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My Car Insurance Agent Switched Me

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 12/31/2017

Q: Trying to stay in same office. It is just the agents name changed. The car insurance agent that is retiring had already changed us to different office we do not want.

A: Something sounds off in your car insurance agent’s office. Usually when a car insurance agent retires they pass their book of business (all of their clients) to another agent in their office. If they moved their book of business to another agency completely they may trust the agency they moved you to more. I would get online and check the reviews of your agency to see if maybe something has gone downhill recently. This does not mean there is a trust issue necessarily, but it is always good to check before you try and switch your policy back.

Was your agent the owner of the agency, is that why the name changed? Was the car insurance agent that is in the office now, there before or did they just arrive as your agent announced his or her retirement?

Sometimes when a car insurance agent gets ready to retire, they sell their agency. Now, the person they sold the agency to may not want to write all of the same types of policies your car insurance agent did. So, the new owners will buy the agency and the part of the book of business they want and the remaining part of the book of business will be given to or sold to a different agency that does work with those types of policies. This could very well have happened also.

Best thing to do? Talk to your old car insurance agent and ask why they moved your business to a new agency.


Rates Goes Up After No Car Insurance Claim?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 12/31/2017

Q: I got a parked big big truck …( I know how the hell do I not see a truck the size of a mobile home it was a semi that was pulling out a 3 bedroom mobile home) I hit it not a scratch on the big truck my truck back fender was done
I reported it because my daughter said to but I did not put a claim in I fixed it myself paid out of pocket no damage to anyone biggest damn mistake ever even though I didn’t cause any damage and no car insurance claim and know when I call I got a quote for 135 but then they see the accident and it goes up to 210 a month and went from 180 down to 250 down and that’s the cheapest There’s higher ones.

A: Unfortunately, yes, this happens. Any claim that is reported on your car insurance goes on your CLUE report and can be counted against you even if nothing is paid out.

Is this fair? No, it is not. But car insurance companies argue that any accident that is reported, whether they pay out anything or not, is a glimpse into what your driving is like. Any accident you have increases your risk that you will have other accidents in the future and they want to charge you a higher rate to protect themselves from this likelihood.

For the many times I have been asked if someone should report a claim, I always tell them that it is up to them. The car insurance is there to pay for events like this, but there is always the chance that their car insurance premiums will go up with any car insurance claim they report, regardless if it is closed without pay.


Car Accident = Auto Insurance Rate Increase?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 01/02/2018

Q: How much does Ins go up if U was in a car accident?

A: Have no idea.

It may not go up at all. Then again, it may very well triple the auto insurance rates you are paying now.  Just like with your auto insurance rates, everyone’s policy will be affected differently by a car accident. On top of that, every car accident will affect your rates different. Not to mention, it also depends on which driver on your policy caused the accident.

A policy with no previous accidents and something like accident forgiveness won’t see an increase at all. A policy that has seen a number of accidents is going to see a substantial increase.

An accident with a deer is going to have much less impact on your car insurance than a car accident with another car that resulted in injuries.

A car accident caused by your 16-year-old son is going to create much more of an increase than if you were in a car accident.

There are so many variables when it comes to the impact that a particular car accident will have on auto insurance rates, no one will ever be able to tell you how much insurance will go up if you were in a car accident.


Non-owner Car Insurance

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 12/31/2017

Q: Is it possible to get insurance for a driver only and not the car?

A: Yes, actually it is possible to get a car insurance policy just for you as a driver, even if you don’t have a vehicle. It’s called “non-owner car insurance policy”.

A non-owner policy works a bit differently than a regular car insurance policy as there is only a driver listed and no vehicle. This allows the coverage to follow the driver for any vehicle he or she may drive. It is also different as it does not provide all of the coverages that are usually available on regular policy. The focus of coverage for a non-owner car insurance policy is bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage for if you cause damages to another person or their property.

The other coverages (comprehensive, collision, rental, towing, etc.) are not available on these policies as there is no vehicle attached to the policy to provide these coverages for. The damages that may be done to the vehicle you are driving, but do not own, are covered under the policy that the owner has on that vehicle. The same goes for if that vehicle needs a tow or if the owner now needs a rental car after you get into an accident with their vehicle.

Non-owner car insurance policies are great for if you are going without a vehicle for a little bit and still want to maintain a continuous car insurance history or if you are in need of an SR-22 and your current car insurance company does not provide them.

For more information about a non-owners car insurance policy contact your car insurance agent.

Getting Accurate Car Insurance Coverage Information

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 11/30/2017

Q: There is damage to my car, but before I file a claim I want to know if it’s going to be covered. Every time I ask my car insurance company if it’s going to be covered I keep getting told that I have to file a claim first. Why won’t anyone tell me if this is covered or not? Don’t they know their own policies?

A: Insurance is very complicated. Have you ever read your insurance contract before? If you have, did you understand what you were reading?

It’s not that the people you are talking to at the car insurance company don’t know their own coverages, it’s that there is too much to know to be able to give you a correct answer. A car insurance policy is a legal contract that takes a specialist to be able to understand the details of what is and what is not covered. A claims adjuster is a specialist in your insurance contract and are the only ones that can accurately tell you what is covered; which requires a claim to be filed. If another person tells you that something is covered and it is not, the insurance company is on the hook to pay for a claim that was not in the car insurance contact you paid them for.

Also, when you call a car insurance company you are usually speaking to someone that helps people across the nation. When I worked in an insurance contact center I handled 11 different types of policies in 47 different states, that’s 517 different insurance contracts! Also, during the course of a month, I would handle 1,500 to 2,000 calls. There is no way that I could have accurately told you if the damages to your car were covered or not.

Claims adjusters specialize in specific states and specific coverages. They also only have so many claims in their caseload, which gives them the time to accurately review car insurance contracts to accurately tell you if those damages can be paid for by your car insurance policy.

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