What to Know About Insuring Rental Cars

What’s the best way to secure auto insurance coverage for rental cars?man holding toy car and car keys

As a responsible driver, securing comprehensive coverage for your rental car is a matter of great importance.  While you might be tempted to bite the bullet and secure coverage through the car rental company, this may not be necessary.  Your personal auto policy might already provide some of the coverages that you need.  Here’s what you need to know about securing coverage for rental cars.

Personal Insurance and Rental Car Coverage

Whether or not you need to secure coverage through the car rental company depends on the specifics of your personal auto policy.  In many cases, car insurance policies will extend coverage to rental vehicles.  For instance, if your personal policy includes comprehensive and liability insurance, then this coverage will likely apply to rental cars as well.

However, keep in mind that the value of the rental car will impact your coverage.  If you are planning on renting a luxury vehicle or a car that’s worth more than your personal vehicle, then your existing insurance will not be adequate.  In this case, you should supplement your existing coverage with the insurance offered by the rental company.

Rental Company Insurance Offerings

Typically, car rental companies offer four main types of coverage: liability, personal accident insurance, Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)/Loss Damage Waiver, and personal effects coverage.

  • Liability– Covers the cost of third-party injuries or property damage that you may be responsible for. As your personal auto policy already offers liability insurance, you probably do not need to secure this coverage from your car rental company.
  • Personal accident insurance– Covers your medical expenses should you be injured in an accident. If you have personal injury protection or medical payments on your existing auto policy, then you do not need to secure this coverage from your car rental company.
  • Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)/Loss Damage Waiver– Rather than an insurance product, this waiver transfers financial responsibility from you to the car rental company in the event that the rental car is damaged or stolen. If you are renting a car, then it’s recommended to secure this waiver.
  • Personal effects coverage– Covers the personal items that are stolen out of your rental car. Before you secure this coverage from your car rental company, review your homeowners, renters, or condo insurance policy.  In some cases, these policies will offer coverage for items stolen out of your rental car.

This is what you should know about insuring rental cars.  Do you have further questions regarding 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.

What Constitutes Insurance Fraud?

Learn more about insurance fraud.scale and gavel

While telling a small lie or concealing the truth doesn’t seem like a huge deal, it is when it comes to your insurance.  This is because anything less than truthful constitutes insurance fraud.  Here’s what you need to know about this illegal act and why you should avoid it.

  • What is Insurance Fraud?

In general terms, insurance fraud is lying to an insurance company in an attempt to receive compensation or undeserved benefits.  Insurance fraud can take different forms.  For instance, lying on your insurance application, exaggerating your damages during an insurance claim, or making a fake claim are all instances of fraud.

  • Understanding the Different Types of Fraud

Legally, there are two main types of fraud: hard fraud and soft fraud.  A person committing hard fraud might fake an injury, theft, or accident and file a fake claim with their insurer in hopes of receiving compensation.  Soft fraud is like a smaller scale version of hard fraud.  A person committing soft fraud might have a legitimate insurance claim, but they exaggerate their damages in the hopes of receiving additional monetary compensation.  While soft fraud doesn’t seem as bad as hard fraud, it’s important to understand that it is still highly illegal and punishable by various penalties.

  • Consequences of Insurance Fraud

If you are caught committing insurance fraud, then the penalties can be very severe.  While soft fraud is considered a misdemeanor in many states, it is still punishable by fines, probation, community service, and even imprisonment.  Hard fraud is always considered a felony, and the perpetrator can be charged with over a year of jail time, major fines, and restitution payable to the insurance company.

This is what you need to know about insurance fraud.  Do you have further questions regarding your personal insurance?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services for assistance today.

Why You Need to Secure the Right Amount of Car Coverage

The importance of securing auto insurance to meet your needs.paper car cutout in front of stacks of coins

When you go to secure auto insurance, it can be tricky to choose your coverage limits.  On the one hand, securing insufficient coverage could leave you at risk for financial ruin.  However, securing too much coverage is unnecessary and could also break the bank.  This is why securing coverage to address all your real-life risks is so important.

  • Why Insufficient Insurance is Bad

Obviously, the big risk of not carrying enough auto insurance is that you will end up having to pay for claim costs out-of-pocket.  For instance, if you were carrying insurance minimums and you got into an accident, then your insurer would only cover a portion of your accident costs.  You would be left to cover the remaining expenses on your own, potentially jeopardizing your personal assets in the process.

  • Why Too Much Insurance is Bad

The main problem with carrying excessive auto insurance is that it will be extremely expensive.  While you can rest easy knowing that your policy will cover virtually anything that comes your way, chances are you don’t actually need all the coverage that you are paying for.  Rather than increasing all your policy limits and securing every additional coverage option available, it’s far smarter and more cost-effective to assess your risks and secure enough auto coverage to fully address them.

  • Securing the Right Amount of Auto Insurance

Ultimately, the best strategy is securing enough coverage to meet your needs, while making sure that you’re not going overboard.  Because every driver has different risks and personal factors, there is no specific answer for how much coverage you need.  This is why it’s best to work with an experienced auto insurer to determine your needs.  A good insurance agent will weigh your lifestyle, they type of vehicle you own, and your various risks to help you figure out how much coverage you need.

This is why drivers need to avoid under and over-insuring themselves.  Do you need help securing the right car coverage to meet your needs?  If so, then contact the team at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services to get started today.

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.