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Car Insurance for Your Stored Vehicle

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 10/01/2015

There is a right way and a wrong way to treat the car insurance on your stored vehicle.

car insurance for stored vehicles

What car insurance do you need on your stored vehicle?

Right now almost all of us are enjoying the beautiful fall colors that are appearing outdoors, making it the perfect time to take out those classic vehicles and other special cars for a drive. But that also means that in the not too distant future that the snow and ice are going to start making their appearance.

If you store your vehicle for the winter to protect it from the elements, did you know that you can actually decrease your insurance coverage for the time that your vehicle is in storage and not being driven?

What Car Insurance Do You Need?

If you put your special vehicle in storage for the winter and you don’t have a lienholder, you actually don’t need to have any insurance coverage on it. Of course, if you love your vehicle enough that you are putting it safely in storage for the winter, going without all insurance coverage is probably something you are not going to want to do.

To protect your vehicle just in case something happens to it while it is being stored, you are going to want to keep comprehensive and collision coverage. The comprehensive coverage will pay for any damage to the vehicle if something were to fall on it while it was in storage. The collision coverage will cover any damage if the brakes were to disengage or something else caused the vehicle to roll and hit something. Collision coverage will also protect your vehicle if it is struck by another runaway vehicle while it is parked in storage.

Don’t You Need Liability Car Insurance?

Liability car insurance is required by state law in pretty much all states. However, if you are storing your vehicle and not driving it you are exempt from having to have liability car insurance on your vehicle. There is just no reason to have this coverage because there is no danger of you causing property damage or injuries with a stored vehicle that you are not driving.

Unfortunately, in most states it’s not just a matter of calling your car insurance agent and asking them to decrease your car insurance. In many states you will actually have to turn in your license plate to the DMV for the time that your vehicle is stored. If you aren’t sure what your state requires, your car insurance agent will be able to advise you.


Medical Expenses After Hitting a Deer

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 10/01/2015

Medical expenses work differently if they come from your own car insurance policy.

Question: I was hurt when I hit a deer, is there compensation available besides just medical? Pain and suffering from Traumatic Rotator Cuff Tear?

Answer: Pain and suffering payments are made to someone to compensate for the negligence of the other person because of the life interruption and pain they caused. This type of payment is never made to you from your own insurance policy because you cannot compensate yourself for your own negligence.

So in this case, the only payments that would be made under your medical expenses would be to pay for your medical payments.

How Much Will My Car Insurance Go Up After An Accident?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 10/03/2015

No one can tell you how much or even if an accident will make your car insurance go up.

Because we get this question at least once a week, it deserves it’s own post. Now this is not to say that this is a bad question, it is a very valid question and one that can cause a lot of anxiety. Unfortunately, this is the only answer that we can offer:

We don’t know if or how much your car insurance will go up after an accident!

Car insurance rates are based on so many different factors that two people could get into similar car accidents and one have their car insurance rates go up and the other not. This is because there could be other tickets, the place where they live has a different rating, the type of car they have is different, as well as many other things. So the addition of a new car accident is not the only rating factor that is looked at when it comes time for your car insurance to renew. This also means that not even your car insurance agent, your underwriter or customer service agent at your insurance company can tell you either.



Should You Consider Umbrella Insurance?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 09/25/2015

Umbrella insurance is the ultimate car insurance protection you can have.

umbrella insurance

Umbrella insurance protects you from the financial storm after a car accident.

Not all drivers are looking for the cheapest policy they can get their hands on that will allow them to drive. Many drivers want the most coverage possible to make sure they are fully protected from even the worst car accident’s aftermath.

For this protection, you need to ask your insurance agent or insurance company about adding umbrella insurance to your existing car insurance policy.

What Is Umbrella Insurance?

Umbrella insurance is usually known as a personal umbrella policy and it does exactly what it sounds like it does. Just like how you use an umbrella above you to protect you from the rain or snow, a personal umbrella policy is placed above your home or auto insurance to protect you from financial ruin.

Umbrella insurance only extends over your liability insurance also, so if your liability coverage isn’t enough to cover the damages or medical expenses of the other person you hit in an accident your umbrella insurance kicks in right where the your liability coverage ends. In other words, umbrella insurance is extra insurance coverage that goes above and beyond what is offered with a regular car insurance policy.

How Exactly Does Umbrella Insurance Work?

Here is an example of how umbrella insurance works:

Say that you cause a car accident that injures another driver. Your regular car insurance has a liability limit of $250,000 to cover medical expenses, but once it hits this limit your insurance company will no longer pay for anything else. So what happens if that limit is not enough to cover the other driver’s needs?

If the other driver’s injuries are bad enough, they may require more than the $250,000 that your policy covers. If that happens, you are responsible for paying the rest of it out of your own pocket and if you can’t they can sue you. If they do, your personal assets would be at stake.

An umbrella policy can cover the additional costs when your insurance isn’t enough. So if you are found to be responsible for $400,000 in medical expenses and other costs and your car insurance only covers $250,000 of that, your umbrella policy will cover the remaining $150,000. For more information contact your car insurance agent or car insurance company on more information on the umbrella policies they offer.

What’s really part of that cheap car insurance?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 09/19/2015

Cheap car insurance may be good, but only in the short term.

We have all seen those commercials, the ones that promise that you will only pay $39 a month for your car insurance. Sounds great doesn’t it?

A little too great.

That $39 cheap car insurance is just so you can drive and not get in trouble with your state’s DMV. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really offer any protection for you if you were to cause an accident or get into an accident with another that doesn’t have car insurance.

What Cheap Car Insurance Covers

This cheap car insurance, in most cases, is basic liability coverage. Basic liability coverage consists of:

  • Property damage liability coverage: coverage that will pay for any damages you cause with your vehicle to another person’s vehicle or property.
  • Bodily injury liability coverage: coverage that will pay for medical expenses that you cause with your vehicle to another person or their passengers.

Not only will this cheap car insurance only cover the bare minimum of the coverages that you are required to have, but it will also only cover at the absolute lowest amount of coverage you are required to have.

What Cheap Car Insurance Does Not Cover

The cheap car insurance that you see advertised on TV does not cover the following:

  • Damages to your vehicle
  • Medical expenses from injuries to you or your passengers
  • A rental car
  • Towing
  • Coverage to your vehicle if you are hit by someone without insurance (uninsured motorist property damage)
  • Medical expenses from injuries to you or your passengers if you are hit by someone without insurance (uninsured motorist bodily injury)

Why Cheap Car Insurance is Not a Good Thing

In addition to all of the stuff that it doesn’t pay for above, this cheap car insurance that you will be paying for to protect you actually offers hardly any protection at all. For example, say you purchase your cheap car insurance and you live in a state where the bare minimum is $10,000 is coverage for bodily injury liability coverage per person, $15,000 bodily injury coverage per accident and $10,000 is coverage for property damage liability coverage.

This may look like a lot of coverage, but it is really not. If you cause a car accident that has injuries involved then the most your policy is going to pay the other person to cover their medical expenses is $10,000. We all know how fast medical bills add up and this is going to barely be enough to cover most car accident injuries, let alone major car accident injuries.

Which means that you will have to pay for any medical expenses beyond your $10,000 coverage out of your own pocket.

As for hitting another person’s car, you would also only have $10,000 there too.  So if the vehicle you hit was determined to be a total loss, how many vehicles do you know of out there that only cost $10,000? If it was determined that you owed the other person $20,000 to replace their vehicle, than your insurance would pay $10,000 of it and you would have to pay the other $10,000 out of your own pocket.

In the end, paying a little bit more a month for better car insurance coverage ends up being a lot less costly than having to pay for a car accident out of your own pocket.

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.