What to Do When Switching Auto Policies

Take these steps when switching to a new auto insurance policy.looking up auto insurance online

There are many reasons why you may want to switch to a new auto insurance policy.  For instance, you may be moving to a new state, want to set higher coverage limits, or want access to cheaper rates.  Whatever your reason, it’s important that you don’t leave yourself vulnerable during your insurance transition.  To maintain your coverage, here are some of the important steps to take.

  • Determine Your Best Time to Switch

The easiest time to change insurance carriers is when your current policy is up for renewal.  At this point, you will simply inform your carrier that you do not want to renew your policy.  Then, all you need to do it ride out your remaining coverage period, and your policy will be officially canceled.   However, you also have the option to cancel your auto policy outside of renewal periods.  All standard auto insurance policies include a provision that allows you to cancel your policy at any time, so long as you give your carrier proper notice.  Cancelation protocols are different for every insurer, but many will prorate your latest premium up to your cancelation date.  Additionally, many insurers will charge you a cancelation fee to cover administrative costs associated with canceling your coverage mid-cycle.

  • Choose and Activate Your New Policy

It’s not advised to cancel your auto insurance policy before having a replacement in mind.  When shopping for a new auto insurance provider, make sure you secure several quotes so you can compare different carriers’ coverage options, coverage limits, deductibles, discounts, and so on.  Once you have found your new auto policy, it’s important that you sign off on this coverage before taking steps to cancel your old policy.  While your coverage will overlap for a short period, taking this precaution will help you avoid any gaps in your car insurance.  Because coverage gaps equate to higher auto insurance premiums, it’s actually more cost-effective to pay for double-coverage temporarily than risk a gap in your insurance record.

These are some of the steps that you should take when switching auto insurance policies.  Do you have questions about your car coverage?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  Our agents are ready to assist you with all your coverage needs today.

How You Can Lower Your Auto Insurance Rates This Year

Easy ways to lower your auto insurance rates in 2020.toy car next to calculator

Now that the new year is here, it’s time to start working towards your resolutions.  If you challenged yourself to spend less money this year, then you may be looking for ways to cut costs.  One way that you can save money is by lowering your car insurance premiums.  To save on your auto coverage, try out these suggestions.

  • Pay Your Premiums All at Once

Typically, auto insurance premiums are given in six-month terms.  While you have the option to pay your premiums in monthly installments, you may be able to save by paying your premium all at once.  Many car insurance carriers offer discounts to policyholders who agree to pay the whole six-month premium upfront.

  • Bump Up Your Deductible

Your deductible is the amount of money that you agree to pay towards insurance claims before your coverage kicks in.  The higher the deductible you assume, the lower your premiums will be.  If you can afford to increase your deductible this year, then do it so you can save on your auto policy.

  • Cut Back on Driving

The more you drive, the higher your auto insurance premiums will be.  This is because the more you drive, the higher your risk for accidents and vehicular damage.  By cutting down on the miles you put on your car, you can actually reduce your auto insurance premiums.  As an added bonus, driving less also saves you money on gas and helps the environment.

These are some of the policy and life adjustments that you can make to save on your auto insurance this year.  Do you have more questions about your car coverage?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  We are ready to assist you with all your auto insurance needs today.

Understanding Non-Owners Car Insurance

What does non-owners car insurance cover?exchanging car key with a driver

If you don’t own a car, then you may assume that you don’t need auto insurance.  However, if you drive other people’s cars or use car-sharing services, then you need the protection offered by a non-owner car insurance policy.  But what exactly does this type of insurance cover?  Here’s what you need to know.

Coverage Details

Non-owners car insurance offers liability coverage when you are driving a vehicle that is not yours.  Liability coverage will pay for third-party injuries and damages that you may cause during an accident.  Please note that non-owners car insurance will not cover any injuries that you or your passengers sustain during an accident.  Additionally, you will not have any coverage to pay for damages to the car you are driving.

Who Needs This Coverage?

Non-owners car insurance isn’t right for all drivers.  However, you may want to consider securing this coverage if you:

  • Need an SR-22 or FR-44– If you don’t own a car but need your license reinstated, then you can secure non-owners car insurance to meet the insurance requirements necessary to file an SR-22 or FR-44.
  • Use Car-Sharing Services– If you use a car-sharing service such as Zipcar or Car2Go, then the company will offer you limited liability coverage. To supplement this coverage, you can secure a non-owners policy to ensure that accident costs do not come out of your own pockets.
  • Want to Maintain Coverage– If you have a gap in your car insurance coverage, then this will mark you as risky to insure. If you are getting rid of your car, but don’t want to have a gap in your coverage, then you can secure a non-owners policy to tide you over.
  • Rent Cars Frequently– If you often rent cars, then having a non-owners insurance policy may be cheaper than buying liability insurance through the rental company. Remember, non-owners policies will not cover damages to your rental car, so you will still need collision and comprehensive coverage from the rental company.
  • Borrow Other’s Car Frequently– If you often borrow your friends’ or family members’ cars, then their insurance will cover you in an accident. However, the cost of a crash may exceed their liability coverage limits.  By securing a non-owners policy, your liability coverage can supplement the car owner’s insurance.

This is what you need to know about non-owners car insurance.  Do you have additional questions about this special form of auto coverage?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  We are ready to assist you with all your car coverage needs today.

What Separates Personal and Commercial Car Insurance?

Why personal and commercial car insurance are different.line of semi-trucks

If your business requires the use of company vehicles, then you must secure the right commercial auto insurance to protect your business’s risk.  But why can’t businesses simply use personal auto policies to protect company vehicles?  Here’s what separates personal and commercial car insurance.

In actuality, personal and commercial auto insurance is not that different.  In fact, both types of insurance essentially offer the same types of coverage.  For instance, personal and commercial auto policies both offer coverage for collision, comprehensive, liability, and so on.  The main difference between these two forms of insurance is the amount of liability coverage each offers.  Because businesses have more assets and face a higher risk for liability lawsuits, commercial auto insurance policies have much higher liability coverage limits than personal policies.  Additionally, commercial policies are also equipped to cover a wider array of vehicles, such as delivery vans, shipping trucks, as well as standard cars.

There is also a special form of commercial auto insurance designed to cover heavy-duty vehicles.  Because heavy vehicles cause more damage in an accident than light vehicles, they need higher liability coverage limits.  So, if your business owns things like minibusses, cement mixers, semi-trucks, tow-trucks, and so on, then talk with your commercial insurance provider to make sure you have the right amount of coverage.

This is what you need to know about the difference between personal and commercial auto insurance.  Do you need help securing coverage for your company vehicles?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  We are ready to assist you with all your business insurance needs today.

Can Owning a Home Help You Save on Auto Coverage?

Does owning a home help everyone save on auto insurance?hands holding a toy home and a mini piggy bank

You may have heard people say that homeownership unlocks special discounts on your auto insurance.  But how much truth is in this statement?  While some homeowners can access savings on their car coverage, others cannot.  Here’s why.

  • Bundling Home and Auto Insurance

One reason auto insurance is cheaper for some homeowners is that that they secure an auto policy from the same insurance company that they insure their home with.  This allows them to bundle these two policies, which automatically unlocks savings.  However, if a homeowner chooses to insure their car through a different insurance company, then they obviously do not have the option to bundle.  Sadly, these homeowners will not be able to access this auto insurance discount.

  • Improved Credit Score

Some homeowners may also get access to lower auto insurance rates because they have a higher credit score than non-homeowners.  Typically, homeowners have better credit scores and more stable finances than individuals that do not own a home.  This is particularly true for homeowners who have successfully paid off their mortgage.  Because auto insurers consider your credit score when determining your auto insurance premiums, the better your credit, the lower your car insurance rates will be.  However, homeowners who miss mortgage payments or who are struggling financially may not have strong credit.  These homeowners will not be able to access lower auto insurance rates.

This is why some homeowners save on their auto insurance while others do not.  Do you have more questions about your home or auto insurance?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  We are ready to assist you with all your coverage needs today.

Who Do You Need to Include on Your Auto Insurance Policy?

Do all my family members need to be on my car insurance?backseat shot of someone driving

When you are applying for auto insurance, your insurer will ask you to list all licensed drivers in your household.  But do you have to list everyone, or can you omit some family members from your coverage?  Here’s what you need to know.

  • Who should be listed?

Generally, anyone living under your roof should be listed on your auto insurance policy.  While these people might not drive your car regularly, they might have to depending on the circumstances.  So, all licensed drivers, including teens, elderly adults, roommates, and significant others, should be listed on your insurance policy.

  • Does adding driver affect my premiums?

Adding a new driver to your auto insurance policy may cause your premiums to increase.  For instance, newly licensed drivers are considered risky to insure.  Subsequently, adding this driver to your policy will increase your rates.  Additionally, adding someone with a history of bad or irresponsible driving can also cause your insurance rates to increase.  If you are worried about this rate increase, then you do have an option.  You can choose to list the high-risk driver as an excluded driver.  This means that the individual is not permitted to drive your car under any circumstances.  If the excluded driver does get into an accident while operating your vehicle, then your insurance provider will refuse coverage for the event.

  • I there anyone in my household I don’t have to add?

You do not have to list children on your auto policy.  However, once your child receives their drivers license, they will need to be officially listed.  Some insurance companies will even ask you to list unlicensed drivers on your policy if they are adults.  Speak to your insurance provider to find out the details of your coverage requirements.

This is what you need to know about listing additional drivers on your auto insurance policy.  Do you need more help with your car coverage?  If so, then contact the team at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  Our dedicated team is eager to assist you with all your auto insurance needs.

What Does it Mean to Have a Clean Driving Record?

Do you have a clean driving record?person driving

When you go to secure auto insurance, the insurance provider will look at your driving record to determine your rates.  Typically, the cleaner your record, the lower your rates will be.  But what exactly constitutes a clean driving record and how can you achieve one?  Here’s what you need to know.

 What does a clean driving record look like?

Generally, insurers consider a clean driving record one that is free of any accidents, moving violations, or points.  However, it’s important to know that some insurers will have different definitions.  For instance, some insurers might argue that you have a clean driving record if you have no claims history.  Other insurers might be willing to overlook small moving violations, particularly if you only have a one or two.

How far back does a driving record go?

Typically, driving records show every violation that you have received over the past seven to ten years.  Smaller violations, such as speeding tickets, will disappear from your record after five to seven years.  More serious violations, such as a hit and run or DUI, often remain on your record for the full ten years.

Can I remove “points” from my record?

Points are added to your driving record by your state’s DMV as a penalty for committing traffic violations.  If you amass too many points in a given time period, then you risk having your license revoked.  When insurance providers look at your driving record, they will be able to see the points you have accumulated.  Fortunately, there are ways to remove these points from your record.  For instance, many states will allow you to enroll in a defensive driving course to remove points from your record.  Other states will remove points after paying a fine.

This is what you need to know about having a clean driving record.  Do you have more questions about your driving record or your auto coverage?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  We are ready to assist you with all your car coverage needs today.