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Can I Regularly Drive another Person’s Vehicle with No Insurance?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question, Research Last Updated: 08/21/2011

If you regularly drive a vehicle that you do not own it is still in your best interest to make sure there is insurance coverage in place.

Liability insurance coverage is required to drive in every state.

For example, in the state of Texas there has to be some evidence of insurance on the vehicle to avoid penalties. With their new TexasSure program it is the owner of the vehicle that is the one responsible for providing verification of insurance coverage.   

If you are driving a vehicle on a regular basis that is owned by someone else, insurance companies require that you be listed on their policy. If you are not listed and are a regular driver, they could deny coverage in the case of an accident.

If you are driving a vehicle and the owner of the vehicle does not  list you on their policy and refuses to give you any information in regard to the insurance coverage (if any) for the vehicle it would be wise to purchase a non-owner insurance policy.

A non-owner policy provides insurance coverage for you on any vehicle that you drive. You do not have to own a vehicle to be able to get this coverage and it is usually a very cheap policy.

Even if you are not the owner of the vehicle it is prudent for you to make sure that there is insurance in place. In some states both the driver of the vehicle and the owner of the vehicle will be ticketed for no insurance if there is an accident or the driver is pulled over.

Does a Driver not living in the Home Have to Have Their Own Insurance?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question, Research Last Updated: 08/15/2011

To be able to drive each state requires that you carry liability insurance on your vehicle, but what if you don’t own a vehicle?

In insurance, each state has their own set of rules and regulations that insurance companies and drivers have to abide by. One rule that is the same in every state is that you have to carry at least liability insurance on your vehicle in order to be able to drive.

Not everyone that has a driver’s license owns a vehicle though and these drivers are handled differently state by state.

Specifically, in the state of Ohio you have to have insurance to drive, whether you own a vehicle or not. In addition, it is illegal to allow anyone that does not have insurance or is not listed on your insurance policy to operate your vehicle (Ohio Financial Responsibility Law).

If you are concerned about insurance coverage for a driver that does not own their own vehicle, contact a local insurance agent in your state.

How Long Does an Insurance Company Have to Refund Unearned Premium?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question, Research Last Updated: 08/15/2011

Premium that you have overpaid to an insurance company is not theirs and should be returned immediately.

When you pay for your insurance, the insurance company generally makes you pay for the coverage in advance. It doesn’t matter what payment plan you are on, they want to make sure that they get their money before they provide you with insurance coverage. This is to make sure that if you have a claim and cancel your policy that you have already paid for your coverage for the day of the accident.

On the consumer side, when you cancel your insurance policy and you have paid premium for coverage that you have not used yet; you are owed a refund immediately. There is no specific timeframe that an insurance premium has to be returned, but insurance companies are expected to process refunds in a “reasonable amount of time”.

If you have not received your refund, contact the insurance company to find out why you don’t have it yet. Second, if they claim that you are not owed a refund demand (nicely) to be sent a billing breakdown showing how much your pro-rated premium was each day and how many days you paid for.

If the breakdown shows that you are owed a refund and the insurance company still won’t pay, file a complaint with your state Insurance Commissioner. In the state of Washington the Insurance Commissioner has fined insurance companies and agents for not refunding unearned insurance premiums to former customers within a reasonable amount of time.

Are Broken Windshields Countable Losses?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question, Research Last Updated: 08/15/2011

Any damage that an insurance company pays out for you is considered a claim, but each type of claim can affect your policy differently.

Everyone that drives knows that you can lose your insurance coverage with a company if you have too many accidents or driving violations. Insurance companies are in business to turn a profit and if they are paying out one claim after another for you, they are losing money.

But what about claims that aren’t your fault, like broken windshields?

Glass claims are generally not counted by insurance companies as claims that stack up to a policy cancellation or non-renewal. But, like all things in the insurance industry it completely depends on your insurance company. Best thing to do is to contact your agent or insurance company and ask what their policy is in regards to this.

In the state of Massachusetts, an insurance company cannot cancel your policy in the middle of a term for too many claims. If they decide to not renew your policy they have to give you 45 days notice before they stop your coverage. In the case that you feel this is an unjust non-renewal, contact your own state’s Department of Insurance or Insurance Commissioner’s office.

When Do I Get My Money After I Cancel My Policy?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 08/04/2011

Getting an insurance refund of your unearned premium from the insurance company should happen automatically when you cancel your policy, here’s what to do if it doesn’t.

Company and Insured Fighting Over Refund

If the insurance company won't send your refund, it may be time to contact your insurance commissioner.

When you cancel your policy with an insurance company, you may be due an insurance refund of the unearned premium. Unearned premium is simply the amount of premium that you have already paid to the insurance company that they have not “earned” yet. The insurance company earns the premium you paid by providing insurance coverage to you for a period of time.

For example, if you paid insurance premium for 30 days and you cancel your policy on day 20, there is 10 days’ worth of unearned premium that should be refunded to you.

Find the Status of your Refund

If you feel that there is unearned premium left on your cancelled insurance policy, contact your insurance company directly or talk to your agent about an insurance refund. If they admit that they do owe you a refund, demand (nicely) where it is.

If you are told that it was already mailed, ask the exact date that it mailed. If it has been a while, advise them that you want a new refund check sent or you want a copy of the cashed check provided to you.

Contact the Insurance Commissioner

If both the insurance company and your agent are saying that you are not owed a refund, make them prove it. It is your money and your policy and you have the right to know what your money went to.

Make them provide you with a billing breakdown of how much they charged you daily for insurance. This breakdown should also have how many days the premium you already paid to them covered.

If they refuse to provide this or to issue you a refund, contact your state’s Department of Insurance or Insurance Commissioner’s office. These are the governing insurance entities in your state and the best place to file a complaint with.

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