Infographic from Elephant Auto Insurance
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Infographic from Elephant Auto Insurance
Older cars come in many different conditions. Some owners restore them to better-than-new condition and others look like they need to be stored in a Ziploc bag so they don’t lose anymore parts when they fall off. Other old cars fall in-between the two categories and are just there. The condition of your vehicle will determine exactly what type of insurance is best for you.
Classic cars actually have a special old car insurance of their own. This is due to the age and that some of these cars have been modified or restored to conditions that are better than when they were new. Most classic cars insurance coverages are on a stated value. A stated value is when the owner tells the insurance company the value of the car rather than the insurance company telling the owner.
There are also restrictions placed by the insurance company as to the use and the storage of the vehicle by the owner. If the owner does not comply they no longer qualify for this special category of old car insurance. They will instead have to get insurance coverage for their classic car under a normal car insurance policy which may not protect their car as well as the special classic old car insurance.
Insurance coverage for those cars that are not classics, but aren’t junkers yet either depends on you and your financial situation. If your older model car is in good shape and is still retaining a good value, you may want to consider keeping comprehensive and collision coverage on it. There is no reason to go without this coverage if it will benefit you in the event of an accident.
However, keep in mind that your car insurance company is only going to pay out so much on your old car insurance. If the amount that you are paying exceeds the amount that they would pay out if your vehicle was a total loss, drop the comprehensive and collision coverage from your old car insurance. Just like with the junker, put that money in a bank account. Only use this money when you need to pay for damage to your old car or need to buy a new car.
There is just no reason to keep handing the insurance company money for old car insurance if you would be better off financially with paying for any damages yourself.
Opening that huge package from an insurance company that is your new car insurance policy leaves most of us so overwhelmed that we just pull out the insurance cards then slide the rest back in the envelope and quietly file it away. Well, filed away until we actually need it after an accident to see if we have coverage. Even then because it is a legal document it can still leave us scratching our head.
So here is a quick an easy guide to help you navigate that daunting package a little easier. Now keep in mind that every insurance company is different, so this is just a general guide.
Every car insurance policy can be broken down into sections and understanding one section at a time can make it a lot easier to understand the policy as a whole. In general, car insurance policies all have the following:
The declarations page has all of your personal information, your specific coverages and also your billing information. You will actually get a new declarations page every time your insurance renews because the information will change at each renewal. However, this is the only part of the insurance policy that you will get at renewal as the rest of the policy package stays the same so there is no reason to send you the other parts again.
You will, however, get a full packet if there have been significant changes in any of the other parts of the insurance contract.
The insurance statement is exactly what it sounds like, it is a statement from the insurance company stating that through this contract they are agreeing to provide you insurance coverage.
Specifically outlines what your responsibilities as the policyholder are and the responsibilities of the insurance company. It can also include how to cancel your policy, billing options, and other legal obligatory information.
Defines in details what is NOT covered under your insurance policy. There is no gray area here, the insurance company is very specific about things they don’t cover.
This is the insurance company’s version of their dictionary. Everything term that could possibly be confusing is right here specifically defined for you.
Some insurance policies don’t have an endorsement section or there is nothing in it, this is only because there are no endorsements on the policy. Endorsements are additional coverages that are not included in the basic policy but that the insurance company offers to add on for you. Those additional coverages and their details will be added here.
Yes, an insurance policy packet can be daunting, but it is in your best interest to understand exactly what you are paying for and to make sure you have the car insurance coverage you need in the event of a catastrophe.
With the weather getting nicer it’s time to bring back out those beautiful summer vehicles that you stored for the winter. But, before you get too excited and take that vehicle for its first drive of the season you need to make a call to your insurance company or insurance agent. You don’t want to be enjoying your drive and have to deal with a no insurance ticket if you end up getting pulled over.
If you have a classic or antique vehicle, you already know that your car insurance is not quite the same as everyone else’s. Your comprehensive and collision coverages are based on a stated amount and not an industry averaged cash value. So each year that you bring your vehicle out of storage and put car insurance back on it, it would be a good idea to update the stated value of the vehicle. You may have made improvements to the vehicle over the winter while it was in storage, your vehicle may have aged enough that it changed from classic to antique or your vehicle may have decreased in value for some reason while in storage.
Regardless of the reason, you want to review the stated value of your vehicle when you go to put insurance back on it. If you don’t have an updated amount, you will be paying too much for the insurance or won’t get enough from the insurance company if you total your prized vehicle.
If you have a regular vehicle that you put in storage over the winter months for whatever reason, simply call your insurance company or agent and tell them you need to put insurance back on that vehicle. It’s easiest if you stick with the same coverage that you have on your other vehicles, but if you have to call your insurance agent or insurance company anyways, it would be a good time to review what coverage you have on your vehicles. Take off or decrease coverages you don’t really need or add coverages that you think would make life easier if something were to happen.
Also, don’t forget to contact your state to re-register your vehicle (if you unregistered it when it went into storage) at the same time you get your car insurance put back on your normally stored vehicle.