It’s the middle of October and the weather is beginning to change. You’ve enjoyed months with your beautiful convertible and now you’re planning to (regretfully) put it in the garage for the winter. Now that you’re not driving it – should I keep insurance on a car I’m not driving?
Whether it’s the convertible scenario above, or a car that is in the middle of being restored, or simply a car that will just sit for a period of time while your son or daughter moves back home to figure out what to do with their life, you might find that you’re paying insurance on a vehicle that won’t be driven for months. Should I keep insurance on a car I’m not driving? What are the options? What insurance do I need?
The short answer is to leave only comprehensive coverage on the car. This would protect the vehicle just as ordinary comprehensive coverage would, including theft, vandalism, weather, fire, etc.
So basically, the things you’d be most worried about with a car in storage. The car would not be legal to drive by any means, but you would save significant costs and the car itself would have some protection.
Now, some very important notes of caution before doing this:
If the vehicle will driven at any time, state law dictates that you must carry liability insurance on the vehicle. So even if you are only planning to drive the vehicle very sparingly, it needs to have at least the state minimum in liability protection.
Example: The car you regularly drive is in the shop, so you decide to drive the car in storage to the store to buy some groceries. As you’re leaving, you back into another vehicle. This would not be covered.
There would not be coverage for anything off road either.
Example: You have a truck that you’ve put in storage for the winter. You have a dead tree stump in your yard that you want removed, so you and your neighbor decide to use your truck to pull it out. As you pull, a chain comes lose and strikes your neighbor in the face. There would be no coverage for this.
One very big potential issue is forgetting to contact your insurance company when the car is able to be driven again.
Example: You regularly put your convertible in storage for the winter, and you always notify your agent before and after putting it in storage. It’s now June and you accidentally hit a sign in your convertible, only to realize that you never contacted your agent earlier in the spring. No coverage.
You’ll want to check with your insurance company on this, though. Every company does this a little different, and you’ll want to be sure this is something they’re willing and able to do and that there are no additional games in coverage that you should be aware of.
As you can see, there are some big risks in doing this. Try not to look at it as a way to ‘save money,’ but know that less coverage = a lower price. Make sense?
So what do you think? Does it make sense to you to put your vehicles on a comprehensive-only coverage basis?
We can help you to get the insurance you need to protect your investment. Reach out to us to get a quote today.
If you’ve been in a car accident, it’s not something you forget and it’s not something you’re anxious to do again. But when it happens, who needs to be involved at the scene, and what should or should not be done while you’re there?
There are nearly 10 million car crashes in the US each year, big and small combined. This isn’t something you spend a lot of time thinking about until you’re in that situation, but once you’re there, it’s critical.
So here are some easy steps for what to do after a car accident to get you through it:
1. Call 911 and/or the police – if needed.
First and most importantly, if there are any injuries, get help ASAP. Make sure you’re not in anymore immediate danger and call for help if needed. Give as much detail as possible so they can send the right people your way.
Second, it’s always a good idea to call the police and file a report. The police do not determine who’s fault the accident is, but they can give a factual report of what happened. Otherwise it could end up your word against the other party’s, and obviously that could be problematic.
You are required to report the incident to the police if:
there is an death or injury
the accident results in damage amounting to $1,000 or more
one of the drivers is uninsured
a criminal act caused the accident
If the accident takes place in a parking lot or on private property, the police may tell you that they don’t need to file a report since it didn’t happen on a roadway. It’s still advisable to have a report filed anyhow to cover your bases.
*Make sure you take down the police report number so that you can report it to your insurance company.
2. Assess the damage.
Be very careful here. Your first instinct may be to move the car off the road as soon as possible, but you’ll want to do a few things first:
Take some pictures of the accident as is
Check for leaking fluids. If you see quite a bit, DON’T MOVE IT.
Check for flat tires. Moving it with a flat or two could do further damage.
Check for strange smells or noises. If you find any, best to leave it alone.
If you find that the car appears to be movable, continue to monitor things but you are legally allowed to move the car off the road. Otherwise, better call roadside assistance.
3. Exchange information with any other party involved.
It’s always a good idea to exchange information. This speeds things up considerably once you have it. You’ll need:
Names, addresses, and phone numbers of all drivers involved
Year, make, model and license plate of all drivers involved
Insurance company names and policy numbers of all drivers involved
Be careful of implicating yourself, of course. The police report will help the insurance company determine fault, so you don’t need to open yourself up to being viewed as the at-fault driver, particularly when you very well may not have been.
If you feel threatened by the other party, be cautious and/or do not engage.
If the other party prefers to settle with cash instead of running everything through the insurance company, do not accept. This could lead to numerous liability problems down the road, it’ll be your word against theirs, and you won’t be able to go back and file a claim on it. Do it right the first time.
4. Document, document, document.
Take good, quality photos of the scene to accurately show what happened. Again, this makes things run much smoother when the insurance companies begin to sort things out. Show the entire vehicle on each side, and get closeups of the damage. If possible, get photos of the other party’s license and license plate as well.
5. Call your insurance company.
Call it in as soon as you can. You’ll want to do this while everything is still fresh in your memory. They’ll want to help you through this as best they can as well. If you have an agent, call them. If not, you may call your company directly. What information should you give your insurance company?
Name, address and phone number of each driver
Policy numbers and insurance companies of each driver
Year, make, model and license plate of each car involved
A brief description of what happened
Police report number, if applicable
Witness contact information, if applicable
From here, your company will begin to sort things out with you and anyone else involved. If you are found to be at fault, your company will work things out for everyone.
If the other driver is at fault, then their company will pay for your repairs and injuries. You may begin the process with your own policy if you’d prefer to get started on it immediately – though you may be responsible for the deductible first. It would be reimbursed by the other company at the closing of the claim.
Finally, reporting an incident and filing a claim are not necessarily the same thing. There may be some instances in which it would be better not to file a claim at all, though some insurance companies require that their customers to report all incidents, so you’ll want to double check on that as well.
Obviously, no two accidents are the same. It might be simple and straight forward. You might need a lawyer. Each situation needs to be assessed, of course, but the thing that remains consistent is this: always be safe.
Why do my auto insurance rates keep going up even though my car is getting older? At Ovation Insurance, many of our clients ask this question so I would like to address it from a couple of angles.
First things first, even though it’s called car/auto insurance, it covers more than just your car. It should technically be called “auto-owners” insurance, similarly to how home insurance is actually called “home owners insurance”.
It’s important to understand that there are a lot of variables that go into insurance premiums, and with auto insurance, it’s no different.
The insurance company is much more concerned with you crashing into someone and causing them (or yourself) bodily harm, or death, than they are about your car. A car is a material possession which can be replaced.
A human life is not.
When is the last time you looked at your auto insurance policy?
If you look at it you’ll notice there are a lot of different coverages on your auto policy.
Loss of Income
Loss of use
These are all things that you are covered for on your auto policy. How many of them have to do with your car?
How many of them have a price next to them on your policy?
All of them.
Your car isn’t the only thing you’re being charged for on your policy
That’s because auto insurance covers far more important things than your car as mentioned above.
Let me re-phrase that: your car insurance rate isn’t just based on your car.
You’re not the only one…
It’s also important to understand that you are not the only person your insurance company insures. You are one fish in an ocean of other fish, sharks, and sea creatures, all who have different characteristics and risk profiles.
Insurance is all about spreading costs over a large number (risk pool) of people, which each person paying their fare share. That risk pool is constantly changing, and is impacted by a ton of different things, including the overall economic climate.
This means that you are sharing in the cost of millions of other people, many of whom may have poor loss history and/or credit.
That’s what insurance is though — sharing in the cost.
The next time your auto insurance rates go up, take a look at the big picture. Make sure you’re looking at ALL of the coverages, and corresponding rates.
Hope this helps! If you would like to know more about Car Insurance be sure to visit our page dedicated to it.