We continue with Part Two of our post, Advertised Insurance Features.
You shouldn’t be punished for a first-time accident – especially if you have a history of safe driving. Unfortunately, insurers often raise rates for accidents and claims, regardless of how pristine your history has been. Allstate currently advertises Accident Forgiveness, which promises not to penalize drivers for a first-time accident. The benefit typically comes at an extra cost and may have other requirements for eligibility.
If you prefer the assurance of knowing your rates will not climb just because of an accident, we recommend talking with an independent agent here at Tagge Insurance to explore your options. Several insurance companies besides Allstate offer similar coverage, and one – Integrity Insurance – even offers the coverage at no additional charge for eligible customers who have been policy-holders for at least five years or more.
Name Your Price Tool
The Name Your Price Tool has been heavily promoted by Progressive in the past, promising to help drivers get more control of the price they pay for insurance. We will not spend much time on this tool, as we feel it has the potential to do much more harm than good. In short, Progressive may suggest a particular level of coverage and premium, and drivers can ‘adjust’ that premium by making changes to the policy, which usually results in less coverage.
Tampering with coverage puts you at risk of being under-insured in an accident or other loss, which could cost you tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s not worth your financial security to save a few bucks on upfront costs. Instead, always work with an independent agent who can assess your individual risks and find a competitive rate for the coverage you really need.
If you total a car you still owe money on, you might be disappointed to know that the insurance company will only pay for the depreciated value of your vehicle – not the balance that is owed on your loan. If your insurance settlement is worth less than what you owe, GAP insurance can cover the rest of the bill, allowing you to start over debt-free.
You have choices when it comes to GAP insurance. Though this coverage is not often advertised in commercials, it is still very popular among new-car buyers who finance their vehicles. The first place you may be offered GAP protection is from your lender or the dealership where you purchase your car. It’s easy to accept the coverage on the spot, simply adding the premium (usually about $400) to the balance of your loan. What you are really doing, however, is insuring yourself for the duration of your loan, when you only need it for the first few years when the balance exceeds the value of your vehicle.
Instead of accepting GAP insurance from a dealer or lender, talk with an agent here at Tagge Insurance about adding this important protection to your policy. By purchasing from a traditional insurer, you only pay for the coverage for the length of time you need it and drop it once it’s no longer necessary.
Finally, we complete our list with an important coverage that nearly all drivers can benefit from – Roadside Assistance. This coverage is designed to help you when you have a dead battery, lock yourself out of your car, or perhaps run out of gas. You can extend it for all drivers on your policy, including young drivers who you wish to protect against these types of situations. Liberty Mutual often advertises its optional Roadside Assistance coverage, but you can add this protection to almost any insurance policy, regardless of the insurer.
If nothing else, we hope this two-part post has helped shine a light on the truth behind advertised insurance features and how widely available they may be. Next time you see an insurance commercial or ad, remember that your independent agent at Tagge Insurance can probably find the same or similar coverage for you, and perhaps at a better value.