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Happy Halloween from Car Insurance Guidebook

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 10/31/2015

Don’t let Halloween fun trick you into higher car insurance rates.

halloween

Halloween greetings from Car Insurance Guidebook!

We here at Car Insurance Guidebook want to wish everyone a happy and fun Halloween. We also want to see you safely on the other side of the holiday and without your car insurance rates heading for an increase. So here are some friendly reminders to keep your Halloween a treat.

Halloween Costume Driving

If you absolutely have to wear your costume while driving, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Never drive wearing a mask.
  • Pull over if fake hair or eyelashes have detached into your eye.
  • Don’t drive if your costume gets in the way of operating your car.
  • Don’t drive if your costume is too tight.
  • Remove your gloves to be able to operate the steering wheel. safely.
  • No clown shoes. Wear shoes that allow you to easily operate your car.

Watch For Halloween Trick-or-Treaters

Per the Center for Disease Control, children are more likely to be killed as a pedestrian by a car on Halloween than during any other time of the year. This is why you as a driver need to be especially vigilant of little ones walking along the side of the road and stop when it looks like they are thinking about wanting to cross the street. The only thing they are paying attention to is the Halloween fun they are having, so it is up to you to help keep them safe.

Pay Attention on Halloween

Don’t let texts, Skype or Facebook distract you while you are driving on Halloween. With the trick-or-treaters out and also your costume on, you have enough distractions to have to focus on while driving on Halloween. There is no reason to add other distractions into the mix.

Don’t Drink and Drive on Halloween

We remind drivers of this every year and this year is no different. DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE!

There are usually extra patrols out on Halloween night to catch drunk drivers and you can expect that to be stepped up even more with Halloween falling on a Saturday this year. So don’t risk it. Either go sober, have a designated driver, make arrangements to stay the night wherever you decide to party or call a cab.

Stay safe, undistracted and sober this Halloween!

 

What Increases the Cost of Insurance?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 10/31/2015

Why you have such a hard time finding out if your cost of insurance will go up.

cost of insurance

Whether your cost of insurance goes up or down, only your renewal will tell.

We get a lot of questions at Car Insurance Guidebook, but one of the most common questions is from people asking if their cost of insurance will increase. They could be asking because they just added a teen driver, because they just got a speeding ticket or because they were just in a car accident.

In most cases we can usually give you some sort of guidance as to the likelihood that the cost of insurance on your vehicle will increase, but not all the time.  The reason we can’t give you a sure answer on an increase or how much an increase will be is because:

  1. Each insurance company rates drivers and vehicles differently
  2. Each state allows for different rating practices
  3. There are many different factors used to determine the cost of insurance for a policy

Because there are no constants in insurance when it comes to creating an insurance premium, there are no consistent answers we can provide. However, there are patterns that are seen when it comes to insurance premiums, which is where we provide our guidance from.

Here are the top three questions we get and what we can tell you on how they will affect your cost of insurance.

Will a Teen Driver Increase my Cost of Insurance?

Yes, adding a teen driver will definitely increase your cost of insurance. However, we cannot tell you as to how much it will increase your policy.

Just like any adult driver, teen drivers all are rated differently due to discounts and age.

The Cost of Insurance after a Ticket?

This one is most likely a yes. Insurance companies do not like it when their clients get traffic tickets as this increases the chances that they will have to pay out for a claim later on down the road.

Now, the type of ticket will greatly determine whether or not you will see your cost of insurance increase or not. A ticket for speeding or reckless driving will just about guarantee an increase, while a ticket for a tail light being out will not.

How Much Will my Cost of Insurance Increase after an Accident?

There is no one anywhere that can tell you how much your insurance premium will increase after a car accident. They can usually indicate whether or not it will increase, but not the amount it will.

This is because all of your information is entered into the underwriting computer at your renewal for the computer to determine how much your insurance will be next term. It is not until after the computer has calculated everything that a premium is created. So until your renewal actually processes, the cost of your insurance for after a car accident is really an unknown.

Car Insurance for Your Stored Vehicle

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 10/01/2015

There is a right way and a wrong way to treat the car insurance on your stored vehicle.

car insurance for stored vehicles

What car insurance do you need on your stored vehicle?

Right now almost all of us are enjoying the beautiful fall colors that are appearing outdoors, making it the perfect time to take out those classic vehicles and other special cars for a drive. But that also means that in the not too distant future that the snow and ice are going to start making their appearance.

If you store your vehicle for the winter to protect it from the elements, did you know that you can actually decrease your insurance coverage for the time that your vehicle is in storage and not being driven?

What Car Insurance Do You Need?

If you put your special vehicle in storage for the winter and you don’t have a lienholder, you actually don’t need to have any insurance coverage on it. Of course, if you love your vehicle enough that you are putting it safely in storage for the winter, going without all insurance coverage is probably something you are not going to want to do.

To protect your vehicle just in case something happens to it while it is being stored, you are going to want to keep comprehensive and collision coverage. The comprehensive coverage will pay for any damage to the vehicle if something were to fall on it while it was in storage. The collision coverage will cover any damage if the brakes were to disengage or something else caused the vehicle to roll and hit something. Collision coverage will also protect your vehicle if it is struck by another runaway vehicle while it is parked in storage.

Don’t You Need Liability Car Insurance?

Liability car insurance is required by state law in pretty much all states. However, if you are storing your vehicle and not driving it you are exempt from having to have liability car insurance on your vehicle. There is just no reason to have this coverage because there is no danger of you causing property damage or injuries with a stored vehicle that you are not driving.

Unfortunately, in most states it’s not just a matter of calling your car insurance agent and asking them to decrease your car insurance. In many states you will actually have to turn in your license plate to the DMV for the time that your vehicle is stored. If you aren’t sure what your state requires, your car insurance agent will be able to advise you.

 

Should You Consider Umbrella Insurance?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 09/25/2015

Umbrella insurance is the ultimate car insurance protection you can have.

umbrella insurance

Umbrella insurance protects you from the financial storm after a car accident.

Not all drivers are looking for the cheapest policy they can get their hands on that will allow them to drive. Many drivers want the most coverage possible to make sure they are fully protected from even the worst car accident’s aftermath.

For this protection, you need to ask your insurance agent or insurance company about adding umbrella insurance to your existing car insurance policy.

What Is Umbrella Insurance?

Umbrella insurance is usually known as a personal umbrella policy and it does exactly what it sounds like it does. Just like how you use an umbrella above you to protect you from the rain or snow, a personal umbrella policy is placed above your home or auto insurance to protect you from financial ruin.

Umbrella insurance only extends over your liability insurance also, so if your liability coverage isn’t enough to cover the damages or medical expenses of the other person you hit in an accident your umbrella insurance kicks in right where the your liability coverage ends. In other words, umbrella insurance is extra insurance coverage that goes above and beyond what is offered with a regular car insurance policy.

How Exactly Does Umbrella Insurance Work?

Here is an example of how umbrella insurance works:

Say that you cause a car accident that injures another driver. Your regular car insurance has a liability limit of $250,000 to cover medical expenses, but once it hits this limit your insurance company will no longer pay for anything else. So what happens if that limit is not enough to cover the other driver’s needs?

If the other driver’s injuries are bad enough, they may require more than the $250,000 that your policy covers. If that happens, you are responsible for paying the rest of it out of your own pocket and if you can’t they can sue you. If they do, your personal assets would be at stake.

An umbrella policy can cover the additional costs when your insurance isn’t enough. So if you are found to be responsible for $400,000 in medical expenses and other costs and your car insurance only covers $250,000 of that, your umbrella policy will cover the remaining $150,000. For more information contact your car insurance agent or car insurance company on more information on the umbrella policies they offer.

What’s really part of that cheap car insurance?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 09/19/2015

Cheap car insurance may be good, but only in the short term.

We have all seen those commercials, the ones that promise that you will only pay $39 a month for your car insurance. Sounds great doesn’t it?

A little too great.

That $39 cheap car insurance is just so you can drive and not get in trouble with your state’s DMV. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really offer any protection for you if you were to cause an accident or get into an accident with another that doesn’t have car insurance.

What Cheap Car Insurance Covers

This cheap car insurance, in most cases, is basic liability coverage. Basic liability coverage consists of:

  • Property damage liability coverage: coverage that will pay for any damages you cause with your vehicle to another person’s vehicle or property.
  • Bodily injury liability coverage: coverage that will pay for medical expenses that you cause with your vehicle to another person or their passengers.

Not only will this cheap car insurance only cover the bare minimum of the coverages that you are required to have, but it will also only cover at the absolute lowest amount of coverage you are required to have.

What Cheap Car Insurance Does Not Cover

The cheap car insurance that you see advertised on TV does not cover the following:

  • Damages to your vehicle
  • Medical expenses from injuries to you or your passengers
  • A rental car
  • Towing
  • Coverage to your vehicle if you are hit by someone without insurance (uninsured motorist property damage)
  • Medical expenses from injuries to you or your passengers if you are hit by someone without insurance (uninsured motorist bodily injury)

Why Cheap Car Insurance is Not a Good Thing

In addition to all of the stuff that it doesn’t pay for above, this cheap car insurance that you will be paying for to protect you actually offers hardly any protection at all. For example, say you purchase your cheap car insurance and you live in a state where the bare minimum is $10,000 is coverage for bodily injury liability coverage per person, $15,000 bodily injury coverage per accident and $10,000 is coverage for property damage liability coverage.

This may look like a lot of coverage, but it is really not. If you cause a car accident that has injuries involved then the most your policy is going to pay the other person to cover their medical expenses is $10,000. We all know how fast medical bills add up and this is going to barely be enough to cover most car accident injuries, let alone major car accident injuries.

Which means that you will have to pay for any medical expenses beyond your $10,000 coverage out of your own pocket.

As for hitting another person’s car, you would also only have $10,000 there too.  So if the vehicle you hit was determined to be a total loss, how many vehicles do you know of out there that only cost $10,000? If it was determined that you owed the other person $20,000 to replace their vehicle, than your insurance would pay $10,000 of it and you would have to pay the other $10,000 out of your own pocket.

In the end, paying a little bit more a month for better car insurance coverage ends up being a lot less costly than having to pay for a car accident out of your own pocket.

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