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Tire Debris Car Accident

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 09/03/2018

Q: I was driving in the center lane of the interstate I saw tire debris in the right hand lane 1/2 a mile before I got to that point. Some guy driving on his phone way to fastwas coming up in the right lane he did not see the tire until the last minute and was about to swerve into me to miss it, so I moved to the left a little to avoid being hit by his car and the tire he hit flung into my car as he was changing lanes. Whose fault is this accident?


A: I am not a licensed adjuster and this is just my opinion, but I would have to say he is definitely at fault. His actions and his vehicle caused an inanimate object to project towards you and damage your property. I hope you were able to get his information so you can file an insurance claim for the damage the tire debris caused to your vehicle.

In Subrogation for a Car Accident I Already Paid For?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 08/31/2018

Q: I have a question about subrogation. I was at fault in an accident and was uninsured. There were no injuries, only damaged the bumper of the other vehicle. The owner of the vehicle approached me and asked me to pay 1000$ for his deductible and I did because I felt that was the right thing to do. He drafted a document that we both signed stating I paid him in full. Now State Farm has a subrogation claim against me for 1800$ (total amount of claim), am I responsible for paying the claim again?

A: Unfortunately, you may be.  You should never have signed that paper or have given them the $1,o00. I know you felt that it was the right thing to do, but insurance companies don’t care about personal agreements between parties.  They have legal and company protocol to follow when it comes to what is done for a claim.

When someone files a claim with their insurance company for an accident they did not cause, the insurance company will pay out for the damages minus their client’s deductible. However, when it is time for subrogation the company will include the client’s deductible in the amount they go after the other party for. Any money that gets paid back will go first toward the client’s deductible to get them their money back first.

In your case, the insurance company paid $800 towards the car repairs and then the other party used the $1,000 you gave them to pay the repair shop the deductible amount they were responsible for. They could have also just got an estimate for the cost of repairs, not had the repairs done at all, and pocketed the money. Either way, the insurance company can legally go after you for the full $1,800.

What you need to do is talk to the claims adjuster and explain that you already paid their client back their deductible. You will need to provide a copy of the cashed check and the written agreement to show you have. It’s not a guarantee it will work, but it is a place to start. If the adjuster does not accept this, try and have the other party get the insurance company to drop that $1,000 from the subrogation. If neither work, you may have to take the other party to small claims court.

Even if you do get the $1,000 taken care of, you will still have to pay that remaining $800.  As the at-fault party, you are responsible for the full amount of damages, not just the other party’s deductible; which is why the insurance company has started subrogation against you for the full amount of the repairs.

My Company Won’t Pay My Car Insurance Claim

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 08/04/2018

Q: My insurance company won’t pay my car insurance claim because I forgot to pay my bill. Isn’t there a grace period?

A: Usually not.

When it comes to claims, insurance companies already don’t want to pay out car insurance claims, so don’t give them a reason to not have to pay on your claims by letting your insurance policy lapse for non-payment.

Yes, there are some companies that offer a 5-day grace period after your cancellation date, but this is company to company and is never guaranteed. So, just pay your bill.

If your policy does cancel for non-payment, you can sure as well bet you are going to be denied payment for your car insurance claim, regardless of how long you have been with your insurance company and how much in premiums you have paid them.


Did my Car Insurance Agent Scam Me?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 07/31/2018

Q: It feels like my car insurance agent sold me a bunch of coverage I don’t need for my car, how do I check this?

A: Fantastic question and I tip my hat to you for questioning your coverage and not just blindly accepting it.

First, you need to educate yourself about insurance. Pull out your car insurance policy declarations page and take a look at the coverages you are paying for. Next, visit our definitions page and look at the definitions of each of those coverages. You can also click on the different coverages on the definition page and it will take you to a new page to give you a better explanation of that coverage.

Second, get a second opinion. Heck, get a third opinion if you really want to be sure. Look up local car insurance agents online and select the top two with the best customer reviews. Contact these agents and explain that you think you have too much coverage on your policy and would like to get a quote for car insurance coverage that is a better fit for you.

A good agent will go over your current policy with you and also the assets you want to protect. Also, now that you know what each of the coverages does, you will be able to ask questions and be able to better determine if you actually need a coverage or not.

For example, if you have multiple cars you will probably not need to purchase loss of use coverage to pay for a rental car if you were in an accident.

Always educate yourself, it is good to use a car insurance agent as an advisor for what coverages will best protect you, but never just blindly purchase anything.

Cancelling my Car Insurance Policy

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 07/25/2018

A: I don’t need my car insurance anymore, but my agent won’t let me cancel the policy. How do I go about cancelling my car insurance?

Q: Well, it really depends on why they won’t let you cancel the policy. Do you live in a state that requires you to show proof that you turned in your plates before you can cancel your policy? Are they requiring you to sign a cancellation form before they can cancel your policy? Are you not the owner of the car insurance policy your vehicle is on?

When you asked to cancel the policy your agent would have told you why they couldn’t and what you needed to do to be able to cancel your car insurance. Follow their directions and do what they advised you to do. They have rules and regulations they have to follow that are put in place by the state, they aren’t just being mean.

However, if you do feel they are being unreasonable in not letting you cancel your car insurance, you can always call your state’s Insurance Commissioner and file a complaint.

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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.