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Do auto insurance companies share information?

Written by Dave Benheim. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 02/22/2018

Visitors to the site have asked us whether auto insurance companies share information between themselves. In response, we’re here to let you know that yes, auto insurance companies (along with other kinds of insurance companies) do share information.

How auto insurance companies share information?
Consumer reporting agencies gather information about things like consumers’ driving records and past insurance claims. This information is available to insurance companies, who use it to determine insurance costs and which policies you have access to.

Can I get access to these reports?

Yes, you can, once every 12 months. They may be free or require a fee, depending on the agency.

For more details about who creates these reports, check out the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s list of consumer reporting companies. It includes auto insurance as well as many other types of insurance and consumer reporting more generally.

A tip before you shop

It’s always a good idea to review these reports before you start looking for an insurance policy. This will allow you to correct any mistakes in the report.

It’s also a great idea to do research into various auto insurance companies’ reviews in order to ensure that you are able to find the best coverage, no matter what information your insurance company shares. Here’s a great option for auto insurance reviews.


Commercial Car Insurance vs. Personal Car Insurance

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 03/03/2018

Q: Can I insure my personal vehicle on my commercial car insurance policy?

A: Actually, yes you can and it could very well be the cheaper way to insure your vehicle if you already have multiple business vehicles.

In fact, if you use your personal auto for any type of business dealings at all, especially transporting clients, your insurance company is actually going to prefer that you put your vehicle on a commercial car insurance policy anyhow.

Even if you only use your vehicle for personal use, it still can be on your commercial car insurance policy. If you are worried about the type of coverage or proving you have coverage, car insurance is car insurance as far as the state and your bank is concerned. Neither party cares where your coverage is coming from as long as you have the coverage.

For more details, contact your insurance agent. They will make sure your commercial insurance company will allow your personal vehicle and that you have the right coverages on your commercial car insurance policy, for however you happen to use your personal vehicle.

On the other hand, in a lot of cases a personal car insurance policy is cheaper if you have just one vehicle. You can still use a personal car insurance policy even if you are using it to drive around for your business (other than delivery), or if you add on a special endorsement that allows you to drive for companies like Uber or Lyft.

Again, talk to your insurance agent for the best way to go for your particular situation.

Can car insurance companies deny coverage?

Written by Dave Benheim. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 02/05/2018

Yes, car insurance companies can absolutely deny coverage. It is within their rights to do so if they consider you to be too high a risk to insure.

Potential indications of risk include:

  • A car considered high performance
  • History of violating insurance (e.g. lapses in car insurance coverage)
  • Poor credit
  • Large number of accidents/tickets/other driving violations in a year
  • Having received a DUI or DWI
  • Serious accident (especially those that lead to injuries)
  • Providing incorrect information on your car insurance information

If you are denied coverage, what should you do?

  • You should keep looking for a different company.
  • Otherwise, you’ll want to seek out high-risk car insurance.
  • Finally, your last option would be to look into state insurance plans, which are available in all states that legally require drivers to have car insurance.


You can also improve your chances of receiving coverage by taking a driving class.

Should you get a Lawyer for your Car Accident?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 01/27/2018

Q: I was in a really bad accident where I was injured and the people in the other car were injured also. Should I get a lawyer for my car accident?

A: No. If you have car insurance you do not need to get a lawyer for your car accident. If you are the one that caused the car accident, the liability coverage in your car insurance policy provides you with an insurance company lawyer for your car accident. They will go to court for you if that is where it ends up.

However, if you and your insurance company are having issues on payments to you from them under different coverages that is when you may need to get a lawyer for your car accident. This doesn’t happen often, but it’s not unheard of.

More often it’s when the other person is at fault and their insurance company isn’t acting in good faith, that you will need a lawyer for your car accident. Claim’s adjusters are not the most generous people in the word and they are not paid to be so. If the other company is not making a fair payment for the damages to your vehicle, not giving you a fair amount for a totaled vehicle, or offers you a ridiculously low settlement for an injury accident, then it is definitely time for legal help.

However, always  try to work with the insurance company first before obtaining a lawyer for your car accident.

Being Accused of a Hit-and-run accident I Didn’t Cause

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 01/28/2018

Q: I received a notice from an insurance company that my van was involved in a hit-and-run. I do not recall hitting anyone and there doesn’t seem to be a new scratch on my van. It doesn’t mean it couldn’t have happened I just don’t recall it. It had to have been a very slight blemish because there’s no dents on my vehicle.

I will be contacting my insurance company to find out what I should do but I’m curious to know if I should first or also contact an attorney to fight this since I didn’t know that I had hit anyone and my insurance could be cancelled. Someone said that utilizing an attorney might get the hit-and-run removed but it might cost me a considerable amount. I live in California.

A: Actually, the first thing you need to do is to contact the insurance company that is accusing you of being involved in a hit-and -run accident you have no evidence on your vehicle for. Mistakes happen and sometimes we hit things with our vehicles we don’t even realize we hit, but if there is no damage to your vehicle you need to challenge this. Demand the details of the accident you are accused of being in and specifically ask why they think it was you. Sometimes all the insurance company has to go on is the make, model and color of vehicle that caused the accident. If they used this type of information to find you, they could easily be mistaken if there is a similar vehicle in your area. Even offer to take it to them or one of their local insurance agents to take pictures of where on your vehicle you supposedly hit the other person with.

If they refuse to work with you, demand the police report number for the police report that should have been filed for this accident.

If you are not able to get anywhere with the other insurance company talk to your insurance agent. They will be able to give you advice as to what to do, and it may be that you will need to file a claim with your company. Part of the liability coverage of your car insurance policy is that you will have your insurance company and their attorney’s defending you against this hit-and-run claim.

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