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.

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.