Welcome to part two of our blog series exploring what to look for when you review your insurance coverage. Previously, we looked at what to look for when reviewing your home owners insurance. Here, we’ll explore how to review your automobile coverage. In the coming months, we’ll look at the important aspects of other kinds of insurance. Let us know your questions, and feel free to suggest additional insurance coverages you’d like us to target.
Don’t Put Your Auto Insurance on Autopilot: You’re a smart driver. You wear your seatbelt, make sure your vehicle is equipped with airbags and always obey the laws of the road. But are you protecting yourself with quality auto insurance policy coverage? Do you drive around assuming that you’re covered if the unexpected were to happen? Do yourself a favor – Take the time out regularly to do an insurance policy review to truly understand your automobile coverage. It’ll make all the difference when it comes to your safety and financial security.
Why? To be sure you are receiving the best possible rate with all eligible discounts. Also, to ensure your automobile insurance coverage has no gaps and is right for you before you have a loss.
When? At renewal or whenever you’re thinking of making a change like changing cars or adding a young driver to your policy.
How? Set up an appointment with your agent to go over your policies.
10 Questions to Ask During an Auto Insurance Policy Review: When it comes to our car insurance rates, it’s easy to fool ourselves into thinking the lowest price is the best value. But buying the wrong type of automobile coverage can cost us more in the end. Here’s what we should ask ourselves:
- What is liability coverage and why is it so important?
Essentially, this is your “lawsuit defense fund.” If you’re at fault in
an accident that's covered by your policy, and other people and/or
property are injured or damaged, Liability coverage helps protect you
from the cost of these damages and the legal expense to defend you.
- Do we have adequate liability coverages on our policy?
It’s probably in your best interest to purchase higher limits. If someone
else is injured and you're at fault, the minimum liability coverage may
not cover their medical and other expenses, in which case their attorney
will most likely go after your personal assets. Your insurance agent can
help you determine what’s appropriate.
- Is the underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage adequate for my family and me?
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is basically a liability policy
for someone else that causes bodily injury or property damages to you if
they carry no insurance or very little insurance. While it may not seem
fair that your insurance is picking up the tab in this situation, it’s
crucial that you’re protected with the appropriate amount of automobile
- What’s the difference between Collision and Comprehensive coverages? Do we need either or both?
We all need both. Collision coverage helps protect you from repair costs
to your car if you're involved in a covered accident. Considering it's a
covered loss (that's insurance-speak for an accident that's specifically
covered by your policy), Collision helps pay for the repairs, up to the
actual cash value of your car needed to get it back on the road.
Comprehensive covers the accidental damages to your car that Collision
does not, including storm damage, vandalism, theft or striking an animal
(unfortunately here in NJ, that’s often deer). Similar to Collision
coverage, the higher the deductible the lower your premium, though the
savings are usually not as great.
- Do accidents and tickets affect our rate? Any way to hedge this risk?
Accidents and tickets affect car insurance in different ways depending on
certain details, as well as your insurer's underwriting guidelines. There
will not always be a negative impact on the policy premium; however,
rates may be increased or a policy may be non-renewed if the accident is
classified as chargeable. If you see inflated premiums following
accidents or ticket, you’ll want to talk to your agent to see if a
cheaper rate is available.
- Are we covered if we need to rent a car while our vehicle is being repaired due to an accident? Do we want to be?
Rental Car Reimbursement Coverage will reimburse you for the cost of a
rental vehicle after an accident while your car is being repaired. Talk
- What’s PIP and how much do we need?
PIP covers not only reasonable and necessary medical and hospital
expenses, it can also help you with income continuation, household
services, funeral expenses and even child-care expenses while you’re
healing. Your agent can help you review your current car and health
insurance coverage policies to determine how much coverage you need, but
one thing’s for sure, New Jersey requires it.
- Are we missing any discounts?
One of the primary reasons to review your auto insurance policy coverage
is to be sure you are not overpaying. Reviewing discounts is a simple and
easy way to accomplish this. Some common discounts include defensive
driver, good student, multi-policy, safe driver and good payer.
- What’s new or has changed with our policy?
Always ask your insurance carrier whether there have been any changes or
adjustments to your policy coverages. Have they added any new guarantees
or enhancements? If so, review the cost vs. benefit to you.
- What impact do young drivers have on our rates?
Fortunately, the cost of teen auto insurance doesn’t have to break the
bank or cause unnecessary stress. You can get dependable, affordable
automobile insurance coverage for teenagers with discounts from a quality
Automobile coverage is a crucial building block in the foundation of your budget. And it’s all about the right mix of price and protection. Your insurance agent can help you select the right automobile insurance coverage for your lifestyle with every available
discount, which can add up to some serious savings… of money AND stress!
Next in our insurance policy review blog series we’ll explore what to look for in a personal umbrella policy. In the coming months, we’ll look at the important aspects of other kinds of insurance. Let us know your questions, and feel free to suggest
additional insurance coverages you’d like us to target.