How Auto Insurers Calculate Vehicle Damages

Find out how your insurer will determine the cost of your damages following an accident.man inspecting car damage

If you have the right auto insurance in place, then you can rest easy knowing that you have coverage to address the damages you have sustained during a car accident.  However, have you ever wondered what your auto insurer will do to determine the extent and cost of your car’s damage?  Here is what your insurance provider does to calculate your damage costs.

Role of Your Claims Adjuster and Appraiser

After you have filed a claim for an accident, you will give a statement to your claims adjuster.  You will recount the details of the accident and send them any information that you have (the other driver’s contact and insurance information, police report details, photos, and so on).  If you have coverage for your damages, then your adjuster will send out an appraiser to inspect your vehicle and officially document the extent of your car’s damage.

During their inspection, your appraiser will determine which parts need to be replaced.  Because your insurance will only offer coverage for the damages stemming directly for the accident, the appraiser will also check to make sure you have not made a claim for prior damage to your vehicle.

Repair Estimate

Based on the inspection, your appraiser will generate an itemized list of all parts and repairs that your car needs.  This list will also account for labor time and costs, paint time, and other subtotals.  The appraiser will add all these subtotals together and account for taxes to generate your repair estimate.  Please note that this sum is still a preliminary estimate; it’s possible that your costs will increase if the repair shop finds additional damages.  If this occurs, then the shop will submit a supplement for your insurance company to review.  So long as the damages are related to the accident, your insurer will work directly with the shop to arrange the repairs.

This is how your auto insurance provider will determine the cost of your car’s damage following an accident.  Looking to secure the right insurance to ensure that you are covered in the event of a car accident?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  We are ready to assist you with all your coverage needs today.

How to Handle a Total Loss Vehicle Claim

Steps to take after your car has been declared a total loss.car with its front smashed in

If you have been in an accident and your car has been deemed a total loss, then you might not know how to proceed.  However, there are some steps that you can take to ensure that your claim and settlement process proceeds smoothly.  Here’s what you should do to facilitate the claims process.

  • Locate Your Car Title

Your car title is needed to process a total loss claim, so it’s important that you know where this document is.  If you cannot find your title, then file for a lost title at the DMV as soon as possible so you can officially begin the claims process.

  • Determine How Much Your Car is Worth

Do some research to get a general idea of how much your car is currently worth.  Use resources like Kelly Blue Book to see what they value your make and model at.  You should also look at similar vehicle listings in your area.  This research should give you a good idea of what your insurer will value your car at.

  • Find Out How Much You Owe on The Car

If you have a loan out on the vehicle, then check to see how much you still owe.  This will help you prepare in the event that your loan amount is higher than your car’s current value.  If your loan exceeds your car’s value, then your insurance settlement will go to your lender, and you will be responsible for paying the remaining loan amount on your own.

  • Complete Paperwork Promptly

Total loss claims require a lot of paperwork.  For instance, you and your insurer will have to come to a written agreement on the value of your car.  You will also have to sign ownership of the vehicle over to your insurer so they can process your claim and pay the settlement to you or your lender.  Prompt completion of this paperwork will help you put the ordeal behind you as soon as possible.

This is what you can do to assist with your total loss vehicle claim.  Do you have more questions about your auto insurance and car accidents?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  Our dedicated team is eager to assist you with all your car coverage needs today.

Can a Parking Ticket Affect Your Auto Insurance Costs?

How does getting a parking ticket influence your insurance costs?Can a Parking Ticket Affect Your Auto Insurance Costs?

Getting a parking ticket is bad enough as it is, but having it affect your auto insurance rates would make the situation even worse.  So, do parking tickets somehow affect your car insurance costs?  Here’s what you need to know.

Parking Tickets and Car Insurance

Drivers will be pleased to know that parking tickets do not have any impact on their auto insurance premiums.  While moving violations, such as speeding tickets and DUIs will raise your insurance rates, non-moving violations such as parking tickets are of little concern to your insurer.  Because moving violations and traffic accidents indicate that you are a bad or risky driver, these issues will result in higher insurance costs.  Parking tickets don’t have anything to do with your driving habits, in fact, they don’t even show up on your driving record.  So, whether you have one or twenty parking tickets to your name, they shouldn’t have any impact on your car insurance costs.

Tickets that Do Affect Your Insurance Cost

As mentioned above, receiving a moving violation will increase your auto insurance rates.  Common moving violations include the following:

  • Speeding tickets
  • Distracted driving tickets
  • Careless or reckless driving
  • Driving under the influence

These types of tickets will remain on your driving record for three to five years and will affect your insurance rates during this period, especially if you have two or more of these violations within the period.

This is what you need to know about parking tickets and your car insurance costs.  Do you have further questions regarding your auto insurance?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  We are ready to assist you with all your car coverage needs today.

Why Your Claims History Affects Your Auto Insurance Rates

Here’s why your claims history matters to your auto insurer.Why Your Claims History Affects Your Auto Insurance Rates

When you apply for auto insurance, the insurance company will take several factors into account when determining your rates.  One of the things that they will look at is your history of past claims.  But why do insurers place so much weight onto your past auto claims?  Here’s what you need to know.

More Claims Mean Higher Costs

Auto insurers use your claims history to determine if you are a high or low-risk driver.  If you have a track record of making a lot of claims, then insurers will consider you riskier to insure.  As always, the higher-risk you are, the higher your insurance rates will be.  On a positive note, if you are a safe driver, then your auto insurance rates will be on the lower side.

How Do Insurers Know About Previous Claims?

Auto insurers will track claims from different carries with a CLUE (“Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange”) report.  CLUE is a database that all insurers use to track and review your claims history.  All insurance companies submit monthly loss history reports to the CLUE database.  These reports include your personal information, your claims history for the month, and inquiries.  These reports remain in the system for 7 years before they are deleted.  Before offering you coverage, all auto insurers will check your CLUE report to determine how high-risk you are.

Comprehensive Claims

It’s important to note that comprehensive damage claims will not affect your auto insurance premiums.  Because comprehensive claims are a result of things outside of your control, such as fire, storm damage, theft, and so on, insurers will not hold these claims against you.  It is only the claims for actual at-fault auto accidents that will affect your rates.

This is why your claims history matters to your auto insurer.  Do you have more questions regarding your auto insurance?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  We are ready to assist you with all your car coverage needs today.

Smart Hacks for Defrosting Your Car’s Windshield

Here are some of the tips you should try to defrost your windshield this winter.Smart Hacks for Defrosting Your Car’s Windshield

If you cannot keep your car inside this winter, you will have to deal with a fresh layer of frost or ice on your windshield every morning. While this is annoying, having a clear windshield is essential for safe driving. To ensure you drive safely this winter, here are some of the suggestions you should try to quickly and effectively remove ice and frost from your car’s windshield.

1) Ice Scraper

Using an ice scraper is the most tried and true ice removal method. Most scrapers feature a scraper to remove thick sheets of ice while the opposite end features a soft brush that you can use to clear away snow. Make sure you use each side for their respective jobs to avoid scratches on your glass or paint.

2) De-Icing Fluid

If the scraping method is too time-consuming, you can facilitate the process by using a chemical de-icer. While you can purchase this liquid at your local auto or hardware store, you can also make your own with ingredients you already have in your home. To make your own de-icer, combine one part water with two parts isopropyl alcohol. Spray this mixture onto your windshield and the ice should simply melt away.

3) Warm Water

If the ice on your car is particularly stubborn, you can pour warm water onto your windshield to melt it down slightly. However, you need to be very careful if you are using this method. Applying water that’s too hot could cause your glass to shatter. Be cautious and only use water that is lukewarm at its hottest.

These are some of the suggestions you should try to quickly and effectively de-ice your car’s windshield this winter. Want another way to drive safety this season? Make sure you have the right auto insurance protections in place. For assistance with all your car coverage needs, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services today.

What is Non-Owner Car Insurance?

Here’s what you need to know about non-owner car insurance.What is Non-Owner Car Insurance?

If you don’t own your own car, you may not see a need for auto insurance. However, there are certain scenarios in which having car coverage is extremely important. This is where non-owner car insurance comes into play. Read on to learn more about this type of auto coverage.

What is it?

Non-owner car insurance offers the policyholder liability coverage in the event that they get into an accident or cause third-party losses while operating a vehicle. Because the policy owner does not own their own vehicle, this type of insurance does not offer coverage for any damages that a car might sustain when the policyholder is behind the wheel.

Who needs it?

This type of auto insurance is a great investment for individuals who often borrow their friends’ or family members’ cars to get around, people who rent cars frequently, and drivers who often utilize car-sharing services such as Zipcar. When you borrow another’s car, their insurance will offer coverage for any accidents you get into. However, if you are involved in a particularly expensive claim, your non-owner car insurance will offer coverage to supplement the primary car owner’s policy once it reaches its coverage limits. If you frequently rent cars, non-owners car insurance will ensure that you do not have to buy liability coverage through the car rental company. This will help you save money, as rental car insurance is notoriously expensive. Finally, when you use a car-sharing service such as Zipcar, the company will offer drivers some coverage. Your non-owner car insurance will simply supplement this coverage to ensure that you do not have to pay out of pocket for any claims that exceed the car service’s coverage limits.

How much is it?

Because non-owner car insurance only offers liability coverages, these types of policies tend to be far cheaper than standard auto policies. However, the actual cost of your policy will depend on a series of individual factors such as your driving history, age, gender, and how frequently you intend to drive.

This is everything you need to know about non-owner car insurance. Do you have additional questions regarding your auto insurance options? If so, contact the professionals at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services. We are ready to assist you with all your coverage needs today.

Do You Have Enough Car Insurance?

If you are relying on auto insurance minimums, you are severely underinsured.Do You Have Enough Car Insurance?

As a car owner, you know how important it is to have the right auto insurance protections in place. However, how do you know exactly how much insurance you should have? Here’s how you can tell if you are underinsured and how you can secure the additional car coverages that you need to protect yourself.

Underinsured?

In actuality, there is no set coverage amount that separates the well-insured from the underinsured. However, if you are relying on an auto policy that only satisfies your state’s legal insurance minimums, you are almost certainly underinsured. State auto insurance minimums provide only the barest, most basic forms of coverage, and relying on this coverage alone means that you probably won’t be able to fully cover any of the claims you might have to file. Keep in mind that you are financially responsible for covering whatever your auto insurance cannot. So, if you want to reduce your risk and avoid paying out-of-pocket for claims, consider raising your coverage limits.

Securing Additional Coverage

Luckily, securing additional auto coverages is as easy as calling your insurance provider. Not only can you increase your existing coverage limits, but you can also add additional coverages to your policy that you did not have before. For instance, ask about securing collision, comprehensive, medical payments, uninsured motorist, and roadside assistance coverages. If you are not sure how much you should increase your current coverage limits, ask your insurer for their expert opinion. They should be able to offer you several options and explain how each will affect your premiums. Any time you increase your coverage, you will increase your insurance rates. However, this is a small price to pay to ensure that you have the comprehensive protection that you need.

Interested in securing the comprehensive auto insurance that you need to stay safe?  Then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  Our dedicated team is ready to get you the coverage that you need today.