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My College Student and my Car Insurance Policy

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 08/30/2017

Q: Why won’t my car insurance company let me take my college student off my policy?

A: Your car insurance company is out to protect themselves, always remember that. And a college age student that still drives your vehicle when they come home every now and then is a way for them to deem them a risk and increase your insurance premium.

Does it make sense? No, it doesn’t and here’s why.

A college student is away from home living under a different roof and usually doesn’t have access to the vehicles back at home. They are also an adult. Any other adult or family member that meets this description would never have to be added to your policy. But because they are a college student that used to live in your household and there is the remotest possibility of them driving your vehicles again, the insurance company is going to make sure they get a higher premium from you.

Can you do anything about this? Yes, you can.

First, tell the insurance company that you no longer claim your college student on your taxes (if this is true and it usually is) and that they do not have one of your vehicles with them at school. If the insurance company requires proof they no longer live with you, then give them the new address.

If they still do not let you remove your college student that is an adult and no longer living in your household, it may be time to find another insurance company.

Unlisted Driver on Car Policy

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 08/30/2017

Q: What happens when a driver not on your  car policy gets into an accident with your car?

A: Well first, your car insurance company is going to want to know if they are a regular driver or a temporary driver. So be prepared for a lot of questions. If it was just someone borrowing your vehicle and was a one-time occurrence, nothing more will be said and they will usually drop the issue.

However, if this person regularly uses or borrows your vehicle they will require that you add them to your policy. If you refuse, they will either add the person without our permission or they will cancel your policy.

If the driver is your child, they will also require you to add them to your policy even if they don’t drive very often. This can include children that don’t normally live with you if the insurance company deems them high enough of a risk or consistent enough of a driver that they want them on the policy.

Any other family members or friends that live in the household will be required to be added to your policy or excluded from your policy, regardless if they have their own vehicle they normally drive or not. Now that they have been in an accident and your insurance company knows about them, they are considered a risk.

 

Why Do My Car Insurance Rates Keep Going Up?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 08/05/2017

Q: I don’t have any accidents or tickets, but my car insurance rates keep going up. Why? It doesn’t make any sense.

A: What most people don’t understand is that insurance is literally a group effort and there are a lot of factors that play a part of your insurance rate that really have nothing to do with you.

Insurance explained in its simplest form is that a group of people pay insurance premiums into an account and when one of those people have a claim money is paid from that account to pay the claim. There has to be enough money in the account to be able to pay the amount of the claim or the whole system will not work. So to determine how much each person should pay the insurance company has to take into account how much vehicles cost to replace and fix today, how much medical bills are, how much rental cars cost, how much towing a car costs, and how much wages are to pay for the employees that service your claims and policies.

If any of those things increase, then everyone’s car insurance rates have to go up to compensate.

Another factor out of your control when it comes to your car insurance rates is the risk factor. For example, recently car insurance companies increased rates because the price of gas went down. Because gas prices dropped people started driving more, the more time people spend driving on the road the higher the chance they will be in a car accident.

If you feel you are being charged too much for your insurance after a car insurance rate increase, it may be time to do a policy review or to start shopping other insurance companies.

Does My Car Insurance Cover my Pizza Delivery Job?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 08/06/2017

Q: I do pizza delivery with my vehicle, will my car insurance cover me if I am in a car accident?

A: No vehicle used in the course of business is covered under a personal car insurance policy unless there is a clause in your policy that specifically allows it.  Most likely there will not be. Delivering pizzas increases your time on the road and increases the chances that you will be in an accident, making you an undesirable risk to car insurance companies.  In order for your vehicle to be covered, you will need to have a commercial car insurance policy or the company you are delivering pizzas for will need to provide car insurance coverage on your vehicle for when you are on the clock with them.

If you get into an accident and your car insurance company finds out that you have been delivering pizza and you do not have any other coverage, they will cancel your policy. Not just a warning, you will be cancelled or non-renewed without conversation or exception. If you quit your job and stop delivering pizza before the cancellation, that would be the only thing that may stop a cancellation. Be prepared to provide proof that you quit your pizza delivery job though or the car insurance company may still go through with the cancellation or the non-renewal.

The DMV and Your Car Insurance Proof

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 08/06/2017

Q: After I switched to another insurance company, they told the DMV I had an uninsured vehicle months ago. Nothing I could show them could convince DMV and the Driver License Office that I had had insurance until my vehicle title was changed over because the insurance company lied. It cost me $150.

A: First, insurance companies are not out to get you and don’t purposely lie to the government.

If you can produce proof of coverage there should be a refund of the fee you paid, but I am not sure exactly the story behind why they would not accept your proof of coverage. When I have worked with my insurance clients and the DMV for proof of coverage I have rarely had an issue with them accepting a faxed copy of the client’s declarations page from me.

Now if the title was not in your name with the DMV, then yes, they would have trouble matching up your proof of coverage to the vehicle as the information does not match. But if your title was changed over and you had proof of coverage from the time the title was in your name, you are owed a refund.

I would escalate this to higher up in the DMV if you did indeed have coverage that you are not getting credit for. On the other side, if your car insurance company is not providing proof for the correct days talk to a supervisor there.

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