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5 Questions You Should Always Ask your Car Insurance Agent

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 05/31/2017

When you purchase insurance, make sure you are asking your car insurance agent the right questions.

Car insurance is a more important purchase than most people treat it. Buy too much and you are wasting your money. Buy too little and you are putting yourself at serious financial risk. To make sure you are right where you need to be with your coverage, ask these 8 important questions.

1. What Car Insurance do I Need?

Before you even go to the car insurance agents office, know what your assets are. How much is your car worth? How much money do you have in the bank or invested that you can liquidate quickly if needed?

Knowing how much your vehicle is worth will help you determine whether it is worth putting coverage on it at all and what deductible makes the most sense. You don’t put physical damage coverage with a $500 deductible on a vehicle that is only worth $500.

Knowing your assets and how much cash you can have on hand will help you decide how much liability coverage to choose to protect those assets in the event you are sued after a car accident.

2. Does My Policy Pay Attorney Fees?

In most cases, yes, your car insurance policy will pay for you to be represented by an attorney if you do find yourself in court from a car accident. But, make sure how much your policy covers and what the fine print is in a policy before you purchase.

3. Do I need Coverages That Aren’t Required by the State?

The only car insurance coverage you are required to purchase is liability coverage. However, even though other coverages like loss of use, towing, collision and comprehensive are optional they are still important in providing financial protection.

For example, if you are in a car accident that disables your vehicle, you don’t have a second vehicle and didn’t purchase loss of use coverage you are left without transportation to get to work. Without being able to get to work you aren’t getting paid and could possibly lose your job. A whole scenario that could be avoided just by purchasing the optional loss of use coverage; which is guaranteed to be cheaper than the wages you would lose.

4. What Discounts Do I Qualify For?

When your agent puts together your quote have them provide a list of available discounts. Make sure you go through the list and that the ones you qualify for are added to your quote.

5. Will My Policy be Non-renewed if I get a Ticket or into an Accident?

This last question will get a variety of answers and it all depends on who your car insurance agent is trying to place you with.

 

 

Insuring a New Teen Driver

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 05/31/2017

Q: My son is getting his diving permit this summer, do I have to put him on my insurance policy?

A: In most cases you don’t. He isn’t a licensed driver yet and insurance companies usually only require that licensed drivers be put on insurance policies. If you are going to be staying with the same insurance company you won’t need to provide their information until either the insurance company asks for it while they still have their permit or when they get their license.

As tempting as it is, don’t skip on adding your new driver to the policy. If they get into an accident the insurance company will pay for the accident, but they may cancel your policy afterward. If they don’t cancel it, they will make you add them.

If you are switching insurance companies this summer you may have to provide all of the names and birthdates of those close to driving age in your home. Insurance companies do this to keep track of the drivers in the household so that a newly licensed driver is added when they should be. Teen drivers are a high risk to insurance companies and they have to be able to collect the appropriate amount of premium for the risk in order to remain solvent.

 

 

Posting an Insurance Company Review

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 06/04/2017

Q: how can i post a review for my insurance company?

A: We are always looking for personal reviews of insurance companies and gladly welcome yours.  To leave a review of an insurance company that you are currently with or have had dealings with in the past, click HERE. This will take you to our review page with every single insurance company in the United States. Once you find the company, click on it to be taken to their page and then scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page to leave your review.

If you don’t find the company you are looking for, which is unlikely, just drop us a line and we will gladly add it to the site for you.

Now, this is only for insurance companies and not insurance agencies. So make sure that your company submission is the company that actually underwrites your policy or is the company that you are dealing with that will write the check for the claim and not the agency that sold the policy. If you are not sure, please still send your submission and we will be glad to clarify which one it is.

There are also some rules to abide by when you leave a review:

1) No names. We get that you are upset with your agent/claims adjuster/customer service person, but we will not publish any names.

2) No swearing. I don’t think this one needs clarification.

3) Leave your stars. Reviews without stars get deleted.

4) State your business. If your review is just a long incoherent rant it will be deleted.

Other than that, review away.

Also if you look up in the top right-hand corner of your screen, there is a review box with the most frequently reviewed companies. If you see the company you want to write a review for there, just click on the name and I will take you straight to that company’s page.

 

Excluded Drivers in California

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 05/06/2017

Q: Can the owner of the vehicle be an excluded driver on a car insurance policy in the state of California?

A: Yes, they can. However, if the owner is an excluded driver that means that they can NEVER drive the vehicle under any circumstances. If they have an accident driving that vehicle, it will not be covered by the insurance company.

When you exclude a driver from a policy, in exchange for a cheaper rate, you are telling the insurance company that a particular driver will not be using that vehicle at all. The insurance company agrees to not rate that driver because the risk is then removed that they will have to pay out a claim for that driver.  Now, if that driver does have a car accident with the vehicle they are excluded on and the insurance company finds out, your policy can be subject to cancellation.

Also, just because you exclude a driver it doesn’t mean that you get off not having to pay anything for the driver, most insurance companies now add a surcharge to policies for each excluded driver that you have listed. So all-in-all, unless the owner of the vehicle has an atrocious driving record, in most cases, it’s just best to leave them on the policy.

Now, with all that said. These rules do vary by insurance company and there are cases where the owner of the cannot be excluded because they are the named insured on the policy. So as always, it is best to check with you car insurance agent on your company’s excluded driver rules.

Filing a Car Insurance Claim With Another Company

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 05/03/2017

How do I file a car insurance claim against the other driver?

claimNo one wants to file a claim against their own insurance. Between having to pay your deductible to get repairs done and the hit that your CLUE report takes, it makes for a bad situation for something that wasn’t your fault. So the other alternative is to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s car insurance instead, but how do you get that done.

Steps to Take at the Accident

Being able to file a claim against the other driver’s car insurance starts at the accident scene. When you are exchanging information take a picture of the front and back of the insurance card of the other driver. The front of the card will give you the policy identifying information and the back of the card will provide the phone number to call to be able to file a claim.

If possible, call the police so they can create a police report for the accident.

After the Accident

Call the other person’s insurance as soon as you are able to after the car accident and get the claims process moving. The adjuster with the other company isn’t going to be able to do anything until they can get a hold of their insured and take a claim statement of what happened during the accident, so get the process started as soon as possible. Also please understand that if they are not able to get a hold of their client to take a statement, they are not going to be able to do anything about the claim.

This is when you provide the police report with the details of the accident. Hopefully, the report will clearly show that their client was at fault.

Claim Denied by Other Company

If the other company denies the claim because of not being able to get a hold of their insured or they do not believe that their insured was at fault, then you will be left with no recourse other than to file a claim with your own car insurance company for your damages.

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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.