Question: You are an independent insurance agent. What does that mean? Answer: As an independent insurance agent, we represent many different insurance companies but we work for you, our insured. On the other hand, captive insurance agents represent and work for their insurance company such as State Farm, Farmers, Country Companies, etc.
Question: What do you need in order to give me a quote?
Answer: We like to get as much information as possible to guarantee you an accurate quote. Along with your name, address, and date of birth, we would like to see a copy of your current insurance policy so we can give you an apples-to-apples comparison. Your current policy will also have information that may lead to discounts with our insurance companies. Once we give you your quote, we may also make suggestions giving you better coverages.
Question: Is anyone who drives my car covered? Answer: In most cases, yes, as long as they have the permission or reasonable belief from the insured that they can use the vehicle. The insured is the person named on the insurance policy and their spouse if applicable.
There are some exclusions, so you would need to look at your particular insurance policy to make sure. Remember, everyone in your household must be listed on your insurance policy if they have a license. For example, if a girlfriend you live with uses your car, she may not be covered if you did not list her on your insurance policy. On the other hand, if you live separately, she could use your car with your permission and be covered.
Question: What is the difference between comprehensive and collision? Answer: Collision coverage is when you have a collision with something like another car, or a fixed object such as a tree, sign or ditch. Comprehensive coverage is when it is anything else other than a collision such as a broken windshield, fire, theft, animal collision, falling objects, vandalism and malicious mischief. Most people would have both coverage's when using the car on a regular basis. Sometimes when one is just storing a car they may only keep comprehensive coverage since they are not using it on the road therefore, it is unlikely to be in a collision.
Question: Is my car that is stored in my garage covered under my homeowners policy? Answer: No. Most homeowners policies exclude motor vehicles or all other motorized land conveyances that are subject to licensing requirements, including their accessories, equipment and parts while in or upon the vehicle. Question: How does my driving record affect my insurance premium?
Answer: The premium you pay is a direct reflection of your driving record for the past three years depending on the insurance company. Insurance companies order driving records from the DMV of your residence state and from other states where you've been licensed. Statistics show that drivers with tickets and accidents are more likely to have future accidents than drivers with clean records.
Question: Why is it harder to get insurance with bad driving records? Answer: Many companies will not insure you if you live with a relative who has a poor driving record. If your teenager has a poor driving record, you may have trouble getting a preferred rate because he or she is defined as an "insured" under your policy.
Some companies will exclude this person by name from the insurance policy. Many companies will not insure anyone in the family unless every driver in the household meets their requirements.
Question: My car was totaled and my policy did not pay for all of my car. Why?
Answer: Most auto insurance policies pay the actual cash value (ACV) of a vehicle totaled in an accident. The ACV is equal to the market value of an auto immediately before the accident.
Insurers must use a fair and reasonable method to determine the value of your car. If you have concerns about their decision you may be able to negotiate with your insurer by telling them why your car may have had more value that what the insurance company originally determined.
Question: What happens when my car loan is was more than my company says my car is worth? Answer: Sometimes the value of a car is less than the balance on your car loan. There can be several reasons for this. Interest rate changes may have increased the amount of your loan. Rebates may not have been applied to the purchase price, or poor maintenance of the auto may have reduced its value. The insurance company bases its payments on the actual cash value (ACV) of the car, not the amount of your loan. In some states you may be able to purchase a special type of insurance, known as guaranteed auto protection (GAP), when you buy a car. GAP insurance covers the difference between the ACV and your loan balance.
Question: My teenager just got his license, does he need to be insured?
Answer: In most cases, yes. Automobile insurance policies require every licensed person in your household to be listed on your insurance policy unless they have a completely separate policy of their own. This includes a teenager who just received their license or a college student who still uses your address as their residence and/or visits regularly on weekends, vacations, etc.
Question: What do insurance companies consider when deciding cancellations?
Answer: Insurance companies evaluate the risks associated with each policyholder to determine if you are a "good risk" or if your policy should be canceled or not renewed. Insurance companies, among other factors, will primarily review your claims, driving, and credit history. It is most favorable that your policy will not be canceled if you don't have a history of filing frequent claims, have maintained a clean driving record and your credit history is good with no bankruptcy's. Question: Does everyone need to have automobile insurance? Answer: Yes, automobile liability insurance, or proof of financial responsibility is required in all fifty states. Although each state sets their own limits on how much insurance is needed, these are only minimum limits and in most cases additional coverage is needed if you don't want to have to pay additional expenses out of pocket. If you have a lease or loan on your car you are usually required by the lender to have comprehensive and collision coverage in addition to the state required liability coverage.