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Rent a Car in Canada – Insurance Issues

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 06/27/2017

Q: I rent a car near the border and use it for two weeks in Canada. My Insurance company says they don’t insure that car but the credit card they issue does cover the car I am driving. My liability?

A: I am very surprised that your car insurance company doesn’t provide coverage for a rental car in Canada.  You may want to obtain the legal contract of your policy and take a look yourself. I think you may have been told the wrong information because most insurance companies in the United States do provide coverage in Canada and so many miles into Mexico.

But I do have to ask, are you renting on the Canadian side or the US side? Because that would make a difference. Rental cars from outside of the US are generally not covered by your US insurance policy. Some insurance companies offer higher levels of coverage that would include it, but that is rare.

In regards to your credit card covering it, that is something completely separate.  Credit cards have different rules and regulations. To protect yourself though, I would make sure that you have it in writing that your credit card company will cover the damage to your rental car and any damage you would do driving the rental car. I am not familiar with the terms of coverage with a rental car through a credit card though as I have never had to use it, research it, or work with it.

If nothing else, purchase insurance from the company that you are renting a car through.


Do I Have to Have a Car Insurance Agent?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 06/02/2017

Q: Do I have to get insurance through a car insurance agent?

A: No, you don’t.

Thanks to the internet there are now plenty of opportunities for you to be able to purchase your own car insurance directly from insurance companies and because you are cutting out the middleman you will most likely save money by doing this also. However, by cutting out the car insurance agent you can also be harming yourself.

Car insurance agents are your insurance advocates. They know the field, they know the companies to put you with, and they know the claims process. They know when something doesn’t sound or look right with the numbers a claims adjuster is giving you. They know when your premium looks higher than it should be.

In a lot of cases, by cutting out the car insurance agent you may actually end up paying out more in premium or lost claim money than you would have paying the small commission that agents make from your premium.

I personally don’t have a car insurance agent, but I have also been in insurance for 12 years and know what I am doing. I know what discounts I qualify for, what coverages I need in my life to protect my current finances and what my vehicle’s worth is. I have even represented myself in the settlement process of a claim after a serious car accident, where I had to go through 9 months of physical therapy for multiple back injuries, because I know what you can claim under pain and suffering.

If you don’t know what you are doing, I would suggest sticking with a car insurance agent.

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.

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