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Need an SR-22?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 07/02/2017

Welcome to the world of needing an SR-22, not that you are going to enjoy being here.

Sr-22 filingAn SR-22 is not an insurance coverage nor is it part of your insurance coverage. It is a filing that your insurance company does on your behalf to the state telling them that you do indeed have insurance coverage. Things usually get to this point because you have seriously misbehaved behind the wheel and now the state is going to keep an eye on you for a few years to make sure that you at least have car insurance coverage.

Not all States Have SR-22

An SR-22 is a financial responsibility verification and it is not called the same thing in every state. Some states call it an FR-44 and other states call it an FR-19. Your state will tell you exactly what you need in the documents they provide you when they tell you that you now have to have a financial responsibility filing on your policy.

The Cost of an SR-22

There is no set cost for an SR-22 filing. The average cost is about $25 per policy period, but that varies by state. It’s really not the SR-22 filing cost that is going to get you though, it’s what you did to earn the need to have to have an SR-22 filing. People that need a financial responsibility filing have usually earned a DUI/DWI or other very serious infraction. Once whatever you did shows up on your driving record and your insurance company finds out about it, that’s when you will see your rate increase and usually increase by a lot, on top of the SR-22 filing fee.

Not Happy With Car Insurance Claim

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 07/02/2017

Q: I am not happy with the way my car insurance claim is going, I don’t think that I am being treated fairly and it’s my own company. Is there anything I can do?

A: It all depends on what you mean by “being treated fairly”. If you feel that the claims adjuster is rude, condescending or discriminating, demand to speak to their supervisor to complain or ask to be assigned to a new claims adjuster. You paid for this insurance coverage and you do not have to put up with being treated badly by your own company.

If the claims adjuster refuses to let you speak to their supervisor, contact your car insurance agent for help. They have more resources available to them to get you to who you need to speak with and they are not going to want to lose your business.

If you feel the numbers the claims adjuster is coming up with for a totaled vehicle is not fair, it is up to you to prove why. Gather current selling price for the same exact year, make and model of vehicle you have from 3 different dealers and/or private sellers. Also look up the Kelley Blue Book value of the vehicle. Arm yourself with information to give to the adjuster to get your fair settlement.

If you feel you are not being treated fairly in regards to medical bills from your car insurance claim being paid and you get no help from a supervisor, it’s time to contact your state insurance commissioner and file a complaint.

The Lowdown on your Car Insurance Declarations Page

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 07/01/2017

Q: Why doesn’t the declarations page of my car insurance policy tell me what is covered under my car insurance policy?

A: It all comes down to expenses. The declarations page of your car insurance policy gives the policy specific details of what your coverages are and what they cost. The declarations page is also only a few pages, so it is not all that expensive to mail out to you every 6 to 12 months.

The legal contact part of your car insurance policy, however, can be 20 to 70 pages. This is much more expensive to mail out and if you multiple that by how many clients an insurance company has, the expenses can be astounding. So to save money, insurance companies only send out the declarations pages when your policy renews. These are really the only pages that change at renewal, so unless there is a revision in the policy contract there is really no reason to send the same contract packet out to you every 6 to 12 months.

Besides, if they sent out the same packet to you twice a year with the same information you would probably just trash that part of the packet and keep just the declarations pages anyways. Making it a waste of money and a waste of resources.

If you have lost the legal contract part of your car insurance policy that the insurance company did provide you with when you first purchased the policy, your car insurance agent can provide you with a copy of it for your records.

Where Does the Car Insurance Follow?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 06/30/2017

Q: I have just one question, if I have a automobile liability policy does it cover any car or truck that is registered or operated by me?

A: Yes, your car insurance would cover you in any non-owned vehicle. A non-owned vehicle is a vehicle that you are not the owner of at the time.

For example, when you rent a car your car insurance will cover any accident you are in with that vehicle. There are time limits though and most insurance companies will only provide coverage on a non-owned vehicle for up to 30 days. This is an unknown risk to them and they extend that coverage as a courtesy to you, it is not something they are required to do.

Now, there is a clause. It’s car insurance, of course there is a clause. If you are driving someone else’s vehicle (not a rental) and you get into an accident, their car insurance is the primary coverage and yours is the secondary coverage. So your friend is on the hook if you get into an accident with their car.

Car insurance policies are designed to cover the vehicle, not the driver. Insurance companies create most of their rates for physical damage coverage by using the claims and safety history of the vehicle that is on the car insurance policy. If you are driving a different vehicle than what is on the policy then the car insurance company is not charging the correct rate for the coverage.

If you need car insurance for any vehicle you drive contact your car insurance agent about purchasing a non-owners car insurance.


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.


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