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Rent a Car in Canada

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 06/04/2017

Q: I rent a car near the border and use it for two weeks in Canada. My Insurance company says they don’t insure that car but the credit card they issue does cover the car I am driving. My liability?

A: I am very surprised that your car insurance company doesn’t provide coverage for a rental car in Canada.  You may want to obtain the legal contract of your policy and take a look yourself. I think you may have been told the wrong information because most insurance companies in the United States do provide coverage in Canada and so many miles into Mexico.

But I do have to ask, are you renting on the Canadian side or the US side? Because that would make a difference. Rental cars from outside of the US are generally not covered by your US insurance policy. Some insurance companies offer higher levels of coverage that would include it, but that is rare.

In regards to your credit card covering it, that is something completely separate.  Credit cards have different rules and regulations. To protect yourself though, I would make sure that you have it in writing that your credit card company will cover the damage to your rental car and any damage you would do driving the rental car. I am not familiar with the terms of coverage with a rental car through a credit card though as I have never had to use it, research it, or work with it.

If nothing else, purchase insurance from the company that you are renting a car through.

 

Do I Have to Have a Car Insurance Agent?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 06/02/2017

Q: Do I have to get insurance through a car insurance agent?

A: No, you don’t.

Thanks to the internet there are now plenty of opportunities for you to be able to purchase your own car insurance directly from insurance companies and because you are cutting out the middleman you will most likely save money by doing this also. However, by cutting out the car insurance agent you can also be harming yourself.

Car insurance agents are your insurance advocates. They know the field, they know the companies to put you with, and they know the claims process. They know when something doesn’t sound or look right with the numbers a claims adjuster is giving you. They know when your premium looks higher than it should be.

In a lot of cases, by cutting out the car insurance agent you may actually end up paying out more in premium or lost claim money than you would have paying the small commission that agents make from your premium.

I personally don’t have a car insurance agent, but I have also been in insurance for 12 years and know what I am doing. I know what discounts I qualify for, what coverages I need in my life to protect my current finances and what my vehicle’s worth is. I have even represented myself in the settlement process of a claim after a serious car accident, where I had to go through 9 months of physical therapy for multiple back injuries, because I know what you can claim under pain and suffering.

If you don’t know what you are doing, I would suggest sticking with a car insurance agent.

5 Questions You Should Always Ask your Car Insurance Agent

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 05/31/2017

When you purchase insurance, make sure you are asking your car insurance agent the right questions.

Car insurance is a more important purchase than most people treat it. Buy too much and you are wasting your money. Buy too little and you are putting yourself at serious financial risk. To make sure you are right where you need to be with your coverage, ask these 8 important questions.

1. What Car Insurance do I Need?

Before you even go to the car insurance agents office, know what your assets are. How much is your car worth? How much money do you have in the bank or invested that you can liquidate quickly if needed?

Knowing how much your vehicle is worth will help you determine whether it is worth putting coverage on it at all and what deductible makes the most sense. You don’t put physical damage coverage with a $500 deductible on a vehicle that is only worth $500.

Knowing your assets and how much cash you can have on hand will help you decide how much liability coverage to choose to protect those assets in the event you are sued after a car accident.

2. Does My Policy Pay Attorney Fees?

In most cases, yes, your car insurance policy will pay for you to be represented by an attorney if you do find yourself in court from a car accident. But, make sure how much your policy covers and what the fine print is in a policy before you purchase.

3. Do I need Coverages That Aren’t Required by the State?

The only car insurance coverage you are required to purchase is liability coverage. However, even though other coverages like loss of use, towing, collision and comprehensive are optional they are still important in providing financial protection.

For example, if you are in a car accident that disables your vehicle, you don’t have a second vehicle and didn’t purchase loss of use coverage you are left without transportation to get to work. Without being able to get to work you aren’t getting paid and could possibly lose your job. A whole scenario that could be avoided just by purchasing the optional loss of use coverage; which is guaranteed to be cheaper than the wages you would lose.

4. What Discounts Do I Qualify For?

When your agent puts together your quote have them provide a list of available discounts. Make sure you go through the list and that the ones you qualify for are added to your quote.

5. Will My Policy be Non-renewed if I get a Ticket or into an Accident?

This last question will get a variety of answers and it all depends on who your car insurance agent is trying to place you with.

 

 

Insuring a New Teen Driver

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 05/31/2017

Q: My son is getting his diving permit this summer, do I have to put him on my insurance policy?

A: In most cases you don’t. He isn’t a licensed driver yet and insurance companies usually only require that licensed drivers be put on insurance policies. If you are going to be staying with the same insurance company you won’t need to provide their information until either the insurance company asks for it while they still have their permit or when they get their license.

As tempting as it is, don’t skip on adding your new driver to the policy. If they get into an accident the insurance company will pay for the accident, but they may cancel your policy afterward. If they don’t cancel it, they will make you add them.

If you are switching insurance companies this summer you may have to provide all of the names and birthdates of those close to driving age in your home. Insurance companies do this to keep track of the drivers in the household so that a newly licensed driver is added when they should be. Teen drivers are a high risk to insurance companies and they have to be able to collect the appropriate amount of premium for the risk in order to remain solvent.

 

 

Posting an Insurance Company Review

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 06/04/2017

Q: how can i post a review for my insurance company?

A: We are always looking for personal reviews of insurance companies and gladly welcome yours.  To leave a review of an insurance company that you are currently with or have had dealings with in the past, click HERE. This will take you to our review page with every single insurance company in the United States. Once you find the company, click on it to be taken to their page and then scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page to leave your review.

If you don’t find the company you are looking for, which is unlikely, just drop us a line and we will gladly add it to the site for you.

Now, this is only for insurance companies and not insurance agencies. So make sure that your company submission is the company that actually underwrites your policy or is the company that you are dealing with that will write the check for the claim and not the agency that sold the policy. If you are not sure, please still send your submission and we will be glad to clarify which one it is.

There are also some rules to abide by when you leave a review:

1) No names. We get that you are upset with your agent/claims adjuster/customer service person, but we will not publish any names.

2) No swearing. I don’t think this one needs clarification.

3) Leave your stars. Reviews without stars get deleted.

4) State your business. If your review is just a long incoherent rant it will be deleted.

Other than that, review away.

Also if you look up in the top right-hand corner of your screen, there is a review box with the most frequently reviewed companies. If you see the company you want to write a review for there, just click on the name and I will take you straight to that company’s page.

 

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Car Insurance Guidebook Unravels the Car Insurance Mystery

Unless you work in the car insurance industry, the topic is probably a mystery to you. The words deductible, comprehensive, collision, liability, premium, loss of use and bodily injury are all gibberish when they reach your ears.

Unfortunately, insurance is something that you are required to have by law if you want to drive. Because of how confusing it is many people go around in almost an insurance daze while they get car insurance quotes from the auto insurance companies that they have heard of. In reality, they are completely lost as to what they are actually buying.

Instead of looking at what each insurance company offers in the terms of protection for both themselves and their car, they are instead looking for cheap car insurance. Finding the cheapest car insurance coverage makes having to buy the required product all that much less painful, but misses the whole point of having insurance.

Learning about insurance through your insurance agent or websites like Car Insurance Guidebook will give you the upper hand when you looking for car insurance. You can take your knowledge and not only find the best price for insurance, you can use it to find really great insurance to protect you and your assets. Then you aren’t stuck settling for just average car insurance that can hurt you financially if you ever need it because there isn’t enough protection.

For example, when looking for insurance the car insurance rates are just the first of many factors that need to be taken into account when you are shopping around for car insurance. You also need to take into account the type of vehicle that you are driving. Many people don’t know this.

Are you driving around a vehicle that is a new sedan and can be protected under any blanket insurance policy? Or do you have an old car that you fixed up that needs special protection and could be better covered under classic car insurance?

Don’t just assume that when you compare car insurance that it will be a one-size-fits-all policy. This is where the insurance knowledge will come in handy; you will know what you need to protect yourself and your vehicle.

You will understand what your insurance agent is talking about when they use insurance terms and you will actually be able to make an informed decision. This is much better for you instead of the “nod and smile” approach people take in their insurance agent’s office.

Also just like your life changes your insurance needs will change. This year you may just need to learn about the best deductible to have. Next year you may need to educate yourself on car insurance for young drivers. As the years pass, motorcycle insurance may be something you will need to know.

Many wise people say that you never stop learning, so take their advice and educate yourself on the insurance that you spend a lot of money on and can’t get away with not having.