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The DMV and Your Car Insurance Proof

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 08/06/2017

Q: After I switched to another insurance company, they told the DMV I had an uninsured vehicle months ago. Nothing I could show them could convince DMV and the Driver License Office that I had had insurance until my vehicle title was changed over because the insurance company lied. It cost me $150.

A: First, insurance companies are not out to get you and don’t purposely lie to the government.

If you can produce proof of coverage there should be a refund of the fee you paid, but I am not sure exactly the story behind why they would not accept your proof of coverage. When I have worked with my insurance clients and the DMV for proof of coverage I have rarely had an issue with them accepting a faxed copy of the client’s declarations page from me.

Now if the title was not in your name with the DMV, then yes, they would have trouble matching up your proof of coverage to the vehicle as the information does not match. But if your title was changed over and you had proof of coverage from the time the title was in your name, you are owed a refund.

I would escalate this to higher up in the DMV if you did indeed have coverage that you are not getting credit for. On the other side, if your car insurance company is not providing proof for the correct days talk to a supervisor there.

Car Insurance for Another Driver’s Work Use Vehicle

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 08/06/2017

Q: My boyfriend injured his leg and can’t drive his work truck (it’s a manual) because the constant shifting hurts. Can I put him on my insurance for 2 weeks -1 month max (muy car is automatic and has cruise control) so he can use it while he is on the mend? I just bought the car brand new off the lot and it is obviously fully covered.

A: You can actually put anyone you want on your car insurance policy if they are driving your vehicle on a regular basis, regardless of if they are living in your household with you or not. The only exceptions to this are drivers that your insurance company deems too dangerous to drive because of a bad driving record. These are the drivers that the companies see as just too high of a risk to want to insure.

Now, the other issue in this is how your boyfriend is planning on using the vehicle. You say that it is to replace his work truck, so will he be using the vehicle for work? If the vehicle is used for business it is usually not going to be covered under a personal car insurance policy, but it depends on the business usage. This is something you need to talk to your car insurance agent or car insurance company about to make sure you have adequate coverage on your vehicle while he is driving it and that his usage activity is not something that is excluded from your policy. If it is excluded from your car insurance policy and he is in an accident, the insurance company has the right to deny paying for the claim.

Happy 4th of July from Car Insurance Guidebook

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 08/06/2017

Keep your eyes on the road to keep your car insurance down this Fourth of July.

Fourth of July is a fun summer holiday that most of us look forward to each year. However, for all of its fun, it is also a holiday that is full of distractions that make driving on the road dangerous. Here are some tips on how to keep safe and not become just another statistic on the road this holiday.

Keep Your Car Insurance Down by Keeping Your Eyes Down

We all know that fireworks are the icing on the cake for the 4th of July holiday. It is something we usually only get to see once a year and something that grabs our attention both in the visual and audio sense. This also means that it grabs our attention away from concentrating on driving when we do hear or see one. Now, being distracted by a single firework is not usually enough to cause a car accident; a steady stream of fireworks in the air is.

If you are driving and spot a fireworks show you want to watch, do yourself and everyone else on the road a favor and pull over. That way you will stay safe and you will get to enjoy watching the show without a pesky thing like concentrating on the road interrupting you.

Another distraction on 4th of July is children running out in the road. They also are distracted by the fireworks, as well as playing with friends and even running around with sparklers. Because they aren’t paying attention, you have to be especially vigilant for them while you are driving.

Don’t Spike Your Car Insurance Rate with a Spiked Drink

Drinking on the 4th of July is as popular as fireworks are with some people. If you choose to include this in your 4th of July celebrations please don’t include driving as part of that. Stay at home, stay with a friend, or stay with having a designated driver. With the invention of Uber and Lyft, there is no reason at all for you to be getting in your vehicle after you have been drinking.

Also, there are enough distractions on the road this night without adding a drunk driver to the list of things that other drivers have to look out for. So do everyone a favor and keep your car insurance rates down by keeping off the road that night.

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.

6 Car Insurance Claim Mistakes You Can Avoid

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 07/05/2017

These 6 car insurance claim mistakes trip most people up.

When a car accident happens, making a mistake on what you need to do with your car insurance claim is the last thing that you want to do. Usually, your car insurance ID card has an accident checklist for you to follow at the time of the accident, but here are some other mistake to avoid making during the course of the car insurance claim itself.

Mistake #1: Failing to Get the Other Person’s Information

On your car insurance ID card, it should state to collect the other person’s information. If you fail to do this at the scene of the accident you are going to have to wait until you get the police report to be able to provide your insurance company with the other person’s information or to be able to file a claim with the other person’s insurance company. This can seriously delay a claim and even cost you money you wouldn’t have had to pay out if you had collected the information at the scene of the accident.

Mistake #2: Not Gathering Fault Information at the Scene of the Accident

Don’t just tell your insurance company that you weren’t at fault for the accident, show them. Take pictures of where the cars ended up, the damage, where the damage is, and the area around where the accident happened. Your claims adjuster or the other person’s claims adjuster will not be at the scene of the accident, so you have to show them the accident. Also, if at all possible call the police and have them file a report at the scene.

Mistake #3: Not Acting Timely on your Car Insurance Claim

Call your insurance company from the scene of the accident or call them when you get home, it doesn’t matter where just call them as soon as possible. You want to file that claim while the information is still fresh in your mind. Don’t let time go by and not get your claim in.

Mistake #4: Not Buying Enough Car Insurance Coverage

This is something that you need to take care of BEFORE your accident. Make sure you have enough coverage on your insurance policy to be able to adequately cover the damage you may accidentally do to another person or their property. Keep in mind that state minimum insurance is nowhere near enough to pay for a new vehicle that ends up being totaled or for serious medical bills. Anything not covered by your policy is paid for by you.

Also, make sure you can actually afford the deductible on your comprehensive or collision coverage.

Mistake #5: Being Pushed to a Body Shop

Yes, there are insurance approved body shops you could use, but you don’t have to and don’t let your car insurance company bully you into going to one of them. If you are interested in using one of their shops, get a list of the approved ones and do your own outside research to choose the one with the best reviews. If nothing else go with the body shop you usually use and trust with your vehicle.

Mistake #6: Low Ball Offers

If your vehicle is totaled by your insurance company or the other person’s car insurance company, don’t accept the first offer they make. Take the numbers and tell them you will think about it. Then do your own research into how much your vehicle is selling for at dealerships and with private sellers. Take that information, along with the Kelley Blue Book value and give a counter offer with the information you have gathered.

Always remember that you have hired your car insurance company and the other person has hired their car insurance company for protection in times like these, you have the control to get what you need from them within the limits of the car insurance policy you or the other person purchased.

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Car Insurance Guidebook Unravels the Car Insurance Mystery

Unless you work in the car insurance industry, the topic is probably a mystery to you. The words deductible, comprehensive, collision, liability, premium, loss of use and bodily injury are all gibberish when they reach your ears.

Unfortunately, insurance is something that you are required to have by law if you want to drive. Because of how confusing it is many people go around in almost an insurance daze while they get car insurance quotes from the auto insurance companies that they have heard of. In reality, they are completely lost as to what they are actually buying.

Instead of looking at what each insurance company offers in the terms of protection for both themselves and their car, they are instead looking for cheap car insurance. Finding the cheapest car insurance coverage makes having to buy the required product all that much less painful, but misses the whole point of having insurance.

Learning about insurance through your insurance agent or websites like Car Insurance Guidebook will give you the upper hand when you looking for car insurance. You can take your knowledge and not only find the best price for insurance, you can use it to find really great insurance to protect you and your assets. Then you aren’t stuck settling for just average car insurance that can hurt you financially if you ever need it because there isn’t enough protection.

For example, when looking for insurance the car insurance rates are just the first of many factors that need to be taken into account when you are shopping around for car insurance. You also need to take into account the type of vehicle that you are driving. Many people don’t know this.

Are you driving around a vehicle that is a new sedan and can be protected under any blanket insurance policy? Or do you have an old car that you fixed up that needs special protection and could be better covered under classic car insurance?

Don’t just assume that when you compare car insurance that it will be a one-size-fits-all policy. This is where the insurance knowledge will come in handy; you will know what you need to protect yourself and your vehicle.

You will understand what your insurance agent is talking about when they use insurance terms and you will actually be able to make an informed decision. This is much better for you instead of the “nod and smile” approach people take in their insurance agent’s office.

Also just like your life changes your insurance needs will change. This year you may just need to learn about the best deductible to have. Next year you may need to educate yourself on car insurance for young drivers. As the years pass, motorcycle insurance may be something you will need to know.

Many wise people say that you never stop learning, so take their advice and educate yourself on the insurance that you spend a lot of money on and can’t get away with not having.