Tips for Thanksgiving Travel

It’s hard to believe but Thanksgiving is here! And it’s one of the busiest days of the year for travel. AAA estimated that 54.3 million Americans will travel for this holiday and approximately 48.5 million of those are by vehicle. The roads will be busy and we want you to stay safe! You may even be renting a car to make your road trip or have once you arrive at your destination. Here are some tips on how to make your trip successful as well as how insurance coverage factors in for a vehicle that is not owned by you.

Be sure to prep your vehicle by fueling up and checking your oil and tire pressure. The Red Cross recommends always having an emergency kit with supplies such as water, a flashlight, cell phone charger, jumper cables, first aid kit and spare tire.

If you run in to bad traffic, check out the app called “Waze” for notifications or detours. And if you’re running low on fuel, “Gas Buddy” can help find the nearest station. While these can be helpful, have your passenger navigate them for you so you can avoid distractions and remain alert to the heavy traffic around you.

Often times, the auto insurance you carry on your personal vehicle will transfer over to a rental car. Sounds simple, but there are some stipulations to consider. The rental vehicle cannot be used for business. In order for your coverage to carry over, the rented vehicle must be used for personal use for 30 days or less and inside the United States.

Also, the only coverage that carries over is what you have on your own car. If you have no comprehensive and collision coverage, then you’re left without it on the rental car. Knowing this information can save you a lot of money. You can get away with not purchasing extra insurance in some cases but it may be wise to add it for the minimal cost that it is.

Stay safe and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Auto Insurance When It’s Not Your Car

In most instances, borrowing a car or renting, your auto insurance will follow a vehicle rather than a driver.

Rented Vehicle

Typically, the insurance you obtain for your personal vehicle will carry over to a rental car. Seems easy enough, but there are some stipulations to this rule. The rental vehicle cannot be used for business. In order for your coverage to carry over the rented vehicle must be used for 30 days or less and inside the United States. Only coverage that you currently have carries over. If you have no comprehensive and collision coverage then you’re left without it on the rental car. Knowing this information can save you a lot of money. You can get away with not purchasing extra insurance in some cases.

Auto

Borrowed Vehicle

Say that you have a friend who needs to borrow your vehicle to run errands or move. If they have your permission to use the vehicle then your auto insurance will follow the vehicle and transfer to them. They cannot be previously excluded from your insurance in order for the transfer to work.

Make sure to check your policy as these rules can vary. If you need more information feel free to give us a call today, 352-371-7977.

 

Gap Insurance for your Car

 

If you have a car loan, it’s advised that you purchase gap insurance coverage in the event your vehicle is totaled in an accident or stolen.  While your standard auto insurance policy will pay out for the amount the car is valued at, they will not pay out for money owed on the car loan. The amount valued will be determined by the actual cash value (ACV), which is equal to the cost of the car when it was new, minus depreciation, which factors in age, mileage, physical condition, etc.

Gap insurance essentially insures the remaining payments on your auto loan if your car is totaled. When purchasing a car at a dealership, if financing the purchase , it’s not uncommon for the dealer themselves to offer gap coverage.  While it is required in the state of Florida to obtain auto insurance, gap insurance is not required by the state; however, the financial institution you secure your auto loan with is permitted to require the purchase of gap coverage.

If you purchase gap insurance coverage through an automobile dealership, it’s likely you will be paying  more than if you were to add the gap coverage to your existing auto insurance policy.

Without gap insurance individuals can be left with no car, and a big bill to pay.  After just a year, the ACV of your car can be thousands of dollars less than what you paid for it, leaving you with an expensive loan balance.

For example:          

If the balance on your loan is $20,000 and the actual cash value of your car is $15,000, your insurance company will pay out $15,000 (minus your deductible), if your car is totaled or stolen.  This leaves you with an additional $5,000 owed for your car loan. The total payout with gap coverage would be the full amount owed on the car ($20,000) rather than the actual cash value.

5 Ways to Save on Florida Auto Insurance

Looking to save money on your auto insurance? Although not all companies offer the same discounts, here are some opportunities to save that may be worth inquiring about next time you speak with your insurance provider.

1) Homeowners discount: Some companies may offer the option to bundle your home and auto insurance, but because the Florida home insurance market is more limited and there are less companies that offer both home and auto coverage, bundling is not always an option. However, even if your home and auto insurance are with different companies, many auto insurers will offer a small discount if you are a home owner.

2) Multi-vehicle discount: If you and your spouse or children share a policy that has multiple vehicles on it, you may qualify for a discount with your insurance provider.

3) Good student: Depending on the criteria of your auto insurance company, if you are a licensed driver on the policy and can provide proof of a minimum GPA requirement (as determined by the company), you may be eligible for a discount.

4) Safe driver: If you have gone multiple years without a moving violation or an at fault accident, you may be eligible for a discount. The number of years required to qualify for the discount may differ depending on the company.

5) Occasional use: If you have a vehicle insured that you utilize infrequently and put a limited amount of miles on it per year, you may be able to decrease your premium cost for that particular car. The minimum annual mileage requirement may differ by company.

While these items may save you a little here and there, and may not qualify with all companies, we highly recommend you talk to your insurance agent to find out what other discounts are available. Some companies offer discounts based on your driving habits, which can be monitored with a device, and others offer savings for choosing an electronic policy rather than paper, in an effort to go green. Whatever discounts you qualify for, and no matter what company we choose. We recommend you contact your agent to find out more.

 

Do I need to file a police report in order to file a claim with my auto insurance company?

Picture this, you are rear ended by another driver and they are at fault. You get out of your vehicles, the at fault driver is very apologetic, gives you his or her information and you go on your way with the intent of following up with the person and/or their insurance company. It’s not an uncommon scenario, especially if the damage is minimal.

Although the accident may not be substantial, we still recommend contacting the police. At the very least, contacting the police allows for you and the other driver’s details of the accident to be documented by a third party, authority figure.

Although it is not necessary to have a documented police report in order to file an auto insurance claim, it is helpful to have a documented account of the accident, in the event that the at fault driver tries to change their story.