You might be shocked at the coverage you do and do not have.
Your local car insurance agents have a wealth of knowledge and experience about your coverage that can be everything from fascinating to useful. These facts can save you a surprising amount of money.
Talking to an insurance expert near you can ensure you are protected where you think you are.
It’s always a good idea to review your coverage with one of your local car insurance agents once a year to be sure your coverage is what you need. At the same time, that is a fantastic opportunity to ask questions about any of the details you’re not sure about. This can include explaining both what is covered and what is not.
That said, you’re not restricted to the discussion only once per year. Any time you have questions about what is covered, contact your insurance agent to find the answers you need. This information will make sure you’re covered in the way you need to be, that you’re not paying for what you don’t need, and that you won’t end up facing any unwanted surprises if you should ever need to make a claim.
Here are 5 things your local insurance agents know and can teach you about your coverage.
There are things you assume are covered by your policy, but that aren’t. At the same time, there are things you don’t realize are covered, but that actually are. It’s important to learn the facts.
1. Rental cars are often covered
Your personal comprehensive and liability auto insurance will also cover rental cars of a similar value, if you rent in the United States. You’ll be subject to the same deductible as you would for your own vehicle. Knowing this will save you from purchasing unnecessary additional rental car insurance but be aware, in some resort areas like Hawaii, there is an unexpected expense that can quickly add up. The rental car company can charge you for the time the vehicle has been out of commission, basically the money they could have made – this is referred to as Loss of Use or Loss of Income. Check with your local car insurance agents to be sure.
2. Think twice about lending your car to someone
If someone borrows your car with your permission and gets into a crash, the claim will be filed through your policy. This means that any deductibles that apply will need to be covered, and your premiums could change because of the claim, particularly if you had been benefiting from a no prior claim discount, or if you’ve made other claims recently, too. Also, if the accident involves injuries, a good attorney will name you in the lawsuit – having high limits of liability are key to protect personal assets so keep this in mind before tossing the keys to a friend.
3. Your car is covered, but its contents are not
Your car insurance policy protects you against the loss or theft of your vehicle. However, if personal property is stolen from your car or damaged in a crash, your coverage does not extend to those items. In that type of situation, talk to local agent like Ellison Insurance Services in Valencia California about whether your home or renters’ policy covers the property in question. You can also talk to a team member about how to save money by bundling homeowners’ or renters’ insurance with auto coverage.
4. Technology could help infrequent drivers save a lot
Usage based car insurance policies, like Allstate’s Drivewise, could be a great match for you if you don’t drive much and if you practice safe driving habits. This type of policy is based on tracking your actual driving habits, such as how often you drive, how many miles you drive, the time of day you drive, if you often brake hard, and other factors that can help to determine your risk and show that it is low enough to earn additional discounts. Talk to your local car insurance agents to find out if this type of program would be worthwhile for you.
5. Your pet is not a passenger
Your pet may be a family member to you, but Fluffy and Fido are considered to be property by most insurers. Still, some policies will provide some coverage in case of injury to a pet in a crash. Though not standard, it is not uncommon for an auto insurance policy to cover up to $1,000 in veterinary bills for a dog or cat injured in a car crash. This is not available through all companies or in all states, so be sure to talk to your local insurance agents to know if you have that coverage and if it’s available to you if you want it.