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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.

How Do I Insure My Car While Living in Mexico?

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

Q: What if I de-insure my car just beacuse I am living in Mexico?  What if I just want to trip 1 day to arizona and I buy a insurance for 1 day, Am I still getting in trouble?  What if I want to revoke my de-insure to buy a insurance, lets say for 1 year, How do I revoke that? Thanks in advance. (Arizona Driver)

A: Wow, you have a lot of questions there! Let’s tackle these one at a time.

  1. What if I de-insure my car just beacuse I am living in Mexico? If you are living in Mexico, you don’t qualify for car insurance in the United States, anyways.
  2. What if I just want to trip 1 day to arizona and I buy a insurance for 1 day, Am I still getting in trouble? Unless you are renting a car, there are no insurance companies that will sell you car insurance for one day. I don’t know anything about Mexican car insurance, but in the United States your coverage extends a certain amount of miles into Mexico. Contact your insurance company and ask if they cover you driving in the United States.
  3. What if I want to revoke my de-insure to buy a insurance, lets say for 1 year, How do I revoke that? NO, Idea.  You will need to contact the state of Arizona in regards to their laws for this.

For the best information on how to insure your car in situations like these contact your insurance agent.

What is an Auto Insurance Binder

Written by Todd Clay. Posted in Definitions Last Updated: 12/31/2017

An auto insurance binder is simply a letter promising you temporary car insurance, issued to you by an auto insurance company. A Binder letter is provided to you once you make an initial payment with your auto insurance application and serves as your de facto insurance coverage until an official auto insurance policy has been issued to you by your auto insurance company. When you apply for auto insurance, the policy must be underwritten, which means your application must be fully reviewed and the risk assessed for insuring you. Since this underwriting period can take up to 60 days, the Auto Insurance Binder is an important element of initial coverage. (110 words)

How to Get an Auto Insurance Binder

An Auto Insurance Binder letter is issued to the consumer once the application for coverage has been submitted and the estimated first month’s policy has been paid in full. It is becoming more common that an auto insurance company can issue a policy immediately, in which case a Binder isn’t necessary; however, if the policy is more complicated (eg: written for more than one auto, different types of autos or a fleet), the insurance company can take up to 60 days to issue a policy. In this case, the Auto Insurance Binder is very important because it guarantees coverage before the final policy is issued.

Auto Insurance Binder

Auto insurance binder serves as your de facto insurance coverage until you get the official auto insurance policy

Foreign Driver in Need of Temporary Car Insurance

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

Q: I am french, temporarily visitor in CA. A friend of mine is lending his car, but as I don’t have a CA dirver’s license, I need to get a temporary car insurance; and only for January to march.

How can I do ? So far, I have been rejected everywhere…

A: Your friend’s insurance will cover you without you having to be listed on the policy as you are only a temporary driver. Always remember, insurance follows the vehicle not the driver.

As far as you getting your own temporary car insurance for your friend’s vehicle with you as the driver, just give up now, as you are trying something that is almost impossible for a number of reasons.

  1. It’s your friends vehicle, you are not the owner and have no financial interest in the vehicle. No insurance company is going to write you a policy to cover your friend’s vehicle while you are driving it.
  2. You don’t reside in the United States and you have a foreign driver’s license. I have seen insurance policies being written for those that have had foreign licenses, but they are surcharged heavily and everyone of them had just moved to the United States. Also, none of them were only here temporarily.
  3. Car insurance companies don’t write temporary car insurance policies.
  4. If you were a resident with a United States driver’s license, you could get a non-owners policy as your temporary car insurance. However, this would only provide liability coverage and I have never seen a non-owners policy be issued as a temporary car insurance policy to a foreign visitor.

My Car Insurance Agent Switched Me

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 12/31/2017

Q: Trying to stay in same office. It is just the agents name changed. The car insurance agent that is retiring had already changed us to different office we do not want.

A: Something sounds off in your car insurance agent’s office. Usually when a car insurance agent retires they pass their book of business (all of their clients) to another agent in their office. If they moved their book of business to another agency completely they may trust the agency they moved you to more. I would get online and check the reviews of your agency to see if maybe something has gone downhill recently. This does not mean there is a trust issue necessarily, but it is always good to check before you try and switch your policy back.

Was your agent the owner of the agency, is that why the name changed? Was the car insurance agent that is in the office now, there before or did they just arrive as your agent announced his or her retirement?

Sometimes when a car insurance agent gets ready to retire, they sell their agency. Now, the person they sold the agency to may not want to write all of the same types of policies your car insurance agent did. So, the new owners will buy the agency and the part of the book of business they want and the remaining part of the book of business will be given to or sold to a different agency that does work with those types of policies. This could very well have happened also.

Best thing to do? Talk to your old car insurance agent and ask why they moved your business to a new agency.


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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.