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Do You Understand Your Auto Insurance Coverage?

Posted by Insure Smart Wednesday, July 11, 2012 0 Comment(s)

The basic personal auto insurance mandated by most U.S. states provides some financial protection if you or another driver using your car causes an accident that damages someone else’s car or property, injures someone or both.

But to make the best decisions about purchasing other types of auto insurance coverage you might need, you’ll want to understand what’s covered, what’s not covered and what’s optional. In addition to understanding types of coverage, you’ll also want to consider coverage amounts. Why? Because state-required minimums may not cover the costs of a serious accident, so it’s worth considering purchasing higher levels of coverage.

Here’s a rundown of the types of coverage available—some are required; others are optional; all are priced individually (a la carte) to let you customize coverage amounts to suit your exact needs and budget.

Mandatory Coverage
Nearly every state requires car owners to carry the following auto liability coverage:

  • Bodily Injury Liability— This covers costs associated with injuries and death that you or another driver causes while driving your car.
  • Property Damage Liability— This coverage will reimburse others for damage that you or another driver operating your car causes to another vehicle or other property, such as a fence, building or utility pole.

Frequently Required Coverage
Many states require that you carry the following coverage:

  • Medical Payments or Personal Injury Protection (PIP)— Provides reimbursement for medical expenses for injuries to you or your passengers. It will also cover lost wages and other related expenses.
  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage— Reimburses you when an accident is caused by an uninsured motorist—or in the case of a hit-and-run. You can also purchase underinsured motorist coverage, which will cover costs when another driver lacks adequate coverage to pay the costs of a serious accident.
Even if these types of coverage are optional in your state, consider adding them to your policy for greater financial protection.

Optional Coverage
While basic, legally mandated auto insurance covers the cost of damages to other vehicles that you cause while driving, it does not cover damage to your own car. To cover this, you need to purchase the following optional auto insurance coverages:

  • Collision— This optional coverage reimburses you for damage to your car that occurs as a result of a collision with another vehicle or other object—e.g., a tree or guardrail—when you’re at fault. While collision coverage will not reimburse you for mechanical failure or normal wear-and-tear on your car, it will cover damage from potholes or from rolling your car.
  • Comprehensive— This provides coverage against theft and damage caused by an incident other than a collision, such as fire, flood, vandalism, hail, falling rocks or trees and other hazards—even getting hit by an asteroid!
  • Glass Coverage— Windshield damage is common, and some auto policies include no-deductible glass coverage, which also includes side windows, rear windows and glass sunroofs. Or you can buy supplemental glass coverage.

Personal Umbrella Policy

Posted by Insure Smart Thursday, June 07, 2012 0 Comment(s)

Personal Umbrella Policy - "What it is and why you should have one".

Motor vehicles have often been referred to as lethal weapons.

In a matter of minutes you could go from financial independence to complete and total financial destruction.  No one expects to have an accident, but let's face it, accidents happen, and they happen to responsible, good honest people.  If you are buying insurance to satisfy the state limits, you should re-consider that decision.  Is 15/30/5 really enough coverage? Do you understand how little coverage that is? Do you know where the additional money will come from if you have an accident and your limits are too low to cover the other party's loss?

I am not going to sugar coat this for you, I'm going to tell you a real life tragic story about a family who should have had a personal umbrella Policy.  The 18 year old son was driving with his 17 year old passenger/friend in the car.  He accidentally went through a red light, and struck the other party.  The other party, and his passenger were both injured and taken by ambulance to the hospital.  His passenger was in the hospital for over 2 weeks and had to have multiple surgeries.  The driver of the other car was also seriously injured.  Although everyone survived, the parents of the 18 year old son are currently facing a million dollar law suit for injuries sustained by his passenger. In this case even 100/300/100 would not have been enough coverage. 

Earthquake Insurance

Posted by Insure Smart Thursday, April 12, 2012 0 Comment(s)

Earthquake Insurance is one of the best ways to be protected and prepared for an Earthquake. Did you know that April is Earthquake preparedness month? If you were in California during the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, you know what I am talking about. There were a lot of people un-prepared for that one. It is a good idea to have an earthquake preparedness kit. You can build your own, or you can buy a pre-made kit. It is a good idea to use a checklist, so you don't miss anything. A lot of people think that they cannot get Earthquake Insurance, or that they cannot afford Earthquake Insurance. Did you know that there are many companies who are offering Earthquake Insurance in the state of California for a pretty decent price? Just last week, I saved someone $200.00 per year on their Earthquake Insurance, and they were able to keep their current homeowner policy.  Buying or changing your Earthquake Insurance does not mean you have to change your homeowner policy. If you have a home, and you want to be prepared for an earthquake by getting Earthquake Insurance, give me a call at (661) 222-2250 or visit my web-site.

Sherri Risley - Owner/Agent