These days we’ve seen an influx of people choosing to travel rather than buy material things. It’s about the experiences over physical objects. Usually, choosing a car would result in hours of research, test-driving and multiple visits to different car lots. You got the car and you’re all set to hit the road, right? Being behind the wheel means you have one final decision to make: what type of auto insurance is right for me? The usual trend is that many will see the cheapest option and go with it just to get it and go. This path is riddled with hazards that may end up costing you more in the end. Take the time to sit down and evaluate which type of auto insurance matches who you are and how you drive.
How Are You Riding?
Most of us are given a hand-me-down car when we first get on the road. It’s a little beat up from its long lifetime, but it’s still a great running car. If this is the case you may be straying away from quality insurance, but it’s still important to protect yourself with liability insurance for potential accidents. Do you tend to be protective of your vehicle and want to keep it clean and pristine? Comprehensive insurance may be the best option for you. Comprehensive insurance is a policy that covers all losses that aren’t covered by collision coverage, such as weather related incidents or vandalism.
What Are Your Assets?
Minor car accidents can end up becoming a bigger hassle than originally anticipated. Add a potential physical injury or a possible totaled car for the situation to become a nightmare. Every state is different, and it’s important to read up on your state’s circumstances and laws on handling auto accidents, as you could be held personally responsible for repair and medical costs. What happens if the total is over the state’s minimum liability and you don’t have that type of money? Other assets like your house or complete savings could be at risk in the case of a lawsuit. Umbrella insurance is typically encouraged in case there is a need for any assets to be covered.
With the increase in popularity of services such as Lyft and Uber, you may be interested in getting a Ride-Share policy. If you are working with one of these companies don’t assume they have insurance to cover you. In actuality, the company’s full coverage doesn’t kick in until the driver is on the way to pick up a passenger or already has passengers in the vehicle. Be wary that if anything does transpire, the rideshare company’s insurance may not cover it. If you plan to work with one of these rideshare companies the best course of action would be to notify your insurance provider immediately.
Additional Services to Help Ease a Potential Headache
As the old saying goes, “Better safe than sorry,” and the saying would be correct. You never know when life could throw a curveball your way. If you are someone who worries and is anxious about the next unexpected issue, you may find it beneficial to look into additional small benefits you could add onto your current insurance policy. Having this small cushion could save you from a potential fall down the line. Here are some option to consider:
- Roadside Assistance – If your car breaks down, you won’t have to worry about finding and paying for a tow company to get you out of your current predicament.
- Rental Car Reimbursement – If your car is in a shop, your insurer will pay for your rental for the time your personal vehicle is unavailable. If you cannot go with a vehicle this addition can save you frustration and expenses.
- Full Glass Coverage – With this benefit, your windshield will be repaired or replaced without spending a penny. Most minimum policies won’t cover cracks or chips in your windshield.
A long-distance move may involve the need to transport a vehicle, especially if one member of the family will be driving a moving van. Before you decide whether it’s preferable to hire an auto shipping company or tow your own vehicle behind a truck or moving van, consider the following details.
Tow Dolly or Trailer: Choosing to Transport On Your Own
Equipment can be purchased or rented to pull a car behind a moving van or behind your own vehicle. A tow dolly attaches to the vehicle you need to transport by securing the front wheels to a platform. Not every forward wheel drive (FWD) or rear wheel drive (RWD) vehicle can be towed with a tow dolly. You’ll want to check the owner’s manual, and know that for a RWD vehicle, you’ll need to disconnect the driveshaft. Also, according to U-Haul, the vehicle you are using to tow will need to have a hitch ball that measures 1 ⅞” or 2″. That specific rental company also requires that the towing vehicle be hard topped, have all lights operational, have mirrors on both sides, have a Class 2 tow hitch, and weigh at least 750 pounds more than the vehicle being pulled behind.
As opposed to a tow dolly, a trailer will keep all four of your towed vehicle’s wheels off the ground. For this option, rental companies will have different requirements for the weight of the truck doing the hauling and weight-carrying rating carried by the towing system. When towing a vehicle during a move, you’ll need to plan to drive more slowly than usual, with a maximum speed of 55 miles per hour.
Other safety considerations to keep in mind before choosing to tow your own vehicle include making sure the tires on both cars are properly inflated, the tire straps being used on the tow dolly are the right size for your vehicle, and you have access to level ground for loading the vehicle. You’ll also want to touch base with your insurance provider, as policy terms ultimately determine whether or not a trailer or items being towed would be covered in the event of an accident. Typically, if you own the tow dolly or trailer, your car insurance policy will include liability coverage, but it may need to be listed specifically in the policy paperwork. Some insurance policies will only provide coverage if the vehicle doing the pulling is owned by you. At times, though, the tow dolly or trailer itself needs comprehensive or collision coverage. A rental, however, will likely not be covered by your personal insurance policy. You’ll want to check with the rental company and make sure you understand any insurance offered on-site.
Using an Auto Shipping Company
The value of paying a shipping company to move your car across the country is that you won’t have to worry about the difficulty or risk associated with towing your own vehicle. The peace of mind, however, will come at a cost. Moving.com reported in 2019 that you can expect to spend between $600-$1,000 to ship a four-door sedan and $800-$1100 for a van, pick-up truck, or SUV. Other companies’ estimates suggest it could get as expensive as $2,000. If you ship your vehicle with a shipping company using an open carrier, keep in mind you may have to wait on the receiving end. These carriers make multiple stops because they are transporting so many vehicles at a time. Your car will also be exposed to dust and weather, but for most it’s worth the risk because an enclosed carrier costs significantly more. Summer prices will also be higher than winter because demand for moves during those months is so high. Keep in mind that you’re also handing over responsibility for an expensive item to an outside party, so take photos of your car to document existing conditions and existing damage before delivering it for transport. Also note that you will not be allowed to ship your vehicle with personal belongings stored inside. The service is for delivery of your vehicle, not also boxes and items that need to be moved.
When selecting a carrier, make sure the company is licensed and insured specifically for interstate moves. You’ll also want to check for any complaints that may have been filed against the company with the Better Business Bureau. If your car is a classic or luxury model, or simply especially expensive, you may decide that the transport company’s insurance isn’t enough. Speak with your personal insurance provider to see if your current plan will cover long-distance shipping or if it’s possible to add to your policy during the time of your move.
Halloween is a special day of the year that many people young and old get excited about. However, Halloween poses more dangers than scary masks and fake blood, so you need to stay safe and protect what you care about. Here are some useful tips for staying safe, having fun, and avoiding insurance claims!
Safety When Driving on Halloween Night
It’s a given that you need to be more vigilant and pay attention to your surroundings when driving at night. Threats ahead are more difficult to see, and incidents like wildlife running into the road can happen suddenly. But on Halloween, there is more than just wild animals walking along the roads. First, depending on where you are driving there may be trick-or-treaters out for a stroll. There could also be teenagers getting up to no good, playing pranks or hanging out in wooded areas. Even if you are driving on an empty road or in a place with no houses around, remain on alert.
Young adults and adults celebrate Halloween, too, and drunk drivers are another threat to look out for when you are driving on Halloween night. Scan the road for anyone who is driving erratically, and do not be afraid to place a call to a non-emergency phone line.
You do not want a night that’s supposed to be full of spooky fun to turn into a real life nightmare, where you have to make an unfortunate auto claim. However, in the event of an accident, remember your agent is only a call away. Calling your insurance agent is one of the first things you want to do after an accident occurs.
If you’ll be spending Halloween with your children, there are some important safety precautions you can take to ensure you have a fun yet enjoyable holiday. If your children will be trick-or-treating in yours or a friend’s neighborhood, make sure you and/or another adult are present at all times. Gone are the days that kids can just be turned loose to get candy from strangers’ homes. Even if your children are older, it’s still risky to let them walk alone – especially on Halloween when predators may be more likely to be out.
If you wish to be extra precautious, you can have your children’s candy scanned at your local police department – to make sure there are no harmful objects or substances inside the pieces. Even if you don’t go this far, still glance over your child’s bag of candy before letting them begin eating. If you see any candy wrappers that look damaged or otherwise off in any way, it’s safest to simply throw the candy away.
If you’ll be passing out candy from your home, make sure all walkways and steps are clean and well-lit. Children may get excited when there’s a bowl of candy ahead, and it’s possible they could trip and fall and get hurt if the path to your door is dark or has debris. Avoid a potential insurance claim by ensuring your home is safe for little monsters and witches to visit.
Staying in on Halloween
If you are spending Halloween at home and do not have any children around, there are still some safety precautions you can take. If you have pets, keep them inside for their safety. There may be strangers who want to harm them in the name of Halloween, but they could also just get frightened by the commotion and run off. You also need to protect your home and possessions. Make sure your garage is securely shut, or if you leave your vehicle outside, that its doors are locked and any enticing electronics or other personal items are taken inside the house. Double check that your home’s doors are locked, even if you plan to stay in all evening. Thieves and vandals often take advantage of the Halloween commotion to perform their nefarious deeds. If something happens, you have insurance in place to protect you, but you certainly don’t want to have to use it, so take proper precautions on the 31st.
No matter what you’re doing this Halloween, you can stay safe and avoid having to make a claim. But if you need us, our agency is only a phone call or email away!
With colleges starting back up, maybe you have a child returning to school or leaving for the first time. You’ve got the twin XL sheets, the posters and the textbooks. Did you know that you also might need insurance for your college student?
If you already have auto insurance for your child’s car (and you should!), don’t cancel it if they are not taking their vehicle to college with them. There is a chance your auto insurance premiums could actually drop significantly if your child moves more than 100 miles from home. Most importantly, your child will still be covered when they return home and drive their vehicle. If they do take their vehicle off to college, thankfully they should still be covered under your policy. However your premiums may change depending on where your child is living during college – especially if they go out of state.
The good news is that if your child will be living in on-campus dorms or other university sponsored housing, their possessions should remain covered under your homeowners insurance. It’s important to note that the coverage limits may be different, so be sure to thoroughly discuss everything with your insurance agent before your child leaves.
If your child will be living off-campus, their possessions will no longer be covered under your homeowners policy, and you will need to purchase a separate renters insurance policy to cover their items. A renters policy can protect your child’s expensive electronics such as a laptop or TV as well as other high value items like musical equipment or instruments. Like your homeowners insurance, your child’s renters policy also covers their insured possessions whether they’re inside your child’s living quarters or not.
Although your child is eligible to remain on your own health insurance plan until they turn 26, there are still some things to consider when they leave for college. If your child will be living out of state during the school season and is not willing or able to return home for doctors’ visits, they may struggle with finding in-network providers. With the exception of emergencies, many health policies offer limited or no coverage for out of network providers. Before you make any moves, check with your child’s school to see if there are any in-network providers close to campus.
If there are not, you have two options. First, you can have your child knock out all necessary medical appointments before leaving for school and schedule future appointments to coincide with breaks. If you do want the peace of mind that good coverage offers, look into supplementing your child’s health coverage with a student health insurance policy. Coverage may also be available through their college or your child could purchase their own coverage in the health insurance market.
Sending your child off to college is an exciting time, whether they are a freshman or a fifth-year senior. Make sure your student has all the protection they need by utilizing the right insurance tools.