Insurance Frequently Asked Questions
Does My Driving Record Affect My Insurance Premium ?
The premium you pay is based on your driving record for the past three to five years and with some companies, your credit history. Insurance companies order driving records from the Department of Motor Vehicles and from Choicepoint in some cases. Statistics show that drivers with tickets and accidents are more likely to have accidents than drivers with clean records.
Can Someone Else Drive My Vehicle ?
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 own insurance policy to make sure.
| IMPORTANT! Insurance follows the vehicle, not the driver so your insurance will be responsible if the person you borrowed the car to has an accident.
|IMPORTANT! 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. But if you live separately, she could use your car with your permission and be covered.
How Much Coverage Should I Have ?
In most cases the state minimum policy limits are not enough. It is generally agreed that the average driver should carry at least 100/300/100 coverage which is explained below.
100 = 100,000 per person for bodily injury (Other party injuries and/or death)
300 = 300,000 per accident for bodily injury (Two or more other party injuries)
100 = 100,000 per accident for property damage (Other people's property)
What Is Comprehensive Coverage ?
This covers your vehicle, and sometimes other vehicles you may be driving for losses resulting from incidents other than collision. Some examples are hail damage, animal damage, windshield rock chips,vehicle theft, etc. This pays to fix your vehicle minus the deductible amount you have. The higher the deductible amount, the lower your premium will be. Coverage is limited to the terms and conditions contained in the policy so be sure to check your policy. Comprehensive and collision coverage is not required by the state, but if you have a loan or a lease the lien holder will require it.
What is collision coverage ?
Collision coverage covers the damage to a policyholder’s vehicle resulting
from a collision, regardless of who is responsible, minus the deductible amount that has been chosen.
What Should I Do If I Have An Accident ?
STAY CALM ! You need to stay calm to be able to determine if there are any injuries and to determine the extent of the damages. And so you can
immediately find out if anyone will require medical treatment.
Call the police and file an accident report with them. Even in a minor accident, it's important to file a report and do not leave the scene until the police file a complete report.
Only discuss the accident with the Police. Do not admit fault or any liability at this time. You should only talk about the accident with the police and your insurance agent.
Get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of everyone involved in the accident. Be sure to get the name of the other parties insurance company and the information for the vehicle they were driving.
CALL YOUR INSURANCE AGENT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE !
What if I don’t pay my premium by the due date ?
Auto policies, do not have a required grace period that allows for late payment of premium. The premium must be in the hands of the company on the date identified on the billing. If the premium is not received by that date, the policy automatically terminates. Some companies voluntarily allow grace periods without a lapse in coverage. There are some companies, however, that do not permit a grace period, in which case they might not reinstate the policy even if you pay your premium late.
Do All Companies Have The Same Standards For Writing An Insurance Policy ?
No. There are three basic markets when writing automobile insurance:
Non-Standard , Standard , and Preferred. They can be described as follows, starting with the most expensive:
Non-Standard Markets: May include drivers with less experience, drivers with a high amount tickets or accidents, drivers with a reckless or drunk-driving history, and drivers with a poor credit score.
Standard Markets: Includes the average driver who uses family-type vehicles who has a reasonably clean driving record and a good credit score.
Preferred Markets: Insures low risk drivers with clean records over the past three years and a good credit score. This market has the cheapest premiums.