Eight Surprising Ways Comprehensive Auto Insurance Works For You

Eight Surprising Ways Comprehensive Auto Insurance Works For You
Auto Coverage
Even the most careful drivers occasionally get into accidents—that’s why auto insurance was created. But, your car can be damaged even if you’re not in a crash—which is why there’s comprehensive auto insurance. Comprehensive is an optional coverage, and without it, you might just be left holding the bag financially, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.). 
Simply put, comprehensive is coverage for events “other than collisions.” And here are eight things that you might not realize are covered by your comprehensive auto insurance policy.
1.     Earthquakes and Floods
Homeowners insurance policies may exclude earthquakes and flood, but your comprehensive auto insurance is truly comprehensive when it comes to disasters. Hurricanes, tornados, volcano eruptions, earthquakes and floods—they’re all covered.
2.     Fire, Even When Caused by a Car Defect
Vehicle fires occur every 96 seconds in the United States, according to the National Fire Protection Association, and although non-crash fires are rare, some are caused by electrical problems or a defective fuel system. Indeed, nearly every major car company has recalled one of its vehicles due to a fire-related defect. A new study from the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) shows the claim frequency for vehicles with fire-related defects—prior to a recall—is 23 percent higher than for other vehicles.
3.     Rodent Damage
A squirrel snuck into your garage and gnawed through your car’s wiring system? Unlike homeowners insurance, which excludes damage caused by pests, your comprehensive auto policy may provide coverage—check your policy carefully to be sure.
4.     Meteorites and Asteroids
OK, there’s a pretty slim chance your car will get hit by an asteroid, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility and if it happens, you would be covered by your comprehensive policy. More importantly, the coverage extends to almost any type of falling object—including hail, trees, the neighbor’s kid’s baseball….
5.     Riots
Unfortunately, every now and then a victory celebration or peaceful protest can get out of hand and morph into a full blown riot. If your car were to get caught in the middle, any damage resulting from the incident—from being flipped, or from such things as explosions, fire and smoke—would be covered. The same goes for acts of vandalism.
6.     Deer, Birds or Other Animal “Contact”
Watch out for that deer! An estimated 1.22 million deer-vehicle accidents occurred in the U.S. between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2013. But deer aren’t the only animals that can damage your car. Bears have a habit of breaking into cars around national parks, looking for food that visitors leave behind. Your trail-mix supply might be a goner, but with comprehensive auto insurance, you won’t have to “bear” the damage alone.
7.     Theft
According to the FBI, more than $4.3 billion was lost to motor vehicle theft in 2012 and the average dollar loss per theft was $6,019. Nobody wants their car to be a crime statistic, but at least you would be covered if your car disappears in the night.
8.     Broken Windshield 
A cracked or shattered windshield is a fairly common occurrence. If a piece of gravel or other road debris suddenly puts a ding in your vehicle’s windshield while you’re driving, it can quickly spread and become a large and dangerous crack. In fact, in many states it is illegal to drive with acracked orbroken windshield. Not only is such damage covered by your comprehensive policy, many companies offer the option of no-deductible coverage for glass damage specifically.
Unlike liability insurance, which you must purchase by law in order to drive in most states, comprehensive insurance is an optional coverage.
Check with your insurance professional to find the best auto coverage for your situation—in many cases a policy that combines liability with comprehensive and collision coverage provides the full breadth of insurance coverage you need, especially on a newer car. Read More…

Does My Auto Insurance Cover Damage Caused By Potholes?

Does My Auto Insurance Cover Damage Caused By Potholes?

Auto Insurance
The good news is, yes, pothole damage is usually covered—providing you have collision coverage. Collision coverage, an optional portion of a standard auto insurance policy, covers damage to a car resulting from a collision with an object (e.g., a pothole, lamp post or guard rail), another car or as the result of flipping over. However, it does not cover wear and tear to a car or its tires due to bad road conditions.
Collision coverage is generally sold with a deductible—the higher your deductible, the lower your premium. Your collision coverage will reimburse you for the costs of repairing your car, minus the deductible.
Collision insurance is different from comprehensive insurance, which is also an optional coverage. Comprehensive coverage reimburses drivers for theft, vandalism, flooding and damage from fallen objects, such as trees.
A driver who hits another car, or a pedestrian, due to a pothole also will be covered by liability insurance, which is required to drive legally in every U.S. state except New Hampshire. Liability coverage applies to injuries that you, the policyholder or designated driver, cause to someone else.
Facts and Figures
Most motorists carry collision coverage on their vehicles. Indeed, 71 percent of U.S. drivers had collision coverage as of 2011, the most recent year for which the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has data.
The NAIC found that 76 percent of all drivers had comprehensive coverage in 2011. Read More…

Saving Money on Insurance In 2014

       Insurance Savings

Saving Money on Insurance In 2014

Five Tips to Cut Your Insurance Costs, Without Being Dangerously Underinsured

Trimming ongoing expenses is a popular New Year’s resolution for many people. While there are smart ways to save on homeowners and auto insurance, making the wrong choices can result in being dangerously underinsured, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).
“There are simple steps you can take to cut the cost of your home and auto insurance while continuing to be financially protected against a catastrophe,” said Jeanne M. Salvatore, senior vice president and consumer spokesperson for the I.I.I.
Following are five insurance mistakes that consumers should avoid, along with practical suggestions for ways to save money:
1. Insuring a home for its real estate value not rebuilding cost. The amount for which you can buy or sell a home can fluctuate for many reasons. But insurance is designed to cover the cost of rebuilding your home, not the sale price. Make sure you have enough coverage to completely rebuild your home and replace all your belongings in the event of a disaster.
A better way to save on homeowners premiums: Raise your deductible. An increase from $500 to $1,000 could save up to 25 percent on your annual premium. And don’t forget to ask your insurer about all available discounts.
2. Selecting an insurance company by price alone. You want an insurance company that offers the type of policy and coverage that you are looking for; it should also be financially sound and provide excellent customer service.
A savvier way to pick an insurer: Ask friends and family for recommendations. Get the names of local agents and/or insurance companies that provided helpful information and a satisfactory claims filing experience.
3. Dropping flood insurance. Damage from flooding is not covered under standard homeowners and renters insurance policies. Even though the cost of flood insurance is rising, don’t be tempted to drop this coverage. Ninety percent of all natural disasters involve some form of flooding. Flood insurance is available from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), as well as from some private insurance companies.
A smarter way to lower flood insurance costs: Before purchasing a home check with the NFIP to see whether the house is located in a flood zone. If so, consider buying a home in a less risky area. If you already own a home and it is in a flood zone, you still have some options: increasing your deductible; and elevating the structure. There may be grants available to help you with the costs of elevation—to find out more, talk to your community officials. You may also want to talk to your community officials about joining or improving their status in the Community Rating System. This is a FEMA program that offers flood discounts to communities that adopt standards that are higher than those required to join the National Flood Insurance Program.
4. Purchasing only the legally required amount of liability for your vehicle. In today’s litigious society, buying only the minimum amount of liability means you are likely to pay more out-of-pocket if you are sued—and those costs may be steep. The insurance industry and consumer groups generally recommend a minimum of $100,000 of bodily injury protection per person and $300,000 per accident.
A less risky way to cut auto insurance costs: Consider taking a defensive driver class that would offer a discount on insurance cost. You can also raise the deductible on comprehensive and collision coverage. If you are driving an older vehicle (worth less than $1,000) you may want to think about dropping one or both of these coverages.
5. Neglecting to buy renters insurance. The average renters insurance policy is less than $200 per year ($187 dollars a year) or about $22 per month. For the price of a couple of fancy coffees a week, you can insure the contents of your apartment, as well as get liability protection in the event someone is injured in your home and decides to sue. Lastly, renters insurance policies also provide coverage for additional living expenses—so if you can’t live in your home because of a fire or other disaster, you would get the money to live elsewhere temporarily.
A good way to cut the cost of renters insurance: Look into multi-policy discounts. Buying several policies with the same insurer, such as renters, auto and/or life insurance, will generally provide savings. Read More…