Monthly Archives: June 2018

Understanding the Auto Insurance Claims Process

If you own a car, truck, motorcycle or any other vehicle, you know you need related insurance. All is good as long as you pay your monthly premium and do not make a claim.

Then you are involved in an accident. What then?

For many auto insurance policyholders, the auto insurance claim process is very, very complicated. Here, we bring you the basics of understanding with the following oft-repeated questions.

How long does it generally take to process an auto insurance claim?

A: If the insurance company has all the facts, a settlement should be achieved fairly quickly. By providing much of the details involved in the collision, the policyholder him or herself will help get the process off the ground. Any insurance company worth its reputation will do its utmost to process the claim as efficiently as possible.

Why is the estimated cost of repairs less than the actual payment check?

A: This is because the auto policyholder must first pay out-of-pocket for the deductible. Only after this, is the remaining balance given through a check.

What is the reason for the auto lien holder to be placed on the insurance payment check?

A: Many states make this a requirement for the simple reason that the lien holder has an insurable interest in the repair work done on the vehicle. In order for the policyholder to get the funding for the repair, he or she must be in touch with the lien holder.

What is the meaning of Direction of Payment?

A: Most auto repair shops require you to sign a Direction of Payment form so that they have documented evidence that the insurance company has permission to pay them for the repair work they complete.

What is common practice of insurance companies in regard to rental cars during the time the insured car is in the shop for repairs?

A: Most times, an insurance company will supply a rental car if the insured car is inoperable and in for repairs.

What about towing costs?

A: Generally speaking, towing is a covered service provided by the auto insurance company following an accident.

What is the procedure if the insured incurs injury during an auto accident?

A: The policyholder should be in touch with the insurance company if he or she is injured. The claims person will inform the policyholder about the related medical care and treatments that are covered under the policy.

Why Comparing Car Insurance Is Important

Comparing car insurance policies online while buying a new policy or renewing an existing one is an absolute must task. If you care about your car and money which we are sure you do, then you should definitely do your homework before buying your car insurance. With the presence of multiple insurance providers, buying car insurance may be more confusing than convenient for you. The easiest way to get the best deal for your car insurance is by comparing it. You should compare car insurance due to the following factors:

Save on Premium Rates

Every insurance company has a different pricing policy and different base plans because of which your final insurance quote will look different from different insurers. This not only depends on the name, age and model of your car, but also on the various components of the insurance policy, the base rate and pricing structure of the company. Thus, you ought to compare car insurance from different insurance companies to get an idea of the industry rates. This will allow you to pick up the insurer who is offering you the best premium policy at the lowest price.

Power of Choice

Online comparison empowers you to vary some of your key inputs and calculate the premium cost almost instantly. These key inputs, in the case of car insurance, are Insured Declared Value and voluntary deductibles. Both these factors have a significant impact on your car insurance premium. Higher the IDV and lower the voluntary deductible, higher will be your premium amount. Thus, you can weigh the two and set them as per your needs and requirements. An online comparison allows you to customize each one of them and see their individual effect.

Add-On Covers

Car Insurance add-on covers are very powerful and can help you get the best policy at a reasonable price. In case you do not know which cover is the best for your car, you can compare it on online aggregator’s website and get a detailed idea about each one of them. Not all companies offer the same set of add-ons; hence you can compare it for multiple companies and select the one that best matches your requirements.

Discounts and Other Offers

Most of the companies give attractive discounts on car insurance in view of attracting new customers and beat the competition. You can easily get an idea of the discount offered by each company and their terms and conditions therein. When you compare the car insurance, you will come to know which policy gives you the maximum discount for your car. Everybody loves the discount, but it is important that you do not miss on the key features of the policy in lieu of a discount.

Check the Reviews

Most of the comparison tools give a comprehensive comparison of the policy from different vendors. This also includes comparing the star rating of the company, their feedback from the clients and the reviews by the customers. These reviews and ratings often play an important role in influencing your decision. Thus, it is worthwhile that you go through these ratings in details and get a clear idea about the insurance company and the plans available to them.

No Claim Bonus (NCB)

In case of renewing your car insurance, NCB can play a key role in determining the final premium amount of your car. NCB is the discount offered on your insurance for the next year in case you do not make any claim in the current year. Although the NCB percent is standard, you can still account for this factor while comparing your final premium costs from all the insurance companies.

It is true that buying a new car insurance policy or renewing an existing policy may sometimes look to be a challenging task. But with several online aggregator websites and comparison tools available, you can get a clear picture about all the policies in one go. You can not only compare the same policy from different vendors, but may also compare different policies offered by a single vendor. Thus a detailed comparison will give you a clear idea of all the policies available and help you select the best one for your car.

Overview of Car Insurance

Car insurance is a very important thing for every car owner, regardless of the location they are in. Every state gas got its own requirements. There are some requirements that the drivers must meet so as to be able to purchase insurance and be able to drive without getting into trouble. Also, car insurance can also be an expensive and complicated affair. Most drivers find themselves operating and they do not understand emergencies that are covered. It is important to speak to a professional about some insurance questions, but there are some basics that everyone looking for car insurance should understand.

Property and liability

In auto insurance claims, there are usually two types of claims that you can find and they are property and liability. Usually, liability will cover you the car owner for all reasons like intent to harm or negligence. Property insurance, on the other hand covers any damage that is inflicted on your car or damage inflicted on another car.

For the individuals who are wealthier, they have greater liability insurance because there is a great likelihood that they may get sued. Most time, these people are able to fix their cars in case of an accident.

The limits and the deductibles

Limits can be defined as the maximum amount of cash that the insurance company can pay for every claim of every policy. In most contracts, you will discover that there are set limits on both ends. Sometimes limits for property and liability can also be set. When the limits are lower, then the premiums are lower and vice versa.

On the other hand, deductible is the amount that you will need to settle yourself before the company takes over the claim. In such a case, there is a deductible for every occurrence and for every policy. When the deductible is raised, the premiums go down.

Coverage lines

In most cases, the insured is required to have some coverage lines. There are many options to select from. You may choose to choose coverage in case you drive another car. There is also the option of adding others into the policy. A social coverage can also be selected for the theft of the car or vehicle parts.

Un-insured motorist coverage is very common. This is where uninsured motorists are covered. This comes in handy when there is an accident and the other party doesn’t have the required insurance.

Comparing the companies

Many of the contracts that have to do with cars have very similar details. Also, car insurance companies can be quite different from one another. If you select a great company, the services will also be great. You will employ better rates and coverage too.

Reviews can really help in the decision making process. You can ask your family and friends or check with local business bureaus. You may make comparisons based on the ratings that they enjoy. There are different systems that have been set so as to compare different companies. When the ratings are good, then you will definitely know that the company is sound financially.

Top Mistakes When Insuring Teen Drivers

1. Letting teens drive too soon

It is no secret that kids develop at different rates when growing up and it is no different for driving. While some kids are ready to drive younger than others (I was 14 when I started driving to school) it is definitely a conversation parents should have with their children. Some should wait to begin driving because they are simply not ready for the considerable responsibility. When you are driving, you are in control of an object that is extremely large and fast moving and can cause serious damage and even death.

2. Insuring your home and vehicles with two different agents

When you are shopping your insurance, in 99% of cases it is best to have everything with one company. When you have your policies with multiple different providers, you are most likely not getting the best rate. Almost every company out there gives you discounts for having everything bundled together with the most common being auto and home. As time has passed, companies are giving discounts for having policies in addition to just the auto and home. Many providers offer significant discounts for having multiple policies, such as life, business, umbrella, off-road, marine and even rental properties.

Outside of price, having one agent also will make your life a lot easier because you are not having to deal with two different people, which will generally lead to two answers for everything. Not all agents are created equal, so finding someone you can trust-who has the knowledge to help you with any questions you might have, as well as recommending what is best for you-is just as important (if not more important) than price.

3. Having a low liability coverage

One of the biggest mistakes you can make with your insurance is having low liability limits. In this day and age, lawsuits are more prevalent than ever and the payouts are only getting higher as medical costs are constantly going up. If medical costs have gone up 25 percent in the past five years, but you still have the same liability limits, you are now 25 percent more likely to have a claim exceed your liability cap.

There are a lot of assumptions when it comes to insurance, and one of them is that having high liability limits is going to cost an arm and a leg. In reality, that is the farthest from the truth. In many cases, you can double or triple your liability for less than a trip out to dinner each month. Is that meal really worth hundreds of thousands of coverage in the event of a liability claim? I don’t think so.

So, what liability limits should you have? While it will vary from state to state, I recommend having at least have $500,000 on your auto policy and a $1,000,000 umbrella policy as well. I know, you’re probably thinking why on earth would I need $1.5 million worth of coverage?

The first reason is that depending on what state you live in, you may not be able to file bankruptcy on liability claims. What does this mean? This means that if you have $25,000 worth of liability on your auto and were to severely hurt someone causing $300,000 worth of damage, you would be on the hook for $275,000. They can take your car, house, checking and even garnish wages until the claim is paid off. You have to not only think about what you have to lose now but also all of the potential future earning that could be lost.

The second reason is that the average death claim is over $750,000 which means that even if you had $500,000 worth of liability on your auto, which is generally the most an auto policy offers, you could still be on the hook for a quarter of a million dollars.

With insurance, you do have to consider worst case scenarios because that is why we have insurance. By ignoring this fact and purchasing low limits because you’re not willing to spend the equivalent of a trip out to dinner is only doing yourself a disservice.

4. Not informing your insurance company you have a new teen driver

If you are knowingly withholding drivers, it could result in the denial of a claim. You could be paying for insurance but because you did not disclose a driver because you didn’t want to pay the extra premium, you might be on the hook for a claim in its entirety. Sometimes it is hard to stomach that extra $100 a month for that new driver, but I can guarantee you it would be much more difficult to stomach the repossession of your home if your child got into a serious accident and your company denied the claim because the household was rated inaccurately.

The national average annual rate increases for male teens, according to insuranceQuotes.com:

• 16 years old: 109.65 percent

• 17 years old: 99.12 percet

• 18 years old: 90.45 percent

• 19 years old: 69.08 percent

Rate increases for females are much lower than for their male counterparts:

• 16 years old: 81.63 percent

• 17 years old: 72.69 percent

• 18 years old: 64.81 percent

• 19 years old: 47.58 percent

Reasons Why One Should Buy Car Insurance From an Agency

Car insurance agencies have been set up so as to aid car owners to access insurance services at a fast rate whilst giving advice on the various policies that they should choose. Some of the reasons as to why you should go to an agency include:

  1. Unbiased opinion: going to a car insurance agency means that you will be able to get information that is free from bias when you are choosing the best coverage. They will be able to give the best advice and advice on what works and what doesn’t. You will be able to get a policy just as you want it and the very coverage needed.
  2. You will also be given the chance to make company comparisons for the company that operates within your region. As such, you can check the prices and the success rate of the companies. In this way, you will be able to end up with the fairest company in the area.
  3. Agencies can also give you sound advice using the vast knowledge that they have in various policies. They can provide such information from all the insurance companies that are around.

Choosing the best insurance

A car insurance agency will be able to determine the best policy that is best suited for your vehicle. This coverage should be in line with the needs that the car has. Risk should also be determined and the excess amount that the insured is willing to pay should a risk occur. The excess amount is paid upfront before one can claim their insurance.

There are insurance companies that offer a very low rate when compared to others. However, they may not cover you unless you first pay the excess amounts that can be very high. The excess can actually be a very high amount usually, no definite benchmark for the amount in excess stands. You need to consider this carefully. It is important to be aware of any insurance cover that is cheap.

Time saving

The car insurance agency can actually save you a lot of time. By taking time to do research, you will be able to understand things better. Dealing with an agent from some of the insurance companies will help to a great extent. Talking to only one car insurance agency will allow you access to the various policies so that you may make up your mind on which is the best for you. Comparisons can help you to a very great extent. The car insurance agency will also take a look at the situation you are in and thereby advise you according to the budget and the need the budget that you are working within.

It is possible for car insurance to be affordable ad comprehensive and cheap too. Choose a coverage that is available from the major insurance companies and the prices. You should know that the having a cheaper policy doesn’t mean that the coverage will be great. Don’t waste too much time, but rather go directly to an agency.

Gap Insurance – Back To Basics

Once you have insured your car, you are good to go. Right? The answer is no. You still need GAP insurance. What is GAP insurance? Let’s take an example. Suppose you have bought a car making a down payment. After a couple of months, you end up getting your car totaled or stolen. You will get payment from the insurance company based on the existing value of your car in the market. The actual price of the car won’t be considered. This type of insurance provides coverage in this type of scenario. Let’s know more.

Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP)

The term GAP is short for guaranteed asset protection. This insurance policy includes your motorcycles as well as cars. It’s a good idea to apply for insurance should you consider a finance deal in order to buy a motorcycle or car. Once you have sold your car or have paid its price, you can get a refund. You may want to keep in mind that this policy is not an alternative to motor insurance. This is just a type of additional insurance that you can consider to protect your car.

The importance of GAP insurance

The price of vehicles doesn’t remain constant. So, the insurance company will figure out your payout keeping the current value of your vehicle in mind. Not everyone has to get insurance. GAP insurance won’t be a requirement if you got a loan to make payment for the car. You can do with the regular car insurance.

However, if you take out a loan for a car, we suggest that you give a go to GAP insurance. The reason is that if your car is totaled or damaged, the rest of payment won’t be on you. Aside from this, it will be the responsibility of the insurance provider to get you a replacement car in addition to alleviate the loan you got to buy the car.

Types of GAP insurance

Typically, your car dealership can help you with insurance. Apart from this, you can go to licensed brokers as well. According to many experts, getting insurance from reliable brokers is better than car dealerships. The reason is that car dealership will cost you more.

GAP insurance is of many types. Each provider has different policies and the prices of the policy are different based on the car and the dealer/broker.

It’s important to note that some insurance packages, such as finance insurance is there to help you get funds for buying a car. Besides, you can consider a lease insurance policy that helps you handle the fees and costs incurred as a result of damage to a leased car. Another type of insurance plan was created in order to fund your new car purchase. At times, your insurance provider adds to your insurance package.

Long story short, you may want to make sure that you know what a GAP insurance policy has to offer before you get it. You can ask the broker for more information.