We first need to get an approximate idea of what your vehicle is worth. Once we have a general idea we now need to look at what your deductible and premium is for collision protection. If the combined cost of collision and the deductible amount is close to or exceeds the value of the vehicle, we recommend you eliminate this coverage.
Your Automobile insurance provides you with legal defense automatically at no additional cost to you up to your policy limit. This protection is in addition to and does not reduce the limit of the policy.
Yes, we recommend that you do purchase their protection for the following reasons:
Replacement Cost versus Actual Cash Value - Rental contracts can vary greatly by each agency and also by state. Depending on the stipulations of the rental car agreement, they may require reimbursement for damages on a replacement cost basis (old for new). Automobile insurance policies do not pay replacement cost but rather actual cash value (depreciation).
Loss of Use - Some rental contracts make you responsible to pay a loss of use charge for the time their rental vehicle is out of use for repairs. Most Automobile insurance policies do not provide coverage for loss of use charges.
Important Notes - Another important note, be sure to list any/all people in your party that could potentially operate the rental vehicle on the rental contact as operators.
If you have fully insured your own vehicle, including collision and comprehensive coverage, and rent a vehicle for pleasure only (while on vacation, for example), you do not need to buy extra insurance from the rental company. In fact, in most states your basic rental fee by law will include liability coverage for damage or injury to others. However, we still recommend that you purchase the coverage for the following reasons:
- Loss of Use will not be covered under your personal insurance policy for the rental car. This can add up to significant dollars, depending upon how long the rental company is without the benefit of the vehicle.
- Rental car companies can put a hold on your credit card for deductibles, and the anticipated loss of use. Depending upon your card limit, this may cause you hardship.
- Peace of Mind. When purchasing the collision coverage directly from the rental car company, you can "walk away." No paper work, follow up etc. Just get a new car and enjoy your vacation!
Please note: Different rules apply when you rent a car for business purposes. See For Your Business - Auto.
But different rules apply when you rent a car for business purposes. If you do not have your own insurance, be aware that many car rental liability policies cover you only at the state's required minimum. Also, you should buy the collision and comprehensive coverage offered by the rental company for your own protection.
The cost of your automobile insurance depends on a number of factors: Your age, sex, driving record, limits of liability, specific coverages chosen, and age, make and model of your vehicle. Youthful drivers, for example, are more costly to insure due to their inexperience (which statistics shows results in a greater chance of an accident.) When you increase your limits of coverage, the cost increases as well. And different cars are rated on variables like safety and frequency of theft of specific makes and models. Some cars are safer than others to drive and some are less apt to be stolen. Choosing one of these will help lower your insurance rate. We can help you estimate your insurance needs and premiums. Give us a call today.
Make sure you and your passengers are OK. Move as far off the roadway as possible, but stay at the scene of the accident. Warn oncoming traffic by activating your hazard warning lights or setting flares.
- Stay calm.
- Call the police to report the accident and emergency personnel if anyone is injured.
- Contact your insurance company. At Clark-Mortenson we have live, 24/7 claims service.
- Do not admit fault for the car accident or discuss the car accident with anyone other than the police and your claims representative.
Exchange vital information with the other driver involved in the car accident. Write down the name, address, phone number and license numbers for all drivers and witnesses, particularly those who were not riding in a vehicle involved in the accident. Ask for the insurance companies and policy numbers for drivers involved in the car accident.
Some things to think about are...
Teenagers are expensive to insure because they are the least experienced drivers. A driver's education course can help ease the burden of insurance costs since it teaches your teenager defensive driving techniques. If your child's high school does not offer driver's education, try to find one offered by another school or a private firm in the area. After all, the cost of driver's education could be cheaper than the extra cost of your insurance.
- Many insurers offer "good student" discounts, if your child is on the honor role or has a B average or better. This can result in a substantial savings.
- Teenagers are easily distracted by passengers, cell phones etc. Take time to talk with your teen and set rules when they start out on their own.
- Safe Driving: Accidents do happen, but accidents and violations are going to increase the cost of your young driver's insurance substantially.
Clark-Mortenson is an active participant in educating new drivers about the insurance process. Have your child give us a call and we will be happy to review the key areas that can effect your child's insurance one on one with them.
If an auto you lease is totaled in an accident, this provision will pay the outstanding balance of the lease if it exceeds the car's actual cash value.
If a private passenger auto (not a pick up or a van) is registered in the name of a business, it needs to be covered under a business auto policy. If the vehicle is registered in the individual's name, but is used for business use, some uses may be covered under the personal auto policy. (For example a sales person). The personal auto policy must be designated as business use, however.
Auto Insurance policies are broken down into the following coverage areas:
Bodily Injury - covers injury to others you are liable for.
Property Damage - damage to property of others
Medical Payments - covers medical expenses for injury to you and anyone in your vehicle, regardless of fault.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury - covers injury to you and everyone in your vehicle caused by someone not insured or someone that does not carry adequate coverage limits.
Comprehensive/Other than Collision - covers the vehicle for losses other than collision, upset, overturn, or hit-and-run, i.e., fire, theft of vehicle, vandalism, crime coverage, falling objects, glass breakage, water damage.
Collision - collision, upset, overturn, hit-and-run.
Towing and Labor - towing due to breakdown and labor for jump starts, or tire changes.
Rental Reimbursement - Extended transportation-provides coverage for a rental vehicle if your vehicle cannot be drive due to a covered loss. Mechanical breakdown is not covered.
Gap Coverage - Gap insurance will insure one for the difference between what one would owe on a vehicle and what an insurance company says it's worth. This insurance is a must for someone who is considering purchasing a new vehicle since a new vehicle depreciates right after it is driven off the dealer's lot.
Insurers discount their rates for good drivers and those who take safety and security precautions. Depending on the insurer, you can often lower your rates from 5 to 35 percent.
Insurers generally offer discounts for:
- Clean Driving Record - No violations or accidents.
- Safety Features - Anti-lock brakes, air bags and passive restraint systems (i.e., automatic seat belts).
- Defensive Driving - Clean violation record, driver's education courses for teenagers and defensive driving or accident prevention courses for adults (insurance discounts for the latter are required in some states).
- Security Systems - Alarms, electronic locks and disabling devices.
- Changing Driving Habits - Commuting by public transit, using a company vehicle for work-related travel and car-pooling.
- Buying Home Owners and Auto Policies from the Same Company - If you own a home and an automobile and you are insured by two different companies, check into the cost of carrying both policies by one insurer.
- Higher Deductibles: You can also lower your insurance rates by requesting higher deductibles. Increasing your deductibles on collision and comprehensive coverage from $100 to $250, or even $500, will bring your rates down. Moreover, you may not need collision and comprehensive coverage if you drive an older car.
- Multi-Car and Multi-Policy Discount: Companies give additional discounts for multiple vehicles under the same policy, and for combining your home or tenants policy.