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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.


Excluded Drivers in California

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 05/06/2017

Q: Can the owner of the vehicle be an excluded driver on a car insurance policy in the state of California?

A: Yes, they can. However, if the owner is an excluded driver that means that they can NEVER drive the vehicle under any circumstances. If they have an accident driving that vehicle, it will not be covered by the insurance company.

When you exclude a driver from a policy, in exchange for a cheaper rate, you are telling the insurance company that a particular driver will not be using that vehicle at all. The insurance company agrees to not rate that driver because the risk is then removed that they will have to pay out a claim for that driver.  Now, if that driver does have a car accident with the vehicle they are excluded on and the insurance company finds out, your policy can be subject to cancellation.

Also, just because you exclude a driver it doesn’t mean that you get off not having to pay anything for the driver, most insurance companies now add a surcharge to policies for each excluded driver that you have listed. So all-in-all, unless the owner of the vehicle has an atrocious driving record, in most cases, it’s just best to leave them on the policy.

Now, with all that said. These rules do vary by insurance company and there are cases where the owner of the cannot be excluded because they are the named insured on the policy. So as always, it is best to check with you car insurance agent on your company’s excluded driver rules.

Replacement Coverage for a Leased Vehicle

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 04/30/2017

Q: I have a leased vehicle. If it is a total loss the bank is paid off. Does any insurance company sell a rider to where they would pay me also so that I can get wheels to reduce my loss and down time and obtain another vehicle for my continued use. I can understand this would cost quite a lot because it would be like insuring two cars but I do stand to be disadvantaged if the leased vehicle sustains a total loss. If no normal company – would one like Lloyds of Lundon? And if so how do you find an agent?


A: The point of insurance is to indemnify, or put you right back to where you are when the accident happens. In this case, the lease is paid off and you go out and get another lease. That puts you back in the same position you were before the accident. Now, for the in between time when you are trying to get your new lease and find yourself without a vehicle, this is when carrying LOU coverage comes in handy. LOU is Loss Of Use coverage that will pay for you to be in a rental car while you are in between vehicles. There is a timeframe though, so don’t dilly-dally looking for that new vehicle.

The only coverage I can think of that would immediately put you right back into the same type vehicle is a new coverage that insurance companies are coming out with called “New Vehicle Replacement Coverage”. The name of this coverage will vary from insurance company to insurance company, as will if they offer it for leased vehicles. The good news though, you won’t have to go to Lloyds of London for that.


Changing Your State Farm Agent

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 04/30/2017

Q: The directions you have provided to change State Farm Agents no longer work as of 4/23/17.

A: Thank you for advising.  The directions that this reader is talking about can be found here.

This was written 6 years ago, so I have no doubt that the information may be out of date.  However, steps one and two are still valid and work for changing agents with any company, not just with State Farm .  Insurance agents are supposed to be on your side and go to battle for you whenever you things go wrong or when things need to be taken care of.  Whenever you feel that your agent no longer has your back, it is always recommended that you find a new agent. Insurance is a big deal and you need to have an insurance advisor that you can trust. So, if you are ready to look for a new agent that will work out better for you:

  1. Talk to your friends and ask who their State Farm agent is and how they feel about them
  2. Look at online reviews of local State Farm agents
  3. Choose an agent to go visit and interview them. Seriously, interview them and see what kind of feeling you get from them.
  4. Advise the new State Farm agent that you choose that you want to move your State Farm policies to them.
  5. Let your new agent do their job and get your policy switched over to their office, all you have to do is sign the papers.

It’s time-consuming but simple.  In the long run, you will be a lot happier also with your new State Farm agent.



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