Insurance in general is given a bad rep - largely because several people have had nightmare experiences with their insurance carriers or agents. The reality is that all that could have been prevented had the consumer been more knowledgeable. My tips in this article will guide you towards a better understanding of the necessary steps to take to avoid a nightmare experience that can lead to not being "paid out" on a claim or battling back and forth to finally be paid on a claim.
1) Adding underinsured motorist liability and property damage coverage.
Quincy has a large market of "non-preferred" clients; These are clients that have too many tickets, violations, or losses that they must shop an insurance carrier that is willing to take on their risk. These are also clients that have budget restrictions, licensing restrictions, or are simply too stubborn to want to shop for better coverages. These clients typically opt-in for the lowest coverage required by the state, which is $25,000 in medical liability per person, $50,000 medical liability per accident, and $10,000 of property damage per accident. What does this mean for every driver in Quincy? If you are driving a vehicle that is over $10,000 and you get hit by a passenger that has the state minimum and your car is completely totaled, you will be only covered for $10,000 and will be responsible for the rest. For example, if you drive a 2020 Ford F-150 that is worth about $55,000 per the Kelley Blue Book, and then you get hit by a driver with state minimum limits that results in your truck being totaled, then you will be only covered for $10,000 and you will have to pay for the rest of the damages -- either by making a collision claim under your own insurance (which will lead you to pay way more in insurance premiums down the road), or by paying the rest out of pocket (yikes to your savings!). That is why we strongly recommend having underinsured motorist liability and property damage coverage because that type of coverage will cover you in the case that you get hit by someone with low auto coverage, or someone with NO insurance at ALL. If you have the resources for this coverage, which is not too expensive, please, please get it.
2) Adding Personal Injury Protection (for those with high health insurance deductibles, or no health insurance coverage).
The average person believes that their auto insurance coverage will protect their medical and injury costs if they get in a car accident. Most of the time, the person is wrong because they do not carry personal injury protection. If you do not carry personal injury protection, then that means that whoever the driver is of the insured vehicle, does not have coverage for any of their own medical costs. The liability aspect of a car insurance only covers for the cost of the medical expenses of the passengers and of the parties that are hit in the car accident. It does NOT cover the driver's medical expenses. Therefore, it is important to add personal injury protection to your coverage. If you already have your own medical/health insurance, then it is likely that you will not need this coverage --- unless your medical insurance does not cover it, or if your deductible on your medical insurance is high.
3) Increasing all your limits for proper protection.
I strongly advise every client to increase all their limits on their coverage to at least $100,000 in liability per person, $300,000 per accident, and $100,000 in property damage. The reason behind this is because we currently live in a world where medical costs are ridiculously high – especially in the ER – which is where car accident injuries tend to end up in, so having a $100,000 liability per person and $300,000 per accident will be enough in most cases to cover each injured party. Also, most new vehicles today are over $30,000, so having a $100,000 property damage coverage will ensure that the other property is paid for without you being held liable. This is the reason we recommend the increased limits noted above. Also, let’s not forget that we live in a very litigious society, so to avoid being sued, make sure your” butt” is covered.
4) Be honest and transparent
Claims become an issue for the insured when the insured fails to properly disclose all the facts when first submitting the application, or when their situation changes. For example, you need to make sure you disclose all the household members when you are applying for auto insurance. Failing to do so can result in serious financial burden because if one of the household members you failed to disclose drives away with your car and gets in a wreck, then it is very likely that your insurance will not pay you out. Also, if someone new joins your household, you should be immediately notifying your agent or carrier. Always be as truthful as possible. DO NOT COMMIT INSURANCE FRAUD for the sake of saving a few dollars because at the end of it all – it will hurt you more. Most insurance carriers have more information about you than you would ever imagine, and they have ways of obtaining more as well.
5) This tip is for those with a business (Commercial Auto Insurance)
I have noticed that so many individuals are putting their commercial auto – an auto they use for business purposes – under their own personal insurance and failing to disclose that the vehicle is being used for commercial purposes. Doing this is backwards because the insurance carrier will question your usage if you were to ever be in an accident, and if they discover that it was being used during business, then you will not be paid out. As previously noted, be honest with your application.
I am hoping these tips provided have given you a breath of knowledge. Thanks for reading these tips!
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