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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.


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.

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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.