear, but sometimes the exact circumstances make it hard to tell. Those most expert about this are the claims adjusters for the insurer that wrote the contract. We are happy to help you understand your policy but we may not always be sure about the coverage for a particular loss without involving the insurer.

I have had an accident or suffered another type of loss – should I report it?

Generally, insurance is intended to help you handle losses serious enough that you couldn't absorb them without financial hardship. If the expected cost of the loss is within, or not much more than, your deductible amount, you may choose not to submit a claim. Many insurers consider your loss history when deciding whether to write or renew your policy, and at what price.

For auto insurance, it is essential to notify your insurer any time there is an accident involving others, an accident with any injuries or damage to the property of others, or any accident where the police responded. This is true whether or not you feel you caused the loss. It is better that they hear from you first. The insurer will determine whether there is coverage and a payable loss under the terms of the policy.

How do I report a loss?

Most insurers prefer that you report losses directly to them and provide toll-free numbers for doing so. The claims numbers for our insurers are:

Some carriers also allow claims reporting through their web sites. If you are unsure about how to make a claim, contact us at 800.328.8797 extension 6978, and we will help you.

Contacts

How do I contact DCU Insurance?

Lots of ways to contact us!

  • Phone – 800.328.8797, extension 6978; or 508.263.6978
  • DCU Insurance Emailinsurance@dcu.org*
  • Fax – 866.897.2629
  • Mail – DCU Insurance, 220 Donald Lynch Boulevard, PO Box 846, Marlborough, MA 01752

Coverages

What coverage is provided in each type of policy?

Your insurance policy gives the most complete and accurate description of what is covered, for what amounts and under what conditions. Coverage varies by type of policy, by insurer, by state, and by the coverage selections you made when you purchased the policy, so it is important to understand your policy at the time of purchase. The DCU Insurance staff would be happy to answer your questions about coverages.

At the DCU web site, StreetWise provides easy-to-understand, general explanations of the coverages provided under most automobile, homeowners, renters and umbrella policies.

What type and how much coverage do I need?

This is a very personal decision which, after satisfying any legal, regulatory or lender requirements, comes down to your tolerance for risk. To protect your financial well-being, you must balance the cost of insurance against what's at risk if you don't buy it, then decide how much of a loss you could absorb personally. Licensed DCU Insurance personnel can advise you about coverage, but in the end, you must make the decision.

What assets or possessions do you want to protect? What is their current value, and what would it cost to replace them? What would you need to do if your home or car were unusable for a period of time? How much could you afford to pay as a deductible (higher deductibles can often save you money on insurance premiums)?

An aspect of personal insurance often overlooked is liability coverage. If you are responsible for injury or financial loss to someone else, this is the coverage that is used to compensate them and/or to defend you against legal claims. Without sufficient liability coverage, your assets and even your future income stream could be at risk. Both auto and homeowners policies have a liability component. Supplemental liability coverage can be purchased in a personal umbrella policy.

Insurers

Which insurance companies does DCU Insurance represent?


Encompass Insurance

Encompass Insurance — Owned by Allstate; rated A+ by AM Best

Foremost Insurance

Foremost Insurance — Over 50 years experience, rated A by AM Best

Mapfre Insurance

MAPFRE Insurance — With more than eight hundred independent agents and two thousand local employees, MAPFRE Insurance is the number one auto and home insurer in Massachusetts. Rated A (Excellent) by AM Best.

Main Street America Group

Main Street America Group Insurance — Member of the Main Street America Group with seven operating companies; rated A by AM Best

Safety Insurance

Safety Insurance — Auto, home and business insurance, the third largest private passenger automobile carrier, the third largest commercial automobile carrier and the seventh largest homeowner carrier in MA, rated A by AM Best

Travelers Insurance

Travelers Insurance — Part of the St. Paul Travelers Group; rated A+ by AM Best. Travelers also offers special personal lines insurance products on a direct basis for DCU members in states not currently serviced by DCU Insurance.

TruStage Auto and Home Insurance

TruStageTM Auto and Home Insurance — offered by TruStage Insurance Agency, LLC and issued by leading insurance companies. Discounts are not available in all states and discounts vary by state. The insurance offered is not a deposit and is not federally insured. This coverage is not sold or guaranteed by your credit union.

Travelers and TruStage also offer special personal lines insurance products on a direct basis for DCU members in states not currently serviced by DCU Insurance.

We also represent the Massachusetts Property Insurance Underwriting Association for MA properties that don't qualify for our primary carriers, and Travelers and The Hartford for flood policies.

Pricing/Underwriting

Is there a price difference with DCU Insurance?

There are discount programs available exclusively to DCU members. DCU Insurance staff works to find the most cost-effective coverage available that meets the member's needs, and we employ all applicable discounts in your favor.

When we talk to you about your policy, we will let you know whether we can provide the coverage you need at a better price than you are currently paying. However with insurance as with many other things you purchase, price is not the end of the story. We will take the time to help you assess what coverage you should have to protect your financial well-being.

There is considerable variation in the prices depending on individual risk characteristics and the insurers' guidelines.

What factors affect pricing of insurance policies?

Insurers use many factors to determine which policies they prefer to write and at what price. Except where regulators set the criteria, the factors vary based on each insurer's appetite for a particular type of customer and their research and analysis of the profitability of insurance policies written for those customers.

Through the DCU web site, StreetWise provides good information about the many factors that can influence how different types of policies would be priced.

What does credit history have to do with insurance?

Most insurers now use insurance scoring as one factor in underwriting or pricing their policies, to the extent allowed by the state insurance departments. Insurance scoring is based on credit history but is different from credit scoring. Insurers have determined that certain elements of a customer's credit history are strong predictors of whether the customer will have a loss.

If the insurer takes any adverse action, such as declining to write the policy or not providing their most attractive pricing, as a result of information contained in a consumer report, they will provide you with information about the source of the information.

Products

What insurance products are available from DCU Insurance?

DCU Insurance is a property/casualty insurance agency. The products sold by the agency include...

  • Automobile – privately owned or leased vehicles; coverage for liability and physical damage
  • Homeowners/Condo Owners – occupied by the owner; coverage for the home, other structures, personal property, loss of use and liability
  • Renters – coverage for personal property and liability
  • Dwelling Fire – residential property not occupied by the owner; coverage for the building and liability
  • Umbrella Liability – extra coverage for liability and legal defense, above what is covered in the auto and homeowners policies
  • Flood – available in participating communities
  • Motor Homes and Travel Trailers – coverage for liability and physical damage
  • Boats and Personal Watercraft – coverage for liability and physical damage
  • Motorcycles and Snowmobiles – coverage for liability and physical damage
  • All-Terrain Vehicles – coverage for liability and physical damage

States

In which states can DCU members get insurance from DCU Insurance?

DCU Insurance agency is licensed and operating in Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire. Additional states will be added in the future.

DCU Insurance has made special arrangements with Liberty Mutual and Travelers. For these policies, the member will deal directly with licensed, knowledgeable staff at the Travelers service centers, accessible by phone (800.842.5936) or Liberty Mutual Service Center, accessible by phone (800.225.2467). Learn more.


*Please note that ordinary email is not secure. You should avoid including any sensitive personal or financial information. Contact DCU Insurance directly with specific questions concerning your account or membership.

"Outstanding Customer Service From DCU Insurance"

Open quote Whenever I have questions with regards to policy, changes and/or claims DCU Insurance has always been there for me providing quick and prompt service. Close quote

— Jerry, Gardner, MA