FAQ

If I rent a car, do I need to purchase the insurance coverage from the rental company?

1st, most policies only cover the US. If you're traveling outside the US, reach out to your agent to ask if you want to try to use your policy for coverage. But please read the below first.

If you have at least 1 vehicle on the policy that carries both Collision and Comprehensive Coverage, you may not need to purchase the rental agency's coverage. These are the terms you need to look for in your contract for accident situations:

  • You will pay the daily rental fee for the time period the rental car is not drivable or being fixed.
  • If you total the rental car, you will replace the vehicle with a new vehicle.
  • You will pay for an independent appraiser to do an assessment of the damage to the vehicle.
  • You will pay a fee for the reduced resale value of the rental vehicle from an accident.

These are all costs that will not be covered by your insurance policy. You may want to purchase the rental insurance to cover these things.

If you do not have both Collision and Comprehensive coverages, then you will have to purchase their insurance.

One last point, if you or your spouse will not be the only drivers, please reach out to your agent to discuss. There is most likely some potential coverage issues (or no coverage at all) when you are not the one driving the rental car.

There are some policies that will not extend to rental cars and will only cover the vehicles listed on the policy. Make sure to contact your agent to verify if your policy will extend coverage before you pick up a rental car.

Please also keep in mind, that if you purchase the rental agency's coverage, it will ONLY cover those listed on the contract. So if you will have someone else drive also, make sure to list them as a driver.

Buying the rental agency insurance will keep a claim off of your record, usually carries no deductible for damage, and allows you to return the vehicle and move on, rather than dealing with a claim. So there are advantages to using their coverage over yours. So weigh the cost of their coverage with the costs you may incur if you don't to make an informed decision on what works best for you. After reading this, if you have more questions, reach out to your agent.

I am buying a car from a friend or family member. Does their insurance policy cover me after I have purchased it from them?

No. As soon as they have signed the title over to you, they no longer own the vehicle. You can't insure something you don't own, so their insurance policy will not cover it. You need to get it insurance before driving it.

I am buying a car. Do I have automatic coverage?

Maybe. If you currently have an active policy, coverage will extend to a newly purchased vehicle for up to 30 days. HOWEVER, it is only the same coverage you currently have. If you do not have collision or comprehensive on your current policy, you WILL NOT have this coverage for the vehicle you are buying. It is always best to let us know right away when you buy a vehicle so we can advise you on what your options are. One final note, automatic coverage applies to named insured's and may not extend to all drivers (like a child just listed as a driver). So if the vehicle is not being purchased under the policy owner or spouse's name, don't assume you have coverage. Also, this only applies to standard vehicles. If you're buying a commercial vehicle and don't have a commercial policy, you will not have coverage. If you do have a commercial policy, reach out to us to verify coverage.

What is the difference between full coverage and liability only?

Full coverage is a term people use that basically means that you have coverage for your vehicle along with liability coverage. It's not actually a real coverage with insurance companies. What you're really looking for is Collision and Comprehensive.

If you have collision and comprehensive and a covered accident occur, the policy will provide coverage to fix your vehicle (minus your deductible) and if you're at fault it will also cover anything you damage with your vehicle and any injuries you cause to others. There are some exclusions that apply like you can't be in the act of a felony at the time (like speeding away from a bank robbery). But keep in mind that if you have "full coverage", that does not mean all inclusive coverage. Coverages like towing, vehicle rental and $0 glass-only coverage are optional coverages that have to be purchased separately!

Liability only means you have no coverage for your vehicle. If it is stolen, vandalized, someone hits it and takes off, something (like a tree limb) falls on it, hail damage occurs, etc., you are NOT covered! It only covers other people not living with you. If you're backing out of the garage and hit one of your other vehicles (this includes your spouse's or kid's vehicles), you are also not covered because you can't be held liable to yourself.

So, if your car is getting older and the value is dropping to a point where you wouldn't mind losing your vehicle and getting nothing for it, then consider liability only. Otherwise, you're probably still want collision and comprehensive. And don't forget to ask for the optional coverages!

My insurance card doesn't list all the drivers on my policy. Will that cause problems?

No, this will not cause any issues. If you need to show proof of insurance, they are looking to verify that the vehicle is insured, not the person listed on the card. If you have a specifically excluded driver, they will show on the card as someone not covered. That would be a BIG problem if they were driving. Otherwise, you're fine if your spouse or child doesn't show on the card. Just make sure they're listed as a driver on your policy!

My mortgage payment went up and my mortgage company says it is due to my home insurance going up. Is this true?

Your home insurance may have gone up, however usually most of the payment change is due to your taxes going up or a miscalculation in a prior year's escrow analysis. Feel free to call or email us to review your home policy to verify you are receiving all the discounts you qualify for or to have us check for a better rates, but most of the change in your payment will not be fixed by the insurance policy.

Does my credit affect my insurance rates?

Yes, but not your credit score. Most insurance companies take bits and pieces off of your credit to come up with an insurance score. Every company can have their own model on what it looks at off of your credit report. For business insurance, some companies use your credit as simply a model to approve you or not to approve you. They won't discount the rate, but if your score is too low they will not accept a policy you apply for.

We are always happy to sit down with our customers and prospective customers to discuss the areas of your credit we have found most companies look at to help you improve your insurance score. Contact us to set up an appointment.