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The Royersford Insurance Agent

My granddaughter is borrowing our car for the Prom. Am I covered?

A client called the other day and said that his granddaughter is borrowing his car to go to the prom.  Was he covered?  Was she covered?

 

Volkswagen Beetle crashed through a brick wallCreative Commons License simpleinsomnia via Compfight

 

As always, check with your agent and your carrier to verify.  But here’s how it works with mostly every insurance company that I know of.

The insurance follows the car, not the person.  So if your granddaughter, your friend, your sister, even if your sister’s friend were to drive your car and you authorized them to do so (gave them the OK) and they were to be in accident, there would be coverage for your car and any other damage that occurred as a result of the accident.

I advised my client to make sure that his granddaughter was listed as a driver on her parent’s policy.  All drivers need to be listed on an insurance policy somewhere.  If they are not then this could cause some issues.  There would most likely still be coverage but it could hold up things with the claim.  Meaning it may take a little longer for you to get your payment as the claim rep and the powers that be in the claim office review everything.

Depending on how often the person you are lending your car to drives the car, your insurance company may require you to list them as a driver.  In this example, the prom example, the granddaughter will just be borrowing the vehicle once.  But if you had someone who is borrowing the car more frequently than it is a smart idea to list them as a driver.

That’s among the first questions that a claim rep will ask a person who is an accident that is not listed on the policy, “how often do you drive the car?”  If the answer is anything other than this is my first time, they will demand the driver be listed.

Especially if they are not listed on a policy somewhere else.

Keep in mind Medical Coverage on an Insurance policy follows the person.  So, in this example, if there were to be an accident and the granddaughter were injured, her parent’s policy would pay for her Medical bills.  This, obviously, is assuming that her parents have Medical coverage on their policy.  If the granddaughter has a boyfriend that is also injured, his parent’s policy would pay for his medical bills.

Most people only have a $10,000 limit listed for their Medical coverage.  We have started to recommend you go higher, even as high as $100,000.  This will help you avoid using your Primary Health Insurance and any deductibles and co-pays that are associated with it.

One last thing to consider.  You are putting your liability on the line anytime you let someone borrow your car.  If there were to be an accident in your vehicle you are at risk for being sued.  It doesn’t mean you will get sued but the possibility is certainly there.

Here is a list of the minimum coverages that I would recommend.  You should not go below these limits.

 

My name is Keith Laskey. My goal is to educate the everyday consumer and to help them make intelligent decisions with their insurance policies. Please contact me at my office, 610-948-4830 or Email Me for any insurance related questions or concerns. You can also visit the Ron Black Agency website or like us on Facebook! Thank you for stopping by, have a great day!

How New Cars Affect Your Auto Policy

The New Car!

 

Ferrari F430 in Madrid, HDR Marc via Compfight

 

Recently we had a man, 24- year old, replace his ’07 Camry with a 2015 Subaru Legacy.  The cars are pretty similar, both cars are 4-door sedans.  The Legacy has 4-cylinders, the Camry has 6.  When I made the change to the policy the rate shot up about $800 for the year.

WOW!!

Didn’t expect that to happen.

After I saw the increase I started quoting around with the other carriers we represent.  One problem I was having was that the driver had recently been involved in an at-fault accident.  The accident occurred just a few months prior to his current policy renewal which meant that his current carrier was not taking the accident into consideration when determining his rate.  The other companies are.  So trying to find a better rate with a different carrier was not happening.

However, even if he were not involved in the accident the 2015 Legacy was still causing the rates to be higher with all of the other carriers.  So I started to experiment.  What if he had purchased a 2015 Chrysler Town & Country instead of a Legacy?  Minivans are among the least expensive cars to insure.  When I plugged in the minivan the rate still went up, but not quite as much.

Maybe the brand new cars are more expensive to insure?  I put in the information for a 2010 Town & Country.  The rate went up compared to the Camry but less than the newer model.  Maybe Toyotas are just very inexpensive cars to insure!!

 

How this Benefits You

Don’t go into a new car purchase blind.  An $800 increase is significant and I’m sure our client would have liked to have known that this was going to happen to his policy before buying the new car.  When you are looking at new cars, call your agent and ask them to give you a quote.  I have had people call with four or five cars they are looking at to make sure the insurance would be affordable.

 

What to do if the Rates skyrocket?

Start shopping!  Look, if the increase to our client’s policy had been a hundred dollars or so then it wouldn’t have been much of a big deal.  But an increase of $800 is just too much.  When I last spoke with him he did say he found a carrier that offered a rate somewhere in between what he was paying for his Camry and the proposal I gave to him for the new Legacy.

If your rate increases to a cost that is not affordable than you should consider shopping around.  I’m all about loyalty but you need to look out for yourself and what’s best for you.

 

If you shop…

If you do look around at other carriers make sure you ask for the same or better coverages than what you have.  You do not want to switch carriers to save a few hundred dollars only to find out your deductibles have increased or your liability limits have decreased.  Have your agent review a new quote if you are uncertain.  I have been going back and forth with a client all day about a quote he has with a different company.

We’re insurance agents.  We’re here to help you, even if we lose you.

 

Happy shopping an enjoy your new car!

 

My name is Keith Laskey. My goal is to educate the everyday consumer and to help them make intelligent decisions with their insurance policies.  Please contact me at my office, 610-948-4830, for any insurance related questions or concerns.  You can also visit the Ron Black Agency website or like us on Facebook!  Thank you for stopping by, have a great day!

 

 

How Safeco Rewind can Forgive an Existing Accident

What is Safeco Rewind?

Safeco Rewind is a program offered  by Safeco Insurance that allows a driver to have an existing accident, minor violation or speeding ticket waived for the first policy term just for agreeing to participate.  By agreeing to participate, you are agreeing to install a Rewind device into your vehicle.  The device will collect data on how well you drive for a four-month evaluation period.  If you qualify during that evaluation period than Safeco will permanently waive the accident, violation or ticket.

 

REWIND

Chris Marquardt via Compfight

 

How it Works

The Rewind device will be sent to you with instructions on how to install.  It’s just a matter of plugging it in, very easy to do.

While you drive, the device will collect data that will hopefully prove you are a responsible driver.  This data can be accessed though a secure website.

Once the four-month evaluation period is over you will receive a pre-paid envelope to send the device back to Safeco.  Safeco will also let you know if you qualify to have your driving setback permanently waived-like it never happened.

 

What data is collected?

Ok, here is where some people will become disinterested.  The device will collect vehicle mileage, speed, acceleration, time and date, location, and when it has been disconnected or connected.  The device should not be disconnected at any point during the 4-month evaluation period as this could raise a red flag.

 

Why is data on the location collected?

Safeco states the GPS is used to show drivers where unsafe events occur.  Vehicle location is used only for customer service, or as required by law.  I guess if you are a witness to a crime then the information could potentially be used.

Rewind will give participating drivers a driving safety score.  Drivers with fewer unsafe events per mile will achieve a better score.  Unsafe events include, hard brakes, quick acceleration, excess speed and driving in unsafe locations.  This is how the location data can come into play.  If you spend a lot of time in a high crime area than you can expect your safety score to be low.

 

Who should try Safeco Rewind?

If your driving record is clean, aside from one mishap, than you should look into it.  I have seen the proposals from Safeco decrease hundreds of dollars on many occasions when I add Rewind.  If your rate shoots up from your existing carrier due to an accident or violation than Safeco Rewind may be the answer for you.

 

What do you think?

Is this too Big Brother for you?  Or would you be interested in giving Safeco Rewind a try?  Contact me with any questions you have.  I’ll help if I can or I’ll find someone who will if I can’t.

 

My name is Keith Laskey. My goal is to educate the everyday consumer and to help them make intelligent decisions with their insurance policies.  Please contact me at my office, 610-948-4830, for any insurance related questions or concerns.  You can also visit the Ron Black Agency website or like us on Facebook!  Thank you for stopping by, have a great day!

 

 

What to Do if You’re Rear-Ended

 

A Rear End Collision is one of the most common types of auto accidents.  Whether the reason is because they are fiddling with the satellite radio or texting, people are very distracted these days.  So, when it happens to you, how should you handle it?

 

rear ended

Decide if You Should Call the Police

Depending on the situation, you may wish to call the police first.  This is never a bad idea.  Trust your instincts.  If you have an uncomfortable feeling about the driver or situation, call the police.  Find a safe area to wait until they arrive.  Are there witnesses?  Ask them to wait with you.

The police will gather all the information about both drivers and will give you an incident report.  That report will have all the information you need to give to your insurance carrier as well as their carrier.

 

What you should do if you don’t call the Police

If you decide not to call the police then you will need to gather some information that will help with the claim handling process.  Here is what you need.

  • Their Insurance Information.  Their Insurance carrier and policy number.  The ID card will have all of this information.
  • Their Personal Information.  Name, address, and phone number.
  • Their Vehicle Information.  Year, make and model.  Bonus points if you can get the VIN on the car!

Take photos of everything.  The cars, the scene of the accident, their ID card (if possible).

 

Contact your agent before calling a claim in.

We always recommend calling our agency before calling a claim in to the carrier.  We can help you decide if it’s best to go through their carrier or your carrier.  Sometimes it is actually best to go through your carrier even though you were rear-ended.  The reason for this is that generally speaking you insurance carrier will provide better and quicker service to you.  You would need to pay your deductible if you choose to do this.

If you go through your carrier, they will then go after the other driver’s insurance carrier and will work to get them to accept liability and have your deductible returned to you.  Regardless of which insurance carrier you report the claim to, you must be prepared to to talk about the accident.  You will need to give your report on what happened to both your insurance company as well as their insurance company.

 

How a Not-At-Fault accident affects your Rates

You should not see a rate increase on your renewal due to a not-at-fault accident.  If you shop your policy with another carrier, however, you may see that the rate is higher due to the accident.  It will not be much higher but a not-at-fault accident could affect future quotes.

 

Do you need to go through Insurance?

No, not at all.  The other driver could pay out of pocket to cover the damages.  Make sure you get all of their information mentioned above just in case you change your mind later.  Take your car to YOUR mechanic and have them give you an estimate.  Call the other driver to discuss the cost of repairs.  Make sure the other driver knows that additional damage could be discovered while the car is in the shop.

One thing to consider!  Do you need a rental vehicle while your car is in the shop?  Without insurance, most likely you won’t have access to one.  Check your policy today to make sure that you have Extended Transportation coverage in the event of a claim.

 

Have you ever been rear-ended?

 

My name is Keith Laskey.  I write about insurance, youth development and adult success.  Please contact me at my office, 610-948-4830,  for any insurance related questions or concerns.  

How to Use Your Credit Score to Lower Your Insurance Rates

As if insurance rates weren’t annoying enough.  Your car gets older and your rates get higher.  And now you realize that because you missed a credit card bill two years ago you may be paying more for your auto insurance.  It’s very frustrating.

 

Pregnant  woman with money. Family budget.

But, depending on your situation, this information actually may help you LOWER your rates!!

 

 

If you are married or if you are listed on an insurance policy with someone else, take a look at how your names appear on the policy.  Make sure the person who has the better credit is listed first.  If you are unsure who has better credit, call your agent and ask them to give you a quote with both names listed first.

 

If you want to impress your agent, use the term First Named Insured which is insurance jargon for the first name listed on your policy.  If you discover that the Second Named Insured (the person listed second on your policy) has better credit then ask the agent to switch the names and run a report.  There is a good chance your rate will go down.

Unless two people are in the exact same credit tier, there will always be a different rate depending on who is listed first and who is listed second.

 

 

Can Your Agent see Your Credit Score?

No.  What we do see is a number, a code of sorts that indicates what tier a person’s credit score is in.  The lower the better.  I have seen numbers as low as 1 and as high as the thirties.  My number is somewhere in the middle, but we’re working on that!!

 

 

Success Story

A few years back we were having some serious trouble finding a good rate for one of our insureds.  His renewal rate with his current carrier was unreasonable but we just couldn’t find anything better.  Finally, I simply switched his wife’s name from Second Named Insured and put it First.  We saved them close to a thousand dollars for the year.  Didn’t reduce the coverage or increase the deductible.  Just simply changed the way their names appeared on the policy.

There are countless other stories where we just simply switched how the names appear on the policy and saved people a significant amount of money.

 

 

What if you are  Single?

If you are single and your credit score has recently been increasing, you should ask your agent to run a report again and see if your rate has changed.  Companies do not run reports every year so if your credit is stronger now than it was a few years ago you may find that you can lower your rate.  If your score is higher but your rate is not affected then it’s time to shop.

 

 

How to Shop for Insurance

If you are with an independent agency just ask them to shop around for you.  They will quote all of the carriers that they represent.  If you are with a company like Nationwide or State Farm than they can recommend a different agent or agency to help you.  If they cant or will not recommend a different agency than you know they have their best interest in mind, not yours.

If that is the case than it really is time to shop.

 

 

As always, call me with questions or concerns.

 

-Keith Laskey-

photo courtesy of SalFalko via Compfight

 

 

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