AUTO INSURANCE FAQs | HOME INSURANCE FAQs

What exactly are the types of coverage included in a standard personal auto policy?

Bodily Injury Liability - Pays for medical expenses, legal expenses, and judgments against you when you or your car is involved in an accident that causes the injury or death of another person.

Property Damage Liability - Pays for damages to the property of others, caused by you or your vehicle.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) - Covers the costs associated with damage or injury caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver.

Medical Payments - Covers the medical bills of you and your passengers after an auto accident, regardless of who is at fault. Typically, this coverage works on a reimbursement basis; meaning that if you are paid by another insurance carrier for your injuries once fault is determined, you are to reimburse the auto insurance company for the medical payments they have paid.

Collision - Covers the damage to your vehicle resulting from a collision, regardless of who is responsible. Collision coverage requires the payment of a deductible by the insured.

Comprehensive Physical Damage - Pays for damage to your car that is not the result of an auto accident, such as theft, vandalism, fire, hail, natural disasters, hitting a deer, etc. Comprehensive coverage also requires a deductible, and will only pay as much as the car was worth before sustaining the damage.

Why would I want to buy more insurance than state law requires?

If you are found to be liable for an amount greater than the coverage limits of your policy, you must pay the difference. If you don't have enough cash, the injured party can go after your home, financial assets, and even future earnings. It's wise to consider increasing your liability limits when you own a house or other valuable assets. We offer a full insurance review to help determine how much coverage you may need. For our clients with a significant number of assets or income property, we may recommend an umbrella policy.

What factors affect my auto insurance rates?

Your auto insurance premium is based on several factors. The most significant factors are: your driving record, the number of miles you drive annually and number of years of driving experience you have. Other factors which will affect your rates are: the type of car you drive, how the vehicle is used, and the coverages you select.

Discounts are available for customers who are eligible for a multi-policy credit. In addition, certain professions are eligible for group discounts; these discounts are usually available for teachers, scientists and engineers, and members of the California Medical Association and Los Angeles Bar Association. Customers who have successfully completed a mature driver course are also entitled to a reduction in rates.

If you would like us to review your current insurance, please complete the auto quote form or contact us.

How much will my premium increase if I have an accident?

If you are at fault in an automobile accident, you should expect a rate increase. Accidents where injuries were sustained will impact your rates more severely than an incident with only property damage. Accidents where property damage does not exceed $750.00 are not considered chargeable accidents, and will not affect your rates. IT is difficult to tell exactly how much an accident will increase your rates; please contact us too discuss your specific situation.

Is my roommate covered under my auto policy?

Most auto policies include a Permissive Use provision giving full or limited coverage to someone who drives your car with your permission. However, the terms of this provision can change if the driver resides in your household. We represent many different carriers, each of which deals with this issue differently. Please contact us for a more specific answer and we will review your policy terms and conditions.

What do I do If I am Involved In an Accident?

It is important to know what to do if you are involved in an auto accident before the accident occurs. We have prepared some tips for what to do and how to prepare yourself. We encourage you to download and print our Accidents Happen Tip Sheet and keep in the glove compartment with your insurance ID card. That way if an accident does occur, you can easily reference this at the scene and use it as a tool to guide you through the process.

Will my policy be canceled if I have an accident?

Usually, the answer is no. The type of accident (fender bender vs. drunk driving accident), number of accidents (first or third?), and state laws also affect the determination.

What is the difference between comprehensive and collision? Comprehensive physical damage coverage pays for damage to your car from theft, vandalism, flood, fire, or other covered perils and can be consider as any physical loss that is "other than collision." An example of when you would use this comprehensive coverage would be to cover damages to your car which resulted from a tree branch falling on the hood of your car. Typically, these are "act of God" type losses and do not impact your rates because there is not negligence attached to these types of losses.

Collision coverage pays for the damage to your car after it is involved in a motor vehicle accident in which the car was physically struck or struck another vehicle or stationary object.

What is the difference between comprehensive and collision?

Comprehensive physical damage coverage pays for damage to your car from theft, vandalism, flood, fire, or other covered perils and can be consider as any physical loss that is "other than collision." An example of when you would use this comprehensive coverage would be to cover damages to your car which resulted from a tree branch falling on the hood of your car. Typically, these are "act of God" type losses and do not impact your rates because there is not negligence attached to these types of losses.

Collision coverage pays for the damage to your car after it is involved in a motor vehicle accident in which the car was physically struck or struck another vehicle or stationary object.

Is a newly acquired vehicle covered?

Most policies provide automatic coverage for a vehicle that replaces a vehicle already on your policy. The coverage normally is the same coverage you had on your previous vehicle. If you wish additional coverage, there is usually a requirement that you notify your insurance company within a designated time period. Most policies also provide automatic coverage for a newly acquired vehicle that is an additional vehicle to those you already have on the policy. There are usually specific conditions that must be met. For example, the purchased vehicle must be reported to your agent or company within a designated time period.

REMEMBER: Some policies do not provide this automatic coverage. If you currently only carry liability insurance, liability insurance may be the only coverage that would extend to your newly acquired vehicle; if you purchase a new vehicle, you may not have adequate coverage to protect your new investment. Please contact us so we may review the terms and conditions of your specific policy.

I’m driving to Mexico for the weekend; do I need to buy special coverage?

Yes. Auto accidents in Mexico are subject to the laws of Mexico, not the laws of the United States. As a result, Mexican law requires you to purchase liability insurance through a licensed Mexican insurance company if you are driving your vehicle into Mexico. Your policy may offer some provisions for physical damage depending on your proximity to the border, but again, you cannot LEGALLY drive into Mexico without complying with laws of that country.

We offer very competitive rates on Mexican Insurance, and can easily write a policy to cover your trip to Mexico. For more information on Mexican Insurance or to get a quote or purchase a policy, please contact us.

What about Canada? The coverage territory of your auto policy is defined as the United States of America, its territories or possessions, Puerto Rico and Canada. Therefore, additional coverage is not required.

If I rent a car while on vacation in Europe (or other foreign country), will my auto policy cover me?

The answer is no because these areas are outside of the policy territory describled in your policy. A majority of auto policies do not provide any coverage outside of the United States (its territories or possessions, or Canada). In order to be covered, you must purchase coverage from the rental car company in the country you are visiting.

Do I need to purchase insurance when I rent a car?

Your rental car will be covered by your insurance for up to 30 consecutive days providing the same coverages you have on your own automobile. Remember, however, that only the coverages you carry on your auto policy will transfer to your rental vehicle. If you only have liability insurance and do not carry comprehensive and collision coverage, you will need to pay for additional coverage from the rental car agency. Remember that coverage extends ONLY in the territory described in your policy, the United States, its territories, Puerto Rico, and Canada.

 


 

 

 
 


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